Recently I've been struck by the confusion Americans have over understanding the Indian subcontinent. Pakistan sided with the U.S. in the "WAR ON TERRORISM" and suddenly this military dictatorship that overthrew a democratically elected government to gain power are the good guys. That means their enemies, the Indians, must be the bad guys... right?
I can only imagine the confusion swirling around in American brains. Indian already has a negative connotation to it thanks to Columbus' five hundred year old mistake. It's easy for the Americans to see Indians as the bad guys. Of course these Indians and those Indians are completely different, but that kind of distinction is simply too difficult to ask for.
So here we have the good guys, the Pakistanis (or 'Pakis' as George Dubleya likes to call 'em), fighting the evil Indians. I've heard more than one American say, "we've got to stand up for democracy around the world," when referring to supporting Pakistan versus India. I try to politely point out that India is actually the largest (population wise) and one of the largest (geographically) democratic societies in the world. They are a liberal country with many religions and races living within their borders, you know, just like the United States. Confusion still fills the air though as Americans struggle to understand their own foreign policy.
Here's the brief synopsis in case you missed it. American foreign policy is to support Pakistan (the aforementioned military dictatorship) because they assisted the invasion of Afghanistan, even though an overwhelming majority of very Muslim Pakistanis hate the United States and a large number of the Taliban shooting at U.S. forces were in fact Pakistani. India, which has had a democratically elected government since Pakistan separated from it fifty years ago, has never been in the good graces of American foreign policy. During the cold war they were forced to buy military hardware from the Soviet Union because the United States wouldn't deal with them. How can America, the supposed champion of Democracy be so cruel to one of its own? The answer is a simple one: it's all about business.
American foreign policy directs billions of development dollars into China, a country that shoots its citizens and likes to use them as slave labour for foreign interests. Why would the US do this? Stability. Why wouldn't the U.S. instead put that development money into the liberal, multi-ethnic, democratic India? Lack of stability. You see, if you have a military based dictatorship you have a high degree of certainty that things will remain the way they are. The factories you are building will still be there next year and the labour you purchased for ten cents an hour will still be working for your interests years from now because if they don't, they'll get shot.
If you put that money into India, where democracy has empowered the people and made laws to protect them from abuse, you won't actually be able to buy slave labour. If your business won't pay reasonable wages in reasonable working conditions you'll find yourself with no employees volunteering for your sweatshops. If you force people to work for you (because their government won't do it for you) you'll find yourself in jail. You see, slaves are much cheaper than paid employees, they don't have silly things like benefits or rights and you can use them much like you would use a machine - until it breaks. The best part is that you don't have to claim any moral responsibility for what happens because 'that's the way they do it in China!'. Of course, if that's the way they do it, you're supporting it by paying the people who do it that way, but I digress. The United States has a long and ignoble history with slavery. I suppose it's hard to break old habits.
Back in India, which has an enormous population (like China), but no support from the U.S., business men scratch their heads and try to understand why China is "an economic miracle" and they are a threat to U.S. interests in the region. If you talk to an Indian businessman you'll find a savvy individual who has a startlingly clear grasp of what U.S. interests really mean. The U.S. acts on the best interests of its own citizens. They often hide them in the flag and paint them with words like freedom and democracy, but what they really mean is control and the self-interests of a very small percentage of the world's population (only about four and a half percent of the world's population lives in the United States and one percent of them own over ninety percent of the country's value).
Even though there is an extreme gap between the rich and the poor in the United States, the government there strives to raise the standard of living for all its citizens. Since the rich aren't willing to surrender their power, security and comfort, the government needs to find a way to gain value without it costing anything to its richer citizens (many of whom, incidently, run that government). Fortunately the ninety five and a half percent of the world who don't happen to have U.S. citizenship provide a large reservoir of value from which to siphon worth. U.S. foreign policy unabashedly goes about ensuring that American companies have a competitive advantage in order to provide and avenue for this wealth to pour back into the country.
Frankly there isn't enough to go round for six billion free human animals walking the Earth. In current human society we make commodities of our fellow humans. We do this to make value for our own benefit. All current economic systems are based on this fact. Anyone living a first world lifestyle does so as a result of the cheap products made in third world poverty. Anyone living in the third world does so because they are the commodities of more powerful individuals who use them as beasts of burden. We farm human beings to feed and cloth other human beings.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness..."
The American constitution is a powerful document that has caused all manner of problems within the States. Their crime rate is a direct result of human animals living without the limitations that exist elsewhere. Bragging about China's low rate of crime is like saying that domesticated cattle are less violent than wild ones, it's a truth that doesn't point to the real reason why it is the way it is. China farms its population. Its people, supposedly living in communism, are actually cattle used to produce value for the elite few.
If there were only one billion people in the world resources would still be taxed to give us life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Imagine that the five nearest people around you at this moment disappeared and try and think how much emptier the world would be. Human relationships would have much greater value, murder and death would have a much greater stigma and business would mean much more if only one out of every five were available to make and trade value. Given sufficient resources societies of human beings could flourish without using one another as fodder, but in the adolescent crush of industrialization we find ourselves in now there is little hope for an end to monopoly and control.