This is an extraordinarily exciting Search, and we deeply regret not having the time to devote to creating a new article on this topic. Here therefore are a few humble thoughts. If the leadership of Gujarat Province were to offer us a job testing and developing this in India, we would be on the next flight out.
Capitalism. Capitalism in its purest form is the process of adding value for the greater good of the community being served, with profit being a legitimate valuation of the value being added by the combination of entrepreneurship, innovation, and dedication.
– Western Capitalism has become predatory, immoral, and corrupt. It has commoditized the human (both the employee and the customer), created a false cycle of adversie, consume, discard, and repeat, and it does not reflect the “true costs” of what it consumes, such that Exxon, to take one example, receives $4 per gallon of gas, with enormous profit, but receives an additional $12 per gallon in costs that are externalized to the public and the future. Under no circumstances should India adopt Western Capitalism in its present form. Emerging variants of Western Capitalism that are at least a decade away from being mainstream include Natural Capitalism based on Ecological Economics, which are substantive, and Bill Gates' “Creative Capitalism” which is just a marketing slogan.
– Eastern “Capitalism” is something we do not understand as well as we should, but it is a very exciting potential mix that is conflicted. On the one hand, we stand in awe at the micro-finance initiatives of the Gameen Bank, and we respect the Islamic prohibition of ursury, but we also see some terrible disadvantages from excessive revenue in the oil countries; corruption among dictators and royal families long overdue for being sent into exile, and the uneven influence of religious figures, both Islamic and Jewish.
Both forms of capitalism are based on imposed scarcity of money, and rule by secrecy. Both also permit absentee landlords, which we consider wrong.
For the sake of simple comparison, and inspired by C. K. Prahalad, we think of Western Capitalism as focused on the one billion rich with a one trillion per year economy, and of Eastern Capitalism as potentially but not yet actually focused on the five billion poor with a four trillion per year economy.
Both forms of capitalism are out of touch with reality-neither has a strategic analytic model that understands all that must be understood, from Climate Change (an element of Environmental Degradation by humanity) to Water reserves.
Now to the question of India, which may well be the most complex aggregation of ethnicity, languaage, religions, disparate natural and economic factors, uneven distribution of infrastructure, and external border challenges so broad that at any give time India can be engaged in over 30 different conflicts.
In our view, India, more so than any other nation, is posied to be the first Smart Nation that achieves what Sir Richard Branson calls Gaia Capitalism. Not yet fully developed as a concept by the originator, our interpretation of Gaia Capitalism is that it restores the centrality of the human to capitalism, and demands that no aspect of this new form of capitalsim deplete the resources of the Earth. We find Sir Richard's vision to be totally consistent with our own, which adopts Buckminster Fuller's summation of the objective:
End State for Intelligence
How can we make the world work for 100 percent of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or disadvantage to anyone?
Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983)
In our view, Gaia Capitalism must integrat Information Communication Technologies (ICT) so as to immediately connect every single one of the five billion poor to one another, to call centers that can answer and educate “one cell call at a time,” and to information–the five billion poor are not stupid, just illeterate; they do not lack energy or time, the two constants for Buckminster Fuller's vision of accelerating Time-Energy investments for the good of all. What they lack is Leadership with Vision.
Gaia Capitalism should emphasize:
1) Truth at any cost, for truth at any cost LOWERS ALL OTHER COSTS
2) Integrity and Open Money instead of secrecy and artificial money (the banks loan money they create out of thin air to earn interest they do not deserve)
3) Connecting and empowering the poor with cell phones as the single most important initiative (the London School of Business has documented the rise in GDP associated with increased cell phone use)
4) Working with government and using Telelanguage to create call centers and global networks of volunteers who are connected to the Internet and speak every language, so as to answer and educate the poor one cell call at a time in each of 183 languages.
5) Working with the one billion rich, 80% of whom do not give to charity, to create a Global Range of Needs and Gifts Table that can allow the one billion rich to rapidly and directly meet the individual household-level needs of the poor one at a time.
6) Creating the Open Source Tri-Fecta of Free/Open Source Software (an analytic toolkit somewhat like TooZl in STRONG ANGEL, but better and more diversified); Open Source Intelligence, and Open Spectrum. As long as we are putting cell phones in the hands of the five billion poor, we must ensure that they are infrastructure-independent (kudos to Cambridge for Haggle), and that content remains controlled at the point of creation–the INDIVIDUAL point of creation. No one should be allowed to “own” the Cloud.
7) Revitalization of the Earth by showing the true costs of everything wasteful in Western Capitalism (at least 60% if not as much as 75%), and by devising an aenhanced from of Eastern Capitalism in which every human receives their daily bread and no human lacks for simple food, clean water, and shelter from the elements–in that environment, we will unleash the innovation and entrepreneurship of the poor (even China has come to grips with this, “he who farms shall have land”), and we will create infinite wealth.
India–and Gujarat Province in particular–a province with everything EXCEPT its own Nokia factory–are the center of gravity for creating a multicultural form of Eastern Capitalism that should in time eradicate Western Capitalism.
Gaia Capitalism must have soul, put people first, and respect the Earth as our eternal foundation.
Among the many books on Capitalism (Good & Bad) (116), I recommend a few in particular–India along with Brazil, China, and Indonesia, has a SPECTACULAR opportunity to get it right and not repeat the mistakes of the West.