The whole political vision of the left, including socialism and communism, has failed by virtually every empirical test, in countries all around the world. But this has only led leftist intellectuals to evade and denigrate empirical evidence… When the world fails to conform to their vision, then it seems obvious to the ideologues that it is the world that is wrong, not that their vision is uninformed or unrealistic.
—Thomas Sowell

All the above economic blunders of Nehru were thanks to his thrusting socialistic policies on poor India. Nehru uncritically accepted socialism. It is strange that while Nehru’s books approvingly talk of Marxism and socialism, there is no comparative analysis by him of much more proven competing economic thoughts. It was as if Adam Smith, Alfred Marshall, JS Mill, John Maynard Keynes and others did not exist for Nehru. Nor did he care to read Milton Friedman (1912–2006) or Friedrich Hayek (1899– 1992).

Marxism and socialism were something Nehru was sold out on since the 1920s, wrote approvingly about in his books, advocated vigorously all through, and, unfortunately for India, implemented it post-independence in his own Nehruvian way. Nehru stuck to his position on socialism and communism despite the increasing evidence of their global failure, and the immense misery and totalitarianism they brought about. And, despite irrationally and unscientifically ignoring the facts and evidence, he flaunted himself as of a rational and scientific temperament.

Marxists call their socialism scientific socialism, as if the self-assigned, self-adulatory adjective scientific is sufficient to testify to it being scientific —correct; however preposterous it might be from a genuine scientific angle, where the litmus test is the real practical proof. Mere dialectics of self- serving arguments and logic does not result in truth! Marxism and socialism as a science or as an alternate economic thought for a nation to build on has miserably failed—it has globally been proven wrong both in theory and in practice.

To be a Marxist-communist “intellectual” is cheap and easy. Just get a hang on a set of jargons and delusional concepts: Historical Materialism, Dialectical Materialism. Stages of Evolution of Society: Tribal, Feudal, Industrial–Capitalist—and, finally, Communist! Social Ownership of the Means of Production. Fascist, Imperialist. Proletariat, Bourgeois, Petty- Bourgeois. Dictatorship of the Proletariat. From Class to Classless Society. From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. Withering away of the state.

For these “intellectuals” sold out on “scientific” socialism there is no need to test and practically verify the above—for Marxism-Communism for them is the gospel truth, much like the totalitarian, proselytizing, exclusivist, “only-we-are-correct-and-all-others-false” ideologies of the latter two Abrahamic religions—Christianity and Islam. Like the us vs. them binary of Christianity and Islam—believers vs. non-believers; momins vs. kaffirs—Marxism-Communism has its binaries of proletariat vs. bourgeoisie, and worker vs. capitalist.

Those who do not genuinely understand science or scientific-methods are taken-in by mere allusion to something as scientific . Many became Marxists because being so implied being scientific -spirited, rational, progressive, pro-poor intellectual, aligned to the forces of history! Rather than being aligned to the forces of history or being on the right side of it, to the dismay of the Marxists, the unfolding history proved them to be on the wrong side; and their “science”—“scientific” socialism—turned out to be an alchemy!

Further, Marx didn’t elaborate on the nature of society and organisation that would replace capitalism, and how it would be managed, except talking vaguely about the “dictatorship of the proletariat”—without allowing for the possibility of the Frankenstein it would unleash, and the surreal “1984” it would beget.

The capitalist economic thought, the capitalist societies and the associated democratic system themselves evolved and adapted since the time of Marx in such a way that they not only brought unprecedented prosperity to the concerned nations, they also significantly uplifted the status of the masses—falsifying, in the process, many of the foundations and assumptions of Marx.

In science, society, economics and indeed all disciplines knowledge evolves, concepts change, new theories replace old ones in the light of new experiments, experiences and knowledge gained. To be scientific is to keep an open mind on things, to be willing to change, to be ready to jettison the old in the light of new evidence, and to go by actual practical results. For anything to be scientifically correct, it has to be proved truly and convincingly in practice, without a shadow of doubt. Till the same is done, it remains merely a conjecture, a hypothesis, a theory. Has the so-called scientific socialism or Marxism proved successful anywhere in the world in practice? No. Facts, figures, statistics and ground-level experiences of various countries prove that all brands of leftist politics—Communist, Socialist, Fabian, Nehruvian, and so on—are inherently incapable of delivering anything positive for any nation or for its poor. In fact, they have actually been at the root of poverty, want and stagnation.

Dismal fate of all nations that went socialist proves the point. Take USSR. It claimed to be following scientific socialism or Marxism. But, what were its practical results? It drew an iron-curtain so that no one got to see the disaster: the wide-spread poverty and famine and suppression of human rights. Had things been really good, why would USSR be so secretive about it, and not let those interested—journalists, writers, academicians, researchers, politicians, sociologists, and general public— have unrestricted access and see the state of affairs for themselves, especially when they wanted other nations to emulate them, and go communist! Why only guided tours, under strict supervision? Whom were they fooling? Perhaps people like Nehru. One guided tour in 1920s, and Nehru returned fully sold out, like school-boys taken on guided tours! Subsequent guided-tours of both Nehru and his daughter post-independence to the USSR, and both were re-sold!! Ultimately the USSR fell apart, and all its parts are still struggling to throw away the bad old days of communism.

There is not a single example of a country which prospered or whose poor were better off under communism or socialism. The democratic countries like the UK which were going downhill with their socialistic policies did course correction under Thatcher and prospered. Extrapolating the time it took Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan to become first-world countries by adopting competitive capitalism, and the time it took West Germany and Japan to rise from the ashes of the Second World War by adopting capitalist economy, it seems reasonable that India would have been a prosperous, first-rate, first-world country by 1980 had it too adopted competitive capitalism and befriended the West.

Unfortunately for the crores of starving Indians and millions of others who had great hopes for themselves, their families and the nation after independence, Nehru guided India into a poverty-and-misery-perpetuating socialistic-bureaucratic black-hole. His descendants, Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, by doing much more of the same, made the situation worse. UPA-I and II, by part reverting to the Nehru-Indira disastrous ways, reversed the Narsimha Rao–Vajpayee upward trend.

Sardar Patel, Rajagopalachari and Rajendra Prasad were opposed to socialism. If only they had led India after Independence, rather than Nehru, India would have been a prosperous first-world country long ago, and it would hopefully have been saved from the debilitating feudal dynacracy (dynastic democracy) founded by Nehru, that is at the root of all miseries.

Nehru just went by what was popular and fashionable among the upper classes in Britain, without any deep study of economics (despite many years in jail where he had all the time in the world, and access to books), or even a reasonable understanding of its basics, although economics is a most vital subject for any political leader.

In fact, Nehru’s prejudice—which he picked up at Harrow and Cambridge—against capitalism had more to do with his cultivating himself as an upper-class Englishman, who had a bias against trade, than on understanding of economics or economic history; just as his socialism had more to do with upper-class English Fabians (like Bernard Shaw), than with any genuine experience of or revolt against poverty. Nehru’s class or caste bias is apparent in his autobiography where he mentions that “right through history the old Indian ideal…looked down upon money and the professional money-making class” and that “today” it is “fighting against a new and all-powerful opposition from the bania [Vaishya] civilization of the capitalist West”.

This permit-licence-raj is not a bee in my bonnet but a great boa-constrictor that has coiled itself around the economy.
—Rajaji in Swarajya of 15.1.1966

To cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukaemia with leeches.
—Margaret Thatcher

Raja Vyapari taya Praja Bhikhari.
—Indian proverb

Poor countries are poor because those who have power make choices that create poverty. Such countries develop “extractive” institutions that “keep poor countries poor”.
—Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson,
‘Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty’
(Socialist institutions tend to be extractive. Nehru was the founder of the extractive institutions that have been at the root of India remaining a third- rate third-world nation.)

If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.
—Milton Friedman

People who believe in evolution in biology often believe in creationism in government. In other words, they believe that the universe and all the creatures in it could have evolved spontaneously, but that the economy is too complicated to operate without being directed by politicians.
—Thomas Sowell

Mr Jawaharlal Nehru returned from Cambridge with notions of how an all-governing interventionist state can force people into happiness and prosperity through socialism…He sticks to this bias in spite of the demonstration of world experience against it… I hate the present folly and
arrogance as much as I hated the foreign arrogance of those [British] days.”

A young man who isn’t a socialist hasn’t got a heart; an old man who is a socialist hasn’t got a head. —David Lloyd George, the British PM in 1920

Nehru’s inability to rise above his deep-rooted Marxist equation of Western capitalism with imperialism, and his almost paranoid, partly aristocratic, distrust of free enterprise in its most successful form as ‘vulgar’, cost India dearly in retarding its overall development for the remaining years of his rule, as well as for the even longer reign of his more narrowly doctrinaire daughter.
—Stanley Wolpert, ‘Nehru: A Tryst with Destiny’

He [Nehru] had no idea of economics. He talked of Socialism, but he did not know how to define it. He talked of social justice, but I told him he could have this only when there was an increase in production. He did not grasp that. So you need a leader who understands economic issues and will invigorate your economy.
—Chester Bowles, the then US Ambassador to India

There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the way of achieving the same ultimate goal: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism by voting. It’s the same difference between murder and suicide.
—Ayn Rand

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money. —Margaret Thatcher

How do you tell a communist?
Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin.
And how do you tell an anti-Communist?
It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.

—Ronald Reagan

There was not much inhibition about asking for aid; and, according to some critics, not much gratitude. A frequent note was: aid should be bigger… The independence of the foodless or the heavily mortgaged debtor is normally precarious… Prices nearly doubled during the time I was in India… Further, the professional and the middle class, already ground down by taxation…as well as by inflation, sink lower in the economic scale…State intervention, too, grew apace under Nehru’s plans. Permits, licenses, controls, foreign exchange prohibitions were always increasing. With them the corruption increased too…The parlous food position in India, including the low, and still falling, yield per acre was…dangerously concealed… through the millions of tons of free or dumped food from the Unites States…It is hard to escape the fear that the main achievement of Nehru’s economic and social policy will turn out to be social disruption…And it is certain that over most of India the low standard of living in the villages has not risen; over much of India it has fallen, in the last ten years. Socialists governments, notoriously, run into difficulties over food production; as Communist China did in recent years, and as Soviet Russia has been doing even forty-odd years after the Revolution…
—Walter Crocker, ‘Nehru: A Contemporary’s Estimate’

I passed through some European capitals [in late 1950s] whose interest in India had shrunk because this country appeared to them more in the role of a client for aid than the leader of a new force in world affairs. The exception was West Germany, the only Western nation which shows respect for Indian culture. German Indologists study Sanskrit, whereas their British counterparts confine themselves to the Indo-Muslim period.
—Durga Das
in the context of the “aid” mentioned above by Crocker


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