Before the Industrial Revolution, which started in England around the beginning of the 18th Century, and then spread to France, then Germany, and then all over the world, there were feudal agricultural societies in most parts of the world.
In feudal societies the methods and tools of economic production were so backward and primitive that very little wealth could be generated by them. In much of Asia the bullock or buffalo, and in Europe the horse, was used for tilling the land (there were no tractors in those days). Consequently so little wealth was generated by the feudal method of production that only a handful of people (kings, aristocrats, etc) could be rich, while the remaining people had to live in abject poverty and ignorance. When the cake is small very few people can eat it.
This situation has drastically changed after the Industrial Revolution. Now a unique situation has developed in world history, and that is that now no one in the world need be poor. This is because modern industry is so powerful and so big that now enough wealth can be created to give everyone in the world a decent life. If society is organized on scientific lines, everyone can get jobs, healthcare, education, housing, etc and no one need be poor.
This being the unique situation which has been created in world history, thanks to the Industrial Revolution, people all over the world are demanding that they be given decent lives. However, the truth is that 75-80% people of the world are still poor.
We may take the case of India.
Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen has termed India a disaster zone in which pockets of California exist amidst a sea of sub-Saharan Africa, where hundreds of millions of lives are crushed by lack of food, health, education, employment, and justice. Arundhati Roy has said that the upper and middle classes of India are seceding from the rest of the country, ” they are fighting for the right to merge with the world’s elite somewhere up there in the stratosphere”.
Similar is the situation in other underdeveloped countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, where 75-80% of the people of the world live.
This being the frightening scenario, what is the solution ?
Before answering this, we must understand the world scenario.
I have explained it in the video and the articles below :
As explained therein, this world is really two worlds (1) the world of the developed countries, e.g. North America, Europe, Japan, Australia, Russia and also China, and (2) the world of the underdeveloped countries, which include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries, as well as other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
There is a secret, unwritten rule among developed countries that underdeveloped countries must not be allowed to become developed countries. This is because underdeveloped countries have cheap labour, and the cost of labour is a big chunk of the total cost of production. Countries with cheap labour have a distinct advantage over countries with expensive labour ( provided they build up a massive industrial base ), since they can sell their goods at a cheaper price, and thus undersell the latter.
For instance, China was earlier a poor, underdeveloped country, with 95% of its people living in abject poverty. But after its Revolution in 1949, the leaders who came to power built up a massive industrial base in China. That massive industrial base, coupled with the cheap labour available in China, has enabled the Chinese to undersell the whole world in consumer goods ( and even in some other goods ). Western supermarkets are packed with Chinese goods, which often sell at half the price at which Western manufacturers can sell ( because Western labour is expensive ).
Labour in India is even cheaper than Chinese labour. So if India builds up a massive industrial base, for which it has all the potential ( as it has thousands of bright scientists, engineers and technicians, as well as immense natural resources ), what will happen to the industries of the developed countries? Many of them will collapse, as they will not be able to face the competition of Indian industries, throwing millions of people out of their jobs.
Will the developed countries permit this? No, they will not and will oppose it tooth and nail.
And how do they prevent it? They do it by polarising society through their agents, spreading hatred between communities, and making Indians fight each other in the name of religion, caste, language and race. The political leaders of underdeveloped countries are really puppets of the developed countries, as I have explained in my article ’The puppets and the puppeteer’ (see the link above), and will do the bidding of their foreign masters.
But underdeveloped countries must become developed and highly industrialised if they wish to escape from massive poverty, massive unemployment, appalling level of child malnutrition, skyrocketing prices, lack of proper healthcare and good education for the masses, etc.
So the interest of the developed countries directly conflicts with the interest of the underdeveloped countries.
What then is the way out ?
The way out is for people of underdeveloped countries to wage mighty united historical struggles led by modern minded leaders, which will be arduous, protracted, and in which tremendous sacrifices will have to be made, and create a political and social order under which there will be rapid industrialisation, so that people in these countries enjoy a high standard of living and decent lives. There is no other way.
Poverty is the worst thing in life. It destroys all human rights, and degrades human beings almost to the level of an animal, seeking bare survival and little else, and prevents humans from developing their full potential.
Nobody respects the poor. When China was a poor, semi colonial country, the Westerners called the Chinese a ‘ yellow race ‘ and looted and exploited it. Today China is a powerful, highly industrialized country, and now nobody dare call the Chinese ‘ yellow ‘.
So the 21st century will be characterised as the century in which these struggles by poor people in the world will be fought out to a conclusion, and result in creating societies everywhere where people get just and decent lives, and a high standard of living