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I = S - M

The modern way of thinking about economics has been I = M - S Where I is the I as in me, M is what is 'mine' and S is what ...


Adam Smith argued that the good of society lay in the good of the individual. Hence the father of classical economics placed self-interest at the heart of his system of economics. Self-interest means the most profit at the least cost for the individual. A prosperous individual means a prosperous society. The assumption here is this: a prosperous society is a good thing. In fact the assumption presupposes that prosperity is the only thing that makes society good!

Gandhiji calmly asserted that the good of the individual lay in the good of society. Hence the father of the nation placed selflessness at the heart of his system of economics. Selflessness means thinking about the whole: family, neighbors and the village as a whole. Selflessness leads to a good society is a very different sense from the one Adam Smith had in mind. Prosperity has its place in a good society amongst a number of other important interpersonal and social dimensions such as good relationships, nurturing of nature, the use of live capital, and seeing people as whole rather than split as labor stripped of their humanness and hence their dignity. Gandhiji's economics allows the holistic development of society and through the society of the individuals living in it.