Conversation with Sr. La. Prabhupada about Providing Jobs to Others

In the last few blogs I reviewed a book critical of the effects that the internet is having on the world’s economy (“The Internet is Not the Answer”). That book made one point super clear: the internet is having a major impact on the American and possibly the world-wide job market. In other words, the internet is another huge step in that historical progression called automation. The internet has created a new sector of the worldwide economy where a very few websites control a huge amount of business transactions. And those very few companies employ very few people relative to similarly powerful companies of the past. One can argue, of course, that this is a continuation of a trend that began in the 1700’s in England with the Industrial revolution. That argument does not minimize the negative impact of such a trend.

It’s a complex situation of course, one that is beyond the scope of a single blog or even a single book to address completely but I think it is clear enough that there are serious negative ramifications of putting average people out of jobs. If we choose to use Uber to call a cab or order something from Amazon that we could have gotten locally we are supporting such a trend. Of course we may not agree that society needs to give people jobs that allow them to earn, at least, minimally for their needs. But I must ask, how can a society be successful and healthy without having work for people to do and feel good about? Where is the money going to come to buy all these things on Amazon if only a top 1% are making any money on their production and delivery?

I came across a conversation with the leader of the American wing of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness where he (Sri Prabhupada) talks about this very thing. According to him, as you will read below, taking jobs away from people is something that very poor societal leaders (he calls them rascals) facilitate and support. In fact, Sri Prabhupada makes the point of stating the importance of employment whether or not that employment is even necessary or logical in terms of business success or not.  Wow! Do we need to re-evaluate the very basic tenets of capitalism in order to regain a healthy perspective on the importance of jobs in society? Do we need to recognize and criticize any impulse of profit through automation over employment? Here’s what Sri Prabhupada had to say about this:

Nityānanda: Without a machine how can you make sugar from the cane?

Prabhupāda: Hand machine.

Nityānanda: Hand machine?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Nityānanda: Metal?

Prabhupāda: Yes, they manufacture, hand, hand … in the sugar cane, two men. Even we can prepare hand machine by cutting the wood. They do that. We are not against machine. You can utilize machine. But we should not allow others unemployed and use machine. This should be [the] point. You can use. Use machine, that’s good, but not at the risk of keeping others unemployed. This should be noted. First thing is that everyone should be employed. If you have got many men, then why should you engage machine? These rascals, they do not know. They’re taking machine and keeping so many men unemployed. And the welfare department is paying them. They do not know how to organize society. And therefore hippies are coming out. Crime, criminals are coming out. (indistinct) The government is paying for becoming criminals and hippies and prostitutes. And how you can be happy, a society full of prostitutes, hippies, and criminals?

[An excerpt from a room conversation with devotees in New Orleans, August 1, 1975]



About Kilaya

Kilaya is a yogi who is also well-versed in the sciences. He studied physics and mathematics at college, biology and molecular biology on his own, fluid dynamics while working as a professional plumber and has always had a passion for in-depth psychology. Now he adds what he has learned from his spiritual master, Amma, and from his life as a professional astrologer to his writings in order to make discoveries that may inspire others.

Posted on July 3, 2015, in Health & Society, Spirituality & Religion and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: