On the one end of the scale can be seen the filthy rich who waste money, etc. while on the other can be seen millions who are caught in the grip of hunger, deprivation, hunger and disease. The gap between the rich and the poor is ever widening on a menacing scale. Our democracies, political systems and government prove inadequate to distribute the wealth of nations within a sense of justice.
The author defines politics as that which concerns the collective destinies of all human beings. It affects every aspect of our lives. The primary element of politics is relationship. Thus the fundamental aim of politics is to regulate, sustain and promote conditions which are conducive for promoting good human relationships. Politics is about serving the people who are members of the political entity. It is also about deciding as to how people should share the scarce resources and wealth with one another.
The author points out that in the name of globalisation, capitalist expansion is taking place at a fast pace. There is no just and fair distribution of the benefits of global trade. Knowledge has become a property as per the World Trade Organisation’s interpretation of intellectual property rights. Consequently, commercial interests rule the roost leaving human needs commercially unviable.
Another aspect of post-modern polity is the active exploitation of religion for private identity and political assertion. Also, with collapse of the USSR, the removal of the iron curtain and the end of Cold War era, ideologies have ceased to be agents of cross-cultural, international solidarity and cohesion.
The book concludes by saying that to establish a new humanism with greater access to equality, justice and dignity, apart from political literacy, new ideas in governance and a spiritual critique of power are needed.
(Promilla & Co., Publishers and Bibliophile South Asia, C-127 Sarvodaya Enclave, New Delhi-110 017.)