12.20.2016

India Sinks, Or Why People Become Alt-Right

A view from an overseas Indian, an institutional investor who leans libertarian: "Demonetization Has Achieved Nothing" - India's Rapidly Plunging Toward A Police State

India’s political institutions and big organizations were built by the British. They have crumbled — slowly but surely — since the British left in 1947. These institutions would only have been sustainable if society at large had at best become as inclined toward critical thinking and rationality as Britain was, or at worst, if the British had continued to run the institutions. With neither being the case, the glue has come unstuck.

Over the last 300 – 400 years, the West has disseminated its technology, institutions, etc., hoping that these would provide the tools to undo tribalism, superstition and irrationality and promote critical thinking instead. Africa, the Middle East and South Asia were offered intellectual products developed in Europe over a period of 2,500 years on a platter, the finest achievements of humanity, free of charge. However, to the people on the receiving end, the plate appeared to be completely empty.

What did appear to work was the focus on trade pursued by the East India Company, and the attempt by Catholic missionaries to bring about cultural change from the bottom-up. Neither of these approaches had a chance to fully play out, and the British government took over India in 1858.

The cultural renaissance that had begun to happen in India started getting politicized and came to an abrupt halt with the death of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. The cultural renaissance had slowly ossified into the so-called independence movement. Everything took a nosedive after the British left, and continues to deteriorate today.
Many libertarians might take that view. And then they learn that people aren't as rational as they thought, or maybe they dig deeper into where and why so few cultures can adopt Western technology, politics and culture. Then it's a straight shot into the alt-right, neoreaction and dissident right-wing thinking.

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