As unlikely, fantastic, and laughable as it may seem given India’s present abysmal state, if India were to ever manage to get its act together, it would very well become a classical liberal democratic superpower and the world’s greatest superpower at that. A resurgent India would then join forces with the United States to police the world and keep rogue states like China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, and Pakistan in check. The 21st century would together become the century of both India and the US. “How could this ever be possible?”, you may ask. “Isn’t this just wishful fantasizing?”
In this article, I shall explain how India can become the world’s greatest superpower and also explain the role it must play in global geopolitics.
India’s role in the future of mankind as a classical liberal superpower
India’s chronic misgovernance and poverty harms not just its people, but also the world. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the US has failed to uphold the mantle of freedom and democracy in a consistent and respect-worthy manner. It has failed to live upto the ideals of individual liberties, rule of law, free markets, free trade, and limited government; culminating in an over-taxed, over-regulated, and corrupt mercantilist government with huge colossal debt. With the police state, declining value of the dollar, huge welfare state, arbitrary and unnecessary market interventions, and unaccountable corrupt politicians; the US has grown clinically obese, lazy, and complacent and could well regress into a failed social democratic welfare state. Having been ruined by decades of Keynesian and social democratic policies, the US is now on a path of steady relative decline. This is part of a wider decline of the West, which has been declining politically and economically from weak mooring in classical liberal values which historically made it great.
Our planet — battered by a horde of collectivist ideologies — needs a new classical liberal superpower to counter illiberal tyrannies like China and Russia. There needs to be a new symbol of hope and opportunity for people around the world. There needs to be a superpower which stands for freedom. No country in this world cares for freedom, certainly not the US. The world cannot be allowed to degenerate into a hegemony of illiberal powers like China and Russia. Such a world will only lead to ever-more violent competition over the borders of their spheres of influence. The existence of such illiberal tyrannical superpowers which seek to throw their weight around the rest of the world, and the existence of tyrannies like North Korea, Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela is unbearable and does not bode well for liberty around the world. Without a classical liberal superpower positioning itself as a global hegemon, the world’s rogues will assert themselves and fill the breach. The world needs an international police force committed to global security and world peace. In the absence of such a legitimate, worldly acknowledged peacekeeping authority, India must assume that role.
There is a void in this world with three conflicting ideologies — Socialism, Islamism, and Classical liberalism. All of these ideologies can’t coexist together. There is only space for one of them. Classical liberalism must succeed in order for the collectivist ideologies of socialism and Islamism to perish; and for the world to become a free place. India, in particular, needs classical liberal values to triumph and fulfill its destiny as the world’s greatest superpower and first classical liberal superpower. India must stand for classical liberal values (individual liberties, rule of law, free markets, free trade, and limited government) which sets people free to create wealth and live meaningful lives. It must become the world’s torch-bearer of freedom, an island of freedom in an ocean of tyranny.
India must serve as a regional pivot and a potential global influencer. It must become a global leader to defend universal human rights and liberties, and maintain global peace. India must become a beacon of liberty which will lead the world towards greater freedom. We should fight not only for our freedoms, but also for the freedoms of others. India must become the greatest force for good in the world. This would require India to become a global hegemon and global policeman which will promote and defend humanity’s hard-earned liberties not just in India, but across the world. India must play an important role in international disputes, global peacekeeping, and conflict resolution. This remains our best chance for the majority to live in relative peace.
National security encompasses all facets of securing our nation, including an aggressive foreign policy. To deter misguided attempts to harm India or Indians living abroad and protect the liberty of Indians and nations around the world, India must create the world’s most powerful military force, including a strong nuclear shield and mechanisms that can thwart all forms of warfare. For the sake of world peace and global liberty, India has to establish a global presence of military bases that will act as checks and balances against countries where forces that can threaten global liberties are growing strong, especially in those countries which have a high tendency to become dictatorships that dominate a region, which could potentially kill millions of people. Rogue dictatorial regimes like Iran and North Korea are expanding their reach into nuclear technology, threatening the lives of peaceful people around the world. Asymmetric warfare technology, such as cyber-warfare, bio-terrorism, and other non-traditional warfare are emerging as threats to the world. A suitable response to all this is needed.
We must reserve the right to use pre-emptive and destructive force against aggressors, and also get rid of the still lingering socialist dictatorships — North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Laos, and Belarus — and replace them with classical liberal democratic republics. Would-be Stalins, Maos, Pol Pots, Mugabes and Hitlers must be nipped in the bud and not allowed to harm millions of defenseless people. If anyone indulges in genocide or kills Indians, they will get hell-fire on their heads. People will get the message “Don’t mess with India!”. Sponsors of terrorism will know that if they continue to sponsor terrorism, launch attacks in India, or behead Indian soldiers, the enemy force responsible (including its leadership) will be crushed and destroyed without any warning. The stronger our military, the less chance anyone messes with us. Pakistan and China won’t dare mess with us through terror attacks and territorial intrusions respectively, if India were to develop the world’s strongest military.
If the extensive reforms contained in the SBP manifesto were to be implemented, it is no exaggeration to state that India can become a first world country with living standards on par with that of the most developed Western countries in over a generation. India will become a land of freedom and opportunity for Indians and people all over the world, greater than the West has ever been. Swarna Bharat Party will remake India in the form of liberty. India will become the freest country on earth. Being Indian will no longer be about ethnicity, but nationality and a shared set of classical liberal values.
Extreme poverty and corruption can be eradicated in five years, unemployment brought to a very low level, and high-quality infrastructure, schools, and hospitals can be ensured for all within the same time period. India will eventually have a well-educated and healthy population, and this will mean that it will be home to the greatest amount of doctors, teachers, scientists, engineers, innovators, artists, Olympics champions, Nobel Prize winners, millionaires and billionaires, Fortune 500 companies, etc. Without artificial government-imposed barriers and with significantly better capital, infrastructure, and institutions, labour will become enormously more productive and average per-capita incomes will skyrocket. Inflation would be eradicated and the Rupee would become a reserve currency (ultimately private currency would be allowed in India). It is reasonable to project India as a $50 trillion economy (in current US dollars) by 2050. With 17% of the world’s population producing two-thirds of the world’s GDP, India would become the richest and most prosperous country to have ever existed. India’s per-capita income will rise to exceed the world’s highest.
Our brain drain will reverse as living standards improve and our best and brightest find that opportunities are better at home. Indians will be able to find their “Indian dream” at home, where through hard-work, grit, determination, and risk-taking, they will be able to achieve their highest aspirations and goals. Every child born in India will be the architect of their own destiny. India will become a country where you can start with nothing, and create anything in your dreams while overcoming incredible adversity and become in your wildest imagination rich not just in the wealth capacity, but also rich in artistic ability, creative capacity, and in any other way you want to be. In this “Indian dream”, even the mediocre and not so intelligent who don’t aspire for great wealth would be able to gain a good lifestyle for themselves. India will become a country which provides opportunity for everyone to advance both materially and spiritually. It will be a country which rewards merit — where anyone with drive, ambition, hard work, and intelligence can make something of himself.
Indian cities will become the world’s most livable. India will become the top destination to attract the brightest professionals, the most ambitious entrepreneurs, and biggest investors. India will become a dream destination that millions of people around the world will flock to make a better life for themselves. With a meritocratic small government and free-market capitalist system, the Indian economy will become the world’s largest and freest as well as the most vibrant, dynamic, enterprising, competitive, and innovative economy with leading-edge technology. Not only that, India will also become the world’s largest consumer on whom the economy of the world will depend on selling to. India will be at the forefront of technological innovation and higher education. It will indeed become the envy of the world. A sone ki chidiya!
Once these reforms have been fully implemented, the mantle of the leader of the free world will pass on to India. India was the world’s greatest nation for 2000 years; it will become the greatest nation, once again, by becoming the hub centre of liberty, justice, peace, innovation and prosperity. India will overtake the US to become the greatest superpower and most accomplished nation in the world. The 21st century will become the Indian Century. India will become the only country in the world to truly represent the classical liberal ideals of individual liberties (subject to accountability), limited government, incentive-compatible governance, rule of law, free markets, and free trade. India will become a moral superpower and great cultural force spreading the ideas of liberty and good governance far and wide. As the leader of the free world, India will play the same role for classical liberalism that USSR played for socialism and the US played for capitalism throughout the 20th century. This will create “Indian exceptionalism”. Countries around the world will seek to emulate India in their model of governance and freedoms.
Therefore we should not be content with just eradicating poverty and fixing our governance set-up. We should aspire to be the best-governed, freest, and most prosperous country in the world, and tailor our governance systems to enable these ends. We must lead in business, culture, economy, military, and every single facet of industry. India must become the centre of global culture and science. We must create “Indian Exceptionalism” in which we become a country of independent minded people, rugged individualists, entrepreneurs, risk-takers, forward-thinkers, and people who seek to maximize their potential and aspire to be better tomorrow than they are today.
We Indians haven’t invented any of the great institutions upon which our country is being run. We didn’t invent our laws. That was invented by the Romans and updated and brought to us by the English. We didn’t invent parliamentary democracy. That was invented by the Greeks and updated by the English. We didn’t invent republicanism. That was again invented by the Romans. We didn’t invent the Enlightenment. That was done by the French and Scots. We didn’t invent Capitalism. That was invented by the Italians. We didn’t invent liberty. That was invented by the English and from there it spread to every British colony including India. We didn’t invent incentive-compatible governance. That was again invented by the British, and improved upon by the Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders, and Singaporeans.
We Indians didn’t invent any of that, and that’s ok. But what we must do is develop and improve upon all these institutions and create the world’s freest, best governed, and richest superpower that will be everyone’s marvel. This is precisely what Swarna Bharat Party was created for, and it explains what our end goal is.
Our duty to police the world begins in our own neighborhood. India must create a united common market among the SAARC countries, ASEAN countries, and China. There must also be a mutually-agreed free visa policy and free trade among all SAARC countries, China, and ASEAN countries; with the exception of Pakistan initially. Pakistan will only be allowed a visa waiver for its citizens to travel to India, on the condition that its army stops sponsoring anti-India terror groups and dismantles its terror networks. India must further facilitate the interlinking of roadways and rail infrastructure with China and all SAARC and ASEAN countries.
India also needs to act as a global missionary to spread democracy, good governance, and free markets around the world. Today it is the English-speaking democracies which are the great guardians of global freedom. They have elevated freedom to the first rank of political and cultural values. It is they, and not China or Russia or Brazil or Saudi Arabia, who have disseminated and preserved liberty. Nations comprising the Anglosphere share a common historical narrative rooted in freedom, individualism, rule of law, English common law, and democracy. All of them are heirs to a unique political heritage which owes its origin to England. Unbeknownst to most of us, as a former British colony, India shares natural ties of language and law, habit and history, culture and kinship with the UK and its sister countries — US, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Ethnic Indians in these countries number in the millions, and make up the largest or second largest immigrant group in all these countries. India is already the world’s largest English-speaking democracy, constituting two-thirds of the Anglosphere. In light of all this, India must forge deep military, intelligence, and trade ties with these English-speaking democracies. India must join NATO, and along with the US, lead a global alliance of free parliamentary democracies to counter illiberal powers like China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, etc. This alliance would be committed to promoting individual liberties, rule of law, democracy, good governance, free markets, and free trade.
However as wonderful and alluring as liberty, prosperity, and world’s greatest superpower status for India may be, these won’t come to us on a platter. There is no messiah who will come down to earth and hand these things down to us. We have to fight for them and that can only be done by taking active part in politics. Sitting on our haunches and wishful fantasizing won’t help. Do you know why the West became great and powerful? It’s because their thinkers do not sit on their haunches. They actively indulge in politics, which is the only place where liberty can be fought for. We must too as well, if we wish for India to become a great country that we can hand down to our children. Either you must join Swarna Bharat Party and offer to become a volunteer or leader, or you must put your money where your mouth is and fund the party. The time has come for Indian liberals to be actively involved in the governance of our nation. Only when India genuinely adopts classical liberalism will it become the world’s greatest nation. The ball is in your court!