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Gandhism in theAge of Globalization: Beyond Amartya K. Sen's Criticism

Gandhism in theAge of Globalization: Beyond Amartya K. Sen's Criticism

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43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48.

Naess, "How My Philosophy Seemed to Develop", p.225. Adapted from Naess, Gandhi and the Nuclear Age, pp.28-33. Arne Naess Gandhi and Group Conflict: An Exploration of Satyagraha, Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1974, p.55 Rothenberg, Is it Painful to Think?, pp.141-142. Rothenberg, Is it Painful to Think?, p .151. T.K.Mahadevan (ed.), Truth and Nonviolence: A UNESCO Symposium on Gandhi, New Delhi: Gandhi Peace Foundation, 1970, pp.70, 8586. Arne Naess "Is the Deep Ecology Vision a Deep Vision or is it Multicolored like the Rainbow? An Answer to Nina Witoszek", in Witoszek and Brennan (eds.), Philosophical Dialogues,pp.466-472 at p.468. For Neess, "non-violence" (with the hyphen) is the broader category that does not permit the doing of harm to humans or animals. "Nonviolence" (without the hyphen) is the technical term for a subcategory of non-violence, the principled form as practiced by Mahatma Gandhi (See Arne Nsess, "Letter to Dave Foreman, 23 June 1988, in Witoszek and Brennan (eds.), Philosophical Dialogues, pp.225231 at p.227). However, Gene Sharp, the main theorist of practical rather than principled Gandhian nonviolence, also spells his form of social action without a hyphen, a hyphen it should have in Neess' classification. As noted above, Arne Neess spent much of his time spreading the word of Gandhi directly as well as indirectly through his own writings on other matters. But perhaps his indirect dissemination of Gandhian philosophy is even more extensive than hinted at here. [ohan Galtung, the "Father of Modern Peace Research", who gave us the very Gandhian concept of "structural violence", may have achieved more than Nsess in directly popularising the Mahatma and his philosophy, but it must be remembered that it was Arne Neess who introduced the young Galtung to Gandhi in the first place. See Weber, Gandhi as Disciple and Mentor, p.209.



Gandhism in the Age of Globalization: Beyond Amartya K. Sen's Criticism
Kazuya Ishii
ABSTRACT Mohandas K. Gandhi criticized modern civilization, as he saw it was marked by self-interest and materialism, and sought for an alternative in the 20th century. His thought now appears increasingly important in this century, as the total ecosystem becomes gravely endangered. However, Amartya K. Sen criticized his thought in a modernist way, so there is room for us to examine this point. This paper thus attempts to re-examine Gandhism in the age of globalization, taking his criticism into account. It summarizes Gandhi's views of modern and "posimodern" civilizations, and analyzes the Gandhi-Tagore debate over charkha, which Sen understood from "Tagore'e side". It concludes that despite Sen's criticism, if the ecosystem is to be sustained, afoothold to reverse the trend of globalization could be found in Gandhism.


Introduction EVER SINCE THE industrial revolution took place in 18th century Great Britain, human beings have been consuming natural resources to achieve unprecedented material development. After the resolution of the conflict between capitalism and socialism, a characteristic of the 20th century, the 21st century is now observing the expansion of the market mechanism to enable capital to make profits on a global scale. This process is, however, extensively devastating forests, polluting air and water at an accelerating pace, and will thus drive human beings and other species to the fringe of extinction 1. April-June 2010

THOMAS WEBER Reader & Associate Professor, Politics and International Relations Programme, University of La Trobe, Australia. He is the author of a number of books and articles on Gandhi, Non-Violence and Peace Research. The most recent books are Gandhi, Gandhism and the Gandhians, New Delhi, Roli.2006 & Gandhi as Disciple and Mentor, Cambridge University Press, 2004. Email: T.Weber@latrobe.edu.au Volume 32 Number 1


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Mohandas K. Gandhi criticized modern civilization, as he saw it was marked by self-interest and materialism, and sought for an alternative in the previous century. His thought now appears increasingly important, as the total ecosystem becomes gravely endangered. I had previously attempted to explain the contemporary significance of his thought regarding how to relieve the poor in a "small economy", using Amartya K. Sen's concepts. However, Sen is a philosophical heir of Rabindranath Tagore, who acutely criticized Gandhi from a modernist perspective, so there is room for us to examine this point. This paper re-examines Gandhism in the 21st century, when the ecosystem is being destroyed in the name of globalization, taking Sen's criticism into account. To this end, it first summarizes Gandhi's views of modern arid "postmodern" civilizations-, and then analyzes the Gandhi- Tagore debate, chiefly over charkha, which Sen understood from "Tagore's side". It concludes on the note that despite Sen's criticism, if the ecosystem is to be sustained, a foothold to reverse the trend of globalization could be found in Gandhism.

1. Gandhi's Views of Modem and "Postmodern"


Having experienced the industrial revolution in the 18th century, Grea t Britain started ruling Bengal and other areas in India to appropriate her wealth, until India attained independence in the middle of the 20th century. After the middle of the 19th century, in particular, Great Britain entered the stage of imperialism, when it faced domestic overproduction and needed colonies in which to invest its excessive capitaL If globalization is a process that destroys traditional societies through capital exportation and free trade, the "modernity" that Gandhi observed then constituted one form of globalization that was reorganizing the world economy for the sake of Great Britain. In this section, I will examine how Gandhi criticized modern civilization and what kind of "postmodern" society he attempted to construct in India. The argument here is based on my past papers on his overall economic thought, as well as his charkha movement and theory of trusteeship-'.

Criticism of Modern Civilization

Observing the development of capitalism after industrialization in the west, Gandhi found that materialism and ignorance of spirituality were characteristics of modern civilization. That is, people in it were "enslaved by temptation of money and of the luxuries that money can buy"4, and "This civilization takes note neither of morality nor of religion"S. For Gandhi, "machinery" that advanced material

development was "helping a small minority to live on the exploitation of the masses", the motive force of this minority being "not humanity and love of their kind but greed and avarice=", "Machinery has begun to desolate Europe. Ruination is now knocking at the English gates. Machinery is the chief symbol of modern civilization, it represents a great sin"7. As a result of the materialist development advanced by "machinery", Gandhi thought that imperialist domination by the western powers had destroyed the organic structure of the nonwestern societies since the late 19th century. "It is machinery that has impoverished India. '" It is due to Manchester that Indian handicraft has all but disappeared'<. Observing that the competition over natural resources and markets, or the partition of colonies among industrialist nations, led to violent conflicts and world wars, he disagreed with the idea of industrializing India as had occurred in western societies. "To make India like England and America is to find some other races and places of the earth for exploitation. '" Among the exploited, India is the greatest victim". On the other hand, to Gandhi, "Civilization, in the real sense of the term, consists not in the multiplication, but in the deliberate and voluntary reduction of wants 10. This viewpoint differs radically from those of the western economists who affirmed the pursuit of selfinterest. For example, Adam Smith welcomed people's self-interest, which he believed would drive capital accumulation and the division of labour, to increase nations' wealth under the name of 'laissez-faire': whereas Gandhi believed, in his economics of khadi, that "human selfishness, Adam Smith's pure economic motive, constitutes the 'disturbing factor' that has got to be overcomc'(U. As Great Britain faced domestic overproduction in the early 19th century, British classical economic theories were developed, via David Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage, to justify imperialism, along with John Stuart Mill's and Edward G. Wakefield's assertion of capital exporta tion 12. "Those who are intoxicated by modern civilization are not likely to write against it. Their care will be to find out facts and arguments in sUfPort of it, and this they do unconsciously, believing it to be true" 3. "The economics that permits one country to prey upon another is immoral"14. While mainstream economic theories in Britain evolved to support its imperialist expansion, Gandhi's criticism of modern civilization and economics raised objections to imperialism on behalf of those oppressed by it.

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(2) A "Postmodern" Economic Construction of India: The CharkhaMovement and the Theory of Trusteeship
To enable India to abandon modern civilization, Gandhi aimed to construct a village-based "co-operative society", by means of reviving charkha and khadi, which had existed since the old days. The charkha movement was meant to make all spinning and weaving operations manual, and to distribute them amongst the poor, based on the notion that imported foreign cloth "has literally killed millions of our brothers and sisters, and delivered thousands of our dear sisters to a life of shame"15. The All India Spinners' Association (AISA) implemented the charkha movement extensively from the 1920s to the 1940s. The movement successfully drove foreign cotton doth out of Indian market, but was overwhelmed by the cotton cloth made by Indian mill machines. In fact, the production of mill-made cotton cloth amounted to 2.481 billion yardsin 1930/3116, while the production of khadi by the AISA and its related institutions was only 11,676,930 . 17 yards, or less than one two-hundredth of the former, in 1929/30 . However, the mills employed 395,000 people-'', while the AISA group employed 117,50919.That is, to produce one million yards of cotton cloth, the former needed 159 people, while the latter needed 10,063 (1:63). Although the charkha was often negatively evaluated in terms of productivity, wage rates, quality of products and market share2o, economic rationality should be found in its labour intensiveness, which amounted to 63 times that of a machine+'. Gandhi thought that if the charkha produced all Indian cotton cloth, then that would provide work for 50 million poor people to live on22. However, that goal was obviously hindered by the cotton mills, which exclusively made huge profits, yet employed less than 400 thousand people, while a greater number of the poor were unemployed for more than three months a year. Gandhi nevertheless rejected, from the standpoint of "non-violence", Marxist-Lenist ideas of expropriating private property and factories, and he called for the Indian people to support khadi willingly in the spirit of mutual help. For example, Gandhi argued that "it is a privilege to maintain them [our aged parents and children] no matter what their maintenance costs us. Even so must we maintain khadi to the exclusion of all other cloth"23. He also expected his countrymen to support spinners and weavers even if khadi was more expensive than machinemade cotton cloth. He remarked that "when we have studied them [khadi economics] from the point of view of the national well-being, we shall find that khadi is never dear"24. The "national well-being" Volume 32 Number 1

here would not mean anything like national wealth obtained through capital accumulation and the division of labour, but a situation in which people would support each other to enable even the poorest to be provided with dignified work to live on25. . Besides the charkha movement, the theory of trusteeship constitutes another important pillar of Gandhi's economic thought. The theory is defined as the idea that wealthy people should consider their property as something God entrusted to them to manage for the profit of society and that they should behave as "trustees" for the benefit of the poor. However, as long as capitalists and landlords behaved as "trustees", this theory legitimated their positions in society, and so it was severely condemned by Marxist-Leninists, who asserted a class struggle. For example, [awaharlal Nehru deplored the fact that "he [Gandhi] blesses all the relics of the old order which stand as obstacles in the way of advance-the feudal States, the big zamindaris and taiuqadaris, the present capitalist system,,26i while E. M. S. Namboodiripad considered Gandhi "the astute political leader of a class-the bourgeoisie "27. Gandhi maintained a good relationship with Ghanshamdas Birla and other large capitalists. It can surely be questioned whether his theory of trusteeship was consistent with his earlier position that the minority exploited the masses through machinery with the motive of the former being greed or avarice. However, he endeavoured to prevent class division through this theory, whil~ burdening capit~lists with supporting his charkha movement. Putting more emphasis ~n relieving the poor than on protecting the rich, the theory V;as still intent on a sodo-economic reform that would confront the internal contradictions of Indian society by "non-violent" means. This theory aimed to eradicate "that unbridgeable gulf that today exists between the "haves" and "have-nots",,28, and Gandhi was thus willing to 'lend capitalism almost, if not quite, as much as the most advanced socialist or even corrununist"29 . The eventual aim of Gandhi's charkha movement and theory of trusteeship was to achieve a society in which "instead of half a dozen cities of India and Great Britain living on the exploitation and the ruin of the 700,000 villages of India, the latter will be largely selfcontained'P". The image of an ideal village in his perception was as follows:
An ideal village will be so constructed as to lend itself to .pe~fectsa~ta tion. It will have cottages with sufficient light and ventilation, built of. a material obtainable within a radius of five miles of it. The cottages WIll have courtyards enabling the householders to plant vegetables for



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domestic use and to house their cattle .... It [The village] will have wells according to its needs and accessible to all. It will have houses of worship for all, also a common meeting place, a village common for grazing its cattle, a co-operative dairy, primary and secondary schools in which industrial education will be the central factor ... It will produce its own grains, vegetables and fruit, and its own khadi31. Such a village would be materially simple, since it puts at its centre a technology inefficient in terms of capital accumulation, such as a charkha. It is nevertheless a spiritually sound "symbiotic" society, which extensively distributes such technology among the poor, and in that society their self-reliance would be supported by people's spirit of mutual help. Gandhi ultimately attempted to reconstruct a "cooperative society" of the actual size of man in nature, to "radically change much that goes under the name of modern civilization"32. "Independent India can only discharge her duty towards a groaning world by adopting a simple but ennobled life by develoying her thousands of cottages and living at peace with the world,,3 . 2. The Gandhi-Tagore Debate and Sen's Criticism of Gandhism

Gandhi's thought as described above could be partly explained by concepts that Sen invented. That is, Gandhi's charkha movement and theory of trusteeship were attempts to have" deprived" poor spinners and weavers take part in the process of small-scale society-building to revive their "capability,,34. When he called for capitalists and landlords, as well as khadi consumers, to support his charkha movement, he relied upon nothing but their spirit of "commitment"35. Nevertheless, it is wrong to consider that Sen belongs to the same line of thought as Gandhi. Rather, he supports Rabindranath Tagore, who severely criticized Gandhi in a modernist way, and attempts to understand the "Tagore's side" of the Gandhi- Tagore debates36. These debates covered a variety of subjects, such as nationalism, patriotism, cultural exchange, rationality and science, and economic and social development. Sen believes that Tagore was pressing for more room for reasoning and for a less traditionalist view, a greater interest in the rest of the world and more respect for science and for objectivity generally37. In this section, let us first review the Gandhi-Tagore debate, based on Romain Rolland's record, and then examine Sen's evaluation of it. According to Rolland, Tagore was "grateful to Gandhi for giving India a chance to prove that her faith in the divine spirit of man is still living,,38. However, Gandhi's non-cooperation movement against Britain did not meet his favour, because he sought cultural exchange



between the east and the west. Tagore supported domination by the west as "a mission to fulfill" on March 13, 1921, and criticized Gandhi's movement as "the worst form of provincialism": "The present attempt to separate our spirit from that of the Occident is an attempt at spiritual suicide .... The present age has been dominated by the Occident, because the Occident had a mission to fulfill. ... to say that it is wrong to cooperate with the West is to encourage the worst form of provincialism and can produce nothing but intellectual indigence,,39. On the other hand, Gandhi defended himself, in his article titled "The poet's anxiety", on June 1, and asserted that his thought did not represent narrow nationalism: "I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the culture of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. ... But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any of them,,40. He thus disregarded Tagore's "anxiety" and carried out the burning of foreign cloth in Bombay on July 3141. According to Tagore, who wrote in Modern Review on October 10, that people blindly followed Gandhi's appeal to burn foreign cloth was the abdication of "culture and reasoning power,,42. Referring to Gandhi's message of "Spin and weave!", Tagore deplored, "Is this the gospel of a new creative age?,,43,and questioned Gandhi's charkha movement: "If large machinery constitutes a danger for the West, will not small machines constitute a greater danger for us?"44. Gandhi's objection to such criticism by Tagore, in Young India on October 13, was enough to silence him: When all about me are dying for want of food, the only occupation permissible for me is to feed the hungry .... To a people famishing and idle the only acceptable form in which God can dare appear is work and promise of food as wages. God created man to work for his food and said that those who ate without work were thieves .... Hunger is the argument that is drawing India to the spinningwheel. The poet lives for the morrow, and would have us do likewise. He presents to our admiring gaze the beautiful picture of the birds in the early morning singing hymns of praise as they soar into the sky.... I have found it impossible to soothe suffering patients with a song from Kabir. Give them work that they may eat! "Why should I, who have no need to work for food, spin?" may be the question asked. Because I am living on the spoliation of my countrymen. Trace the course of every coin that finds its way into your pocket, and you will realize the truth of what I write. Everyone must spin. Let Tagore spin,like the others. Let him burn his foreign clothes; that is the duty to-day45. Sen stresses that Tagore thought it most important that "people April-June 2010

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be able to live, and reason, in freedom,,46, and quotes him as saying that "The charkha does not require anyone to think; one simply turns the wheel of the antiquated invention endlessly, using the minimum of judgment and stamina"47. Sen observes that Tagore "never tires of criticizing the charkha", and asserts that "In this economic judgment, Tagore was probably right,,48. . That Sen stands on "Tagore's side" is based on his own evaluation of Ambar Charkha (a form of charkha more advanced than Gandhi's), which occupied an important part of the Second Five-Year Plan of post-independent India. In his Choice of Technique (1960~,~en examined its technological possibilities in terms of (a) productivity of lab.our, (b) net value added per unit of output, (c) net surplus per unit of output, (d) the capital/output ratio and (e) the rate of surplus per unit of capital investment. He concluded as follows: The Ambar Charkha programme is inflationary and is also likely to affect capital accumulation adversely. Far from creating ~ny flow. of surplus, it produces a flow of output value less than even Its recurnng costs. ... As a technological possibility, the Ambar Charkha seems to offervery little49. To Tagore it was modem science and "large machinery" that would bring about "a new creative age", and fo~ Sen also a tec~ique ~~ou1d be chosen that would contribute to capital accumulation positively, To say nothing of Tagore's justification of the "domination by the Occident" as "a mission to fulfill", these thoughts represent modern ways of thinking, similar to those of the British classical economists who justified capital accumulation, the division of labour and imperialism. However, it was neither "capital accumulation" nor the "flow of surplus" that Gandhi sought. He rather wanted .to esta~li~h a simp~e society through charkha, and he aimed at the nation-building of India in a way different from that of "modern" material development. Therefore, it is not appropriate to denounce, as Sen does, the charkha movement on the grounds that it would not contribute to economic development. When we next examine Gandhism in the age of globalization, Sen will be found to be deeply characterized by modernism, with his notion that poverty is to be eradicated through global material prosperity. Nevertheless, such a notion, in face of the constra~ts of the earth, will appear something to be overcome by Gandhism, a thought that Tagore and Sen criticized severely.

3. Gandhism in the Age of Globalization-Beyond

Sen's Criticism

Globalization in the 21st century is bringing about material prosperity that is incomparably beyond what industrialization achieved in the 18th century to a part of mankind. However, itis consuming resources and destroying the environment of the earth at an unprecedented pace, thus threatening the very existence of living things, including mankind. Having earlier examined Sen's criticism of Gandhism, let us in this section critically analyze his view of globalization, in order to understand the contemporary meaning of Gandhism. Sen sets the time of globalization as much longer than "now" and the space as much wider than the "West", and he basically considers it something good. "Over thousands of years, globalization has contributed to the progress of the world, through travel, trade, migration, spread of cultural influences, and dissemination of knowledge and understanding (including that of science and technology) "50. Sen considers that Europe would have been a lot poorer, had it not received the fruits of globalization that took place in China, India and other places outside Europe-", and asserts that "today, the same principle applies, though in reverse direction (from West to East),,52. When he remarks that "The opposite of globalization is persistent separatism and relentless autarky,,53, his position is extremely close to that of Tagore, who criticized Gandhi's movement as "the worst form of provincialism". According to Sen, "we cannot reverse the economic predicament of the poor across the world by withholding from them the great advantages of contemporary technology, the wellestablished efficiency of international trade and exchange, and the social as well as economic merits of living in an open society,,54. Gandhi's thought must naturally appear to Sen to go against "the progress of the world", as he aimed at economic self-reliance by reviving charkha, a technology that Tagore thought antiquated". Sen makes no explicit judgment of "modern" values when he perceives science, technology and international trade in a spectrum of "over thousands of years". Nevertheless, when he says that "it is hard to achieve economic prosperity without making extensive use of the opportunities of exchange and specialization that market relations offer"55, he should welcome not only the "economic prosperity" brought about by markets, but the values behind them such as selfinterest, capital accumulation and the division of labour. To say nothing of "freedom". which constitutes his concept of "development'P", his way of thinking remains within modernism in

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110 ., GANDHI MARG principle, and hence it is almost impossible for us to find in it any element to transcend "modernity". Ernst F. Schumacher, a Gandhian economist, who was opposed to the "dominant modern belief" that "The road to peace ... is to follow the road to riches"S7, noted that "only by a reduction of needs can one promote a genuine reduction in those tensions which are the ultimate causes of strife and war,,58. If mankind must manage its society within the limits of the environment and the resources on t~e earth, Sen's notion of poverty alleviation through global economic prosperity would be questioned for the following four reasons .. First, Sen ignores the technology of low entropy, when he .affirms capital accumulation and criticizes Ambar Charkha. NIcholas Georgescu-Roegen introduces a definition of entropy as "ar: index of the amount of unavailable energy in a given thermodvnamic system at a given moment of its evolution"S9. According to him, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the Entropy Law, means that "the entropy of a closed system continuously (and irrevocably) increases towa~d a maximum; i.e., the available energy is continuously transformed mto unavailable energy until it disappears completely'P''. In general, it reversely affects social sustainability for us to complicate te~olog! and to extensively consume fossil resources (low entropy), smce It irreversibly increases social entropy to the maximum. Richard Gre?g valued the khadi movement highly as "a wise application to economics of what is known to scientists as the Second Law of ThermodvnamicsP'', and underlined the superiority of charkha, which utilizes not "coal, as ancient, stored-up solar energy", but "food and bodily force as the present annual income of that energy,,62, a matter that Sen has not examined'r'. Second, Sen focuses on poverty as a form of" absolute deprivation", putting lesser importance on it as a for~ of ':relative .de~riv~tio:r:". He seems cautious about the concept of relative depnvation , WIth his notion that "within the uniformity of the term "relative deprivation", there seem to exist some distinct and different notions" 64.According to Sen, people's 'feelings of deprivation" contrast to their "conditions of deprivation", but "an objective diagnosis of "conditions" requires an objective un d erstan dimg 0f "f ee r mgs "65. Although it is almost impossible for one to objectively understand people's inner states of mind, he says:
It is, however, worth noting that the approach of relative deprivation+-


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society happens to be. Indeed, there is an irreducible core of absolute deprivation in our idea of poverty, which translates reports of starvation, malnutrition and visible hardship into a diagnosis of poverty without having to ascertain first the relative picture66.

even including all its variants-cannot really be the only basis for the concept of poverty. A famine, for example, will be readily accepted as a case of acute poverty no matter what the relative pattern within the

This attitude has the advantage of focusing on actual poverty and theorizing the development of people's "capability" or human development without demonstrating what "relative deprivation" is, but it may tend not to investigate the causality between poverty and affluence in the global society. Romesh Diwan criticized this approach to poverty of Sen's, in comparison to Gandhi's, insisting that "the relationship between the poor and the non-poor is important, particularly when this is an exploitative relationshipP". Although it is not Sen's intention to prove the absence of exploitation, we should not ignore the possibility of poverty arising from the "relative" context of deprivation, as a result of focusing on "absolute deprivation". Third, Sen recognizes that poor people are "excluded from economic and social opportunities that the more privileged enjoy"68, but he does not examine whether the "economic and social opportunities that the more privileged enjoy" can be justified. That is, he does not seem to assume that the range of "freedom" of "the more privileged" is secured by restricting that of the poor. He notes that "What has happened in Europe, America, Japan, and East Asia has important messages for all other regions,,69. However, it is in substance impossible for the people in "all other regions" to enjoy the same range of "freedom" as those in "Europe, America, Japan, and East Asia" enjoy, without restricting the latter in the face of the limits of natural resources. Based on the World Development Report in 1979, Paul and Anne Ehrlich asserted that if the United States cut its per capita energy consumption in half, this would be enough to double the energy available to a hundred and seventy-five people in Bangladesh, or a dozen people in Egypt7°, a kind of reality that Sen does not seem to observe. Fourth, Sen acknowledges that capitalism in the contemporary world now faces "the issues of inequality (especially that of grinding poverty in a world of unprecedented prosperity) and "public goods" (that is, goods that people share together, such as the environment)", but believes that "the reach of.the capitalist market economy itself is, in many ways, extendable by an appropriate development of ethics sensitive to these concerns'<". Since the whole ecosystem embraces people and other living things, Gandhians would assert that people's economy should remain simple within the ecosystem. On the contrary, Sen perceives the environment as a form of "goods" and welcomes April-June 2010

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Gandhism 112 • GANDHI MARG further expansion of the capitalist market mechanism. As Astuko Sigihara rightly points out, Sen does "not seem to recognize the fact that commoditization of an things, driven by market mechanism, is threatening the very basis of people living in a society that has not yet been incorporated into market economy"72. Sen's attitude towards nature and people reminds us of what Schumacher thought of a "modern economist". That is, Bertrand de Jouvenel characterized the "western man" as follows, and Schumacher took this as "a fair description of the modem economist":
He does not seem to realize at all that human life is a dependent part of an ecosystem of many different forms of life. As the world is ruled from towns where men are cut off from any form of life other than human, the feeling of belonging to an ecosystem is not revived. This results in a harsh and improvident treatment of things upon which we ultimately depend, such as water and trees
73 .

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significant meaning in the 21st century globalized society, when the whole ecosystem is in danger: "Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not for every man's greed,,75. Mankind in the present generation is not only scrambling one against another for the drying up nat~ral resources, but is in fact living by depriving future generatlOns of them. The 21st century will become a crossroads in which a greater number of people will either compete more aggressively for such resources of material wealth under the name of gl?balization, or turn toward a more simple life to share them, even WIth the future generations. Development that does not destroy the ecosyst.em, ~cludingmankind, may take-to utilize Sen's conceptsa form ill which the development of the" capability" of the poor would be supported by the sense of "commitment" of the better off in the global society. In that case, however, it is, as Gandhism suggests, only by means of reducing the "needs" of the latter that we could fundamentally resolve the contradiction of "modernity".

In short, the concept of entropy allows us to see a fundamental defect of modem civilization, in which material development, based on fossil resources, will soon face a dead end, although Sen does not seem to recognize this point. He inclines to divorce poverty on the one hand from affluence on the other and strongly believes that a highly developed society should be the goal for the rest of the world to reach. Without questioning affluence of the developed society, he believes that further expansion of market mechanism would be necessary for global inequality to be redressed. This may represent a typical modem way of thinking, which often lacks "the feeling of belonging to an ecosystem" as Schumacher described. The above four points against Sen's arguments more or less reflects Gandhism, which asserts a simple society in nature with low-entropy labour-intensive technology, perceives poverty in the context of both "absolute" and "relative" deprivations and attempts to relieve the poor by means of fairly redistributing the wealth and resources that a minority currently monopolizes. After all, in order for a human society and its environment to be sustained, first "the more privileged" should spontaneously reduce their "needs". The "freedom" of the poor people should, if necessary, be expanded simultaneously, and for that purpose technology should be accessible to all or go back "to the actual size of man,,74. In that case, if we are to reverse the trend of globalization in order to survive, it is not in Sen's but in Gandhi's thought that we would be able to find its footing. Conclusion The following words by Gandhi, which Schumacher quoted, have a Volume 32 Number 1

Notes and References
1. ~ 1981 Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich pointed out that the coming dis~ppearance of certain prominent endangered species "is not just a smgle tragedy but symptomatic of a planetary catastrophe that is bearing down upon all of us", and that "humanity has become a major agent of extinction". As in that year they referred to several projections, according to which "perhaps as much as one-fifth of all !he species on Earth today will have vanished by the end of the century", it IS natural for us to assume that the rate of extinction has accelerated in the 21st century. See Ehrlich, Paul R. and Anne H. Ehrlich,

Extinction: The Causes and Consequences of the Disappearance of Species
2. (New York: Random House, 1981), p.6, pp.26-27. The term, "postmodern", here would have a fundamentally different meaning from that of postmodernism conventionally used in conjunction with Daniel Bell, [ean-Francois Lyotard and Jean Baudrillard. Bell described "post-industrial" society where computer-driven information technology industry flourished after the age of heavy industry, while Lyotard defined "postmodern" as a distrust of "rnetanarratives" such as lithe dialectics of Spirit, the her~eneutics of meaning; the emancipation of the rational or working subject, or the creation of wealth". Baudrillard asserted that it was not production but consumption that would characterize the contemporary world, a view counter-posed to a conventional Marxist view that focused their attention to production processes. If in their world views people were still motivated by self-interest and believed in materialism, such people's behaviour would probably look to





Gandhi's eyes to have remained within a bo~d~ry of "mod~r~sm". As Anthony Giddens calls postrnodernity as high-moderruty , and as Ronald Terchek the 21st century as "late mode~~", _what Bell, Lvotard and Baudrillard thought as "postmodern might b~ an advanced form of modernism. Furthermore, they mostly remamed thinking what "postmodern" world ~as, w~le Gandhi endea-:oured to construct a "postmodern" society ill pra~tice. ~ee Bell, D'~11lel, he T Coming of Post-Industrial Society: A Venture in SOCialForecasting (~~w York: Basic Books, 1973); Lyotard, Jean- Francois L~ Condiiion Postmoderne (Paris, Les editions de Minuit, 1979); Baudril:ard, Jea~, La Societe de Consommation: Ses Mythes, Ses Structures (Pans: Deno.el, 1970); Beck, Urlich, Anthony Giddens an~ S~ott Lash, RefleXl?e Modernization: Politics, Tradition and Aeeiheiics tn. the Modern Sona.' Order (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1994); Tercheck, Ro~ald J., ~andhl: Struggling for Autonomy, Lanham (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 14.

Gandhism in the Age of Globalization



15. 16..



1998). . For the topics of Gandhi's overall economIcht~ouKght, cha,~~~a movement and theory of trusteeship, see Is. 11, azuya:. e Socioeconomic Thoughts of Mahatma Candhi: As an Ongm of Alternative Development", Review of Social E~~nomy, vol.~;, no.3 (The Association of Social Economics, 2001); Ishii, Kazuya, Mahato~a Gandi no Keizaishiso: Charukaundc no Saihyoka" ("The Econo~c Thought of Mahatma Gandhi: Reevaluat~on of Charkha Movement ): Kiichiro Yagi ed., Keizaishiso (EconomIC Thoughts), vol.l1 (To~yo. Nihonkeizaihyoronsha, 2007); Ishii, Kazuya, "M~atoma .G~~ no Shakaikeizaishiso: Jutakushaseidoriron wo ch~shill tos.lute (The Socioeconomic Thought of Mahatma Gandhi: WIth a Partic~lar F~cus on his Theory of Trusteeship"), Keizair~nso (~he Economic ReVIeW), vol.154, no.1 (Kyoto University Economic SOCIety,1994). .. 4. Gandhi, Mohandas K, Hind Swamj or Indian Home Rule, 5th edItion (Madras: Ganesh & Co, 1922), p.33. 5. 6. ibid., p.34. ., lati 3 Gandhi, Mohandas K, Economic and IndustnaI Lifebal~dh!-e aHtlons, vols., V. B. Kher ed. (Ahmedabad: Navajivan Pu IS mg ouse,

18. 19. 20.

7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

1957), vo1.2, p.33. ibid., p.34. Gandhi, Mohandas K. (1922), p.l05. Gandhi, Mohandas K. (1957), vo1.2, p.24. ibid., vol.I, p.146. ibid., vo1.2, p.260. .f [un Nishikawa explained that Richardo's view1s on strdat~gI~~r avoiding a stationary economy we.re.late~ co~p e~~nte y .s and Wakefield's advocacy of impenalism, ill hIS KeIza.l~atten no Rlro~ (Theories of Economic Development), 2nd edl~;on. ~~okyo. Nipponhyoronsha, 1978), ch.2 and ch.4. For Candhi s criticism of such British political economy, see Ishii, Kazuya (2001), pp.300-01. 13. Gandhi, Mohandas K (1922), p.31.



Gandhi, Mohandas K, The Selected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, 6 vols., S Narayan ed. (Ahmedabad: Navajivan Publishing House, 1968), voL6, p. 321. Young India, August 11, 1921. Fact-Finding Committee (FFC), Report of the Fact-Finding Committee (Handloom and Mills) (Calcutta: The Manager of Publications, 1942), pp. 55-56. All India Spinners' Association (AISA), Akhil Bharat Charkha Sangh ka Itihas (History of the All India Spinners' Association), Krishnadas Gandhi ed. (Sevagram: All India Spinners' Association, 1950), p.254. Nevertheless, AlSA's activities seems to have had a certain positive effect on khadi production that existed outside the AISA, as I estimated that there existed khadi amounting to 3-6% of the total cotton cloth in India at that time (Ishii, 2007, pp.316-18). FFC (1942), p.36. AISA, Annual Report 1929 (Ahmedabad: All India Spinners' Association, 1929), p.ll. For example, see Shinoda, Takashi, "Gandi to Charuka Undo" ("Gandhi and Charkha Movement"), Masuo Tomioka and Kajimura Hideki eds., Hattentojokeizai no Kenkyu (Research on Developing Economies) (Tokyo: Sekai Shoin, 1981); Roy, Tirthankar, "Size and structure of handloom weaving in the mid-thirties", The Indian Economic and Social History Review, vol.2S, no.l, The Indian Economic and Social History Association (New Delhi: K A. Naqvi, 1988);Guha, Sumit, "The handloom industry of Central India: 1825-1950", The Indian Economic and Social History Review, vol.26, no.3, The Indian Economic and Social History Association (New Delhi: K. A. Naqvi, 1989); Harnetty, Peter "Deindustrialization Revisited: The Handloom Weavers of the Central Provinces of India, c. 1800-1947/1, Modern Asian Studies, vo1.25, no.3 (London: Cambridge University Press, 1991); Yanagisawa, Haruka "The handloom industry and its market structure: The case of Madras Presidency in the first half of the twenties century", The Indian Economic and Social History Review, vol.30, no.1, The Indian Economic and Social History Association (New Delhi: K. A. Naqvi, 1993). Manmohan P. Gandhi and Richard Gregg were among the few who would share this view. See Gandhi, Manmohan P., How to Compete with Foreign Cloth: A Study of the Position of Hand-Spinning, HandWeaving, and Cotton Mills in the Economics of Cloth-production in India (Calcutta: The Book Company Ltd, 1931); Gregg, Richard, Economic of Khaddar (Ahmedabad: Navajivan Publishing House, 1946). As total cotton cloth in 1924/25 was 4,611 million yards, corresponding to 1,165 million lbs. of yam, Gandhi estimated that, if that amount of yarn had been spun, not by mills, but by 46,600 thousand spinning-wheels each producing 25 lbs, of yarn a year, the same number of spinners would supplement their income by spinning. In addition, 3,100 thousand weavers and thousands of

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Gandhism in the Age of Globalization 116 • GANDHI MARG
others would be needed to maintain the industry, amounting in total to half the agricultural population in India (Young India, October



28, 1926). Harijan, December 10, 1938. 24. ibid. 25. For the charkha movement in greater detail, see Ishii (2007). 26. Nehru, Jawaharlal, An Autobiography (New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru 27. Memorial Fund, 1996), p. 528. Namboodiripad, E. M.S., The Mahatma and Ism (New Delhi: People's Publishing House (Private) Ltd., 1958), P: 63. 28. Gandhi, Mohandas K, The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, 100 vols. (New Delhi: The publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, The Government of India.1958-94), vo1.58, P: 219. 29. ibid., vol.71, p.28. For the theory of trusteeship in greater detail, see 30. Ishii, Kazuya (1994). Gandhi, Mohandas K, Constructive Programme: Its Meaning ad Place (Ahmedabad: Navajivan Publishing House. 1945), p. 11. 31. Tendulkar, Dinanath G., Mahatma: Life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 8 vols., reprinted edition (New Delhi: The publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, The Government 32. 33. 34. of India, 1988-90), p.1l8. Gandhi, Mohandas K (1957), vol. 2, p. 177. ibid., p.19. Jean Dreze and Amartya K Sen define "a person's capability" as "a set of functioning bundles, representing the various alternative "beings and doings" that a person can achieve with his or her economic, social, and personal characteristics" (Hunger and Public Action, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989, p.12). They then call "deprivation" a situation in which one's "entitlements" (a combination of alternative goods that one can choose), which would determine his or her "capability", are extremely restricted (ibid.,

1988-9?, voL2, p.53). "As the fla~e leapt up and enveloped the whole pyr~~d, there was a shout of JOY resounding through the air as if India s. shackles had been broken asunder" (ibid) . . A s t rong dt . e errrunation was thus expressed that India should make h cloth. er own 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. ibid., p. 162. ibid., p. 164. ibid., p. 165. ibid., pp. 169-70. Sen, Am~rtya ~., "Tagore and His India" (http://nobelprize.or nobel pnzes/literature/articles/senl 2004) p 8 ibid., p.10. -, ,..


52. 53.

ibid. Sen, A~artya K, Choice of Techniques: An Aspect of the Theory of Planned Economic Developn;ent (Oxford: Basil Blackwell,1960), pp.115-19. Sen, ~artya K, How to Judge Globalism", The American Prospect vo1.13, Issue 1, Januaryl-14, 2002, p.2. ' Sen me~tions the use of paper, the printing press, gunpowder, the ma1?netic compass and so on in China, and the emergence of the decimal system and the concept of "sine" in India (ibid pp 3-4) ibid. ., . . Sen'"Amarty~ K, "Why Human Security?", text of presentation at the International Symposium on Human Security" in Tokyo 28 July, 2000 ' (http://www.humansecurity-chs.org/ activities I outreach I Sen2000.pdf#search %22Sen%20Human%20Security°,{ 22) p 8 Sen (2002), p.4. ° , .. ibid., p.5. Sen defines "development" as "a process of expanding the real freedoms that people enjoy" (Development as Freedom New York Anchor Books, 1999, p.3). ,. Schumacher, Ernst F, Small is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if ~e.opleMattered (London: Blond & Griggs Ltd., 1973), p.19. IbId., p.29. Georgescu:Roegen, Nicholas, Energy and Economic Myth: Institutional and AnalytIcal Economic Essays (New York: Pergamon Press Inc 1976) p.7. ., , ibid., pp.7-8. Gregg (1946), p.105. ibid. Jeremy Rifkin also highly values Gandhi's charkha movement as "a low-er;tr?py value system" (Entropy: A New World View, New York The Viking Press, 1980, p.212). "Gandhian economics favors th~ coun~ry over the city, agriculture over industry, small-scale te~m:l~ues over high technology. Only this general set of economic pnonties can lead to successful Third World development" (ibid p.193). .,

54. 55. 56.

57. 58. 59.

pp.20-34). 35. Sen's concept of "commitment" is the mentality of a person "choosing an act that he believes will yield a lower level of personal welfare to him than an alternative that is also available to him" (Choice, Welfare and Measurement, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1982, p.92). 36. Sen, Amartya K, "Tagore and His India" (http://nobelprize.orgL nobel prizeslliterature/articles/sen/, 2004), p. 4. 37. 38. ibid. Rolland, Roman, Mahatma Gandhi: The Man Who Became One with the Universal Being, translated by Catherine D. Groth (New York and London: The Century Co., 1924), p.147. ibid., p. 156. ibid., p. 159. On that day, Gandhi ceremoniously set fire to 150,000 pieces of foreign cloth in Bombay. It was, according to Tendulkar, "a spectacular scene witnessed by thousands of citizens" (Tendulkar,

60. 61. 62. 63.

39. 40. 41.

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118 •
64. 65. 66. 67.

K Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement Sen, A mar ty a ., 15 16 Deprivation (Oxford: Clarendon,1981), pp. - .


ibid. ibid., p.17. dP t" . R h "Mahatma Gandhi Amartya Sen, an over y , Diwan, ames, ' F d ti Gandhi Marg vo1.20, no.4 (New Delhi: Gandhi Peace OlID a ion,


Notes and Comments


68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73.

1999)1 p.429. Sen (2000), p.B, Sen (2002)1 p.4. Ehrlich and Ehrlich (1981), p.247. Sen (1999), p.267. ." ki k t" Shizih Atsuko "Senzainoryoku-apurochl no hihante 1 en a gl ara, , ") K k hei ku ("Critical Analysis of Capability Approach r an yo- etwaga (Environmental Peace Studies) (Tokyo: Horitsubunkasha, 2005), p.55.

Gandhi and Dr Lohia Eternal Optimists
S.R. Nene

Schumacher (1973), p.54. ibid 148 I have also indicated how Schumacher 74. ~I ., of'''Small is Beautiful" based on Gandhism "=~conomics for Development and Peace: With a on the Thought of Ernst F. Schumac~er", Forum lor vo1.32, no.2, The Association of SOCIal Economlcs, 75. Schumacher (1973), p.29.


. shaped his own (Ishii, Kazuya, Par~icular Fo~us

Social Economacs,

ISHII, KAZUYA is Professor of Peace Studies at Kagawa ?nive~sity,,,~:, J His interests are in development and peace studies, wlth.t, a~.n. 1 r focuses on Gandhi's thought and child labour in Thailand. Faculty of Law, Kagawa University, Saiwai-cho 2-1, Kagawa 760-8523 Japan. Telephone Number: +81-87-832-1742 . Fax Nu~ber: +81-87-832-1771, Email: ishii@jl.kagawa-u.ac.Jp


HE TWENTIETH CENTURYpolitics belonged to the endeavours of just one man; Mahatma Gandhi. Dr Lohia was one of the thousands of Indians who were inspired by Gandhi to dedicate their lives to public service beginning with the urgent task of India's freedom from British rule. By his own admission, Dr Lohia was inspired by two men, fully by Gandhi and partly by Nehru. Dr Lohia was introduced to Gandhi by [amnalal Bajaj, his close associate, as an aspirant who wanted to join politics led by the Indian National Congress. Gandhi was also informed that Dr Lohia was well conversant with Gandhi's politics and that he had written his doctorate thesis on "The Salt Tax and Satyagraha". Gandhi was instrumental in the induction of Dr Lohia at a high level- as a member of the Congress Working Committee. Nehru was the president of the Congress in 1935. He appointed Dr Lohia as the secretary of the foreign relations department of the Congress. Within a short time after joining the Congress, Dr Lohia realized that Gandhi was more powerful than the Congress Party. However, this knowledge did not deter Dr Lohia from expressing his views to Gandhi boldly on several national and international issues, from time to time. During the five years, 1934 to 1939, there were several occasions for Gandhi to test Dr Lohia's intellectual honesty, political vision and loyalty to his own leadership. Dr Lohia's youth and integrity had impressed Gandhi much. Also Dr Lohia had smilingly endured the dressing down from Gandhi on several occasions. After all, all great men are particularly April-June 2010


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