Books Indians Should Read Chapter – 2 – Part 4 (Post No.8460)

WRITTEN BY R. NANJAPPA                        

Post No. 8460

Date uploaded in London – – – 6 August 2020   

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Books Indians Should Read Chapter – 2 – Part 4
     R. Nanjappa

Indian response 
In this connection, Kate Raworth mentions a conversation with an Indian engineer she had met in Germany. It is worth reproducing:

“When I asked whether he had opted to learn about ecologically smart technologies, he just shook his head and replied, ‘No. India has other priorities- we are not rich enough to worry about that yet.’ Surprised, I pointed out that almost half of India’s land is degraded, the nation’s groundwater levels are falling fast, and air pollution is the worst in the world. A flicker of recognition crossed his face, but he just smiled and repeated his words, ‘We still have other priorities.’ ” 

 I bet our politicians would be no better. They have all become slaves to defunct economists, as Lord Keynes said. I would say they are slaves to deranged economists.

Simon Kuznets the originator of the concept of GNP warned us:

” Distinctions must be kept in mind between quantity and quality of growth, between its costs and return, and between the short and the long term. Objectives should be explicit: goals for “more” growth should specify more growth of what and for what.”

End of growth?


Physicist Robert Ayers and ecological economist Benjamin Warr developed a model of growth including energy as an input, in addition to the two factors labour and capital, economists usually take. They found that the last two centuries of extraordinary economic growth are due to cheap fossil fuels. This trend is not likely to continue. “future GDP growth is not only not guaranteed, it is more than likely to end within a few decades.” 

What does economics ultimately teach? Precisely nothing! We cannot set right the economy or the world with all the economics studied in the universities. For they teach mere theories which are not applicable to life. It takes a great economist to realise this. Once again  we turn to Lord Keynes who said in 1922:

  “The theory of economics does not furnish a body of settled conclusions immediately applicable to policy. It is a method rather than a doctrine, an apparatus of the mind, a technique of thinking, which helps its possessor to draw correct conclusions”

Life beyond growth

Economics by itself is a dubious discipline. It has to be understood in the light of a large number of other disciplines. It is said that war is too important a matter to be left to generals. We may say, economics is too dangerous to be left to economists or politicians. The public has to sharpen its common sense to question what goes on in the name of economics, develop enough economic wisdom to be able to judge matters and question economists and politicians. Kate Raworth ‘s book is a tremendous step in the direction of making us economically knowledgeable. It is sure to disturb a diligent reader, the wealth of material can be overwhelming but things are really so difficult. Let us not allow mainstream economists to fool us any longer. 
This book is like an encyclopedia, tremendously important.

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2. Mahatma Gandhi was a deep thinker on economic matters. All his public life, he strove to make man economically independent and self-sufficient, and self-reliant. But Nehru completely buried Gandhiji’s ideas and adopted the Soviet ideology and system of planning. He made planning synonymous with growth and development. Most Indians are still under the spell of this notion. PM Modi abolished the Planning Commission, but has instituted another arrangement in its place! This shows we are all still slaves to defunct politicians!

3. We should realise that the so called antagonism between free and socialist economies is not so real in practice. There is really no “free” economy in the world- all economies are controlled by the government directly or indirectly to varying degrees. The real issue is whether the economy damages the environment or not. Here, both communist or socialist and so called free economies are equally damaging. They both adopt the same technologies with the same disastrous consequences.



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