All Questions Considered

Suppose there was a course on the Mahabharata. The Indian epic is really large–depending on the version you choose, it can be around 100,000 verses long. It would be practically impossible to even introduce that epic in a few hours, let alone get a comprehensive understanding of what it is about.

How the world works is a complicated matter at least as complicated as the Mahabharata. The best anyone can do is to scratch the surface, and even a mere introduction will have to be severely circumscribed. The good news is that it is possible to understand the fundamentals of how the world works if we are patient and are willing to pay the price in terms of time and effort.

Since this course is entirely voluntary on both sides of the exchange, it must be beneficial. If I didn’t get anything out of the time and effort I spend on it, I wouldn’t do it, and the same goes for you.

If you have questions, I am here to address them as best as I can. If you have questions, you are guaranteed to get answers. At the very least, you will know how to get answers. I certainly don’t know all the answers but I do know the process of how to get answers. But the questions have to come first.

Our online sessions are restricted to just one hour a week. Fortunately that time constraint doesn’t apply on this course blog. All questions posted on this blog will be considered and answered at length. Feel free to ask what’s on your mind. I encourage you to push back on any claims I make.

I am trying to persuade the participants of this course toward a certain point of view through argumentation and logic. If you find it unconvincing, I need to know that. This is a dialogue and its goal is to reach a shared understanding that is closer to the truth about the world we live in.

Let’s talk without reservations and hesitations. All questions considered.

Author: Atanu Dey

Economist.

3 thoughts on “All Questions Considered”

  1. Why should we have private property rights? Why is it considered a natural right or a fundamental human right?

    Are there cases where it makes sense to have shared or public land ownership?

    In the case of India, even if we do end up having private property rights- how are we going to sort out its implementation; because property ownership is completely mired in complexities –

    1. Who owns tribal and forested lands, there are many instances of rich/influential people encroaching on land which traditionally belonged to tribal people.
    2. Who owns slum dwellings? Many times, people just prop up a hut or a shack in a slum area and spend lifetimes in those places. Can such people claim ownership of these slum dwellings?
    3. Property ownership in India will also have a strong religious angle to it. Temples are more or less owned and managed by government today. If these are to be made private, how and to whom will these lands be returned to? There are also many disputed lands between different religious communities, and tracking the historicity of these disputes might not always be possible as they are often riddled with past war and violence.
    4. Lets rewind to 1950 for a minute – how would we be able to abolish the zamindari system and dismantle the country’s feudal structure without impinging on the right to private property of the erstwhile landlords?

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