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The term “outsider” refers to a non-local person that interferes economically in an economy that they do not identify with.

Outsiders  are those who have not merged their individual socio-economic interests with the  socio-economic interests of the socio-economic unit they operate in [1].

Practically speaking those who earn their livelihood in a particular socio-economic unit but spend their earnings in another socio-economic unit should be considered as outsiders or non-local people [12]. This causes a harmful outflow of wealth from the local economy concerned.

No outsider should be allowed to interfere in local economic affairs or in the system of production and distribution, otherwise a floating population will develop, causing the outflow of economic wealth from the local area. If this occurs the area will become vulnerable to outside economic exploitation and decentralized economy will be undermined [1].

That outsiders must be strictly prevented from interfering in the local economy is the fourth requirement (of a total of four requirements) for economic democracy [4].

Examples of interfering outsiders include outsider shareholders, floating populations and migrating workers.

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1.Principles of Decentralized Economy

The first principle of decentralized economy is that all the resources in a socio-economic unit should be controlled by the local people. In particular, the resources which are required to produce the minimum requirements must be in local hands, and all the industries based on these resources will have to be controlled entirely by the local people. Local raw materials must be fully utilized to produce all kinds of commodities necessary for the economic development of a socio-economic unit.

Local people are those who have merged their individual socio-economic interests with the socio-economic interests of the socio-economic unit they live in. Clearly, this concept of local people has nothing to do with physical complexion, race, caste, creed, language or birth place. The fundamental issue is whether or not each person or family has identified their individual socio-economic interests with the collective interests of the concerned socio-economic unit. Those who have not done so should be branded as outsiders.

No outsider should be allowed to interfere in local economic affairs or in the system of production and distribution, otherwise a floating population will develop, causing the outflow of economic wealth from the local area. If this occurs the area will become vulnerable to outside economic exploitation and decentralized economy will be undermined.

The surplus wealth, after meeting the minimum requirements of the people in the local area, should be distributed among the meritorious people according to the degree of their merit. For example, doctors, engineers, scientists and other capable people engaged in various activities require extra amenities so that they can perform greater service to society. While a common person may require a bicycle, a doctor may require a car. But there must also be provision in the economy for reducing the gap between the minimum requirements of all and the amenities of meritorious people. To increase the standard of living of common people, they may be provided with scooters instead of bicycles. Although there is some difference between a scooter and a car, the gap that existed between a car and a bicycle has been partially reduced. The economic gap between common people and meritorious people should be reduced as much as possible, and ceaseless efforts must be made in this regard, but this gap will never vanish altogether. If the gap increases, the common people will be deprived and exploitation will re-emerge in society in the guise of amenities. Decentralized economy leaves no such loophole because on the one hand the standard of the minimum requirements must be increased, and on the other hand the provision of amenities will be assessed from the viewpoint of the collective welfare.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 16 March 1982, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 21, Decentralized Economy – 1, Principles of Decentralized Economy

2. Even thirty years after Indian independence, the vestiges of colonial exploitation have not been obliterated from Bengal. Rather, exploitation by the Indian capitalists has been deepened and widened. These Indian capitalists are outsiders who have not identified their own socio-economic interests with the interests of the local area. Today they look upon West Bengal and its adjoining areas as merely a source of raw materials. These capitalists purchase the agricultural, mineral and forestry resources of Bengal at cheap rates and convert them into manufactured goods in their own factories in Gujarat, the Punjab, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, and then sell the finished products in the Bengal market at high prices.

Almost all items of daily use in Bengal are manufactured outside Bengal, but sold in the West Bengal market. At the same time, Bengal’s own industries have either been paralysed or destroyed so that the goods produced in Bengal can never compete with those of the Indian capitalists produced outside Bengal. This is the reason that West Bengal does not get the chance to establish new industrial enterprises. The Punjab and Harayana have been turned into monopoly centres for the leather industry, but strangely, in both these states, hides are scarcely available. Industrialists from these states procure animal skins from the forests of Tarai and Duars in North Bengal and the deltaic region of the Sundarbans in the south of the state, and sell their finished leather products in Bengal. West Bengal has no hide industry to supply finished products to its own market. Only a small percentage of the leather shoes produced in Batanagar is supplied to the West Bengal market, and the largest percentage is exported to foreign markets. The same situation prevails in the sports goods industry. Needless to say, the owners of most of the essential industries in West Bengal are outsiders. To them West Bengal is merely a colony to acquire raw materials as well as a vast market for the sale of finished goods which are manufactured in their own regions. All these outsiders are guided by one psychology: “As we have come to a foreign land, let us try to loot as much as we can.” ” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 1981, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 19, Economic Exploitation of Bengal, Colonial Exploitation

3.Due to this exploitation by outsiders, the economic structure of Bengal has been shattered and a large percentage of Bengal’s population now lives below the poverty line. Tens of millions of rupees are drained out of West Bengal every month by outsiders, and many of Bengal’s own industrial enterprises have been destroyed. The important industrial sectors together with trade and commerce are now in the hands of outsiders. Millions of able-bodied young Bengalees are unemployed, whereas the non-Bengali capitalists employ much of their work-force from outside the state.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 1981, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 19, Economic Exploitation of Bengal, Imperialist Exploitation

4. The fourth requirement for economic democracy is that outsiders must be strictly prevented from interfering in the local economy. The outflow of local capital must be stopped by strictly preventing outsiders or a floating population from participating in any type of economic activity in the local area.“  – Sarkar, Prabhat, June 1986, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 21, Economic Democracy, Requirements for Economic Democracy

5. In Angadesh the indigenous population is being exploited by outsiders. The Angiks are poor and destitute, and most of them depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Their lot can only be improved when some progressive farming methods are adopted. For example, those parts of Purnea, Katihar, Madhepura and northern Bhagalpur which extend up to six miles from the southern bank of the Ganges River should grow cash crops successfully. An integrated system for growing certain cash crops is outlined below.“…

…”Exploitation exists in every sphere of life – the social, economic, cultural and psychic. Exploiters do not care whether an area is a surplus labour or deficit labour area. Bhojpuri is a surplus labour area, while parts of Bengal and Assam are deficit labour areas. All of these areas are exploited. Angadesh and Assam are the worst affected areas. In Angadesh, Bhagalpur and Monghyr are the only cities, and in these two cities outside exploiters dominate. They have no sympathy for the local people, their language or their sentimental legacy. Ranchi is also controlled by outside exploiters, while in Orissa land and assets are in the hands of outsiders. In India elections are very costly. Money for elections comes from both local capitalists and foreign agencies.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 21 April 1989, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 19, Bihar, Angadesh

6.In West Bengal there has been relentless exploitation and misrule by capitalists from other parts of India. The immense agricultural, forestry and aquatic resources of Samatat have been ruthlessly exploited by the neo-colonialists. 36% of the foreign currency reserves in India comes from the natural resources of Samatat, but not even 1% of that foreign exchange is utilized for the development of the local area. The rural economy of Samatat is being severely exploited by the outsiders. 60% of Samatat’s population are extremely poor, uneducated, malnourished and unemployed. 77% of the population of Samatat are associated only with agriculture, and as the huge percentage of the population depends on undeveloped agriculture, they are fast moving towards economic ruination. The Marxists thrive on the economic disaster and helplessness of the inhabitants of Samatat.

Since independence the national wealth and labour of Samatat are not utilized for the benefit of the indigenous population. Rather, they are being utilized to serve the vested interests of outsiders. No government so far has formulated any economic plan for the economic development of the Samatat people. The so- called friends of the poor do not want to hurt the capitalist and imperialist interests. So Samatat, which was once an invincible power, is rapidly moving towards economic ruination under capitalist and communist exploitation, even in the midst of vast natural wealth.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 1984, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 19, Talks on Bengal – Section A, Samatat
7. In 1977, when the communists came to power in West Bengal, the old political leaders of the Marxist Communist Party revived the old Gorkhaland sentiment which has now transformed the northern part of the state into a land of utter chaos and bloodshed. Innocent, peace-loving Bengalees are now fleeing from their houses in Darjeeling in terror, and becoming refugees in the adjoining districts of Coochbihar, Jalpaiguri, etc. In their home state, the Bengalees are virtually refugees. But the Gorkhas, who are the real outsiders, are demanding that the Bengalees quit Darjeeling.

The Lepchas and Bhutias – the original inhabitants of Darjeeling district – belong to the Coch tribe. The Coch people are the original Bengalees. A part of their population settled on both sides of the Saḿcoch River in Sikhim and Bhutan, and another group migrated from Barendrabhum, the northernmost part of Bengal, and settled in the hilly regions further north. The Lepchas and Bhutias have always remained associated with the mainstream of Bengali life and culture. The Gorkhas are clearly the outsiders.

About 200 years ago, the Gorkhas came from outside Bengal in search of a livelihood and began to settle in the Darjeeling hills. According to the 1872 census report, their number was so negligible that they were too inconsequential to be recorded, and it was merely mentioned that they were outsiders. The upper hilly regions were inhabited by the Lepchas and Bhutias, and the plains were inhabited by the Bengalees.

In addition, a major percentage of the population who introduce themselves as the Nepalese and live in the Darjeeling hills are not Gorkhas at all. 15 Nepali ethnic groups like the Tamang, Gurung, Newari, etc. live in the Darjeeling area. They are not Gorkhas nor is their language Gorkhali. In fact, Gorkhali is a dialect of a very small community. Just as there is no language called the Indian language – in India there are as many as 323 major or minor languages and dialects and all these languages are Indian languages – likewise in Nepal there are about 32 languages and dialects, and each of them is a Nepali language. Gorkhali is not even the official language of Nepal. The Gorkhas, though a small ethnic community, have demanded Gorkhaland to fulfil their petty selfish interests, misleading the other simple, innocent tribes living in the Darjeeling hills.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 30 August 1988, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 19, Talks on Bengal – Section B, Gorkhaland

8.The exploitation in Ráŕh was very extreme, and it still is. The vaeshya control and administration and vaeshya exploitation in Ráŕh manifests itself in two different ways: 1) exploitation by the local vaeshyas, which is relatively insignificant, and 2) exploitation by the outsider vaeshyas, which is very extreme. The fundamental difference between the exploitation by the local vaeshyas and that by the outsiders is this: though both are exploiters and the exploitation of both causes people to cry aloud for relief, the local exploiters mostly keep their exploitation-gotten wealth within the territory of the land, and hence there is a chance for that wealth to be utilized in future in the service of the people. But the outsider exploiters will in most cases transfer outside all the wealth that they have ruthlessly squeezed out of the land. This means that there is no chance whatsoever for those resources to be utilized in future in the service of the local people.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 1981, Kolkata, Ráŕh: The Cradle of Civilization, Ráŕh – 31. Socio-Economic Exploitation in Ráŕh

9. Since independence the national wealth and labour of Samatat are not utilized for the benefit of the indigenous population. Rather, they are being utilized to serve the vested interests of outsiders. No government so far has formulated any economic plan for the economic development of the Samatat people. The so- called friends of the poor do not want to hurt the capitalist and imperialist interests. So Samatat, which was once an invincible power, is rapidly moving towards economic ruination under capitalist and communist exploitation, even in the midst of vast natural wealth.” -Sarkar, Prabhat, 1984, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 19, Talks on Bengal – Section A, Samatat

10. In the then India, the mutual relations between the original inhabitants of India (Austrico-Mongolo-Negroids) and the outsiders, the Aryans, were by no means cordial. The Aryans, out of deep-rooted contempt for the indigenous people of India, used to call them sometimes asuras [monsters], sometimes dánavas [demons], sometimes dásas [slaves], sometimes shúdras. The Aryans did not accept those people in their society; rather, they declared them to be outcastes. But these ancient people of India, of Austrico-Mongolo-Negroid blood, had their own civilization and culture. They were also developed people: they had their science of Tantra, and their medicine. There was a prolonged conflict between these people and the Aryans.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 9 May 1982, Calcutta, The Awakening of Women, Párvatii, Consort of Shiva – Section A

11. The period of Shiva was a most turbulent period in India. On the one hand there were the Aryans, the outsiders, and on the other hand there were the indigenous people, with their Tantra-oriented culture and religion. Into this conflict-ridden environment, Shiva was born.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 11 April 1982, Calcutta, Discourses on Tantra Volume One, An Introduction to Shiva (Discourse 1)

12. 100% Employment for Local People

First, there should be 100% employment for the local people. The basic right of all people is to be guaranteed the minimum essentials for their existence, including at least proper food, clothing, housing, education and medical care. This basic right should be arranged through cent per cent guaranteed employment, not through welfare or dole-outs. Unemployment is a critical economic problem in the world today and 100% employment of the local people is the only way to solve this problem.

Local people are defined as those who have merged individual socio-economic interests with the socio-economic interests of the socio-economic unit they live in. The primary consideration is whether or not people have merged their individual interests with their socio-economic unit, regardless of their colour, creed, race, mother tongue, birthplace, etc. Those who earn their livelihood in a particular socio-economic unit but spend their earnings in another socio-economic unit should be considered as outsiders or non-local people, as this practice is not in accordance with the interests of the socioeconomic unit in which they are employed. It results in the drainage of the capital necessary for the continued growth of that unit and undermines its economic development.

Capitalists, in either their singular or collective forms, are the most pernicious economic exploiters today. All over the world they are continually exploiting local economies and draining their wealth. In nearly all cases the profits they accrue are spent outside the local area and remitted to outside stockholders and parent companies. An essential measure to control this economic exploitation is that the speculative markets in all countries of the world should be closed down immediately.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 31 December 1984, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 13, Socio-Economic Movements, 100% Employment for Local People

13. The second point of PROUT’s approach is that maximum industries should be developed in the local area according to the availability of raw materials or local consumption. This principle will develop the economic potential of a socioeconomic unit by placing economic power into the hands of the local people and divesting outsiders of their control over the economy. In a economy most industries will be run as agricultural, producer or consumer cooperatives creating a new kind of cooperative spirit or cooperative dynamo. Such an approach will place economic power into the hands of those who work physically or intellectually for proper production, stripping capitalists of their exploitative economic power. Thus maximum industrial development will be assured.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 31 December 1984, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 13, Socio-Economic Movements, Maximum Industrial Development

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