Almost 90 years ago, the great Hindi writer PremChand wrote a short article of remarkable prescience discussing the rise of communism and capitalism. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Premchand remained sceptical of the utopian promises.
“…The communist movement is only the victory of the labourers over the capitalists. It is not the victory of justice over injustice, of truth over untruth. There will not be any reduction in all the inequalities, injustices and selfishness that are synonymous with capitalism. In fact, the possibility of their turning more horrifying is greater,”
The real root of all problems was human nature. People can be generous and high minded, but their nations remain ruthless.
“Things that we cannot even think of doing individually are executed collectively without any hesitation. One individual can be an idealist, can abandon selfishness, but a whole nation cannot be idealist.”
I had hoped to write a brief introduction to this magnificent piece, but I find a better one has already been written here.