Please Make Up Your Mind

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee of West Bengal has declared† that Capitalism, though filthy, is the only way to industrialise his state because the government does not have resources to build steel plants.

I wish people made up their minds about what does not have the resources to build steel plants. In Nehru’s time, they used to say that the government should build steel plants because the private sector would not have resources to do so.† So they imposed capacity restrictions to stop private companies from building steel plants they did not have resources to build in the first place. Now, we are being told the opposite. I am, like totally confused.

Now, of course Bhattacharjee, being a good Marxist, must believe that Communism is the last stage of human evolution and as a matter of historical inevitability, must necessarily be preceded by Capitalism. As India has not gone through a Capitalist stage yet, it is entirely possible that he believes that Communism cannot come to India yet. Some people†believe that Kalki will come on earth when the sins of Kali yuga burden Earth to her breaking point. Ergo, the way to hasten the arrival of Kalki is to sin so much that He is forced to incarnate. I shudder to think what will happen to Capitalism†in Bhattacharjee’s hands. †

One thought on “Please Make Up Your Mind

  1. During Nehru’s time, the Indian private sector indeed did not have the resources to execute huge projects. Foreign private capital flows were not so large or forthcoming. Even successes like Korea and Taiwan, not to mention Japan, had large capital accumulation and investment by the government. In case of these countries, there was a massive transfer of wealth from the public to private conglomerates in the hope of building export-based economies. The decision to create export-based economies was out of need, available opportunity and by design by government planners. In contrast, India had a private sector that at once demanded protection, had captive domestic markets and was a nation with serious capital crunch.

    There is a good book by Vivek Chibber, Locked in Place: State-Building and Late Industrialization in India, that explains this well.

    I am sure Mr Bhattacharjee believes that India has to go through capitalism before any communist revolution. Unfortunately for him, the revolution is not going to happen. Marx was best when describing and explaining capitalism and worst when he played futurologist.

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