I wrote about his free a billion(FAB) here before. That was a wreck, as mentioned in that post, most people there wouldn’t be able to define capitalism at a gunpoint, let alone defend it. It simply turned into an NGO sort of thing people are told to do “for the experience” at the stupid age of 18-20. And chicks just love this sort of thing, so many of them, probably to improve their “managerial” and “digital marketing” skills with the “internship” instead of explaining capitalism to the Marathi speaking guy who came in from Facebook.
This time things don’t look much different, however there’s just one major mind boggling change though—this time Rajesh Jain directly is asking for votes, to “form a government with the help of 15 crore Indians”. Sanjeev Sabhlok already has called him delusional without explaining much. Let me do so.
The Guilty Rich Indian
This is the first thing that comes to my mind. Rajesh’s blog emergic has a post from his early days when he made his millions—$115Million I think is the precise number and his wife made a heartfelt comment—”this is god’s money”. That immediately makes me wonder if he just feels compelled to do these things due to some idea of “god’s work” or a notion of “duty to his mother land”. Both of which are highly imaginary constructs and do not really exist. Maybe he is an atheist now and has a different understand about the term “god” I can’t tell.
You’d think this is not important as long he is pushing for the right ideas with the right intentions, however I think the approach changes when you check people’s motivations. Doing a thing because you feel compelled by religion or a notion of duty is very different than doing it because you really believe that capitalism and individual freedoms are ends in itself.
In the former thinking mode you get caught up in just throwing some money at the X-cause, hoping it liberates you from the guilt like a lotta Indians do with NGOs, in the latter one you do what will actually work. I think Rajesh is in the first mode.
Some Things Money Can’t Buy
The nayidisha website has a nice look, design which one agrees are as important as the message itself, which some people seem to miss out on. So Rajesh throws a few bucks to a nice design team (they’re not cheap) and gets himself a new website every time.
The idea is that people will come-read-agree and signup and share the content and very soon he will have his 15 crore voters ready. That’s almost my blogging strategy! Though very rarely my goal is to have you agree with me.
He misses out something very crucial though, and that I think is trust. Here’s a guy who wants to “form government” but “has no political ambitions” and he will “give each family 1 lac rupees per year”. At this point it’s hard to figure out if nayidisha is an NGO, a party or both or neither! Of course to this they throw the cool techy lingo of “platform” but it just begs the question—why?
“No Political Ambitions”
The current Delhi CM started out the same way and now here is nationalizing private schools at gunpoint. Soon Delhi will have no schools or they will turn so bad, coaching classes will be out there, campaigning and funding the next election for Arvind, either way the market always finds a way.
Garnering political support in India is hard enough and garnering political support when your message is “banks and railways need to be privatized” you are almost aiming for the moon and beyond.
When you add these confusing altruistic statements to the mix, people simply do not buy it.
People being the simple homo sapiens they are, want straight and direct talk—you want political power and think you can do better than the current pack of dogs ruling India? THEN FUCKING SAY IT! Fight for it with all your being. This is not a call for Jain to run for the prime minister’s job but to do politics the way politics is done—with a political outfit which wants to get as much power it can to steer things in the correct direction. As Walter White puts it—no half measures.
No one likes or trusts an half baked idea of a “political platform”and “political startup” (throw in your techy buzz words) calling for candidates and votes to form governments, only political parties do that. In fact as the recent book I’m reading puts it, this does not even prime your mind to think that way. Here’s a note on priming;
As is common in science, the first big breakthrough in our understanding of the mechanism of association was an improvement in a method of measurement. Until a few decades ago, the only way to study associations was to ask many people questions such as, “What is the first word that comes to your mind when you hear the word DAY?” The researchers tallied the frequency of responses, such as “night,” “sunny,” or “long.” In the 1980s, psychologists discovered that exposure to a word causes immediate and measurable changes in the ease with which many related words can be evoked. If you have recently seen or heard the word EAT, you are temporarily more likely to complete the word fragment SO_P as SOUP than as SOAP. The opposite would happen, of course, if you had just seen WASH. We call this a priming effect and say that the idea of EAT primes the idea of SOUP, and that WASH primes SOAP.
— Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Nothing in the the political vocab—”votes”, “government”, “ideology”, “elections” primes the idea of a “political platform” but only of a political party.
Maybe Rajesh has good reasons to spout such platitudes like “no political ambitions”, he is a businessman and a good one at that. Every government division is probably a Netcore client, and all that could go away the moment he joins a political party and crosses a line drawn by the corrupt dogs that currently rule India.
At the same time he has already taken a shot at the prime minister for his obvious failures, so he is not exactly shy of standing up to the big guys.
In end though all this does not change the fact that NGO-esque approach to political battles will not be taken seriously by most people.
This definitely primes everyone for the 15 lac promise made by Modi, lol.
Can’t really fathom what Rajesh is thinking here. The funny thing is his site right now is nothing but a blog and when he uses lingo like “returning the wealth to Indians at 1lac per yr” he just raises eyebrows. He does provide a huge FAQ there about how this is feasible, however, altruistic statements are rightly scoffed at in the public sphere around the world. Doesn’t matter if it’s Modi, the US demoncrat Sanders or Rajesh.
Articulating the same message in the form of a policy of negative income tax or direct cash transfer would do him a lot of good.
However since he is caught up in the thinking mindset of activism with the already discussed notion of “political platform” he is only coming with the language of political and social activism of “returning the wealth back to the people” (almost gets my skin crawling to how marxist/communistic it sounds) and unable to think in terms of policies around which political parties are built.
A Speech for Rajesh Jain
Sam Harris had written a speech for the clinton witch. Here’s my attempt to do the same for Rajesh’s interview.
“Do I want power? YES! I want power because I am tired of feeling powerless, I’m tired of seeing thugs and criminals in our positions of power, tired of BSNL and MTNL burning around 90k crore rupees, Air India another billions of dollars and the Indian railways which kills more people than any terrorist. All in attempts to deliver basic services which anybody can. And while we lose billions over there we see our courts, police forces, government offices are over flowing with files and documents gathering dust. The government fails to deliver basic services to our people. Justice is denied, law and order is a joke and corruption is institutionalized as a part of our culture. I want power to change this and I want as much of it as possible. I want my party to be chosen by the people of India and to create systemic changes that puts India on path to prosperity, this will need governance reforms, police reforms and constitutional reforms.”
I think this even sounds better for the current nayidisha “platform”. However obviously this is for someone who is not shy of asking for power the right way and for the right reasons.
Nayidisha political blog/platform is at best a good collection of posts on how much the Indian government screws up, as of now I don’t even see them making any strong ideological case for free markets or capitalism. Hard to believe they can bring about any ideological curiosity in the reader’s mind.
As far as forming governments goes, it’ll not even find any candidates to being with.