If there was a form of “conscious capitalism” in which care was extended to fellow humans, animals and the natural environment whether animate or inanimate, the question is could it be called capitalism at all?
The name of a social ideology provides the tenor for the whole show, and capitalism does nothing but putting privately controlled capital onto the platform of supreme social importance. It doesn’t say if capital is to be utilized for the benefit of the members of society or any aspect of the natural world. It rather naively trusts the forces of greed and fear within people to control capital and be stimulated by capital to bring an end result of social good.
Under this banner of capitalism people consider it a self evident virtue to utilize ones physical and mental assets to enrich oneself even if it robs untold others of the opportunity to a healthy life in a healthy body.
Is a contradiction in terms. It is thus because human consciousness obeys the rule of “as you think so you become”. As a money minded capitalist spends the majority of waking hours in the contemplation of gold, property and currencies, naturally his mind will in the long run crudify to an unconscious entrapment in crude matter, however financially valuable.
“Capitalists argue, “We amass wealth by dint of our intellect and labour. Let others also procure wealth in the same way if they have the intellect or labour. What stops them?” These people do not want to realize that the amount of consumable commodities in the world is limited, but the basic necessities are common to all. If one person rolls in affluence, in most cases others will be deprived of even their minimum requirements. The failure to recognize the needs of others is itself a disease.” P.R.Sarkar, The responsibility of society, 1960
At best it can be said that a constructive sustainable society that spreads the opportunities widely to all its members have to include and protect a free market in the form of a level playing field where people can start their own business either as an individual or as a collective with others. Communism, which Sarkar describes as an extreme form of destructive materialism, did not cater in this way for peoples need to be entrepreneurial and consequently lost its dynamism.
Then there are other industrial and economic spheres where private management and ownership is unfeasable, areas where the prevention of monopolies would be hard and where profit taking would emaciate every other business, areas such as major infrastructure and raw materials. These concerns would have to be controlled by boards answerable to the local electorate, on a no profit no loss basis.
Let’s be very clear: A society controlled by money minded capitalists would not be able to construct a balanced society for the progress of all its members, and neither would the dictatorship of any party. We see proof of this all around in most of the countries of the world today.
The world is ripe for a new paradigm, and although it has to include a healthy portion of level playing field small locally owned companies “capitalism” (for want of a better word), it can’t be capitalism as usual.
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