“Progressive” deals, saving column inches, “fascism” etc

Praful Bidwai wants a “new deal” for India. He wants to “progressively” tax the rich (to penury) and run programs for the poor thereby ensuring “redistributive justice,”and he is in awe of the late FDR, the man who tamed “rogue capitalism” which so obviously caused the great depression. All these wonderful activities will be carried out by the omniscient, omnipotent State through its councils and committees and the “civil service” helped along by “public spirited” scholars and “civil society ‘activists.'” Meaning, the most unproductive people one can find in the whole of the country – people who wouldn’t be able to maintain the lowliest jobs one can think of in the private sector – will help the country rise to spectacular heights by eliminating poverty, inequality etc while the robber barons in the private sector will continue to fund these programs with money that will fall from the heavens – like magic – after all their capital has been taxed away. I am in awe of such clarity of vision and such sound economic thought. More power to the likes of Bidwai.

(I always seem to confuse the identities of Kuldip Nayyar and Bidwai – I think its because both are leftist statists.)

Anyone reading reprints of articles from the NYT, AP etc in the Times group papers should be careful about forming their opinions based on such articles because more often than not, they are edited – chopped away – in a manner that leaves important parts unprinted. After all, one has to save column inches that can be put to other productive uses. This is a good example-

China on Tuesday defended a new requirement that personal computers sold in the country carry a software that filters online content, saying the program is targeted at preventing the spread of pornography and other “unhealthy” content.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology posted on its Web site Tuesday a notice to all PC makers that they will be required to pre-load the “Green Dam-Youth Escort” filtering software on units to be sold in China as of July 1, including imported PCs.

The move has been met with criticism by at least one U.S.-based industry trade group, which denounced China’s efforts “to build censorship capabilities right into the hardware.”

[…]

“Blocking access to pornography sounds like an acceptable goal,” said Washington-based Computer & Communications Industry Association’s president, Ed Black.

That was what the TOI printed. And I was angry with Ed Black. Then, I read the following unprinted portion-

“But the problem is that it’s all too easy to use the same technology to expand the censorship.”

Although porn sites are initially targeted, the program could be used to block other Web sites, too, including those based on keywords rather than specific Web addresses, although its developer said users could disable blocking of any site on the list or even uninstall the software completely.

I think people are unnecessarily worried over the performance of right wing – and only right wing – parties in the European parliamentary elections. Given the fact that fascists are necessarily socialists, and protectionists, and nationalists (thus a gold mine for special interests of every kind), which all left wing parties are in any case – anti-capitalism, anti-globalization, patriotic, anti-terrorism and pro-censorship, as long as some party doesn’t start killing minorities in huge numbers – whoever they may be, there is no need to worry about fascism.

In any case, as Ed Cline points out, Obama’s new “humanities czar” has a very interesting view on such “smear” words-

[Mr. Leach] suggested that the National Endowment for the Humanities could depoliticize terms that have been co-opted by interest groups. “There are words bandied about that are being misused — words like socialism, words like communism, words like fascism,” he said.

“I think America is going to have to think through whether it wants to uplift the political dialogue or advance an approach that divides and, frankly, can lead to violence,” he added. “I just think this is a time to reflect vibrant differentnesses with greater decency. And that is an enormous challenge.”

Socialism, communism, fascism etc have been misunderstood. Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini etc did not kill anyone for those words, they killed in the name of their ideologies, which, “unfortunately”, and “arbitrarily,” carry the former names. Thus we should stop “misusing” them. They are “good” words that are in no way related to the underlying ideologies. “Listen” to Obama’s pick. And stop worrying about fascism, and socialism, even of the Fabian variety.

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