Global economic and financial crisis that we witness today is not unknown. It was expected by many unbiased economists across the world and more particularly from India. Shri Dattopant Thengadi and Dr. M G Bokare were more emphatic in this regard. Economists from the developed countries are now shocked by the meltdown in their economies. However, they were quite aware about internal contradictions within capitalism. They have been telling half-truth about market economy. Professors in the West, despite knowing the difference between competition and monopoly, have been teaching that economies of the developed countries are ?free market economies?. JK Galbraith has disclosed in The Industrial State that monopoly in capitalist world and bureaucracy in management in former USSR are not different.
The West has been eulogising all the time that laissez faire has no alternative for smooth economic activities. The state should not intervene in private sector'sactivities for making the economy most competitive and achieving continuous economic growth. They, however, have ignored the aspect of economic equality among all the players of the economy. What we witness today in the developed countries is that big hundreds of corporations, financial institutions and banks are standing in a queue to beg financial ?bail out? for their own survival. Many of them have been bundled out from the scene, as they never worked for people'swelfare. They were allowed natural death by their own governments. They instead worked for themselves by committing huge frauds. The General Motors and other two automobile companies of the USA were arrogantly saying that the image of one of their companies was representing the image of the USA itself. Today they are pleading the Congress for help with a begging bowl.
History of capitalism has blessed some people who are in minority when compared to the entire population of the world. This history, however, is tainted with warfares, oppressions and injustices, holocaust, racism, colonialism, slavery, exploitation of all kind, economic equality, pollution of water, air, food and cultures, homelessness, poverty etc. When big corporations control our finances, media and legislators, our freedom, democracy and the well-preserved civilisation will be only an illusion.
The USA model was marketed as the ideal capitalist model for others to emulate for removing poverty and achieve all round prosperity. The USA and other developed countries have used many tactics and coercive forces on developing economies for opening their economies and become a part of global world for sharing the gains of ?free market? economies. The bureaucrats as well as some top political leaders in our national government have been trained in the West and as such never contested the so-called claims of economists of the West. Rather they willingly surrendered to this kind of pressure and joined the monopoly capitalist groups. Globalisation has become an iconic model of capitalist economics for our West-trained economists and political leaders.
The present crises in the developed economies have exposed the economists from the West and also our bureaucrats who have been eulogising the capitalist economic model all the years. It was known that the western economies were on the verge of collapse due to concentration of economic powers in the hands of few speculators and gamblers. Stock market is the epitome of this monopolistic capitalism. All efforts are being made to save the stock markets instead of main market economies of these so-called ?developed? countries. We are also trying to copy the same mindset. There is a definite shift from real economy to speculative economy across the globe due to built-in contradiction of capitalism. A Japanese commentator says, ?How much speculative money is moving around the world? According to Mitsubishi UFJ Securities analysis, the size of the global ?real economy? in which goods and services are produced and traded, is estimated at $48.1 trillions. On the other hand, the size of the global ?financial economy? the total amount of stocks, securities and deposits add up to $151.8 trillions. The financial economy has thus swollen to more than thrice of real economy, growing especially rapidly during the past two decades. This is heading to an exploitative and speculative civilisation. Unfortunately India has accepted this path since 1990-91.?
Signs of collapse of US economy were clearly seen right from 1987 when stock markets of America and Europe collapsed in October that year. Coincidentally, a report of the Treadway Commission was released in the same month on large scale fraudulent practices adopted by the corporate sector of the USA. The name of the report (Report of the National Commission on Fraudulent Financial Reporting) is enough to understand the gravity of the economic affairs of that country. The Commission was a private initiative and had James C Treadway Jr. as its Chairman. We should not therefore get surprised about the timing of the economic and financial crises the capitalist world is presently facing. Present attempts by the US government to inject phenomenal public funds (taxes) to re-establish the security of speculative and fraudulent financial systems gives enough indication about the scale of duplicity of the economists of that country. It is amusing indeed. This is being done to save the capitalism from collapse at any cost. This way, profits are privatised and losses are socialised! Russia and China too are in deep trouble due to copying this monopolistic capitalist economic model. They too will be sinking along with the West. China may call it market-socialism, but it is nothing other than monopolistic capitalism.
During post-1987, we have seen many frauds and scams in that economy. Basically these include dot-com scams, corporate frauds, stock market manipulations, Enron scandal, siphoning of workers? pension and welfare funds, and the present sub-prime-mortgage scam running into trillions of dollars. Let us be clear that the actual impact of the present scam is yet not known to the bureaucrats and economists. Let us also be clear that best of brains of other economies, more particularly from developing economies, have migrated to the USA during the past five decades. They were thinking that the USA was a haven for their own skills and benefits. They would get ample scope to use their skills and education. Also, the highest number of noble laureates in economics and social sciences are staying in that country. Despite this, they could not save capitalism.
A few political leaders from the capitalist world have the courage to accept the failure of capitalism, which is full of greed and exploitation. The President of France and the present Chairman of European Union have recently accepted the failure of crony capitalism. He says, ?The financial turmoil has highlighted the need to re-invent capitalism with a strong dose of morality, as well as to put in place a better regulatory system. Laissez faire is finished. The all powerful market that always been eulogized is finished?. This system that allows the ones responsible for a disaster to leave with a golden parachute of having increased inequality, demoralised the middle classes and market speculation.? (emphasis is added).
Let us be clear about the bad effects of present day capitalism. To implement the present day capitalist model based on growth of the real economy and unnecessary and extravagant consumption attached to it has become first time in the human history a real threat for the future of our human civilisation and the planet itself. The present day capitalist model is designed to forbid the access to the world'snatural resources for the planet'smajority of population i.e. people of the South. Earlier, the people from emerging economies could access to the world'snatural resources without raising any questions on the consumption by the rich countries. They were contended with limited requirements for their decent living. Today it is not so. The people from the affluent countries representing hardly fifteen per cent of the world'spopulation have been monopolising the use of eighty-five per cent of the world'snatural resources for own consumption. They never used to like people from South to share this exclusive use of natural resources. They have developed arrogance of a kind. The USA has developed military powers over time to guard an exclusive use of these resources. Any aspiring persons or countries simply trying to share the natural resources, they were summarily eliminated from this world. Iraq'sexample is the latest one to be remembered by us.
Marxian economy has collapsed in early 1990s. It had some of the contradictions what we see in present day capitalism. It was nothing but the ?state capitalism?. Monopoly of all economic activities was centralised in the state. On the other hand, capitalism has allowed by design monopolies in few hands of private people. Both systems have created and eulogised classes of people. Rich, poor, industrial workers, capitalist, bureaucrats, farmers and farm labour force, etc. are some major divisions of population. Marx himself says, ?Laws that divide people are unnatural. What is unnatural is immoral. What is immoral is not immortal.? But he miserably failed to practice his own philosophy. Marxism has collapsed due to this contradiction. Now it is the turn of capitalism to collapse. Signals of collapse of capitalism are now clearly visible across the world The collapse is not going to get restricted to developed countries, but it would take the developing countries like India along with.
At the time of importing monopoly and exploitative capitalism in to our country, i.e., around 1990s, there was quite a resistance from some of our experts against the very capitalistic economic model. This model was imported without taking the Parliament and the people of this great country into confidence. Many experts were instead arguing the case for Swadeshi economy. The Swadeshi Jagran Manch was established for propagating the Swadeshi concept of economy for the welfare of all. This model was eco-friendly as well as non-exploitative. The opposition to Swadeshi model of economy was coming from those who believed in and also taught to their followers and students in colleges the concept of western capitalism. Whatever form the West was good enough for these ?experts?. This was the slavery mentality. It is still continuing among the so-called experts. Some of them also sarcastically called Swadeshi approach a ?reaction? to the capitalism and Marxism. Some even expressed as ?backward steps? in the development. This was more prominent particularly after the collapse of erstwhile USSR. Steadily, a large number of essays have come to apprehend that something bad is likely to happen in the economic life of the people and their nation. They are now keeping silence when the West is facing a historical economic crisis.
It is quite clear from the events taking place across the world on the issue of capitalist economic systems. This system was in practice for over two hundred years when the first industrial revolution had taken place. During this long period, capitalism has done more irreparable damage to human beings and natural resources. The planet itself is now in danger of survival. Water, air, ecology, human health and cultural values have suffered serious damages. All this is happening due to greedy minds of some people in the West who believe in material satisfaction. By damaging natural resources they feel that they are the most ?developed? people and their nations. Their civilisation has no moral values, ethics, love and concern for others who live along with them in the same world. Those who do not believe in such materialistic pleasure but pursue the path of spiritualism are being called ?backward? or poor people. Now the question that has come up before us is whether we should continue such menace of consumerism and lose our civilisation'sidentity forever. I must say that this time around the western social leaders have realised that their civilisation is in the process of demolition as they have reached the plateau of materialistic happiness. It may be difficult for us to change the attitude and objective of these so called ?developed? people. But we certainly can stay away from them by aggressively adopting our own values and retaining our thousands of years old civilisation. (To be concluded)