James Gustave Speth, an environmentalist and Dean of Yale University has put the entire blame for this dangerous condition for the mankind’s future on capitalism itself. Capitalism has been too destructive and taken the human beings so far down the road to catastrophe and one of the first tasks facing any sincere government will be to apply immediate brakes to consumerism. John Miller of Press Action says, “Capitalism, the systemisation of greed, selfishness, subjugation, and exploitation camouflaged by the narcotic of consumerism, the irresistible illusion of equal opportunity for all, and its ostensible compatibility with liberal democracy, has seduced hundreds of millions of people into ignoring its contradictions, injustices, and malevolence. Consumerism has inflicted deep wounds upon the Earth and is the persistent infection that must be eradicated to avert the sixth mass extinction, the ongoing torture and murder of billions of non-human animals, an acceleration of climate change, further economic collapse, mass starvation, severe shortage of potable water, perpetual resource wars, and a host of other catastrophic events”.
The consumerism-oriented West has provided US $ 4,100 billions, still counting, to save the share market (Casino centres) during the last one year, but has spared only thirteen billions US Dollars for saving the ecological balance. This only shows their carefree lifestyle at the cost of large population of the world.
Time to Reverse the Process
It is absolutely essential to save not only the human beings but also the planet itself from total extinction; we have no choice but to look at our Hindu living styles and cultural values. These provide appropriate ecological balance for all the species including the human beings. Vedic books advise us aparigraha, i.e. moderate consumption of materials provided by the nature to mankind. No other religion and ‘ism’ teaches this kind of balanced living. The mother Earth is not treated by Hindus as provider of raw materials for human consumption. But we treat it as not less than a God. It is time for nationalist political parties to develop an economic model based on Hindu way of living and its culture. Such radical action would only help us to overcome the present catastrophic conditions created by capitalism and put the entire mankind at the point of vanishing permanently.
(The writer can be contacted at C-507, Shilpa Hsg. Soc., Near MIT College, Paud Road, Pune-411 038.)