no war will end all wars

Category: Dissent

The puppet speaks


Our honourable prime minister addressed the parliament, earlier today, and told us that his government is in no way responsible for the worst devaluation in the history of the Indian rupee. In addition, he assured us that they would not roll back on the deregulation or FDI-in-all-sectors pet projects.  When read in conjunction with the recent call to the people of the country to sell the government their gold (with extra emphasis on certain states), all of this is playing right into the lap of the emerging conspiracy theorist.

The earlier hasty no-holds-barred implementation of the aadhaar project and the obedient compliance with the American NSA’s snooping activity, had all raised red flags. For those unaware of the scenario (if you haven’t realized by now that commercial media isn’t about truth-telling, it may already be too late for you), you should know that the Aadhaar project has neither legal or policy framework nor civil liberty safeguards, or indeed even parliamentary approval. (Have you noticed the amount of advertising done for this project?) When news of NSA’s snooping came out, our minister told us it was perfectly within America’s rights and as if that wasn’t enough, announced the rolling out of our own cyber snooper (NCCC) almost the very next day.

First, a brief history lesson seems to be in order. The modern currency systems, during their inception, validated their worthless paper money by promising that a central reserve held reserves of equal amounts of gold and any holder of the paper money could ask the central reserve bank at any point, for the reimbursement of their gold. Thus paper money was symbolic of the gold held in reserve. A fiat currency is a currency that does not have gold backing its full value. Once the rule of paper money had been established in the minds of the people, central banks slowly reduced the percentage of gold backing it. Today, most currencies of the world have less than 5% of their value backed by gold – the rupee included. This fake currency is called a fiat currency. The rest of the value of the Indian rupee is currently, theoretically held in foreign capital reserves. For ease of explanation, one may assume that as the value of the dollar goes down, about 70% of the value of the Indian rupee goes down directly.

This is the story of the dollar. The American Federal bank, contrary to popular belief, is a private bank or a consortium of private banks. They print the dollar. What regulates them you ask? Honour. This is not a joke. Also, this is pretty much what deregulation means. The system simply assumes that large enough corporations will honourably self-regulate and that they won’t use their power and monopoly to swindle innocent bystanders (like they didn’t during the Wall Street crash). During the 2008 stock market crisis, the federal bank printed 26 trillion dollars out of thin air and distributed it among the private banks than own and operate it, without the approval or knowledge of its people or congress. “The four largest recipients, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, received more than a trillion dollars each”, says congressman Alan Grayson who unearthed the information. When this story came out, the press did not have a field day with it. Instead they acted in quiet coordination to ignore it. Why, you ask? The part about media-control is still the area of conspiracy theories and I’ll get back to you on this when more proof surfaces, but a quick web-search should give you decent answers. As to what deregulation in effect does to a country, Iceland is a great case study.

By now, most big players in other parts of the world have realized that the dollar is unregulated worthless paper, and are quietly phasing the dollar out of their transactions. It looks like a fully-gold-backed Yen might be coming up. Remember the rumours that resurfaced after Gaddafi’s death that he too had been eliminated for his efforts to bring back the gold-standard? From Rome to England, fiat currencies have a history of eventually failing. When they fail, all hell breaks loose and you go vegetable shopping with a truck full of paper money. Here is the twist. When everything goes to the dogs, gold increases in value exponentially, because this seems to be the one currency the world can always fall back on.

The rest, I admit, is pure stipulation. When our government uses the current opportunity to introduce measures that further facilitate FDI, vested foreign interests have a brilliant opportunity to exploit the weak rupee, thus hastening the vicious cycle. Also in recent history gold collected by certain governments, seems to finally find their way to the same vaults. Either way, it would be prudent to remember to not trust their reasons.

Recruiting the trigger-happy

Navy day, in India, was celebrated with all major Indian media streams covering the proud occasion (anniversary of the successful destruction of Pakistani assets and personnel on the day in 1972) and discussions ranged from the rapid modernization of equipment to the navy’s humanitarian efforts. More children toured warships and had their young minds influenced by the air of pomp and righteousness in an experience that was dubbed “educational and motivational” by the Times of India.

Ten days prior, on 24th November seven ads for recruitment into the Indian Navy littered the Hindu. It is not this space grab by a Government agency, putting commercial ventures to shame with amazing gross spend figures for a single day’s paper, that prompts this discussion. The ad on page 7 (regional) showed an image of soldiers firing machine guns, with the legend, “your video game”. It is possible to dismiss the ad as the immature effort of a jumpy copywriter, but the message it sends seems distressing enough to warrant closer examination.  Video games, especially first person assault themed, are known for their violent premises of gore, and many studies have linked prolonged exposure to such games to a disconnect from reality. In simpler terms, the more blood you spill, the better you are at the game. Primary pleasure factors of such games are, more often than not, the increasingly graphic depictions of blood and spattering bodies as they get shot down by the player. Did the Hindu, with its reputation of closely censoring its ads, have a blind spot for ads by the Armed Forces?

An ad that calls on a generation of youngsters to engage in violence to satisfy their bloodlust, is disturbing enough. Yet, a larger question beckons. Is reality any different? What are young recruits into any branch of any armed forces, anywhere in the world, but mindless mercenaries? What is the difference between a young mujahideen and a navy recruit, apart from the themes of indoctrination? The argument that a difference exists, falls sharply on the terrain of the recruits’ subjective knowledge of the larger context. The truth is that no such knowledge exists, if simply because armed forces (state or non-state) are highly secretive organizations by design.

It all comes down to question of trusting those in power, with your lives and the lives of others. The good soldier does not ask questions of the people who pay him his uniform-washing allowance. He trusts that the people he kills across a line drawn by unknown entities for unknown reasons, is his enemy. The pretext that the dominant group (government, army chief, tribal leader) always does what is in the best interests of the subjects they hold sway over, is not worth considering. Trust is a realpolitikally weak sentiment, ineffective like the gentlemen’s agreement in the Roman Republic that policed the gap between ambitus (electoral bribery) and harmless benignitas (generosity) of the candidates during elections.

Unimaginative cinema has for decades, fed the viewer with vague concepts like patriotism and glory in death, persuading the gullible to join up and die for reasons beyond their paygrade. It is important that censoring and monitoring bodies of all media reevaluate their considerations and take steps to ensure that subtle forms of propaganda are not unleashed by influential bodies(including government bodies) to manipulate yet another generation of confused individuals fed a system of invalid ethics.

The Indian forces, of course seem quite comfortable with civilian massacres and have repeatedly proven themselves beyond petty matters such a human rights, from Gawakadal to Jaffna . We have seen the war to end all wars and the International bodies working (supposedly) to end wars. We have heard enough diatribes about how the price of ending world hunger is around $195 billion a year, while the U.S military budget alone for 2012 hovers around $1.4 trillion. Any effective voice of dissent, short of a revolution, must rise from within the system.