Economics And Spiritualism

Published: 13.06.2009
Updated: 13.06.2009

The Pioneer

Modern economics has espoused the theory that man’s lure of self-interest needs to be enhanced. It has, therefore, become the main objective of today’s economics that, as far as possible, the attitude of self-interest should be promoted. Development is measured by promotion of self-interest. Keynes strongly advocated this theory.

I do not say that this theory has no validity. Personal motivation of personal self-interest stimulates more work from man than anything else. It is very clear to us that self-interest is a big inspiration. Every person should enhance his self-interest as much as possible and earn as much wealth as he can.

The principles presented by communism are no less attractive. It promises that nobody will remain hungry, remain without a house, clothing and employment. Everybody’s needs will be satisfied. This was and has remained an attractive dream of communism.

In this context, let us analyse the philosophy of Mahavira that an article may appear tempting but may not be useful, and another which is useful but may not be tempting. And yet another article could be tempting, attractive and useful. Everybody becomes rich inspired by the attitude of self-interest, so that wealth, when it grows, is attractive but not useful.

He added that while earning wealth, human values should not be sacrificed. From this point of view, we find a major difference between Mahavira’s concepts and the concepts of Modern economics. Keynes has clearly said that the time has not come when we should think about values or about morality. When all become rich, then it would become necessary to think about this. To Mahavira’s economics, development of compassion and sensitivity should keep pace with economic development. Man can amass wealth by cruel means, which could lead to development, but this kind of development should lead to impoverishment of millions of people.

No religion puts an, obstacle to economic development. Many modern economists maintain that religious restraints are not productive and are impediments to development. In reality, however, it is only when we think in terms of worldly pleasures that they appear to be obstacles. If we consider them from the point of view of human welfare, we would find that they are not obstructive but conducive to development. If we invest in both pleasure and welfare, then economics could be very productive.

Sources
The Pioneer - by the efforts of Mr. Lalit Garg
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