17th September 2011
A super-confused Hindu swami’s view on “Vedantic socialism”
I've never come across a more confused "Swami"!
To me it is increasingly clear that Hindu thought is 100% compatible with capitalism, not socialism. Anyone who tries to prove otherwise is undertaking a wild-goose chase.
Key extracts, with my comments indented
First of all as to the name, Socialism, Rama would prefer to call it Individualism.
[Sanjeev: So far so good]
The word Socialism gives prominence to the idea of the rule of society, but Rama says the right spirit of Truth is to assert the supremacy of the individual against all the world, all the universe. Then there is no worry, no anxiety. This is what Rama calls Individualism, let people call it Socialism, if they wish.
[Sanjeev: that's where this Swami goes so wrong! You can't mix up names of two extremely contradictory things]
This is Vedantic teaching from the stand – point of the individual.
We see again that the end of so called Socialism, being simply to bring down Capitalism, is so far identical with the end of the Vedanta, which means simply to strip you of all sense of possession, and to cast to the winds all sense of property, all selfish possession. That is the Vedanta and that is Socialism. The ends agree.
[Sanjeev: This is very incorrect. Capitalism DOES NOT require anyone to have possessions (or a sense of possessions). It leaves you free to choose whether you want possessions or not. The main thing is CHOICE.]
[Sanjeev: Socialism DOES NOT preach an end to the "regard for any outside possessions" – it preaches EQUALITY of possessions. Big difference in these two ideas. This Swami is super-ignorant. And by no means does socialism seek a situation of "no deference". This article was written in the 1890s, I'm now informed, so he wouldn't have known about Stalin and Nehru. But the socialists did not ever follow a society without "deference".].
[Sanjeev: Nowhere does socialism want man to "GIVE UP" the sense of possessions! What is this "swami" talking about! Socialism is about ensuring equality of possessions. The socialists thought that it was going to be a quicker way to increase wealth if everyone had equality of wealth as well. They were not preaching poverty!]
[Sanjeev: This swami was not born then, but millions of people were to be killed in ocialist USSR/China/N.Korea – not a sign of "love"]
[Sanjeev: This Swami first says that Rama talks about individualism. Ram rajya was NOT the land of poverty but of prosperity. India takes pride that in its past it was the "golden sparrow" of the world. And here we have a "learned" Swami talking about total renunciation – and denial of individual property – as the main plank of Hinduism. I'm done with this man. Nothing to add. Vedantic socialism is simply not a tenable concept. It not only doesn't understand socialism as a concept, it also doesn't understand the Vedanta.]