Most people think of Sri Aurobindo as a great spiritual and literary master. Few realise that he was, in line with Vivekananda and most Indian philosophers, a great proponent of liberty and – in Sri Aurobindo's case – a direct opponent of socialism.
Had Sri Aurobindo lived, Nehru's plans of socialism would have been still-born and India might have escaped from its (ongoing) misery of the past 65 years.
The more I think about it, it becomes clear that I am speaking from the ANCIENT INDIAN TRADITION. It is an instinctive expression of critical thinking, tolerance, and liberty that ancient India so deeply understood.
Till Nehru came in and confused everybody, including Team Anna/ Arvind Kejriwal and even Baba Ramdev. And of course, RSS/BJP are DIRECT godchildren of Nehru. There is no distinction I can make between BJP and Congress. (Btw, Modi is the same.)
NONE of these people are attuned to what Gandhi, Vivekananda, Aurobindo, and Tagore were attuned to: a deep instinctive tolerance and insistence on liberty. It was an instinctive expression of Indian-ness, the true Hindutva.
But Nehru the Westerner came in with half-baked German (Hegelian) ideas and destroyed India. It is time to reclaim Hindu Capitalism (also known as Hindu Dharma) and bring tolerance and liberty back to India. This includes economic freedom and incentive-based governance outlined in Arthashastra.
Some quotations from Aurobindo:
Indian religion has always felt that since the minds, the temperaments and the intellectual affinities of men are unlimited in their variety, a perfect liberty of thought and of worship must be allowed to the individual in his approach to the Infinite. [Source]
Sri Aurobindo: The Bombay Ministry seems to be working efficiently. They have escaped the socialists trap. These socialists do not know what is socialism. [Evening Talks with Sri Aurobindo, The Third Series, 26th January, 1939]
"As a spiritualist, Aurobindo is intensely attracted by the social and economic egalitarianism of socialism while at the same time he has a great horror of socialist authoritarianism. Organised socialism, even it be a democratic socialism, signifies to him the absence of liberty. He thinks that "state control and direction [are] the essence of socialism". The full development of socialism would mean the obliteration of the distinction between social and political activities, a distinction which is so vital in the liberal outlook. Under socialist control even social activities would become spheres of state interference. It means the thorough extension of the administrative activities of the state. "Nothing great or small escapes its purview. Birth and marriage, labour and amusement and rest, education, culture, training of physique and character, the socialist state leaves nothing outside its scope and its busy intolerant control." It signifies the full proliferation of the omnipotent state leviathan. Socialism represents the omnicompetence of the all-jealous state and therefore, according to Aurobindo, totalitarianism is the natural, almost inevitable destiny of socialism." [From Political Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo, V.P. Verma, p.334, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2nd edition, 1976]
Fundamental freedoms are paramount in explaining long-term economic growth. Countries that favor free choice — economic freedom and civil and political liberties — over entitlement rights are likely to achieve higher sustainable economic growth and to achieve many of the distinctive proximate characteristics of success identified by the Commission on Growth and Development (World Bank, 2008). In contrast, pursuing entitlement rights through greater coercion by the state is likely to be self-defeating in the long run. [Source]
No more needs to be said.
The other day I showed how Rajneesh detested socialism.
Now Harsh Vora sent me this link:
Dharma Pravartaka Acharya (Dr. Frank Morales) speaks in this video about the history of India during which he makes some unqualified generalisations, some of which can be very hurtful to people from some religions. The reality is far richer than what he presents. But there is something of merit in what he says about India's recent history.
He clearly shows that the socialism practiced over the past 64 years is not part of the natural law. He therfore hits out strongly at Nehru's socialism (although he mixes up India's 'secularism' with atheism). While this man needs to learn some history, when he talks about freedom, he seems to make sense.
I trust that those who preach "Vedic Socialism" will now review their ideas in the light of their own concept of natural law (Dharma).
To me, freedom is the natural law.
Whether you call it dharma or (as Adam Smith called it) the "system of natural liberty", is immaterial. But freedom without accountability is pointless. Accountability is essentially a version of karma. So it is freedom with accountability that IS THE NATURAL LAW.
It is crucially important that spiritual aspects of our life (whether we are eternal/ not eternal, etc.) should be left to each individual to understand and decide for himself. That is the implication of freedom – that we don't impose on such matters on anyone. It is violence against our nature to be imposed upon by others. That is what socialism does. It is unnatural in every way.
Extracts from The Discovery of Freedom
I've explained in (draft) DOF, thus:
At each instant, the karma yogi considers options for action for their long term consequences – without being personally affected by the success or failure of his effort. Freedom of thought thus leads like, an arrow, towards moral action. The free man acts with deliberation, aware of the potential consequences of his actions, always committed to being held to account. In advancing his self-interests though responsible action, he contributes to the welfare of mankind and of all life on earth.
Whether it is the karma theory of Hinduism, the Buddhist theory of the middle path, or Christian theory of sin, each notes that our choices determine our character. As Rajagopalachari said:
Everyone knows from experience and without the help of any doctrine that every thought or act, good or bad, has at once an effect on oneself, apart from its effect on others or on the outside world. Every motion of the mind deals a stroke as with a hammer, on character and whether one wants it or not, alters its shape for better or worse. We are ceaselessly shaping ourselves as the goldsmith busy with his hammer shapes gold or silver all day long. Every act of ours and every thought creates a tendency and according to its nature adds or takes away from our free will, to a certain extent. If ‘I think evil thoughts today, I will think them more readily and more persistently tomorrow. Likewise it is with good thoughts. If I control or calm myself today, control becomes more easy and even spontaneous next time, and this goes on progressively.
The good thing is that we can (largely) choose our character, health, and reputation. Freedom is in that sense a positive philosophy, that brings out the best in us. As Ian Harper points out: ‘Our choices have consequences, not just for our material but also for our moral well-being. … Good choices make us virtuous while bad choices make us vicious.’ Even in the most collectivist totalitarian society we will necessarily remain at least partially free to form our character and work towards our moral goals.
Capitalism or the overall mechanism of freedom, which comprises free markets and democracy, is infinitely better than what Karl Marx (1818–83) portrayed in his 1848 Communist Manifesto. I would like to digress for a moment here and explore this rather interesting and earth-shaking discovery!
‘The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production’ [technological innovation is good]. ‘[It also has] the need of a constantly expanding market for its products’ [this is a competitive and productive endeavour that enhances the wealth of nations].‘The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilisation’ [that is a great achievement, to be a civilizing force].‘The bourgeoisie has [...] created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life’ [here’s another important feature of capitalism, though this statement needlessly insults people who may choose, upon having considered various options, to live in rural areas].
In addition, there are great equality incomes at the professional levels. In a modern capitalist society, all occupations pay almost equally well at that level. For example, a good professor and a good plumber earn about the same (both earn above $100,000 in Australia today). That is due to the extremely high productivity of plumbers in these countries who are extensively trained in modern, productive technology. Morarji Desai made his first visit abroad in 1958, to Britain, USA and Canada. He found that capitalist societies were very equitable, more so socially. He remarked to Welles Hangen, an American journalist, after his trip, that ‘In your country the manager and the worker sit together without any embarrassment. Many times the worker’s clothes are as good as his boss’s and the car he drives to work is also as good’.[ii] Marx simply did not live long enough to see the long term impacts of capitalism; and like a bad scientist he ignored evidence of the increasing prosperity of workers in capitalist societies in his lifetime.
[This is an extract from Breaking Free of Nehru]
John Rawls wrote a book, entitled, A Theory of Justice. This is actually quite an amazing phenomenon for Rawls clearly had no clue about even the most fundamental conception of justice. The book missed the concept of justice by a mile, and ended up in total confusion. But that has been typical of all socialists, from the time that Rousseau expanded his conception of liberty into positive liberty space, and created a raggle of confused thinkers across the world who have vigorously DESTROYED LIBERTY and countless millions of lives over the past two centuries.
This is a general problem across the world. Most "educated" people don't understand the basic concept of justice. But without understanding justice, we can only end up promoting evil – even as we imagine we are preaching peace and goodwill.
In particular, social liberals and socialists don't understand the concept of ATTRIBUTION. They can't seem to identify WHO did a particular thing. They can't identify WHO owns something, WHO is responsible. As a result the whole world becomes like a ball of spaghetti in their mind, and they end up with DEEPLY contradictory prescriptions.
Let's start with something that should be obvious to all but the most fanatic Hindutva folk: that destroying property is a crime.
The gang of criminals known as BJP is (or was) headed by Advani. This nautanki, attired in a bow and arrow, went about actively advocating and organising the (a) trespass of property, and (b) breaking down property (Babri Masjid). That is a CRIMINAL action without any redeeming feature. However, Advani, like his many confused socialist/collectivist colleagues, thought that he was ensuring justice!
How so? He was under the DELUSION that since someone (Babur) had destroyed a temple (not owned by Advani – who was not even born then) 500 years ago so he somehow got the right to set things right by TRESPASSING and BREAKING someone's else's property today. A man with such a feeble mind would not normally be fit to govern a village but he became dangerously close to becoming India's prime minister! Such are the dangers of mobocracy.
But you'll say: "But I never supported BJP, I'm a Congress man." You'll argue that such communal behaviour is below your dignity and that you would never stoop this low.
However, if you are a man from Congress (or a socialist, in general), then you support caste based reservations. But reservations are PRECISELY the same thing: they are a CRIME against innocents! Both are based on the ridiculous idea of "justice of yesterday" – a greater piece of nonsense than which never existed.
Basically if you support reservations, or you support the demolition of the Babri Masjid, you support the same thing: a WRONG and DANGEROUS concept of justice.
So-called "secularist" socialists imagine they are different to BJP because they don't support demolishing Babri Masjid. But you can't support ANY form of injustice today on the ground that someone ELSE, dead and gone, committed a crime in the past. Unfortunately, that is the typical state of most of India's educated 'elites'. Whether you are a Hindutva fanatic or Congressi socialist, you are simply confused. It is time to wake up!
Let me help you clarify basic concepts
I have explained the concept of justice in BFN, but obviously not many people have read it (or understood it, even if they have read it). So let me try to put out the basic idea of justice over the course of a few simple blog posts. I will extract both from BFN and the draft manuscript DOF.
I hope that these posts will alleviate (if not eliminate!) the deep and fatal confusion of thought that is prevalent in the minds of socialists/social liberals/collectivists in India. Unless we understand the BASIC concept of justice, we can't possibly understand the meaning of freedom.
Justice is ALWAYS as precise as a mathematical equation. If you miss out a key variable, or include extraneous variables, you'll fail to understand this basic concept of justice. And after that you'll lead a life of total confusion – and DEEP immorality. You'll end up advocating communalist/socialist/other collectivist ideas. Each of these ideas KILLS. Always kills.
To begin with I'm publishing this Appendix on accountability, from BFN. Please read this to understand how simple and precise the concept of justice is. Please note the VITAL meaning of attribution for it is the source of ALL understandings of accountability, of all property rights, and of all rewards and punishment. If you can't identify WHO did a particular action, you are FINISHED. You will remain a mental cripple.
Our Accountability (an appendix to Breaking Free of Nehru)
Justice is the end of government. It is the end of society.
- whether an action was called for and appropriate, namely, the existence and level of responsibility;
- whether the action was duly carried out, i.e. the level of an action or inaction;
- what were its consequences; and
- to whom did the consequences apply, namely, the attribution and precise debiting or crediting of outcomes.
It appears that the Armchair Guy, one of the otherwise balanced and intelligent commentators on this blog seems to have been brainwashed by Indian leftists to such an extent that he is no longer able to identify the fundamental concepts of freedom and justice.