--BY MADAN LAMSAL
Capitalism or in other words, market economy. A system where capital goods are owned by individuals or private companies. A system where the production of goods and services is based on the needs of the market, especially the situation of demand and supply. Capitalism doesn't work when governments try to run it through centralised plans and directives. But that's only for the developed countries. Not for Nepal. It's the same type of capitalism the world over. But not in Nepal. In Nepal, capitalism has at least four forms. In the west, they are really rather strange; husbands change wives and wives change husbands instantly when they don't like each other. But, for some reason, they love capitalism so much more- and they’ve been making it work for years! However, in Nepal capitalism comes in different forms, depending upon parties, people and time! Let's briefly analyse the four different types of capitalism in Nepal:
Crony Capitalism: This is the most widespread type of capitalism in Nepal. You can also call it agentocracy. This is a model of capitalism where people make money through businesses, thanks to their political connections. The model of crony capitalism is a very simple one. According to this model, even those who are yet to prove their financial and professional competence can be politically strong. They get business licenses and big contracts whether that requires joining political parties in government or buttering up or greasing the palms of those who matter in those parties.More commonly known as 'dalals or agents', they also get hefty commissions for awarding contracts to others and are powerful enough to influence the government to the extent of making tax concessions or complete exemptions.
One amusing thing about crony capitalism is that, the bureaucrats, too, are in the race to please the politicians or their agents to get transfers to 'juicy' offices, promotion or the chance for foreign trips and other perks. In crony capitalism, all three organs of the state - executive, legislative and judiciary - and the so-called fourth estate, the media, and civil society are in such a relationship with each other that there is no possibility for anyone else to enjoy state services and privileges.
Phony Capitalism: This type of capitalism is based on the theory that inequality is a natural outcome of capitalism. Some also call it ersatz capitalism designed to create inequalities. In phony capitalism, the business people, especially those from certain communities, rule the roost. These people are successful in dominating Nepal's financial sector including banking and insurance. It wouldn't be otherwise to call it an example of another syndicate. Phony capitalism is not only limited to the financial sector but is also present in construction, education, health, hydropower and transport. In short, in every sector where the transaction of money takes place.
Stony Capitalism: As the name suggests, there is no place for feeling and sympathy in this type of capitalism. Money is God and individuals get priority over systems and PR over principles. This type of capitalism is based on the principle that rules are made to be broken. Almost all politicians and political parties, intellectuals, journalists and other sections of society in Nepal have successfully embraced this type of capitalism. In theory, the country's republican constitution talks about democracy putting in place a system of checks and balances for the government and its ministers and to keep intact the rule of law. But in practice, they use all the tricks of the trade including money and muscle to rise to power and bend and break the law using the same power.
Gloomy Capitalism: This type of capitalism paints a gloomy picture of what is to come as it continues to erode the social and democratic foundations necessary for its own sustenance, as well as the resources needed to collectively construct an alternative order. In this type of capitalism, those with the required wisdom, enthusiasm, capacity and investment are discouraged from doing anything, while those who lack the capacity, character and investment but are close to those in power are encouraged. In this type of capitalism, what you say is more important than what you do. People boasting, full of big talk are successful in this type of system. You only have to look at those who are just talking about rebuilding the Dharahara and running trains and ships in Nepal!