Psycho-economic Exploitation

By P.R. Sarkar

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:

  1. The suppression of the indigenous language and culture of local people;
  2. The extensive propagation of pseudo-culture, exemplified by pornographic literature which debases people’s mind and particularly undermines the vitality of the youth;
  3. The imposition of numerous restrictions on women, forcing them to be economically dependent on men;
  4. An unpsychological education system with frequent political interference by vested interests;
  5. The negation of dharma in the name of secularism;
  6. The balkanization of society into numerous castes and groups;
  7. The damaging of society by the use of unnatural and harmful methods of birth control;
  8. 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.

(From “Capitalism in Three Spheres“)

Imposition of a foreign language

Let me make the matter of psycho-economic exploitation even more clear. Suppose a certain Hindi chauvinist has come to see you. When you speak to him, you will certainly speak in Hindi, and so will he. But he is speaking his mother tongue, whereas you are not.

Perhaps ungrammatical Hindi words will come out of your mouth. But it is obvious that in your expression there may be some fundamental errors, and the use of words will not be precise and to-the-point. This will create a diffidence in your mind, a kind of inferiority complex, whereas the Hindi-knowing people may suffer from superiority complex. They may think of you, “What a fool he is! He cannot speak with grammatical precision!”

But instead if you speak in your own mother tongue, your expression will be grammatically correct. So when you speak Hindi you become somewhat inferior to those Hindi-speaking person and, talking advantage of our inferior position, they may exploit you economically. They should not be given this opportunity of psycho-economic exploitation.

If this sort of psycho-economic exploitation is tolerated, if they are given the opportunity to exploit for long, they will become rulers and you will become their subjects. This is how psycho-economic exploitation is perpetrated; in the first stage the exploiters impose inferiority complex in your mind by creating psychic pressure.

When your language is suppressed, you will feel mentally inferior and develop some psychic weakness. Taking advantage of this psychic weakness, the exploiters will continue their psycho-economic exploitation. So those who advocate the cause of Hindi thus pave the way for psycho-economic exploitation. Actually they are not your friends.

(From “The Fundamentals of Language”, A Few Problems Solved – Part 4)

Copyright Ananda Marga Publications 2012

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