While trying to fight against any sort of exploitation, first we must have a clear understanding of the nature of the exploitation. Today human society is subjected to ruthless exploitation by capitalists. Capitalist exploitation has brought humanity to the brink of disaster by spreading its exploitative tentacles into every aspect of human life.
According to PROUT, capitalist exploitation is perpetuated in three spheres – the physical sphere, which we are well aware of, and the intellectual and spiritual spheres. Each of these types of capitalist exploitation is equally dangerous.
To solve the problem of capitalist exploitation in the physical sphere, we will have to ensure that the movement of money does not become restricted or immobile in the hands of a few capitalists. The present economic system should be thoroughly transformed, and a comprehensive and completely new economic system should be built in its place. In this new system money will not be restricted or immobile in the hands of a few capitalists. The more the optimum mobility of money is kept unrestricted, the more it will strengthen and invigorate the socio-economic life of the collective body.
In the psychic sphere there is a noticeable lack of motivation and effort on the part of intelligent and educated people at present to properly utilize their acquired knowledge for the collective welfare. This is the psychology of an apathetic and elitist class who do not like to move from their privileged position to work for the welfare of the common people. This psychology gives rise to a special type of intellectual capitalism.
Intellectual capitalism causes several pressing problems in society. First, the literacy skills of a large part of the population are not developed. Secondly, the socio-economic consciousness of the indigenous people is not encouraged. Thirdly, unhealthy inferiority complexes and fear complexes influence the minds of the people so that they are kept psychically weak. Fourthly, the intellectual and moral development of human beings is hindered, so intellectual backwardness and irrationality become rampant in society. Finally, narrow sentiments like geo-sentiment and socio-sentiment start exerting a destructive influence on society. Consequently, intellectual exploitation, dogmatic theories and doctrines, and religious superstition and rituals become widespread.
Intellectual inertia has assumed dangerous proportions. Taking advantage of this intellectual stagnancy, rapacious capitalists deviously spread a subtle web of exploitation and suck the vitality of society. Through this process capitalists are able to perpetuate their insidious rule of exploitation.
People have been loudly protesting against capitalism for a long time, and on numerous occasions have launched agitations against capitalist exploitation. Remaining vigilant about people's dissatisfaction with the capitalist system, capitalists have continually changed their methods of exploitation. For instance, they have bought off disgruntled intellectuals and used them as tools of exploitation in their economic schemes.
Capitalism has always adapted to changing circumstances. Thus we see that in different periods there have been different forms of capitalist exploitation such as feudalism, laissez-faire capitalism, imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, mixed economy, multinational corporations, etc. Today even communism, which was once a deadly weapon against capitalist exploitation, has become a blunt and obsolete tool.
Psycho-economic exploitation is the latest form of dangerous and all-devouring capitalist exploitation. It is a special type of exploitation which first weakens and paralyses people psychologically in various ways, and then exploits them economically. Some of the methods of psycho-economic exploitation include:
- The suppression of the indigenous language and culture of local people
- The extensive propagation of pseudo-culture, exemplified by pornographic literature which debases people's mind and particularly undermines the vitality of the youth
- The imposition of numerous restrictions on women, forcing them to be economically dependent on men;
- An unpsychological education system with frequent political interference by vested interests;
- The negation of dharma in the name of secularism;
- The balkanization of society into numerous castes and groups;
- The damaging of society by the use of unnatural and harmful methods of birth control;
- Placing the control of different mass media, such as newspapers, radio and television, in the hands of capitalists.
Both intellectual exploitation and psycho-economic exploitation are great dangers to the human race today.
To counteract this threat, powerful popular sentiments will have to be generated immediately for the liberation of intellect. For this, the first requisite factor is that intellectuals must keep their intellects pure and unblemished. Casting aside all their inertia and prejudices, intellectuals will have to mix with the common people and engage themselves in their welfare. They will have to assist the common people in their development and extend their support to all anti-exploitation movements. This approach will help to root out exploitation, stabilize the structure of society and expand the intellectual standard of the common people. Human society will move forward to a brilliant future with rapid steps.
Besides the physical and intellectual spheres, capitalism also exists in the spiritual realm. Some people neglect their family and society and go to caves in the mountains and perform arduous penance to fulfil their longing for spiritual emancipation. Because of their selfishness, they keep spiritual knowledge to themselves and do not bother to arouse spiritual awareness in individual and collective life. This is capitalism in the spiritual sphere. It is ultravires to the very spirit of spiritual practices, which is:
Átma mokśárthaḿ jagaddhitáya ca.
"Self-realization and service to humanity."
To a spiritualist, everything – right from the Creator down to a small blade of grass – is the manifestation of Supreme Consciousness. The state of equanimity is one of the main characteristics of spirituality. Without attaining this quality, one cannot establish oneself in the supreme state, and one's movement towards Supreme Consciousness will be hindered at every step. In ancient times many people found themselves in this tragic predicament.
Genuine spiritual practice is the birthright of all people. In all spheres of collective life – economic, political, social, etc. – a scientific and rational outlook is essential. The inculcation of cardinal human values is an urgent necessity. This is the demand of the age. Because such higher values are lacking in social life, there are many incongruities and confusions in society.
Today there is an urgent need for an all-round spiritual revolution in individual and collective life under the leadership of a group of accomplished and idealistic leaders. These leaders should be endowed with spiritual power, and their ideology should be based on the solid rock of spirituality. Such highly qualified leaders are called sadvipra. They will ensure social progress in all countries in all ages.
All genuine spiritualists will have to adjust with the level of the dusty earth inspired by the spontaneous love of their hearts. They will have to share the wealth of their developed intellects with others to lighten the sorrows and sufferings of humanity. Through their guidance and leadership, human thinking will take a new turn and move along an entirely new path. The latent spiritual power in human beings will be awakened. Through their effort and inspiration, the new people of a new generation will be armed with a bold new optimism and vision of the future, and march forward triumphantly.
A Few Problems Solved Part 9
PROUT in a Nutshell Part 13
Copyright Ananda Marga Publications 2011