The Beveridge report recommended comprehensive health and rehabilitation services for the prevention and cure of disease. Additionally, consideration was to be paid to the destitute and vulnerable in society. These led to the establishment of a welfare system in the UK by 1948, which fairly copied Bismarck’s blueprint for reform in Germany.
Back in Emperor Ashoka’s time, Aryadesh (India) also laid down plans catering for the lowly and dispossessed. Its population had a moral responsibility to cook enough to share with those less fortunate themselves. To do otherwise was ethically evil, decreasing the collection of positive points that one could use to barter upon one’s death for a more financially, healthy, peaceful, meaningful and self-aware birth next time around.
If today’s western ‘modern’ mind considers such emotional bargaining for an improved future birth to be a load of claptrap, so be it. But there if we step back and examine the actual effects of the Aryadesh peoples moral and ethical responsibility towards the less advantaged, then it is clear that the whole exercise paid dividends. Scholars of Emperor Ashoka maintain that poverty and hunger did not exist in Aryadesh under his rule – a well-fed populace, they argue, suffered concomitantly fewer health concerns.
Why then, if the concept was so beneficial in practice, and the wider repercussions of a well-fed and healthy population able to work meant increased State revenues, did it cease soon after the end of Emperor Ashoka’ dynasty?
The answer lies in cycles. Life, like this planet and its creation, is cyclic. It has a heartbeat. Creation has a heartbeat. The sun has a heartbeat. Earth has a heartbeat. Everything in creation and nature has a heartbeat. That heartbeat is cyclic. But the heartbeat is not identical across all matter. Each heartbeat differs. Each beat of the drum creates a different vibration, and each vibration creates a different slipstream in its wake.
Everything modulates with the touch of each vibration, its resonance rippling out as it interacts with its surroundings. Like a domino effect, everything in creation changes. What it was, is not what it is now. And what it is now will change too under the sway of the forthcoming beat of the drum.
Vedic knowledge, or Hindu mythology, calls this drumbeat Shiva’s Dance. Many of you will have seen the bronze statue of Shiva dancing in Hindu Mandirs and the homes of devotees. Shiva’s Dance represents the heartbeat of creation. The silent aspect of the heartbeat details non-creation. Non-creation is not silent, however. The reverberation of the preceding heartbeat can still be ‘heard’.
Human affairs are cyclic in much the same way. Caring times follow uncaring times. Welfare follows warfare. Everything has its opposite. Duality. Creation and non-creation is duality at work. And in duality, bad walks hand in hand with good.
It is in forgetting this simple truth that humans foment trouble. The powerful manufacture wars in the arrogant belief that they will prevail. Of the many things that human history teaches us, one is that the powerful always instigate one war too many. That war is their downfall. They become the subjugated; while their formerly weak opponents, their formerly enslaved peoples and nations become the lord and master of global events.
The cycle never stops.
Another thing human history teaches us is that of the once-powerful, those who beguiled their citizens into caring for their fellow human and other animals while powerful are respected and looked up to for guidance and instruction after their downfall.
Aryadesh fell from power a long time ago. Its golden age is but a memory. Nevertheless the India of today is still revered globally for its dharmic, moral and ethical behaviour. This respect and reverence derives from the age of Emperor Ashoka and his law calling upon Aryadesh’s citizens to care in whatever way necessary for those less advantaged than themselves.
Again, the modern western mind from its wonderful position of privilege can assail all of this as claptrap. But without the advantage of the machines they have created to replace human work, would any other civilisation bother to consider the western lifestyle and life pattern worth as one worth emulating? No, it wouldn’t; because other than creating mechanical means to ease the human burden of labour, the western consciousness has added what to human consciousness? Precisely nothing.
Even the welfare system announced and set up in the middle of the last century, with the usual chest-puffed-out bulldog mentality of the English, is being broken apart. It was set up without the powers-that-be realising that they were extending a programme of welfare to a psychically ill people wrapped in negative consciousness, and that the system would end up eking out a miserable existence, defined by extending aid to a number of adults who’ve never worked a day in their lives in any income-generating, tax-paying activity though they are capable of doing so; or who do not consider it their duty to pay tax on their infrequent income. Not all of them, but a number of them.
The Coalition government of 2013 seems to want to cut off its nose to spite its face in dismantling the welfare system. It doesn’t realise it has a golden opportunity to sustain the welfare system, and to take care of rather than vilify the underprivileged. Its members and leaders instead believe that if they are able to create and accumulate untold wealth and riches, then every Joe Bloggs can achieve the same.
What the conservatives forget is that their wealth is founded on the cheap labour of non European peoples who don’t have a welfare system to give their workforce a dignified living standard or dignified existence.
I challenge the UK Conservative-led government to stop all welfare payments and government funding of the NHS with one stroke.
With this move, it will create an untouchable class so impoverished that its members will take any job going in order to feed itself, will work zero-hours with relish, will slave away in sweatshop environments for pittance – and it is on the hard labour of this new indigenous untouchable class, so long chided for being work-shy, that Conservative MPs’ wealth will derive.
The wholesale and immediate removal of the welfare state and of the NHS will also stop immigrants coming to these shores, as well as creating mass employment and rejuvenating the dying manufacturing industry – doing away with the need to import sweatshop-made goods from abroad, when these can so effectively be produced here at the same cost.
Somehow, I can’t see the Conservatives, however much they foam at the mouth about the degeneracy of the work-shy masses – who they conveniently forget are comprised of the indigenous and not immigrant masses – having the balls to go to such extremes
So, what’s the alternative?
Well, we in this country must encourage and bring to bear the Emperor Ashoka model of care and community – in which the well-off share their wealth openheartedly with the less well-off. Let’s position the Little Englander as a beacon of moral and ethical responsibility for other nations’ peoples to emulate.
Prestige, like honour, has to be earned. It cannot be manufactured out of fear for the repercussions of one’s actions. It has to be achieved through earnest goodness.
The question is: Is Conservative wealth ready to move on to the next level of advanced awareness, or will it perish like another bully who died unceremoniously and over whom no tears where shed?