Chapter 5: Capitalism Is Basically Individualism
The first question:
Every time I hear you praising capitalism I get angry. You say sannyas means to get rid of all conditioning and to escape out of every cage whether it is religious, philosophical or political. But isn’t capitalism a cage too? Why can’t we live a creative life in wealth and freedom without any “isms”?
Capitalism is not an “ism” at all; just don’t get too obsessed by the word. Sometimes words become too important to us and we tend to forget the reality.
Capitalism is not an ideology; it is not imposed on the society, it is a natural growth. It is not like communism, or fascism, or socialism - these are ideologies; they have to be imposed. Capitalism has come on its own. In fact, the word capitalism has been given by the anti-capitalist thinkers: the communists, the socialists and others. Capitalism is a state of freedom; that’s exactly why I am in support of it. It allows you all kinds of freedoms. Communism will not allow you all kinds of freedoms; communism will give you only one ideology to believe in - there is no question of choice.
I am reminded of Henry Ford..
When he made his first model, those cars were only made in one color - black. And he himself used to take the customers round his showroom; he would go around with them and show them the cars. He used to say to people, “You are free to choose any color, provided it is black!”
That’s exactly the attitude of communism: you are free to choose any ideology, any philosophy, any religion, provided it is communism. In a communist society there is no hope for a multidimensional humanity to grow; it can allow only a certain type to grow: it is linear. You cannot conceive that in a communist pattern even Karl Marx would be possible; he would not be allowed. You cannot conceive a Jesus, a Buddha, a Krishna, or a Lao Tzu being born in a communist society; they would be destroyed at the very beginning.