All Talk and No Action Friday, May 7, 2010

It's Keith's Day out today.

This piece by him, chalks out the difference between Liberals/Democrats and Conservatives/Republicans.

He nails it, when he says :

For Democrats, the hallmark of a just society is equality. 
For Republicans, the hallmark of a just society is freedom.

I await the day when elections in India would be conducted on the principles stated above; rather than, through the prism of religion and caste.

As a kid, I believed in social equality. Till, I experienced the true benefits of capitalism.


Abhirup Saha said...


Just stumbled upon your post as I looked up your FB profile. Its quite a blog and since it grapples with so many issues, I felt the urge to comment.

Now, it may well be the case that you do not like unsolicited comments (I know quite a few who don't), so I'll just comment on this post.

"For Democrats, the hallmark of a just society is equality.
For Republicans, the hallmark of a just society is freedom" could be a very pithy statement about American politics, but it hides more than it reveals.

The Patriot (Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) Act has nothing to do with freedom. Indefinite detention of suspected w/o controls, unauthorized surveillance etc is hardly promoting freedom. Freedom is a difficult subject to deal with, but the freedom to provide guns to everyone has not really helped. I know guns do not kill people, it requires a human hand to pull the trigger, but when you have considerable evidence that it has done more harm than good (think Columbine and the numerous killings that followed), why hide behind that clich├ęd garb of freedom?

I'm not a card carrying Liberal. I do not believe in governments running the economy and through its extension society. But there is a lot government can do to flatten it, so that everyone tries to have a good life. Equality of access and opportunity over equality.

I haven't done much for my own society right here in India. But while I fret over what I could have done and actually do nothing, nothing riles me more than people who make money in the excess of twenty times the national per capita income talking about the futility of taxes, how high they are etc.

That is the white collar crassness that I detest. Happily go through government sponsored colleges and institutions, drive down the public roads, make use of the subsidized gas and pretty much everything else and then blame the system of taking away what you've earned by shedding copious blood and sweat. Really, in
an air conditioned office, tapping keys in the computer and making up clever acronyms?

Republicans and Democrats do not always stand divided over freedom and equality. They stand divided over who has it and who does not.

I don't think you are naive. I just don't want anybody to buy into the "freedom" tag. It comes at a price, especially when bought from the white collars.

On a personal note, I quite like the semi-automatic style of writing (breaks in the line, using a very bad gun analogy) you use :)


All Talk and No Action said...


It is for comments like these, that one continues to write. I couldn't believe my eyes at the length of the comment :)

About the hallmarks for Democrats and Republicans - that is just the tip of the iceberg and it doesn't represent what these ideologues stand for; atleast today.

I absolutely agree with the sentiments you express.

The intent of the post was a lament, really. As mentioned earlier, I await the day when we will have elections fought on economic principles and not class ones that we have.

About Govt. control/participation - I hate it ! There is hardly any breathing space we are accorded. Business, education, services, entertainment,etc. every sphere suffocates... all of this has also affected the psyche of the "aam" junta. We just don't realise how much we have come to depend and look forward to the govt. taking decisions for us!

Also, this whole idea of welfare state - just how many more decades will it take for us to realise the dangers of such a state? At some level, I think the Indian Govt. wants to permanently cripple us and never be able to think for ourseleves - hence they keep such stupid ideals alive. What else explains our poverty and illiteracy after decades of folowing the welfare model?

Also, nothing is black and white really. All "isms" fall into the gray area, some lighter hues and some darker. I would rather have us follow Capitalism, it appears to be brutal - but it actually teaches people to fend for themselves.

On the white collar types you mentioned - I call them arm chair critics :)
They feed on WSJ but wouldn't know a thing about what plagues their own backyards. The lesser said about them, the better.

Thank you for stopping by.