Friday, November 23, 2012

Misery, death and hunger an everyday reality for millions in India

This video is from Bloomberg Business Week.  It accompanies an article I read in the latest issue that gives a vivid account of life in an Indian village as told by an American whose father was born there.
What the article lacks of course is any serious criticism of capitalism.  India, the US capitalist class likes to boast, is the world's most populous democracy.  The problem though is corruption and "crony capitalism" and that India has not gone far enough in opening up its economy.  More of the so-called "free market.", that's what will cure India.

If India was a Stalinist state like the former Soviet Union, or the author was a Cuban exile retuning home and detailing the poverty and hunger that existed there, the article would very clearly explain that "communism" or "Socialism", in other words, the social system was at fault, was the reason the economy and society was unable to develop. But when it comes to capitalist economies, it's as if a social system of production doesn't exist.

That said, I found the piece very moving and a real glimpse in to the everyday misery that millions of Indians face every day.  1000 children a day die due to diseases related to insufficient water and sewage systems. Two million Indians are infected with tuberculosis each year and 400 million have no electricity at all. This is the the failure that capitalism is in India.

The author describes the sanitary situation, "Every act of nature requites a 15 minute walk to a field where pigs rot around in the remains of yesterday's visit."  And the small river that runs through the village, "Downriver from the village around a quick bend, the bank was a squelching, stinking toilet."

India, like the rest of us, needs less of the market not more. The article is to be found in the latest issue of Business Week

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