South Asian Socialism – A Plea for Sanity – By. M. Sami

South Asian Socialism – A Plea for Sanity

The United States has now accrued a federal government debt of $8.2 trillion. To get a sense of perspective consider that a trillion is a thousand billion. And a billion is of-course a thousand million. That is a US billion, rather than the traditional UK billion i.e. a million million, which is a figure so astronomical that the figure was deemed archaic and dropped from use. A million is a thousand thousands. But yet $8.2 trillion is in fact $8.2 thousand thousand thousand thousands which is the same as saying $8.2 UK billion. And that is just the federal debt estimates put the total national debt at some $44 trillion. Who in the world is lending Uncle Sam all that money?

When you put bankers and financiers in charge of the key economic decisions of humanity you know that hell must have just frozen over. Money, we are told, is an irrational good. The term has a specific economic meaning, but it basically means that people with money are nuts. And those without are going crazy. Possibly hungry too, but that is just an after-thought. Surely the key economic potential for growth rests in the developing nations. By their very definition: developing countries. Isn’t that where the money should go? Not to a bloated, obese administration content in its star-wars reality busy burning its dollars by blowing up civilization at the touch of a button. But this is the third-world reality.

A decade ago, when Pakistan woke up to the fact that it was some $35 billion in debt it was absolutely keeling in agony. The wild days, the heady life was over – democracy was a party the nation could ill-afford to attend. I was with an Argentine friend recently who was there in the midst of the worst of their financial crises in ’99. I asked him how a government’s financial crisis really affects the people. When does it really hit home? The banks, he told me, it’s all to do with the banks. The multi-nationals just decided one day that they weren’t doing to pay out anymore, they just swallowed up the funds. People’s savings and hard earned funds just disappeared overnight. Some fat cat in America got his pound of flesh. You would have to take your hat off to Dubya and his cronies for how they decry the South American left. Can’t they see that Castro, Chavez et al are there because of the States own blundering misadventures, fiscal and military, in the region? You would have to take you hat off, but you can’t, because it might suddenly disappear.

In 1979 WHO declared that small pox had been eradicated. We are on the cusp of eradication of polio. Anti-measles campaigns are resurgent in Africa and the day is in sight. A well-concerted, world-wide campaign is in place to identify the H5N1 influenza strain. Yet poverty and famine eradication remain elusive. It is claimed that a few hundred millionaires are collectively as wealthy as the poorest 2.5 billion people. How can we live with that? Corrective measures are simply a matter of logistics and will. It’s a rich world, but the drive is lacking.

Money is one thing, but people are another. It was the diamonds that cursed Free-town when the rebels broke through. Well known politicians have always taken to publicising humanitarian catastrophe. In the UK, Oona King recently wrote a piece on the tragedy Rwanda, William Hague, a former opposition leader on the Sudan. Neither mentioned the Berlin conference of 1885 when Africa was divided up by Western governments amongst themselves in spheres of influence to rob the continent of its resources. They paid no heed to the natural ethnic or tribal areas. It is precisely because they conflicted with the national lines then decided that these terrible, vicious conflicts have come to be, as one tribe bewails another’s national monopoly.

When Pakistanis, or Indians for that matter, come and sell their souls to the West, they all too often forget the reality from which they have come. Newly-found wealth on immigration is not because of their entrepreneurship, nor because of their devotion to hard work and family values but a circumstance of history. Whilst the government is busy looting our brothers and sisters we sleep easy congratulating ourselves on a pretty penny tucked under the pillow. Western corruption is endemic in this way of living. Surely we should be the first to take a stand and make a difference.

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