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A Sad Lesson About India’s History

That cholera still strikes- and in doing so kills all too many – in India is entirely true. This is not for the reason given here though:

There are many other obstacles to cholera vaccination programmes. To be effective, they must reach enough of the population to achieve herd immunity. This requires accurate surveillance, which is impossible without a strong and centralised public health system. Like the other countries where cholera is still endemic, India lacks this infrastructure, largely owing to the long shadow of colonial extraction, post-colonial debt, and loans granted by the IMF and the World Bank in the 1990s on the condition that the government reduce its spending, which led to cuts to public health and education programmes – the very things that a society needs to haul itself out of the conditions that stoke cholera.

Rather, Nehru – influenced by the Webbs and other Fabians of course – decided that the way to develop a peasant economy into a rich country was to have strong and centralised control of that economy. This was, of course, purblind and rancid idiocy.

Strong and centralised control is something that only a rich country can afford because only a rich economy can weather the costs – the inefficiencies, the politically directed nonsenses – that such control insists upon.

Of course, rich countries shouldn’t make themselves poorer in this manner either but an already poor place can’t afford to have them – because if it does then people die.

India’s poor because of that attempt at socialist development. Something we can prove by the manner in which development sped up when even some portion of the socialism was dropped. Sure, the Webbs set up the LSE, the place I started to learn my economics but they were responsible for far greater evils than my views as well.

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11 months ago

We eliminated cholera 100 years before the blessed NHS, with clean water and functioning sewers. All done locally through local concerns controlled locally.

Chester Draws
Chester Draws
11 months ago
Reply to  jgh

When people suggest more central government is required, I always wonder why Switzerland — easily the most fragmented country politically — manages to survive so well.

11 months ago

Cholera vaccines are only effective for a limited period of time (a couple of years maximum, but reliably only six months) and the effectiveness diminishes quickly over that period. Cholera is a bacteria, so it will still be there when the vaccine wears off so they need to also fix the water systems so clean and dirty water are not mixed.

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