Friday, April 23, 2010

The 'ism' of Capitalism !

This post should have come in first before I wrote Capitalism I , II and III . In this I wish to explain what I think is Capitalism and what people think about Capitalism. Please do not assume that I am a 'communist' because I am not. I do not really believe in any 'isms' because they are attached to individuals/'philosophers' and I am not into hero worship on serious issues. So let us get this clear that when I criticize Capitalism I am not supporting Communism ! Let us also get this clear at the outset that Capitalism is like sensuality or what is known in traditional Hindu philosophy as 'kaam' or 'kaama' . 'Kaama' is a vice like 'Krodh' (anger), 'Lobh' (greed), 'Mada' (arrogance) and 'Moha' (undue attachment or love for someone/something) ; but the big thing about 'Kaama' or sensuality is that it is so beautiful that it appears more like a virtue than a vice or should we say more like a friend than an enemy similarly about Capitalism. So if you feel you are too much in love with Capitalism just remember this!

Now the problem I have with Capitalism is a bit different than one would expect - I have no problem with Capital but only with 'ism'. Let us take the example of Chikan - chikan is a special kind of embroidery done only in Lucknow - authentic Chikan embroidery cannot be produced on a commercial scale anywhere else except Lucknow because it is a very complex art and also because a special kind of bleech is used to wash the garments to give them the white colour. The potential of Chikan has not been fully explored and most of the profit is still made by big exporters based in Mumbai as the industry is not organised. The worker who produces the chikan embroidery is generally very poor but he/she is poor because by and large he/she is not willing to work hard and stick to deadlines. This is where the wholesalers come in they take the risks they invest money and get high blood pressure and heart attacks because the chikan workers by and large are very very lazy - even if they are offered double the money they still go according to their whims - also a lot of stuff is lost or stolen by them and there is nothing the wholesalers can do about it. It has been this way since the last hundred years, many wholesalers lose heart and close shop. I know this because many of my relatives are in this business. So I guess Capitalism is more being wronged against in this case than doing the wrong and probably it has been this way even before the world Capitalism was coined . I am not saying that wholesalers are entirely in the wrong in this or the workers but one thing is sure and that is that things are going to remain this way in this industry in the near future. There were some efforts by some so called NGOs to organise the workers and give them more profit but ultimately it turned out that those NGOs were being run by polished con people.

My problem is with the 'ism' . People with capital were always there and big business families like the marwaris were always there and probably controlled a big chunk of business but this Capitalism is a new phenomenon. 'ism' means the whole society is oriented towards that idea. The endeavours of the society the government and everybody else is to achieve the goal defined by that 'ism'. So suddenly only those people who have the Capital can really do something only those. Because they have the money to pay MSM and other advertising pimps. Their voices are the loudest since they have banner ads on internet, ads on FM radio, big print ads in major newspapers, on TV, huge billboards and God knows where. This is what I am against ! Did you know that the so called spiritual channels on which polished 'Mahatmas' give discourses charge a hefty fee to air the discourses! And since this is how it is you can very well understand who gets to have his/her discourses aired. This is not to say of course that all the mahatmas that speak on those channels are fake of course not but having to pay an unbelievable amount of money for spiritual discourses thank God in-spite of Capitalist propaganda still appears wrong. I wonder whether people will think the same away in a few years. So this Capitalism means that only babas like one who was recently arrested will get to speak and to mislead people.

Also this whole emphasis on generation of 'revenue' means that the most attractive jobs in coming days will be in 'sales' which means that people will be 'selling' something to their neighbours all the time and getting all kinds of diseases in the process as they are controlled by slave drivers. Isn't this a throwback to the early barter system society the newly material society when the emphasis was to hoard and barter 'things' and the more advanced stage which came later was the spiritual society when people exchanged spiritual ideas to achieve a higher stage in spiritual development. So is the Capitalistic = materialistic society a progressive or a retrogressive society.

I have written about this earlier but must write again - when society becomes Capitalistic and the already corrupt capitalistit MSM has to survive in this it has to delve deep into morbidity to bring out a new 'pearl'. They have almost done with gay and lesbian themes and now the next stage is incest and bestiality! A gay character already coming up in Archies comics (if I am to believe certain tweeters on twitter) to keep up with newer morbidities.
This is the problem I have with the 'ism' you see - it is not about the PR definition of Capitalism - the 'privately owned means of production' and blah blah blah... spare me that crap please!

When the whole of society is geared up to this - freedom is curtailed - and the fallacy that Capitalism = freedom comes to the fore. For example content in MSM - as you might have observed they favour only a certain kind of news mainly those connected with celebs, sports, beauty pageants, sex scandals, soap operas ... well you know all that so where is the freedom .. are their correspondents free to do a story they think is important! These are early stages of Capitalism in MSM a later stage would be - they would never hire a correspondent who shows even the smallest traces of being original .. Ha Ha!

So well this was in short - a short objection to 'ism' in Capitalism that I am dead against. I will expand this further as I am able to organize my ideas.

Thanks for tolerating!


  1. Dear Anurag Bhai, you are doing well to get into the nitty-gritties of the 'ism' of Capital (CAPITALISM) - a capitalistic mindset that is prevalent in the world. You have correctly said that MSM is letting itself be used by cash/capital-rich companies for highest profits, at the cost of many more needed valuable things that do not get highlighted/advertised as they don't have requisite capital. Will only the cash-rich be in a win-win situation or will the have-nots too get a chance in today's society? This is a question that needs an answer, otherwise its 'Jai ho Capitalism' all the way in 21st century!

  2. Thanks so much Raza Bhai for commenting! As a journo my job is to let ppl know how ugly capitalism can get but I am not an economist so I do not really know what the ideal society must be. But I think in India we have more or less a long history of socialism and capitalism is not going to effect India much in the long run.

  3. Anurag sir..The points raised are very much valid is also giving lot of insights about today's scenario of Chikan work industry in Lucknow. We need to focus on "Solutions". Hope to see the same coming from you in future blogs.

  4. Mr. Juneesh to be frank I prefer it to remain this way otherwise only outsiders will benefit from it!

  5. Capitalism is like this now. capitalist society as being based on the close relationships between businessmen and the state. Instead of success being determined by a free market and the rule of law, the success of a business is dependent on the favoritism that is shown to it by the ruling government in the form of tax breaks, government grants and other incentives.

  6. this is an awesome topic of debate... with due respects to everyone, i just want to put my view in favor of capitalism..

    Capitalism is good in my view because socialism and communism aren't... capitalism is the future..

    i want to quote a para from a book of a renowned capitalist who said "The reason that systems such as socialism and communism don't work in the real world and are ultimately destructive of the individual self; and of the human soul, is that they remove moral action and judgement from the individual and place it in the collective. The individual is not permitted to make his/her own moral judgements, and must obey the mandates of the collective. This can only work when the individual is stripped of all freedom to act independently and fears reprisals for doing so."....

    so thats my point Capitalism is synonymous with democracy.. even china in the last 20 years or so have been adapting capitalism even though they still claim to ruled by the communist parties.. take the example of Nazis too, they had the word socialist in there Party name but they were Capitalistic too...

    Capitalism is the only system where the soul and the self can flourish, where individuals have a right to their own life and liberty, and can make the specific choices in the pursuit their own particular happiness.

    i saw this post link on twitter and could not resist to give my comment...

    one more thing i would like to say even though i hate these ideologies of communism and socialism, my role models and idols in life has always been communists n socialists like Che Guevara ( and Bhagat Singh..

  7. Dear Mr. Gautam I do not advocate communism and I am sad about what Communism has done but Capitalism has been no better only it is more media friendly and know whom to pay up so as to keep them mum. I do support pure socialism!

  8. PURE SOCIALISM i do support it too... but in a country like India it is not possible... with 4 of worlds 10 most richest man from India,, Pure socialism will not work... Sweden is a classic example of pure Socialism but then its not as vast as India...

  9. Thanks Gautam ji for your comment!

  10. Before you thank me for this comment...let me thank you first. 1. You educated me on Capitalism. 2. I understood and enjoyed without a single yawn. So your writing is far from boring. 3. You use simple words. iLike.

    P.S: I follow you now.

  11. Thank you Shraddha ! Thanks a lot!

  12. Thank you for a very interesting read, Anurag. The influence of your religion on your thinking led you to some ideas that are rather new to me - so I will need to chew on that perspective for a while.

    I think I see, the distinction you are making about the "ISM". I think you are talking about when capital goes too far and becomes the heart and soul of a society. Am I correct in that understanding?

    I also found your commentary regarding the Indian religious media interesting. Here in America, there are religious ministers who get very rich FROM being on TV. They solicit donations and thus bring in millions upon millions of dollars from viewers. Of course, they usually do have to attain some measure of stature and wealth (or somehow find others willing to invest in them and their message) before they are able to purchase the air-time.

    I have also often noted how the media, presumably at least in part because it is profit driven, tends to pander to the basest of human drives, fueling and feeding on our fears and also our lusts.

    Even speaking as an American, someone who has never lived outside of a capitalist economy, I do agree with many of your critiques of capitalism. I see a capitalistic economy(at least as far as I understand and experience it as an American) as useful insofar as it is carefully regulated against abuses. I like about it some of the things mentioned by Mr. Gautam's comment regarding personal responsibility & reward, freedom, etc.

    However, when greed, Labh, as you refer to it, and selfishness run rampant it can end up doing more harm than good. And, as you have noted, it can lead to an oligarchy of those who own the capital. Then it is big money rather than big government which runs the show, then freedom is yet again limited - only in a different way.

    Like you, I do not claim to know how to solve the problem. So long as humans continue to sin, there will be no perfect economy and no perfect form of government. And so, as a Christian, I put my hope and trust in God.

  13. thanks Laurie for the detailed comment and for spending time on reading the post. It is quite like that in India too only that all that you described is still a bit new for India. Here too religious preachers are very very rich no let me add one more very to it. In India too we have a capitalist economy disguised as a socialist system. Capitalists seem to own everything. Hope with the advent of social media on internet people will protest against this as they share more and more info both inside their countries and with equally concerned people outside their countries.