The real purpose of an economic system is to guarantee to every person in its circle the fundamentals of physical existence (food, clothing, shelter) and the tools of meaningful work so that they can get on with the business of living together and working out our common destiny. This was Gandhi’s vision, among others’. We can no longer afford to ignore him in this sector any more than we can ignore his spectacular contributions to peace and security.
By the time Gandhi’s thinking on the subject matured in his classic treatise, Hind Swaraj, or Indian Home Rule (1909), he saw that our present economic system is being driven by a dangerous motive: the multiplication of wants. Because these wants are artificial — being that they created by advertising — and can never be satisfied, it creates what economist David Korten has called a “phantom economy” of fantastic financial manipulations that of course can never endure.
How dull, empiricist, positvistic, and hype-deluded seem our theories of multiple bottom lines in comparison to Gandhi's fusion of spiritual traditions and economic realities. "Trusteeship" and nonviolence to the environment - where in MBA language are these affirmations expressed? Creating Shared Value -- all that means when MBAs say it, is that they decide who gets what. When will our best and brightest wake up? Only when they shut their management textbooks, and still the dream of profit and control in their own hearts. Virtue and wisdom lie entirely elsewhere, in other canons, and other skills. An economy based on phantasmal wants, false arts of advertising, and the worship of growth, gain, and power is shared something. But it is not shared value. It is deathliness coming on at an ever-accelerated rate, as does tuberculosis, once called, consumption.
But enough negativity. Of course there are solutions! And we do have a Strategic Plan with Measurable Outcomes. Even as we speak, The Wealth Bondage Shared Valuation Creation Division is deploying Shared Value Creation Teams worldwide. I will be shipping out with the 82 Airborne to provide Shock, Freedom, and Awe, as the gunships drop in the MBAs behind the Marines. My role is to secure the strategic oil reserves as the museums are looted. On balance this shares More Value than it destroys, and shares them with the right people too. In Shared Value Creation stuff happens. It can't be helped. Well, I have my orders. Onward Shared Value Creators. Gandhi must go. He hates us for our Freedoms!