Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Marxism 26 (Irish famine)

A comment on a post on Irish famine in 1840s.

On starvation deaths in Ireland in 1840s, one eminent liberal economist, Nassau Senior, is quoted to have said that the Irish famine had not done its job properly, it unburdened the country with only 1 million (though its an underestimate) deaths insufficient to put the country on its feet. Robert Malthus, author of 'Essays on Principles of Population' introduced a new and newly stupid logic about socially created issues like poverty in terms unalterable laws like Newton's laws of gravity. Misfortune of Ireland was that it was a plundered British colony and mainly dependent on on an inefficient agriculture. On the both counts it was similar to the conditions prevailing in India at a larger scale. From the stand point of the crop of new liberal economists that had grown simultaneously with the self regulating market system, the Irish famine was a disaster beyond the state control. They advised these wretched countries to manage their affairs by getting rid of their surplus population. They were the luminaries of the 'Age of Enlightenment', who concealed the brute realities of the new system under the jargons of equality and liberty and nationalism as new tool to crush the rebellion. Most eminent among them, Adam Smith of 'invisible hands fame' said that society is a market where every one is a merchant, those who have nothing to sell, they have their skin to sell. They were talking about need for development of market economy with 'humane face'. In 1990s in the face of disastrous consequences, the apologetic economists were feeling the need of 'humane face' of globalization, implying that inhumanity is immanently innate in them.

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