Latasinha's Weblog

Social and political Values and Systems in India.

Wave of ‘socialism’

 It is said that, “An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not of an idea, whose time has come”, and “Today’s theory and socio-political structures could be tomorrow’s big mistakes”. Both these, sayings fit well with the ideology of “Socialism” based on “social-justice”.

Sixteenth century onwards came an era of European expansion, conquest, colonization and Empire-building. Many European States emerged as great imperial powers. Areas were labelled as Middle-east or Far-east depending on its distance from Europe, which became the Centre point of all political activities. Nations were called as British India, Dutch East Indies, French Indo China so on and so forth.

The principle of “Laissez faire” was the guiding principle of governance till 19th century. During 19th century, it led some nations through success after success in the economic field. USA became world’s largest economy. Australia achieved one of the highest per capita income rate.

World War-I was the turning point. French Revolution, Bolshevik Revolution, Industrial Revolution and Contemporary developments had a great impact in widening the scope of State activities. Poverty and misery, which were earlier accepted as the lot of masses, are no longer regarded as inevitable. Millions of people started demanding, with persisting insistence, better standard of living, better housing, better education and better medical facilities. The masses started wishing that they themselves should be benefited a much as possible, from the resources of their nation.

Some inherent weaknesses of capitalist system, the after-effects of war, the great economic depression of 1929 and mass awakening had turned the world opinion in favor of national governments to play the role of a guardian in order to protect its citizens from the shocks of every day life. It led some countries to turn into totalitarian regimes. The first one to opt for totalitarian regime was Soviet Russia. Italy became a fascist nation and Nazism grew in Germany.

By the World War-II, wave of “welfare state”, “principle of social-justice” and “socialism” swept the entire world. The main aim of initiating and nurturing this concept was to bring about betterment to the lots of weaker section of society by building up a rapidly expanding and technologically progressive economy. The need to emancipate the under-privileged from age-old discrimination/sufferings and to bring them into the mainstream of the nation was felt.

 At that time, ‘socialism’ or ‘social-justice’ not only offered a political or economic ideology, but also a radical philosophical alternative, which assured to create a new integrated, classless egalitarian society, free of discrimination and inequality of race, sex, power, position or wealth. It promised to distribute equitably social, material and political resources of the nation.

It believed in planned development for removing poverty and leading the nation to prosperity. The desire of public to go forward quickly and to establish a new economic order, in which common people could have better deal, gave rise to the concept of `Welfare State’ and ‘Developmental Administration’. The former being the objective and the later the machinery to achieve it.

It aimed at the upliftment of poor, the provision of basic necessities to all irrespective of their caste or creed, the voluntary abdication of riches and power – that these riches brings and establishment of a productive, vigorous and creative political and social life. In short its objective was a massive attack on five major evils of society – want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness. Initially it tried to improve the quality of life of its masses by assuming the responsibility of its citizens from `womb to tomb’. It tried to bring about `social, political and economic justice’. However, very soon somehow everything got derailed.


July 1, 2009 - Posted by | General | ,


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