I Am An Ambedkarite And A Libertarian And I Do Not Owe Anything To Your Opinion
A movement’s strength is sustainable and popular when it is filled with the culture of diversity too. Because movement does not consist of only ideas and advocacy. It consists of the very basic pillar: People. What is the value of any movement, without people?
When I am using the term ‘people’ here, I am referring to the aggregation of individuals with similar thoughts, contexts and motives. Even if there are dissidents in this movement, revolution is surely inevitable. And without revolution, there’s no social scope of evolution! There have been many movements that came up and went aloof, depending on the nature of ideas, tolerance of views, projection of thoughts, monetary subsistence, social acceptance, etc. since nothing stays static in the system. No movement, irrespective of our views, is a waste unless it calls for physical violence and violation of basic human rights/liberties.
Gone are the days when people would be taken for granted. Take a quick look at any part of political history, you will find authoritarians have a tough time with their own people. Although authoritarians have been replaced with a new authoritarian, the rat cycle of fascism does not seem to end because humans are here to stay.
Contextually, libertarians’ paradise Somalia had been an anarcho-capitalist society for 10 years after the break-up of the Soviet Union but later on, Somalians found the new government eventually. Freedom can be paradoxical too, due to its inherent properties and intrinsic limitations. Yes, it’s beautiful to know that in this span of 10 years, the ‘free market’ in Somalia could manage to look after people’s needs. Yumi Kim and Robert Murphy have factually written the same.
Libertarianism, ideologically, is a vast maxim and consists of many schools of thoughts, like Buddhism. There are multiple sects that differ on vital economic questions like wages, property rights, environmental protection, affirmative action, gender equity, queer, abortion, etc. To equate it with only one particular spectrum would weaken the movement, ideology and participation. Thus, it makes sense to observe the diversity and mobilize as per the standpoint experiences, plight and cognitive acceptance.
Contextually, there are libertarians who believe in the minimization of statism in India but on the other hand, support CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act). Now, verily, CAA is another Orwellian statism against citizens and others which does not come at the cost of “minimum government and maximum governance”.
Then, there are libertarians like me who do not belong to the General or OBC category. And, unfortunately, I do not see more SC/STs in the libertarianism movement in India. For libertarianism to succeed, it has to be diverse like communists (although politburo members on top seats are not dalits or shudras). This equation is vital here; the reason is that representation matters. It’s the representation that tells us about diversity and tolerance, otherwise, everyone knows how the Zoroastrianism movement is religiously failing today.
Human nature has always been an output of spontaneous order and chaos, like this whole universe, and thus it is quite incoherent to scientifically assume that human nature is driven by the instincts of monotonous characteristics.
The current epoch of Hindutva, no doubt, has altered the social consciousness of many people, including families, friends, relatives, colleagues, etc. The majority of them seem to be quite angry at dissidents, heretical thoughts, etc. Libertarians too joined this bandwagon effect.
Before 2014, with Mithun Dutta, a staunch Libertarian, I was able to set up the Libertarian community on Facebook and elsewhere. We educated people, especially my students, with learnings of Austrian economics (the major pillar of libertarian school of thoughts), blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, etc. Libertarians hailed us then. A few years ago, I was featured in the mainstream (TV) media and also in a newspaper for doing graffiti #TaxationIsTheft on the public walls.
I have been interviewed and podcasted by few American libertarians for their YT channels and other platforms, and it went well. Libertarians loved it. When I was a Hindu, I authored ‘Vedic Anarchism’, libertarians almost had an orgasm. When I was featured in a Polish conference, a few years ago, on the ideas of liberty, libertarians loved it. But as soon as I turned out to be an anti-Hindutva critic and later since I have expressed my decision to accept my original religion; Buddhism, as Dr Ambedkar would call it, the libertarian clan has come hard on me.
For I am being certified “I am not a true libertarian” and this and that. Well, I can’t help if my litmus test just introduced the distinction between libertarians and lolbertarians. No sort of any libertarian came to support me when BJP’s IT cell came down on me on Facebook which ultimately led me to deactivate the account. Now, when I am identifying myself as an Ambedkarite Libertarian on Twitter, I am being judged as if my identity is not eligible in this savarna libertarianism movement.
I know libertarians’ disagreement or hate for Dr Ambedkar comes not only from his socialistic views but also from his anti-Hinduism views. But what made Dr Ambedkar anti-Hinduism, if he was not belonging to an untouchable caste?
The same libertarians do not mind highlighting his book “Pakistan or Partition” when it comes to their political convenience. Is there any universal policy that an Ambedkarite can’t be a Libertarian?
If some libertarians are OK with their mild support for Hindutva (enabler of casteism), then I am OK to identify myself as an Ambedkarite (annihilator of casteism) and a Libertarian too.
Contemporarily, without moving an inch on the ground, the libertarian movement has almost become quite elitist, urbanite and SFL-type conference movement. The podcasts, non-vernacular communication, cute coffee-meetings and social action deficiency will not advance the cause of libertarianism movement, in general. The burden of onus is on the savarna libertarians to think beyond their keyboards and benevolently incorporate Dr Ambedkar’s philosophy i.e. ‘educate, organise, agitate’ to bring about revolutionary changes in the cultural sphere of community of communities.
A very inherent problem with the current libertarianism movement is that it is quite arrogant and imaginative in its own way. Merely altering the logical fallacies of twitteraitis would not help the movement alone. There’s a dire need to inject intersectional and interdisciplinary approaches in the policies, social activities and narratives regarding libertarianism because misesian approach alone would not work in sync with ‘Indian’ realities, followed by the sensitization of listeners’ emotions as not everyone is intellectually rational.
I know Ambedkarism and Libertarianism would not run parallel but Ambedkar had some libertarian views too as he was a product of his time. I do not think that Ambedkar was just a personality. The icon is an ideology too, for it helps us introspect upon the status of casteism and social osmosis in Indian communities.
It’s the 21st century and NCRB data (2019) continues to point how India is unsafe for Dalit and tribal girls. Nevertheless, endogamy does not go beyond 5% on the census (2011) amidst 130 crores of population.
I am an Ambedkarite Libertarian because I believe in the ideas of liberty and social democracy too, or else are these savarna libertarians in the position to produce any alternatives to the representation of the avarnas like me?
The libertarians often tell me that casteism is to do with freedom of association but do they even know that Dalits are killed for sitting on a chair, flaunting moustache, drinking water from a public tank, etc.
What happened to their “non-aggression principle” now? Casteism in itself, existentially, represents a hierarchical violent format infringing on the liberties and lives and also basic decency of people in the lower strata. If casteism can determine my ‘jati‘ and ‘varna‘, then I have every right to identify myself as an Ambedkarite Libertarian to smash the oldest “social statism” in today’s time because I own myself and do not owe anything to your opinion.
The article was first published on YKA platform.