Sunday, August 13, 2017

Reformation of Economic Order

Question:  Whole world today is in a rat race of profit making – be it in the field of business, job or even education – which you have called ‘profit-obsession’ (labhonmad).  How will we find solution to the global social, economic and environmental crises that have come up from this obsessive pursuit for profit?  What is the alternative if the world today decides to leave profit making? 

Answer: - If something fails then we can try for success by an alternative approach.  Humankind has become stuck because they don’t have any clear goal or direction.  In the absence of clear goal and direction they don’t have any definite plan and programs.  A definite program is possible only if our goal and direction is definite.  At the fundamental level it is about achieving coherence between science and conscience.  The goal of the prevalent economic order is only hoarding, luxuriousness, consumption, and over-indulgence – where definiteness is never possible.  There is no point of fulfilment for hoarding and luxury.  Not a single person among the 7 billion residing on this Earth could find the point of fulfilment of hoarding and luxury, nor can they every find it.  This is evidence of humankind’s goalless and directionless state.  If we had a definite goal and direction, our program would have been definite as well.  I call it obsession or madness because however hard one may try its fulfilment is never going to be happen.

I have seen how this obsession for profit only keeps growing.  You must also be seeing it.  What goal can be reached by growing this obsession?  At what point will we say it is enough?  Once one’s family’s physical requirements have been met, wealth would get used for nothing other than consumption, indulgences, overindulgence.  Indulgence never got fulfilment to anyone ever.  Profiteering is nothing but an obsession.  If all 7 billion of human population becomes obsessed this way, who will come to their rescue?  This discovery (anusandhan) has answer to this question.

All human beings want happiness, they all want to reach to some conclusion, and they all want continuity of order.  This anusandhan (discovery) has found the way for achieving it.  Economic order (artha vyavastha) is a part of universal order.
Artha (means of living) is in the form of body, mind and wealth.  The economics cannot be envisaged if we were to leave any one of body, mind or wealth from our consideration.  The economics that is taught so far calls money to be artha.  Money could be in two forms – (1) coins, (2) paper.  Paper money (currency notes) gets produced in some printing press.  Now the printing process has become ubiquitous so the forged currency notes are also there.  The modern economics therefore is no more than science of printing currency notes and minting coins.  We may have tons of money but unless we have food and water we can neither fill our stomachs nor quench our thirst.  Money is mere symbol of something of utility.  Having the symbol doesn’t mean having the thing.  Our assuming that we have the thing while all we have in hand is its symbol is plain madness.  This conflict is resolved if we recognize artha as body, mind and wealth.   Here wealth is things of human needs (objects of food, shelter and aesthetics) and aspirations (objects of telecommunication and transportation).  The economic order based on this understanding shall ensure utilization of things and not their hoarding.  For example – the grain that we grow starts rotting if we hoard it for 3-4 years.  In the same way the machines that we make are meant to be used and not for storing.  If we don’t use them they will only get rusted.  One can store to a limit but excessive wealth becomes a headache and their utilization would become inevitable.  Once utilization (upyogita) is assured, we can then devote wealth towards sadupyogita (utilization for social benefit) and prayojansheelta (utilization towards human tradition).

I understood one thing which is very significant here – the mind (jeevan) has to be there while doing any production, and with mind the body has to be there.  All production activity must have the sanyog of human being’s mind and body.  In this way we get the concept for ‘wealth’ as things that are produced for fulfilling human requirements as needs and aspirations.  If we can logically conclude this human being’s mind starts turning towards production.  The prevalent economics demeans production work and it is destroying human being’s orientation towards production activities.  Thereafter it talks of specialization which destroys productive orientation further.  The specialist, whose productive orientation has been destroyed, is believed to be someone who is ‘accomplished’!  These accomplished ones demand everything without doing any production themselves.  They demand the biggest share of production outputs!  In this way the graduates churned out by this education have no disposition for doing any production while they demand more and more of everything.  These two together make their conflict, revolt and exploitation with the world inevitable.  This is the way humankind is stuck.  Now it wants to become free.  I have become free from this trap.  I have no conflict with anyone and I don’t have any need of revolt or exploitation.  We produce more than the needs of our family.  You can also do this.  The determination of requirements happens neither at individual level nor at collective level. Family is the only place where the requirements of human being can be definitively determined.  We experience prosperity (samriddhi) by producing in excess of our family’s requirements.  This capability requires study of cyclical economics (avartansheel artha-shastra).  I have presented it in Hindi language to the world.  Its propagation will be beneficial for humankind.  It will cause no harm to any individual or any family ever.  It can only result in upkaar.  Every human being has naturally intrinsic want of becoming free from conflict, revolt and exploitation.  The stratagems adopted by present day politics shall never result in fearlessness and peace.  Peace and harmony requires implementation of cyclical economic order (avartansheel artha vyavastha).  Production happens when artha (body, mind and wealth) gets devoted to natural abundance.  The produced things in turn become the basis of nourishment (poshan), protection (sanrakshan) and social progress (samaj gati).  We become capable of producing again on the basis of this nourishment, protection and social progress.  In this way it is a cyclical process.  Things are produced when human being devotes their mind (thinking abilities) through body on natural abundance.  This is the way to end strife in human living.  Human being has intrinsic want of fulfilment or happiness; therefore they keep seeking a way for fulfilment all the time.  In their search once they find the right way they will naturally adopt it.  It is not about renouncing anything.  It is about reformation from wrong to right, from apraadh (crime) to nyaya, from war to co-existential harmony, from droha (conflict) to saujanyata (courteousness), from vidroha (revolt) to maître (friendship/camaraderie).  This reformation is not an imposition as its expectation is natural or intrinsic to human being.  You can ask each of the 7 billion population of the world whether we should engage in conflict, revolt, exploitation and war or not?  They all will say we should not engage in these.  I think no one wants strife in their life.  The cyclical economic order (avartansheel artha vyavastha) can liberate humankind from strife, conflict, revolt, exploitation and war.  The way a mad person has the intrinsic desire for mental health; humankind has the intrinsic desire for reformation from the profit obsessed economic order (labhonmadi artha vyavastha) to cyclical economic order (avartansheel artha vyavastha).  It is about awakening that which is intrinsic.  The basic principle of avartansheel artha vyavastha is “devote labour, exchange labour” (shram niyojan, shram vinimaya).  It is about producing things of our needs and aspirations.  avartansheel artha vyavastha is natural (prakrutik), destined (niyati sahaj), co-existentially harmonious (sah-astitva sahaj) and has eternal continuity (vartmaan).  We should study it thoroughly and actualize it in our living.  We should become contented and be source for contentment of others.

- Excerpt from English Translation of Jeevan Vidya - Ek Parichaya

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