Thursday, July 17, 2008

America has become a burden on the world

‘It is a US crisis at global cost’

S Gurumurthy is a chartered accountant by profession, but wears several other hats. He is the National Convenor of the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, a mass-movement committed to the promotion of swadeshi industries and culture. He is also a renowned columnist, writing regularly for The New Indian Express and other publications. Often, he also acts a mediator in large industrial disputes.
In a free wheeling conversation with Claude Arpi in Chennai, Gurumurthy — known for his candid and at times controversial views on various subjects — speaks on the current sub-prime crisis and the civilisation choices which have triggered the present difficulties. He also reflects on the international food crisis, its political repercussions in India, and also on the Finance Minister’s recent decision to waive farmers’ loans.
In the second and final part of the interview, he argues that ‘It is not an economic crisis, it is only the economic effect of a moral, intellectual, social and cultural crisis.’
Part I: ‘The state has taken more responsibility than it should’
Do you think the US economy can recover?

The American economy has survived because it was able to saddle the bad loans on to other countries. The moneys lent on sub-prime basis was not American money. The mortgaged loans of the US banks belong to banks in the Middle East, in Korea, in Taiwan or even in India. It is a US crisis at global cost. That is why it affected the world.
Globalisation helped America to make the local loans, global loans. Out of the $1.5 trillion risk loans, the EU Central Bank issued a cheque for $512 billion in December 2007. The EU money was lent in the US, not in the EU. Today, America has become a burden on the world. They have over $7 trillions debt to the world and they are borrowing at the rate of $2 billion a day.
If the recession sets in, will it change something?

In the US, the recession will not be allowed to set in on the consumers’ front. They will print more dollars, put it in people’s pocket and ask them to buy.
How long can it last?

It can end all of a sudden. But it will not be the melt down of the Anglo-Saxon economic model. It will also be the weakening of the political structure, which is based on atomizing individualism.
Isn’t it getting worse?

Naturally! Is it going to come to a grinding halt? It is the question that everybody is asking today. I feel that it could be the end to this type of economy and reconsideration of the political premises that support this type of economy and, the end of dismembering the family to promote economics. Unless a larger dimension of life is integrated into politico-economic philosophy and policy-making, there is no answer within the present Anglo-Saxon Model. How to organise life, what is the place of men and women, of parents, of children, or, of elders? Unless there is an intellectual effort and social movement to reverse the degeneration, which has occurred mostly in the last 20-30 years, I see no possibility for this crisis to be averted. It is not an economic crisis, it is only the economic effect of a moral, intellectual, social and cultural crisis.
Does India have a role to play?

All family-oriented societies, where atomizing individualism is less dominant, have a role to play, not only India which is of course a significant country. How has Japan, which is a technologically-advanced country, been able to avoid the consequence of the crisis that the US has got into? Because of the family and community structure.
A balance is maintained between individuals on the one hand and family and community on the other. The market has been kept confined to business, and not allowed to penetrate families and communities. Look at the two economies. In family-oriented economies, women have an important role - it is a feminine economy, while the Anglo-Saxon is masculine, based on consumption and power. In Japan or India, it is based on carefulness, savings, safety - all characteristic of women.
Do you see the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to Mohammed Yunnus for micro-lending, often to women, as the recognition of a new trend?
But they also awarded the Nobel Prize to (Fischer) Black and (Myron S) Scholes. The model for which they got the Nobel Prize in 1997 has greatly leveraged and risked the American and global economies. It legitimised and celebrated the Leveraging Model.
Bear Stearns, which collapsed, was leveraged 7 times in 1994. It was considered as safe. But it started leveraging some 30 times its own equity. This is what caused its collapse. This leveraging is based on the Black and Scholes model which received the Nobel Prize (for Economics).
The Nobel to Yunnus was not given as instituting feminine structure of micro-saving and micro-lending, it was just given to an individual, without understanding the philosophy of his model. The world has to take a conscious shift towards a sober, feminine approach.

Reply for - Can India be strong... a pessimistic approach...

A follow-up on my previous article...
One of the reply i got when i forwarded the article to one of my friends... And what i replied him..
Comments are welcome....

Exactly and i indeed haven't written at any point that individualism is better than collectivism. Given our cultural, moral and ethical values added to our altruistic nature we've evolved so... And infact there is nothing wrong about it.. I've only opined that this couldn't aid our Pursuit of a Global Super Power..
The only point i wanted to make is that its only their Rugged individualism that had aided America. This only undermines the very point that why are we proclaiming ourselves as a confident ppl. There is not an ounce of doubt that we are reincarnating as a global power but just that we might articulate ourselves clumsily (may be in our own way). Its also evident that neither the chinese were able to foster the individuals and this probably be the hinderance factor for we emergeing superpowers.
This being my pessimistic view of the same, I've only stated the negative facts.. and are not cushioned with positives and is a bit hard to swallow. (at time i feel like this kind of introspection can reveal the major hinderances that we face by wearing a facade of our brighter fortunes).
At the same time can any of us negate the fact that we are weak in emotional self-unerstanding ??? are we taking anything that reflects our trueself. We keep complaining, complaining, complaining..... None of us are ready to take the initiative (including me) finally we end-up benchmarking the grown nations and comparing with ours... We know we have lots of problems lies within us but how often when reflected upon we behaved well ?? (atleast not me)
We know whats wrong but we still follow the herd in misbehaving (doesn't that hurt) From traffic rules, speeding, taxes (if theres any one in our comp who shows original records for LTA, that'll be a NEWS to me) corruption, negligence, piracies, delibrate over ruling of laws.... and it goes on...
And we are only left with ANGER, Anger with ourselves, anger with this society and so on.... this is what the price we pay for collectivism. Though this has yielded social and moral values this has not (Certainly not) contributed on our road towards growth. And more often than not had only been the boulders of obstruction for every constructive approach.
And yes we can't be individualistic (so called egoistic) in a country like his. Living in adversity is afterall not a small thing. And we somehow have succeeded for years in doing this which had made us more fragile and at the same time every invations have taught us something (being positive) But this certainly had implications on us in every dimensions. From our lifestyle, culture, society and so on... Now we've become something that we are not sure of what.. Rapid Evolution had only made us more eager to the newer ones. We've become very receptive to the trends but the sadest thing is that our inmate souls haven't evolved much. Like we still believe in superstitions, more than anyone..
The point im trying to make is that we've been breeded with foreign culture and our own which at one point has its own advantages on the other side hasn't. We've started looking at our own from a different vantge point. As for me i cannot but confuse myself as to which one is better.
Finally we end up complaining this as anarchy..... well im sorry at times its hard for me to refrain myself from writing long passages.. i just type what occurs to me (for this reason i've kept my post very concise in abstract of my opinions) Though i have a lot more to say I'd like to end-up with this...
Yes Rugged individualism can only foster egoism and can prove to be futile with our population and our hybrid culture, and does not carry nationalistic feelings. Dont you agree that the later bonds you with a fence restricting your limits and more often than not restrains a man/ women from pursuing his own self (for instance the so-called Kaal Kattu) ... I know many including me who want to be someone ended up being some one. And this hurts... You've mistaken me on that.. but the onus was on me for stating it vaguely fearing my longparagraphobia... ( and yes there are lots of them who use this to complain and justify themselves for their own inability but... ). Individualism makes you excercise who you are and you'll do justice to what you love doing.... Which will in-turn contribute to the nation.
But yes too much of anything is too bad...
Ithudan yenadhu urayai mudithukkolgiren.. mockai pottamaikku yenadu varthangal and ithuvarai paditha ullangalukku yen nandri....
BTW: If i do sound Insane, weird or whatever expletives you think of so be it. I ceratinly feel remoseful for this looooong reply and consuming so much of ur time


‘Rugged individualism” could be highly dangerous with a billion people. All said and done, American Individualism came about when they did not have to think of the next square meal. Here in India you & I belong to this minority who were fortunate enough to have a good food and education and even that came about because of the sacrifices of our parents and grandparents. Our ethos and family bonding calls for collectivism and not individualism. THIS IS THE TRUTH AND THIS NEED NOT HURT. And yes I believe, people who are hell bent on individualism are generally highly egocentric and do not carry too much of nationalistic feelings. If they are really nationalistic, they will not care so much about individualism. Let me make it clear that I am not against individualism, but to me utilitarianism is far more important than individualism.



From: Subramani S

Gud Morning... Its time we let some hurt (truth hurts) come in... lot of typos bear with this...

From: Chuppandi []

We keep saying we are a confident people but confident people don’t need such self-reinforcement. The truth is that after decades of feeling inadequate we are re-emerging as a nation and as people. It’s tough. Resurgent nations articulate power clumsily and often succumb to chauvinism as they seek redress for fast grievances and recognition for their new status. That’s what happened in Germany and Italy in 1930’s and what India (and China) are grappling with now.

This change causes turmoil at a personal level too. But we seldom realize or talk about it because we are not big on emotional self-understanding. In the years we obsessed over bread-and-butter issues, our parents and teahers focused us on achieving financial security, not personal actualization. It made us cling to family rather than explore our individualism and pushed us into professions in which we had no inclination or interest. Now, manyu of us feel a conflict between our material and inner lives. Add to this our unresolved national traumas, such as partition and the indignity of everyday life, and it’s easy to see why our innate Indian character of rectitude and moderation is loaded with insecurity, and anger.

Fitting our complex emotions into a corporate world that demands ational professionalism is tough. Managers complain youngsters are addicted to lucre and allergic to feedback. Youngsters moan their superiors have feudal mindsets and archaic skill sets. This complex corporate sociologyis delibilating employees and corporate growth. Parents and ecationists are now bringing up children differently. But in the meantime, CEOs should invest in the training and counseling needed to ease the subterranean strains running through India Inc. as Alexis de Tocqueville said, it was america’s “rugged individualism” that made the country great. India’s fragile collectivism cannot build strong companies, or the nation

Posted By Chuppandi to CHUPPANDI CHATS at 7/09/2008 03:28:00 AM