Monday, January 06, 2003


Shishir Yerramilli has once again written in -- with some interesting insights into the psychological complexity of anti-Americanism. When I think about it, I guess it must pose ego problems for people to see a totally foreign nation as Top Dog. As an Australian, I see Americans as people essentially no different from myself and as being part of my own English-speaking world but, for those who cannot do that, pride might well be wounded by seeing one�s own group in a subordinate position. I have never done any research into anti-Americanism. Pehaps I should. In the meanwhile Shishir argues his points persuasively:

As you are aware, there are many reasons for anti Americanism, most of them founded on ignorance and envy. However what are the causes of such sentiments in Europe and South Korea where American intervention has only helped those peoples?

The reason of this maybe quite basic... FALSE PRIDE.. these nations actually suffer a great deal of inferiority complexes and rightly so. Europeans got themselves into WWI and WWII without any exterior help; Korea has been Japan's bitch for about 800 years. When a savior comes along, they are elated at first but later hate themselves for having been so weak that they have to be saved, but they think... we are not really weak.. it is America which is less than benevolent and heroic and they must have ulterior motives to protect us. Their bizarre combination of self hatred and fictional bloated ego is projected onto America. It is just a form of escapism, refusal to deal with reality.

Even my native India used to suffer from such delusions. It is because of America that China did not try to scoop up parts of Northern India along with Tibet in the 1950s. Similarly the deployment of an American warship a few miles from Shanghai compelled China to end the war with India in 1962.

Though Hindu nationalists hate Communism and the Soviet Union, they subconsciously align themselves with the former while lambasting America. This may be due to the assasination of Gandhi by the Hindu nationalist Nathuram Godse and Nehru�s subsequent banning of such organizations: They had to start espousing some pro-socialist rubbish to again curry favor with the Fabian Nehru. Indeed when the economic reforms and liberalisation were announced in 1991 by Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao, Hindu nationalists were as vociferous at denouncing them as the Communists.

Thankfully these days, Hindu nationalists are quietly but firmly advised to concentrate on culture and character-building but to leave economics and defence to people who actually know what they are talking about. The Communists on the other hand are shadows of their former selves: The Chief Minister of my state recently gave �shoot to kill� orders to the police regarding communist guerillas.

With such elements marginalised and the younger generation (which is very pro America yet nationalist) becoming more articulate and educated, their say in politics will be for the better especially with America�s relationship with Pakistan straining by the day.

P.S:- Doesn�t it also seem strange to you that many of these nations who are beneficiaries of America now seem to have a belated Stockholm Syndrome? Some South Koreans view Chinese as liberators and many Kuwaitis are starting to admire Saddam. There may be similar situations in Europe. Thank God my people aren�t that twisted. They still recognise their immediate enemies..



In response to my recent post about the way gambling is mainly an impost on the poor, Alf Croucher has written in not only to agree but also to turn up the heat on the Left a bit more. Since he writes as a former Maoist who really put his money where his mouth was (he migrated to China in the Mao era) his view of the Left is not inherently unsympathetic:

You are quite correct to point out that gambling tax, in addition to rich lotteries, is a form of soaking the poor. The rich can afford to invest in higher risk investments and so make a premium over his poorer, gilt-edged only investor. Similarly with lotteries where tickets are bought only in the forlorn hope they might win something - at least it gives a little hope to tide the poor over the week.

But the worst hypocrisy comes from the Australian Labor Party which purports to represent the poor and to care for them more than the conservatives. The swingeing increases in the taxes on smoking, beer and gasoline (also working class vices/necessities) levied during the Hawke/Keating governments only go to prove the point that even so-called labour governments are dedicated to soaking the poor through their unbreakable habits in order to subsidize their true constituency - the middle class - through arts grants, wasteful government education, government programs, bureaucrat intensive welfare and business subsidies.

Recent studies indicate that working class people are spending over 50% of their disposable income on taxes. Of course by definition disposable income is net of income taxes.

Please note also that while the taxes on smoking, gambling and drinking are 'morally' justifiable and not deleterious economically, the high tax on gasoline is in direct opposition to the microeconomic reform goal of lowering input costs to industry. Levying a huge impost on transport costs may please 'greenies' but does little towards making Australian industry competitive.



It would be rather hard to convince the people of Poland (and many other places) of global warming at the moment.

In truth, however, all the current big freeze proves is that the earth�s climate oscillates: Temperatures go up and they also go down. But the global warmers only see the ups.



Michael Darby has a typical tale of corruption in a goverrnment owned public transport system; Chris Brand has a very creative review of the book which showed that national IQ levels are amazingly strong predictors of national economic performance (probably via saner economic policies) and the Wicked one has a post on appearances of mental illness in the Bible.


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