Contrary to what many of us who reside in India believe, the West is not a role model for us to emulate. This is not jingoist “we are better” nonsense, but what can be concluded after examining the facts.
Western countries are all nanny states with numerous restrictions on individual freedom. They have monopolized currencies, and are pervaded with large-scale theft of citizenry wealth through the welfare state and Central Bank. Most Western countries have large welfare states which promote parasitic dependency among the middle-class and poor; thereby eroding the quality of their human capital. The quality of Western democracies is third-rate. Far from being meritocratic, most Western countries are governed by corrupt populist demagogues who are ignorant about the basics of economics and liberty. These power-hungry crooks don’t care about the economic well-being of their nations, but are preoccupied solely with pandering to vested interests by promising all kinds of freebies with taxpayer money in exchange for cheap votes and campaign contributions. While better than their Indian counterparts, Western politicians tend to be morally unscrupulous, and can also be easily bribed to use their influence to pass laws or provide subsidies in favour of private entities such as corporations, trade unions, and individual lobbies. Regulators too are often captured by the industry they regulate.
Not a single Western country has a free-market economy, even though this is widely known to be the best way to maintain high growth rates and the fastest way to raise living standards. Their economies in general are too over-regulated, and taxes tend to be high. With the exception of Switzerland, all Western countries are protectionist and have numerous trade barriers. The economic policies of most nations are dictated by welfare statist Rawlsians, behavioural economists who seek to paternalistically nudge human beings into behaving a particular way, and Keynesians who believe that stealing taxpayer wealth and handing them over to private entities is the surest and quickest way to ‘stimulate’ an economy and spur economic growth. Economic analysis (which has now become malleable enough to justify almost any political preference and hence has almost lost meaning) is commonly used to increase government incursions into our freedoms. Governments pursue interventionist policies in the marketplace which lead to uncertain business conditions, asset bubbles, and man-made business cycles. Consequently, the economic growth rates of most Western nations are very low. This also means that they are far less prosperous than they would have been otherwise, had they embraced small government and free markets.
The West is certainly not the land of liberty or meritocracy. It is only half-way there! None of them can be called free societies. They just happen to be freer and better governed than the rest of the world. They only look good when you compare them with countries like India and China which have failed miserably at getting their act together.
Westerners in general have grown fat, complacent, and lazy ever since the rise of the welfare state in the 60s. They take their affluence and prosperity for granted. They foolishly believe that there is a free lunch — that they can keep enjoying entitlements at somebody else’s expense. Now this dream is coming to an end and their mistakes are returning to haunt them. Most Western countries are saddled with ever-increasing colossal public debts, which can never be repaid in the case of many. Such countries are headed towards a monetary collapse and another recession, which will trigger a world-wide recession.
Still there is a lot that can be learned from the West regarding how to govern ourselves. We need to adopt their good policies and institutions, while scrupulously avoiding their flaws and failings. Then we must move on and surpass them in excellence by improving upon what we have learned and building better systems of government. This is in fact how the West began their rise to prosperity — by learning science and technology from the East and consistently developing upon what they learned.
The Classical liberal model of governance is the only way for India to move forward. Swarna Bharat Party is the only political party which seeks to implement this model and reform our systems of government. We must all join and support it so that it eventually succeeds in becoming India’s ruling party.