The debate between individualism and collectivism lies at the heart of all modern political debates, but it is obvious that we could not live without both. If everyone acted individualistically, society—which hinges on cooperation—could not exist; there could be no common agreement on social laws that aim for the greater collective good over (sometimes) individual good. If on the other hand we prioritized the collective good over individual good, there would be no incentive in the individuals to act out of their own agency, resulting in the relinquishment of individual responsibilities. What is the right balance between individualism and collectivism? This question hinges on the problem that these two ideas seem to be fundamentally contradictory and this post hopes to show that they are not.
Free market economics is about competition between businesses, and it operates under the assumptions of a closed system in which wealth can be redistributed, but the total wealth must remain constant. Capitalism is the contrary idea that the economy is an open system in which wealth can be infused, in order to create a net growth for the economy. The wealth infusion is carried out by the wealthy using a business model that is stripped of risks, and the lender is certain to gain wealth over time, making the rich get richer and the poor poorer. This post discusses how free markets are different from capitalism; in the former, wealth is constant although it can be redistributed by competition, but in the latter an illusion of growth through borrowing is perpetuated to surreptitiously take wealth from the borrower. The post also discusses the Vedic economic system and how it reconciles economic growth with altruism, contrary to the modern economic system.
The world around us is filled with dualities or oppositions. There are two main resolutions of this duality as we have seen earlier—(1) finding the relation between the opposing ideas and the next “higher level” idea from which these oppositions were created, and (2) finding a quantitative balance between the opposing ideas at the “same level” such that the opposing ideas become mirror images of each other. And yet, for the most part in modern society, we don’t see either of these approaches being applied. We rather see one of the following two attempts: (1) destroy one side of the opposition to have the other side win, or (2) destroy both sides of the opposition and therefore diversity itself. In a world produced through duality and oppositions, destroying any side effectively destroys both sides, so the two solutions widely employed have the same result. This post discusses the origins of Dialectical Materialism which recognized opposites as the basis of material nature, and how this idea must be enhanced to deal with oppositions.