The learned neoliberal experts working for high international finance tell us to wait, and wait, and wait till great wealth accumulates with ‘the substantial people’, a little of which can trickle down to the common people someday. I have often wondered: will these billionaires be ever satisfied with their billions, or trillions? My study and reflection tell us: they will never be satisfied with their treasures. Centuries back, our ancestors had wisely observed in the Sri Harivamsa Purana ( the ‘Harivamsha Parva’ Chapt. 30):
न जातु कामः कामानामुपभोगेन शाम्यति, हविषा कृष्णवर्त्मेव भूय एवाभिवर्धते
यत् पृथिव्यां व्रीहियवं हिरण्यं पशवः स्त्रियः, नालमेकस्य तत सर्वमिति पश्यन्न मुह्यति
[ Not all the wealth, not all the women can ever satisfy the lusty urge of a single man. Hence the right thing is to control thy desires as they have no end. The desires increase more and more when enjoyed with lust and attachment. They increase as do the flames of fire when ghee is poured on it. When desires wax untrammeled, how can one have peace? ]
Greed is never satisfied, it feeds on itself, it deludes men to never-never land where cascading desires are without ends. This is the humanity’s tragic trait that Alfred Russel Wallace, a British naturalist and biologist (as eminent as Charles Darwin, and his close friend), had noted with great concern: his perception is well known as the Wallace Syndrome (see Chapter 20 pp. 266-267).
The greed-driven ‘capitalism’ leads to the worldview that fosters “a “philosophy of futility” and “lack of purpose in life,” that promotes voyeurism, hedonism and consumerism bereft of all ethical and moral considerations. The portrait of that world, and the plight of ‘democracy’ in that sort of world, have been drawn up by Noam Chomsky in his various books some of which I have referred in Chapter 24 of my Memoir. The carpet-bombing of the greed-driven capitalism has produced a worldview that can never produce a great work of art or literature. Intellectual development would suffer because the moral and ethical faculties of humanity would shrink, the sense of empathy and the faculty of the esemplastic power, would decline, and the human brain would tend to develop only in those areas which can supply things needed by ‘market’. Under such a worldview, family, and social solidarity, would also suffer. People would be driven to think that children and relations, culture and countries, the Constitution and the Gita, are all commodities on the counters for trade governed by the present-day multilateral trade regime. By advancing on such a thought process for long, the humans would themselves get commodified. Even sense and sensibility of people would become polluted, and the strong propaganda, engineered by the hirelings and harlots, would rip people off all their finer virtues which are the ‘human-specifics’ of the Homo sapiens: inherent goodness, imagination, social inter-dependence and solidarity, moral vision and aesthetic sensibility. And if we tread on this dreaded path for long, the world would be driven to commit suicide, unless before that, our collective death-wish leads us to destruction that the greed-driven capitalism is sure to produce. We can read the sub-text of our times: the world is creating conditions for wars and destruction more devastating than what humanity has yet seen. I fear, when such sad moments overtake us, we would see a new set of dramatis personae enacting a morbid melodrama in our world. In the past, the imperialists had brought devastations on the suffering souls world over with the help of the big corporations. In the times to come, I apprehend, we would witness the big corporations, or the mega corporate consortia, waging wars using governments as the willing instruments for their ends, with the rest of humanity either willing participants in the crimes against the world, or as mere hapless onlookers counting the advancing footfalls of collective Doom. I am not painting a picture of dread, or doom. Chomsky expresses his worrisome apprehensions in his Hegemony and Survival (at p.139) thus:
“Deluged by such propaganda from infancy, people may then accept their meaningless and subordinate lives and forget ridiculous ideas about managing their own affairs. They may abandon their fate to corporate managers and the PR industry and, in the political realm, to the self-described “intelligent minorities” who serve and administer power.”