Selfishness: The Real Root of All Evil

Selfishness

It is often said that money is the root of all evil. Some even point to lust as its origin. But the reality is that it is Selfishness: svaartha, that privileging of one’s own inclinations, interests, and desires above others, that is the true root of evil.

We’ve all seen the characters or come across such behavior. The stubborn fellow who has to have his way, others be damned. The spendthrift wife who runs up her husband’s debt. The brutish husband that neglects his wife’s needs. The bulldozing billionaire fat cat who disregards the welfare of the community. The ambitious politician who destroys his own society. All these examples are ingredients in the destruction of civilization. All represent unrestrained selfishness, Nihit Svaartha.

In our era of instant gratification, competition, and survival-of-the-fittest, many of our sophists and pseudo-philosophers may decry this deconstruction of selfishness as an attack on the “liberty of the individual” and an”obstruction of the talented“. The even more infantile may cry “John Galt!” like so many infants in a nursery. But the reality is such personages neither have a concept of liberty nor know what it truly means to be a member of society. Such self-absorbed troglodytes are all too happy to feed at the trough of publicly provided positive externalities (from schooling to roads to national defense), when it suits them, but balk at having to give back to their communities, help the needy, or even look after their extended families. Indeed, what they are really asking for is not the liberty to be unoppressed, but the freedom to exploit and to harm as they will. In short, what they are in fact demanding is license and licentiousness.

All human beings experience various desires and temptations. Men tend to be more prone to lust, and women to money (though we increasingly see the reverse these days), but both experience temptation in the process. Nevertheless, it is the recognition of the rights of others and their mutual claim to Respect, that causes the person of conscience to curtail and ultimately master his or her desires.

VN_SelfishnessDestructive natures are brought about when individuals begin privileging their own needs and interests above the rest of society. Indeed, Duryodhana is the classic example of this. For all his sins, he had a number of good qualities as well (such as generosity to his friends), but even these qualities were all ultimately subject to his Nihit Svaartha. It is this inability to put society above self that leads to destruction.

However, one need not turn to the Mahabharata to see selfishness on display. This ghor kaliyug is itself the manifestation of selfishness, so much so that pseudo-philosophers have verily turned it into a virtue…

Some may be wondering, “Why this upadesh?”, “We all can’t be saints”, “One must be selfish to survive!“. But what they fail to realize is that selfishness not only affects those around them, but affects even politics and the destinies of nations. It is selfishness that drives an individual to privilege his ambition over the needs of the common good.

Some of our half-educated half-reads may declare “Vell, Adam Smith said invisible hand vill guide us—let each man pursue his self-interest! Fight for your right!”. But these morons have neither read Smith nor understand his philosophy.

First off, he didn’t speak of naked self-interest, but ENLIGHTENED self-interest. This means that an individual should weigh his interests in line with the common good. An example of this is the telecom debacle, where wealthy businessmen were advocating on behalf of foreign equipment manufacturers because…it was profitable. Even government officials were toeing this line. They cared nothing for the national security ramifications of giving possible future adversaries access to government lines of communication. So where then is this alleged “virtue of selfishness”?

Second, even before he wrote the Wealth of Nations, Smith composed the Theory of Moral Sentiments. Many of our videsh-returned wunderkinds believe they’ve unlocked the secret to wealth creation in Italian suits, Milton Friedman, and iPhones. Indeed, a number of them have even opened up revenue generating retirement homes and grossly profitable gated communities to replicate their MBA model in India. But let’s take a look again at what the patron saint of Capitalism himself wrote in his earlier work:

 “The laws of all civilized nations oblige parents to maintain their children, and children to maintain their parents, and impose upon men many other duties of beneficence”—Adam Smith TMS, p.81

Thus, even the philosophical poster boy for profit has advocated the importance of duty and beneficence (i.e. generosity, unselfish action), to one’s parents, children, and fellow man. As such, calculation of one’s interest cannot be in a vacuum. Self-interest must be weighed with societal interest. Even when the cause is just, one must ask whether correction is advocated in the correct way. The current documentary controversy is perfectly illustrative of this selfishness.

Many of our half-educated shrilly cry that the documentary should not be banned. FOE is being infringed as is their right to watch (leave aside traditional speech law on defamation, obscenity, and time/place/manner restrictions). What’s more, some of our youth feel this is precisely what is needed to shake up chauvinism and rowdy-ism they’ve experienced in their lives. And that is precisely the problem: this perspective only looks at the issue from the immediate view, rather than the societal one. It refuses to take into account data showing lower rates of violence, higher rates of conviction, and under-reporting even higher in other countries. The immediate self-centered emotion of avenging personal injustice is privileged above national interest, even if their Fathers, Brothers, Husbands, and Sons are unfairly tarred and stereotyped, and culture, illogically labeled.

Now, to be sure, violence against women is indeed a problem, as is staring/leering. And others will declare that fighting crime against women is societal interest too (it most definitely is). But is the way to combat this by playing into the hands of the nation’s adversaries? One need not be some paranoid theorist to say that there are parties interested in smearing India’s culture.

For those wondering precisely how invaders were finally able to establish kingdoms in India during the medieval period, they need only see the laundry list of alleged nationalists speaking out in support of this documentary. Like the Sindhi Kshatriyas angry at the rule of the Brahmin Raja Dahir, they gave their support to foreigners they stupidly thought would be fighting their just cause for them. Because you see, these videshis must really be acting out of a sense of “justice”…cause they really care!…so darn much! It is this gullible stridency in both men and women that makes it next to impossible to get anything constructive done. But then again, unrepentant stupidity has been almost an uniquely Indian quality for the past few centuries.

Duryodhana, the epitome of Selfishness, meets his doom

The infuriating and sinful disrobing of Draupadi fueled not only the Pandavas’, but Krishna’s desire for the destruction of the Kauravas. However, even Krishna achieved justice for Draupadi after weighing all the factors: When, Where, How, Who, What, Why. He did not merely advocate war immediately. He took into account the factors against and even tapasya required on the part of the Pandavas, before, in the name of all women, Duryodhana and Dushasana could be brought to justice. And brought to justice they were, in the most terrible of fashions. But this was achieved and societal attitudes corrected because even an humiliated and vengeful Draupadi patiently listened to the wisdom of Sri Krishna. Rather than putting her cause above Dharma, she focused on Dharma, which in due time, gave her the justice she so richly deserved. That is because, no matter how just the cause, weighing and prioritizing of all interests (not just one) and correction of all crimes (not just one) is required.

Indeed, it is the failure not of pursuing one’s interests, or frequently even societal interests, but the failure and stubborn refusal to prioritize interest properly that frequently leads to problems not only for societies but even for relationships.

Nothing kills a relationship as quickly and easily as does selfishness. As even tragically beaten wives and cruelly cuckholded husbands can attest, it is not ill-treatment but pure and raw selfishness that destroys relationships and makes one feel alone. Nothing numbs love like neglect.

If you only prioritize your interest. If you only care about yourself. If you only look after yourself, how can your relationship, any relationship, survive? Romance isn’t dead today because modernity makes it impossible or obsolete. Rather, the Death of Romance took place because individuals (the constituent parts of a relationship) are too selfish to make the relationship work. What self-absorbed, selfish woman (no matter how physically beautiful) will inspire the continued romantic sentiment in her husband? What selfish brute of a man can continue to retain the romantic affections of his wife? Indeed, it is not compatibility, but selfishness and brutishness, that makes a relationship impossible. Even the classic English drama Pygmalion demonstrates this.

If divorce rates are increasing, if violence against women is increasing, if isolation in society is increasing, it is because of selfishness and self-centeredness.  A nation of narcissists and selfish brats will not long last. And a nation of people that know not how to prioritize, will not become strong.

As we have previously demonstrated, reliance on laws and never-ending legislation may punish criminals–but they won’t reform them or even prevent their creation to begin with. Indeed, a just society is the one that requires the fewest laws. This is because its population self-regulates its own behavior. Men restrained by Dharma do not selfishlessly justify their basest and even violent urges, let alone enact them. Likewise for Women educated in dharma. Thus, a society’s civilization and justness is not determined by the number and complexity of its laws, but by the virtue and selflessness of its populace. This is because the selfish man sees only objects of pleasure/utility, and behaves only as much as law or threat of punishment permit him in a given place. In contrast, the selfless man behaves properly irrespective of law or punishment or place.

VN_CharityThe way to dignity, justice, and respect for women is not through outside intervention, but internal reform. From Adi Sankara to Basava to Vivekananda, voices rooted in the native and indigenous were the ones that most successfully appealed to our conscience and reformed society in the process. They didn’t look to outsiders to play arbiter, benevolently guiding our destinies. They recognized that while Indians were selfish and stupid, the outsider was selfish…but smart. Rather than playing into the hands of those who wished harm, they advocated internal reform and took inspiration from our own philosophies to ensure justice to all members of society. Acara is the building block for this, because it restrains our behavior for common interest.

From human trafficking to acid attacks to forced intercourse to everyday run of the mill lechery, women are overwhelming the victims of indecency and violence. But no amount of legislation can completely prevent such behavior in all settings. Only good conduct, Acara, teaches men (and women) respect for others and self-restraint. Thus, the mistake of these ladies is not in speaking out, but knowing where to speak out and how to correct and willingness to listen. So why single out the present generation of young women–who, however misguided, are nevertheless justifiably upset at world-wide violence against women, when there are those without such provocation, who seek out their own agendas. Sadly, even in the ranks of those who presume to speak out in favor of or in support of dharma do so only so far as it advances their self-interests. Even our self-proclaimed patriots and social media saviors are guilty of this sin of selfishness, and have even less reason for it.

One of the most tragic things in any hour, but especially during a late hour, when all of society stands at a precipice, is when those who proclaim to support dharma or righteous causes, nevertheless act in a selfish and opportunist manner. Rather than think of the common good, they prioritize advancing their own personal, career, and caste interests. Rather than do the hard work of building something from scratch, they seek to bandwagon on established efforts or gain entry into fashionable salons or seek the top position, while insulting/destroying any who stand in their way. They consume rather than contribute. If stupidity is the inability to prioritize, selfishness in many ways is about a refusal to prioritize (society above self).  That is the importance of dharma, not merely as a slogan or a convenient umbrella, but as a principle to be lived as part of a living culture. Thus, we once again come to culture as not only the glue for nations, but the nurturing soil that germinates virtuous sons and daughters, selfless leaders, and strong societies.

We all experience a selfish urge, or make a mistake from time to time. The point is not to make those poor souls wear a scarlet S for all eternity, but to encourage them and encourage ourselves to hear out and think in the common societal interest, before self-interest. Therefore, all those looking for benevolent videshis to fight their cause for them would do well to read what happened to Sindh in 711 CE. The Chachnama gives plenty of lessons in just not what to do, and just what the ultimate cost of selfishness is to individuals and societies. As we’ve said before, you can be stupid, you can be selfish, but you can’t be both. As Indians are unlikely to match the sheer, diabolical shadyantras of videshis, their hope lies in being not quite so selfish. The fate of the region, country, and civilization itself, depends upon it.

Let Nishkama Karma (selfess action) be your slogan as well as solace, for it will prove  ultimately to be your savior.

References

  1. Vidura Neeti
  2. Chachnama
  3. Smith, Adam. The Theory of Moral Sentiments. p.81
  4. http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/india/090311/india-bangalore-morphs-silicon-valley
  5. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/old-age-homes-the-last-resort-of-the-elderly/article4438333.ece

 

17 thoughts on “Selfishness: The Real Root of All Evil

  1. Extremely interesting article. Even without reference to the disputed documentary the article with its Bhagavadgita part is worth gold.

    1. Seshachary gaaru, thank you very much, andi! Appreciate your kind words. Am glad you liked the video from the Gita–truly a timeless message. We look forward to your future comments, sir.

  2. With respect, I don’t think you have read neither Ayn Rand nor Milton Friedman. Nor are you familiar with the economies of ancient India. We had an almost free market approach which made us prosperous.

    Regurgitating codswallop of socialism and putting a Dharma shine on it will only take up back to the days of Indira Gandhi.

    You are correct however about Adam Smith. The gentleman with their iPhone ,Friedman and Italians suit may not be perfect but they are far better than the Gandhian balderdash which has deracinated and emasculated Indian society and economy.

    You want to live in a mud hut, spin the charkha and feel superior about yourself then be my guest. But I will fight tooth and nail that such wretch ideologies using the mantle of dharma do not take root in this soil again.

    1. Tough talk from someone who has read neither The Theory of Moral Sentiments nor the Wealth of Nations, leave aside Hume, Ricardo, Hayek, et al. Friedman and his monetarists were critiqued in their own era and were convincingly debunked in the 2007-2008 Western Financial Crisis. His work was required reading when I was in university. Try and circulate the Chicago School theories today and you will be laughed at by Westerners themselves.

      You think merely by reading the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged you suddenly have a monopoly on wisdom? You think these are examples of wisdom? We read these as children. But please, continue to embrace this childish thinker whose views are mocked as the philosophy of underdeveloped teens. But then why take the word of a charkha-spinner? Since you worship ghora saab, take the word of one instead .

      The simple fact that you assume that disagreeing with capitalism or its degenerate associate theory of Objectivism means socialism only shows you understand none of these theories. And the fact that you think selfishness is a virtue only shows you understand nothing of society or morality.

      Assuming you have better manners the next time you comment…if you comment…then read this before assuming that everyone who critiques selfishness or capitalism is an anti-modern, anti-wealth luddite. Learn to disagree without being disagreeable.

      I have read the Arthashastra cover to cover many times, and in all likelihood, have studied Ancient Indian History in far greater depth and breadth than you. Our society was pro-wealth creation, not pro-free market. Understand the difference. Anyone who’s read Kautilya can see how he regulated certain industries, and protected others as crown industries. I will touch on this in an upcoming blog post.

      1. You assume a lot of things and make claims that I frankly find unbelievable

        There are those of Thomas Sowell who while not strictly of the Chicago school but has a lot in common with them who has been warning of the dangers of government hand in the housing market and MBS for years prior

        If you think the Chicago boys will be laughed at today, it shows how little you know of the Chicago school. The housing crisis occurred due to government intrusion and regulation of the housing market and compelled banks to give loans to minorities who were not eligible for them

        Instead of watching useless movies like Inside Job and other leftist propaganda, go straight to the source of the problem and see what transpired.

        What use is all your dharma talk when you talk like a leftist in economic terms? Thank you for not contradicting my point about Indira Gandhi.

        I have just a few questions to ask you to clarify your economic position

        What should the income tax rate for India
        What should be the capital gains tax
        What is your position on “luxury” imports
        What is your position of farmer subsidies, price controls?
        In what ways should government regulate factory production
        WHat is your position on unions

        Please answer these questions and formulate your position clearly rather than hazy socialism under the guise of dharma

        You are beyond an idiot if you think if I worship gora sahib. The best way to India to stand independent is to become wealthy then gora sahib will come to Her. Which is what I want.And btw the Charkha spinner Gandhi subscribed more to gora views of economics such as Marx and Luddites than a robust worldly Hindu capitalism

        If we follow your policies we will be reduced to beggars again when Indira Gandhi went hat in hand to Nixon(who referred to Indians as bastards and Indira as a witch)
        I don’t want such a scenario. Neither does a self proclaimed aadarshvaadi hyper heavy breathing patriot like you I assume but if we follow your views that is what we will get

        Kautilya was quite free market ,far more than Nehru or Indira apparently.
        But of course he wasn’t perfect as no one is and he belonged to another time when protectionism made sense in some limited context

        And btw I am not a fan of Ayn Rand as I find her characters to be one dimensional and tyrannical. But she was writing in an era permeated with the glories of socialism so used some hyperbole to get her point across.
        And just so you know she believe racism to be the crassest form of collectivism.

        1. Aww, did I strike a raw nerve? Is this why have you flown off the handle like a child?

          That you actually cared what Nixon called Indira, only shows how great your inferiority complex really is and how much you crave ghora saab’s approval. Many of her policies from crushing successful businessmen to raising bhindranwale were brain-dead…but nixon hated and insulted her because she outsmarted him in 1971. When self-interested foreigners praise you like obama praised manmohan…then you know you’ve really given away the farm…something useful “idiots” like you want to do.

          The simple fact that you center your “argument” regarding the 2008 financial crisis on Minority lending, shows you neither deserve to be taken seriously nor have your puerile questions dignified with an answer. It’s quite clear who’s bought propaganda of whatever shade and who’s actually tried to understand what’s transpired.

          Anyone with even an iota of understanding would clearly see the easy money policy, financial engineering and carry trade arbitrage, not to mention high level corporatism and capture as the driving factors. All this was coupled with a gutted manufacturing sector, high private/public debt ratios, and stagnant/collapsing real wages/employment. Minority lending was not the driving factor in 1929 or 2001 let alone 2008. In fact, Krugman and Roubini et al (leave aside Rajan) had all predicted the imminent collapse, with minority lending as merely sidenote.

          You may be used to poorly thought out emotional arguments, but we do more than skin level research before taking a position. The simple fact that you are obsessed with capital gains, and by association, FDI, shows how primitive your understanding of economics and economic history is. All the more so since you think economics is a binary between Indira Gandhi (whose policies we don’t favor) and Sonia Gandhi (everything for sale!).

          The fact that you don’t even have a rudimentary understanding of the foundational Adam Smith or capitalism leave aside Kautilya shows how asinine your position is. Anyone with a basic understanding of the Ancient Indian Economy can clearly see it was regulated. Only center-right, neo-liberal buffoons attempt to paint it out to be some Rajaji free market paradise, when anyone with at least half a brain can plainly see otherwise. Less Sandipan Deb next time, old chap.

          What you call “hazy socialism under the guise of dharma” is establishing principles before selecting policy, unlike Larry Lindsey clones like you who shop the same policy not matter what the circumstance: “Tax cuts because we can afford it!”…”Tax cuts to stimulate it!”…”Tax cuts to celebrate it!”. If you had any reading comprehension worthy of note, you would have understood that we’re not looking for solutions in the same model, but calling for a paradigm shift: neither Nehruvian collectivism nor neo-congressi Capture. The Chicago school was debunked. Even an elementary web search would show you how poorly its thought of today. Under what rock have you been hiding?

          Rather than attempting to quiz and lecture, first do preliminary reading of economic history rather than take talking points from Thomas Sowell, Ramesh Ponnuru, Kudlow&Cramer, or whatever other National Review/CNBC hack you get your “wisdom” from. Start reading serious economists like Krugman or Stiglitz or Roubini or even Robert Shiller or even domestic ones like Kanagasabapathi. Otherwise rather than casting me as a “failed economist” you just prove yourself to be a jobless or soon to be jobless ibanker who doesn’t know his beta ratio from behind.

          You didn’t even know the difference between being pro-wealth creation and pro-free market!

          It should be obvious to any “idiot” like yourself that it was my tangential critique of objectivism that set you off on this screw loose rant. You can pretend to not be another Ayn Rand zombie wearing his printed “John Galt” name badge, but then, you would only continue to provide greater and greater laughs. But yes, please continue to espouse and defend the “virtue of selfishness”. All you’ll get from anyone with the maturity level above a 3 year old is a great big “Ha”!

          1. Your beloved Sowell advocates decriminalization of drugs, and your beloved libertarians favor legalized prostitution. I guess we know what industry produced and employed you…

            But please, continue to rant like a crackpot and posture like a wannabe without responding to my substantive remarks. Clearly the turks and their descendants had their way with you and your line; otherwise you wouldn’t moronically claim Ancient India as a free-market paradise–a conceit disproven below by Kautilya himself. All the bluster and ad-homs (which you started) in the world won’t cover for your blunder…Carry on, kafur…

  3. I am sure you have read all those works the same way I read some incredibly dull literature for my Composition class. Ie just because you read, it doesn’t mean you understand it. It is clear from your thorough ignorance in attributing the housing crisis to the Chicago boys that you understood nothing.

    Heck you are hardly unique, even Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan Im sure are more than familiar with their works and obviously they didn’t pay any heed. So why should you? At least you are august company of other failed economists LOL

  4. Oh my God…you really are clueless aren’t you? Alan Greenspan is a famous friend and disciple of…Ayn Rand! In fact, by citing him you only show how little you understand the relationship between economics and political philosophy, and how devastating her brainless theories are. You’ve just undercut your own argument and you don’t even know it! He didn’t pay heed because he was an overconfident market fundamentalists like you, who would sell off even babies if the price were right. And helicopter Ben only repeated the easy money mistakes of his forebears, compounded a trillion times over. Would you even know what I meant if i wrote “list” or “posner”?

    And just so you know, buddhu, Kautilya distrusted and kept merchants/businessmen on a short leash and Ayn Rand justified the genocide of the Native Americans–learn to read and research properly next time…. Critique my understanding all you want, you have neither done the basic reading nor have any understanding worthy of note…continue to hide your ignorance behind brainless bluster.

    Look, I’ve humored you and your juvenile questions like a grownup humors a high school student. I even said I don’t care if you don’t agree so long as you don’t do so disagreeably . But since you clearly aren’t intellectually equipped with the requisite understanding of political and economic history, I’ll just primarily recite sections of the Arthashastra from here on out to show how the ancient Indian economy actually functioned and what a clueless, free-market ideologue you really are.

    It’s a pity, since I like to engage with differing viewpoints, even if we just agree to disagree. But I don’t have time to converse with ignorant egomaniacs more concerned with selling 1 size fits all policy than comparing logical principles.

    1. Im sorry but you are seriously lacking in analytical skills. I would recommend you go back to your school and get a refund because you have learnt nothing

      WHat does it matter if Alan Greenspan claims to be a fan of Ayn Rand? Modi is a devotee of Shri Ramachandra , it doesn’t mean he would create a Ram Rajya LOL

      Mr fixing interest rates isn’t a paragon of a market fundamentalist. Watch the presidential debates of 2012 and how Ron Paul openly laughed at Herman Cain for praising Greenspan. Us folk are more along the lines of Paul Volcker.

      Jeez man this is free market 101

      As for Ayn Rand and native Americans, no she didn’t gloat abut their loss but justified the founding of America on the basis that most countries are formed on the basis of conquest of another.

      And if you are so upset about the native Americans and the evils of GORA worship NRI pathi, I suggest you relocate to the motherland post haste

      I may sound like a high school student but a supremely gifted one I suppose. And you do sound like a grown up. Well retards often are fully grown adults. So you maybe on to something.

      As for merchants and businessman, where do you get the idea Im for them blindly. From Adam Smith to Thomas Sowell, libertarian and free marketers despaired about the monopolistic tendencies of merchants and how they are the worst examples of capitalism.

      Do you even know the difference between a mercantile economy and laissez faire system?
      Never mind. I already know the answer to this question.

  5. Another thing when did I even mention minority lending was responsible for 1929 or 2001. Yet another strawman argument typical of brain dead leftists!

    As for Nixon, you keep proving yourself stupider than even before. I mentioned Nixons critique of Indira Gandhi to underscore her humiliation of pandering to that bigot despite her formidable resolve and will. I support Indira only for her leadership in the 1971 war and nothing else. He stood up to U.S and Nixon and Kissinger blinked and good for us.

    The fact that you equate my narrating of his utterances of my caring about his opinion only exposes your idiocy even further(if that were possible)

  6. LOL you actually believe Sonia Gandhi’s reign is the epitome of capitalism. hahahahaha you are a joke a minute

    Bark , leftist doggie, bark. Bark-“neo liberal policies’ ,bark -“stimulus” ,bark-“decline of manufacturing” hahahahaha

    Now how about your next trick- sniff Anna Hazares butt and then roll over and die

    hahaha.
    Sonia Gandhi..hahahahaha

    Thank you for todays quota of entertainment

    I haven’t laughed like this since the last Brahmanandam Rajendra Prasad flick I had seen
    Have you considered a career in comedy. Regretably it is no longer Bahmani so bending over for foreigners is no longer an option. But Im sure something will open up under Owaisi’s reign….

    1. Wow, I had a feeling you had a screw or two loose. I didn’t realize until now it was full on derangement.

      **Points of Order **

      a.We’re all for free exchange of ideas, but recidivist abusive comments, trollery, profanity, and feed spamming can and may lead to editing/deleting of comments, blocking, and in the event of continuing misbehavior, banning.

      b.We don’t like implementing these policies, so as I said above, disagree without being disagreeable (or your case, being a manner-less boor).

      c.Instead of rattling off your repressed emotions in a machine gun burst of buffoonery, stemming from an inferiority complex, please avoid clogging up our feed with multiple comments. I won’t touch your current comments, but I reserve the right to aggregate them into one agglomeration of the asinine, in the future.

      d.This is a forum for collection, presentation and exchange of ideas and facts, not a policy think tank. Since you don’t understand the difference, let me explain in smaller words for you: We engage with ideas (researched, generally data driven, but not data delimited). These may lead to finished policy solutions in some cases, but the focus is to understand the logical basis for a construct or framework or philosophy–rather than being rote-reciting drones spewing received wisdom on policy without understanding its philosophical, economic, or historical basis.

      You may of course continue to comment if you so choose. But given your behavior thus far, you’ll only continue to embarrass yourself with your unrepentant stupidity.

      1. The fact that you don’t even understand how you disproved yourself by volunteering Greenspan–who acknowledges Ayn Rand’s deep influence on his economic thinking–only goes to show you don’t understand economics or political philosophy. He wasn’t just a fan, he was a disciple, you nut. He acknowledged her deep influence on his thinking and failed policy…good job.

      2. The fact that you don’t understand UPA I-II’s populist Sonia sops don’t cover up its neo-liberal firesale of assets under various scams, only shows you don’t have a firm grasp on reality. The highest form of capitalism is imperialism…or in her case, neo-imperialism. Neo-liberal nincompoops like you were too busy watching squawk box to realize what really happens in a fully free market. If you even had an education beyond grade school (“supremely gifted”? or supremely challenged?), you’d know the most laissez faire economy was colonial britain–and even it wasn’t perfect capitalism or a perfect free market. Good job…

      3. The fact that you don’t understand that the specie orientation of mercantilists vs the growth obsession of laissez-faire capitalism theorists is irrelevant to the present conversation on economics and selfishness, only shows you don’t understand economic history, period. The issue isn’t specie or growth…the issue is selfishness and greed. Without anti-trust regulation, a fully free market leads to oligopoly and monopoly due to greed…even Smith wrote about this (but hey, despite your bluster you obviously didn’t read him). So please, continue to pretend you know what you’re talking about.

      4. The fact that you don’t understand that pointing out minority lending wasn’t a factor in 1929 & 2001 casts doubt on your specious argument about its central impact in 2008, only shows you don’t understand logic. All the more so, since you’re clearly incapable of digesting my other 2008 crash points regarding financial policy and de-regulation.

      5. The fact that you’re too brainpower deficient to see that you yourself started the ad-homs by calling me an “idiot” above (I repeatedly highlighted this in quotes), only shows who’s confused about his (or her? ) gender…

      6. The fact that you were too scared to answer my conceptual question above, only shows how all you have is brainless bluster to hide behind.

      7. The fact that you didn’t even do basic reading on economic history and yet question my understanding, only shows how deserving you are of consignment to a lunatic asylum.

      8. The fact that you think only in terms of left-right binary (which we reject) and think I’m a leftist (you’re clearly not a long time reader), only shows how colonized your mind is not only by discredited economic theory but inapplicable political theory. If you think not being a center right, free-market fundamentalist automatically means you’re a leftist, it only shows you can’t hold more than two ideas at once in your tiny head.

      9. The fact that you think Indira Gandhi was pandering to Nixon rather than conducting public diplomacy in preparation for war (for which she had ample military backing from the Soviets) only shows you not only do not understand economic history, you don’t understand history, period, and clearly lost the plot and the debate.

      Oh and here’s what your idol Ayn Rand actually said about Native Americans:

      Now, I don’t care to discuss the alleged complaints American Indians have against this country. I believe, with good reason, the most unsympathetic Hollywood portrayal of Indians and what they did to the white man. They had no right to a country merely because they were born here and then acted like savages.

      And now as promised, the confirmation of your rank ignorance of economics and ancient Indian history, courtesy Kautilya:

      Arthashastra

      p.236 “Merchants…are all thieves, in effect, if not in name; they shall be prevented from oppressing the people.” {4.1.65}

      p.240 “Merchants for adding a profit margin higher than those prescribed or for making undue profit–>Punishments: 200 panas” {4.2.28,29}

      Hahaha, Kautilya free market fundamentalist indeed!

      Comment, don’t comment…don’t care. But since you clearly don’t understand dialectics, let me explain why you already lost. Setting aside your repeat displays of ignorance and poorly constructed english, he/she (or both in your case?) who loses his/her(both in your case?) cool, and illogically rants like a lunatic, loses the debate. Thanks for playing!

      1. You have not addressed a SINGLE counter argument I made except create even more strawmen!

        “Imperialism is the highest form of capitalism” ! hahahaha that is just comical.
        Adam Smith himself said that the conquest of India by the East India company undergoing at the time was an utter perversion.

        What is so capitalist and free market about Britain disallowing free trade from India to protect its industries? Hey clown that is called PROTECTIONISM and TARIFFS!

        I rather have “poorly constructed English”( rather than poorly constructed English sentences” but whatever I will let the doggie have this one bone)than a poorly constructed mind which is what you possess

        Your reading comprehension is simply and utterly pathetic. I kept repeating for the umpteenth time that I am on Indira’s side vs Nixon and you keep beating the same drum that I worship gora sahib

        I said specifically that I don’t believe minority lending wasn’t a factor in 1929 and 2001 and you comically cling to your belief that I did

        Also genius it is not just Sowell but your beloved Kautilya who wished to legalize and regulate prostitution.

        **Edited for Profanity** Scum like you only deserve abuse.

        As for Adam Smith, even the devil can quote scripture. So what?

        Give my regards to your Paul Krugman awaiting his much need alien invasion for stimulating the economy hahahahahahaha

  7. Another thing I have learnt from my nearly two decades on vigorous exchange on the net- it is always those who are desperate and flailing who start making grandiose claims such as “you have already lost! Give it up man” I remember when I was trying to explain to a Pakistani how Hindus were unique in that they didn’t fall to Huns,Greeks and Arabs when the rest of the civilized world did. It didn’t matter if I narrated the exploits of Yashodharman,Samudragupta, Chandragupta Maurya , Bappa Rawal, Chalukyas, Pratiharas etc etc, his response was “Hindus are losers, weak, cowardly…everyone knows this. give it up”

    **Edited for Indecency**

    Hey look Im charitable and dharmic and stuff!

  8. Truly hilarious. I never thought someone could be so oblivious to his/her own discrediting by so obviously and repeatedly losing his/her cool. Thank you for proving my point about how you’re a mental case who doesn’t even know his/her entire house of straw has collapsed upon himself/herself.

    Since you liked our Origins of Stupidity post so much, self-diagnose and stop being a sore loser–accept your dialectical defeat with some dignity.

    Here’s what you said above, dummy:

    http://www.andhraportal.org/selfishness-the-real-root-of-all-evil/#comment-152
    “Nor are you familiar with the economies of ancient India. We had an almost free market approach which made us prosperous.”

    http://www.andhraportal.org/selfishness-the-real-root-of-all-evil/#comment-154

    “Kautilya was quite free market”

    Here’s the section from the Arthashastra reprinted for your edification here:

    Arthashastra

    p.236 “Merchants…are all thieves, in effect, if not in name; they shall be prevented from oppressing the people.” {4.1.65}

    p.240 “Merchants for adding a profit margin higher than those prescribed or for making undue profit–>Punishments: 200 panas” {4.2.28,29}

    Game over.

    The fact that you ran away like a coward from the sections of the Arthashastra I cited only shows your intellectual bankruptcy (and schoolyard level insults above)–and you think you have the capacity to have a grown up conversation with me? Ha!

    Twenty years of self-proclaimed online debate, yet a mental age of two…what a tragedy. Why cast aspersions on someone’s spouse? Did yours jilt you for “the profession”? It certainly would explain your loss of emotional control and lack of self-awareness. I pity you…looks like servicing all those Pakistanis all those years has clearly had an effect…

    Anyhow, you’re welcome to continue hanging on for dear life like a loutish loon, but it’s quite obvious you, like your beloved Ayn Rand and Chicago school economics, have been debunked. Why squeal about me not tackling even one of your puerile points, when here’s a litany of them:

    *You state a moronic claim about ancient India, and I disprove you with Kautilya, and you still pretend otherwise.

    *You still don’t understand that colonial britain had laissez faire policies in England, or understand how imperialism works (it pushed free trade only after it developed industry under protectionism and had captured the Indian market–That’s the List critique, you fool).

    *You recognize you haven’t done the reading, but you stupidly critique my understanding. You obviously didn’t understand Smith as even he wrote of market regulation and market failure. You completely missed Kautilya’s motivation for regulating prostitution–it wasn’t for free market freedom of contract (do you even know what that means?) like your libertarian loonies, but to protect minors and the unwilling from exploitation.

    *Your reading comprehension is pathetic, since you clearly didn’t process that I wrote that Sowell favored decriminalization of drugs, which you conflate with prostitution above.

    *You actually still think the 2008 crisis was caused by lending to black Americans! Good God, man (or woman). How cognitively defective are you? Keep fighting imaginary leftists everywhere, gunga din.

    *You’re too scared to answer my query about list, but you foolishly gloat of imagined manhood like a castrated catamite.

    * You didn’t even know the difference between being pro-wealth creation and pro-free market .

    *And you’re so stubbornly stupid you actually wrote this: “As for Adam Smith, even the devil can quote scripture. So what?”—What he wrote is the point, dummy. It shows that selfishness can’t be the basis for our economic system. Even Smith wrote self interest must be Enlightened. But morons like you worship at the altar of Rand (and likely the devil) and make selfishness a virtue.

    This is what happens when you jump in guns blazing like a brainless wannabe without making an effort to ask and properly understand someone else’s position. You’re so pathetic, you didn’t even have the intellectual horsepower (donkeypower in your case?) to rebut me point by point above. You just ranted like a school child and vomited profanity in a vain hope to distract–exactly as I characterized you above. This is precisely what happens when people lose their culture. No etiquette, no decency, no brains

    But what else could be expected from a logically arrested, unctuous troglodyte who equates Ayn Rand with wisdom. It’s obvious your uneducated ego couldn’t take my critique of the patron saint of selfishness, that’s why you abandoned any pretence to civility in your first comment itself and continued long after convincingly making a delusional fool of yourself. By all means, keep declaring victory…it will make for a fine blooper reel.

    Wannabes and never-will-be’s like you are a dime a dozen, so cry me a river.Fortunately, we already studied the pathology of your kind.

    Oh, and while I didn’t deign to discuss your prolific and elementary spelling mistakes above, better luck with your TOEFL next time, since the phrase is in fact “poorly constructed English” as it refers to not only sentences, but paragraphs, and language usage in general. Awww….too bad…maybe more fair and lovely next time, and you too can join the likes of Dinesh D’Souza, and other assorted sepoys.

    We favor an open forum here, which is why despite your profanity, general lack of culture/manners and obvious irredeemable ignorance, I avoided editing your distasteful remarks until now. Thanks for providing the readership with an example of blockable/bannable behavior. Goodbye troll.

    1. Already blocked him.

      **Disgusting comments, profanity, uncivil behavior, and general trollery will lead to editing, deleting, blocking, and even banning. We believe in free speech, but have a Code of Conduct, which we will be posting in the coming weeks.**

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