Long time. I missed commenting on any amount of news, on issues everyone had an opinion on. I missed talking about a lot of things of personal importance too. Not everything can be written down. Yet, when there are things one cannot write, one doesn’t feel like writing at all. (It is reading all those Mitford novels. Now one tends to refer to oneself as one.) I did write a post 2 weeks ago, but could not complete it. Maybe I will just post it incomplete, or maybe one day I will go back and complete it, we will see.
So I visited the realm of the Indian super rich. What a fascinating place! Would I find this many Rolexes in a Rolex showroom? Or this many diamonds in a diamond mine? Yet, I felt that- or rather the fact was- they were being overcharged for worse facilities than what the rest of us find for free. It is true for the diamonds- zircon is equally shiny, and fabulously cheap- the watches- really, anything can tell time- and the event I went to.
Anyways, to move on from the travails of the rich and stupid. A fooland his money is soon parted and there is no surprise about that. No, what impressed me was the rise in inequality. See, I had been watching P. Sainath’s speech at JNU before I left, so inequality was kind of on my mind. But we tend to think, inequality has always been there. But what I realized that this is not really true. Visiting the forts and palaces of Rajasthan, what stuck me was that the total amount of wealth in the world has increased tremendously. The kings and their subjects could not “afford” airconditioning, say, in the 19th century. There was less inequality between the kings and the peasants they lorded over than and average upper middle class dude and the same peasants today. The human economy is unimaginably wealthier today than what it was 200 years ago. And none of that expanding wealth has made the really poor richer.
What the kings could afford, was watches, diamonds and land. That should tell me something, but I am not sure what.