Markets and Government

How to make it function towards the broader public interest?

Photo Credit: ‘Capitalism’ by Richard Votch

“Cage the People, Free the Money. The only thing that is allowed to move freely — unimpeded — around the world today is money…capital.” Says Arundhati Roy in conversation with John Cusack in their book, Things that can be and cannot be said.

Democracy has a lot to do with how money circulates in the system. If that functions more in favor of certain people and their interests, it effectively makes a mockery of democracy and everything that the Constitution proclaims.

Before anything else, the institutions and processes that created a monster out of already notorious capitalism need rectification. It’s…


It is an amalgamation of complex disagreements, conflicting perceptions, and coexisting truths.

An armed Palestinian policeman stands before ‘The Armoured Dove’, a graffiti painting by Banksy depicting a peace dove wearing a flak jacket with crosshairs on the bird’s chest, painted on a wall at the entrance to the West Bank city of Bethlehem, as photographed on January 6, 2019. EPA

“What when conflict parties prefer to repeat familiar scripts than undergo the discomfort of strenuous strategic engagement? Or powerful players are able to ignore the positions of others (opponents and third parties) and have strategic reasons not to engage with them? Or possessors and challengers in asymmetric conflicts are controlled by intransigent leaders who crush the possibility of collective internal strategic thinking? Or, in disintegrated war zones, conflict parties are too disaggregated to sustain coherent strategic thought and action?” asks Oliver Ramsbotham in his book When Conflict Resolution Fails.

Conflicts are generally based on “differentially distorted prisms”[1] of reality that…


The damage done is incrementally becoming irreversible.

If the traditional filibuster was restored, would Republicans use it so flagrantly? Illustration by Andy Friedman

“As long as the Senate remains a kill switch that reactionary white conservatives can hit whenever they choose, it is difficult to see how America can meet the challenges it faces,” says Adam Jentleson in his book Kill Switch, The Rise Of The Modern Senate And The Crippling of American Democracy.[1]

Democracy gets eroded when an unyielding minority impairs the first principle of majority and imposes its malicious will on them. The use of unintelligible and cloudy tactics is not only harmful to the nation and democracy, but also the Republican party since an unprogressive approach like this would remain…


Will Modi be able to pull this off on account of his ‘strong Hindutva halo’?

Photo credit: GETTY IMAGE

Not even the masquerade of religion and passage of time can guard Modi against history’s final verdict on him for failing terribly to save India from the second wave and equally for not taking accountability for the same.

All the doomsaying about the second wave has turned out to be worse than predicted for India. Declaring victory too early along with a promise to export vaccines abroad, based on the premature assessment, without having a solid plan for its own people shows little experience the Modi government has in handling a pandemic. In addition to being responsible for partly manufacturing…


India’s blind love affair with Modi is not blind anymore.

India is experiencing a raging virus that has exhausted the entire system, including its hospital staff, workers, doctors, and patients who are gasping for oxygen in horror that can save them from the jaws of death. As a result, we are witnessing a public health crisis in India at a scale never been experienced in a pandemic before. Deep at the heart of COVID failure lie irrationalities among people and political leaders along with their messed-up priorities, lack of empathy, and last but not least, administrative and systemic flaws.

The government of India scoffed at science when they decided to…


Does the queer contrast of Trump’s dissipation from the national discourse but his augmenting prominence in the Republican party hint at the politics of fear?

President Donald Trump shushes journalists as they attempt to ask him questions during a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House on Friday. (Washington Post photo by Jonathan Newton)

“Leadership means inspiring us to manage through our fears. Demagoguery means exploiting our fears for political gain. There is a crucial difference,” says Al Gore in his book, The Assault on Reason.[1]

It is the politics of phony protectors of the fearful. All they want in return for the false protection they offer is blind loyalty. Through loyalists as catalysts, fascism turned the public away from the truth and towards political fantasy. They destroy the rule of law and drag democracies towards “personalist regimes.”[2]

Trump is desperately despotic. And so is the Republican party. They sell you their ideology so…

Credit: ‘She Can’, a work by Guess Who


The restructuring of this nature demands social responsibility and conscientiousness from citizens to not undermine human values and principles along the way.

Adapting is not a threat to people’s freedoms. It does require a change in their perception of freedom, though. Limits placed on individual freedoms to deter them from acting as they wish are not to be regarded as a diminution of their freedoms rather a strategy that would lead to stability for all. In this day and age, when individual freedom of thought and action has gained considerable ground, the responsibility that comes with the freedom has to be taken more seriously than ever.

Democracy requires reciprocity from citizens. It is based on the principle of subsidiarity, which places trust…


China is a threat to free democracies worldwide. They need to learn and adapt how to survive the rise of China. Though it is increasingly becoming unpreventable, it’s still something from which recovery is possible.

China is neither faithful to communism from which it once extracted legitimacy, nor is it anywhere close to being a democracy. It is a market-based system called state capitalism that China developed after 1978. The Chinese government continues to control every small part of the economy, believing it is the best path towards politically stable economic growth. They come from a place where there has been a long tradition of secrecy and centralized control for years. They cannot let go of their command so easily. …

Credit: BIGSTOCK (via:


Closer we get to the times where America’s hegemony is ebbing away, it's becoming more apparent that it’s not being superseded by one successor. Instead, the world is witnessing multiple players rising, including China and India. The rise of Asia is not only shaping its own future but also becoming an essential source of growth for the west.

“Did we realize in the 1990s that it would be us who turned to shit? Here’s what neither political scientists nor geopolitical scholars sufficiently gamed out as it was happening: The wicked brew of trade globalization and outsourced manufacturing, industrial policy fueled technological innovation, and rent-seeking financial capitalism — and how those forces not only accelerated power diffusion globally but also deindustrialization and political polarization at home.”, says Parag Khanna in his article named The New End of History. According to him, the rise of Asia is proof of the aforementioned power-diffusion or what he calls geopolitical entropy[1].

In the…


We need informed citizens to address the grave polarizations of our times. A considerable mass is required to demand that our politics be ethical and pragmatic.

Pragmatism implores people to turn to evidence and embrace it. Pragmatism in politics means not letting a particular ideology come in the way of the right solutions. It means going beyond one’s beliefs and assessing things rationally, and devising solutions that work. What does it take to achieve this other than a good state and non-partisan institutions — illuminated citizens, I think.

A well-informed electorate is the unrivaled public good. It is something that the state cannot provide you. Instead, we have to provide it to the state.

Pragmatism has two enemies: ideologies and populism, and each seized its opportunity…

Sakshi Kharbanda, Ph.D.

Learner| Researcher| Writer. Writes on Democracy, Capitalism and Inclusion. Fascinated by Mathematics and Mathematicians.

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