In my concluding remarks in the 'Replies to Integral Humanism' series of articles, I had maintained that
"...the element to be opposed and fought with all strength is the altruist-collectivist ideology of Integral Humanism, for Integral Humanism is nothing but thinly veiled socialism. "
If it isn't directly obvious as to how socialism would be the only logically consistent political 'policy' compatible with a philosophy as Integral Humanism, let me explain.
Any altruist morality demands that the interests of the individual be sacrificed for a collective entity. The collective entity has assumed different names at different times, God, The Nation, Mother Nature, Society, the King...the list is long.
But the central element is the element of sacrifice. The opposite of altruism is egoism. Rational egoism, which does not include the meaning: sacrifice of everything to the individual, is the only answer to any altruist morality. Laissez-faire capitalism is the only political theory which upholds egoism and individual rights and therefore the only morally correct political theory.
But what have the members of the Sangh Parivar ended up preaching? Since Integral Humanism was an attempt to 'integrate' some principles of capitalism and socialism which are moral opposites, the Sangh people are left with no clear ideas about political and economic theory. So in the early 90's, when the Rao Government was pressing ahead with opening up of the Indian markets and liberalization, the Sangh sat twiddling its thumbs because they didn't know whether to oppose or support a move towards capitalism.
Now after a reappraisal of their fundamental beliefs, it seems to have finally dawned upon the Sanghists that capitalism, which the liberalization process aims to bring about, goes against their altruist motives. And it is this 'resurgence' and 'domination' by capitalism is what the proponents of Swadeshi want to fight.
Which is why they have said all these things...
"The lowest socio-cultural economic unit of society in the Swadeshi view is not the individual but the family."
"...it believes that the unbridled and unbalanced individualism of the West is destructive of community living."
"Ensuring satisfaction of the basic needs of all people within 10 years. Food, clothing, housing, education, health, drinking water, energy and transport be recognized as basic needs".
"Ensuring that income-inequalities remain within reasonable limits. Ratio of income of top 20 per cent and bottom 20 per cent should not exceed 10:1."
"...Swadeshi thought is merely an injunction against unlimited consumption; it is a mandate for conservation and preservation of national assets and resources."
Still not convinced? Take a look at this comparison of statements by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) from their 'On certain ideological issues' document and material from the other sections of the Swadeshi.org site.
|"...the market is one of the means for the distribution of the social product. Centralized planning, utilizing the market forces and the market indicators, will be able to efficiently develop the productive forces and meet the welfare demands of the people"
"from each according to his ability; to each according to his work."
Exploitation through the multinational corporations, the unequal and unfair terms of trade, and other methods continue unabated. This has resulted in a marked deterioration in the living standards of the people of the developing world
"...as we have seen above, the unfolding of contemporary historical developments reveals the intensification of capitalist exploitation and not the losing of its exploitative character."
|"In contrast, [our ideology]... relies on the social institutional order, besides Market and State, as the socioeconomic delivery system"
"...[our ideology] commands need-based life, and rules out unlimited consumption as an end"
"...that the weaker sections like women, artisans, small farmers, workers and tribal people and mass employment sectors of the economy like small industries, fishing, bidi-making and weaving are endangered by the policy of globalization and exploitation."
"This mechanistic world-view (of capitalism) has led to terrible exploitation, inequalities and disintegration in human society."
So, the only difference between Communist and Swadeshi ideology is that while the Communist Party has gone ahead with the systematization and institutionalization of their altruist ideology, Sanghists are still groping in the dark, trying to give a fully defined shape to their peculiar brand of socialism which includes such vague concoctions as 'family values', environmental preservation', 'resource preservation', and 'bidi-maker protection'.
Trade is voluntary exchange of goods for mutual benefit. Trade cannot be imposed upon a set of people, people trade by choice. Goods cannot be forcibly sold or bought in trade. Yet the proponents of Swadeshi aim at the destruction of this fundamental principle in trade. "You have to buy this television set, not because it's good, but because it's Indian"declare the Swadeshi champions. They also declare that since they supported a Indian television manufacturerthey are patriotic.
Thus by linking feelings of patriotism to business and trade, the Sangh backers leave one with no choicebuy low quality goods or be banded unpatriotic.
Genuine pride for Indian products is possible. For that, the product in question has to be really good, superlative. Then the pride of the "Made in India" tag will be the pride that such a good product was made in this countrythe Swadeshi pride. This is what we have to aim to realize. And to achieve this, some kind of Swadeshi-Socialist fruit salad is not going to help us.