Thursday, January 30, 2014

A discussion in Ramarao Kanneganti's timeline on politics of anarchy where I begin to express some opinions. One of my comments there: "While I recognize that many groups are using relatively non-violent methods for their own ends which seem dubious (like Thailand now), I am not sure how the really poor can get justice in the current set ups in various countries. While many of us have done reasonably well, I still see lot of subsistence existence, both in person and in videos and reports (for example brick workers, tribals via Rahul Banerjee who worked with them for several years), whose lot do not seem to have improved since the British left. But how do I know how many of them are worse off and how how the rising tide will not lift them. I look at the reports of people like Jan Bremen or John Harriss and others who worked in India for over forty years. Then there are studies by Gabriel Palma which says that in about 140 countries the top ten percent and the bottom forty percent earn about the same as the rest of the fifty percent. That means that the gains of the top ten percent are at the expense of the bottom forty percent; who are being further pushed to the bottom in spite of the overall gains. Moreover, we have reports like which indicate the stakes against the bottom forty percent. There seem to concerted wars against the poor in countries like US, UK. I do not know the motives. Either they are considered dispensable with the rise of technology or the calculation is that you need some at subsistence level for the comforts of the others (now colonialism etc are passe). We in the fifty percent are coopted in the process. If these perceptions are somewhat correct, I do not seem what options the poor have except unconstitutional protests, since new laws are being passed everyday to make all kinds of protests illegal (one law planned next week in Melbourne). See also this from today's Guardian"

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