The Usefulness of India in a Terrifying World

The frontpage, 4th column feature (I think it’s called an A-head) in yesterday’s WSJ, unfortunately firewalled, was a sweet piece of reporting by Eric Bellman about daytraders playing the Indian stockmarket at internet cafes in Mumbai. They’ve left their jobs as sailors and real estate agents to try and eke out a profit of $10 a day to provide for their families. “I should have sold,” one laments. “Now I’m waiting for Bernanke to shut his mouth.”

I have to catch myself from loving this story too much. Those Indians are so fuzzy and smart and cute! And they are just like us! Daytrading and worshiping Bill Gates…

The Indians are incredibly comforting to us because they affirm capitalism, and our brand of capitalism, secular, meritocratic, all-out—from a foreign and brownskinned perspective. So much of the rest of the world is lagging on the capitalist model, not figuring it out like the Russians or choking the atmosphere with poison like the Chinese or afraid of it like the Muslims. The Indians have our modern religion and it seems to work for them.