1. Globalisation has given rise to the culture of consumption which is not good for the society as a whole. Do you agree? Critically examine.
Globalisation is a process of interaction and integration among the people, companies, and governments of different nations, a process driven by international trade and investment and aided by information technology.
Globalisation has given rise to the culture of consumption:
Increased living standard of people across the world.
Varieties of goods and services available for consumers.
Society gradually transforming into materialistic one.
Work life becoming more stressful due to competition and search of comfort resulting into over consumerism.
Repercussions of culture of consumption on society:
Decline in ethical standards of the society. Lust of material goods for satisfaction of wants leads to deviancy, rise in crime and degeneracy.
Money minded people feeling stressed all the time. Mental disorders are prevalent far more than they were about 50 years ago.
Rise in inequality in society.
Unnecessary burden on already scarce natural resources.
Environmental degradation- both in production of goods and also when these are disposed so as to buy another product.
Certain positive outcomes of the culture of consumption:
More demand->more job opportunities.
Thus, culture of consumption surely has certain detrimental effects on society. However, given its benefits too we need to provide a humanizing touch to this culture and also stress on avoiding over consumption or over consumerism.
2. What do you understand by social empowerment? Whom the State wants to empower and why? Analyse.
Empowerment is a multi-dimensional social process that helps people gain control over their own lives. It is a process that fosters power (that is, the capacity to implement) in people, for use in their own lives, their communities, and in their society, by acting on issues that they define as important.
Social empowerment is understood as the process of developing a sense of autonomy and self-confidence, and acting individually and collectively to change social relationships and the institutions and discourses that exclude poor people and keep them in poverty.
Whom the State wants to empower?
In general, almost all the sections of the society need empowerment. In particular, the most vulnerable groups.
In India, they comprise of the very poor,
Women and Children,
Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST),
Aged and Disabled,
Poor migrants and refugees,
People living with HIV/AIDS and Sexual Minorities and
Other Marginalised communities.
WHY IS THERE A NEED FOR EMPOWERMENT?
They often lack the skills, lacks power and confidence to engage in community decision-making. This in turn may be taken to imply that they are helpless or victims. The UNDP report mentions that around 52% of our population lacks social bargaining power.
To increase their power and autonomy to achieve certain outcomes they need and desire.
voice, organisation, representation and identity
It is constitutional obligation (FR-article 14, 21), DPSP( Art 38, 41, 42,45,46, 47) and to fulfil international covenants/SDGs
Social empowerment focuses on supporting disadvantaged people to gain power and exert greater influence over those who control access to key resources.
Will lead to social inclusion of the marginalised which will lead to economic transformation and development of human capital .McKinsey global report says that there will be a boost of $700 billion to the GDP by getting women into workforce by 2025
Poor people’s involvement in local associations and inter-community cooperation mechanisms can contribute to social empowerment by improving their skills, knowledge and self-perception. Local associations also act as self-help mechanisms through which poor people organise their economic activities, such as farming cooperatives, or microfinance groups.
It may therefore be important to support mechanisms designed to specifically target marginalised groups and an ideal state is always expected to gain power from its citizens and more so from the most vulnerable sections of the society. Hence, it is absolutely essential for the state to take along all sections with itself, so that we become a great nation.
3. How far the ideals of communism relevant in the present day world? Has communism as a socio–political philosophy outlived its utility? Examine.
Communism is a system of social organization in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs. Communism provided an alternative to market economy in an era where people specially the workers felt oppressed by the prevailing policies of the Capitalist class and the governments.
In recent times Communist influence as socio political philosophy has been waning at faster pace, the causes for the recent slide in Communism are,
Change in the ERA which has eroded the base for Communism – it was seen as a saviour during the time of Imperialism. But today the world is thriving on DEMOCRACY and the governments have turned Welfaristic.
Changing character of Capitalism – today it is seen as a means of reducing poverty by establishing Industries and providing employment combined with Liberal labour laws.
Globalization – countries have realized that they can’t progress and develop in isolation. Even Communist China has integrated with the world economy.
The rise of USA and Fall of USSR – this is one of the main reason for slide of communism.
Failure of communistic ideals to bring socio political transformation in countries like Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba etc.Their increasing proximity to capitalistic market principles.
However, various ideals of communism became more relevant in today’s world and various countries including India adopted them in their policy discourse,
Women’s suffrage and equality; Right to vote, Right to work, classless and egalitarian society, reduced inequality and preventing concentration of wealth in few hands.
The Communist analysis of markets and the relation between capital and labor, the rights of labor, the 40 hour week, environmental protection, opposition to child labor laws, and many such principles which the prosperous industrial nations practice, have their origins in Communism.
Communism in toto is not present anywhere in the world. However certain aspects of communist philosophy are necessary to ensure inequalities do not become entrenched and sustainable development continues forever.
4. What do you understand by crony capitalism? What are its adverse impacts on the society? Discuss.
Allegations of crony capitalism have plagued the world governments, which is a unholy nexus between the political class and the business class in which there is a mutual advantageous relationships and outcomes favorable to both.
Impacts of crony capitalism:
Priorities: The political class is not committed to people oriented service.
Money: Huge money is amazed by both.
Honesty: No place for honesty and committed politicians.
Transparency and accountability: is lost as politicians are accountable only to business class.
Concentration of wealth: Small group owns most of the wealth. Increase in gap between rich and poor.
Oligarchy: The free market competition doesn’t exist as established players prevent entry of new players.
Ethics: No ethics and moral values are followed in business.
Inequalities: The gap between have and have nots increase.
Social welfare: takes back seat.
Nepotism: System of favoring arises and meritocracy takes back seat.
Public faith: in political system erodes.
Crony capitalism not only prevents healthy competition, it also spoils the economy of country. To keep check on it, political parties should be brought under RTI, there should be strong ombudsman institutions, state funding of election among others. This will keep a check on their activities.
5. The romance for socialism had done more bad for the contemporary socio-economic landscape in India than good. How far do you agree with this assessment? Critically examine.
Socialism as a principle was adopted by newly independent India based on the previous experience for growth and development of the country. But it proved to be a costly mistake as it has done more bad to the country than good.
Negative impacts of socialism:
Red-tapism and license raj: It led to excessive regulations, prevented decision-making.
Single party system: It led to monopoly of single party in the country.
Accountability and transparency: Lack of transparency and accountability of government.
Corruption: Rampant corruption at every level of government.
Nepotism: No meritocracy in public office.
Growth rate: Very low growth rate.
Standard of living: Very low.
Quality: Very low quality of product and services because of government monopoly in majority sectors.
Efficiency: No efficiency in production of goods and services.
Education: The literacy level was increased.
Poverty: The percentage of poverty to the total population was decreased.
Manufacturing sector: Employment increased and manufacturing as sector was organized.
Health: Health system was made available to masses.
Socialism was adopted based on bad experience of colonization and to those days conditions due to lack of investment and private participation. It should have been slowly converted to privatization but due to political positions it was further strengthen and spoilt the country as whole until LPG was brought in the year 1991 and economy recovered.