Leitmotif

Reason as the Leading Motive

Institute of Intellectual Trash

Posted by Jerry on October 19, 2006

For reasons not relevant to this post, I landed on the website of the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM). Its homepage appears rather impressive: it boasts establishing various research initiatives and joint workshops with American Ivy Leagues like Harvard, Columbia, Yale, Stanford, etc., and some European schools. IIPM also bills itself as the world’s largest business school with more than 5,000 postgraduates, and India’s premiere business school.

IIPM was founded by Dr. M. K. Chaudhury, who secured his PhD from the Berlin School of Economics. Recently, the man published only his second book, “The Great Indian Dream,” in which he “outlines a series of steps that the Government of India must undertake” to achieve this Indian dream.

So far so good, until you read the Social Vision of IIPM and the intellectual direction it intends to advocate and establish for its graduates and–as it explicitly states–for the Government of India. Frankly, I cannot remember reading something so vile–and having a viscerally and intellectually violent reaction toward it–in recent times. Even when I read Marx a few months ago, I did not quite feel as strongly as I felt after having read this “Social Vision” of IIPM. To me, this institution represents a moral and intellectual leech on the minds and lives of young business students. To me, they are the true haters–of life, of success, of progress, of achievement, of profit, of producers, and of humanity.

I simply do not believe that an institution’s guiding philosophy is merely “mistaken.” An institution that boasts such high credentials and expert thinkers can simply not take cover under the excuse of a misidentification of reality. The evidence in reality is clearer than the light of day, and should be more so to an economist whose job it is to analyze these trends! Today, India has achieved significant economic successes after de-regulating some of its markets in recent years, China has accelerated to become an immensely formidable economy by opening its markets, North Korea is on the verge of being (if not already) a failed state because of its Communist policies and closed markets, the United States of America is the beacon and champion of capitalism and free markets and has achieved success unparalleled and unprecedented in human historty.

How does one twist this evidence of reality in support of the moral and practical superiority of Capitalism into a deceitful and corrupt argument in favor of socialism or communism!? IIMP manages to achieve this deplorable feat.

Here is the repulsively disgusting “Social Vision” guiding this heap of intellectual trash. And unbelievably, the essense of the parasitism is explicitly stated in words toward the end of this Vision. I have highlighted them in bold:

The Social Vision of IIPM

Though Capitalism has contributed to tremendous growth of productivity, has enriched material life of man, has expanded scope of freedom, yet it has not meant abolition of war, poverty and perversion. Unbridled colonial exploitation and internal class conflict has sullied the ideas of equality, liberty and fraternity. Therefore, Capitalism is not made of colours one can dream of.

Communism, as practised in so called Communist countries has lead to totalitarianism and loss of democratic rights, though the rate of growth of national economy in these countries have been much higher than Capitalism ever achieved. Rapid rise of Soviet Union in the past and recent unparallel growth rate of GDP in China amply demonstrates the inherent strength of planned national economic growth. Distributive justice in these countries also forced Capitalism to introduce welfare states. Historical experience therefore compels us to think of possibilities of combining higher growth rate with distributive justice while not sacrificing democratic rights of the people. Indeed, sustained high growth rate in GDP is not possible in the long run if distributive justice is not there.

IIPM’s Social Vision follows from the above mentioned historical evidence. IIPM wants to contribute to the creation of a movement, backed by proper education and research which will create a society where exploitation of man by man does not exist, where each individual has the scope to achieve his / her potential to the fullest extent. Distributive justice in this society will ultimately mean “to each according to his need” a transition from “to each according to his contribution”. In other words, universal humanism is the social vision of IIPM.

Vile.

UPDATE: Now that the initial intensity of my revulsion has subsided, I decided to take the time to expose the lies, deceit, contradictions, and ineptness that pervades IIPM’s Social Vision:

Though Capitalism has contributed to tremendous growth of productivity, has enriched material life of man, has expanded scope of freedom, yet it has not meant abolition of war, poverty and perversion.

This is some strange demand from Capitalism as an economic system. It just so happens that the most capitalist country in the world—the United States—has the least worries in terms of internal strife or civil wars. Nevertheless, it is not the direct function of the free market to “abolish” war, eradicate poverty, and “perversion,” well, I don’t even know what that last is supposed to mean. I guess, its that back-handed method of sneaking in just another negative sounding term as a package deal—“perversion.” The point is, Capitalism is the only economic system consistent with individual rights, and that is its most fundamental justification. The amazingly beneficial consequences of Capitalism are the manifestation of the principle that the moral is also the practical.  

Unbridled colonial exploitation and internal class conflict has sullied the ideas of equality, liberty and fraternity.

This demand for equality (and I don’t know why fraternity is included—again, package deal—betrays an rudimentary understanding of capitalism at best. Capitalism, as its core, functions on the premise that men, markets, and products are not equal and should not be artificially made to appear equal! This is the fundamental reason why controlled and regulated markets and artificial pricing are hopeless endeavors in achieving equality. Equality, in some sense, is in fact a vice to be shunned! The better among us deserve to enjoy the benefits of their ability above and beyond what those who are not as good deserve.

Communism, as practised in so called Communist countries has lead to totalitarianism and loss of democratic rights, though the rate of growth of national economy in these countries have been much higher than Capitalism ever achieved.

Blatant dishonesty and twisting of facts.

Rapid rise of Soviet Union in the past and recent unparallel growth rate of GDP in China amply demonstrates the inherent strength of planned national economic growth.

Any intelligent person can identify the fact that China’s stuttering economy experienced a booming success only after its economic system decidedly shifted toward pro-capitalist, free market tendencies instead of wallowing in the stagnancy of its Communist inspired national planned economy. Much of Chinese, and even Indian, success should be attributed to the wealth of Capitalist nations that have invested in these countries and have allowed the entry of their products into their own free markets.

Distributive justice in these countries also forced Capitalism to introduce welfare states.

Again, a dishonest—if not a pathetically inept—interpretation of facts. Capitalism is an economic system of free markets. The very instant a nation introduces welfare systems, it is progressively getting distant from Capitalism as an economic system. It is becoming a mixed economy, if not entirely socialist. The US is unfortunately headed in that direction not because of the inefficiency of the Capitalist system at work but because of constant and continual government interference in economic matters.

Historical experience therefore compels us to think of possibilities of combining higher growth rate with distributive justice while not sacrificing democratic rights of the people.

This is an inherent contradiction. There is no such thing as “distributive justice” and to artificially enforce one is precisely to violate human rights. The question is, what does distributive justice entail? Distribute what? From whom? To whom? And why?

Distributive justice in this society will ultimately mean “to each according to his need” a transition from “to each according to his contribution”. In other words, universal humanism is the social vision of IIPM.

In other words, from the one who contributes to the one who needs. From the one who produces to the one who eats.

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4 Responses to “Institute of Intellectual Trash”

  1. Hiren said

    What has been written in the above extract especially in the end seems to be somewhat farfetched. It seems as idealistic as socialism used to seem once upon a time.

    However in prinicple it is true that there has to be a balance between capitalism and socialism. Even a pro capitalist book like “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” concedes that concentration of economic power in the hands of a few continsously can only spell disaster in the long run. Persian and Greek empires persished because of continued economic disparities.

    I read an interesting article about “Maket oriented welfare state”. Socialism failed because of being implementation with wrong motives and giving priority to distribution over capitalism which is like putting the cart before the horse. On the other hand if you read management history, you will find that all the greatest businessmen- Dhirubhai Ambani, Narayan Murthy and Bill Gates himself have succeded becasue they ensured distributive justice by measures like employee stock options and alawys respecting their shareholders. Dhirubhai is credited with popularising the equity cult in India- he did it because he ensured distributive justice straight from the word go.

    It sounds impractical when such language is used by an academic institute.

  2. Deep said

    IIPM’s vileness goes much more deeper than that. You must have definitely heard of the Indian bloggers’ campaign against IIPM? If not here….
    http://www.deeshaa.org/2005/10/13/the-blogger-and-iipm-if-the-cap-fits

  3. Ergo said

    Deep, thanks for the link. IIPM seems to be true to its social vision–deceit and dishonesty. Atleast they are consistent!

  4. David said

    Probably at the the first look, a balanced mixture of capitalism and socialism may seem as self contradicting theme. But given the fact that both capitalism and socialism have failed to create a world where liberty, equality and fraternity are the pillars, IIPM ‘s social vision need not be trashed. Only question to be asked is whether IIPM has contributed academically and practically to the realization of that dream. So probably an outright condemnation is not warranted in thiscase and let us explore the possibility of extending the economic pie to the 70% of our population who are left out.

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