Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cherish of Moral and Character

When I was faculty at School of Economics, DAVV Indore the MA and MBA (Business Economics) student were no longer ready to listen what the proponent of Globalisation say all about but that was not the case when they try to adopt what the opponents say, though it is illusion. Yet some came back with questions that was already addressed by many especially Professor Jagdish Bhagwati in his Book In Defense of Globalization 

In Templetion Professor Bhagwati writesI can attest from personal experience that, if you try to talk about the free market on today's university campuses, you will be buried in an avalanche of criticism of globalization. The opposition of faculty and students to the expansion of international markets stems largely from a sense of altruism. It proceeds from their concern about social and moral issues. Simply put, they believe that globalization lacks a human face. I take an opposite view. Globalization, I would argue, leads not only to the creation and spread of wealth but to ethical outcomes and to better moral character among its participants”.

Without surprise it is too true in India also.

He further says that “As for the influence that globalization continues to have on moral character, let me quote the wonderful sentiments of John Stuart Mill. As he wrote in Principles of Political Economy (1848):

The economical advantages of commerce are surpassed in importance by those of its effects, which are intellectual and moral. It is hardly possible to overrate the value, in the present low state of human improvement, of placing human beings in contact with persons dissimilar to themselves, and with modes of thought and action unlike those with which they are familiar.…There is no nation which does not need to borrow from others, not merely particular arts or practices, but essential points of character in which its own type is inferior.…It may be said without exaggeration that the great extent and rapid increase in international trade, in being the principal guarantee of the peace of the world, is the great permanent security for the uninterrupted progress of the ideas, the institutions, and the character of the human race”.

He argues that “Adam Smith famously wrote of "a man of humanity in Europe" who would not "sleep tonight" if "he was to lose his little finger tomorrow" but would "snore with the most profound security" if a hundred million of his Chinese brethren were "suddenly swallowed up by an earthquake, "because" he had never seen them." For us, the Chinese are no longer invisible, living at the outside edge of what David Hume called the concentric circles of our empathy. Last summer's earthquake in China, whose tragic aftermath was instantly transmitted onto our screens, was met by the rest of the world not with indifference but with empathy and a profound sense of moral obligation to the Chinese victims. It was globalization's finest hour”.

There are total eight essays in the forth in a serious of conversations among leading scientists.

Others include in the present list are:

Tyler Cowen

John Gray

Garry Kasparov

Qinglian He

Michael Walzer

Michael Novak

Bernard-Henri Lévy

Kay S. Hymowitz

Robert B. Reich

Born in Somalia

John C. Bogl and

Rick Santorum

Every one does their part to add the clarity in understanding of “Does the free market corrode moral character?”

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