Social Security and the Authority of the State

By P.R. Sarkar

Each and every individual wants security from the state and the demand for security is always increasing. Increased responsibility means increased authority. In ancient times the only duty of the state was to protect people from internal and external chaos. Now, as a result of ever-increasing demands, the responsibility of the state has increased and its authority has also increased. In ancient times no body demanded food or employment from the government. There were no strikes and no public meetings. Now people want the state to realize its responsibility, but they do not want it to interfere in any matter.

“Diversity is the law of nature. So there cannot be any hard and fast rule about guaranteed minimum requirements.”

PROUT’s view is that we must not go against fundamental public interests or against the fundamental theory. The fundamental theory is that with increased responsibility the authority of the state should also increase, but while operating its authority the state should not go against public sentiments. The fundamental public interest is that the minimum requirements of life should be guaranteed.

It may be questioned whether it is wise for any government to guarantee the minimum requirements. If the state is to supply cereals, pulses, salt, gram, ghee, butter, etc. to all people then naturally the state has to institute some process of control which people may not like. Hence PROUT’s view is that people should be guaranteed the provision of sufficient purchasing power to meet these requirements. In that case the state need not adopt control measures. The other disadvantage of guaranteeing the supply of minimum requirements is that if consumable goods are supplied to everyone, people will become lethargic. They should therefore be supplied with purchasing power in exchange for their work according to their physical, psychic or spiritual capacity.

Diversity is the law of nature. So there cannot be any hard and fast rule about guaranteed minimum requirements. They will vary according to time, space and person. A few persons with extraordinary physical, metaphysical or intellectual ability may demand something more than ordinary people. Special amenities have to be provided for them. Certain items like food, housing, education, clothing and medical facilities are minimum requirements.

Nothing is stationary; everything is moving. So the minimum requirements and special amenities will also undergo changes with the changes in time, space and person. What should be the approach of Proutists? There should be a never-ending endeavour to minimize the gap between minimum requirements and special amenities. Minimum requirements will take the place of special amenities and extraordinary persons will get more items as special amenities. The third Five Year Plan prepared by the planning commission of India presents an unwholesome picture – it presents unsystematic and unplanned government activities and the planned exploitation by vested interests. Though there has been inordinately high investment, the purchasing power of labourers has not been sufficient for them to meet the minimum requirements. Hence, while on the one hand labourers received less consumable goods due to less purchasing power, on the other hand entrepreneurs have captured excessive purchasing power and consumable goods causing excessive disparities in wealth. Economic balance has been upset. The major part of the capital investment went to the entrepreneurs and a microscopic fraction went to the labourers. There is therefore no middle class people in India of the type that existed in pre-independence days. Today well-dressed labourers have become the so-called middle class.

Human unity is purely an ideological unity, which means unity in the psychic sphere. Where there is psychic unity, physical unity will also occur. In the realm of unity, unity is always psychic – ideological unity means unity in the subtlest level of the mind. However, psychic or ideological unity may be affected if we encourage the exploitation of one group by another. So to avoid this there should not be any scope for exploitation in society. And to ensure this we have to start a new order to safeguard the interests of the exploited masses. So for a proper social synthesis what we require is a common philosophy of life; that is, ideological unity. But to check exploitation in the physical sphere requires something more than this, and this something more comprises a common constitutional system, a common penal code, and the availability of the minimum essentialities of life.

These things should be provided for the entire human society, as they are inter-linked with one another. Hence till now these things were based on people’s faith, local manners, customs, usages, etc. Generally local manners and customs do not go against cardinal human principles but sometimes they do go against them. Legal structures were prepared on the basis of these faiths. Hence up till now there have been certain differences between sin and crime. Legal structures do not totally follow the system of usages, but only follow them to some extent. For example, Islamic customs say that to accept interest is a sin, but this is not a crime in Islamic countries according to the law.

From “Talks on PROUT”: “Security”
PROUT in a Nutshell Part 15
Copyright Ananda Marga Publications 2012. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.