Economics Of Mahavira ► 05 ► [05.02] Environment and Economics - Individual Interest vs. Social Interest

Posted: 22.02.2006


There is no doubt that the main objective of Modern Economics has been that everybody gets food, clothing, and a house. Nobody remains hungry and without means for the basic physical needs. Towards this end, capitalism found out an inspiring principle - man is a selfish being. He does things as he is inspired by self-interest. Communism found another inspiring principle man is a social being. Society is an inspiration for him.

Both these are one-sided views. It is true that man is selfish, but he is not just selfish, he is also social. It is true that man is faithful to the society, but he is not only faithful to the society, he is selfish as well.

If both these principles were harmonized, then it would give rise to a new Economic thought. Under that configuration, there would be motivation for self-interest but there will also be social inspiration. In other words, there has to be an amalgam of both, and that amalgam would provide the solution of the present-day problems.

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