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Undressing the Incoherence of ‘Modinomics’

By Jaimine Vaishnav

“Modinomics is an immoral economic approach to individual freedom and socio-economic libertarianism.”

The economic policies of India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi are called Modinomics. His followers or voters believe that Modinomics is a much-needed panacea to India’s economy. Unfortunately speaking, I don’t find any coherent difference between Modinomics and other “socialist” policies.

Devotees of Modinomics believe, “lesser evil is better than bigger evil”, whereas liberals believe that Modinomics doesn’t make social-economic sense. There is no difference between both sides because their virtual goal is to maximize state power and social demagogy in a euphemistic way, at the cost of personal freedom, individual volition and cultural liberty.

There are facts and figures (convincing the ‘selective bias’ syndrome of the researchers, examiners and followers) on the reformatory and revolutionary Modinomics, but it does not alter the mainstream narrative [in the end]. The established narration is socialism (government owning the resources, controlling, regulating and manipulating the means), which is totally against the hyperbole of free market capitalism.

The Indian economy led by PM Modi and his “expert” team is consciously ignorant of economics.

Their “integral humanism” application of economics stands intellectually dishonest, when the scope of catallaxy is introduced in the said discourse. The matrix of Modinomics is again hopelessly inured and infatuated with etatism or statism. It is said that PM Modi is a pragmatic modernizer of “government running the economy”, but in reality his government failed to minimize the government’s role. His favorite rhetoric “minimum government, maximum governance” convinced the ultracrepidarian class, youngsters and global investors, but the result is “maximum government, minimum liberty”.

The concept of 'Minimum Government, Maximum Governance' is mere rhetoric.

The concept of ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’ is mere rhetoric. Photo Courtesy: News18

Although his government has taken grim steps to outlaw the unnecessary laws, bureaucratic instruments and interventionists, Modinomics is still an old wine in a new bottle. His government is still run by the economics of “moral hazard” policies, “too big to fail” mechanisms, albeit his government iterates “recapitalization of public units” dialogue. His followers strongly hold the opinion regarding his Fabian way of enriching the economy but their forgiving-forgetting attitude doesn’t distort the truth of economics.

Modinomics, unlike the previous system of governance, suffers from ‘Emporiophobia’ (fear of free market), ‘Aurophobia’ (fear of gold savings) and ‘Apoplithorismosphobia’ (fear of deflation).

Modinomics, unlike the previous system of governance, suffers from ‘Emporiophobia’ (fear of free market), ‘Aurophobia’ (fear of gold savings) and ‘Apoplithorismosphobia’ (fear of deflation). Considering his government’s ‘selective silence’ on major economic issues like property rights, civil liberty, secessionism, economic expropriation, indirect taxation, capital structure, border trading, etc., it is right to ratiocinate that his government is a turban-less Keynesian. I can name many other crucial issues from a libertarian view, but unfortunately, people of this country are habituated to discuss within the “Overton Window” of public policies. Would it be sensible to play chess with the pigeons?

Modinomics, along with the economic system of India and its paid politicians, still repeats high-sounding terms like “freedom of the investors” and “stable growth” which sedates the madding crowd. The terms “private” and “freedom” no longer mean what they are. They are cruel deceptions that fool the mind yearning for human freedom. The fact is that in India we still have massive regulations and regimentations. This is necessary, we are told, because it is “in the public interest.” Terms like “public interest” and “common good” are code words that mean police state and reduced liberty. Now, tell me, how has Modinomics liberated the Indian economy?

Modinomics is also embedded with obscure ideas when it comes to deciphering trickle-down economics, social spending and international economy.

With this reverse propaganda, the opposition has been neutralized. True words, true meanings of patriotism (example: bolo “Bharat Mata ki Jai”) and freedom have become the farce and illusion that cover fascism. So PM Modi has attracted the millennials in droves, based on the lie that “UPA’s socialism is immoral but his brand of socialism is moral” because it guarantees “liberty of opportunity”. Modinomics is also embedded with obscure ideas when it comes to deciphering trickle-down economics, social spending and international economy. His government voices out that the Indian economy would balance between growth and development but fails to understand that growth and development are conventional and outdated concepts, in the current changing environment. Neither growth nor development improves the real essence of economic liberty. In fact, they both crush the schema of economic freedom.

Catallaxy, market voluntarism and property rights can be considered as sound solution(s) to counter the fascism of Modinomics and ‘Sickularism’. As long as Modinomics doesn’t divorce its romance with/from eminent domain, public monopoly and crony capitalism, it would stand indifferent in this whole paradigm. The time has come to apply deductive reasoning against such economic philosophies advocated by the politicians than falling for rhetoric et al. Simply put: “Modinomics rewards sloth and penalizes hard work while Voluntarism rewards hard work and penalizes sloth.”


Jaimine Vaishnav is an Assistant Professor based in Mumbai and teaches politics, economics, journalism and business management. He is also a Senior Fellow at Indian Libertarians.Org.