Bangladesh Success Story?

Pakistani columnist Zaigham Khan writes:

Today, Bangladesh radiates a very different image. Its GDP is growing at a whopping 7.1 percent, creating jobs, throwing up a vibrant middle class and reducing poverty. For six years in a row, Bangladesh’s GDP growth has remained greater than 6 percent and most economists expect this run to continue. Pakistan barely touched 5.8 percent GDP growth after a decade last year and this may drop to less than five percent during the current financial year.

Even more importantly, economic growth is reaching the poor. While well over 40 percent of Bangladeshis lived in extreme poverty in 1991, according to a World Bank estimate, extreme poverty has gone down to less than 14 percent. In other words, about 50 million fewer Bangladeshis are in extreme poverty as a result of the improving economy. …

Contrary to Pakistan’s model of crony capitalism, where protected industries and sectors have thrived, Bangladesh has provided opportunities to its entrepreneurs. Pakistan is producing sugar that it cannot sell to anyone except itself, and sinking huge resources on elite housing societies that enrich Pakistan’s who’s who but destroy the national economy. Crony capitalists from both sectors are ruling us and multiplying their wealth through their hold over the state.

… The cuntry’s net enrolment rate at the primary school level has reached 98 percent while secondary school net enrolment is now around 54 percent, up from 45 percent in 2000. Pakistan, on the other hand, has the lowest primary (72.5 percent) and secondary (43.9 percent) school enrolment rates in the region.

Improvement in human development is indicated by a sharp drop in population growth. Bangladesh’s current population growth is merely 1.1 percent per annum while Pakistan is growing at 2.4 percent annually. This growth is resulting in resulting in the shrinkage of the availability of natural resources per person.

I once speculated on Razib Khan’s blog that Bangladesh might be the country that makes the least world headlines per capita.

Unfortunately, not even Khan (Razib, that is) wrote much about it, despite being Bangladeshi himself.

(I really can’t think of anything beyond the occasional Islamist murder of some public atheist, though Razib argued that it was a function of Bangladesh being more, not less, secular than Pakistan, where you can punish atheism and blasphemy through the courts).

Anyhow, this lack of coverage is a pity… after all, it has a population greater than Russia’s (crammed into an area the size of England). But it seems to be doing pretty well of late.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Thorfinnsson says

    Bangladesh has supposedly also been successful in suppressing “open defecation”. Supposedly what they did was to use media to brainwash women int believing “open defecation” is disgusting (which it is), who then henpecked the men into also not shitting outside anymore.

    Meanwhile in India peasants use government-built toilets for storage.

  2. The population density in South Asia is simply horrifying to me. How can a human being have dignity living so tightly packed? People with Yamnaya admixture > 50% instinctively recoil.

    Good news Bangladesh has got the fertility rate under control, something Sailer pointed out a while back, Pakistan? Not so much.

  3. It further confirms my theory (not exactly mine since I read it somewhere) that in India the relationship of skin color to achievement is reversed for some reason. Darker skinned populations are doing better.

  4. Vishnugupta says

    Bangladeshi economy is a one trick pony manufacturing ready-made garments.

    It’s medium to long term prospects are limited due to this fact.

    The Economic Complexity Index (ECI) and the Product Complexity Index (PCI) are, respectively, measures of the relative knowledge intensity of an economy or a product. ECI measures the knowledge intensity of an economy by considering the knowledge intensity of the products it exports. PCI measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters. This circular argument is mathematically tractable and can be used to construct relative measures of the knowledge intensity of economies and products (see methodology section for more details).

    ECI has been validated as a relevant economic measure by showing its ability to predict future economic growth (see Hidalgo and Hausmann 2009), and explain international variations in income inequality (see Hartmann et al. 2017.

    India ranks 51, Pakistan 91 and Bangladesh 111 on economic complexity index ranking 131 countries.

    Japan tops the rankings, UK is at 8, US at 9 and China 26.

  5. Go Bengalis!!! Always nice to hear the underdog is making some strides – good for them.

    I have known many Bengalis in my life and all of them are/were very humble and unassuming, having very little delusions or thinking too highly about themselves as a people.

    Maybe they can teach West Pakistan a lesson or two… 🙂


  6. Vishnugupta says

    They also do not have a national identity problem like Pakistanis many of whom claim absurdly Turkish,Persian or Arab lineage and have retained the Bengali script.

  7. No mention of multiple million Bangladeshi illegals in India?

    Or the entirely British created Rohingya problem.

  8. You’re just another secular degenerate Brahmin.

  9. PiltdownMan says

    The population density in South Asia is simply horrifying to me.

    Bangladesh, now, has a population density higher than any other large country, and similar to that of Bermuda. However, it is only about a sixth as densely populated as city states such as Singapore or Hong Kong.

    India’s population density is similar to that of the Netherlands or Belgium. Pakistan’s population density is similar to that of Germany.

    Fifty years ago, before their population increased by 3x or more, the countries of South Asia had densities of population significantly lower than most countries in Western Europe.

  10. Vishnugupta says

    This is correct however one needs to correct for livable land area.

    Belgium and Netherlands is almost completely livable.

    Pakistan OTOH 60% of its area is arid Balochistan or North West Pakhtoon tribal land.Only Punjab and a part of Sindh are capable of dense habitation.

    Egypt is also an example of exceptional population density you basically have a population of Germany on a livable area along the Nile river the size of Netherlands.The rest of the country is desert.

  11. Felix Keverich says

    doing pretty well

    GDP per capita $1,516 in 2017, should overtake the Ukraine by 2025.

  12. Spisarevski says

    I wouldn’t argue about Bangladesh as I’m certain you know much m0re about it than me, but that index of economic complexity really isn’t aptly named.

    UK above the US? Bosnia and Herzegovina above Russia? LOL.

    It simply looks at the exports and the proportion of the products with “knowledge intensity” in them.
    It doesn’t look at the imports and what percentage of the country’s various needs are satisfied by its own industry.

    Also, even if we just look at the exports, a country that has a lot of oil and has, let’s say, 90% of its exports being oil, 5% microchips and 5% stealth fighters would still have a more complex economy than a country whose exports are 50% outsourcing services, 30% IT products and 20% porn, tv dramas and video games, thus having 100% of its exports in “knowledge industries”.

  13. Vishnugupta says

    Yes I noticed these anomalies too.

    However I believe the broader theme is correct i.e. resource poor nations completely dependent on one single low tech industry are unlikely to keep growing at a high growth rate.

    In the case of Bangladesh not only is it dependent on one low end industry i.e garment manufacturing it unlike its other countries it competes with has no capability in basic fabric manufacturing,it solely cuts cloth and assembles garments everything from the fabric to the threads, interlining, buttons even the packaging is imported.There are no visible initiatives at achieving backward integration in even such a low tech sector.

    Also the relative tech sophistication of the largest S Asian Countries is prima facie accurately represented

    India(Sends space probes to Mars,designs build and launches its own GPS satellites,ICBM,Aircraft carriers,Super computers,Nuclear Subs…) >>> Pakistan(Builds nukes and medium ranged Ballistic missiles)>Bangladesh

  14. Pakistanis many of whom claim absurdly Turkish,Persian or Arab lineage

    What’s wrong with this? I am from Pakistan and I descend from Arabs. Obviously Arabs, Turks and Persians mixed in with locals over time.

    You also forgot Mongol lineage since some are descendants of the conquering Khans.


  15. I think it is mostly a simple matter of coast vs. inland. China which is predominantly Han has a similar breakdown.

  16. might be the country that makes the least world headlines per capita

    Bangladesh still makes some cricket sports news, Paraguay the football world cup, but I have not come across a news story from Laos at least in the last 10 years.

  17. Thulean Friend says

    As for Bangladesh, not only is it dependent on one low end industry, i.e garment manufacturing. Unlike other countries it competes with, it has no capability in basic manufacturing

    The background story on how Samsung went about looking for a location to build their big smartphone ecosystem back in 2010 is interesting. They were initially thinking about Bangladesh but there wasn’t enough space and the transport infrastructure was too poor, as well as intermittent power supply. So they went for Vietnam. The rest is history. Today, Samsung accounts for a quarter of Vietnam’s exports and they have acted as a magnet for other manufacturing companies, first from Korea but increasingly from Taiwan and mainland China.

    That story is a microcosm of why China did better than India. While India has a much more diversified export basket than Bangladesh, it simply failed to boom as much as China for similar reasons (poor infrastructure, intermittent and expensive energy, a lot of bureaucracy etc). All those factors are now getting better, but the competition has gotten better, too.

    Furthermore, India’s advanced export basket is on account for a cardinal first-order mistake it committed in the 40s and 50s. Unlike China, it did not build out a large primary and secondary school system first, instead it heavily invested in IITs and IIMs and other prestige instituions. In large part because it was elite Brahims who set policy and they were thinking mostly of their own progeny.The result was that the Indian space program was far ahead of China’s, but the Chinese built a much stronger industrial base and have since easily surpassed India’s space program.

    I disagree with your ranking of Pakistan over Bangladesh. Bangladesh isn’t going begging to the IMF the way Pakistan just did last week. Next year, Bangladesh will have a substantially higher per capita income than Pakistan in current $, in part because the pakistani rupee has been systematically devalued due to a bloated CAD. Pakistan actually exports less today in inflation-adjusted terms than it did five years ago, even as imports have zoomed. They just asked for their 18th(!) IMF bailout since 1980. It’s like Greece but with 200 million population, islamic fundamentalism and nukes.

  18. In large part because it was elite Brahims who set policy and they were thinking mostly of their own progeny.The result was that the Indian space program was far ahead of China’s, but the Chinese built a much stronger industrial base and have since easily surpassed India’s space program.

    This is an interesting point and I would generally agree. However, India has to be given credit as she is trying to do all this; a) as a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-religious country (sub-continent really) and b) without a massive amount of bloodshed.

    If she did this the China way, the Brahmins would have been dragged out and shot by the lower castes or driven out into Sri Lanka or something and millions would have starved due to sudden and drastic land reforms to undo remnants of the feudal past.

    Give India the space of about 30 years and allow her to kill off around 100 million people and you’ll be surprised where she can get to. Otherwise, well…democracy is quite messy.

    It’s like Greece but with 200 million population, islamic fundamentalism and nukes.

    Yeah, kind of scary.


  19. Vishnugupta says

    This story has a somewhat happy ending India produces well over 100 million mobile handsets today and Samsung is building the world’s largest mobile factory in India.

    India and China are two completely different political animals.China is the worlds largest unitary state which is for all practical purposes uniracial.

    India is a United States of Europe type political entity with 18 major linguistic groups with none in a position to dominate the Indian state like say Russians dominated the USSR or the Prusssians dominated the German Empire and hundreds of other minor groups allied to one or more of these groups.

    On top of that it has a caste system and polytheistic religion which has been going strong from the Bronze age (Before they were Pharaohs in Egypt).

    Given this reality any Mao style societal reorganization would balkanize the country.Hell even a military dictatorship would break up the country within a generation which is why military recruitment of the Army overwhelmingly happens from the warrior castes of the N west including Sikhs who are basically Jat/Khatri Hindus who took up arms against Muslims a few centuries ago representing <3% of the population (Thus not representative of the overall Indian population precluding coups of the sort you frequently have in Pakistan)

    Only the present semi federal republic structure can hold India together.So as much as we can pine for a Mao style swift at the point of a gun societal reforms it was never a real choice we ever had.

    Within the constraints of political reality we have not done too badly and are on course to be a big 4 economy (China,US,EU,India) by 2030 and are powerful enough not to seriously fear military intervention/regime change by foreign powers.

  20. Ali Choudhury says

    Persian script not Bengali script. You are being a little dismissive of Bangladesh, it is quite an achievement to have gone from having 60% of Pakistan’s GDP per capita roughly forty years ago to surpassing it last year. Somewhat sensibly they have not wasted their money on armaments or an ego-boosting space program.

    Interesting that AK posted this article, I sent Zaigham Khan a link to the Ethiopia comment here at Unz a few days ago.

  21. Persian script not Bengali script.

    I think he meant that Bengalis have kept the Bengali script in lieu of the Persian/Arabic script. Which is pretty cool, when I come across those Qur’ans in the mosque with Bengali translation and it has the funny looking letters (side by side with Arabic) that I have no clue how to read. Many of our educated Bengali brothers however have a leg up since they can often understand and speak Urdu/Hindi fairly well along with Bangla.

    to surpassing it last year

    The little engine that could!


  22. What about muslim demographics?

    Already 35% of births & significant issue in Bengal, Kerala, Kashmir.

    Mass Evangelism means most of coastal South & NE is lost.

    Most cities by 2030 will be majority muslim under 25 but you’re probably another civic Nationalist Bong Cuck who thinks this makes no dif.

  23. Muslims like kids, they may not voluntarily stop having them. Are Hindus tired of having kids? Why? My Hindu co-worker was telling me all of his Hindu friends only have one kid.

    What is your solution to the Muslim Question (MQ)? Jettison those particular concentrated regions of Muslims and grant them independence? Perhaps develop a land/people swap deal to gain purely Hindu regions…? Here’s a recent breakdown:

    Why not just do a reverse-dhimmi policy where Muslims are allowed to stick around, but national positions of government (and high military posts) are only open to Hindus? And maybe you can increase taxes on Muslims by like 10-15%…and also do something about guys that get too famous and popular like Sharukh Khan and A. R. Rahman.


  24. Mass Evangelism means most of coastal South & NE is lost.

    Also, you can fight this with Hindu proselytizing funded by government programs to win back converts. Like give land grants to Hindu pandits to build temples and stuff (the temples being built in the US are huge and extremely well-financed and quite impressive*). You can also entice converts by offering them financial incentives to convert – that’s what Muslims used to do.


    *This is one that isn’t too far from me that my co-worker takes his kids to (he doesn’t actually believe in it, he just just it for cultural affinity reasons):

    He’s invited me and i’m sure it’s nice (apparently the food in their kitchen is first class), but I get queasy around idols.

  25. Brahims who set policy…..were thinking mostly of their own progeny.

    The screwed up hindu caste system has been a huge handicap for India.

    It is strange that the great majority of hindus who are low caste “non-Aryans” see nothing wrong in being told by the Brahmins that they were born to serve the upper castes. Brahminism can be seen as the longest running religious extortion racket in the history of mankind.

    Here’s a typically superstitious example of how the brahmins feast at the expense of the brainwashed low caste Hindus:

    A group of holy men in India’s Karnataka state are seeking to outlaw a century-old ritual in which low-caste Hindus roll in the remains of food eaten by members of a higher caste. About 25 religious leaders threatened to take action if the government did not ban the practice, known as made snana. Hundreds of people performed the ritual at temples in Karnataka in December. Followers believe rolling in the food will cure them of skin conditions. The ceremony involves rolling on plantain leaves that contain the leftovers of meals served to high-caste Brahmins.

    However, people at the temple in Kukke Subramanya have opposed any move to ban the ritual.
    In December, activist KS Shivaramu was beaten up by supporters of the ritual for protesting against it. Proponents say the government has no business to interfere in matters of faith. The issue has also divided the state’s Bharatiya Janata Party-led government, with senior minister VS Acharya – a high-caste Brahmin – defending the ritual, and Social Welfare Minister A Narayanaswamy, who represents the Dalit community, supporting a ban.

  26. On top of that it has a caste system and polytheistic religion which has been going strong from the Bronze age (Before they were Pharaohs in Egypt).

    Nonsense. The first known civilization in South Asia, Indus Valley Civilization, pre-dates the aryans and their caste system. The ruins of this civilization reveal an egalitarian culture.

    The highest indigenous spirituality of India is meditative pantheistic Yoga not the ritualistic, sacrificial polytheism of the brahmins (which included the sacrifice of humans, cows, horses etc).

    With its beginnings enshrouded in the prehistory of India, evidence of yoga practices has been found in the Indus Valley civilization of 2,000-4,000 B.C.E. Although ancient, yoga is not outdated. [12] A Number of fossilized remains of Indus valley Civilization with monograms and figures performing Yoga suggest that Yoga existed even in ancient India

  27. Thorfinnsson says

    Establish a Spanish Inquisition.

    People who fail to convert (or do so insincerely) get sterilized.

    Problem solved.

    As for Hindu demographics India needs to ban foreign NGOs and stop sending its people to get “educated” abroad.

    Islamic Indians are traitors by definition and shouldn’t have many rights.

  28. Thorfinnsson says

    Did you buy Tesla shares or not girl?

  29. You keep reveling in your disgusting misogyny. Where did you learn this juvenile habit of calling men who are your betters women as an insult? India?

    Speaking of Tesla, it is proof not only of your stupidity but also of your treachery to America and the planet Earth that you are so mentally invested in wanting it to fail. Unlike you and your ilk who are driven solely by the vile passions of greed and hate, Elon Musk is investing all his money and devoting all his time and energy to a better, safer future for all of humanity.

  30. Thorfinnsson says

    Did you buy shares or not ffs?!

    This is not a hard question.

  31. The world needs more humans like Elon Musk…..and none like Thugfinnson:

    School buildings in Flint, MI will soon get ultraviolet water filtration systems, thanks to a $480,350 donation by Elon Musk through the Musk Foundation, a private foundation founded by Elon and Kimbal Musk back in 2002. The installation of the water filtration systems is expected to be completed by January 2019.

    Elon Musk’s donation to Flint’s schools was announced by the district on Friday. In a statement to MLive News, Derrick Lopez, the Superintendent of Flint Community Schools, noted that the new water filtration systems would play a notable part in helping students regain access to safe, clean water. Lopez further stated that Musk’s donation is enough to pay for the filtration systems in all 12 school buildings in the city, as well as the district’s administration building.

    We are deeply grateful for the generosity and the budding partnership between Flint Community Schools, the Musk Foundation and Elon Musk. The new water filtration systems will be instrumental in helping our students return to the normalcy of what should be a fundamental right: having access to safe, clean water from water fountains in their school,” Lopez said.

  32. Establish a Spanish Inquisition.

    This is likely the only way to eradicate Islam completely, if that is the goal. As Shaykh Umar Abdallah mentioned, it sets down very deep roots which have to literally be pulled out with serious effort. I doubt Hindu doctrine will be able to go toe-to-toe with it and convert Muslims back. As I’ve said before, it’s pretty darn amazing what you can legitimize and accomplish when you don’t have a sacred law to limit you and the only thing you need is the will of the people in democracy. Hindus are just shy of 80%, but obviously still a super-majority.

    Islamic Indians are traitors by definition

    I guess the people of India have to ultimately decide that. As of right now, they seem to have a schizophrenic approach to the subject of Islam and Muslims. I mean their most popular Hindu actors are playing Muslims in major films scored almost entirely by a Muslim with plenty of Sufi-themed tracks:

    A heavy purge of Bollywood is probably necessary.

    And I guess they could also go Daesh on things like the Taj Mahal and Charminar afterwards to show they mean serious business. Though it would be nice if they would be willing to be financially compensated to, say, dismantle them and ship ithem to Pakistan. And Turkey would probably be quite happy and pay handsomely to relocate the mausoleum of Shaykh Sirhindi (ra) to Anatolia (probably also Shaykh Chisti [ra]):

    As you said in another thread, financial national interests should guide policy; I’m sure everything has the right price.


  33. Thulean Friend says

    This story has a somewhat happy ending India produces well over 100 million mobile handsets today

    Anecdotes never beats data. The data quite clearly states that India’s share of manufacturing as a percentage of its GDP has not moved much. Modi promised 25% by 2022. It has largely remained flat in the 15-17% range. In fact, according to World Bank data, the latest figure is only 14.9% in 2017. India peaked back in 1995 with only 18.5%. China managed to achieve over 30% consistently for decades.

    Modi also promised 100 million jobs by 2022 and to double farmer incomes. The RBI – the central bank of India – recently came out with a report stating that there has been no inflation-adjusted growth in rural wages for three years. The employment problems of India are now well-known, with its economists now engaged in a vicious back-and-forth debate on methodology. The government’s statisticians are constantly moving from one target to Another in a manic search of jobs being created out of thin air, the latest being the EPFO thesis, which has already been debunked. But that is for another debate.

    India and China are two completely different political animals.China is the worlds largest unitary state which is for all practical purposes uniracial.
    India is a United States of Europe type political entity with 18 major linguistic groups with none in a position to dominate the Indian state like say Russians dominated the USSR or the Prusssians dominated the German Empire and hundreds of other minor groups allied to one or more of these groups.

    I would argue that China’s problems were in fact greater than India’s in the 50s, 60s and early 70s due to the unique insanities of Maoism. When China liberalised their economy, they didn’t do it in a shock doctrine type of approach; instead they took a very pragmatic route. They kept the old statist institutions intact but allowed any surplus production to be sold at a profit. Only gradually did they (partially) dismantle these institutions. Their SEZ strategy followed a similar pattern. Select a few areas in the country and do reform experiments there. If it works, keep it and roll it out and if it doesn’t, scrap it. Very sensible in stark contrast to blind shock doctrine idiocy. Even today they have a large SOE sector. In South Korea, the chaebols continued getting very heavy discounts and subsidies from the state (but there were still some strings attached to performance targets). The Keiretsu in Japan had a similar function.

    This is “state-led capitalism”, and it worked wonders for East Asia. I don’t really buy the argument, often advanced by Indian liberal economists, that it was too much state involvement that held India back in the 50s, 60s and 70s even as East Asia advanced. The Licence Raj was backwards and needed to be dismantled, but India still had a system far less insane than China up to the mid-80s. India should have grown far faster for the first 35 years of its independence. The primary failures were in factor markets.

    The excuse that India’s diversity is to blame is not convincing either. Europe has similar kinds of diversity, as you noted, and Europe has gone to two bloody world wars against itself, yet it is a very rich continent today. Even the poorest countries (Serbia, Albania) are rapidly reaching the median LatAm-level of prosperity, and will likely surpass it soon. I’ve also heard the argument that democracy is to blame, but if democracy was the problem then why is the US so rich? The US also had a very bloody civil war and the slavery question nearly destroyed the country.

    The caste system excuse is more plausible to me, and I’ve hinted at it when explaining the failed educational choices made. However, I do think there were some general policy failures in India which could not be explained by sociological factors but simply by rank incompetence. Nehru chose the Soviet heavy industrialisation model in the 1950s and this didn’t really change that much for decades. We tend to forget this now but it was not at all clear that the SU would fail if you were a developing country in the 1950s. They had a very strong growth record and they had created a series of impressive industries. The Maddison database confirms that the SU would continue to rack up strong growth at least until the early 1970s before its inherent contradictions could no longer be ignored.

    So why was it so wrong? Because by the 1950s, the SU had already solved many basic issues of literacy and health (even if AK likes to remind us, that the Russian Empire had begun this process). Therefore the SU model was already quite advanced, because it was capital intensive. If you’re a poor country you have lots of cheap labour but very little capital. So it stands to reason that you shouldn’t select a model which requires a lot of capital but relatively little labour. But that’s what India did.

    Incidentially, even today most of India’s manufacturing is concentrated in capital intensive industries. China and East Asia focused on light and basic manufacturing first (textiles, toys, furniture and low-end assembly) precisely in order to make the farm-to-factory structural transformation as smooth and rapid as possible. Only later did it focus more significantly on heavy industries.

    Should we be harsh on India’s rulers for betting on the wrong model? In my view, yes. While we today often talk of an ‘East Asian’ model, in reality, much of that was already invented in the West in earlier centuries. Germany’s List wrote a very influential book on the topic and the manufacturing-led growth model was one in which basically all major Western economies followed. India’s failure to understand that it needed to adapt its economic model to its factor endowments continues to haunt it until this day and all the excuses (diversity, democracy etc) are unconvincing to me. I also think that the “legacy of colonialism” excuse is largely bogus. It was simply a policy failure. A policy failure which India eventually corrected and has enjoyed 40 years of solid growth as a result, but it never grew as fast as China and it has failed to give adequate employment to its masses, and even those who do find work are often in contract and informal work, which hinders productivity growth and skill development. India will contnue to grow reasonably rapidly because it is still very poor, but we shouldn’t forget that it’s nominal income per capita is lower than Nigeria’s. It could quadruple its income and still be poorer than Brazil. That’s also where it is likely to end up, in terms of economic development.

  34. Modi promised

    Do you actually believe the promises of politicians? Why?


  35. Also, I did enjoy your assessment of where Indian policy makers major mistakes – very thorough.

    Europe has similar kinds of diversity, as you noted, and Europe has gone to two bloody world wars against itself, yet it is a very rich continent today.

    I’m wondering if the European model worked on that continent since they were all split up and each nation was in direct competition and cooperation with each other – imagine what ma have happened if the EU was to have been instituted too early and maybe that is what is happening with India.

    I don’t know, just speculating.


  36. I believe part of this recent Bangladeshi revival is because they’ve expelled a few hundred thousand worst troublemakers (or at least excess young men) to Europe as “Syrian” refugees.

  37. Vishnugupta says

    A few points.

    As you correctly point out SU was the most recent ‘economic miracle’ in 1947 and its flaws were not evident and would not be for another generation.

    The classic East Asian economic model of beginning from low value manufacturing accumulating capital and moving up the value chain is centered on having access to western export markets and being allowed to get away with running a mercantalist trade policy.

    It is not a coincidence that Japan,S Korea and even China in its takeoff stage were allowed to get away with this due to cold war compulsions.The WTO free trade era only came into effect in the mid 1990s otherwise everyone could only export under pre determined quotas.

    We were in the USSR camp because the Anglos were following a pro Muslim foreign policy throughout the cold war and Israel could not be touched.They betrayed us at the UN almost immediately after independence on the Kashmir issue only the USSR’s veto saved the day.

    The US then explicitly denied our request for Steel Plants scaling up what Tata had established in Jamshedpur. They refused us even when we were prepared to pay money for this and prevented other western countries from doing so.

    The USSR again stepped in but would obviously not supply to Tata Sons.

    The fact is that we achieved around 70% of what could be achieved given our domestic political configuration and what the geopolitical realities over the past 70 years would permit.Could be better of course but not bad either.

  38. Ali Choudhury says

    Exactly, they have built an educational system and economy that works well for the high IQ minority but not for the rest. Some Indians will do exceptionally well in the globalised economy, India as a whole will continue to amble along.

  39. are you serious?

  40. Felix Keverich says

    My projection was based on extrapolating recent trends. The economy of Bangladesh gained 200% over the past decade. Assuming this rate of growth continues into the next decade, that gives us:
    1500 x 3 = $4500 in the year 2027.

    The Ukraine currently stands at $2640, down from $3069 in 2007. It actually went down over the past decade!

  41. I guess the question is; can things be turned around to overcome the mistakes?

    Also, if the sway over India is overwhelmingly in the hands of the upper castes and they guide the policy (especially with willing compliance from the lower ones), why can’t they simply come up with a policy to convince the lower castes to sterilize themselves as a positive thing for themselves and the nation. I can see why Brahmins would want large amounts of them around in pre-industrial times as a compliant workforce, but (according to their vision of India) it seems their large numbers are a liability, no?

    Wa salaam.

  42. Daniel Chieh says

    IMO that’s missing the point of Listian economics which does not in theory even require extraordinarily onerous measures. The basic understanding of his economics is that the value chain provides capability and expertise such that surrendering portions of it without consideration will result in underdevelopment, or lack of development.

    In today’s language, we would call a significant portion of those indirect positive externalities for participating in industrial production as knowledge, and the gains of such knowledge to be applied elsewhere in the economy. It is to be considered as of such importance that government protection of nascent industries or subsidies to support such are worthwhile investments for indigenous development even at reduced comparative value. The Japanese example would be their development of high-quality, low-defect construction ultimately turning into a cost and productivity advantage in manufacturing; this also becomes a reputational benefit, which is strategically advantageous vis competitors.

    So its not actually all that important, in that sense, whether it is vastly profitable to export(though it also indicates that the government should heavily build its policies to gain more favorable export grounds), but rather adequate considerations should be given to local development and protection of local development in order to capture those positive externalities over a period of time. Such investments in local industry are investments in the future, and costs associated with it, including negative externalities such as pollution, must be considered as costs taken for future gain.

  43. Loving this exchange – thank you to all for sharing their knowledge!


  44. Lol, it’s the answer that is hard.

  45. horrifying to Yamnayas? Bengali is an Indoeuropean language, so highly likely people of Bangladesh has non trivial Yamnaya admixture, heavily mixed with other lines (Dravidian for instance)

  46. A few years ago, the FT’s annual charity appeal was for one that taught Bangladeshis to make and use composting toilets.

  47. It’s true that India’s Dravidian south is (relatively) richer than its Indoaryan north. Insofar Bangladesh, while it is true that it is growing, its gdp per capita is still lower than that of India (U$ 4,500 ppp vs u$ 7,500 ppp)

  48. I understand this issue is not so grave, as the percentage of Muslims in India has only grown from 10% to 15% since 1950. And the fertility rate of Muslims, while higher than Hindus, is falling rapidly.

  49. Ali Choudhury says

    That’s a rather weird question. Why would they want their co-religionists and fellow citizens to become extinct?

  50. Per capita income of Ukraine relative to these countries, may not fall behind by fact Ukraine has falling population, while these countries have rising population.

    I had same thoughts as you a few days ago – in relation to India which is currently more or less same per capita GDP as Ukraine.

    However, when I looked at IMF figures, they (optimistically for Ukraine) think Ukraine and India will continue to track each other in per capita GDP.

    I wrote this here:

  51. Felix Keverich says

    If you had just followed the link I posted, you would notice that all my calculations refer to GDP per capita. The Ukraine is losing ground to India and Bangladesh, even after accounting for population decline. The Ukraine is quite a failure, is it not?

  52. It seems like some of them see them as a liability – kind of like the French aristocracy saw the peasants of their time…

    Wa salaam.

  53. Thorfinnsson says

    Charles Schwab will give you $100 for free if you open a brokerage account and deposit $1,000. That’s enough to buy four shares of Tesla (once you get the $100).

    Assuming you even have a thousand dollars. Or a checking account.

    One thing’s for sure: you don’t own any shares in Tesla. Or any other enterprise.

    Maybe spend less time on Afrocentrism.

  54. Thorfinnsson says

    While I don’t believe a planned economy can ever match a market one, the Soviet economy suffered from some additional deficiencies not intrinsic to the command process.

    The use of gross output indicators for planning caused two problems.

    One is that input costs were ignored by planners and thus enterprise directors. Imagine if a private business only prioritized revenue.

    Two is that this led enterprises to use capital equipment until it physically broke down, rather than replace it once better equipment was available.

    The other major problem was investment into uneconomic regions for political purposes. Something like one-third of Soviet investment was effectively wasted on this.

    English industrial policy dates back to at least the reign of Edward VII, which specifically recruited weavers from Flanders to move to England. Raw wool exports were taxed, woolen textile imports were taxed, and a law was passed requiring people to be buried in wool blankets.

  55. Well, it’s a question of perspective.

    From the viewpoint of Bangladesh, Ukraine – a fellow successful country. 🙂

  56. This seems like an at least partial validation of libertarians/neoliberals vis a vis leftists in the debate about the effects of globalization on third world countries. Bangladesh has evidently made a lot of progress in terms of human and economic development largely as a result of manufacturing exports.

  57. Charles Schwab will give you $100 for free if you open a brokerage account and deposit $1,000. That’s enough to buy four shares of Tesla (once you get the $100).

    Who the hell asked you for financial advice? Why would anyone in his right mind go to a Tesla shorter for advice on anything?

    I live under a bridge and I don’t have a penny to my name. Happy?

  58. East Asia was not gifted access to western markets because of the Cold War. The East Asian Mercantilism was by design to benefit the West.

    The convoluted reasons you give for manufacturing not going to India are totally irrevelent. Muslims and Russia?

    The real reason is that India is not a good place to manufacture from. There is poor infrastructure and intense corruption. Yes! Even more than you can find in East Asia.

    Imagine executives from all over the world having to go to India for trade shows and business meetings and having to avoid shit in the street while the female executives get raped. This doesn’t happen in East Asia.

    The human capital you find in India is just not as good as elsewhere. India has an IQ if 82 which means its non elite fraction is even worse than Africa.

    India actually did good for itself focusing on IT because it is a way to monetize the smart fraction. But I think this will limit future growth as the IT boom is coming to an end and there is little comparitive advantage India had over other countries.

  59. The Ukraine is losing ground to India and Bangladesh

    Not to both India and Bangladesh since 2015:

    It looks like India will catch up to Ukraine in 2026. Bangladesh is not keeping up.

    China is expected to overtake Belarus by 2025.

    That being said, I suspect IMF underestimates Ukraine’s population, considering natural negative population growth but not migrants.

    Wages may be a cleaner estimate of living standards:

    Ukraine’s wages are a little lower than 50% of Russian wages, adjusted for cost of living they are about 60% of Russia’s wages.

  60. The hindus struck me as grossly lacking in prioritization of goals, likely due to the brahmin/elite having a separated set of interests and couldn’t care less about the downdrodden. Here’s something quite bizzare:according to this hindu economist(article written in 1995) ,
    Bharat has already been in the post-industrial stage for 23 years
    Apparently they are more willing to create call centre/SW enabled jobs in air-conditioned rooms for the more educated/higher castes than low valued added factory jobs for the poor.
    Most of the large scale indian stats like unemployment/underemployment, gini coefficient .. are quite unreal either because of lack of admin apparatus or political will.
    OR image/look is everything
    Here’s something quite strange; some senior indian scientists behaved as if they were a bunch of internet wackos:
    “…Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore are expected to develop a supercomputer with 132.8 exaflops by 2017.,,”
    (132.8 exaflops means its over 1000 times faster than the fastest supercomputer(US or Chinese) in 2017)

  61. Vishnugupta says

    “East Asia was not gifted access to western markets because of the Cold War. The East Asian Mercantilism was by design to benefit the West.”

    In the pre WTO era how much you could export to the US or the EEC was determined by quotas.These quotas had a lot of geopolitical considerations behind them as well.The non city state countries that managed to develop into full first world countries were all at the border of the communist block with significant US military presence.Japan,S Korea,Taiwan.

    You really think Japan,S Korea resource poor countries with complete dependence on the US for security would be allowed to get away with policies like putting triple digit tariffs on Ford and GM imports while the Toyotas and Hyundais learnt the ropes of auto manufacturing in a non Cold war scenario?

    “The real reason is that India is not a good place to manufacture from. There is poor infrastructure and intense corruption. Yes! Even more than you can find in East Asia.”

    Yes which probably explains why India exports more cars that China does despite being only 20% of PRC in terms of GDP

    And the reason Samsung is building the world’s largest smartphone factory(Phase 1 is already operational btw so this is not a press release only)…

    “India actually did good for itself focusing on IT because it is a way to monetize the smart fraction.”

    I am not sure what your definition of smart fraction is but the top 80% graduates of quality non IIT engineering colleges in India(IIITs, NITs,BITS Pillani, DCE, NSIT etc) don’t even sit for placements in IT services companies and IITs don’t even let them show up on campus placements.Stuff like ERP/Package implementation is not exactly very IQ intensive work.

  62. “Yes which probably explains why India exports more cars that China does despite being only 20% of PRC in terms of GDP ..”
    Easy, freight cost is a significant part of a car’s price. If Honda wants to export cars to Africa, a good strategy is build/assembly cars in india with japan built components like electronics&engines and then ship there.
    I check a few yrs ago india did export marginally more cars than china which has 2 major auto-maker countries,S Korea and Japan neighbors.
    Congrat that hindus feel proud.

  63. Vishnugupta says

    India does a lot more than simply assemble cars.It’s auto component story isn’t bad either.

    Look up companies like Bharat Forge.

    It also builds engines transmissions etc of most cars including BMW and Mercedes manufactured on its territory.

    BTW India also exports cars to Latin America and North America.

    My point proud Han boy was not that India is presently in the same league as China but the fact that there is no fundamental intractable roadblock to its emerging as a major manufacturing nation.

    The auto industry is one fact on the ground that substantiates this assertion. Pharma and petrochemicals industries are other.

    We will see how the relative performance pans out over the next 10-15 years. Let us see how the PRC performs with the west no longer as receptive to its exports or prepared to look the other way as the PRC challenges the present world order.

  64. Ali Choudhury says

    India may well outperform China over the next ten to fifteen years due to the titanic amount of unpayable debt that has built up in the PRC financial system. Beyond that the future of Asia is still likely to be China’s. India’s highly onerous labour laws severely discourage the formation of large, efficient manufacturers. Small-scale, informal one-man operations account for close to 40% of the Indian manufacturing workforce, it was 19% in 1989. It does not appear the government has prioritised investing in ports, railways, roads power stations etc. unlike China where the highways are world-class. Even agarbatti is mostly manufactured now in Vietnam.

    Manufacturing will probably keep bumping along at 15% of GDP where it has been for decades (40% in China, 28% in Bangladesh) while Vietnam and Thailand also continue to advance and develop quickly. Modi seems more interested in developing high skill, low employment industries like solar power and defence equipment rather than basic low-end factories doing things like garment manufacturing, toy assembly, furniture assembly which is the path China followed and the rest of Asia is emulating. That catapulted their poor into the middle class.

  65. That would be a massive blow for the altright.

  66. Thorfinnsson says

    I am known in these circles as being good with money. This Tesla shorter is in the black on his shorts.

    You’re the total fool who hero worships Elon Musk and thus begged the question.

    Unlike you I put my money where my mouth is.

    Though now you’ve explained you have no money (surprise).

  67. Felix Keverich says

    Am not aware of any fans of the Ukraine among the Alt-Right. Although a whole bunch of Western neo-Nazis have fought on Ukrainian side in Donbass. Many of them were killed – it’s a wonderful thing, process of natural selection in action.

  68. Vishnugupta says

    The world is today more complicated than that.

    Throughout the world manufacturing employment is falling even in China as automation increases. Manufacturing as an employment generation engine is a 20th century story.

    The job growth happens in the services sector everything from barbers to doctors as the society becomes wealthier. Also these jobs are much more outsourcing proof than low end manufacturing jobs.

    In such a scenario it makes sense to concentrate and build capability in those manufacturing sectors where we can build a sustainable competitive advantage any country including African countries can enter the garment manufacturing industry the margins are wafer thin and the orders will flow to any other country which can undercut you by 15%.

    Space,Autos,petrochemicals,solar cell,Telecom equipment,aerospace and defence..these are the places to concentrate as no country even 3 times richer than India has the capability to enter these to the extent India has. Also these businesses are profitable and thus the ROCE justifies expansion on purely commercial considerations.

  69. Felix Keverich says

    Main reason India will likely outperform China is a very low starting base. India’s per capita GDP is 20% of China’s level.

  70. Ali Choudhury says

    Another good article on Bangladeshi progress. It already has lower infant mortality and higher life expectancy than India. Growth for 2018-19 projected at 7.5% compared to 7.3% for India per the ADB. If this keeps up, it will surpass India’s per capita income by 2020. Bangladeshi per capita income grey by 39% between 2013-16 compared to 14% for India per the UN. Article states a key advantage is Bangladeshi labour law makes it much easier for cheap labour operations to prosper.

  71. Ali Choudhury says

    That industrial policy would work out well for the high-IQ minority but not for the mass of the country which is poor, unskilled and not capable of working in knowledge-intensive industries. They need uplifting before they can progress. I would invite you to read the book below by Ruchir Sharma, head of emerging markets at Morgan Stanley. It is from here I have been cribbing the points on the importance of manufacturing for generating widespread prosperity and why India is weak in this department.

  72. One argument for the cause of the Bengal miracle is Neo liberalism. You have empowered women earning $50/week. Although a garment manufacturing minimum wage job doesn’t sound liberating. You have NGO’s and micro lending. Inclusion. Minimal military expenditures.

    Maybe it has to be this way. No wonder some countries (Argentina?) say f*** it.

  73. Felix Keverich says

    It looks like India will catch up to Ukraine in 2026. Bangladesh is not keeping up.

    IMF projection for the Ukraine looks wrong to me. They just assume that Ukrainian economy will take off for no apparent reason. I expect the country to maintain the same (negative) rate of growth it had in the past decade.

    My assumptions are more realistic, than the IMF’s. The Ukraine needs a miracle at this point, but miracles don’t happen on demand.

    PS: including Russia in this diagram makes for a good laugh. All hail Russia, the undisputed economic champ!

  74. Daniel Chieh says

    This is a rejection of Listian economics, and I believe a mistake. This also brings, I believe, a mistaken attitude toward infrastructure and reduced investment into infrastructure – especially domestic mobility of goods and labor(List, incidentally, specifically covered this in his advocacy for railroads).

    Focusing on the margins and aiming to capture the high ground is akin to focusing on say, video gaming being a high margin industry and then orienting all efforts to just capturing that market relying, using aftermarket tools for it instead of creating one’s own engines, programmers, and so on.

    I’ve used the joke that its like knowing how to use the restroom in another language, and then claiming that one understands that language. It results in a very top-heavy knowledge market where the end product is understood well, but nothing leading up to it; it makes a country not only very dependent on others for basic goods, vulnerable on a security level, but lose out on all of the positive externalities of developing the base.

    The comparison between China and Mexico is apt here and helps illustrate how China was outcompete Mexico as US’s manufacturing partner despite the additional distance and political differences: in Mexico, a factory opening for 15,000 job postings had difficulty finding qualified workers, but in China it is regular to pull up to 100k new employees in temporary postings with ease. It is also difficult for a vendor to look for a specific product or adjustments, because of the underdeveloped supply chain. A developed internal infrastructure all helps support that.

    From a software perspective, we’d call such spotty development as software that has only been developed with a point-to-point interaction and a single designated exposure point. That’s not the kind of exposure you want for each level to maximize customers; flexibility at each level allows you to maximize the surface area by customers can interact with(the API concept in software).

  75. Will China’s social credit system of good behavior enable to jump ahead of India in terms of building a Nordic style high trust society by fiat? Should eight wingers in the West consider adopting some aspects of this is order to halt moral degeneracy by the left?

  76. I expect the country to maintain the same (negative) rate of growth it had in the past decade.

    It assumes post 2015 growth. “Past decade” includes Maidan and its temporary disruption.

  77. Felix Keverich says

    “Temporary disruptions” are a feature of the Ukraine’s economic development, which is why I look at growth over a period of 10 years. My methodology is superior to the IMF’s

  78. Philip Owen says

    I came late to this. No time to review 77 comments.

    I seem to recall a paper seeking the centre of gravity of the world. The study was particularly concerned with capital city locations. It concluded that based on equal prosperity and free trade the worlds economic capital city would be Dakha with a population of 100 million people. All the Bangladeshi government has to do is get out of the way to engineer a boom.

    in an earlier world, the East India Company showed the potential of Bengal creating Calcutta by enabling long distance trade. The Spice Route is the key not the Silk Road.

  79. Vishnugupta says

    I don’t think I am fundamentally differing from you when you state the need of mastering critical components/sub processes even at the cost of sacrificing return to gain complete control both from a security and sanction proofing as well as the ability to develop new products even those fundamentally different at the conceptual level than those available in the market.

    I unreservedly would like to praise the PRC for moving in this direction in industry after industry.

    I don’t see how India has not attempted to do so in industry after industry too.

    Take the auto industry it started from building Suzuki cars from knock down kits in the 1980s it went on to create a cluster of subcomponent manufacturers then other car makers entered India and these sub component manufacturers became global in their own right then India Inc started building it’s own modern cars Tata,Mahindra etc and today the whole eco system from design,component end product manufacturing,oem contract manufacturing exists.

    We are attempting to repeat this playbook in industry after industry.

    Let us contrast this with Bangladesh which is closer to what I think you are suggesting.

    Bangladesh only does final garment manufacturing. Because given its super low wages this is profitable. everything from cloth,threads,interlining,buttons ,packaging let alone textile machinery is imported. I can think of no serious attempt by Bangladesh to develop indigenous capabilities in these sub components.

    This type of garment exports and remittances are what is presently helping Bangladesh grow.

    My submission is that this is not sustainable in the long run.

  80. – kind of like the French aristocracy saw the peasants of their time…

    Or the way some Unz commenters view proles.

  81. Philip Owen says

    Import substitution is a great way to waste capital. Comparative advantage is the way to accelerate growth. India’s IT services are paying for most of the rest. Bangladesh is not wasting capital on things better done elsewhere. It is doing what it is best at. India can only discover what is best by more liberalization. Indian bureaucracy makes Russia look like a free trader.

  82. I think, Ukraine has all advantages which “should” allow it to reach some kind of middle income level, at least by 2030s.

    These include:

    Falling population, which with same capital base, will increase per capita incomes.

    Ukraine being directly situated next to developed countries on both sides.

    Ukraine has free-trade bloc possibility with one of the world’s largest economies (EU).

    Ukraine is a former middle income country (when it was constituent of USSR) and former component of one of world’s only two superpowers. It inherits infrastructure of a middle income, or higher level – e.g. Kiev metro. It includes territories (Lvov, etc), which were some of the fastest growing economies in Europe during the 19th century.

    Of course, in Ukraine, “should” does not usually result in same as “should” in other countries.

  83. Daniel Chieh says

    Friedrich List wrote:

    Had the English left everything to itself—‘Laissez faire, laissez aller’, as the popular economical school recommends—the [German] merchants of the Steelyard would be still carrying on their trade in London, the Belgians would be still manufacturing cloth for the English, England would have still continued to be the sheep-farm of the Hansards, just as Portugal became the vineyard of England, and has remained so till our days, owing to the stratagem of a cunning diplomatist. Indeed, it is more than probable that without her [highly protectionist] commercial policy England would never have attained to such a large measure of municipal and individual freedom as she now possesses, for such freedom is the daughter of industry and wealth.

  84. Vishnugupta says

    Except the historical evidence that every significant non city state country which has industrialized after the UK has done so behind trade barriers while it’s Industry learnt the ropes and developed scale.

  85. Thorfinnsson says

    The women thing is interesting to me.

    I used to support a ’50s model of women simply being housewives.

    Being an employer has changed my view. Women are better than men at certain jobs, and in fact also can find fulfillment in their occupations. Women in the workforce also increases GDP per capita, which increases a nation’s power.

    However, society has an interest in healthy marriages and families, which requires some suppression of female independence but also subsidies to childcare and birthing.

    Not sure where to draw the line exactly, but I think thirty hour workweeks for women should be promoted along with an end to no-fault divorce. And every woman likes a dominant man, so such dominance should be culturally promoted so men stop fucking begging their wives for shit.

    Another alternative could be a return to polygamous marriage. Since we now have porn and video games, it wouldn’t destabilize society as much. Someone like me could easily support four wives.

  86. Agreed – it is sad. Looking at the poor and common people with contempt is a spiritual disease and a very dangerous one; one that my teachers have warned us about:

    “Seek out the vulnerable among you. Verily, you are only given provision and support due to your support of the weak.” – reported in Tirmidhi

    The Prophet (pbuh) made supplications to God to grant him love of the poor and to be resurrected in their company and advised his wife to love the poor and bring them near to oneself.


  87. Someone like me could easily support four wives.

    What’re you, some kind of Muslim??!!

    Islam is probably the only doctrine which introduced some kind of a limit. Before that, you were either a polygamous (sky-is-the-limit) or monogamous society. If you could afford 10 and it was legal, why wouldn’t you?

    This guy had 17 wives over his lifetime (I love his reaction to “one wife”):

    If you watch the full interview, the man has had a max of 4 wives at a time. Homeboy’s got his own tribe going!


  88. Thorfinnsson says

    Personally, I like the idea of two or maybe three wives. More than that is too much work.

    And I would want them to all get along and participate in “activities” with me.

  89. And I would want them to all get along

    This is a major issue and a sound reason to limit the number voluntarily. Women can obviously get jealous about the affections of their husband* even when the previous wife is no longer a competitor**. And the more you have, the more it can compound. I have heard that some men in the African American Muslim community have been able to pull it off (there is a dearth of husband/father types in that community so some women do not mind sharing a capable man).

    One of the reasons why Islam prohibits being able to marry two sisters at the same time – since the rivalry as co-wives will conflict with their rights/obligations to each other as siblings.

    Interesting thing though; if you could legally pull it off, would they all be White or other flavors?

    *”While the Prophet was in the house of one of his wives, one of the mothers of the believers sent a meal in a dish. The wife at whose house the Prophet was, struck the hand of the servant, causing the dish to fall and break. The Prophet gathered the broken pieces of the dish and then started collecting on them the food which had been in the dish and said, ‘Your mother felt jealous.’ Then he detained the servant till a (sound) dish was brought from the wife at whose house he was. He gave the sound dish to the wife whose dish had been broken, and kept the broken one at the house where it had been broken.” – reported in Bukhari

    **Lady Aisha (ra) said: “I never felt so jealous of any woman as I did of Khadija, though she had died three years before the Prophet married me, and that was because I heard him mentioning her too often…” – reported in Bukhari

  90. Philip Owen says

    There is much disagreement on this point. I take the free Trade side. Imports are added value the world sends to us. Exports are our added value sent abroad. They are the price paid for imports. (There are other ways to pay for imports too).

  91. Philip Owen says

    What lunatic voluntarily takes on four wives. Muslim polygmy is founded on such social obligations as marrying your brother’s widow. In horticultural cultures more wives mean more wealth but even so …

  92. Why would you want four wives?

  93. German_reader says

    If polygamy became common, there would probably be a real risk of incels starting a terrorist movement and killing random chads.

  94. Another German Reader says

    The better Bangladesh & India develop, the faster the corrupt elites of Pakistan will be forced to conduct fundamental changes (peace with India; drop Islamists; curtail the military’s budget/grip).

    This will enable a faster & more inclusive growth.

    Somalia, Syria, Lybia and Yemen are small flies.

    If Pakistan, Egypt and Nigeria collapse, you all will see horrors on an unprecedented scale. Mark my word.

  95. Thorfinnsson says

    Four sounds like too much.

    I like the idea of two or three.

    Why? Variety and, frankly, lust.

  96. Thorfinnsson says

    This is already the case. Remember Elliot Rodger?

    The dating market is de facto polygamy as it is.

  97. German_reader says

    Remember Elliot Rodger?

    Of course, I watched his Youtube videos, really creepy stuff.

    The dating market is de facto polygamy as it is.

    I don’t think that’s quite comparable. Openly legalized polygamy (which would become a sign of the wealth and status of those practicing it…what harsher manifestation of inequality could there be than the rich monopolizing access to women?) would be more humiliating and lead to lots of rage.

  98. Mark 10:21 King James Version (KJV)

    21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

  99. Thorfinnsson says

    I once posted a thread on Reddit’s “R4R” section (for dating).

    The thread simply said that I am rich, tall, and handsome. Nothing else. It was an experiment on my part to see if such blatant narcissism would work.

    My inbox was blown up by horny females. Many of whom I later bedded.

    That said I suppose you’re right that formal polygamy would expose things. The way things are right now men can easily stay in denial.

  100. Jealous?

    Tell your wife for me that in Kandy in the old days she could have as many husbands. I think bringing back this practice would lead to a surprising number of conversions to Buddhism and applications for Sri Lankan citizenship; now that I think about it, that’s probably why it won’t be brought back.

  101. This is a great comment and spot on, from my view.


  102. in Kandy in the old days she could have as many husbands.

    Yes polyandry certainly has existed historically, but in very few cultures – mostly outliers. In a survey of about 2000 different cultures over the world that was conducted either in the 80s or 90s (I forget), they discovered that the majority of distinct cultures are either moderately or frequently polygamous. The minority were strictly monogamous. Polyandry showed up in just two or three – in one of them it was a family arrangement such that all the brothers marry the same woman in order not to divide the ownership of family land.

    Most men aren’t willing to share a wife.


  103. The Emissaries of God (pbut) always championed the poor – that’s how you knew who they were.


  104. Kandian polyandry was mostly fraternal– I would say entirely, but I haven’t that level of certainty.

    “Two or three” is a copout– even the wikipedia page has more than that! And what is a “distinct culture”? I think I know what they mean, but I am highly skeptical of their methods of meaning it.

    Most men aren’t willing to share a wife.

    Hey, don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it.

  105. Daniel Chieh says

    I had a girl volunteer as a “sister wife” once. It was a lot of work, don’t recommend.

  106. Bukephalos says

    Someone once said that a man should ideally have three women in his life, a lover for romantic relationships, a whore to satisfy base lust, and a mother for his children. Three very different qualities of women to be sure, which barely overlap if not at all. No real polygamy, as a marriage contract should only involve the last one.

    Who can achieve this? And have this arrangement stable and not disputed by any party? Rulers of yore, perhaps some very high status men nowadays, I suppose.

  107. Kandian polyandry was mostly fraternal

    There you go – you are going to get jealous, but a man is less likely to kill his own brother than a stranger.

    Probably the British banned it. Muslims don’t care; marry your own sister if you like, just pay taxes and don’t revolt.

    I am highly skeptical of their methods of meaning it.

    Here is the report – go to section 9: Marital Composition:

    Here is the guy’s web page (you can email him about detail on how he distinguished cultures):

    even the wikipedia page has more than that!

    That were still in effect in the 80s and 90s? Obsolete customs don’t count; Egyptians used to marry their own sisters back in the day.

    Hey, don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it.

    I’m sure plenty of men don’t mind sharing someone’s wife…just not their own.


  108. R1A in India is the Aryan male dna marker

    In Bengal, it is found mainly in the Bengali Brahmins ; 72% of their males carry R1A

    Lower Caste Bengalis, and Sinhala People , mostly tend to carry R2 paternal marker

    So yes, Bengali is an Indo-European marker, but most Bengalis are not Indo-European

    Rani Mukherji , Bengali Brahmin, Indo-European

    Bangladesh woman, low caste convert to islam, native, non-Indo European

  109. Achievement in India has to do with caste, not so much with skin color

    Based on 2019 California National Merit Semi Finalist list

    Among Gujuratis, 2 Patel peasants vs 20 Jain merchants

    Among Punjabis ( Bollywood ) , 2 Jat Sikh Peasants vs 20 Khatri Merchants

    In Tamil Nadu, Tamil Brahmins 46 , vs 11 Dravidians

  110. Ah muslim demographics,

    I look at 2011 census, 0-4 age group

    Muslims are 45% of Assam ( recent NRC, National registry of citizens , has disenfranchised them down to 35% ) ; BJP now rules Assam, and will find various similar schemes or put the state under Martial law, like Kashmir

    West Bengal , in a recent poll, BJP has 31% vote share, just behind Trinamul Congress ( secular, pro-muslim ) and will get power in 1 or 2 election cycles and plans to do similar NRC;
    In the 0-4 age bracket , Muslims are 35%

    Finally Kerala, Muslims are 40% of the 0-4 age bracket, and has sent hundreds of local muslims to ISIS ;

    Overall in India, Muslims are 17% of the 0-4 age group and fertility gap is 0.5 and converging

    Urban areas, of Uttar Pradesh are 40% muslim by birth

    so, yes a low grade, partially contained, civil war is happening, like Northern Ireland,
    but in about 80% of the states, BJP is ruling

    Next, muslims are mostly ghettoised, and nobody ever comes into contact with muslims, except at the borders of their no-go zones, where police fear to enter, and only special armed police enter

  111. Obsolete customs don’t count; Egyptians used to marry their own sisters back in the day.

    Um, yes? I’m not sure what your point is with this example; that dead people don’t exist? I don’t see how it connects to what turns out to be an “ethnographic atlas”. So, anyway, this is apparently some sort of ethnographic survey of the world in 1998 (or 1967? see below)? Okay, interesting, but I’m not really sure what the point is?

    Anyway it would appear that he is referencing previous work (see first paragraph), since the title and data seem similar:

    I’m not sure what the relevance of that fact is but it seemed curious and you seem interested in the work, so …

    British law doesn’t recognize polyandrous marriages but the custom was still around in the ’50s.

    LOL, maybe Sinhalese are just more easygoing than other people. There used to be a saying among college students: “We share everything here but our toothbrushes and our girlfriends”. It appears that this saying must be fairly recent, because in my grandparents’ day they used tooth powder rather than brushes; all they needed was one more subtraction…

    I’m sure plenty of men don’t mind sharing someone’s wife…just not their own.

    Well, I can’t use you as an example because that would be insulting, but after all, I can’t use anybody else because it wouldn’t be funny. So here I am, up a creek. But I notice you coyly evaded my original question? (Good for you, I don’t want it answered, and you don’t either if you want a stable home life.)

  112. I’m not sure what your point is with this example; that dead people don’t exist?

    No, only that extinct customs aren’t taken into account for an anthropological survey.

    Okay, interesting, but I’m not really sure what the point is?

    The point is that polyandry is an extreme outlier among most human cultures.

    LOL, maybe Sinhalese are just more easygoing than other people.

    Possibly, I mean they are kind of distinct and contained on an island of their own for the most part.

    But I notice you coyly evaded my original question?

    Not much to it – adultery is an enormity in our tradition. Consent of the husband or wife in the situation doesn’t make it less so.


  113. Hyperborean says

    It seems like some of them see them as a liability – kind of like the French aristocracy saw the peasants of their time…

    They were not seen as a liability. In European feudal/agricultural society peasants serve for landowners as a source of wealth extraction.

    Even French aristocrats who were disdainful of peasants focused more on gaining privileges and exemptions from the state and considered peasants to have the necessary role of helping the landowner accrue wealth.

  114. Not much to it – adultery is an enormity in our tradition. Consent of the husband or wife in the situation doesn’t make it less so.

    No, no, no; my original question was “Jealous?” as you’ll see if you trace upthread to my initial reply to your reply to the son of the fins of Thor.

    The point is that polyandry is an extreme outlier among most human cultures.

    It definitely hasn’t been common as an accepted form of marriage, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it extremely rare, since it has been present pretty much on all continents at various times. It seems to be a substratum underlying a lot of cultures– India, parts of Celtic Europe, pre-Islamic Arabia– a lot like human sacrifice, to be honest.

    But the point of bringing it up was that if there are incontinent men who cannot live without a variety of women, the opposite case is true as well. I stand by my statements that if Kandian polyandry would be made generally recognized again, there would be a number of women who would flock to take advantage of it, and that they would not be particularly desirable immigrants.

    Sinhalese almost certainly are more easygoing than most others, which, however, is probably neither a cause nor an effect of having wives in common.

    Note: Some anthropologists consider “serial monogamy” a form of polygamy (because of its effects on kinship relations). This is an interesting way of looking at things.

  115. Jealous?”

    No – jealousy and envy are spiritual diseases. If Thor can marry 10 women and take care of them and his children, more power to him. May God preserve and increase his wealth – this is how I’ve been taught to stave off jealousy by my teachers…when you see some blessings that someone has been given, pray to God to increase it for them. Jealousy and envy are actually a man second-guessing God as to how He decides to spread His bounties among His creation. The only concern is; was the wealth earned lawfully and justly.

    Celtic Europe, pre-Islamic Arabia–

    Sure, again, I’d say that these cultures obviously dropped these a while back for a good reason. Now one may contend that pagan cultures (all of which you cited) are more open to polyandry and that may be true.

    there would be a number of women who would flock to take advantage of it, and that they would not be particularly desirable immigrants.

    Possibly…I’m open to the idea that women that flock to a place to be shared among multiple men probably aren’t the best wife material.

    “serial monogamy” a form of polygamy

    I can see the logic in this.


  116. CuriousKazakh says

    Bangladeshis have substantial East Asian genetic input. I wonder if their genotypic IQ is perhaps higher than the West-Central Asian Pakistanis? Or whether other traits which are higher in East Asian populations (conscientiousness, law-abidingness) are higher in Bangladeshis too?

  117. an predominantly white country having lower PCI than a country like bangladesh with an estimated iq of 75 should be huge blow for them.

  118. an predominantly white country having lower PCI than a country like bangladesh

    Bangladesh has 60% of Ukraine’s per capita GDP nominal and less than 50% PPP.

  119. Am not aware of any fans of the Ukraine among the Alt-Right

    Faith Goldy is a Ukrainian:

    (wikipedia picked an unflattering picture of her)

  120. Aside from the sometimes absurdly pro-Putin sentiment on the Alt-Right, the Ukrainians themselves alienated most nationalists, both Anglo and continental, by linking their cause with the EU and NATO. When your cause is praised by the MSM, George Soros, John McCain, etc., and your activists are waving the EU flag for the cameras it can’t be that surprising that Western nationalists automatically sympathise with your opponents.

  121. The ECI is interesting; but one shouldn’t assume that it is stable over time.

    I doubt one would have given Ireland much of a chance of escaping poverty if one had looked at the ECI 40 years ago.

  122. the Ukrainians themselves alienated most nationalists, both Anglo and continental, by linking their cause with the EU and NATO.

    Alt-right embraced Putin first, Ukrainians had nowhere else to go.

    Though perhaps the most nationalist place in Europe now (Poland), is also pro-NATO and pro-America (though not so much pro-EU). Russia fanboys from the Right belong to dying nations that are flooded and whose future is in doubt.

  123. Samsung putting a mobile factory in India has more to do with access to a large market with high tariffs than it does with Indian comparitive advantage.

    Same with cars.

    The difference between China and India is that China has their own factories making things and selling to the world. They are not just a country where foreign companies make use of foreign hands.

    I know that is how most countries get their start, but I am skeptical India will make a transition and become a country where Indian companies make their own products and export to the world.

    India just has too many inherent disadvantages. Low human capital except at the very top, corruption, lack of infrastructure, xenophobia etc etc.

  124. Vishnugupta says

    Well Samsung has started exporting phones from India as does LG and a few others.

    “The difference between China and India is that China has their own factories making things and selling to the world. They are not just a country where foreign companies make use of foreign hands.”


    India Inc.(Indian owned Indian manufactured brands) sells more domestically as a percentage of total market sales than PRC Inc does in China in many industries including cars and commercial vehicles.

    India also exports largely under brand names of Indian companies in many cases.

    IT Services: 80%+ exports of IT Services are by Indian companies TCS Infosys Wipro HCL Tech M etc. as opposed to Accenture and IBM Global Services servicing global clients from Offshore delivery centers.

    Pharma: 90% + of indian pharmaceutical exports (generics) are under Indian branded products Cipla,Sun Pharma,Torrent Pharma etc.

    Autos:Auto Component exports are mostly domestic brands like Bharat Forge(World’s largest forgings company),Sona Koyo etc.

    Same is true for motorcycles.India is the world’s largest exporter of Motorcycles it has brands like Bajaj,TVS and Royal Enfield and Commecial Vehicles Tata, Ashok Leyland, Eicher,AMW

    Car exports are mostly foreign makes but 90% + of value addition including Engines and transmission manufacturing including for makes like MB and BMW take place in India.India also exports under its own brands Tata(Not JLR which it owns) and Mahindra(Not Ssangyong that it owns) but the scaling up is just beginning to take place.

    Similarly most Indian engineering goods exports are by Indian companies like Elcon,Jyoti CNC Automation Limited etc.

    Petrochemical exports are again by Indian companies like Reliance Industries which currently operates the world’s largest refinery in Jamnagar.

    Gems and Jewelry exports: Rajesh Exports(A Fortune 500 company) etc.

    So I see no reason how your skepticism at least on this point is warranted.India already is a country in which Indian companies make their own products and export to the world.

  125. There’s rituals in the opposite direction as well which you ignore posting.

  126. Vedic priests make below 100rs a month while leftist Brahmin are very powerful. Referring to the latter as Hindu is a misnomer, The Indian state is the most anti Hindu regime of the last 1000 years.

  127. They’re getting extra marks in uosc & ias interviews. Also minority schemes benefit them more + the fertility gap is huge in urban areas.

    See the handle @yugaparivartan or go through the book truth about Indian demographic by the same.

  128. Daniel Chieh says

    Eh, I don’t think so. Japan is still one of the most gender segregated societies in the workforce ever and its solidly first world.

  129. Um.

    There’s such a thing as stretching a joke too far but perhaps it will not be amiss for me to say that to point out that envy is a deadly sin stops just a little short of being a defense from the charge of it*. Which latter I was not really making anyway. You could hardly be jealous of the son of the Finnish Thor, since he has zero wives (okay, you could be jealous, but that’s a whole different can of worms); no, I meant, of course, of the jolly Yemeni or whatever, and not so much that you might actually envy him, but that you might see a pretty girl in the mosque and nudge your wife as you came out: “Honey, you know, we still have three slots left…” But as you might have guessed this was not exactly a serious question and I have been reluctant to push the joke because I do not want to give offense, with perhaps the result that I have unintentionally been more insulting than otherwise.

    *Certainly I have been guilty at one time or another of every one of the seven deadly sins.

    Though I must admit I am curious as to what question you originally thought I was asking (before I clarified that it was “Jealous?”)?

    Sure, again, I’d say that these cultures obviously dropped these a while back for a good reason. Now one may contend that pagan cultures (all of which you cited) are more open to polyandry and that may be true.

    Um again. I don’t particularly want to defend polyandry as an institution. Though conditions change and some form of informal polyandrous situation even since the introduction of Christianity has been fairly common, at least in Europe, though usually justly infamous (one need only mention Lady Hamilton, though perhaps it were politer not to).

    I think I started out this comment with something intelligent to say but I can’t for the life of me remember what it was. It certainly had nothing to do with Bangladesh, though.

  130. I should probably emphasize again that I am not accusing you of any deadly sins. The nature of many a joke is a “dig”, and the cleverness in posing it is that the dig remains simultaneously unsaid, obvious, and absurd– a degree of cleverness to which I do not really obtain. I have fallen far behind on my UR replies which is just as well because I had as another “dig” a solution to G_R’s bishop problem which would not perhaps have been well received.

  131. Though I must admit I am curious as to what question you originally thought I was asking

    I wasn’t quite sure which is why I didn’t really respond directly to the “Jealous?” question.

    Later I thought you were talking about Thor, but it never occurred to me it might be the Yemeni brother.

    As far as polygamy with me; neither my wife nor I are from a culture where it is common, so it would simply cause problems…not to mention my spiritual teachers have been adamant that their students stick to one wife (unless genuine need like the first wife is medically incapable of having sex or can’t bear children,etc.). I have been warned not even to joke about it with the wife as it is an affront to her sensibilities and feeling of security in the marriage.

    Also, I didn’t really take offense to your inquiry, it was rather mild if any offense was intended. I thought you were just digging.


  132. medically incapable of having sex

    Can’t believe that you would go full frontal Pat Robertson on me, Talha. How shallow is this?

  133. If one has a wife that can’t have sex, then one has three choices – Islamically:
    1) renounce sex for the rest of your days (and any chance to have kids if you haven’t already)
    2) divorce her and get another one
    3) keep her and get a second

    The third option sounds very reasonable to me given the circumstances. But everyone has their own opinion on these things.


  134. But everyone has their own opinion on these things.


    All these posts where you praised marriage, family life and community had me nodding my head in agreement. Now I will just have to get a glass of ice water to get the saccharine taste out of my mouth.

    Don’t Islamist marriage vows have anything comparable to “in sickness or in health”?

    I’m still on the floor trying to find a hand-hold to help myself up.

  135. “in sickness or in health”

    No – nothing like wedding vows are stated (for good reason, you would end up breaking a vow you stated to someone under God’s name if you divorced) in an Islamic marriage. There is, of course, the spirit of the marriage to uphold which takes the marriage contract and the rights and responsibilities very seriously.

    I still don’t see the problem; neither I nor my teachers would recommend divorce in the situation so the man is keeping his wife in sickness and health…just getting another one.

    For the record, if a husband cannot satisfy his wife sexually, it is also grounds for her to seek divorce.


  136. I still don’t see the problem;

    Let’s just mark it up to culture shock on my part and move on.