Friday, 2 June 2017

Gandhi on providence and greed

  • In a place like India, people affected by large-scale industrial projects like mining are told that they must pay the price for the nation to progress. Gandhi fundamentally rejected this as immoral.
  • Co-operation, Gandhi argued, not competition, is the natural state of mankind. The same is true for our economic system.
  • How you make your money in the first place is more important than how much you give away.
  • Whatever you generate is never fully yours because it's going to be there long after you. In essence, you are only its caretaker. Clinging to material wealth is therefore a redundant pursuit.
  • Not everyone has wealth-generating capabilities. Those that do are somehow better endowed, therefore, which means that they have more responsibility. It's directed to individual entrepreneurs, but the same could be said for companies too.
  • Business produces wealth within a social, political and cultural context. All wealth is public in some essential way because it wasn't generated it in a vacuum. A very Gandhian idea.
  • Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need but not for every man’s greed, said Gandhiji. So long as we cooperate with the cycle of life, the soil renews its fertility indefinitely and provides health, recreation, sustenance and peace to those who depend on it. But when the ‘predatory’ attitude prevails, nature’s balance is upset and there is an all-round bio-logical deterioration.
  • Utilitarian precept of  “the greatest good of the greatest number” is a hopelessly unrealistic ideal since some people are incorrigibly greedy and we live in a dog-eat-dog world of scarce resources and the devil take the hindmost. 
  • But the problem is that the Earth cannot provide for everyone’s greed and their needs, then there is a hope of solving the problem by enough people curtailing their greed enough, provided (a) no one else’s greed is infinite and (b) the number of people becomes reasonably stable (unlike in the last eighty years, when it has doubled every two or three generations).
  • A man who is poor will continually examine himself and find out what are the superfluous things he keeps for himself, and, if you conduct yourself in a sportsman like spirit from day to day, you will be astounded at the fewness of things you require.
  • Excessive greed for anything is the root of all evil.
  • I cannot help the gnawing fear that the movement will fail if it does not touch the root of all evil – man’s greed. Will America, England etc continue to exploit the so-called uncivilized races and hope to attain peace that the whole world is pining for? Will Americans continue to engage in commercial rivalries and yet expect to dictate peace to the world?
  • Peace can be precluded by intense commercial rivalries (for, say, access to raw materials) and by an aspiration of one nation to “dictate peace” to the others on terms favoring itself in the rivalries. These are hardly the only causes of war, but they are substantial.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need 
but not enough for every man’s greed ... Mahatma Gandhi

My View:
Gandhi's views even though appear logical and equitable but is a misfit in today's racing world. No one is willing to wait for others to catch up. Gandhian views have reportedly produced over 1000 PhD's in western world but are never practiced or adopted. In the words of Prof. Amartya Sen "Gandhi has relevance only in academics". If anybody talks about Gandhi's ideals he will be looked at as insane person and gets isolated. Like communism, Gandhism stands irrelevant today. 

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