Webber’s View on Capitalism
Published 28 Jul 2017
Webber’s assessment of capitalism involves mainly making profits in forms of cash, land, and other forms that can be considered as capital. This urge of man in making a profit has been present since he found himself not contented with simply bartering, and that as his capital increases, do does his importance and prestige in his community. Capitalism has implanted in the entrepreneur a Spirit of Profit. Webber also asserts that time lost in place of labour may also be considered as loss of profit, especially if the result for such losses is idleness. However, economic benefit is not the only matter of importance in capitalism. Morals must also be heeded as a balancing factor in man’s consciousness of what is morally accepted as right or wrong. As such, an entrepreneur, despite of his need for bigger profits, does not impose on his workers unreasonable long hours of work, or exceedingly low wages.
Capitalism and Ethics may sometimes be intertwined; as in an entrepreneur who starts a printing shop in a backward county with primary aims of helping the unemployed within the vicinity, although for sure, he is very much aware that businesses thrive on profits. Protestant ethics has given to the entrepreneur a sense of morality wherein he could offset greed and profit with religious ethics.
In the movie, Water, Webber’s points of views on capitalism and morality have been clearly manifested. A good example would be the leader of the widows’ compound, known to the women as Madhu Didi. Didi, as a way of amassing profits, commands the women to beg in temples and streets. Furthermore, her forcing on the young widows to serve as prostitutes to wealthy male patrons clearly exhibits her capitalistic tendencies that’s absolutely lacking in morals and ethics. This typifies a kind of labour that displays, on the part of the employer, total lack of respect and dignity for the welfare of his employees.
The Hindi doctrines of Himsa and Ahimsa are great influences on Gandhi in his dealings with people and other animate beings. Ahimsa, the extensive or complete principle on the destruction of life, however small it may be, and however unwilling a person is of the act of destruction, is considered as such. Himsa, meanwhile, is the vey act of destruction of life. It is an unavoidable process of living; the very act eating or drinking, or the very simple action of moving, inescapably involves some degree of himsa.
In the movie, Water, an example of himsa as related to the story in its entirety, would be Kalyani. Being trapped in a society that treats its widows as prisoners of life itself, Kalyani was a casualty of the Indian make-up of its society during the 1930’s. Her being a widow since childhood had conditioned her mind and her body into being submissive to the abuses inflicted on her by the culture, as well as by their leader Didi herself. Forced into prostitution as a way for their community to survive, she had developed what we know today as learned helplessness, wherein a person neglects his will to fight off offenders due primarily to the length of time one is being constantly abused. Sadly, she was the one ultimately destroyed by the system. India’s cultural himsa as a whole, had, perhaps unwittingly, destroyed a small part of her; this being Kalyani.
One other himsa occuring in the movie would be that of Chuyia’s innocence being destroyed by Didi when she prostituted her to a man for sheer profit. It was himsa on a more symbolic manner, as compared to physical destruction, but perhaps culturally and sociologically, it was a more destructive form, one that is capable of destroying a person’s life without taking it, thus making the suffering seem eternal.
Stark stresses in his book, Age of Association and its Secular Civilization, that mankind without faith, would be like an unexplainable labyrinth, a prison with no escape, or an evil nightmare. He cites as an example, several men who are leaders in their field of profession, or captains of their corporations, who, despite being successful materially and monetarily, but lacking in religiosity, still are unhappy with their lives. Perhaps this stems from man’s inner need for wholeness; that it has been man’s unconscious goal for eons to finally attain reconciliation of the forces within him; and religion provides that for man.
Stark assesses that religion fulfills the three harmonies sought for by men: The first is harmony with himself; harmony with neighbors; and harmony which borders on the edge, and where the mysterious become visible. Only in having a firm religious faith can man attain the said harmonies; only through religion will man’s loneliness be healed; and religion alone can offer mankind the gift which the Gospels bring.
In most probability, Hinduism will not die out. After all, its beginnings are parallel to that of Christianity. Although using tradition and its culture of women’s depravity of some of their basic rights as a social tool, it is but practical to assume Hinduism will have to attain some forms of awakening or transformation in order to prevent natural death.
As was witnessed in the movie Water, women, particularly widows, some as young as seven years old, have been subjected to cultural bias and torment, not to mention sexual exploits from older men. These abuses have gradually been minimized with the coming of some enlightened men, such as Gandhi. It was apparent in the said movie that women have been wanting for a change in their social status, as was witnessed by Kalyani’s fight for her love and happiness.