The spiritual gift of India to the world has already begun. India's spirituality is entering Europe and America in an ever increasing measure. That movement will grow; amid the disasters of the time more and more eyes are turning towards her with hope and there is even an increasing resort not only to her teachings, but to her psychic and spiritual practice. -- Sri Aurobindo (from the message broadcast on the eve of August 15, 1947)

Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Schumpeter, Schumacher

E.F. Schumacher was born in Germany in 1911 and took a class from Joseph Schumpeter in the late 1920s in Bonn. It was Schumpeter's course that convinced Schumacher to become an economist. Few realized when "Small is Beautiful" was published that E.F. Schumacher’s economic theories were underpinned by solid religious and philosophical foundations, the fruits of a lifetime of searching. In 1971, two years before the book’s publication, Schumacher had become a Roman Catholic, the final destination of his philosophical journey. Schumacher considered his conversion of supreme importance. This can be seen from the fact that he considered his spiritual work, A Guide for the Perplexed, to be his most important achievement.
'Pop handed me A Guide for the Perplexed on his deathbed, five days before he died,' says his daughter. He told her 'this is what my life has been leading to'. Yet when she began researching her biography of her father a lot of people were 'astounded' when they discovered his conversion. 'They hadn't realized that he had become a Catholic. They thought it was a real let-down, a betrayal'.' For all the songs of praise to Schumacher's achievement many, it seemed, had missed the point. By Joseph Pearce October 25, 2004

Voice of India

The article Hindu Society under Siege by Sita Ram Goel explores the challenges facing the modern Hindu awakening from the harmful residues of the past. The author is a prolific writer on Hindu nationalism and the founder of the “Voice of India” publishing house; he died in 2003 at the age of 82. In his earlier days, he was attracted to communism but later under the influence of his mentor Ram Swarup, who was a follower of Sri Aurobindo, he became an ardent Hindu revivalist. His unmatched scholarship and rigor is a dread to Marxist and secularist writers who seek to dominate the intellectual space in India today, and are opposed to the national vision of Swami Vivekananda. posted by IndiaWatcher @ Monday, July 04, 2005 6:19 AM

Sri Aurobindo: The Spiritual Anarchist

A spiritual age of mankind will perceive the truth. It will not try to make man perfect by machinery or keep him straight by tying up all his limbs. It will not present to the member of the society his higher self in the person of the policeman, the official and the corporal, nor, let us say, in the form of a socialistic bureaucracy or a Labour Soviet. Its aim will be to diminish as soon and as far as possible the element of external compulsion in human life by awakening the inner divine compulsion of the Spirit within and all the preliminary means it will use will have that for its aim. In the end it will employ chiefly if not solely the spiritual compulsion which even the spiritual individual can exercise on those around him, and how much more should a spiritual society be able to do it, that which awakens within us in spite of all inner resistance and outer denial the compulsions of the Light, the desire and the power to grow through one's own nature into the Divine. For the perfectly spiritualised society will be one in which, as is dreamed by the spiritual anarchist, all men will be deeply free, and it will be so because the preliminary condition will have been satisfied. In that state each man will be not a law to himself, but the law, the divine Law, because he will be a soul living in the Divine and not an ego living mainly if not entirely for its own interest and purpose. His life will be led by the law of his own divine nature liberated from the ego. -- The Human Cycle -- 'Conditions for the Coming of the Spiritual Age', pg. 243 spiritofnow (spiritofnow) wrote,@ 2005-05-06 00:31:00

One Cosmos Under God

In my view, the Judeo-Christian and Hindu traditions are the missing parts of one another. In exploring and conquering the material world, the former extends from the center to the periphery, or from the One to the many. Vedanta goes in the other direction, from the periphery back to the center, from the many back to the One. In reality, neither approach is completely valid or invalid. Rather, the Real would be a dynamic synthesis (not mere blending) of the two, a "transcendent position" that unifies the Eastern and Western hemispheres of the global brain, allowing us to live in a "third" dialectical, or "transitional" space between the external world and the mysterious Subject that is the source of both the world and ourselves. Dr. Reddy, like me a student of the Indian sage and mystic Sri Aurobindo, writes that "Mankind has benefitted broadly by the two central spiritual streams which were complementary to each other. The one that watered the West has been essentially the aspiration for the salvation of the world, the emancipation of humanity [through] the descent of God's grace.... The [stream] that was perfected in the East and especially in India was the liberation of the individual through his ascent into the Divine himself. An exclusive stress on the first results in preoccupation with the material world, whereas the all too exclusive preoccupation with individual liberation leads to complete disregard of the world of humanity. An integration of these two ways, a wider and luminous fusion of their insights, will provide a tangible and enduring basis of spiritual life on the earth." posted by Gagdad Bob at 8:15 AM 1 comments

Harmony of Interests and Moral Relativity

Thank God Carr shed some light on this and despite his utopian hopes, recognized this is not the best idea. Going back to my claim that achieving a global will is impossible, the truth is that the factors that give rise to the divergent interests around the globe cannot be easily obliterated. These differences are not just a product of our reason, like Kant would want to believe, that can be easily switched off by merely enlightening our reason banks. Instead, they are deep-rooted divides born of each nations' turbulent history and struggles. Moreover, these factors are not just social or cultural, but geopolitical and economic and cannot be swept away with a shift in thinking or attitude, but make up the fiber of a nation. They are hard realities that breed the difference of interests between the first world and the third world, between theocracies and democracies, between capitalism and communism. As long as these differences remain, which I would predict will be as long as civilization exists, there cannot be a harmony of interests.
Carr
has done an invaluable service by unmasking the interests of various dominant groups whether they are in economics, politics or even in any other field. I believe that this neo-Marxian critique eventually gave rise to critical theory, which went on to do the same thing essentially. His case is irrefutable, with his quotes from Briand, Wilson, Hitler, Churchill, Toynbee and Cecil. It is amazing how the exposition of their policies flowed not from absolute principles but from practice, to suit their national interests.
In 1919, a Hindu nationalist turned Yogi named Sri Aurobindo wrote about the possibility of a League of Nations and what it would look like. When reading this qoute, think of the League and of the UN:"The idea of international unity to which this intervention of the revived force of nationality is leading, takes the form of a soc-called League of Nations.Practically however, the League of Nations under present conditions or any likely to be immediately realized would still mean the control of the earth by a few great Powers—a control that would be checked only by the necessity of conciliating the sympathy and support of the more numerous smaller or less powerful nations. On the force and influence of these few (Great Powers) would reset practically, if not admittedly, the decision of all important debatable questions. And without it there could be no chance of enforcing the decisions of the majority against any recalcitrant great Power or combinations of Powers." The Ideal of Human Unity, 1919. So it was with the League and indeed their vested interests as Carr points out. Now the same is true of the UN now and what Sri Aurobindo said is the same. But consider this, the UN was supposed to be more effective than the League, so how could it have turned out like it is? posted by Sir Francis Bacon at 11:42 PM

Friday, October 28, 2005

Money or Harmony?

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

Country as Corporation

New Model China by Kenichi Ohmae
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

Stephen Roman, & Eugen Loebl

The Responsible Society. 1977. dj
From Marx’s kitchenThe Asian Age India Madhuri Santanam Sondhi
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 Loebl
Talking 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

eSocialSciences

October 2005, New Features: A new section Book Reviews features Goolam Vahed’s review of Uma Duphelia Mistrie’s ‘ Gandhi’s Prisoner? The Life of Gandhi’s son Manilal’ published by Kwela Books, Cape Town. (H-Net Review). Two new journals : Liberation and SEPHIS emagazine have been added to the collection of journals. Feature of the month: Conference blogs to keep you in touch with what’s happening in the meets that you could not attend. Theme of the Month: ‘Women and Health’ featuring a collection of papers echoing the several ongoing and forthcoming conferences and seminars.

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
eSS welcomes working papers , work in progress , notes for discussion. Short topical comment may also be submitted. Conference announcements, Calls for papers, Fellowship and scholarship announcements and job appointments will be posted as soon as they are received. For writing an original Policy note in the Policy Matters section please write to the editor. We will post full issues of any scholarly or activist journal and movement and organisation newsletters. If you would like to review books, please send us your areas of interest and a postal address with the email. eSS is open to suggestions on how to make it more useful to scholars, policy makers and social activists. -- Padma Prakash and the eSS Team

Monday, October 24, 2005

Yoga Party

New political party emphasizing unity rather than division, compassion rather than annihilation. Now only peace and solidarity can overcome the hate and destruction enveloping the world. Through cultivating insight and tranquility only, can life endure. Help me resist the purveyors of hate, death and destruction so that we can all live together in harmony.
I wish the rich well. I understand that the rich suffer as much as anyone else. From a yogic perspective (at least one yogic perspective) we are just acting out our karma and the only thing worth achieving is escaping rebirth, that essentially we are spirit. No harm can come to us as the physical body is only transitory. Nevertheless from this perspective we are very much involved in our lives, we are actors not realizing that we are playing roles, and play these roles we must in order to reach our salvation. And it is a fact that the rich do live longer and the poor die unnecessarily and therefore this is an injustice.
Another perspective put out by the late Sri Aurobindo is that we are not disembodied spirits, but are undergoing a sort of transformation and that even the body is a form of spirit and therefore we are evolving so to speak to a higher level of consciousness. The differences between each other are not so significant, in fact we all represent the same spirit. Since we all are the same spirit (Brahman) it makes sense for all of us to seek this salvation together.
Of course in this capitalistic society we are deluged with the supposed benefits of being of a higher class. Daily we are barraged with advertising to instill in us class consciousness (a false consciousness in which we deny our own interests). These are only images, constructs of selfish interests of the powers that be, that are irrelevant to our moral integrity. Ultimately to get out of this karma or as the buddhists put it, our suffering, we must all join together to escape this karma. Hopefully all will eventually see that struggle is not necessary except to realize our true conscious state of divine being. Only then can we find the way out of the tunnel of darkness. posted by Yoga Party @ 2:50 PM

We need democracy

From: rajudas@yorku.ca To: Sachi sachisatpathy@yahoo.com Subject: Re: Mass movement? Yes. Civil society-based/led mass movement? No! Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2005
I agree with Mr. Dubey that a mass movement is exactly what is needed. But I am sorry I am less sanguine about the civil society method than Mr Dubey probably is. Civil society is too civil to clear up the 'nastiness' that underlies the problem of Orissa's and India's under-development. We need a mass movement but one that is not necessarily attached to so-called civil society movements, although they can play a role.
The movement has to be one of the poor peasants and landless rural labourers and urban workers. In plain English, the movement has to be a class-based movement where men and women and children of different castes combine together and fight against the sorts of classes Mr. Dubey refers to. They have to fight against the coalition of proprietary classes (both domestic and international) and their intellectual shield dressed up as professors and cultural people and their people in politics. All these people may be very nice as persons but that is immaterial: they do things that they must because of the way they are inserted into the system. A broad, mass democratic movement [and as far as possible, non-violent movement] to decommodify society is what is needed, a society where right to food, education and other necessities outside of the market and to productive and enjoyable work are basic non-negotiable norms, a society where democracy flourishes in all spheres of life including work and family and within the Assembly/Parliament gate.
No matter how much we beat our heart, if this doesnot happen, if a CLASS-based democratic movement does not happen, Orissa and, with it, all parts of the country that are as under-developed as Orissa is will basically remain what they are. And note that this movement will not be and this cannot be led by so-called non-governmental organizations who are supposedly independent of the government inspite of their financial and other kinds of reliance on it and of market inspite of (e.g.) micro-finance and their enthusiastic promotion of penny capitalism and things like that. As long as Orissa and other parts of India are within the grip of NGO-ism, the possibility of empowerment and democracy is an impossible task.
We need democracy, democracy of the poor, direct democracy, the democracy which the beautiful word 'democracy' originally signified. If the root of the problem is in the ways things [food, clothes,medicine, etc.] are produced [and are distributed] and the social relations around these, the solution is that these have to be changed, and these have to be changed by people who produce these things. Those who work to maintain the system have the power to stop working and thus stop the system from continuing. The system that produces India's millionaires is the same system that produces India's poor. By working, the poor produce the wealth as well as their subordination. It is only they who can stop all that. Can others help a little? Can we help a little? That is the crux of the matter. Raju

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Intellectual Satyagraha

Sunday, February 27, 2005
The Academic Historical Colonialism: Current liberal academicians use it to denigrate Hindu culture as inhumane and promote Western multiculturalism (read Western subordination of other cultures) in India. All have used it to make the dominant Hindu culture of India a historical fraud. Western academicians, and their Indian imitators, rejected the testimony not only of the ancient Rishis and yogis of the country but that of modern sages like Sri Aurobindo, who did not accept this idea. In other words, in interpreting the history of India they simply rejected what the country itself had to say useless, substituting their own voice. Is this not cultural arrogance?
Tuesday, February 25, 2003
India and Globalization by Rajiv Malhotra
Among Western thinkers who have studied Asian philosophies in depth and who have incorporated aspects of the latter into their own thought, a notable modern example is Ken Wilber, whose “Integral Psychology” openly draws upon the work of the Indian thinker Sri Aurobindo. In his early book, The Spectrum of Consciousness (1977),[17] Wilber pointed out the similarities between Asian traditions and various schools of psychology current at the time. He drew attention to the real and valuable contributions to be made by non-Western schools of thought, and in particular those of India.
In this book, as well as in later works such as Transformations of Consciousness,[18] Wilber expanded the scope of modern Western psychology by also including within his schema the supra normal or “transpersonal” states of consciousness described and cultivated by practitioners of India’s meditators and yogis. He showed that Western psychology couldn’t afford to ignore the thousands of years of empirical experimentation in the field of consciousness studies and psychology that has been conducted by these practitioners, albeit under different names. Wilber’s debt to these traditions is particular notable with regard to Sri Aurobindo, who created a schema of states of consciousness. Not fearing to acknowledge his debt to Sri Aurobindo and the Indic traditions, Wilber has generally been quite up front with regard to his use and remodeling of the insights of the Indic traditions. Hopefully, Wilber and many others like him will continue to explore the very fruitful potential for East-West dialogue and exchange, in a respectful and intellectually honest fashion.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Welcome to Catallaxis!

« Welcome to Catallaxis! Main What's in a Name? Catallaxis is a name I invented several years ago through the fusion of two important concepts: catallactics and praxis.

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
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.

ORISSA POLITICS

Sentiments and political system are two entirely different things. By expressing our opinion on a few burning issues we can't change the duly elected governments. Rather, we must understand our limitations as hapless citizens. Limited access to the big picure is our bottleneck, and our stake in the debate is dubious. Your portal might appear as a very democratic forum, but the mechanics of politics is much more complex. Tusar N. Mohapatra tusarnmohapatra@mail.com Fri Oct 21 15:14:22 EDT 2005
Whether the debate is academic, journalistic, quasi-political or political activism, is what needs to be defined first. For if we are unsure of our objectives, we shouldn't expect matching results. That is, precisely, what has happened in the past over the results of which we are lamenting today. The situation is best expressed in our saying, Bapa pua duhen rati anidra- mugura *#*# mela. Hence, we need be a little bit MBO savvy, at present. Reliance on the Market mechanism rather than the habitual political weapons of the past is the order of the day that warrants serious engagement of our attention. Further, to understand the dynamics of development, David Harvey's Justice Nature and the Geography of Differences is a great help. An informed environment and dispassionate discourse would save us from much agony and ignominy. Fraternally, Marketime 241005.
Thanks to Ken Wilber, integralism is a popular thesis now. The film, Matrix helped to drive the concept home. Internet, itself, is a live instance of interconnectedness. Therefore, it would be prudent to locate this discussion on Orissa within a holistic framework. For, paradigms of prosperity and development are always shifting, cyclical or evolutionary. Just like personal finance, the economy of a state, too, is relative; and it has a unique function like a particular organ of a body. Orissa has many defficiencies, but far greater excellences. Our social capital is our core competence which is respected everywhere. I am proud of the fact that more than 500 Integral schools are operating in Orissa, which has no parallel in any other state or country. It is time, we must leverage our cultural capital. IT-lag could be amply compensated through, say, hospitality and services. But again it all depends upon Georaphy and Logistics, as Harvey would infer, and not simply on politics. South Delhi, South Kolkata and South Mumbai are more prosperous than their northern counterparts; becase of Geography, not merely politics. 251005

Sunday, October 09, 2005

SAM PITRODA

The Indian Express
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

The invisible hand

Capitalism and the much-maligned, ‘Market’ might denote the epitome of materialism, but the dynamics of market and the propensity of its participants points towards one of the highest principles of spirituality. While the modernity project of Socialism aims at a regulated economy and directed history, Capitalism demands a hands-off approach by those at the helms.
The market-dictated regime-- far from being deterministic, as it sounds—is absolutely aloft on probabilities, uncertainties and the unpredictable. Thus, the contingent and the precarious character of outcomes leaves the individual endeavour almost at the mercy of the unforeseen/Unseen. And, therefore, the shrewd operator learns to believe less on his own prudence than the ordained/unpredictable dispensation. Perforce, he looks up to providence than his own autonomy and sovereignty.

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.