Preface June 28 2009: Sometime in the last decade (probably about 2001 or 2002),while a “full professor” at an “institution of national importance”, I was invited by a purported liberal/libertarian group in New Delhi to write a course I might like to teach in an academic but non-institutional setting. From my files today it would seem that I penned the following lines and sent it to them — no further reply was received and it would not surprise me in the slightest if my ideas were simply stolen and used without acknowledgement by some or other nefarious character keen to spend some foreign donor’s funds. I have had a lot of things stolen over the years by a lot of nefarious characters, emerging mostly out of New Delhi, intellectual property only being one such class. (A notorious example was back in 1981-1982 when a person who had been sent my Cambridge doctoral thesis to read anonymously by a prominent British press, decided to alter his professional life based upon what he read; an even earlier example was when I was a visiting assistant professor in Delhi and yet to finish my doctoral thesis — a colleague who had been asked by me to read a chapter of my work on “dual economies” and comment on it, instead copied it and built a career thereupon!) A full and proper inventory of all this has yet to be made; in the meantime, here is the course I might have taught but never did, which may still be usefully read and made practical subject to the normal “fair use” rule that governs this site. I have taught so many academic courses at different universites over 30 years that I am quite happy to gradually release them all publicly as time permits. In this particular case, any close student of my published writings may easily surmise perhaps the contents of several of the putative lectures, especially 9-13.
“Freedom, Reason & Wealth in India and the West
The aim of this course will be to introduce Indian teachers (perhaps high school teachers, perhaps college teachers, perhaps a mix of both) and/or perhaps young(under 40) Indian legislators (members of provincial legislatures or parliament) to some of the major landmarks of the best of Western classical liberal thought in economics and political philosophy, and to re-examine Indian economic and political experience in its light. India, though rich in religious traditions, has not herself had notably strong traditions in economics or political philosophy. It is expected the course will be one-semester long, and consist of about 14 sessions of perhaps three hours each. If circumstances do not permit this, a course for 7 or 14 days may be planned as an alternative, with greater preparation expected of the participants….. The model for the course may be…(liberal/libertarian)… seminars attended at Oxford, England (1980); Blacksburg, Virginia (1981); Menlo Park, California (1983).
The proposed sessions are as follows:
01. Ancient Indians & Ancient Greeks: Differences in the Quest?
02. Freedom and Intolerance in India’s Religions
03. Western Renaissance and Enlightenment during India’s Dark Ages: from scholasticism to mercantilism to the physiocrats and Adam Smith, to JS Mill to Alfred Marshall, Wicksell and Von Mises
04. Western political freedom in India’s Enlightenment and Nationalist Movement, 1835-1947
05. Western socialism and communism and their impact on Indian Nationalism in the 20th Century
06. Socialist Economics in Practice in India: Did Economic Inequality Decrease?
07. Liberal Dissenters in India: Rajagopalachari, Shenoy, Masani, the Forum of Free Enterprise
08. The Resurgence of Western Classical Liberalism after World War II: Hayek, Friedman, Buchanan
09. The Origins of the 1991 Economic Liberalization in India
10. Successes and Failures in the Transition Towards a Liberal Society in India, 1991-2001
11. The Corrosive Effect of Corruption in Modern India: is Government too Weak or too Strong or both?
12. Fiscal and Monetary Problems in Modern India: the Monetisation of Inefficient Government Spending
13. Towards Liberal Solutions to the Conflict between India and Pakistan: the Problem of Jammu & Kashmir
14. Freedom, Reason and Wealth in India and the West: Overview and Conclusions
Tentative Reading List: To be sent tomorrow”