Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019 | Last Update : 06:30 AM IST

A year of self-deceptions?

In his words: "I am just a professional writer, which means I don't do blogs and try and get money for whatever I write."
Published : Dec 30, 2017, 12:27 am IST
Updated : Dec 30, 2017, 12:27 am IST

Chinese investment in Britain may create jobs but will come with demands for huge returns to China.

US President Donald Trump (Photo: AFP | File)
 US President Donald Trump (Photo: AFP | File)

“Never eat on an empty stomach,
Quaff the exhilarating soma
Some call it Maya, some
call it life —
All consciousness is
a coma!”
The Rigged Veda
(Tr. by Bachchoo)

What does the world expect from America, from Britain or from the torn Islamic world? One may see 2017, for India and abroad, as a year of mass even tragic self-deceptions.

In January President Donald Trump was inaugurated as “the leader of the free world”. Mr Trump’s undoubted expertise is in knowing how to appeal to those incapable of complex or coherent thought. He has hired and constantly fired some who fell for the opportunity to serve in an American administration and soon found themselves contradicting its indirections. Shall we count the fallout of Mr Trump’s first six months?

In January his ban on people from Islamic countries entering the United States was overturned by the American courts. In February Michael Flynn, one of his trusted appointees, resigned as US national security adviser. In May Mr Trump sacked James Comey as director of the FBI. Mike Dubke resigned as White House communications director. In July Sean Spicer resigned as the White House press secretary, having served six tumultuous months. Mr Trump replaced Reince Prebus as his chief of staff and appointed Gen. John Kelly, who went on to immediately sack Anthony Scaramucci, who had been in place only a week as Mr Trump’s communications director.

This unprecedented volatility of appointments and dismissals makes this US administration either the most paranoid in America’s history, or Mr Trump’s manifesto to “Make America Great Again” is facing the consequences of a deceitful ideal encountering the reality of global economics and politics.

This revolving door in Washington may seem like a clash of egos but is, under the surface of rivalries, driven by a lack of presidential perspective or a huge and national self-deceit.

The slogan to make America great was based on a boast about getting tough in foreign policy — which has (Ahura Mazda be praised), led to nothing but hot words in the face of North Korean defiance. The other boast implicit in the slogan was an intent to bring capital and jobs back to the US. Water doesn’t flow uphill. Capital goes to where labour is trained and cheap. The fact defeats the slogan.

Across the pond, the UK continues to deceive itself about leaving the European Union. Theresa May, boasting that she was “strong and stable”, called an election in July and, losing the majority that she had inherited, proved she was neither. She is now in charge of a divided party and a bribed majority in Parliament.

Nevertheless, she leads Britain into continued negotiations for leaving the European Union under the slogan “take back control” — another piece, either of conniving propaganda or massive self-delusion, a euphemism for nastier sentiments. To a vast majority of the voters it means “keep immigrants out”. Those Brexiteering commentators who protest that they have an economic argument are a contemporary version of the three monkeys — see no impending disaster, hear no statistically convincing economic analysis, speak deceitfully to the electorate about the profitability of exit.

They point out that though over 40 per cent of Britain’s trade is with the EU, Europe exports marginally more to the UK than the other way around. So, they contend, Europe will suffer from restraints on trade.

Here’s an arithmetical problem for seven-year-olds in India and China: “A” sells 27 camel’s eggs to 27 other persons. The 27 together sell 28 tiger’s eggs to “A”. Suddenly, all deals are off. “A” has to eat or find other markets for his 27 camel’s eggs. Each of the 27 other tiger egg sellers have, on average, 1 and 1/28 tiger’s eggs on their hands. Who loses?

Post-Brexit trade with Mr Trump’s America, and with China and India, is again precarious self-deception. America wants to import capital and export goods, not the other way around. China and India are fast turning from helot economies, selling cheap labour to make cheap goods, to being sophisticated economies with high technological capability.

Chinese investment in Britain may create jobs but will come with demands for huge returns to China. And is “Make in India” a perspective that promises riches to the UK? These are rhetorical question which Ms May and the jingo publications haven’t asked themselves.

The UK and cities around the world experienced horrific terrorist atrocities in 2017. The death cult of ISIS, the inspiration for this slaughter is, in any theological terms, including those of most interpretations of the Quran, a universal and regrettable self-deception. The question in the UK is what to do with the 400 to 800 ISIS supporters who have returned from Syria? Test them for unrepentant intentions and jail them or see if the mirage has faded and assimilate them?

Through the year thousands of economic immigrants attempted to cross the Mediterranean from Africa to Europe. In January over 100 drowned off Libya; in March 200 more; in May 250 were further reported drowned, though agencies claim that there were thousands more. They risk their lives looking for better ones, but does being corralled in virtual concentration camps in Europe achieve this? Such is the saddest delusion as they are all fleeing persecution and poverty.

Lastly (since the list must end), the Archbishop of Canterbury is only one of those leaning towards the current delusion that young children can choose their gender. In a free world, there is no restriction on feeling. People can feel and declare that they are living in the wrong body and they have a right to choose to feel they belong to a different gender, race or even species. No harm!

What no amount of self-deception can deny is that there are 100,000,000,000,000 cells in a human body and each of these has either an XX chromosome or an XY chromosome. There is as yet no medical technology to change one into the other — and there is never likely to be, except of course through reincarnation.

Tags: donald trump, european union, theresa may