Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Personal well being, work & life-style, medicine, philosophy of modern medical practices, business, profit, science, research, scientists, thought leaders, advertisement campaigns, TRUTH vs LIES and Western civilizational values are reflected in the article given below. That the Western Civilization is Satanic (Aasuri) could be discerned without doubt.
“A plant poison becomes a money-spinner
PROFESSOR B.M. HEGDE (The Hindu,Sunday, Nov 17, 2013)
“The most exquisite pleasure in the practice of medicine comes from nudging a layman in the direction of terror, then bringing him back to safety again.” — Kurt Vonnegut.
China has a valley in the north where the environment is very hostile — old, dark and lonely. Small plants live there very precariously. Red yeast rice is a very small plant there which has so many enemies locally as they find the rice tasty. Nature equips all of us, including red yeast rice plants, with tricks to live in spite of the hostile atmosphere. This rice produces a poison, lovastatin, which kills all foolish predators.
One researcher from the U.S. government found this poison and took it back home for further study. But it proved to be pretty useless from the U.S. Army’s point of view. However, this poison was seen to be blocking an important enzyme known as the HMG-CoA reductase. This enzyme is responsible for cholesterol production in the liver. The pharma lobby found out that, lovastatin, in smaller doses, blocks cholesterol production in our liver.
By this time cholesterol, the main lifeline of our existence, was already made into a demon needing to be killed at any cost. Many of you might not know that it was a lie. But we believe in telling lies to people. Truth telling and medicine just do not go together. Those of you who want to know the truth should visit the site: www.thincs.org
The medical world did not have a good looking, tasty poison to bring down the cholesterol our own liver keeps producing for our good. “Right” thinking people in the pharma lobby must have had a brilliant idea. Why not use the Chinese red yeast rice plant poison to block the liver’s cholesterol factory?
The other leading drug that we had at that time was cholestyramine, sand like powder, which had to be taken three times a day in two large tablespoons. A majority of patients used to vomit and stop taking the medicine. The business was not too good in that area. The plant poison came in handy at that time.
Soon we created enough “evidence” to show that lovastatin reduces the cholesterol level in the blood report effectively. The FDA, in its inimitable style, approved this drug for lowering cholesterol. Industry sponsored “thought leaders” soon got into action to have several studies done to show how good this drug was and went round the world delivering talks based on company produced “science” and succeeded in convincing the gullible medical world about the virtues of this red yeast rice poison.
Special conferences were organised lavishly where the invited “scientists” were feasted and entertained to boost sales and it was shown that the drug company profits went up exponentially to make shareholders happy. The company executives laughed their way to their banks!
To give the reader the taste of one such conference on fat hypothesis in disease we will discuss that (in)famous Transatlantic Conference on Cholesterol, presided over by the famous Scottish scientist, Sir Michael Oliver, Professor of Cardiology at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh and for a term President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and an FRS himself. He was a no-nonsense scientist and the conference ended in total disagreement about the role fat plays in vascular disease!
While on his flight back over the Atlantic, Sir Michael was reading The New York Times, in which there was a report on that conference with a title: Consensus Conference on Cholesterol with his name mentioned. He was surprised and equally enraged at the blatant lie. When he landed in Edinburgh, he wrote an article in the Lancet titled Consensus or non-senses Conference on cholesterol ? There was a long-drawn debate raging for a long time after. This will give you an idea how clouded the area is.
Now we have enough and more evidence to show how dangerous this red yeast rice poison is for the human body. While it definitely reduces the blood report of the fat profile, there is still no evidence that it reduces the outcome of premature death. In fact, we have evidence to show that in the long-run these drugs increase total mortality. In medical research, patient death is of no consequence. It is only a statistic! How does this happen? The enzyme HMG-CoA reductase blocks many other routes in the liver, the most important being production of Mevalonic acid, a vital part of good health and longevity.
There are rare births with congenital mevalonic acid deficiency. The child looks like an old man at one year and dies by the age of 2-3! If a doctor has seen a child with that disease, she/he will never prescribe this poison to any patient.
One other salient feature needs to be mentioned here. The cell wall in our body is made up of cholesterol. The wall has to be strong to be hydrophobic. Low cholesterol levels make cell walls weak, inviting cell necrosis, something that abets cancer growth!
Although the jury is still out on this poison, there is enough and more evidence to show that the red rice plant had this very powerful weapon to survive in that extremely hostile terrain in the cold valley of North China. I dare not prescribe that unless it is a terminal illness.
“… that statins are a widespread conspiracy aimed at fleecing the public and ruining their health. In fact, the majority of studies show that men, just like women, die more from heart disease if they have low cholesterol levels. And yet doctors are busy prescribing cholesterol-lowering medication to millions of men around the world.” — Campbell-McBride
( The writer is a cardiologist and former Vice-Chancellor, Manipal University. Email:hegdebm @gmail.com )
Now we have more evidence to show how dangerous the Chinese red yeast rice poison is for humans. While it definitely reduces the blood report of the fat profile, there is no evidence that it reduces the outcome of premature death”
Friday, November 15, 2013
I often come across Mr Sanjit during my morning walks. He is a fresh MBA, having completed his course during the 2011-2013 academic years from SRM Univ campus within the city. He had attended campus interviews, and he claims that he got a job offer from a insurance company, but did not join. He informs that out of the total students in his class, almost 50% got offer letters through campus interviews/selection. Within three to four months of joining ,except for three or four, all others were again in the job market trying their luck. The placements through campus selection were in sales , and the employers were marketing companies associated with banks and insurance companies. The target fixed for the first month was Rs.3 lakhs. This almost all achieved , courtesy relatives and friends. The second month the target was lowered to Rs. 2 lakhs. None could achieve this target, and the employers refused salary for the new recruits. After being in the job for one more month without pay, all left the job . Sanjit has teamed up with his uncle, and is trying to sell building materials, to bulk users like flat promoters. His uncle is already in the building hardware business and owns one such shop within the city.
Suppose if we do a ABC analysis of clinched Business Deals. The business deals of high value in the A category is dealt at the highest level involving ministers (politicians), capitalists, bureaucrats and rich bankers. The winner is usually the one paying the highest bribes and other entertainments and adept at keeping the ‘transactions’ highly confidential. Then comes the B category. This will be shared by the close relatives of ministers and top bureaucrats, crony capitalists, businessmen with the help of party officials in the lower rungs of the hierarchy etc. This business is mostly through contacts and networks. Here also bribes, kick-backs and other favors will be the main consideration, but the scale will be a bit lower. The business in the C category is left for the underdogs to pounce upon. These days this class is drawn from the lot of fresh MBA’s and other graduates comprising the lowest level, and middle-level managers ,miserable beings who have to break their heads and slog it out, to squeeze out that last drop from the market. In such situations they may dearly long for their fore-fathers occupation, ie farming or other such traditional calling. The C category business act, is mostly a façade put up by many businesses. It helps in turning black into white money.(Money laundering)
The above business scenario happening worldwide , is corroborated by a news report in today’s (15/11/2013) The Hindu, which fully describes or rather exposes the manner in which big international business deals are clinched. If it is happening in China, then India will also not be insular to such business practices. That in part explains the huge funds in the hands of politicians of all hues. Eg. Take the case of the two Volvo buses which caught fire, one yesterday and the other a fortnight ago on the Bangalore –Mumbai & Bangalore-Hyderabad route respectively. Regarding the Mumbai bound bus quote from the Hindu about ownership “The bus belonging to National Travels, owned by a former Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) legislator B.Z. Zameer Ahmed, had left Bangalore around 8 p.m. on Wednesday.” The Hindu quote regarding the ownership of Bangalore-Hybd bus “Even as the bus accident on the National Highway near Kothakota in Mahabubnagar district stunned people, a preliminary investigation has revealed that the bus was registered in the name of J.C. Uma Reddy, a close relative of former Minister J.C. Diwakar Reddy.” The way to entrepreneurship is through politics. See (1) http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/7-die-as-bus-hits-median-and-bursts-into-flames/article5353266.ece (2)http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/bus-registered-in-the-name-of-diwakar-roadlines/article5299677.ece?ref=relatedNews
NYT: JPMorgan gave ‘lucrative contract’ to Wen’s daughter
United States banking giant JPMorgan Chase secretly hired the daughter of former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, paying her consulting firm $1.8 million (Rs. 11.38 crore) over two years as the bank looked to expand its interests in China, according to a Thursday report by The New York Times .
The newspaper said the bank had agreed a lucrative $ 75,000-a-month contract with a little-known Beijing consulting firm, Fullmark Consultants, which comprised only two employees — Wen Ruchun, the then Premier’s daughter, and a friend.
The NYT report said authorities in the U.S. were looking into JPMorgan’s relations with Ms. Wen “as part of a wider bribery investigation into whether the bank swapped contracts and jobs for business deals with state-owned Chinese companies”.
The report suggested that the U.S. bank courted Ms. Wen for her connections at a time when her father — who served as Premier between 2003 and 2013 — served as the top official in charge of economic and regulatory affairs.
Its efforts, the NYT suggested, paid off: in one instance, Ms. Wen’s firm, Fullmark, claimed in a confidential letter that it had secured a lucrative deal for the U.S. company with the government-run China Railway Group.
A number of foreign investment banks and private equity firms have, over the past decade, courted the children of influential Communist Party leaders — known in China as “princelings” — to further their connections — and business interests — in the country.
The amassing of wealth by Party princelings has emerged as a source of increasing resentment in China, prompting, in recent months, a campaign by dozens of activists calling on officials to disclose the assets of their families, as well as renewed calls from economists to reform influential and opaque State-owned enterprises.
The NYT , in a separate investigation in 2012, reported that the family of the former Premier had amassed a fortune in excess of $ 2 billion, hidden through a web of investment vehicles.
Ms. Wen, the newspaper said, had adopted an alias — she went by the name Lily Chang in her business dealings — to avoid attention.While the newspaper said it did not discover anything illegal in Ms. Wen’s dealings with JPMorgan, its findings are certain to raise difficult questions both for the bank and for the Chinese leadership.
The NYT reported that the bank had also held stakes in a private equity firm co-founded by Mr. Wen Jiabao’s son, Wen Yunsong, and owned nearly $ 1 billion worth of shares in the Ping An insurance company — one of China’s biggest firms — where the Wen family held a stake, through a murky web of investment vehicles, that was valued at more than $ 2 billion in 2007, according to the newspaper’s 2012 investigation.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Even when the poor man’s house is on fire, the so-called American elites want to make money out of such events. For no fault of theirs, the poor of the world, especially those in developing countries has to pay dearly for the all destroying fire, fanned out of control, by the rich industrialized nations. In fact the rich nations are trying to instill a sense of guilt in the poor by pointing to their share towards global warming. The rich nations bigoted ‘scientific research’ has manufactured the conclusion that ‘barbaric home-cooking’ using firewood and other locally available fuel like dried cow-dung and decay of agricultural waste in farm lands are two other major causes for global warming. It is very unfortunate that a Indian who shared a Nobel Prize, ie Rajendra K Pachouri, is still the chairman of a committee which is behind such a campaign. Well, he has to return the favour conferred on him by way of the Nobel Prize.
American business honcho’s and American policy makers are unconscionable rascals. To be sure about this, kindly read the following news report in today’s (15/11/2013) The Hindu. I had already highlighted America’s business interests linked to climate change in my blog posted on 08/11/2013 http://msradha.blogspot.in/2013/11/china-should-lend-ear-to-indians.html
The full text of today’s news report is copied here :-
U.S. to oppose mechanism to fund climate change adaptation in poor nations
Internal briefing paper accessed by The Hindu shows U.S. wants to promote its tech firms
In an internal briefing paper prepared for its diplomats across the world before the Warsaw climate negotiations, which The Hindu accessed, the U.S. has opposed the setting up of a separate mechanism on ‘loss and damage’. It has also pushed primarily for the role of private investments and finance to enable the poor countries to adapt to climate change.
The U.S., according to the paper, wants a 2015 climate agreement where no country is forced to take higher emission reduction pledges than the ones they initially volunteer. It has informed its diplomats to keep pushing the line with other countries that the U.S. was doing enough domestically on the climate change front and these were priorities for President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.
The cabled message, drafted by senior state department officials, sets not only the content for what is to be done internally by the U.S. delegation at the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) but also how the diplomats should posture publicly to help the delegation that would negotiate at Warsaw.
On setting the emission targets under the new agreement to be signed in 2015, the note informs, “In Warsaw we seek to establish an expectation that parties will submit their commitments by early 2015 so as to finalise an agreement in Paris [in 2015 itself].”
Under the 2015 agreement, to become operational in 2020, the U.S. government has been pushing that all countries volunteer to pledge their commitments. The note says, “Specifically we are advocating an approach under which countries — both developed and developing — will put forth nationally determined mitigation commitments, followed by a transparent consultative process that will give other countries and civil society the opportunity to analyse and comment upon such commitments.”
In a revealing line it adds, “The idea is that sunshine will provide an incentive for countries to put forth ambitious commitments in the first instance and, even if not, there will be an opportunity for countries to decide to enhance their commitments before they are finalised.”
The U.S. stance differs radically from the demand of groups such as those of the small island-states, EU and others which require that the volunteered targets be increased after a review to see if they add up to the effort required to keep global temperatures under control.
The Hindu contacted senior U.S. negotiators and their spokesperson at Warsaw personally and through e-mail with specific questions about the briefing paper. The delegation responded with the statement, “The U.S. is dedicated to achieving an ambitious, effective and workable outcome in the UNFCCC and in Warsaw, and our positions are designed to further this goal. We are engaging with all countries to find solutions that will give momentum to the effort to tackle climate change.”
That the U.S. sees climate change as an opportunity to also leverage and open economies of developing countries to clean-tech investments is also revealed, “The work we have undertaken in 2013 has begun to lay the groundwork for an ambitious and wide-ranging efforts aimed at catalysing low-emission, climate resilient investment in developing countries, though of course we recognise that much work remains to develop the tools necessary to shift the global economy in this direction.”
The poor countries have consistently warned that public investments can neither be adequate nor predictable and can work merely as a complementary source of finance. They also warn that private investment does not move towards the priority of adaptation activities where the returns are negligible but the monies important to save lives. The U.N. climate convention imposes the obligation on the developed world to provide funds and technologies to the poor countries to ‘enable’ the latter to undertake climate action but the U.S. position in the briefing paper talks of pushing in investments instead.
The U.S. has said in public earlier that it sees public funding in the climate change arena more as a tool to leverage private investments. Developing countries have demanded that the U.S. and other developed countries put forth a clear timeline for when and how they shall provide for the $100-billion annual fund by 2020 they had earlier promised. But the briefing paper remains silent on the U.S. committing to any such time line in Warsaw. The talk of any scaling up funds between now and 2020 is ignored.
It instead says, “We’re also working to intensify our coordination in the context of the Green Climate Fund board to shape an institution that could leverage private investment more effectively than any other multilateral climate fund.”
‘Loss and damage’
The U.S. acknowledges in the cabled briefing to its diplomats that “Finance is another contentious issue, with many developing countries feeling that there is lack of clarity on climate finance between now and 2020”. But, in effect, the U.S .strategy is to work outside the UNFCCC to leverage private funds and it plans to talk of this through the Warsaw talks too.
On the controversial issue of loss and damage, demand by developing nations that developed countries pay compensation for damage to life and property that cannot be avoided despite the best of adaptation and emission reduction efforts, the U.S. plans to not let the idea become a full-fledged separate mechanism at Warsaw. After very strongly opposing any such mechanism. the U.S. had to give in last year and allow talks.
At Warsaw, the briefing paper shows, it plans to ensure that while the issue is called ‘loss and damage’ it does not get a life of its own but is swallowed by the existing track which would ensure the issues of ‘liability’ and ‘compensation’ are thrown out.
The document says: “It’s our sense that the longer countries look at issues like compensation and liability, the more they will realise this isn’t productive avenue for the UNFCCC to go down.”
It adds, “We are strongly in favour of creating an institutional arrangement on loss and damage that is under the Convention’s adaptation track, rather than creating a third stream of action that’s separate from mitigation and adaptation.”The Hindu Link is http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-international/us-to-oppose-mechanism-to-fund-climate-change-adaptation-in-poor-nations/article5353229.ece
Friday, November 8, 2013
Yesterday (07/10/2013), The Hindu newspaper reproduced Thomas L Friedman’s OP-ED column originally published by New York Times News Service. The column titled ‘Too Big To Breathe’ is about the alarmingly high level of pollution of the atmospheric air and water in China.
Why has Thomas L Friedman written about China’s acute pollutionproblems? Is he really concerned about the health of Chinese people.? While reading the column, one can spot the business interests beneath the concerns, which are only skin-deep. Friedman is a proponent of Globalization 3.0 (version 3). Pollution is a real problem in China, judging from the various news reports about the same, but the American(‘s) interest is to sell to China ‘clean & green’ technologies.
China’s development path has taken a turn for the worst. The material ambition of the Chinese people had been kindled and therein lies the danger. How to satiate this material hunger? Without affecting the environment !!!?? China is doomed unless it corrects its course, and make its people understand the value of a simple and peaceable living.
India has a lot to learn from this negative experience of China. Real Indian Values are being replaced by Material Values. Material ambitions of ALL can never be satisfied. Imagine trying to provide concrete houses and a car for 30 crore households . (Total Population 120 crore / 4 members per household ).The strain on the resources and environment will be too much that it will collapse. Therefore the Govt has to encourage simple living by its citizens. Many of our existing Karmas will thus become redundant.
China produces all those cheap goods sold at the Wal Marts of US. If the US sincerely want to help the ordinary citizens of China, it should stop buying all those cheap goods. But the Americans can’t survive without cheap Chinese products. China is providing these goods on credit. When viewed from this perspective, the Chinese are real fools, putting in all hard work and at the same time polluting their commons to maintain the standard of living of the American people. And China is not likely to get back its principal amount from US intact.
All these facts should make the Indians long for their own Karma Theory (karma-yoga). We Indians should not allow politicians and businessmen to substitute our ancient and time-tested spiritual values, with the worn-out material values of the rest of the world.
Thomas L Friedman’s article is fully copied here. Strangely it is missing from The Hindu electronic Index, so I have copied it from the New York Times site. Interestingly there is a media blitzkrieg about China's pollution woes , and it can be traced to print and blogpages associated with the New York Times. All the links are provided here at the end. It seems there is a concerted attempt by UScompanies to influence the Chinese people and Communist Party Officials and bureaucrats. Trade and money are the only matters of concern to the Americans.
Too Big to Breathe?
Published: November 5, 2013
SHANGHAI — I arrived here on Oct. 19th and was greeted with this news: A combination of cold weather, lack of wind, coal-powered heating and farmers burning off post-harvest debris had created a perfect storm of pollution in the northeastern industrial city of Harbin, home to 10 million people. It was so bad that bus drivers were getting lost because the smog-enveloped roads would only permit them to see a few yards ahead. Harbin’s official website reportedly warned that “cars with headlights turned on were moving no faster than pedestrians and honking frequently as drivers struggled to see traffic lights meters away.”
The NASA Earth Observatory declared that some Harbin neighborhoods “experienced concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) as high as 1,000 micrograms per cubic meter. For comparison, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality standards say PM2.5 should remain below 35 micrograms per cubic meter.” This means that Harbin would need a 97 percent reduction in pollution in order to reach the maximum level our government would recommend. NASA said Harbin hospitals reported “a 30 percent increase in admissions related to respiratory problems, and several Harbin pharmacies were sold out of pollution face masks.” The American jazz singer Patti Austin canceled a concert in smoggy Beijing because of “a severe asthma attack in combination with respiratory infection,” according to the event’s website.
It was no wonder that at a gathering of environmental activists in Shanghai I attended, organized by the Joint U.S.-China Collaboration on Clean Energy, or Juccce, the conversation was dominated by moms and dads talking about where in China to live, when to send their kids outdoors and what food and water to trust. While swapping notes on China’s latest “airpocalypse” a few days later, Hal Harvey, the American chief executive of Energy Innovation, who is working with China’s government to try to get its air quality back under control, asked a powerful question: “What if China meets every criteria of economic success except one: You can’t live there.”
Indeed, what good is it having all those sparkling new buildings if you’re trapped inside them? What good is it if China’s rapid growth has enabled four million people in Beijing to own cars, but the traffic never moves? What good is it if China’s per capita incomes have risen to a level affording tens of millions of once-poor peasants diets rich in milk and meat, but they can’t trust the labels? What good is all that rising G.D.P., if there is no clean air to breathe?
China has built amazing hardware in 30 years — modern cities, roads, airports, ports and telecoms — bringing more people out of poverty faster than any country in the history of the world. The Chinese have much to be proud of. Every healthy economy, though, depends on a healthy environment. China will stall if President Xi Jinping and his government do not now build the software — the institutionalized laws, courts and norms — that can ensure that all this growth will not be undermined by an epidemic of despoiled land and dirty air.
That is easier said than done. China is a one-party system with multiple, competing interests inside. More enlightened party leaders in Beijing may declare, “We have to clean this up,” but they still have to get the local bosses — whose bonuses depend largely on generating economic growth — “to assert environmental interests at least as strongly as economic interests,” said Harvey. That requires assigning real value, and giving real institutional power and weight, to those in the system who believe that it is just as important to protect the commons — air, water, land, food safety — as it is to grow the commons, that it is just as important to have decent ingredients in the pie as it is to grow the pie. “At the end of the day,” said Harvey, “if the pie’s not edible, it doesn’t matter how big it is.”
(We can thank our lucky stars that foresighted Americans, starting around 1970, built the institutions to protect our air and water. Next time you hear someone beat up on the E.P.A., send them to Harbin for a week.)
Peggy Liu, the founder of Juccce, is working with Chinese consumers, producers and bureaucrats to define and implement a more sustainable “Chinese dream” that must be different from the American dream of a house, a car, a yard and a throwaway economy for all. I think building the institutional support for a sustainable Chinese dream is the most important thing President Xi can do.
“China doesn’t have to have rivers that run bright red with industrial waste, or our lakes and beaches smothered by thick, green algae, or 18,000 dead virused pigs floating down the Huangpu River,” Liu recently wrote. “We shouldn’t have to check our air quality index app on our phone every day to determine whether we should let our children outside to play. There shouldn’t be any more Chinese children who, when they go abroad for the first time, ask: ‘Mommy, why is the sky so blue?’... China can be better than this. China needs to carve our own unique way to a thriving life and stable community — a path that is a sustainable path. If we don’t do this soon, we will end up with a China Nightmare. And there’s no escaping that a China Nightmare is a global nightmare.”
A version of this op-ed appears in print on November 6, 2013, on page A29 of the New York edition with the headline: Too Big To Breathe?. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/06/opinion/friedman-too-big-to-breathe.html?_r=0
Other links to reports about China’s pollution problems which appeared within the past one week are provided here
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Yesterday(Nov 6, 2013), in The Hindu appeared a article, reproduced from The New York Times. (Copied fully below along with the link) .
The article is suitably titled “Rethinking Our Concept of WORK”. It had been written by a Spanish Professor Shri Argandonna, from the University of Navarra in Spain. Thinking aloud regarding the problem of chronic unemployment, facing countries in Europe and federal America, he becomes unsure and doubtful regarding the popular and modern concepts regarding WORK. He points out that modern/current social, economic and governmental mechanisms have abysmally failed in providing work , livelihood and well-being to all. This crisis situation is not accidental, but man-made and the current problems we are wrestling with , Argandonna says “ are the inevitable outcome of a deeper moral malaise that has infected our social and political institutions”.
This article from a Western academician is noteworthy and its content reflects the fact that ‘the self-confident West is no more confident’ about its moorings. The West constantly and incessantly projects its so-called intellectual upper-hand through all possible means, making people in the Eastern hemisphere think and feel that they are static and way below in scientific temper and inadequate in many other ways compared to the West. Ideas are presented in colorful ways, through net-worked media which suggests that the only way forward for any non-western society is to emulate and imitate the West. Eg. Democracy and Capitalism. Many non-western people and societies, who undergoes Western-style of education, easily take to such views. China and Japan can be taken as classic examples of Eastern countries, who now find themselves in a log-jam. This after their fully adopting to Western style of economic organization and production. This is the beginning step towards total doom. The West and the White-men had always been intoxicated with their self-imposed civilizing mission. But now, it seems the West itself is in doubt about its foundations.
Error-free and complete analysis and understanding of work/karma, is the hallmark of The Gita. Infact it is the only text of that kind known to man. (My other blogpostings contain, analysis of karma/work based on the Gita). Paul Lafarge, Max-Weber, Bertrand Russell, Daniel Defoe etc are individuals from the West who tried to get a handle on work. Alas ! their analysis are inconclusive.
The complete article is given as follows :-
Rethinking our concept of work
The widespread unemployment caused by the global economic crisis provokes a profound reconsideration of the very idea of work itself.
This is the focus of IESE Professor latest paper, “Trabajar en Tiempos de Crisis,” in which Professor Antonio Argandona of the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa at the University of Navarra in Spain questions whether individualistic, utilitarian societies based on self-interested motivations and relationships are truly capable of confronting the root problems behind unemployment.
These problems, from arrogance and greed to fraud, always have been present to some extent. However, the recent global financial crisis has revealed major failings of social, economic and governmental mechanisms, such that the current problems we are wrestling with cannot be chalked up to a series of unfortunate events. Rather, they are the inevitable outcome of a deeper moral malaise that has infected our social and political institutions.
Although work is often presented as a way of satisfying personal needs, broadening one’s knowledge, developing one’s skills and giving one a sense of dignity, work also can be dehumanising.
When we speak of work-related problems, unemployment usually springs to mind. A persistently high unemployment rate represents the collective failure of a society to provide opportunities for its citizens. For some, losing their jobs feels like losing their identities. The trauma is not only personal, but also is felt at the family and societal levels.
Job insecurity leaves people feeling uncertain about their futures and robs them of control over their lives. Some work can be degrading: Employees feel like commodities, faceless and easy to replace. At other times work becomes instrumental: People are treated as mere tools to be used by others, rather than as something to be valued.
It is not the fact that a worker may produce material goods that is inhumane, but rather the way in which those goods are produced. If the work does not allow time for other activities necessary for human development and well-being, such as family, social and spiritual activities, it becomes an unhealthy interference.
Perhaps one reason why work has come to lack meaning is that we have turned it into something purely instrumental. Today we measure people not by what or who they are, but by what they do — their economic success, their social ranking and what they can contribute to others.
Our society effectively makes people depend on work for their very survival. With pensions, health care and retirement arrangements inextricably linked to how much a person makes during his or her working life, people’s current and future standards of living depend wholly on their economic performance.
One reflection of how far we, as a society, have drifted concerns education. Today education is seen as a means of developing productive capital, rather than as a source of human betterment. Certain subjects are prioritised over others, such as the humanities, which tend to be viewed dimly, regardless of their importance in building a civilised society.
There are basically three reasons that drive people to work: to earn a living, to develop personally and to contribute to society.
However, there is another reason as well: Work is an everyday expression of human improvement, advancement and progress. Regardless of what we do, we always must try to do it to the best of our abilities, with a human touch and with dedication.
Work may be conceived of as a service to other people, beginning with our families and extending to our colleagues and customers, our neighbours and, ultimately, all of humanity.
The classic tale of three stonecutters captures it best: When asked what they were doing, the first said that he was cutting stone, the second said that he was supporting his family and the third said that he was building a cathedral.
In the same way, while the work may be identical, the meaning it carries can be quite different, which is why Argandona urges us all to reflect more deeply on the subject of work, at a time when the concept itself is in crisis.
© 2013 Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa, IESE Universidad de Navarra
© The New York Times 2013