Justice Katju’s Conversation with an NRI

I had posted the following article on fb

https://thenewscaravan.com/justice-katju-urges-global-unity-for-underdeveloped-nations-industrialization/

Thereafter I received this email from an NRI living in Scotland

Dear Justice Katju,

I recently read your article, “A Tale of Two Worlds,” and found it to be a thought-provoking piece on the global economic divide. While I appreciate the insights you offer, I would like to present some counterarguments that challenge the premises of your theory.

Firstly, the notion that developed countries systematically work to keep underdeveloped nations in a state of poverty seems to overlook the complexity of global interdependence. Today’s global economy is characterized by mutual cooperation, where developed countries often provide aid, investment, and engage in trade with developing nations, fostering economic growth for both parties.

Additionally, internal factors within underdeveloped countries, such as governance, political stability, and domestic policies, play a crucial role in their economic status. Countries like South Korea and Singapore have demonstrated that development is possible, even in the face of external economic pressures.

The argument that technological advancement and globalization solely benefit developed nations also seems to be a simplification. Many developing countries have experienced significant growth and development through technological transfer and global interconnectedness, as evidenced by the rapid adoption of mobile technology in various parts of Africa.

Moreover, the diversity within developed countries themselves, where pockets of poverty and underdevelopment exist, suggests that the economic divide is more nuanced than a simple binary categorization of nations into rich and poor.

Your article also appears to underplay the historical context of colonialism and its long-term effects on the current economic status of many underdeveloped countries. Additionally, the role of international organizations like the UN, World Bank, and IMF in development efforts contradicts the notion of a unified effort by developed countries to suppress the growth of poorer nations.

Lastly, in the context of environmental sustainability, the model of rapid industrialization as a path to development poses significant long-term risks, a factor that needs to be considered in any discussion about global economic models.

I believe these points offer a different perspective on the complex and multifaceted nature of global development. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on these counterpoints.

Best regards,

 

I sent this reply :

Dear sir

Since you have asked, let me clarify. But please dont get upset. I believe in speaking the truth, however much it hurts people. Some people get upset when I say 2+2=4, but I will not say it is 3 or 5 to please them. A blunt knife draws no blood. So let me get your concepts clear.

Firstly, you must understand that countries in the world are capitalist. At one time the Soviet Union and China were socialist, but they too later became capitalist ( though China still calls itself socialist ).

It is in the nature of capitalism to seek profits, not do charity.

However, from historical experience, particularly after the Bolshevik and Chinese Revolutions, the rulers of capitalist countries have learnt that to prevent countries and people becoming socialist, capitalism must be presented in a benign light. In other words, capitalism must not appear in the raw, red in tooth and claw, and as oppressors and exploiters of the people. This why the laissez faire theory of Adam Smith, stated in his book ‘The Wealth of Nations’ in 1776 was found untenable after the Great Depression of 1929 ( after the Wall Street crash ) which lasted till 1939 when World War 2 broke out, and was replaced by the theory of John Maynard Keynes, in his book ‘The General Theory’ in 1936, and in practice by President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Maynard_Keynes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Deal#:~:text=The%20New%20Deal%20was%20a,States%20between%201933%20and%201938.

This ‘modified’ capitalism was intended to create a camouflage that the nature of capitalism has changed, and it no longer seeks only profits, but also seeks to do good to the people. The truth is that the fundamental nature of capitalism, i. e. seeking profits, can never change, but a rosy picture must be painted to delude the people that it also seeks the people’s welfare, and has become non-exploitative..

During the colonial era, taking advantage of the huge plunder and wealth coming from the colonies, the imperialist countries raised wages of their own workers a bit above the subsistence level, to pacify them, by giving them some crumbs of this loot of the colonies, so that they do not revolt.

After the direct colonial era was over in the mid 20th century or thereafter, a new policy was adopted, to the show the newly independent countries that the developed countries are their benefactors, and want to help them economically. This was again a camouflage, but of a new kind. The ‘aid’ given to them had a lot of strings attached, to keep them in a position of subservience, and to enable their exploitation to continue, but clothed as aid.

You must understand some basic economics. The cost of labour is a big chunk of the total cost of production, and so if labour is cheap, the cost of production is less, and then one can sell his goods at a cheaper price. There is competition in the market, and one businessman eliminates another not by guns or bombs but by underselling him, i.e. selling the same high quality goods at a cheaper price. Thus China, which built up a massive industry after its Revolution of 1949, captured much of the markets in the world because it has much cheaper labour than in Western countries. Western supermarkets are packed with Chinese goods, because they often sell at half the price at which Western manufacturers can sell them ( because of the expensive Western labour ).

If underdeveloped countries like India set up a massive industry, with their cheap labour they will undersell the products of Western industries, which will then collapse, throwing millions out of employment.

So all your talk of mutual cooperation, aid, etc is just hot air, empty talk and claptrap, overlooking realities.

You have spoken of Singapore, South Korea, etc. These are tiny countries, so the analogy is misplaced and inapposite.

As regards technology transfer, do you seriously believe that the companies in developed countries will transfer the latest technology, which they have developed by research which cost billions of dollars ? No, they will keep it secret, otherwise how will they recover their investment in creating it if it is transferred to others ?

As regards, the World Bank, IMF, etc these bodies are controlled by Western countries ( mainly USA ) which give ‘aid’ with a lot of strings attached ( as Pakistan is finding out to its distress ), so that underdeveloped countries can be befooled, and thus more easily exploited

Why is it that even after getting such ‘aid’ for over 70 years the masses in India, Pakistan and other underdeveloped countries are still so poor ?

https://indicanews.com/justice-markandey-katju-lies-damned-lies-and-statistics-in-india/

Why is it that even after 75 years of Independence every second child in India is malnourished ?

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/telling-numbers-half-of-indias-children-suffer-from-malnutrition-unicef-6072500/#:~:text=undernourished%20or%20overweight.-,And%20in%20India%2C%20every%20second%20child%20is%20affected%20by%20some,underweight%20and%202%25%20are%20overweight

https://thewire.in/health/india-ranks-111th-among-125-countries-in-global-hunger-index-report

Why is it that there are tens ( if not hundreds ) of millions of unemployed youth of india

https://thewire.in/economy/unemployment-rate-rose-to-10-09-percent-in-october-cmie-data

.Why is it that 53% of our women are anaemic even today ?

https://theprint.in/health/more-and-more-indian-women-are-becoming-anaemic-rise-steepest-in-assam-jk-ladakh/1461083/

Why is it that 10 individuals in India own 50% of its wealth ?

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/nss-the-richest-top-10-indians-own-half-the-assets/articleshow/86223814.cms#:~:text=The%20skew%20was%20shown%20to,2.1%25%20they%20can%20call%20theirs.

As regards environmental issues, in India we already have many laws for protecting the environment, e.g. the Environment Protection Act, 1986, but these often remain on paper, and are seldom forcefully implemented ( due to corruption ). Moreover, when Western nations were doing their basic industrialisation they never bothered about keeping the air and water unpolluted, and only went in for rapid industrialisation, irrespective of the damage done to the environment. It was only after they completed their basic industrialisation that they started enacting and implementing strict laws for keeping food, water and air clean.

I hope this clears up your mind.

Justice Katju

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