Five truths about Gandhian Economics:
This is a clarification of an academic article entitled "Five Myths aabout gandhian economics." The original was written in a needlessly defensive way that did not facilitate comprehension of the principles invoked.
1. The law of prosperity. All humans have the right to needful things: food, shelter and clothing. True prosperity means this. If any human lacks those needful things, in truth our prosperity is ill-gotten.
2. The law of happiness. Prosperity that increases wants leads to unhappiness. Restraint of desires and giving away surplus prosperity to others leads to happiness.
3. The law of the individual creativity: mass production must be replaced by production by the masses. Mass production enslaves and diminishes our humanity; small crafts support and ennoble us. Mass production is destructive to society, nature, human rights, national relations, and decent work. Production by the masses supports civil society, honors nature, funds human rights, creates peaceful national relations, and provides good work.
4. The law of freedom: all humanity is equal not by nature but by having been created by One God. By nature we appear more or less worthwhile and valuable, but in truth we are all loved and loveable. All religion which denies the law of freedom is invalid and must be disobeyed.
5. The law of stewardship: wealth and talent are gifts from God and belong to God alone. Gifts are only loaned from God. Therefore, an integrous capitalism ought to legislate so that the wealthy and talented steward their abilities for the good of all. Love must be legally endorsed as a replacement for greed as a motivation for capital accumulation and investment.
Put together, Gandhian economics posits the following:
- centrally-controlled capitalist democracy which
- forces capital to serve society by legislation,
- forces mass production to serve people through individual creativity,
- forces restraint of desires and generosity to serve human happiness and integrity, and
- forces religious tolerance by asserting our loveable true nature in the eyes of One God.
This might be extrapolated into a program:
1. Restrain personal desires, live simply, and behave generously.
2. Earn a living through individual craftsmanship and creativity.
3. Treat all people as equal partners in serving the truth, willingly suffering harms from them as a way of awakening their true nature of love and freedom.
4. Systematically withdraw all support from violence, mass production, and systems which reward non-stewardship based wealth.
5. Systematically support others in restraint, developing good work for themselves, and discovering the truth for themselves of their loveable natures.
Gandhian economics reverses the action of tradition economics. Instead of working on the world, it works on oneself. Instead of making presumptions about how human nature works and thereby creating inequity and injustice, Gandhian economics presumes we are worthwhile and loveable in the eyes of God and enjoins us to discover this truth for ourselves by empirical experiments.
The basic Gandhian scientific experiment is based in sure hypotheses. The laws are invariable throughout time.
If you live simply and give generously, you will be happy.
If you have good human work, you will be creative and fulfilled.
If you steward your gifts and talents for the good of the world, society will be more stable.
If you withdraw support for violence and voluntarily suffer the consequences without complaint, you will be loved and ennobled.
These are the fundamental Gandhian experiments on which his economics is founded. Their proof is in the practice.