“While trying to fight against any sort of exploitation, first we must have a clear understanding of the nature of the exploitation. Today human society is subjected to ruthless exploitation by capitalists. Capitalist exploitation has brought humanity to the brink of disaster by spreading its exploitative tentacles into every aspect of human life.
According to PROUT, capitalist exploitation is perpetuated in three spheres – the physical sphere, which we are well aware of, and the intellectual and spiritual spheres. Each of these types of capitalist exploitation is equally dangerous.
To solve the problem of capitalist exploitation in the physical sphere, we will have to ensure that the movement of money does not become restricted or immobile in the hands of a few capitalists. The present economic system should be thoroughly transformed, and a comprehensive and completely new economic system should be built in its place. In this new system money will not be restricted or immobile in the hands of a few capitalists. The more the optimum mobility of money is kept unrestricted, the more it will strengthen and invigorate the socio-economic life of the collective body.
In the psychic sphere there is a noticeable lack of motivation and effort on the part of intelligent and educated people at present to properly utilize their acquired knowledge for the collective welfare. This is the psychology of an apathetic and elitist class who do not like to move from their privileged position to work for the welfare of the common people. This psychology gives rise to a special type of intellectual capitalism.
Intellectual capitalism causes several pressing problems in society. First, the literacy skills of a large part of the population are not developed. Secondly, the socio-economic consciousness of the indigenous people is not encouraged. Thirdly, unhealthy inferiority complexes and fear complexes influence the minds of the people so that they are kept psychically weak. Fourthly, the intellectual and moral development of human beings is hindered, so intellectual backwardness and irrationality become rampant in society. Finally, narrow sentiments like geo-sentiment and socio-sentiment start exerting a destructive influence on society. Consequently, intellectual exploitation, dogmatic theories and doctrines, and religious superstition and rituals become widespread.
Intellectual inertia has assumed dangerous proportions. Taking advantage of this intellectual stagnancy, rapacious capitalists deviously spread a subtle web of exploitation and suck the vitality of society. Through this process capitalists are able to perpetuate their insidious rule of exploitation.
People have been loudly protesting against capitalism for a long time, and on numerous occasions have launched agitations against capitalist exploitation. Remaining vigilant about people’s dissatisfaction with the capitalist system, capitalists have continually changed their methods of exploitation. For instance, they have bought off disgruntled intellectuals and used them as tools of exploitation in their economic schemes.
Capitalism has always adapted to changing circumstances. Thus we see that in different periods there have been different forms of capitalist exploitation such as feudalism, laissez-faire capitalism, imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, mixed economy, multinational corporations, etc. Today even communism, which was once a deadly weapon against capitalist exploitation, has become a blunt and obsolete tool.
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.
Besides the physical and intellectual spheres, capitalism also exists in the spiritual realm. Some people neglect their family and society and go to caves in the mountains and perform arduous penance to fulfil their longing for spiritual emancipation. Because of their selfishness, they keep spiritual knowledge to themselves and do not bother to arouse spiritual awareness in individual and collective life. This is capitalism in the spiritual sphere. It is ultravires to the very spirit of spiritual practices, which is:
Átma mokśárthaḿ jagaddhitáya ca
[Self-realization and service to humanity.]
To a spiritualist, everything – right from the Creator down to a small blade of grass – is the manifestation of Supreme Consciousness. The state of equanimity is one of the main characteristics of spirituality. Without attaining this quality, one cannot establish oneselves in the supreme state, and one’s movement towards Supreme Consciousness will be hindered at every step. In ancient times many people found themselves in this tragic predicament.
Genuine spiritual practice is the birthright of all people. In all spheres of collective life – economic, political, social, etc. – a scientific and rational outlook is essential. The inculcation of cardinal human values is an urgent necessity. This is the demand of the age. Because such higher values are lacking in social life, there are many incongruities and confusions in society.
Today there is an urgent need for an all-round spiritual revolution in individual and collective life under the leadership of a group of accomplished and idealistic leaders. These leaders should be endowed with spiritual power, and their ideology should be based on the solid rock of spirituality. Such highly qualified leaders are called sadvipras. They will ensure social progress in all countries in all ages.
All genuine spiritualists will have to adjust with the level of the dusty earth inspired by the spontaneous love of their hearts. They will have to share the wealth of their developed intellects with others to lighten the sorrows and sufferings of humanity. Through their guidance and leadership, human thinking will take a new turn and move along an entirely new path. The latent spiritual power in human beings will be awakened. Through their effort and inspiration, the new people of a new generation will be armed with a bold new optimism and vision of the future, and march forward triumphantly.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 1981, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 13, A Few Problems Solved Part 9, Capitalism in Three Spheres
“In a decentralized economy people do not have to leave their homes to work in an industry, and consequently they are saved from the expenditure of maintaining two establishments. Moreover, decentralization increases the possibility of saving labour, because people can earn their livelihood while simultaneously taking care of their household responsibilities.
This arrangement is not possible under capitalism. Capitalism will never support decentralization, because capitalist production exists to maximize profits. Centralization means industry for profit, while decentralization means industry for consumption. PROUT’s approach, which will be supported by all rational people, is production for consumption. PROUT’s maxim is, “Production for consumption, not production for profiteering.”
Capitalists want to produce commodities at the lowest costs and sell them at the highest prices. To produce commodities cheaply, there must be efficient transportation, cheap raw materials, cheap labour, cheap energy, adequate water supply, etc. No matter what form capitalism takes – individual capitalism, group capitalism or state capitalism – capitalists will always prefer centralized production. All these forms of capitalism are essentially the same.
Thousands of industries have mushroomed around Calcutta, Bombay, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Kanpur and Madras in India due to this capitalistic mentality. Remote places such as Khairasol in Birbhum district, Puncha in Purulia district, Goghat in Arambagh district and Nakashipara in Nadia district have been neglected. They have gone to sleep, crying in cimmerian darkness. Perhaps only a few people have even heard of these places. How could they? The people living there are extremely poor. They are incapable of purchasing a woollen wrapper for winter, what to speak of expensive woollen clothing.
In India regional disparity is increasing. Calcutta’s per capita income is twenty percent higher than the rest of Bengal, while the Punjab’s per capita income is higher than Haryana’s and Orissa’s. The people of Delhi enjoy much greater liberty and comfort than the villagers of Purulia district. Regional disparity is detrimental to the cause of a healthy social order. PROUT is the only panacea. There is no other solution.
Communism is state capitalism which is why it is not free from the defects of capitalism. State capitalists, like individual and group capitalists, control industries. State capitalism means state controlled industries. In other words, in state capitalism industries are centralized. Communist countries support state capitalism, which means centralized production. While communism appears to differ from capitalism on the question of popular liberation, capitalism and communism are the same internally. Fruits of the same variety may have different colour skins, but their seeds are the same. Capitalism and communism are fruits of the same variety.
To ensure the social and economic liberation of human beings, the maximum amount of socio-economic decentralization is essential. While it may be difficult to establish village-level economic infrastructure at present, there is no insurmountable obstacle preventing us from establishing block-level economic infrastructure. As far as possible, the establishment, operation and distribution of all industries should be done at block level. Only when this cannot be done should industries be organized at a higher level. Obviously, industries such as iron and steel factories cannot function in every village, block and district, so they should function in a larger area. ” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 6 November 1988, Calcutta, ElEdit 7, Prout in a Nutshell Part 16, Decentralized Economy – 2
“The impetus from crude psychic urges gave birth to capitalism. In capitalism the psychology of the acquisition of material wealth, be it land, money, metal or other property, strongly predominates. Such crude psychic urges and psychic pabula remain unchecked and unbridled in capitalism and turn into a hungry profit motive in the market system. As a result, traders, industrialists and business people suffer from the psychic disease of accumulating more and more wealth by any means, even to the point of depriving other human beings of their basic requirements.
Those dominated by these hungry psychic urges or psychic pabula run after material gains and do not hesitate to exploit others mercilessly. Exploitation starts when one violates the principle of aparigraha (non-indulgence in those amenities and comforts which are superfluous for physical existence), and accumulates more physical wealth than one actually needs for survival and progress in the world. The exploiters forget the basic truth that this material world is very limited, whereas psychic pabula is propelled by an unlimited urge. When unlimited pabula are let loose in the limited material world, exploitation starts. A few become rich and others become poor. In such a condition millions die without food, live without shelter, work without education, suffer without medicine and move without proper clothing. The society then splits into two distinct groups – haves and have-nots. The former is the class of exploiters – the capitalists – and the latter is the class of the exploited – the disgruntled workers or Vikśubdha Shúdras.
So the unchecked psychic urges and psychic pabula for material acquisition end in merciless exploitation. The inhuman exploitation causes the mass-level deprivation of millions of people. The curse of capitalism engulfs the whole of society. Thus capitalism is anti-human. ” – Sarkar, Prabhat, October 1986, Calcutta, ElEdit 7, Prout in a Nutshell Part 12, A Few Problems Solved Part 8, The Transformation of Psychic Pabula into Psycho-spiritual Pabulum, Psychic Pabula and Capitalism
“How was capitalism created? Capital is consumable commodities in their potentiality. Intelligent people collect more capital than others in the form of consumable goods, but since this capital cannot be stored for a long time, they began to keep it in the form of money. Such people are called capitalists. These capitalists are the unworthy sons and daughters of the Cosmic Father because they go against the principle of cosmic inheritance. They should be cured of their ailments. To fight capitalism is therefore within your goal. The seed of infinite expression lies within Dharma, but you must nourish it. Capitalists create hindrances on the path of human beings to prevent them from becoming one with the cosmos – to prevent them from becoming great. So capitalism is anti-Dharma and the actions of capitalists are also anti-Dharma.
How can the conduct of the capitalists be rectified? In the realm of morality two forces act side by side. One is the internal urge and the other is external pressure. Each and every object in the universe has a vital force which longs for infinite expression. Átman or the witnessing entity supplies the necessary stamina to fight evil forces, but it requires great external pressure to neutralize the evil forces working against the internal urge. External pressure may come in the form of suggestions, advice, punishment and clash. Capitalists are immoral and are fighting a fratricidal war. Their internal urge is meagre and does not function properly. We have to apply external force to rectify their conduct. Nicely worded advice will not do the job.
Human expressions are trifarious. Human beings have unquenchable, infinite physical longings and out of these physical longings capitalism came into existence. Capitalists toil day and night for money. This may be a natural desire but physical objectivity is finite, hence the infinite desire to accumulate finite physical objects is a psychic ailment. Human beings also have unquenchable, infinite psychic longings, and out of these excessive psychic longings psychic ailments arise and people become abnormal. The object of psychic longings associated with physicalities is also finite, but the object of pure psychic longing is infinite. Your psychic body and physical objectivity are always separate and so the seed of dualism arises. But the attainment of spiritual objectivity means bridging the gulf between the self and the object, and in this attainment lies peace. The psychic ailments mentioned above also lead to clash with others and create many have-nots. We have to divert physical longings to psychic and spiritual longings to avoid a fratricidal war, and thereby safeguard human rights.
In ancient times powerful rájas and mahárájas used to perform yajiṋas or sacrifices to declare that they were heroes, but this was also a form of exploitation. They erected many temples to hide their ill-deeds, not out of devotional spirit. There was an unholy alliance between physical exploiters and intellectual exploiters. Intellectuals have praised these rájas and mahárájas in all ages. Another form of exploitation is the priesthood. Capitalism will never go against the priesthood nor will priests go against capitalism. In order to create inferiority complexes in the minds of the people, intellectuals have composed many stories and myths. These stories are illogical and concocted to exploit the sentiments of the common mass. One glaring instance is the following verse composed by satanic opportunists.
Bráhmańásya mukhamásiit váhurájano’bhavat
Madhya tadasya yad vaeshyahpadbhyaḿ shudrojáyata.
“Brahmins came out of the mouth, Kśatriyas were born out of the arms,
Vaeshyas came out of the trunk of the body, and Shúdras were born out of the legs.”
In the capitalist structure, industry or production is governed by the profit motive, but in the Proutistic structure production will be governed by the motive of consumption.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, July 1961, Ranchi, ElEdit 7, Prout in a Nutshell Part 1, Talks on Prout, CAPITALISM
It cannot be denied that violence gives rise to violence. Then again, nothing can ensure that the application of force without violence, with the intention of rectification, will necessarily bring good results. So what should be done under such circumstances?
Nothing would be better, if it were possible, than the eradication of capitalism by friendly persuasion and humanistic appeals. In that case the peace of the greater human family would not be much disturbed. But can it be guaranteed that everyone will respond to this approach? Some people may say that a day will come when, as a result of repeatedly listening to such appeals and gradually imbibing them over a long time, as well as through proper mental and spiritual education, good sense will prevail among the exploiters. This argument is very pleasant to hear. Such attempts are not reprehensible. But is it practicable to wait indefinitely for good sense to prevail among the exploiters? By then the exploited mass will have given up the ghost!
Though the humanistic approach works in some cases, in most instances it does not produce any result; and even where it does work, it takes a very long time. So, wherever necessary, capitalism must be forced to abandon its ferocious hunger by taking strong measures. But it cannot be assumed that even these measures will be completely successful, because those who appear to be under control due to fear of the law will adopt other ways to fulfil their desires. Black marketing, adulteration, etc., cannot be totally eradicated by threats or by arousing fear of the law.
Thus, stronger measures will have to be taken; that is, tremendous circumstantial pressure will have to be created. To create this sort of circumstantial pressure, the application of force is absolutely necessary. Those who believe that the non-application of force alone is ahiḿsá [not to hurt anyone] are bound to fail. No problem in this world can be solved by adopting this kind of ahiḿsá.
I cannot support the attitude of those who denounce capitalism at every opportunity, because this allows capitalists to become alert and invent more scientific and devious ways to exploit the people. Those who lack a constructive ideology will never be capable of destroying capitalism, even if they speak sweet words, use threats, or create circumstantial pressure.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 26 January 1958 RU, Trimohan, Bhagalpur, ElEdit 7, Prout in a Nutshell Part 3, Problems of the Day, 2, 3
“During the last two centuries, capitalism and communism have caused much suffering in human society. Communism has already died a premature death while still in the stage of youthful vigour, but when capitalism dies it will die a mature death. What caused the death of communism? It died due to the reaction of the accumulated pain, suffering and tortures inflicted on innocent people by the communist system which forced people to live unnatural lives. Communism had to face a black death while dancing in the ecstasy of terror and massacre.
Capitalism and communism have polluted the air, water and environment in this peace-loving world. By nature human beings are peace-loving, not war-loving. It is capitalism and communism that have caused two world wars and so many other sanguinary battles in the world in the recent past.
Both these systems have created suppression, repression and oppression in the minds of the people. But while capitalism makes people slaves, communism makes them worse than slaves.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 13 November 1989, Calcutta, ElEdit 7, Prout in a Nutshell Part 17, Suppression, Repression and Oppression
“8) Question: Now that Marxism is dead, what should be the role of PROUT?
Answer: The physical death of Lenin took place long back, and now the intellectual death of communism or Leninism is taking place. In the West there is individual capitalism and group capitalism. In the East there is less individual capitalism and the predominance of state capitalism. The system of gaining support in capitalism is through money, and the system of gaining support in communism is through fear. For example, in India the villagers of Mindapore, Uluberia sub-division of Howrah, Hoogly and Burdwan in Bengal are politically subjugated under the fear of the Communist Party – the communist leaders are unmasked.
Now intellectuals are finding place for a new alternative – PROUT. Generally, since 50% of society are good people, 25% are ordinary people and 25% are evil people, if you organize 50% plus 25% then 75% is gained by PROUT. Carry the message of PROUT to the people. The futility of Marxist ideas has created a vacuum. You must fill this vacuum up with Proutistic ideas.” - Sarkar, Prabhat, ElEdit 7, Prout in a Nutshell Part 1, Questions and Answers – 4
“Each and every movement in this universe is systaltic. Nothing ever moves in a straight line. Due to this systaltic motion, internal clash and cohesion take place. The ups and downs of socio-economic life in different phases of the social order are sure to take place due to this systaltic principle. When the period of pause is long, society goes through a phase of extended staticity, and it may lose all its dynamic movement or even cease to exist. If there is lack of dynamic force in the phase of pause, then the stage of dynamicity may not come in the subsequent phase.
The downfall of both capitalism and communism is inevitable due to their inherent staticity. Both capitalism and communism are on the verge of extinction from this world. The external and internal spheres of capitalism have ordinary acceleration, but there is a contradiction between its internal and external spheres. The contradictions in capitalism are due to the self-centred profit motivated psychology and the accumulation of wealth for the benefit of a few rather than for the welfare of all. Hence, capitalism is not congenial to the integrated growth of human progress. A day is therefore sure to come when capitalism will burst like a fire-cracker. ” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 13 September 1987, Calcutta, ElEdit 7, A Few Problems Solved Part 9, Prout in a Nutshell Part 1, Economic Dynamics
“The followers of self-centred philosophy do everything only for self-interest, self-pleasure. In this case, as in the previous two, the psychic radii may vary. A big radius means that one thinks about oneself in each and every sphere of life. In self-centred philosophies, individual selfishness is the motive, as in capitalism…
…Self-centred philosophies create differences among human beings and balkanise the human society. Matter-centred philosophies create disparity, destroying peace in the universe. In the present world we are seeing two theories moving side by side – the self-centred theory of capitalism and the matter-centred and dogma-centred theory of communism. Capitalism cannot serve humanity, while communism failed to serve humanity. Both capitalism and communism are dying. Capitalism will die a natural death, while communism died an unnatural death. ” - Sarkar, Prabhat, 15 January 1990, Calcutta,
ElEdit 7, Prout in a Nutshell Part 18, The Excellence of God-Centred Philosophy
Although capitalism does not directly oppose Práńa Dharma, the all-devouring exploitation of capitalism robs the people of their possessions and drives them into the street as beggars. For such people it becomes virtually impossible to properly follow their Práńa Dharma. Even the feudalistic exploitation in Indian social life did not run counter to the original Práńa Dharma. But the present capitalistic (Vaeshyan) exploitation has financially ruined the Indian people. Hence, it is impossible for the people to follow their Práńa Dharma. At this period of crisis in Indian Práńa Dharma the materialistic philosophies are getting scope to rear their heads.
The socio-economic philosophy of Ananda Marga calls for the elimination of capitalism. It clearly emphasizes the need to fulfill minimum economic needs and create an ideal congenial social environment in which there will be maximum utilization of collective wealth and the rational distribution of resources to solve all economic problems. Every human being will get ample opportunity to follow Práńa Dharma.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 16 February 1967, Ranchi, ElEdit 7, Prout in a Nutshell Part 6, Práńa Dharma, Capitalism in Indian Práńa Dharma
One thing more needs to be said about collective capital: collective capital does not always mean the establishment of socialism. Where collective capital means the capital of the state, if the state tries to increase its national wealth without stopping exploitation in society and without trying to increase individual wealth, increasing the national wealth will mean increasing the individual wealth of only a few people in power. Thus, although there is an increase in the per capita income, the per capita income of the poor does not increase, and the per capita income of the well-to-do does not decrease.
Although one cannot support this sort of state capitalism, one cannot deny that the state has to utilize capital in order to increase the wealth of the state. If state capitalism actually increases the per capita income of every person without constantly seeking to exploit, we cannot but praise it – it can be considered exemplary socialism. After all, a state must invest capital if it wants to increase the national income. Such capital investment is clearly a vaeshya system.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 11967, ElEdit 7, The Vaeshya Age, State Capitalism
Answer – As compared to communism, capitalism is more psychological, although both are defective and cannot be supported. In communism there is hardly any scope for the free and unbarred expression of mind, and due to extreme regimentation the flow of the mind is checked by numerous social, economic and political constraints. In capitalism no such checks exist in theory, but in practice there are checks.” - Sarkar, Prabhat, ElEdit 7, Prout in a Nutshell Part 12, Questions and Answers – 2
“While fighting corruption there should be a constructive ideal. Different civic movements in India have failed to give benevolent service because they lacked a constructive ideal. They fought only for the sake of fight. Therefore it is necessary that the ideal should be first, the ideal second and the ideal always.
Those who lack a constructive ideal help the capitalists in their exploitation. Only criticizing capitalism will not be of any service to the people, rather it will help the antisocial elements to find or invent more tactics for exploitation. This is the condition in India today. The leftist groups are engaged in criticizing the capitalists, which is bearing no fruitful results, and the capitalists have captured power by influencing the ruling party.
Our approach should be to adopt a constructive ideal, and we should wage a ceaseless and pactless struggle against all anti-human and antisocial factors. We are to fight capitalism and not the capitalists. We are to wipe out this ism from human society because this ism is paralysing humanity. The capitalists are suffering from a sort of mental ailment, and it is our foremost duty to radically cure them by diverting their physical thirst towards psychic and spiritual pursuits.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 18 October 1959, Jamalpur, ElEdit 7, Prout in a Nutshell Part 4, Discourses on Prout, 2
“Today the world is following either capitalism or extreme materialism – that is, communism. According to these systems, those who are endowed with greater knowledge, intellect or physical power are continuously misappropriating increasing material wealth. People have forgotten that subtle wealth along with physical wealth is received from the Supreme Operative Faculty. A member of a family who does not feel a sense of unity with the other family members, and does not recognize the logically acceptable truth and lofty principle of joint rights, cannot be regarded as a social being. According to universal spiritual ideology, the system of individual ownership cannot be regarded as absolute. This is why Ananda Marga’s concept of society does not support capitalism.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, May 1960, ElEdit 7, Prout in a Nutshell Part 21, The Responsibility of Society
“Individualistic or laissez-faire sense develops [into] capitalism when the means of production pass into the hands of a few who are more interested in personal exploitation. At this stage it can be said that the instinct of acquisition has developed tremendously. The thirst for acquisition instigated them to [develop] the psychology of complete exploitation of the human race also, and this resulted in a class by itself. In the race for greed and acquisition not all could survive, and only a few remained to dominate the society in general and the economic set-up in particular by their capital. The great majority were either duped into believing that they would be allowed to share such resources, or were neglected and left uncared-for for want of strength and did not survive the race. Such people in society ultimately occupy the place of exploited slaves of the capitalists. They are slaves because they have no option other than to serve the capitalists as labourers to earn the means of subsistence.
We may recall the definition of shúdras as persons who live by manual work or labour hard for their livelihood. This age of capitalism is the age when the large majority of society turn into such shúdras. This develops into dejection and dissatisfaction on a large scale because of an internal clash in the mind, because the psychology of society is essentially dynamic in nature and the mind itself exists as a result of constant clash. These conditions are necessary and sufficient for labourers, whether manual or mental, to organize and stand up against the unnatural impositions in life. This may be termed “shúdra revolution”. The leaders of this revolution, also, are people physically and mentally better-equipped and more capable essentially of overthrowing the capitalistic structure by force. In other words, they are also kśatriyas. So, after a period of chaos and catastrophe, once more the same cycle – Shúdra Age to Kśatriya to Vipra, and so on – recommences.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 4 June 1959, ElEdit 7, Prout in a Nutshell Part 3, Idea and Ideology, The Place of Sadvipras in the Samája Cakra