Pseudo-culture is one of 8 common methods of psycho-economic exploitation .
Pseudo-exploitation occurs when a particular group which is motivated by socio-sentiment to exploit others, tries to destroy the local cultural expressions of other groups. The group forcibly imposes its language, dress and ideas on other groups, and thus paves the way for exploitation by paralysing those people psychologically .
If some people, by virtue of their wealth, impose vulgar cinemas and dramas on others, this will break the latters’ spines and they will become paralyzed. As a result those paralyzed, spineless people will thenceforth never be able to stand unitedly against cultural or any other kind of exploitation .
Pseudo-culture is exemplified by pornographic literature which debases people’s mind and particularly undermines the vitality of the youth .
“Pseudo” means to some extent like the original but not exactly like the original . Culture is the collective form of all the expressions of life and those activities expressing the subtler and sweeter aspects of life are generally called “culture”. But with pseudo-culture the lower sentiments and expressions are utilized in order to paralyze and exploit a group of people, and it is propagated in an attractive and sophisticated way.
1. “Cultural Exploitation through Pseudo-Culture
Now, there is another aspect: culture. As you know, the subtler and sweeter expressions of human life are generally termed “culture.” Suppose someone offers you food: you may eat without washing your hands and feet, or you may eat after washing thoroughly. The refined manner of eating in a hygienic way is called the “culture of eating”, while those activities expressing the subtler and sweeter aspects of life are called “culture” in a general sense.
Human culture is one, though there are some local variations in its expression. But a particular group which is motivated by socio-sentiment to exploit others, tries to destroy the local cultural expressions of other groups. It forcibly imposes its language, dress and ideas on other groups, and thus paves the way for exploitation by paralysing those people psychologically. This is how people guided by socio-sentiment perpetuate exploitation in cultural life.
This is occurring throughout the world. Is it not your noble duty to save these simple and persecuted people from exploitation? Certainly it is. Those of you who did not understand this before, now do understand it clearly; or you will come to understand it later from others. Human beings must be saved. Why should innocent people be forced to live like sacrificial lambs? This must not be tolerated.
Suppose a particular group has a high standard of arts (theatre, cinema, etc.), but the number of rich people in that group is comparatively few. The culture of another group, on the other hand, is very undeveloped, but among them there is a greater number of wealthy people. Now, the latter group wants to maintain its exploitation over the group that has a more developed cultural heritage, because one way that psycho-economic exploitation can paralyse people in the psychic sphere is cultural exploitation – to impose vulgar cinemas and dramas upon those good people.
As you know, the mind has a natural tendency to degrade itself; it flows more easily downwards than upwards. So if some people, by virtue of their wealth, impose vulgar cinemas and dramas on others, this will break the latters’ spines and they will become paralysed. And those paralysed, spineless people will thenceforth never be able to stand unitedly against cultural or any other kind of exploitation. They will never be able to do so, because mentally they will be completely dead – their capacity to raise their heads in protest will have been crushed forever. How can they raise their heads again?
This exploitation in the cultural sphere is accomplished by the propagation of pseudo-culture. Every honest, virtuous, rational person must fight against this pseudo-culture, and inspire others to do the same. If this is not done, the future of humanity will be sealed. It is proper for human beings to struggle for political freedom, for social emancipation; but if their cultural backbone is broken, then all their struggles will end in nothing – like offering ghee into a fire that has died out.
If one’s spine is shattered, it is impossible to hold one’s head erect. Can those whose necks and backs are crushed under the weight of pseudo-culture, be expected to hold their heads high in any sphere of life? Hence it is the bounden duty of every rational person to save innocent people from pseudo-culture.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 21 March 1982, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 8, Exploitation and Pseudo-Culture (Discourse 7), Cultural Exploitation through Pseudo-Culture
2. “Psycho-economic exploitation is the latest form of dangerous and all-devouring capitalist exploitation. It is a special type of exploitation which first weakens and paralyses people psychologically in various ways, and then exploits them economically. Some of the methods of psycho-economic exploitation include, first, the suppression of the indigenous language and culture of local people; secondly, the extensive propagation of pseudo-culture, exemplified by pornographic literature which debases people’s mind and particularly undermines the vitality of the youth; thirdly, the imposition of numerous restrictions on women, forcing them to be economically dependent on men; fourthly, an unpsychological education system with frequent political interference by vested interests; fifthly, the negation of dharma in the name of secularism; sixthly, the balkanization of society into numerous castes and groups; seventhly, the damaging of society by the use of unnatural and harmful methods of birth control; and eighthly, placing the control of different mass media, such as newspapers, radio and television, in the hands of capitalists. Both intellectual exploitation and psycho-economic exploitation are great dangers to the human race today.
To counteract this threat, powerful popular sentiments will have to be generated immediately for the liberation of intellect. For this, the first requisite factor is that intellectuals must keep their intellects pure and unblemished. Casting aside all their inertia and prejudices, intellectuals will have to mix with the common people and engage themselves in their welfare. They will have to assist the common people in their development and extend their support to all anti-exploitation movements. This approach will help to root out exploitation, stabilize the structure of society and expand the intellectual standard of the common people. Human society will move forward to a brilliant future with rapid steps.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 1981, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 13, Capitalism in Three Spheres, Intellectual Capitalism
3. “Imperialism is anti-human. It runs counter to the spirit of Neo- humanism and the ethics of human life. It is detrimental to pramá saḿvrddhi, pramá rddhi and pramá siddhi in human society. In a word, it thwarts human progress and creates global wars and all sorts of divisive and destructive forces in society.
Imperialism is a negative force, a destructive phenomenon, which generates exploitative and unjust conditions in individual and collective life. Such a poisonous radiation of black force attracts negative forces like negative microvita. Those negative microvita intensify and escalate the demonic activities of imperialism in all aspects of human society – art, literature, education, trade, commerce, industry, agriculture, morality and social relations. They cultivate a psychology based on slavery, inferiority complex, pseudo-culture and psycho-economic exploitation, and in certain cases are the cause of nihilism and cynicism.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 26 March 1987, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 9, The Neo-Ethics of Multi-Lateral Salvation
4. ” “Pseudo” is a Latin word of German origin. It does not mean “false”. It means “to some extent like the original but not exactly like the original”. – Sarkar, Prabhat, 14 July 1988, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 15, Defects of Communism – Section C