Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The senselessness behind the current 'produce more and prosper' model


This author happened to read today, an article appeared in the 'The Economist', discussing Global big-business houses' dilemma about India; whether to invest more money in this country, as there exists no adequate population of 'middle-class' in its typical sense with the required purchasing capacity in the country!

The link to the said article is here: https://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21734382-multinational-businesses-relying-indian-consumers-face-disappointment-indias-missing-middle

The article reveals what is the crux of the concept of her 'development', measured in every nation's GDP, or Gross Domestic Product'. No industry can go on producing to her full capacity without having in mind, a sensible market. Market means, an adequate number of 'consumers' with adequate purchasing capacity for the products in hand. Creating demand for the product is another subject.  Industry has her best 'creative-department' who does this job through highly mind-swaying advertisements, persistent till such demand is created!

Then comes the key issue of an adequate number of consumers with adequate purchasing capacity. Neoliberalism is also about keenest possible attention to details, in whatever one does. It was this keenness for 'details' that found the 'inadequate percentage of middle-class' in India, hence blind, huge capital- investment not a wise step.

No industry can survive for long without an ever-increasing buyers base ( consumers) for what trhey produce. That is why she has very thoughtfully created the 'new middle-class', that comprises mostly her own employees, who are paid handsomely!

When industry pays more and more to her top executive-officers by way of their remuneration, it is also for the sole goal of making these employees fit ‘buyers’ for whatever they produce! The backbone of every business is more and more ‘sales' and the resulting profit-return to the producers! 

Brother producers cannot ever fill the vacuum of this 'buyers' population fully ever, as their numbers are not large. So, industry always needs her own paid employees also turning into ideal consumers of her products. No buyer base, no business survival as once said above!  

Compared to most of the Western countries, where more than 70% are 'middle-class', ( http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/04/24/middle-class-fortunes-in-western-europe/) in India, it is just 3% as per 2011 PEW Research figures.This low figure is what put the Global industry leaders into the great dilemma; there are not adequate 'buyers' in India if they go for large scale-production!

Now we are arriving at our subject matter. We know that the one and only criterion of 'growth' and development for all nations is by increasing their industrial production. The assumption is that, when industries produce more, it will create more jobs, and people of the country will have increased incomes.
But these increased incomes will not move the industry anyway. They have no interest in this area. What they want is 'adequate' income for maximum people, so that they open their purses liberally to grab all the latest gadgets and services they produce in large numbers. This 'liberal buying' without reservation is the key factor that ensures 'adequate return' of the capital invested by the industry! For big profits, there should be
high-end products with good-price range. In other words, industry wants people of earth to be perfect 'consumers', who spend maximum on buying products.

This might appear a noble intention at first sight. Everyone has a lot of income, they shop liberally, enjoy all the best things in life and life goes on in prosperity! All governments in the world want it. They compete each other for increased GDP figures, as it is the sole indicator of progress over others. Increased GDP means increased tax-income gained from the industry, as well as greater income-tax figures from the high-earning citizens.

The institution of education wants it, as it will increase, and keep the demand for their 'product' ( knowledge) high. Jobs need a good education and technical knowledge imparted by educational institutions.

Media industry wants it very badly, as it is on 'advertisement' income that they live on. Industry can't exist and sell more without adequate advertisements.

All good!

But what about the whole subject matter of the LIFE of man on Earth is centered around certain 'obsession' of an institution,( industry) who target the whole population of Earth to be their ideal 'consumers'? What about all governments, all industry, Education, Media, that is, all major institutions of mankind whirl around making man an ideal consumer of the various innovative products of the industry?

Unfortunately in the above process, ever since the industrial revolution in the world and the capitalistic growth she achieved, the trend was an increased flow of wealth into fewer and fewer pockets! It is only one of our grave concerns! American citizens had protested against the above fortune imbalance by their 'OCCUPY' agitations, crying out that they were fed-up with the rule and influence of 1% over the rest 99%. Every statistics now say, more than 55% of world's wealth is in the hands of less than 1% of her population, that is, around 100 rich business families or industrial houses!

Another evil of this madness of our world is about the mental health of people, especially that of her younger-population, especially in the West. Students are compelled by parents to study more and more for becoming suitable work-force in the offices and factories. Parents need their wards to be ‘successful’ in life, in the above sense. They should be adequately ‘earning’ to possess everything modern and advanced in the world. ( see the silly side of such concept of SUCCESS here: http://understandinginflationinanewlight.blogspot.in/2015/03/seeking-origins-of-notion-of-human.html)

So, these pressurized children are turning more and more prone to mental illness worldwide, especially in the West where such ‘development’ is the maximum. ( see one of the many internet sources that describe this problem: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/todays-teens-anxious-depressed-paranoid/story?id=9281013)

That income and wealth imbalance is adequately covered and propagated in the media and literature all over the world, but less discussed is the above-referred 'turning of the life of man into a 'consuming' Robot'! It has reduced or even nullified the relevance and importance of all other activities in the phenomenon of life! Life's values have altered. Everyone has learned to discard what does not bring him personal gains. Man started looking at everything in life with 'selfish' gain motive. The following link depicts this great 'value- transformation': http://leadingdogmasthatruletheworld.blogspot.in/

What yet to be discussed adequately, as said above, is the transformation of man's life into that of a 'compulsive consumer'! Possessing high-end household products and gadgets now determines one's social status. He consumes not only for satisfying his biological needs but specifically his social-status needs! ( see the following link on this calamity: http://leadingdogmasthatruletheworld.blogspot.in/2014/04/direct-role-of-our-economic-and.html)

Life stands abducted by industry and her affiliated institutions, Govt and Media!

When looked at life from a metaphysical angle, as an individual 'gift' from Existence and a unique opportunity to each individual man from Nature or Existence, can we, the enlightened human society accepts the above-narrated abuse of it by a group of a few selfish men who run Industry, govts and Media to ABDUCT life as a whole, and make it a means to satiate their narrow ends? Can the sense of Reason of man and mankind keep silence upon the above grave abuse of the phenomenon Life? Life is a unique task, an opportunity given to each individual by Nature. Can it be wasted and allowed to be abused by certain institutions constituted by selfish groups of men?

What should rule the life of man need to be a ' sacred realm of his collective', not a selfish coterie, that own, control and determine its direction, the direction of the billions of individuals on Earth? Even the breathing of an individual is today controlled either by the industry, or his govt or the Media! He is a total victim! He does not own his mind, his wishes, his emotions, anything. He is being controlled by the rhetoric of political players, advertisements, and Media mind manipulations. It is a total abuse of the humankind.

The origin of all this is big-business wealth and it's all-controlling properties. It controls Govts, Education, and Media. Think-tanks are their own creation.

The mind of man stands dead. Creative freedom of man stands dead, as industry and govts want only their writs to rule the world, minds, and institutions. If the physical power of the strongest controlled all others in society in the remote past, today, it is the economic muscle of the rich.  If society was controlled by Feudalism in the past, today, it stands replaced by the big-industry and big-wealth!

Another recent article explains, that Adam Smith was wrongly quoted by the Industry as the ‘father’ of all evils of Capitalism as made to be believed by the modern world. It was the result of a carefully planned strategy by modern industry institution for turning the world under their control, under what we know today as ‘neo-liberalism’. (https://aeon.co/essays/we-should-look-closely-at-what-adam-smith-actually-believed

It is once again onset of the dark ages, but made to appear golden age by the work and propaganda of Media and govts!

Authored by: Abraham J.Palakudy

He is an independent seeker and researcher into subjects like Mind&Reason, philosophy and metaphysics, man&society, Spirituality etc.
Contact him at, ajoseph1@rediffmail.com
Twitter: Voice of philosophy@jopan1
His profile and other blogs: https://www.blogger.com/profile/14249415589712707293

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Vacuum in the world for a new philosophy of life



We have capitalism today as our leading economic system in the world. Its grip
is clearly visible in all spheres of life. It stands for complete freedom of the
individual and his free spirit; outwardly a very pleasing and positive outlook on life. But
it also advocates 'one for oneself' ideology. When everyone attempts to
achieve progress for oneself, it will naturally lead to everyone's progress
according to one's native ability.


This arrangement will naturally lead to competition. Everyone try to excel over
the other. This is accepted as the natural phenomenon in capitalism. It creates
inequality too, that again accepted by capitalism as natural. In short, the man to man
relation that capitalism stands for is not much different from our old time
jungle way of life, with its natural inequality, natural competition and natural progress
of the strongest! 


Capitalism also stands for 'using' everything in sight and extracting best economic value out if it. Wealth creation necessarily involves avoidance of WASTAGE to the minutest degree.Avoidance of wastage, to a large degree, is achieving productive efficiency, the crux of modern production. This attitude that first applied to raw- , land and capital,gradually and naturally extended to human-resources also, throwing into the wind, Kant's popular stand that, man should not ever be the 'means' in the economy, but its very END !

Capitalism has indeed created wealth for mankind on earth. But wealth for a
minority few at the top. If it was 75% of world's wealth in the hands of 25%
privileged men a few decades ago, it is almost 85% in the hands of 15% such men
today! Or if you go by the latest figures, more than 55% of world's wealth and resources are owned by  less than 100 business groups or their families, as per Zurich University and Oxfam research centers.The results of this 'natural' inequality is in front of our eyes - in the form of widespread unrest and violence at all corners of the world. 


Latest PEW reserach reports ( search  PEW research reports on POVERTY at Google) reveals, despite 250 years of capitalistic 'progress', over 70% world population is still either POOR, or low-income! 

Now about the creation of wealth by capitalism, open minds can not ignore the other central, historic aspect too; that of COLONIALISM, an adventure that Capitalists undertook as an aspect of expressing their free-spirit! Is the present wealth of Western-Capitalistic nations a result of pure hard work of their citizens, or that of PLUNDER from the colonies ? The answer will compel every one of us to seriously rethink, what exactly should be the limit of one's unbound self-expression, and ascertaining own freedom. Can defeating the other, an integral aspect of own success, be a part of this unbound freedom of one ? ( about colonial plunder, those interested may refer to post:http://influxofcapitalisticvalues.blogspot.in/2010/11/influx-of-capitalistic-values-into.html)

What man wants is his little free space, and his little freedom to be himself.
For the 85% majority, life has to be lived in a world meant for the 15%
elite, or if you want to use the famous OCCUPY agitators' in USA phrase,99% live in the world meant for and owned by 1% ! 


99%  fail to connect them with the mainstream society, which is not
theirs. They are alienated, though food situation and shelter situation is some-
what adequate. Man can not live on meeting the needs of the mouth alone! He has
his spiritual needs too. He is not flesh alone, like animals.


Communism lost its war too:

Communism intended to 'EMANCIPATE' man from his attachment with private
property and possessions naturally associated with capitalism. Hence they
proposed all property to belong to the state. People were asked to live in a
closely knit commune called the country, working for the collective goals of
the community. Great ideal indeed, but here too, man's spiritual need of
freedom as a person was not met. If the entrepreneur was the MASTER is capitalism, he was replaced by the PARTY LEADERSHIP in communism ! The control over the followers, or the ordinary party men,was worse than that under capitalism.Communist nations had become notorious for their suppression of the freedom of citizens in modern-age. 


Now heard, a new movement is on the rise in Putin's Russia,wherin many yonger citizens are involved,demanding civil-freedom. But even if they win a French revolution kind battle with their regime, where will they take the country along? There is no viable model available today in the world, for running Nations and people's collective lives!   

Communism collapsed as an alternative ideology to capitalism in about 150 years of its existence in the world. After the collapse of Russia, the leading LEFTIST nation in the world, next communist power(China) had switched over to Capitalism lately. Though LEFTIST ideology still exists in many isolated pockets of the world as an abstract hope/symbol of the working class, or that of the victims of suppression under capitalist model of society, they show no inclination or ideological-spirit to BRING-IN A NEW MODEL OF SOCIETY,where one could treat the other with due dignity, and a regime that acts as true catalyzing agent for ensuring such a progressive and liberal attitude in regime vs.citizen relation, and man vs.man relation.  

Both systems claimed as natural law:

Man always felt in history that, his purely speculative designs and ways about society were  not correct. Every philosopher wanted to invent nature's hidden laws and apply it his theories. Both capitalists and communists thought, theirs was the law natural. But the results of both the
ideologies were not supportive of the claim, as we have seen in the world.

What could be nature's ultimate law about one to one relation, the metaphysics of 'self'?

Before attempting to answer this eternal question, let us probe into the
metaphysical constitution of man's personality. If we leave the question of
man's inner spirit for a while, and concentrate on how his surface EGO is
made, the seeker will easily find its connection with the 'OTHER' in its making.
 

Our 'self-hood' is basically constituted by the way others perceive us. A child
does not know who, or what he is. The mother is the first 'other' in his life
who gives him his first identity. The child identifies himself as an 'object' in
the eyes of the mother. 'Lovers' story also would support this metaphysical
truth. The new shine and sparkle about oneself that the LOVER usually
experiences is nothing but the way in which his/her partner looks at him/her in
the heightened romantic mood! When Love fails, one falls flat to the ground, to
the usual indifferent attitude of his usual relations. He feels miserable!


It is not easy to realize the truth of this proposition, but with some good effort,
everyone will realize its unfailing reality. We are, to a considerable degree, what others think
of us. When we behave in a particular way, and when it is perceived and reacted to
by others in our circle, we form a picture of ourselves. Their reaction
provides 'tangible-reality' to the idea of  each person ! One becomes a reality to himself, only when
the other see him. At a broader level, this seems to be the metaphysical dynamics
of  the whole creation  - - -the COSMIC UNITY turning into the mandatory DUALITY of
subjects and objects, for the sake of origin of the ENTITIES, in the act of mutual
perception!


One central aspect implied here may be noted carefully;if one wants to have an ever improving,ever creative,ever expanding ( ever progressing) idea about himself, he must strive to keep his 'other' or others around him too, truly liberated, letting them also to ever improve, ever expand and ever remain beautiful and progressive as himself ! If you keep the other a slave or a dependent of you, your self-progress stops there ! The other is the much VITAL medium for you express yourself most beautifully, ever creatively,and to ever see you expressed in different colors, at times to your own disbelief ! If the 'other' you have thus developed by letting him 'free' and creative turns capable of grasping your you fully, you will always tend to be yourself fully, causing you to often wonder, whether what has come out of you really belongs to you! Such is the power of letting the 'other'be himself or herself. 

It seems Nature herself had let man free here, with FREE-WILL, to experience her own freedom and independence; man seems to be a replica of nature this way!

We do not know who we are, till the other reacts to us. The other is a kind of
'mirror' where we see ourselves, and form our picture and identity. Ego, our worldly spirit, and the empirical entity is almost a social product.

Hence one needs the other very badly to remain as a person. Hence, when we hate
and despise the other, it reflects upon us too. We too are despised and hated.


Rousseau had no doubt that, the 'mirth of the rich is exclusievly caused by the wretchedness of the poor; it is the difference between both class's life, that gives him his mirth. Take away the wretchedness of the poor, and there will go the pleasue of being wealthy';  he commented.

Please note, whatever said above applies to our collective  entities too, especially to larger communities and States

The latest found wisdom of mankind - -the science of ecology- -effectively
reveals the truth of this proposition. We used to fear and kill snakes, tigers
and many species around us,fearing for our safety. But now our experience and
wisdom teach us that if we do not care for our environment, and each and every
item in it, such environment would turn our enemy and kill us in due course! For
self-survival, man has painfully learned the lesson of looking after every item
in one's environment. 


Now he takes all the care NOT to disturb trees,mountains,sea,air, and rivers.
The old world-view of EXPLOITING the nature and defeating her**, to celebrate man's victory over her, has now sadly been given way for ECOLOGY, though its straight ideological opposition with old Darwinian outlook is still not being widely understood,or propagated.

** See the old view of Science about its one and only role of defeating nature:
 Francis Bacon, an early days champion of modern science called-up on science to:  
Ø      ‘Haunt’ nature in her wanderings
Ø       She should be bound into service    
Ø       Made her a slave
Ø       Put her in constraint
Ø        Torture-out the secrets of from her

( words ‘haunt’ and ‘torture-out’ refer to old Europe’s witch hunt-tradition.

Ecology's  social-lesson   

Who can deny that for man, the 'other man' is not the closest item in one's
social environment? 


Unlike what Ayn Rand ( modern age's most extreme capitalism supporter) had put it, it is not out of ALTRUISM that the capitalist has to care for the less privileged, but out of the compulsions of the above seen NATURAL LAW. 

While 'altruism' is a moral burden, caring for the other person on the ground of a natural law is pure wisdom. The old word  'LOVE'  can be understood by mankind  in this special meaning now. It can be understood as mere 'valuing' the other, the way ECOLOGY teach us. Love was earlier thought to be a moral burden. When LOVE is realized as mere 'valuing' the other, it becomes a simple and direct philosophy of life for the enlightened modern man ! Here life could suddenly turn spiritual, without any stigma of  blind FAITH attached to it.

When the 'other' VALUE me as a way and principle of life, I gain my self -worth
naturally. My fear for the other gets reduced. When my self-worth is intact,
when its value is realized by me, I will take all the care NOT to violate the
self-worth of the other. Such mutual valuing can become a way of life in due
course  like ECOLOGY is turning a 'way of life' for all nations today.(?)


The curse of our present belief that, my freedom will be a sustainable reality when I defeat the other,and he converted into my servant ! 

It was a dogma that Western Society had believed in during the colonial past. We must agree, that in the present industry oriented Capitalism too, the same DOGMA is in the application ! The concept of our PROGRESS is unfortunately around allowing a few entrepreneurs,attaining highest SUCCESS in PRODUCING a lot, for the consumption of world population. They turn  giant, strong men,controlling even governments, while majority population remains servants at different level of aiding those gigantic production empires.

One CENTRAL FACT modern world ignores is the existential law that,when one grows unreasonably BIG and POWERFUL, others tend to rot, without their self-identity and creative-freewill ! If I need to progress, I need the 'other'too in my contact, to be equally free and open like me ! It only will pose intellectual and emotional CHALLENGE to me.For me to remain constantly witty,creative and sharp, I need to keep the 'other' also the same way !


 If the other is kept my servant, an instrument that  makes my life better and safe, I will grow intellectually and emotionally a moron, at least in the near long-run ! Life for nature was always this creative encounter between two particles or entities so that something new always come out of such encounters ! Every one of us could see this plain example from our day to day life; if your lover is kept your slave, you will get tired of her/him soon. If the ones work under your supervision are kept docile and slave-like, they will be non-creative 'order-takers', ultimately turning a liability to you than assets. You improve and develop only when the other be there with equal freedom and creative self-expression. We have already seen this phenomenon a bit elaborately explained in one of the above portions of this deliberation.

 Though Western individualism and Liberalism was intended to achieve this wonderful goal, it got corrupted and derogated in the long-run:(Pls.see details of this proposition at this link:http://understandinginflationinanewlight.blogspot.in/2015/03/where-has-liberalism-landed-us.html)


If man can learn this
existential urgency and inevitability of caring for the other as a
natural law, where exists the need for different faiths and religions? One's
faith or religion in which one has born is like his skin color, or his food
habit that he got from is parents. It is tightly worn by one's self. It is the
stuff with which one's entity is made. It is difficult to change by any kind of
persuasion or propaganda. There is no need also to change one's faith or
religion.

The change is needed at one's attitude towards oneself and at the same degree
of importance, also towards the other.


States' role in defining these core attitudes of citizens:


Ayn Rand said America lost its original obsession and passion for individual
liberty and personal dignity of citizens after the shift of governmental
priority towards ECONOMIC centrality of governance. Life of State, as well as
the life of citizens, has got reduced to narrow economic dimension. Democracy, the
last of man's political systems also followed suit. It has become a meek maid
in the hands of capitalistic ideology. Democracy is being used by professional
politicians as a means to attain power and enjoy the fruits of the governmental
formation. This exercise has become a matter of typical capitalistic
entrepreneurship.


Today mankind can think of bringing forth any change to man's life only by
reinventing DEMOCRACY. If the runners of the state- the political class, willingly raise themselves as true representatives of man’s collective wisdom and Reason, they can act like ELDERS of people and take up the task of reinventing democracy and make it the true vehicle for emancipating man back to his intended freedom and liberty. Only the men in power could bring forth such revolutionary ideological shifts intellectually. If the  subjugated  people  attempt  this task, it may not be feasible without revolutionary means. But media, if assumes their true role of being society’s  conscience, the task could be achieved fast, and more meaningfully and peacefully!

 When Democracy is redefined on the lines suggested by in this deliberation and states become ready to embrace the above facts of life,the life of man would be re-defined in the world.


Authored by : Abraham J.Palakudy
An ardent researcher and seeker of truth in subjects like philosophy,mind,Reason and Polity

contact: ajoseph1@rediffmail.com
Twitter: Voice of philosophy@jopan1
Other blogs and profile: https://www.blogger.com/profile/14249415589712707293

Twitter : Voice of Philosophy@jopan1