Ignorant tosspottery

As the historian William Dalrymple has observed: “The economic figures speak for themselves. In 1600, when the East India Company was founded, Britain was generating 1.8% of the world’s GDP, while India was producing 22.5%. By the peak of the Raj, those figures had more or less been reversed: India was reduced from the world’s leading manufacturing nation to a symbol of famine and deprivation.”

The thing is, Amartya Sen knows better than this. The Indian economy didn’t decline. GDP per capita stayed – roughly enough – static. Population soared. Therefore total GDP rose. It’s that GDP elsewhere in the world rose more.

12 thoughts on “Ignorant tosspottery”

  1. “leading manufacturing nation”, implying it was what? de-industrialised by the brits?
    22.5 per cent of the GDP. So what was the percent of the world population somewhere in the whereabouts of 22.5 p.c perchance?

  2. India wasn’t a nation in 1600 or for many years later.

    And given the serious dissatisfaction with the accuracy of GDP even now, how TF did they get these figures? I know, they were extracted rectally.

  3. Baghdadi Jews, such as the highly successful Sassoons, came in large numbers even as late as the 18th century.

    Fine, upstanding people I’m sure; superior to the British in every respect:

    “Sassoon ben Salih (1750–1830) and his family were the chief treasurers to the pashas of Baghdad and Southern Iraq. His sons David (1792–1864) and Joseph (1795–1872) fled from a new and unfriendly wāli. In 1828 David first went to the Persian Gulf port of Bushehr and in 1832 to Bombay, India, with his large family.In Bombay, he built the international business called David S. Sassoon, with the policy of staffing it with people brought from Baghdad. They filled the functions of the various branches of his business in India, Burma, Malaya, and east Asia. He cemented the family’s dominant position in the Sino-Indian opium trade.


    Remind me again, who gets the blame for the opium wars?

  4. From Wiki:”The First Opium War, fought in 1839–1842 between Qing China and Great Britain, was triggered by the dynasty’s campaign against the British merchants who sold opium to Chinese merchants.”

    Further detail: “In the late 18th century, the British East India Company expanded cultivation of opium in its Indian Bengal territories, selling it to private traders who transported it to China and passed it on to Chinese smugglers.”

    I really dislike casual, almost ritualistic anti-Semitism, especially when facts are freely available

  5. Sen and Dalrymple both have a long history of lying about British India, including Sen’s assertion that there were no famines in India until the white man arrived.

    Ghandi’s refusal to engage with Western technology and the efforts of worthless commie cunts like Sen kept India poor in the 20th century.

    As Rhoda points out, there was no ‘India’ in 1600, just the fag end of a Mughal Empire which had slaughtered 40m Hindus in order to establish itself. GDP ‘data’ for so long ago is guesswork based on population… er… guesswork.

  6. “Amartya Sen knows better than this.” You sayin’ he’s a liar, Tim?

    I used to know a fellow of Trinity, as devoted a college man as there was in Cambridge. Not a whisper of criticism escaped his lips except when the subject of Sen as Master arose. He spoke with some hesitation and great delicacy but my own translation is that he thought him a vain and untrustworthy little shit.

  7. Interested to see Sen pointing out that the Brits didn’t have to fight wars in India until Mughal rule collapsed, and the French and the local warlords weren’t kept in check. As he points out, the profits of the EIC only ‘largely’ covered the costs of the wars. The rest came from the British taxpayer.

    From such Indian history as I’ve read, the EIC directors were always opposed to wars. Because they cut into the profits. But alas the local rulers didn’t always keep the peace, and let the foreigners just get on with making money.

    As for what would have happened if the Brits didn’t take over, I’d say the most likely event would have been continual squabbles between the local successor states. With perhaps some local modernisation in small patches.

    But I like to imagine the Russians conquering Afghanistan as they did the Caucasus. And building the Trans-Afghan railway. And then invading the sub-continent and making the Tsar emperor of India. Perhaps the EIC would have become a subsidiary of the Muscovy Company, and traded in India by the grace and favour of the Tsar.

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