Wednesday, January 12, 2011

India and Human Action by Ludwig von Mises

Years ago when I heard first time about the Professor Mises book Human Action, I wondered what Mises would have thought and probably said about India when he was writing this book. It is not surprise as the book runs about thousand pages. In the form a article I have now compiled the essential from the book Human Action to see what Mises actually wrote on India, M.K.Gandhi, Indian businessmen, British India, landlords etc.

It is quite amazing to read all those views which are very lucidly expressed and of course make you muse. The most interesting are the below seven paragraphs. Yes only the SEVEN WOUNDERS!! My favourate one is the FIRST and the SEVENTH WOUNDER!!

Mises wrote: 
  1. Mahatma Gandhi disavowed his whole philosophy when he entered a modern hospital to be treated for appendicitis (p.85). 
  2. A comparatively insignificant number of Britons could rule many hundred millions of Indians because the Indian princes and aristocratic landowners looked upon British rule as a means for the preservation of their privileges and supplied it with the support which the generally acknowledged ideology of India gave to their own supremacy. England’s Indian empire was firm as long as public opinion approved of the traditional social order (p.190).   
  3. In the long run it is impossible to withhold the better arms from the members of the majority. Not the equipment of their armed forces, but ideological factors safeguarded the British in India (p.191). 
  4. If capitalist entrepreneurs had not succeeded Lord Clive and Warren Hastings, British rule in India might one day have become such an insignificant historical reminiscence as are the one hundred and fifty years of Turkish rule in Hungary (p.650). 
  5. The poverty of Asia and other backward countries is due to the same causes which made conditions unsatisfactory in the early periods of Western capitalism (p.747-748). 
  6. Mere technological knowledge is of no use if the capital needed is lacking. Indian businessmen are familiar with American ways of production. What prevents them from adopting the American methods is not the lowness of Indian wages, but lack of capital (p.774). 
  7. Indian nationalists take pleasure in speaking of traditional Hindu democracy! (p.842-843).

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