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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Democracy & Capitalism- Its Time to Adapt !

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I wrote a post in March last year hoping that 2011 will be remembered as an year of Democracy. Things changed significantly since then. Though nothing concrete has been achieved yet, but we have taken a giant leap in its truest sense. Call it a coincidence, but somehow then I felt that the winds of change which began blowing from the deserts of Middle East can sweep the globe and can potentially bring change, for the good!

Below is the brief excerpt of the article written year ago -
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2011 will be remembered as the year of democratic reforms, reforms by the people, for the people, as it was meant to be. 2011 will also be remembered for the pace at which these reforms/ uprising/ revolutions have materialized. Let us leave the task of categorizing these events as people's reforms/ uprising/ revolution to historians, but what is more important is the fact that Arab nations which were never associated with ( in popular media, stereotypes) a place where free will, free speech prevails can embrace democracy. So whatever was considered impossible, is actually possible !

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As we are venturing into 2012, we feel more optimistic then we were couple of years before. Greed and lust for power and money bred anger and hopelessness. In 2011 we saw a controlled outburst of this anger caused by acute state of hopelessness, which slowly gave us the much needed hope and belief in ourselves ! We saw what  a common man in Syria and India can achieve.

Post World War II, Democracy and Capitalism have stopped evolving and past 2 years have highlighted significant flaws in both the systems. We always thought that these systems are perfect but slowly we ourselves discovered the severe shortcomings in both. What started on Wall Street ended up in ballot boxes of Middle East and soon it will be extended to ballot boxes in US and India.

In past few years, Democracy and Capitalism have learnt a lessons from each other.
We all are aware of the founding principles of Democracy - by the people, of the people and for the people. Easier said, wrote, discussed then executed. Democracy which was supposed to be all inclusive, equally beneficial to all has been grossly misused by a handful of people in almost any country of the world post second World War. Though we are living in a Era of Information, but still we cast our votes, select our rulers, government based on our age old instincts.

The premise of Capitalism lies on maximizing the benefits of the all the stakeholders in proportion of their stakes. Capitalism appreciates merits, pays for hard work. If Democracy (i.e We the People) truly starts appreciating the hard-work, fire the unworthy, identify and reward based on merit and not on birth, color or sex, things can change significantly over next few decades. A lot of problems about governance and corruption which democracy bred, knowingly or unknowingly can be solved if Democracy borrows few ideologies from Capitalism.

Capitalism though promotes merit, has remained highly selective and restrictive at times. Lot of people worked hard for generations, but remained poor, lost their voice. Capitalism enthroned 'selected few' on the other end of the spectrum. The 'selected few' grew rich, powerful, untouchable and even mightier than the democratic governments.

The gap between those sitting at Zenith and Nadir in both the systems, Democracy and Capitalism has increased exponentially in past few decades.

ultimately took a nose-dive off from the peak tasting dust. If Capitalism can be more inclusive and participatory, open and accountable as Democracy is, lot of problems of greed, financial crimes and corruption can be solved in a jiffy.

Quiet surprisingly, more than 15% of the people in the world do not seems to care about either. Lets see for how long !!

I am sure in years ahead will be bit more Democratic and a bit less Capitalistic!




14 comments:

  1. Quite an analysis Nitin. I agree most of us don't bother but it does effect us. Lets see what the future holds on for us...

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    1. Thanks for the comment Saru. Yes, most of dont bother, though we are affected. But the winds of change are flowing and blowing, lets hope for the good.

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    1. thanks Iyshu. Hope you like other posts too and share your views.

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  3. I beleive there are pros and cons to most situations and governance is no exception to this. In my humble opinion, however, Democray, the kind dreamt of by the founders of our nation, is more suitable to an enlightened populace. I am not a supporter of Hosni Mubaraq. But I do want to ask a question. Do you thing the Egyptians will now live happily ever after? On the contrary, I suspect the better days of Egypt may be behind it. It may just plunge into a morass of fundamentalist quagmire.

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    1. appreciate your comments Uma. In my opinion even India is a young country and we need few more decades to evolve as a country, as a democracy. Your doubts are right, the whole Arab world is under turmoil now. Thats what happened to us way back in 1947-52 period. But ultimately things settle down, people and more importantly societies and nations learn and evolve. I agree that all situations/ systems have their pros and cons but ultimately some are definitely, decisively better than the others and those are the ones which survive. credits

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  4. Nice analysis Nitin, like you said, Capitalism does tend to be a bit selective and democracy has a wider realm to relate to. I guess it comes to a mutual learning from either and a fair balance between the two to realize a common ground and that common ground is provided by socialism- for the people and the betterment of them by providing sufficient opportunities. Well I believe governance is in quite a quagmire of issues and probably the answer is in a fusion of all these..

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    1. very well Said Vinay. The solution lies in fusion..

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  5. A very well discussed post. Let's hope that 2012 holds the best for us. Also people cannot afford to be indifferent anymore.

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    1. Thank you Sir. Good to see you here after long time..

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  6. I guess we have neglected "government BY the people" and the government (and opposition) have neglected, "Government FOR". To learn to be effective by uniting, speaking with one voice, coming up with an action plan and then acting to make the government accountable is our biggest challenge. Otherwise they will continue doing what they've always done - dip their greedy fingers in the pie.

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    1. very well said KayEm. Education and free access to information will play key role in making this beginning a success. New measures have to be devised to hold 'them' accountable in addition to elections !

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  7. Great post! You've raised a relevant issue. However, I don't think democracy and capitalism are inherently opposed to each other as concepts. It is the practice of each which creates problems. For instance, in India, while we claim to be a democratic nation - each eligible citizen has a right to vote - we aren't truly democratic because the manner in which democracy is practiced is compromised by illiteracy and poverty. Rampant capitalism can increase inequality in society, as is being seen in the US.

    The Arab Spring is in its summer now - and it'll be interesting to see how their experiment goes.

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    1. thanks for the comment Manreet. I guess we will have to give few more summers to the Arab spring. Back home also we need to fix a lot yet despite 64 springs !

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