Saturday, September 20, 2008

the economist, the politics and the kind ...

my reading habit was close to hitting the abyss. i was taking months upon months to finish even a single novel. it was mainly because i prefer to read in bursts of a novel at a time and not piece by piece on a daily basis. also, i liked to read a novel only with full concentration to be able to comprehend and appreciate all possible nuances. the schedule and work made this somewhat tough and i tended to plump in favour of the brainless sitcoms to unwind rather than the novels (even if they were the humourous kind). at the same time, i was also losing touch with the news and happenings around the world. i also wanted to be able to do something that did not involve staring at a computer screen.

so, when an enticing offer to subscribe to any of the popular magazines came my way, i couldn't resist. but i had to choose the 'chosen one'. 'newsweek' always sounded very weak to me and 'time', which i read often at iiit, felt very american. i turned to "the sage" aka pranav for advice and he vehemently recommended 'the economist'. i was ambivalent about it since i wasn't willing to read pages upon pages about bankers and trade but apparently this magazine didn't just talk about finance and stuff but about general news of the world. it was also much higher priced than the others. thus, in a moment of i-can't-care-less, i subscribed to it. and thus formed the genesis of this post :p.

i find the economist quite capitalistic and pro-west in that regard but also socially liberal. perhaps, i need to summarise the types of positions of politics, especially for those who live in political denial = not acknowledging the existence of politics in their lives :p

united states' republicans = socially conservative (very), economically capitalistic and liberal for free markets etc
united states' democrats = socially liberal, economically socialistic and restricted

united kingdom's conservatives = obviously, socially conservative, and economically liberal
united kingdom's labour = socially liberal and economically socialistic, less capitalistic
united kingdom's liberal democrats = socially liberal and economically liberal too

comparing this kind of structure with that in india:
bjp = nationalistic, socially conservative but economically liberal
left parties = i have no idea about their social policies but economically socialistic- against capitalism
congress = centrist, i feel they just follow a policy of appeasement rather than anything else

'the economist' quite distinctly tends to being liberal, both in the social aspects favouring free-choice to the individuals to decide their life-style, and is also liberal in the economics aspects favouring free trade, immigration, globalisation etc. thus, thankfully, reading it never highly aggravated me against their opinions. yes, they have opinions, very strong ones in fact. that is what i found quite different from the other magazines, both indian and international. generally, opinions are restricted to editorials and special columns while the rest of the articles devote to just reporting facts, figures and others' views. in contrast, every article in the economist presents the facts, displays its own view in that regard, sometimes shows more facts to support itself, and concludes, often in a sarcastic/satirical tone on what is being done and what should actually be done. yes, it might appear to be preaching its own views upon its readers, which is true, but it still is fun! another unique aspect is that the reporters' names are never displayed. in a way, the magazine presents a single united front i guess :p

anyway, i am running 4 weeks late. since i mostly read on weekends, i fall behind an issue if i am busy on a weekend by going on a trip or something. reading the magazine a month after its publication is strange at times. for example, i was reading an article over rising tensions between russia and georgia and all that, while fully knowing that they do go to war soon after and russia brutally crushes georgia and makes a mockery of all those western blah blah.

but, i havent re-subscribed to it, since i want to hide back in the 'fictional' pages for a while ....


obelix said...

its a good magazine

very anti-india though ...

skp said...

I am guessing you are going to write "a blah short story" as ur next post !

and wat boring stuff man !!

Anonymous said...

Oh.. Is it so anti Indian?
Btw, the Left, as I know of them are socially liberal.

dr lecter said...


Anonymous said...

this post would claim the spot of meaning of blah in any dictionary from now on ...

dude post that story you told me about ...

mythalez said...

@obelix, not anti-india lately, and yeah great deal of focus on growing indian economy, almost every business or wide international article tends to have a mention of india .. shows that india's clout is growing :)

@skp, have to write a story .. :-< dont know when I will get down to it .. mood is mostly blah lately ..

@karan, hmm .. anyway some of the leaders of left are quite annoying :P

@Dr. lecter, err .. brain-food eh :P

@kunal, what has this post got to do with blah !! infact it actually talks about normal-non-abstract issues :P and the story .. hmm .. need to write it yet :(