Friday, November 11, 2011

Rajaji on Prof F A Hayek!

Those you have read a bit of Rajaji's views on political economy of India would not have surprised to know what he wrote in connection to professor F A Hayek's wisdom, read it yourself:

  • Rajaji was one of the earliest thinkers in India who were profoundly influenced by the writings of Prof. F. A. Hayek _ ``The Road to Serfdom'' _ who later won the Nobel in Economics in 1974. Rajaji distilled Prof. Hayek's critique of planning in a cryptic statement: ``The Socialist philosophy of controlled economy is based on the two false assumptions of the omniscience of Government and the stupidity of the people.'' In advocating competitive private enterprise based on ``responsible individualism'' or the extended concept of corporate social responsibility, Rajaji was clearly distancing himself away from the law of the jungle or the phenomenon of unethical competition.
  • He did not consider the controlled economy as the barrier for monopoly. ``It is not good certainly to let men with money become powerful. But as Hayek has written, it would be worse if only men politically powerful can make money. ..... The oxygen of competition has been displaced by the foul air of monopolies.....''
  • It was not surprising that Rajaji considered the controlled economy as a bane for its wasteful centralisation of the national economy in the hands of the ministers and the bureaucrats.
Read the full article "Rajaji — the forefather of liberalisation ethos" By S. Swaminathan

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