Appetite for a darker worldview.

So these are the thoughts for the day.*

Dark personalities are the norm in politics, it is better to admit it than regret later.

I was reading about Boris Johnson’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings and his wide ranging interests. About the eclectic blog posts that he writes and the breadth and depth of his knowledge. Despite all this, he fought an “uncivil” war from front, driving a deep wedge between different segments of British society. So clearly, “knowledge level” of someone is no guarantee of a better, more civilised conduct when it comes to politics and its machinations to acquire power. A Democratic society should be wary of creating “powerful” people.

For a civilised society, strong men and women are not the ones who sport a 56”. No man or woman is a match to the power that the state holds. But what makes the state powerful is its institutions. So if you are looking for a strong leader, it should be someone who nurtures these institutions - not someone who demolishes them to enhance his/her personal power. If history teaches us anything, this very behaviour ultimately leads to their downfall. Sometimes taking the entire realm with them as they go down.

Before you go forward, here’s an image to set the mood (work by an artist named Dhruvi Acharya ):

Climate skeptic is a kind word, don’t use it.

Now let’s talk about climate change. Statistics tell me that the rise of CO2 starts with 200 ppm (parts per million) some 18,000 years ago to 270 ppm 11,500 years ago. After that began the Holocene that made agriculture and consequent evolution of human culture possible. After the Industrial revolution post 1850s, levels went up to 407 ppm in 2018. When we talk about “Climate Sceptics”, we talk about people who don’t really “believe” in what science says.

But that’s a neutral term. What if they think as follows?

We had Dinosaurs going extinct much before Mammoths did, so were our poor primate ancestors. Nobody per se tried to “conserve” nature. They all tried to exploit it as much as they could, and perished when the conditions changed. What’s this thing about saving it for our next generation? As John Maynard Keynes said, we all are dead in the long term. If the people who came before us really cared about us, would they have left the oceans the way they are now?

Think about the acrid air in Delhi and polluted rivers in Varanasi. Perhaps, we should just enjoy the party as long as it lasts and bow down when the time comes. Screw the next generation, it ought to stop at some point of time and what’s a matter with us doing thing for m generations when everything will ultimately end after n generations with m always greater than n?

So that’s how they might be thinking. A perfectly rational posture, even though selfish. But who are we to preach ethics to these people? So don’t call them climate sceptics. They are the ones who want to go down with a bang, even if that endangers our lives and the lives of our children. Don’t be kind, deal with them politically - which means you should fight!

Vocal about Local.

With the COVID-19, India’s villages in the North and East India have seen a surge in migrants going back home. Now, the conditions are ripe for giving them a taste of “in-situ development” that we have blessed our middle and upper middle classes for quite some time.

This is an opportunity to help them find work near their homes and families. If they could enjoy a dignified life at homes, how can we prompt them to come back to their sub-human shawls in the middle of our cities? If we can’t, how can we get cheap labour for constructing our infrastructure and taking care of menial tasks like cooking our food and cleaning where we dump it? And eat in side-broken plates reserved for them?

So their labour is much welcome, but spending government funds on making their lives better is not. If it happens, we should write essays about how it ruins the Fiscal Deficit margins and the sacrilege that is the violation of FRBM Act, 2003. So you see, we cannot let these migrants going back to Grihasthashrama, we need their Shawl Sanyasa where they live deprived of all basic dignity and amenities. This is the only way through which our giant conveyor belt of exploitation can roll.

So no job generation in the countryside. No expansion of the secondary and tertiary sector there (let alone make them equitable). Even when we pay lip service to skilling and MSME, we can sabotage it easily. Even in schemes like Deen Dayal Upaddhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY, not DDLJ-DIY), you could hand over skilling contracts to party functionaries graduated in Whatsapp university. MUDRA loans to party sympathizers and choke the credit lines for MSMEs. Electrify villages but not make electricity affordable. These are the practical ways of demonstrating the communal spirit that you have so thoroughly imbibed from THE IT cell online.

These are not the things that this government does, but it could do. You see, when you have sanction of divinity to govern, all these things shouldn’t matter. So this macabre exploitation of India’s poorest and marginalised shouldn’t concern us because:

  1. It doesn’t affect our prosperity and ease of life.
  2. Mandir and Masjid.
  3. It doesn’t affect our prosperity and ease of life.
  4. Religious Bigotry.
  5. We like it, we hate them. We hate their smell, their skin colour and their presence near us in the Metro stations.

It’s simple. We do everything possible to deny them a better life. This is not even a dark worldview (according to us). This can sit comfortably well with the ideals of justice and equality taught at schools (not at home, because err, patriarchy!). We “dole” out MGNREGA funds, we pay for their healthcare (even when they die in droves), teach their children (dysfunctional education system churning our dropouts to polish our shoes and sell cheap samosas in railway stations) etc to hide our hideous bourgeois guilt.

Isn’t this enough for the day?

So dear reader, I am stopping here. The world is dark, and I definitely want you to see it that way. That’s all for the day, I will write a shorter blog post tomorrow. Share this and make me famous for I have some incentive to do this.

I promise that I will quote Rilke and Rimbaud and make you smarter as we roll. Bye for the time being, happy exploiting!

*Thoughts that I had as I read stuff today, you may find the articles in question via googling or ogling, whatever that suits you well.

Written on June 10, 2020