Power, Money And Social Order: How Badly Mismanaged Are They In Our Society?

Posted on at

The humanity – the multifarious forms and entities – often provide accommodation to differences in perceptions/emotions of individuals or groups. What can hold these conflicting things together is the all-round desire for harmony and the balanced appreciation of different perspectives. Only this can ensure co-existence among different individuals, castes, colors, races, religions and nations. Further, harmony and balance are to be cultivated pro-actively and methodically through proper education.

In a negative sense looking at history, it is a story of continual oppression and repression of the weak by the mighty. This has been sought to be explained in terms of differences in class interest between peasants and landlords in agro-society, workers and owners in production factories, as also between other contending groups like castes, colours, races, religions, countries nations, etc.  These conflicts have been prevalent over centuries despite and in spite of increasing awareness and visibility.

In came the politicians with the advent of democratic republican dispensations – assuming the role of messiah and calling for movements and revolutions, which very often put these political leaders in position of power in govt. without any worthwhile benefit for the oppressed. The communist revolutions in Russia and China shed a lot of blood but ultimately proved to be utter failures and needed a total turnaround to market economy.

Coming to Indian situation, ascendance to power of communists in West Bengal and Kerala has not helped the suffering public. Even in opposition, these leaders generally have a very cushy life at ‘taxpayers’ money. Moreover, there have been continuous attempts by many of the political parties at aggravating hatred between social and ethnic groups particularly between Hindus and Muslims and between Dalits and high caste Hindus for polarising votes. All this has merely created distrust for the State and Authority and defiance with impunity of authority and flouting of law and police by political agitators including students and that has become the order of the day. Even, Ambedkar the apostle of protest and social justice strongly disapproved the idea of such political movements.

We must come out of this state of irrational animosity and appreciate that future is not necessarily a continuum with the past. Future relationship is to be built on mutual confidence and trust. At a macro level, If Germany and post-war Europe; Japan and USA; China and Japan can overcome or at least tame mutual animosity between various nations and between various internal socio-ethnic groups then why can’t others forget their enmity within and without? At micro level, Swami  Adiswarananda said “Happiness is not an object but the condition of a peaceful mind, which no system of economic production, however perfect, can ensure”. Peace in mind means absence of bias which is eradicated through proper education only.

Adam Smith in Theory of Moral Sentiments said ‘It identifies the basic rules of prudence and justice that are needed for society to survive, and explains the additional, beneficent, actions that enable it to flourish. Though we are self-interested, we again have to work out how to live alongside others without doing them harm.’ such realizations come from the desire for harmony and the balanced approach for reconciliation of opposing perspectives and are inculcated deliberately by and through proper education.

Montesquieu said that the best way to prevent social disorder was to channel people’s passions into moneymaking. But pursuit of moneymaking is to be done with ethical restraint, it is therefore necessary that human efforts are indeed channelized towards self development and/or community development both financially and ethically/spiritually. Finally, only proper education enables such channelization and more the channelization, more the co–existence among groups / individuals.

About the author