Statistics on billionaires have just been released by Forbes magazine. Not only has the number of billionaires increased (to 1,826), but their wealth has also increased. This is happening when most of the world is going through an economic crisis. The wages of the working people have decreased in real terms, and the benefits given to the people are either being reduced or are taken back entirely.
It is obvious that the economic-only globalization has increased and continues to widen the gap between the haves and have-nots. The top 1% will soon own more than 50% of the world’s wealth. This means that 99% of the world’s population only owns 49% or less of the world’s wealth.
The present globalization has two distinct features. First, it lacks a true global perspective. Second, it is economic-only globalization and completely lacks any ethical aspect. The true nature of the present globalization has now been exposed. It only serves the rich and the powerful and shows absolutely no concern for the vast majority of the people. It is accumulating wealth and resources in the hands of the few and completely deprives the vast majority of these.
The present globalization is only for capital and not for human beings. It is trying to break all of the barriers to the free movement of capital. The western capitalists, on one hand, are forcing other countries to break all national barriers to the inflow of their capital; and on the other hand, they are making immigration rules stricter. This clearly proves that this globalization is for capital only and is not for human beings. The true colors of the present globalization and western capitalists now stand completely exposed.
The western capitalists tried to sell globalization as something new and novel. However, this was just like putting an old wine into a new bottle. This globalization is the highest stage of capitalism. Lenin called imperialism the highest stage of capitalism. I want to be remembered as someone who said that this globalization is the highest stage of imperialism. So far, this globalization has only served the interests of the rich and powerful, the corporate class. The growing number of billionaires and their increasing assets clearly prove this point. For producing one billionaire, millions are pushed to a life of deprivation and suffering.
The western capitalists have neither any respect for the people nor for the planet earth. For them, both are just resources which can be exploited for increasing their profit. For them, human existence is purely physical and mechanical. There is no real difference between a human being and a robot. If they can make a robot which can generate more profit than a human being, then they will happily trade all human beings for robots. However, the western capitalists feel that it is more profitable for them to dehumanize the existing human beings rather than try to replace them with robots. They are especially interested in raising a new generation of digitalized human beings.
The new generation is hooked to computers and has very limited interaction with other human beings. These young people follow more digital commands rather than having a deep understanding of a language. This digitalized human being is close to a robot. These digitalized human beings will help to increase the number of billionaires and their wealth without questioning whether this is the right thing to do or not. Such discretionary intellect can only develop when people have a meaningful interaction with other people. Our computerized and digitalized new generation is hooked to their computers and other gadgets. They do not have any time for a real social interaction.
The question of fairness of distribution of wealth and resources is an ethical question. However, the present globalization lacks an ethical aspect. Similarly, to think about the earth and welfare of the people is only possible when there is a global perspective. The present globalization does not have a global perspective. This only serves the interests of the rich, the powerful, and the corporate class. On one hand, it has started the process of dehumanization of the people. On the other hand, it has done tremendous damage to the earth. By over-exploiting earth’s resources, it has done unparalleled damage to the environment. In the long run, the western capitalists are only hastening their own demise. They will be caught in their own mess and will be unable to come out of this. I feel that the present world order, dominated by the western capitalists, cannot last in its present form beyond the year 2050. Therefore, we need an alternative model of development to the present western capitalist model.
We need an alternate model of development which can impart a global perspective and an ethical aspect to the present globalization. I feel that Sri Guru Granth Sahib has that alternate model of development. However, most of the world is not yet aware of this truth. We have to try to make the people aware about these facts that Sri Guru Granth Sahib is a source of universal human values rather than just a holy book of the Sikhs. Sikhs have a moral obligation to tell other people that the message of Sri Guru Granth Sahib is not only for the Sikhs, but it is for all humanity.