I am neither an economist; nor an optimist or pessimist, but a human being with love and care for others.
I wonder about the so-called economic development that world economists claimed in money material and wealth despite of one-third of the world population suffering from hunger, malnutrition, lack of medicine and competing with their fellows for basic needs and happiness.
In view of the increasing numbers of starving in the third world every day while the food production companies dumping millions of tons of foods into the sea, I wonder how economists calculate profits in monetary terms over losses of lives due to malnutrition and starvation.
While increasing the unemployment, hooliganism, underworld activities and drug addiction both in the developing and the so-called developed world, I wonder how can the economist justify the comparative advantage theory in world trade when the poor local producers who engaged in indigenous agriculture and industry is abandoning or closing down their enterprises due to their inability to adjust with liberalized trade in the trends of economic globalization.
I am perplexed with the so-called modern education systems and degree awarding institutions where they offer many degrees on various newly emerging subjects while the so called intellectuals are shutting their eyes on structural social injustice and socio-economic problems those growing due to loss of moral consciousness of them as well as leaders and bureaucrats.
I am disappointed with the systems of justice where it left to prosper social and economic injustice where down trodden are penalized while those who exploit the wealth of poor and disadvantaged are glittering through their unconscionable practices and conducts defeating the truth and reality.
Its’ very peculiar to hear that in world giant US, each year over a million of people die due to winter flue and Covid -19 virus death toll increased up to fifty thousand during one month period, in absence of health facilities, while in Britain, thousands are dying due to lack of ventilators and other medical facilities. Noble laureate Amartya Sen stated that, that “14 million people died in India during 2018 due to a flue stroke in the country at large” its tragedy to hear that currently thousands are dyeing due to Corona in major cities’ in the developed world.
How can we boast about the quantum of development in health science and technology, when the modern scientists and health care workers are still incapable of providing sufficient antivirus medicine for the invisible Covid-19 Virus which day by day paralyzed the entire world?
Day by day it is apparent that existing social systems are abused by shrewd and incompetent thin privileged ruling class which crave for money, power for their luxury while majority suffers with problems for their basic needs; and not for dignity but just for their survival.
In this juncture, though I am not an economist; but with my little knowledge on international economic relations, I am perplexed why that the comparative advantage theory advocated by economists belong to privileged class does not favor of the poor consumer and producer in developing countries, as much as it favor the capital investors of multi- national co-operations based in developed world to prosper their businesses all over the world accumulating capital and wealth while causing damages to natural environment and its beauty and serenity .
Algerian Revolutionist, Frantz Fanon, who gave inspiration for African Revolution in his book “Les Damnes de la Terre”(The wretched on the Earth-1965) referring to leaders of developing world stated thus;
යුරෝපයේ සධන පන්තියට සමාන වූ පන්තියකට නම් යම් නිශ්චිත දර්ශනයක් විකාශනය කිරීමටත් ඒ සමගම තම ශක්තිය තර කර ගැනීමටත් පුලුවන. එවැනි ක්රියාශීලී උගත්,ලෞකික, සධන පන්තියක් ප්රාග්ධන සමුච්චය පිලිබද සිය කාර්ය සාර්ථක ලෙස ඉටු කර ජාතියකට අවම අන්දමේ සමෟද්දියක් ගෙන දෙන්නේය. එහෙත් ඌන සංවර්ධිත රටවල සැබෑ සධන පන්තියක් නැති බව අපි දුටුවෙමු. එහි ඇත්තේ පොට්ටනිකාරයකුගේ මනස ඇති, ලෙහෙසියෙන්ම සෑහීමට පත් නොවන හිටපු යටත් විජිත ස්වාමීන්ගෙන් වැටෙන ලාභ ගිජු අතින් පිළිගන්නා, කුඩා කෑදර කුලයක් පමණී. ශීඝ්රයෙන් පොහොසත් වීමේ ආශාවෙන් පෙලෙන මේ මධ්යම පන්තියට යුරෝපීය මධ්යම පන්තියේ චෛතසිකය හෝ නිර්මාන ශක්තිය හෝ නැත. යුරෝපීය නිබන්ධන වල කියවන ලද දේ මතක කබා ගන්නා මේ මධයම පන්තියට යුරෝපීය පන්තියේ අනුරූපයක් වීමට පවා ශක්තිය නැත. එහි විකට රූපයක තත්වයට අවසානයේදි පෙරලේ……………..
ලාභ ප්රමානයෙන්, සාර්ථකත්වයෙන් හා චින්තනයෙන් සිය දුබල කම මනාව පෙන්වන මෙම සධන පන්තිය පොද්ගලික මට්ටමෙන් අභිමානවත් ගොඩනැගිලි ඉදිකිරීමෙන්, ලොකු ඇමරිකන් මෝටර් රථ වල දිලිසෙන ක්රෝමියම් ආලෝකයෙන්, රිවියේරාවේ (Holiday Resorts)නිවාඩුගත කිරීමෙන්. රාත්රී සමාජ ශාලා වල සති අන්තයන් ගෙවිමෙන් මේ දුබලතාව වසා ගැනීමට නින්දිත ප්රයත්නයක යෙදෙයි.”
What has been shown by Fanon regarding the African continent can be attributable to the Post Colonial Asian Countries where they blindly follow the development tactics which the leaders give preference to their personal benefits receiving from perks and briberies or by way of material wealth deriving from national and international commercial transactions while denying the due share for the poor; blatantly violating the ethics in diplomacy.
World War II and Post World war Power Politics, Science and Problems
Albert Einstein, who found the information that Hitler’s’ scientists were doing research for making atomic bombs wrote the US President Theodor Roosevelt, that in terms of quantum theory (in physics that E=mc2,) that US could made a atomic bomb to counter Hitler’s fascist brutality. Having seen that near a million death toll and the devastation caused to Japan due the Atomic bomb, thereafter, as the chairman of the Atomic Scientists committee set up in 1946, he campaigned for “A Federal constitution for the world to bring working legal order to prevent the world war III”.
With the nuclear proliferation treaties introduced by UN regimes, although ‘Hard Power’ rivalry between Soviet Union and US during the cold war period was settled, it doesn’t appear that ‘soft power’ tactics of the world powers majoring China, US and Russia will end until they all entered in to a paradigm for world peace recognizing mutual interdependence and co-existence in state relations that prosper sustainable peace.
World Politics, Corona and Morality
Still, the world is ignorant of the fact whether the Corona Attack is a byproduct of the balance of power tactic of China or whether it is a mishap of bio-weapon experiments?
If so we can understand this is another episode of the story of rivalries among major world powers where it has no ends and no assurance for safety and security for humanity in planet until the science, technology and politics reframe their ethical boundaries giving regard to morality and International law.
In the so called civilized world where we are living; aren’t we brutal than earlier with under cover of superficial human face?
In the modern age, isn’t there a serious misunderstanding of human beings on nature their life with the perception that planet is for their consumption as much as they can in order to satisfy their craving disregard of desires of other species and environment.
Don’t’ we need the moral philosophy of Aboriginal Leader Ceathel who responded by his letter challenging the Judo -Christian values of the US President who offered the price for their traditional lands where river flows, animal freely behaves that aborigines lived for generations not treating it as an asset but as a commonwealth which helped to live all three generations including future generations of his tribe. As Ceathel apprehended how much of wild life, oceanic and aquatic resources and natural greeneries had been devastated by mega development projects of the modern man where ordinary folks utilized for living in harmony with them. Due to hydropower projects, highways, mineral and fuel mining projects and other industries launched under the banner of modern development, what enormous hazard had been caused to the environment, sea and air and other species? Who are the real beneficiaries? Are those projects were designed with the participation of people who currently suffer by them which disrupt their livelihood? How their losses do compensated?
World and Man in a different paradigm
In Buddhist Philosophical thoughts, universal phenomena including humans are ever-changing, therefore the ‘ego (self) is a construction of thoughts of ever-changing bodily phenomena which has no permanent existence. Craving for possession more than needs gives the man suffering therefore understanding the truth of the impermanence of life and worldly phenomena is the ideology that requires understanding the nature of life so that the community guided by such ideology would not cling into world comforts that generate conflicts and evils enormously; because of their simple and spiritual way of life.
An ideological perspective, the world community shall be retrieved to learn the moral values of ancient civilizations through understanding their customs and traditions for generations which gave continuity and sustainability in cultures protecting all in groups while giving the preference to the weakest individuals among them. When learning the group behavioural patterns of the animals also humans can learn that their survival was continued with the principles shown in the Darwinist Theory of evolution, therefore it is indisputable that survival is co-existed with the adaptation of the group, not the individuals. American Economist Davis Schumacher wrote ‘Small is Beautiful ‘in 1970 s inviting to be awakening the wisdom of modern man to see the beauty and sustainability of harmonious living with nature instead of so-called rapid mega-development which couldn’t bear both by man and planet.
To follow the path shown by Schumacher not only the leaders but also masses must be empowered with positive attitudes to dependent on human labor rather than machineries fitting in with appropriate life conditions. Communities must be envisioned and empowered for co-operate work for poverty alleviation rather than depending on private corporations tempted for exploitation. State Leaders must encourage people for their cultural and educational prosperity through not only earning ‘money’ but through ‘wealth’ of education for peace, nonviolence, sharing and caring, new entrepreneurship and planning for organize life without harming each other and environment.
Both national politics and international politics must be arrested with proper legal and moral checks and balances and with measures to penalize politicians and diplomats those who transgress limitations of global human security putting innocent people and nature in peril.
Vice President of the International Court of Justice, Judge Weeramantry advocates for a world court where it administer justice based on universal laws of a ‘world government’ that guided with moral standards and values from all civilizations nurtured in all parts of the world. Put in to practice what Weeramantry preached, he initiated International Center Peace Education and Research in order to educate young children and world citizens for them to shape up their knowledge and attitudes in consonant with the preamble of UNESCO Constitution which states “That the ignorance of each other’s ways and lives has been a common cause ; throughout the history of mankind, of that suspicion and mistrust between the peoples of the world through which their differences have all too often broken in to war and so as to prevent, as the wars begin in the minds of men ,it is the minds of men that defenses of peace must be construed.” Judge Weeramantry was awarded the alternative noble prize for law education in 2006 for his contribution on peace education for a better world.
Kazuo Inamori, a Japanese leading business figure who was the founder Chairman of Keyzera and KDDI leading mobile technological corporations, in his Book “Compass to Fulfillment” wrote what happen to Japan before World War II, thus;
“Sun Yat-Sen (1866-1925),a Chinese revolutionary who often is referred to as the father of Modern China, gave a famous speech in Kobe in 1924 Regarding Pan -Asianism. The culture of a ruling by the military force-the rule of might, as the ancients called it –he maintained, originated in the west. In contrast, Asian Civilization was based on the rule of right or the kingly way, in which leaders guided their people with virtue. Yat-Sen urged Japan, which was heading towards the path of rule of might, to choose the kingly way.
Unfortunately, Japan failed to change its course and rushed heading into World War II. Since its defeat, the country has continued on a path ruled by might, but this time its pursuit is economic supremacy. Now, however, it is time for Japan and Japanese people to choose the kingly way and adopt the virtues of consideration and service to others as their standard for living. If we don’t, fear that Japan will continue to make grave mistakes.
There is a saying in the Tendai sect Buddhism “Mohkorita” which can be translated as “forget self, serve others”. The Tendai priest Etai Yamada (1900-1999) taught me that this saying urges us to set our own selves aside and devote ourselves to serving others. I feel strongly that Japanese society in its danger of losing the important cultural virtues of consideration and selfless service. If we forget these virtues, all we have left are selfish desires, the negative results of which we already witnessing Japan.
A few years ago a 19-year-old youth was convicted of killing a family of four and was sentenced to death for his crime despite the fact that he was still considered a minor under Japanese law and thus should not have been subject to the death penalty. It became apparent during the youth’s trial that his crime was premeditated and was carried out based on his assumption that his status as a minor would afford him a lighter sentence. A reporter commented that if he had known the law, however, what this boy needed to know was the fundamental moral and ethical principle that we should not kill. The prohibition against killing is not merely a law; it is a moral standard for living as human beings”.
This passage teaches us how morality works in society bringing peace and protecting the rights of people while minimizing conflicts and crimes. Therefore it is clear to us that a better world could be build envisioning with a sustainable way of life instead of chasing material wealth and ammunitions for security. ‘Human Security ‘could be ensured not by armed conflicts but with the love and compassion of humanity. To do so people with morally disciplined minds to share and care for others for common well being is essential rather than modern gadgets innovated through technological advancements.
In order to achieve the above objectives for a disciplined society, moral and ethical education must be made a subject both in School and University/Professional/Vocational/levels, to begin with, children and youth. Adults also must be taught social ethics and law through non-formal education in the workplace and their community. Judges and lawyers shall be disciplined to tune up their wisdom to utilize the law as an instrument for social equity and justice without confining to the narrow definitions of the letters of law to defeat humanity.
The man must be taught to understand the nexus between money and spirituality; the difference between ‘economic capital ‘and ‘spiritual capital’; value the ‘emotional intelligence rather than ‘brainpower intelligence’. In other words, man must be trained to value the treasures value of human beings, respect the environment. Understand that every one of us is interdependent and interrelated therefore not to be selfish but to share life and wealth with others to have blissful life and a peaceful planet. The only mean to achieve this goal is meaningful total education envisioned to understand the meaning of life, not merely the degrees in technology, science or economics.