Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Capitalism in Hinduism

Here is another plagiarized post.... for the simple reason that... I'm continually searching for positive spins on Capitalism and Mr. Nadkarni has given a credible theological  perspective

 Capitalist within


   On DHANTERAS wealth is worshipped. All that gold, silver and precious stuff is to be laid out, to entice the Goddess of Wealth to shower greater prosperity on the house as she supposedly flits in and out at night during the festival. 

Strange as it may seem, the ‘owl avatar’ of the Goddess is singled out for worship during Dhanteras along with traditional Lakshmi-puja.
She is the goddess who rides the great white owl (Ullukavahini),
which also signifies silent transience of wealth. The Goddess’s bird of the night also symbolises sleepless wisdom; it also accompanies the Goddess Athena in western tradition.
No one knows the transient, or some would say fickle, aspect of wealth as its devotees. In his recent study of capitalism, American Colossus, H W Brands highlights, for example, “the terrifying difficulty of remaining at the top once one has arrived”. The famous tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt was said to be a pucca ‘water man’; he was entirely devoted to the steamship even as railroads “threatened to relegate river transport to the status of the fax”.
Vanderbilt’s antipathy to trains was reported to be so deep that he chose to refer to them “as things that go on land” instead of naming them! But he couldn’t run away from looming obsolescence of river ways: he recovered his acquisitive wits just in time to grab the shares of the New York & Harlem Railroad in the 1860s and was thus able to delay the decline of his great fortune, albeit only by a few decades.
The one lesson that stands out from studies of wealth worshipping votaries of Mammon is that of capitalism as a force of creative destruction, a notion first introduced by the German sociologist Werner Sombart and later popularised by the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter. He used the term to describe the process of transformation
that accompanies radical innovation. To less savvy eyes, this can truly seem to be as whimsical or magical as the entry of the Goddess’s great white owl!
In the vision of capitalism evoked by Schumpeter, what sustains long-term economic growth is the entry of that economical creature, the entrepreneur, even as it destroyed the value of established companies and labourers that enjoyed older monopolistic advantage.
So on Dhanteras, we ought to worship the ‘entrepreneur within’ that sees every problem as an opportunity; even as he leverages catastrophes into capital.  

From The Cosmic Uplink in The Economic Times


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