It would be funny if it were not an irony to see people who make their living off comfortable jobs hold leftist views. How does one explain that many of our corporate warriors who earn capitalist salaries hold leftist views? This also includes trusts and NGOs which are floated with capitalist earnings yet whose owners evangelize a leftist vision.
Do I hear you say, what is wrong with that? Practically everything.
Any corporate job is based on a simple premise. Merit. There is nothing other than merit that gets you there. In a way it reflects the market they serve in. The products and services they sell are not sold or bought for any other reason than the fact that they serve their target market in terms of price or service.
Yes, you will be tempted to jump in saying that companies and product markets are hotbeds of caste and religion and discrimination. Find out how many purchased their last car or washing power or mobile phone or software based on caste or religion. Also find out how many people are retained in companies only due their last names. Quite a few, you may say. Unfortunately, any company that prefers this mode will find itself out distanced by the competitor who follows merit because the marketplace is unforgiving.
Case in point, government enterprises, where political patronage triumphs merit are inevitably behind their private peers. Sure, some exceptions remain but they are mostly in monopolistic areas.
In a nutshell, this is what drives capitalism. Capitalism is all about people and markets. Socialism (and leftism) on the other hand is an enforced order where the government (an all-knowing god) decides what the minions deserve and proceed to serve this fare to them over 5 year plans that inevitably fail.
In an utopia, this will work, but in any society it wont. Because the natural scheme of any society is progress and evolution. Even in religions where equality is claimed, discrimination is rampant. You might as well be open about it and let people progress. And even in socialist countries, there is a vast difference in the quality of life of leaders, important cats paws and the common folks. Ask yourself who is working on making life better? And who should? People or planners? Or both?
And this where it all falls in place. When you lead a life of capitalism - which is all about you having a job or running your own business in a market - it is fairly impossible for you to substantiate leftism - while you quaff mineral water and eat at fancy (or ordinary) restaurants. When you head a trust that makes its money off corporate donations - please do not go out and diss the corporates for the work they do especially at capitalistic cocktail parties and capitalist conferences (airfare paid by capitalists, please note).
Look closely and you will find that the corporate organization is far better organized and set up than your average political party or NGO or trust. The corporates shun nepotism unlike your dynastic political parties. Also, note that the corporate is structured as an 'going concern' whereas the others usually decline or die once their leaders decline.
So, if you are still a leftist, please give up your corporate job, shun corporate and business donations and wear unbranded clothes, go to government hospitals and eat dal chawal (bought from PDS stores, preferably). Beyond that your argument is about as valid as a certain activist who lives in a house built on encroached land while arguing for tribal rights!
You can follow the author @ecophilo. You can read more of his views on his blog.
R C College, Basaveshwara Circle, Palace Road, Bangalore - 56000119Apr2013 ; 1800hrs
Jnana Jyothi Auditorium, Central College Campus, Palace Road, Bengaluru20Jan2013 ; 2pm-6pm
At RBANMS Grounds, Near Ulsoor lake, Ulsoor, Bengaluru16 December 2012 | 4:25 pm