Sri Aurobindo decodes Vedic utterances to add coherence - Reading Sri Aurobindo's writings is indispensable for understanding India's past, present and future. Those neglecting can't reach anywhere. Sri Aurobindo g...3 hours ago
World's absurdity - human history is going nowhere - Schopenhauer's originality does not reside in his characterization of the world as Will, or as act — for we encounter this position in Fichte's philosophy ...1 month ago
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Friday, October 28, 2005
Ananda- Bhaga (Enjoyment, Share)- Shudra: Service, Surrender- Marx's Labour
Ananda/Chit- Mitra (Harmony, Love)- Vaishya: Desire, Libidinal Economy- Freud, Lyotard
Chit/Tapas- Aryama (Force)- Kshatriya: Power, Leadership- Nietzsche, Adler, Foucault
Sat- Varuna (Purity)- Brahmana: Knowledge, Nobility- Kant's Sublime, Habermas' Dialogue
Tomorrow's World Business Strategy Review, Vol. 15, pp. 11-17, December 2004 Kenichi Ohmae
Leadership Business Strategy Review, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 32-64, Autumn 2005
Rob Goffee , Gareth Jones , Alex Alexander , Anthony Landale , Orit Gadiesh , Des Dearlove , Steve Coomber , Nada Kakabadse and Andrew Kakabadse
More than a century ago, Karl Marx said he did not want any recipes for a kitchen that did not yet exist. Then a kitchen was built in his name in which fascist recipes were, and still are, used. Eugen LoeblTalking the other day with a young woman who burned with revolutionary ardour when describing the destitution characteristic of Nepal and parts of India, particularly Bihar, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, I found myself caught in a time loop. The impassioned critique of capitalism, globalisation and feudalism came straight from the heart, as the frustration with the slow and corrupt processes of Indian democracy. But hard to understand was the faith in communistic solutions, given that among the communist states that survive the ignominious collapse of the Soviet Empire, not one can be cited as a "successful" recipe from Marx's kitchen for re-structuring society, not North Korea, not Cuba, and certainly not China, which endures through heavy imports of capitalism and mild liberalism.I recalled our meeting in India with Eugen Loebl more than 30 years ago, former minister in the post-war Czech communist government, one of three who miraculously survived the notorious anti-Semitic Slansky trials of 1952. He spent five years in solitary out of eleven in a Marxist jail. A committed communist and revolutionary, he was falsely accused, imprisoned and tortured to confess to imaginary "crimes." During his incarceration, Loebl agonised over what had brutalised and barbarised the system in which he had wholeheartedly believed. He looked beyond human factors and misinterpretations of the canonical truth, to theoretical flaws in the original doctrine which systematically led towards fascism or totalitarianism. When permitted, he meticulously re-read and analysed the complete works of Karl Marx. Forbidden to write, he mentally, paragraph by paragraph, composed and memorised what became a book, published later during the Prague Spring. He participated enthusiastically in the attempt to establish "socialism with a human face" but when the fraternal Warsaw Pact tanks entered Prague, Loebl fled to America, where his book appeared in translation as Humanomics.In America Loebl spent time on campuses with revolutionary anti-Vietnam coffee-house intellectuals, and wrote up his impressions as Conversations with the Bewildered. The arguments and discontents of these affluent adolescents echoed those of my revolutionary friend and other children of the Indian rich and/or privileged castes. Loebl sympathised with their genuine desire to change an unjust system, but pointed to the flaws in their violent methodology and the system that was to replace it. He offered them three broad interrelated themes; a distinction between pseudo and real revolutions, an analysis of the real motor of economic growth, and the crucial failure of modern economics, whether of the left or right variety, to include normative and cultural considerations in their praxiology.In India Loebl met with students on the JNU campus — a decade before the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Musing over the 1917 events, Loebl suggested that the Russian revolution had been a "pseudo-revolution"; revolutionary in successfully overthrowing the Tsarist regime but "pseudo" in that with its internally flawed theories, it failed to realise its aims. In place of "leadership" it created a "dictatorship" of the proletariat, a euphemism for the dictatorship of a party or a single person with all the negative consequences that follow. He also interacted with Gandhians: he saw Gandhi methodologically as a non-violent revolutionary in his commitment to social change, appreciated his effort to introduce morality as an integral factor in social, economic and political thought, but disagreed with his rejection of industrialisation.His own examples of true revolutions which have radically transformed society from deep within are the scientific and technological revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries, followed by the communications revolution of the last quarter. "In all previous revolutions, the oppressed classes took over from their oppressors: the dictatorship of the old class gave place to that of the new." But, "(T)he technological revolution … has replaced the oppressed class by the natural forces which have been mastered through the genius of the human intellect." Labourers have been liberated from their toil by the invention of machines or "energy slaves." No doubt radical critique has shifted towards the maleficent exploitation of nature with ill effects on natural and human life, but Marx's analysis of economic growth based on exploitation of the labouring classes has been rendered obsolete and irrelevant.Indeed, Loebl's definition of revolution underscores the argument that it is not surplus labour but brain power as mental innovation, homo sapiens and not homo laborans, which motors economic change, and has been so from the invention of the wheel. Previously, innovations came at a slow pace, and entrepreneurs profited from the exploitation of human labour; but for nearly half a century now, the rapid speed of scientific discovery and its technological applications has made human labour redundant. Ownership of the means of production can be equally retrogressive in private or state hands; today the means of production do not create the superstructure, rather people at the high level of the superstructure create the "material basis of production." Thus social and economic problems can be dealt with through "the growing intellectual capacity of wider classes" which "provide fertile ground for new ideas."Is this true for countries outside the highly developed world? Before visiting India Loebl thought not, sharing the views of other West European economists who dismissed revolutionary communism as bad for Europe but good for the "backward" or feudal societies of Asia, Africa and Latin America. But his three-week Indian visit in 1979 stimulated him to think more innovatively about this society with its interwoven levels of simplicity and sophistication. Instead of a uniform economic policy for the whole country, he toyed with the possibility of several "lucro-active" approaches which could benefit both the mini-producer and the big industrialist.Loebl critiqued both dirigiste and free market economists for failing to take integral cognisance of the human factor in their theories. In their search for "scientific objectivity," economists overlook real networks of actual living persons with unquantifiable beliefs, norms and choices. To "objectively" condemn percentages of people to unemployment or poverty (through rising prices); to contemplate sacrificing present generations to shining statistics for tomorrow, was to him grossly inhuman, whether from a communist or capitalist perspective. He had explored the possibility of linking economic thinking to the religious values permeating western culture with a Catholic businessman, Stephen Roman: their book, The Responsible Society was republished in India as Alternative to Communism & Capitalism. Looking for a similar dialogue with Hinduism he met with a monk of the Ramakrishna Mission who, however, could not immediately connect Upanishadic spiritualism with an economic dimension. However the monk was deeply impressed with Loebl's stoic fortitude throughout his ordeal, and how he had utilised those punishing years for reflection and constructive thought.Despite a few anachronisms arising from the times and circumstances in which he wrote, Loebl remains a stimulating and innovative thinker. He was keen to spend more time in India enlarging his economic thinking to encompass the problems of rural development small enterprises, crafts et al. He died, however, a few years later. His definition of the economy as a system of thinking human beings is both a human and an intellectual challenge.
http://www.asianage.com/?INA=2:175:175:138732© 2005 The Asian Age
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Policy Matters: ‘False Dawn on the Budget Front’. A Premchand offers a scholarly note on the Outcome Budget. http://www.esocialsciences.com/Articles/displayArticles.asp?Article_ID=217 Working Papers: Gender and Health: ‘Uncertainty and Discrimination: Family Structure and Declining Sex Ratios in Rural India’ Mattias Larsen, Pernille Gooch and Neelambar Hatti, draw upon preliminary results from recently conducted field studies in rural areas of Karnataka and Uttaranchal to understand why female children continue to be at risk. To be presented at a forthcoming Workshop at the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore.[See Announcements] http://www.esocialsciences.com/articles/displayArticles.asp?Article_ID=184
Development Studies:’ Economic Well-Being and Political Action’ Neeraj Hatekar argues that a politics of the deprived, based on an identity of the deprived as deprived is an imperative in relevant policy-making. http://www.esocialsciences.com/articles/displayArticles.asp?Article_ID=187
Poverty and Inequality:’ Spatial inequality and Development ‘ Spatial inequality has added significance when spatial and regional divisions align with political and ethnic tensions to undermine stability. Ravi Kanbur and Anthony J. Venables draw on the evidence from the UNU-Wider project, that analyzed evidence on spatial inequalities in over 50 developing countries. http://www.esocialsciences.com/articles/displayArticles.asp?Article_ID=215
Forests and Conservation:‘Multifunctional Agroforestry Systems for Livelihoods’ Deep Narayan Pandey critically examines the success of agroforestry as a traditional land-use adaptation that may support livelihoods improvement. http://www.esocialsciences.com/workingPapers/workingPapersDetails.asp?workingpaperid=15
Health Economics: ‘ Addressing Inequality in Health Care: Financing Strategy’ In a paper to be presented at the forthcoming Forum 9 of Global Forum for Health Ravi Duggal suggests a new financing strategy for health care. http://www.esocialsciences.com/workingPapers/workingPapersDetails.asp?workingpaperid=10
Commentaries An obituary tribute to I.G. Patel and an appreciation of his work by Deena Khatkhate http://www.esocialsciences.com/articles/displayArticles.asp?Article_ID=221
Arup Maharatna warns of the potential danger of ignoring historical arguments on issues such as market, political economy, capital, and labour has great potential danger. http://www.esocialsciences.com/commentaries/CommentariesDetails.asp?commentaryid=10
Ketan Mukhija asks why there are not enough measures to ensure that access to justice is an entitlement and not a subject of charity. http://www.esocialsciences.com/commentaries/CommentariesDetails.asp?commentaryid=11
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Monday, October 24, 2005
Sunday, October 23, 2005
India and Globalization by Rajiv Malhotra
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Catallactics is a little-known term that refers to the science of exchanges. Although it is a terrific alternative to the more commonly used market theory, its use seems to have been limited primarily to the great work of Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, and some of their intellectual descendents. But, as Hayek himself reminded us, the classical Greek term from which it derives, katalattein or katalassein, meant not only to exchange but also to receive into the community and to turn from enemy into friend (Hayek, The Fatal Conceit, p.112). To me, this is suggestive of a deeper, wider meaning for the whole notion of market exchange—one that embraces the traditionally differentiated and increasingly antagonistic economic, social, and political aspects of the market. This is how I use the term. Praxis is a Greek term in its own right and generally means action, practice or the practical application of theory. It is also used to denote the idea of a theory of practice—that is, a theory of how to design one’s actions in order to achieve certain results. A catallactic praxis, then, may be thought of as a theory of how to participate in the market process or, more generally, as a practical theory of how markets really work.
Thus, catallactics x praxis = catallaxis. Voila.
I know, I know. I need to get out more.
Posted by Daniel O'Connor Permalink Catallaxis provides a unique integral perspective on the economic issues of the day. In my opinion, the need for such a blog is significant, given the dire state of the economic dialogue across America and throughout much of the world. Most of the participants in this dialogue seem to be polarized around the idea of the market and its perceived role in either resolving or exacerbating a litany of economic problems, from corporate corruption to economic recession to ecological degradation. Evidently, some of these people place a high degree of faith in the market’s ability to solve its own problems, provided that society just leaves it alone to do its work. Others are more skeptical about the market and emphasize the need for social activism, lest the market undermine our social welfare. Whenever economic problems emerge, one group will look for evidence of market failure, while the other group looks to the market for a solution. Predictably, each will tend to suspect the other of some sort of political motivation and, if they’re not careful, the entire economic dialogue is reduced to nothing but a contentious political debate. A Crisis of Vision »
An introduction to Market Learning: Toward a More Integral EconomicsAt the close of the 20th century, the market economy in America and elsewhere was in the midst of a veritable renaissance. Twenty years of privatization, deregulation, and liberalization had rendered the “stagflation” of the early 1980s a distant memory. During one of the greatest expansions in American economic history, productivity rose to record highs, unemployment fell to record lows, and inflation remained under control. Corporations realigned their strategies and restructured their operations to compete in the new era of globalization. Entrepreneurship flourished through the convergence of innovative new technologies, free-flowing venture capital, and relentless marketing. The mainstream media regaled us with a continuous stream of economic notions, from the iconic CEO to the free-agent worker to the once-and-for-all transcendence of the dreaded business cycle. For the first time ever, it was actually “cool” to be in business and everybody was following the stock market. The market, both as a system and as an idea, stood vindicated.[i]
The economists, politicians, and executives behind this renaissance are united by a well-schooled preference for individual and corporate freedom in a relatively unfettered market economy. They proclaim themselves economic liberals and pay homage to the classical economic philosophy that favors free markets and limited government as essential to both economic growth and social liberty. For reasons that will become clear in a moment, I call them economic libertarians.[ii] The best of these economic libertarians seem to think that in pursuing market opportunities they are contributing to the development of a civilization. They are indeed. Their record of entrepreneurship and innovation is unparalleled in history and the simple fact that they create so many of the jobs that fund our way of life confirms their value to society. As for the millions of economic libertarians who have never started a company or invented a new technology, the verdict is still positive. With each new market exchange they are creating some small incremental addition to the overall wealth and well-being of our society. Though some struggle just to survive in the market, they staunchly defend its very real virtues, preferring to lift themselves up by their own bootstraps rather than being, as they see it, hoisted by a social safety net.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Friday, October 07, 2005 In a society still riddled with centuries-old
Prejudices, stereotypes, caste system and rituals
We need continuous intervention of a force
To empower people that is non-political,
Non-judgmental, non-denominational and rational.
To me technology is that force. It brings access
To modern tools and methods to increase productivity
And efficiency at reduced costs. It is an
Entry point to bring about generational changes
Being born underprivileged it opened doors for me
It erased my caste and empowered me to upward
Mobility. Technology is a great social leveller.
It is by no means an end in itself. It is about
Designing more efficient tools for the country
When people talk of technology they invariably
Think of computers, satellites, aircraft and other gadgets
To me technology is problem solving. It is about
Doing things differently. It is about change in mindset
Processes, products and preferences. Technology
Is about opportunities and experiences.
Many confuse new technology with labour displacement
As opposed to labour retraining and readjustment
We must change our age old processes and practices
With new knowledge and new understanding of the
Ever changing competitive nature of the global market
Success has given us confidence, connectivity
With emphasis on innovations and entrepreneurship.
True knowledge can empower people at all levels
To change their mindset from negative cynicism
To positive optimism with hope for the limitless
Opportunities in this ever changing world. It can make
Our people aware of their rights and responsibilities
To me the key to empowering people is to
Provide knowledge, tools, technology and techniques.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Economy, like ecology, is an interplay of a complex tapestry driven by incessant logistics. While the notion of the market salutes its own supremacy, it abhors other interventions. But then, can any other interpolation—state or non-state—come sans the sanction of the greater Logistics, the larger Market? The head of a party BJP is a party in search of a new president now, but the whole episode is shrouded in mystery. The reason behind this sorry spectacle lies in our very perception of leadership in a democratic setting. Our Constitution, too, plays an ambivalent role here. It specifies that the leader of the party elected to power would form the government. But the chief executives of various parties have different designations, viz., chairman, president, general secretary, convener, co-coordinator etc. The problem arises when the leader of the party becomes PM or CM and a lightweight is elevated to fill the post of the head of the party.
There are certain supposed norms like, ‘one-man-one-post’ and 'separation of party and government affairs'. So, once in the government, the distance between the leader of the party and the head of the party increases leading to rivalry. When no more in power, the leader of the party wants to become the head of the party again. These kinds of simple problems can be easily settled if proper systems are put in place.