A New World Order
The inherent flaws of capitalism have been exposed with the outbreak of Covid-19. A world driven by profitability has not only put the lives of the people in danger, but also damaged our beautiful planet. It has simply overlooked basic human values and has made human beings run after materialistic gains beyond anything else. Capitalism has put more stress on materialism, belittling the importance of equality. In today’s world, acquiring wealth has become top most priority, not knowledge. People’s disenchantment with capitalism was evident in a recent survey conducted by German online portal Statista, which was released by World Economic Forum on Twitter. In that survey, 74 per cent respondents from India rejected capitalism, followed by countries such as China (69%) and France (63%). In Germany, UK, USA and Canada, this percentage was within the 47 to 55 per cent range.
The day growth and profitability became synonyms, the world has virtually been divided in to two. The severity of the divide can be judged by the annual presentation of Oxfam International. The presentation showed that worldwide 2153 billionaires have more wealth than 60 per cent of the global population put together. The scenario in India is no different. In our country, the richest one per cent has four times more wealth than the combined wealth of the bottom 70 per cent. Contrary to popular belief, capitalism and profitability has actually made the people poorer as it creates a false sense of happiness and wealth. This is why scenes such as people lining up before a food bank under giant-sized hoardings of big companies projecting a picture perfect world, are not rare these days. Already, demands are being raised by those industrial giants for bailouts from the present situation so that they can carry on with their activities. But not enough voices are being heard in favour of the downtrodden, who have lost their livelihoods in the wake of the pandemic. Being at the receiving end, they need all necessary support both from the society and the government. But so far what they have received is mere lip service. Such actions bring to light, the reality that we are living in a world which has enough resources to make arms, but nothing for the welfare of the poor. This disparity should be erased at the earliest. In hindsight, Covid-19 has actually provided us the opportunity to do so. The message is loud and clear.
Concentrate on the welfare of the people, rather than on building nuclear capability. Spend more on the environment to negate the threat of global warming, instead of producing all conquering missile systems. Provide healthcare for all; don’t limit it to a few wealthy persons. It is time to build an order which will be driven by principles of collective will and equal justice. We should not forget that the pandemic outbreak has created a new playing field, it has proven that no one is safe, be it the rich or the poor, when we are hit by such a catastrophe. We have to break the divide between the current social classes and work together, stronger than ever before. The bond must be able to withstand the pressure of caste, creed, religion, wealth and gender with equal ease. Does capitalism fit in this new world order?