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Center for Civil Society: liberals, reason, and power

Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI
I consider Dr Parth Shah, the founder of the Centre for Civil Society,
to be
a close intellectual ally and a fellow classical liberal, even though we
not  personal friends.    I came to know his name in 1988 in Hawaii from
Shyam Kamath when the three of us were literally just about the only
Indian classical liberals around, a very lonely existence.    Dr Shah
me in 1997 that he had come to known my name from Milton Friedman and
American and British classical liberals.    As such, I agree with much
what his Centre, and that of Barun Mitra, the Liberty Institute, believe
be right for India.

However, it appears to me, and I have told Dr Shah this, that the Centre

cannot without contradiction maintain itself to be politically neutral
at the same time be as closely identified with the Congress Party
as it has been recently.    There is nothing of course wrong in being
identified with the Congress or any other party as such, and if the
has been contributing to converting the present Congress to a classical
liberal agenda, that will be to the good.    One should merely  have to
admit for sake of consistency that one wants to see those whom one
displace those presently in power, i.e. that one is partisan.
that was my position in assisting the present Congress President's  late

husband when he was the Congress President and Leader of the Opposition
1990/1991.    For myself, I have been sympathetic to Mr. Vajpayee since
1996, but have almost given up trying to convert anyone any more to a
classical liberal political or economic philosophy.    At a Liberty Fund

Conference at Oxford in 1978,  Peter Bauer told me something which I am
able to understand: he said that what classical liberals like himself or

myself or others normally failed to grasp is the nature of political
how to get it, how to hold on to it at any cost.   Both Marxists and
fascists of all persuasions tend to be very good at doing just that even

while the classical liberal flails away gassing about the light of

Subroto Roy

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