Title: Rethinking capitalism
Publication: New Europe / The European Political Newspaper
Date: 02 December 2012
Author: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Rethinking Capitalism is essential today. In these times of economic recession, people are losing faith in the economic system. It is an earnest need of our time to re-instill the faith in our current system otherwise it will lead to anarchy. To re-establish faith and trust in the economic system, we need a holistic moral and ethical revival including all the four essential pillars of society: the Government Institutions, Private and Civil Society Organizations, Faith Based Organizations and the Media. We need to foster a coordinated effort amongst these stakeholders. If any one of these pillars collapses, the others also become disabled.
Ethics in business need to be highlighted. Though scams are happening all around us, it is essential to realize that there are successful economic and business institutions that follow strict ethical practices. When faith in ethics is lost and unscrupulous, unethical and illegal shortsighted business practices become a norm, it creates social unrest and disharmony in society. Sooner or later this leads society towards violence, corruption and depression.
The United Nations has declared that mental depression will be the second biggest killer by 2020. If a large portion of the population is mentally depressed, there is no way a healthy economy or better social system can be developed. Given the rising incidence of physical and mental illnesses, as well as behavioral disorders in the society, attempts to establish a robust economy will be just like putting makeup on a corpse. This is where faith-based organizations can play a vital role. Over-ambitiousness often boomerangs as depression, which can be countered by self-referral or spiritual values.
Reinstating faith in ethics will keep the hope burning and will give strength to manage the crisis when it is most needed. Intuition, innovation and proper implementation all happens when there is integrity in one’s consciousness. It is Spirituality, which brings about this integration in one’s personality, and enhances intuitive ability.
An ability to work without prejudice of any sort and a readiness to look into the new paradigms are skills sets essential for the modern era. Along the same lines as a carbon credits system, there could be a points system for corporate social responsibility (CSR) too. Often CSR is undertaken simply as a showpiece rather than a solution. The proactive implementation of the human values in the corporate program can bring them to the forefront in any transaction and bring back much needed faith in our current economic system.
Wherever there is unrest and violence in society, prosperity remains a farfetched dream. The lack of faith in the system is a leading contributor to such unrest. Lack of sense of belongingness and greed causes corruption. These issues cannot be tackled only through law; it needs social commitment and awareness amongst people.
Faith based organizations play a big role in creating violence free society and corruption free community. A few leaders leading by example can impact the lives of many, for example in India, Mahatma Gandhi inspired people through his spiritual gatherings, which included multi faith prayers and hymns. These congregations were integral to the movement to regain India’s freedom.
It is time to kick-start enlightened imaginations. With the efforts of honest politicians, businessmen with integrity, religious leaders with credibility, visionary educationalists, social workers with compassion and clarity we can re-instill faith in our current system.
This dream is possible to achieve when we rise above our limited mindset of my country, my religion and my people to embrace the greater perspective of my planet.