Editor’s Note: This is a noteworthy article of Sri Pamulaparthi Sadasiva Rao garu, one of many of his unpublished works. Although, originally wanted to have all his articles published in print, this particular article is very relevant to the present day society, especially in New Delhi and Hyderabad.
The original date when the article was written is unknown, it may be somewhere in the early or mid 90’s.
- Pamulaparthi Sadasiva Rao
Intellectuals are noted to condemn the worship of wealth and its hoarding as something detestable. Carlyle1 in his book “Past and Present” wrotemany chapters on Mammon Worship describing the disasters caused by early transit towards Urban Capitalism. In those days2, the capitalists were rough and crude. They did not observe any Maximum weekly hours of work or maximum daily hours of work for the labor they engaged in their establishments (factories and mines). The wages given to them were extremely low just sufficient to quench their hunger. The costs of materials produced were fixed by the capitalists and they were too heavy for the consumers to afford. So exploitation of the consumers and the workers lead to the growth of Capital at the hands of the industrialists and the plantation owners. Soon industrial revolution spread into the whole world. Europeans colonized the world and started new industries: plantations, mines, railways, and ship-building units on a large scale across many countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and several other colonies. It was the economic need of the Western Society that led to Colonialism as a feature in the course of history. Thus, Capitalism took a modern form of further development on world wide scale.
This process of amassing of the wealth was condemned by almost all thinkers of 19th century. Many literary works including novels treated the subject in depth and condemned the ambitious self-interests of Capitalists that later led to the Socialist revolution in Russia. Russian revolution counter-spread the Capitalism with Socialism as a system where private capital was eliminated and the State took over the economic production in totality and entirety. Thus, world opinion was divided between Capitalism and Socialism as two alternatives that made economic production- a process under two opposite systems. We very well know the controversy between private capital and nationalized capital in recent times. Some praised Socialist production and some others- Capitalist production divided between Russia and America as the top leaders and path layers of the modern economic system.
Not only Carlyle, Walzac, Rousseo and Tolstoy also disapproved the cruelty of the bosses of wealth as absolute in building up the fates of societies whether under Capitalism or Socialism, under this or that. Some thinkers argued that capitalism is a liberal and just system while others supported socialism as a guarantee of employment and welfare of the people in general. In the field of literature, we can see the role of bias against wealth as such as the thinkers kept aloof from productive process of economics. Capitalists who were “haves” ridiculed the writers as “have-nots” and overlooked their opinions with skepticism. The authors condemned the inhuman profiteer tendency of the capitalists as barbarism. There was an intellectual cold war of thinkers and the producers; each disapproving the other.
Later on, economic producers exploited their activity to cover this fear of literature and science and started investing huge amounts of money and employed best available intellectuals which lead to wholesale growth of media in a big way. The best minds of the world were taken into the services of the Media Institutions on exemplary incomes and these intellects also started seeing benefit and gained importance as magnates of public opinion. The reputation of media owners and writers has enhanced with the growth of leadership to an enormous extent, as we can presently notice. Thus, public opinion took the form of connivance of economic producers and their submissive employees exercising their intellect in the direction of stabilizing the law and order as the essential requirement of modern civilization.
After the advent of the fall of Russia in recent years the relationship of the economic producer and the intellectual continues as a feature of reconciliation based on joint interests of self-existence. Anyway, we can take it for granted that with economic and intellectual alliance goes on as an understanding of some sort and a compromise leading to bulging of the pockets of producers as well as writers through most enhanced circulation of media, which ironically was ultimately funded by the common man through his meager subscription. Everyone of the readers, say million readers put together leading to millions as a significant portion of the total funds compared to the industry funds shared by the producers, authors and some highly skilled labor-class with considerably high standard of life and a status in society. Thus, we can say that the bias between the pen and the sword has been reconciled under the modern civilization. It can be safely ascertained that the basic differences of the very function of production and thought have not changed under the influence of inherent reasons. Not only the writers but the politicians also come into the picture while considering the leadership role applicable to the society at large; whether the politicians are influenced by the monetary lords or vice-versa is a question not easily answerable. It is an alliance of sorts, an adjustment between economics and politics and this culture as an institution stabilized by itself in the course of time during the last century. So, this is a subject requiring objective analysis and a reasoning to interpret the resultant role in the so called formation of the Neo-Modern culture where everyman stand for his own interest as the element taste of fundamental rights as applicable to each and all.
We many a times hear a premise that, we in India, as a previously socialist outlook drifted into basically capitalistic outlook as a necessity of bare existence under inevitable circumstances. We started industries, projects, factories and invested huge amounts in search of wealth and long run prospects as in that of forestry and gas, mostly under the nationalized system. It is now said that there is not enough wealth in the country, hence multi-national capital has to enter the field in order to help construct the course of our nation building activity. We are concentrating on “Terms” of the multi-nationals, to the utmost convenience of those capitalist forces as against those of the nation at large, which is supposed to be faced with no other go, left under the pressures of a need of survival beyond possibility, to forego. We say, we give suitable land, water, electricity, roads and other facilities to the arriving foreign capitalists to India. We tempt them by offering our man power as cheap labor meant to bring prosperity of foreign nationals through success of their industries to be established in India. We say that, the industrialists can sell their produce in India, the country being a broad market rate made for their utilization. We also say that they can produce in India at cheaper cost and sell the produces outside India at the cost determined at the hands of the producers. We may have to provide facilities for foreign capitalists to live in India in their native tradition which leads to establishment of colonies, clubs, post localities, parks, play grounds and other amusement opportunities as may be felt necessary for them and a large “Watch and Ward” for their production. These pill-over benefits derived by Indian nationals will be negligible in these matters. So, the contradiction of thinking and producing wealth stimulates new doubts of skepticism among impartial thinkers of the day.
D. H. Lawrence has compared the modern monetary producer to a bandicoot dwelling in underground drainage, seeking rotten food. There are sluices and feeding on it incessantly to develop muscle power and further hoarding of stuff of rotten food constantly as endless security to satisfy the hunger and thirst once for all for generations together. That is how modern capitalism grows along produce that may be rotten. Profits may be derived through routine means as in the course of drainage bandicoot. So, profiteering of the producers themselves will go through decades and as applicable to the rest of the population as a system beyond their control. The choice of produce, its rate and its surplus value that goes into the pocket of the producer will be determining element of success in economic life as such in modern world. So, the matter is for introspection by people at large in still backward countries like India for the proper understanding of the transit of the day, as it becomes unavoidable. There is no scope of least doubt with the foreign capitalist to come as the savior of this country. He does not claim to be a savior, of not only this country but also his own country, the land where he was born.
The main objective for him, the foreign capitalist, is his profit and for his thirsty share-holders and dependents which will in no way be conducive to the elimination of poverty on mass level. Nor does it help to eliminate disparities to a reasonable extent. Thus, the process of industrialization of India is only a matter related to the soil of India, where factories are to be established. You may get some jobs and some perks for singing the songs made for the profits of the multi-nationals’ profits that would be landing into India at our humble request under unavoidable circumstances. This will not help the people nor save the nation itself which is totally a different direction, where the role of the masses in production through their own labor is considered on a realistic basis to yield satisfactory results. So, the initiative of the leaders of India is to be in the direction of profit work to the people at large in order to end the hand to mouth conditions. Thus it becomes necessary to hold the honor of the Nation and that of the people as the one and only means of self-sufficiency that can bring in harmony in the course of future history in its long range development in all fronts of life, on a peaceful, orderly and united manner. All put together as driving force of progress of the Nation on a basis that is a long range, just as in the case of other developed countries during the development of their own course of progress that took many years of the previous century for them to be what they are today.
- THOMAS CARLYLE, born in 1795 at Ecclefechan, the son of a stonemason. Educated at Edinburgh University. Schoolmaster for a short time, but decided on a literary career, visiting Paris and London. Retired in 1828 to Dumfriesshire to write. In 1834 moved to Cheyne Row, Chelsea, and died there in 1881.
- Early 19th Century