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. 


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. 


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.


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
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Twitter : Voice of Philosophy@jopan1