This theme is as previous as human civilization itself, and we will see lots of the identical extravagances and follies in our world at present…
by Simon Black of Sovereign Man
On June 17, 1631, the 38-year previous chief consort of Shah Jahan, head of the Mughal Empire, was giving delivery to their 14th baby within the central Indian metropolis of Burhanpur.
It had been an extended and intensely tough labor– greater than 30 hours in complete. However the consort persevered and gave delivery to a wholesome child woman. The consort herself, sadly, succumbed to uncontrollable postpartum bleeding, and she or he handed away that very same day.
Her identify was Mumtaz Mahal. And her husband the Emperor was so bereaved that, after a year-long interval of mourning, he commissioned a palatial mausoleum to accommodate her tomb.
We all know this tomb at present because the Taj Mahal. And Shah Jahan spared no expense on its grandeur. In line with the scrupulously stored monetary data of the time, the price of the Taj Mahal totaled exactly 41,828,426.47 silver Rupees. Primarily based on the at present’s gold and silver costs, that works out to be greater than $3 billion in at present’s cash.
Now, I’m positive Shah Jahan beloved his spouse very a lot. However that’s some huge cash to spend on a tomb… particularly when the cash comes from the general public treasury.
However this type of profligate spending was fairly typical of the Mughal Emperors on the time.
The Mughal Empire had solely been based roughly 100 years earlier than, in 1526. And it rose to prominence beneath the reign of Akbar the Nice through the late 1500s.
Akbar tripled the scale and wealth of the Mughal Empire till it included just about all of India, Pakistan, and components of Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Akbar additionally ensured that financial freedom reigned. He reduce taxes. The coinage was secure. Infrastructure was extremely superior. Individuals have been free to interact in commerce and commerce.
Akbar additionally held authorities paperwork to a minimal, and even stored his private family spending fairly low.
He famously dominated with a workers of simply 4 ministers, and he set an instance of routinely hiring individuals primarily based purely on their expertise, irrespective of somebody’s faith, nationality, or class.
Because of this, the Mughal Empire turned a monetary powerhouse, chargeable for roughly 22% of world GDP. (That is roughly the identical because the US is at present.)
The empire shortly turned recognized for its unimaginable wealth, and European vacationers marveled on the Mughals’ excessive lifestyle.
Naturally, the wealth didn’t final. The emperors who adopted Akbar didn’t proceed his insurance policies of freedom, tolerance, and conservative spending.
Akbar’s son Jahangir was a merciless, drunken degenerate who reveled in flaying his political opponents; he additionally ballooned the bills of his imperial courtroom by establishing a harem of 6,000 ladies.
(The harem’s administrator was the emperor’s favourite spouse– a lady he married after brutally murdering her first husband.)
Jahangir’s son, Shah Jehan, was much more intemperate. He got here to energy by slaughtering his brothers, after which shortly raised authorities spending to epic ranges.
Along with the Taj Mahal, Shah Jehan constructed dozens of different lavish palaces, and he spent indiscriminately on different private luxuries like jewellery.
He raised taxes and poisoned the economic system with armies of bureaucrats. Shah Jehan was additionally extremely illiberal of different religions and ideologies, and he imposed a particular tax on all people who didn’t convert to his Muslim religion.
Shah Jehan was violently overthrown by his son Aurangzeb, a fanatic who sought to eradicate each different religion aside from his personal. He tore down monuments, smashed statues, and closed faculties which didn’t conform to his ideology.
As Emperor, Aurangzeb raised taxes and accelerated growth of regulation and authorities paperwork. He additionally continuously provoked overseas enemies and sunk quite a lot of the Empire’s sagging treasury right into a unending state of expensive warfare.
Paradoxically, although, as a result of his private religion, Aurangzeb was a pacifist at house. He often refused to implement the legal guidelines and punish crime. Ultimately Aurangzeb turned legendary for his clemency and forgiveness, and criminals thrived beneath his reign.
Aurangzeb died in 1707. And simply 17 yr after his dying, the Mughal Empire had disintegrated into fragments.
The Empire’s rise to wealth and prominence over just some many years within the 1500s was astonishing. Its speedy decline was much more extraordinary. However it’s not exhausting to grasp.
Between peak and decline, the Empire skilled horrible management. Weak and incompetent emperors spent lavishly, expanded the paperwork, raised taxes, elevated regulation, and waged struggle. A few of these wars ended with humiliating defeats, leading to a lack of nationwide status.
They trampled on particular person and financial liberty. They formalized excessive ideological intolerance and inspired social divisions. They canceled, generally violently, anybody who didn’t espouse their beliefs.
They didn’t trouble implementing their very own legal guidelines, they usually let the lawless reign. They misplaced the flexibility to switch energy in an orderly method between successive rulers.
They failed to guard their borders from foreigner invaders– most notably the British East India Firm. They usually completely failed to acknowledge that rival powers world wide have been rising and would take their place.
They foolishly and arrogantly assumed that their wealth and energy would final perpetually. It didn’t. It by no means does.
This theme is as previous as human civilization itself, and we will see lots of the identical extravagances and follies from the Mughal Empire in our world at present.
This time will not be totally different, and it’s why diversifying internationally makes a lot sense… why having a Plan B makes a lot sense.
PS: For those who can see what is going on, and the place that is all going, you perceive why it’s so necessary to have a Plan B. That’s why we revealed our 31-page, totally up to date Good Plan B Information, which you’ll obtain right here.