Peace and Inclusive Development
Peace in the world has two main terrains. Peace at the level of the nation and at the level of the world. Both affect each other, depending upon the nature of the disturbance to the peace which is created on these terrains.
Peace was the constant feature for millions of years of the existence of human society. Before the emergence of rudimentary states and women's subordination there did not exist anything like the standing army or anything representing organised violence.
Following women's subordination there came into existence caste, class, race, and community-based exploitation along with gender exploitation. These forms of exploitative relations consolidated the state as an instrument of organised violence. Exploitative relations and the state as an instrument of organised violence are therefore, two main sources which violate the peaceful nature of human society.
Exploitative society and its state also prevent the inclusive development of humans, because these kinds of societies cannot but exclude majority of humans from the process of development, by exploiting them and accumulating the products of their labour in the hands of a few individuals.
They not only perform this exclusion but also expropriate natural resources and pollute them. They destroy the healthy exchange of matter between humans and nature, disturbing ecological balance at the world level. This gives rise to the violation of peaceful relations between humans and humans, as well as between humans and nature.
We can enumerate the main issues related to the violation of the basic peaceful nature of human society:
1) Estranging the majority of humans from the collective control of the renewable and nonrenewable natural resources of mother earth.
2) Estranging the direct creators of useful things from the use of those things.
3) Expropriating the creators of useful things from the instruments of production, means of production and conditions of production.
4) Destroying the culture of healthy coexistence between humans and nature, and transforming all natural resources into commodities or conditions of production for the accumulation of capital.
5) Making war as an instrument of creating markets for selling weapons of destruction and the mass killings of humans, and the growth of the war industries.
6) Poisoning the soil, water, forests, oceans, air, bodies of humans and all other living beings with various forms of pollutants.
7) Inventing new forms of exploitative relations and continuing old forms of exploitation in modern forms.
8) Destroying the cultural forms based on collectivity, equalitarian principles, healthy coexistence with nature, right to do critique, and democratic values. Establishing the culture based on violence, hierarchy, domination, wars, racism, casteism, gender discrimination, etc. Making the culture of violence dominant in everyday life.
9) Making the nation-state the main vehicle of identity which decides 'we and the other' where the 'other' always is the potential 'enemy'. Within the nation-state regions play the same role. One can see the same happening around caste, religion, community, race, etc.
Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar sharply points out the contradiction between 'equality in the spheres of judiciary, democratic rights, electoral rights, law, etc.' and 'inequality in the economic, social and cultural spheres'. There cannot be any kind of lasting peace in a society which has such contradictions, he says.
Mahatma Phule considers the formation of people in 'ekmay lok' i.e. 'homogeneous people' a precondition for the formation of the nation. He envisages that this could be achieved despite the different cultural, religious, etc. characters of various groups of people.
For both Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and Jotiba Phule, the annihilation of castes is a basic precondition for achieving lasting peace in the Indian socioeconomic formation.
The nature of caste exploitation is based on 'graded hierarchy' which brings about a 'division of labourers' creating a constant warlike situation. Peace becomes impossible in such a situation.
This graded hierarchy is not only based on caste, but is firmly related to the caste-gender related exploitation of women. The power of sexual exploitation of lower-caste women given to the so-called twice born caste men is the most inhuman aspect of caste exploitation.
In India, caste exploitative relations have remained intact even after the exploited castes people changed their religion, and accepted religions which do not practice caste exploitation or agree with the caste ideology. This has happened to people who joined religions like Christianity, Islam or Buddhism.
In this background, it becomes a very serious problem which should be solved by going beyond religious boundaries.
Democracy in India cannot be realised in practice without the annihilation of castes. Without this change it would be a situation of protracted low-profile war, killing and injuring thousands of people and mutilating and raping thousands of women.
This will always be covered by a thin carpet of false peace.
This situation could only be changed through a process of transformation going towards a casteless, genderless, class-less society eliminating racism, communalism and religious fundamentalism, and creating a prosperous and ecologically balanced society without the state proper.
This process will require an alternative developmental paradigm which includes direct producers as its prime movers. This, in other words could be called inclusive development.
When this goes on becoming the dream of all or the overwhelming majority of humanity, it would become a process of equitable and all inclusive development.
When this becomes a continuous social process, peace will go on prevailing. War or warlike situations will wither away.
But one should remember that wars will continue as long as the state standing on top of the society remains intact. The state and standing army along with other armed forces are the breeding ground of wars and killers of the peace. That is why it is not enough to start the process of social transformation and creating healthy forces of production. This transformation should include the abolition of organised violence.
The process of transformation in social relations of production and productive forces, cultural transformation, transformation in the field of art and literature, transformation of relations between humans and nature, etc. cannot take place at the same time all over the world. There is going to be uneven and combined development of these processes. Ending wars in different forms will also follow the same path.
It is a long drawn process. The central thread of this process is to go towards a liberated humanity and its healthy relationship with nature.
But humans are also part of nature and the duality existing between these two aspects tends to turn into a contradiction. Reestablishing the homogeneous, non-contradictory existence of these two is a long drawn process. But it is an inevitable process to establish lasting peace. 'War' with nature also is a breeding ground of war between human beings.
Production based on non-renewable fossil materials in nature is war with nature, resulting in the destruction of nature and its health before the process of destruction is complete. Control over these resources which go on depleting, gives rise to war between humans. Any form or mode of production creating a monopoly over even the renewable natural resources, also gives rise to the destruction of renewable materials and war between humans.
Only decentralised production based on renewable material collectively conducted by humans can create a peaceful way of life between humans and nature. A basis for lasting peace.