Industrial Decentralization

P.R. Sarkar
If a particular country or district is highly industrialized, that will not help in uplifting or changing the economic standard of other parts of the world or country. Hence industry should be decentralized, but key industries should be centralized. For example, the spinning industry should be centralized, and around it there should be a weaving industry run on [the basis of] decentralization principles. Even in areas where the climate is extreme, industries such as spinning can be established through artificial vaporization. This will help to create a self-supporting economic unit, which is badly needed. The area of self-supporting economic units will increase with the increase of transportation facilities. One day this world will become one economic unit. A day may come when the whole of the planetary world will become one economic unit.

Large-scale and small-scale industries should remain side by side. Key industries should be managed by the immediate government, because it is not possible to run them efficiently on a cooperative basis due to their complexities and hugeness. Small-scale industries should run on a cooperative basis, and the small industries which cannot be managed by cooperatives should be left to private enterprise. Thus:

  1. Small businesses should be left to individuals
  2. Big industries should be owned by the immediate government
  3. The industries in between the big and small industries should be run on a cooperative basis

The central government should not control large-scale industries because this may hamper the interests of local people. Where there is a federal system of government, these industries should be controlled by the immediate government, and where there is unitary government, they should be managed by local bodies.

Industrial decentralization is only possible in a collective economic structure. No profit motive will remain in such a structure. Capitalists start industries only where the following factors are available:

  1. Capital
  2. Labour
  3. Favourable economic climate
  4. A ready market for sales

They always try to lessen the cost of production, hence they will never support the principle of decentralization. In the collective economic structure the profit motive has no place – here industry is for consumption. In the collective economic structure, self-supporting economic units are to be strengthened.

It is an age of science. Science should be utilized for service and blessedness. There should be rationalization of industry – that is, an old machine should be replaced by a new and more scientific one. It is no use continuing with old and worn-out methods such as the spinning wheel in the age of nuclear energy and rockets.

It is incorrect to say that rationalization is the root cause of the unemployment problem. Such propaganda is carried out by leaders having little knowledge of socio-economic philosophy. The question of unemployment arises only in the capitalistic framework where industry is for profit. In the collective economic structure, where industry stands for consumption and not for profit, the question of unemployment does not arise. Here the number of labourers will not be lessened; rather the working hours will be reduced and the remaining hours will be used in mental and spiritual pursuits. The reduction in the working hours depends not only on yield, but on the demand for commodities and the availability of labour.

In industry labourers should be provided with incentives by starting and increasing the scope of piece-work and the bonus system of work. In the piece-work system labourers receive the profit or part of the profit from each item they produce. The more labourers produce, the greater their income.

In the bonus system the bonus is calculated on the basis of the time saved in the production of commodities. The money value of this calculation is given to the labourers. The right of management by labourers in factory affairs should be clearly accepted. These two factors will increase the out-turn of the factory, because under such circumstances labourers will feel an incentive to work sincerely. Only sermonizing high-sounding texts to increase output is not sufficient. Let labourers feel that the more the factory earns a profit by increased out-turn, the more profit they will share.

From: Discourses on PROUT – 3

Copyright Ananda Marga Publications 2011

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