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Re: The highest duty of man



Sanjeev:
Are you suggesting that the "ideal manifesto" will have no place for
social workers and mother Theresas of this world?  Are we going to
tell our young people that the only worthwhile goal in life is to
become rich
through enterprise?  To me that is very lopsided.  What about national
defense, city management, law enforcement and the environment?  I
guess people who aspire to join the Airforce and fly those planes are
stupid? Or the young kid who wants to provide safe drinking water, or
the social worker who counsels a 10 year old, or an environmental
engineer who comes up with an innovative way to lessen air pollution
so that the Bill Gates of this world can breathe safer air?

And if everyone tried to be Bill Gates, where will Bill sell his
Windows 98? (a good size company can after all afford customized
software!)  Now, I would have had no problems if you would have said
that Altruism does not solve the problem of poverty.  Mother Theresa
did not contribute to the problem of solving poverty.  But she did
what she had to -- where society failed, she stepped in.  At least
allowed people to die with dignity.

Therefore, I have to agree with Utkarsh here.  Let us not frame this
debate as Mother Theresa versus Bill Gates.   We will never have
agreement on that one, because it is a chicken and the egg riddle. 
Which comes first?  People who through their sacrifice and vision
create those conditions and institutions that make good government
possible and thereby allow the rule of law to prevail, which in turn
makes it possible for businesses to operate and function freely.  Or
should we say that the Bill Gates of this world come first, then they
inspire people to respect ideals of democracy, which produces good
government, and then they go and find their enterprises.  Why do you
think Bill Gates is loosing millions everyday as copyright violations
in the Far East or even in India?   Why does he go to his government
for help?  Don't tell me that Bill Gates cannot afford a bunch of
mercenaries who can go and do the job?

Sorry, I did not mean to ramble here.  All I am saying is that not all
people in this world live to make money -- they should not have to. 
We should be free to do what we have to.  Moreover, each individual
has to be valued by the contribution he/she makes to society and NOT
by how much money he/she makes.

In the end your premise that Janitors in this country are rich because
they can afford to own cars is false.  Since when did owining of a car
became a measure of wealth.  I think we should not confuse between the
quality of life which is provided to all individuals here at a
reasonable price, and wealth.

No leadership can only recognize just one segment of the society and
ignore the rest.  Yes, Bill Gates, may have more "net value."  But I
hope you agree with Utkarsh that there are other values that cannot be
measured in monetary terms.  And there is a general agreement, even
among the wealthy, that it is those values that make us human and make
life worth living for.  Are you not seeing that Visa commercial that
says that there are something that you cannot put a price on?
(therefore, cannot buy even with a high credit limit!)
Wasn't it you who just a month back was talking about social capital?
In short, may I say that whereas we understand the value of economic
activity, we refuse to define and see everything through the prism of
money.  Such a "vision" is skewed because it robs us of our humanity. 
THAT IS NOT THE MESSAGE WE WANT TO SEND TO OUR YOUNG PEOPLE.
Regards,
Kush.

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