Print Friendly, PDF & Email

[Mission 2023] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 16 January 2023

 

NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same


General Studies – 1


 

Topic: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

1. The decisive battle of Buxar confirmed British power over Bengal and Bihar after their initial success at the Battle of Plassey in 1757. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of Battle of Buxar and in what way it paved way to expansion and consolidation of British Empire in India.

Directive word: 

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you must debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You must give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start the answer by mentioning the context and the participants in the Battle of Buxar.

Body:

In the first part of the body, elaborate the consequences of the battle to show how it paved way for expansion and consolidation of the British Empire in India. Explain that the Battle of Buxar had far-reaching implications in the consolidation of the British Empire in India. It influenced the politico-economic conditions of Bengal in particular and of India in general.

In the next part, mention as to how Buxar confirmed the gains of Plassey.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

The Battles of Plassey (1757) and Buxar (1764) are watershed moments in Modern Indian history as they marked the beginning on the rise of British colonial rule in India. They had far-reaching implications in the consolidation of the British Empire in India. It influenced the politico-economic conditions of Bengal in particular and of India in general.

Body

Background to Buxar

  • The Battle of Plassey resulted at the end of the French forces and was a major turning point in modern Indian history that led to the consolidation of the British rule in India.
  • The British became the paramount European power in Bengal.

Battle of Buxar: Consequences

  • The defeat of the Great Mughal House was very significant and it stamped the British troops as one of the potent forces of the Indian subcontinent.
  • The Treaty of Allahabad formally gave the British East India Company the right to exact revenue from the eastern province of Bengalwhich turned the economic fortune of the company.
    • Robert Clive set up the infamous dual system of administration in Bengal wherein the Company acquired the real power, while the responsibility of administration rested on the Nawab of Bengal.
    • Under the ‘dual’ or double government system, the Company got both the Diwani (revenue) and nizamat (civil administration) functions of Bengal.
    • Thus, virtual power went into the hands of Britishers without any responsibility which created confusions, anarchy and economic loot of India began.
  • The British victory at Buxar ensured that there were no significant forces left to challenge its position in the eastern part of the subcontinent.
  • The defeat of the Nawab of Awadh created a buffer state which effectively created a wall between the Britishers and the notorious Marathas.
  • Through the Residents, the Company officials began interfering in the internal affairs of Indian states.

Conclusion

If the Battle of Plassey had made the English a powerful factor in the politics of Bengal, the victory of Buxar made them a great power of North India and contenders for the supremacy of the whole country. The Buxar battle resulted in strong foothold of British as not only economic power but also political power in India.

 

Topic: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

2. The British thought that they should act as paternal father figures protecting the cultivators (ryots) under their charge and the settlement had to be made directly with the cultivators (ryots) who had tilled the land for generations. Examine the reasosn behind introduction of Ryotwari settlement. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir (Spectrum Publishers)

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the reasons for the introduction of Ryotwari settlement.

Directive word: 

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by mentioning the nature of Ryotwari settlement.

Body:

First, write about the reasons for the introduction of the Ryotwari settlement – rejection of the Permanent Settlement, elimination of intermediaries, assessment of the tax on land actually cultivated, paternal approach of British and absence of traditional zamindars.

Next, write about the impact of the introduction of Ryotwari settlement.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

The Ryotwari system was introduced in Madras, Bombay & Assam by Thomas Munro in 1820. It was supposed to be boon for present and improve their condition. The government could deal directly with the farmer (‘ryot’) for revenue collection, and the peasant may cede or purchase more agricultural land.

Body

Reasons behind introduction of Ryotwari settlement

  • It was mainly introduced to overcome the lacunae of the Zamindari System and increase the revenue collection for the British.
  • The government could deal directly with the farmer (‘ryot’) for revenue collection, and the peasant may cede or purchase more land for agriculture.
  • peasant were made land owner and it can be taken away only for non-payment of revenue
  • Freedom was given to give up or acquire new land
  • Middlemen were eliminated who often oppressed peasant and provided false assessment of land being cultivated to the British
  • The British believed that the Ryotwari System should not involve any middlemen and that they could obtain the majority of the revenue straight from the cultivators by implementing this form of land revenue collecting mechanism.

Optimistic official has imagined that new system would transform peasant into rich farmers but this did not happened. Ryotwari settlement seems fair and practical on paper but proved to be worse than zamindari system.

Impacts of Ryotwari System

  • High taxation rate – levy was not based on actual revenue from produce of land but instead on estimate of potential of the soil.
  • 50% for dryland and 60% for irrigated land
  • Payment of land tax in cash – cash payment ruined cultivators, exposing them to demands of money lenders as an alternate to the loss of land and starvation when crop failed
  • Revenue officials harassed villages – subordinate revenue officer forgiven much power who’s activities were in adequately supervised they were industries in Harsh measure for non-payment delayed payment
  • Misery of cash crops – in order to gain huge profit farmers fell into the trap of government’s proposal to grow cash crops like Indigo opium which lead to scarcity of food grains and in fertility of soil.
  • Land became commodity – excessive marketing of land for or payment of tax in cash has led to the loss of sentimental link that existed between land and the farmers.
  • Many owner-cultivators and occupancy tenants, having a permanent right to hold land, found it more convenient to lease out land to land-hungry tenants at exorbitant rent than to cultivate it themselves.
  • In time, landlordism became the main feature of agrarian relations not only in the zamindari areas but also in the Ryotwari ones
  • Growth of subinfeudation or intermediaries – Since the cultivating tenants were generally unprotected and the overcrowding of land led the tenants to compete with one another to acquire land, the rent of land went on increasing.

Conclusion

Therefore, even though in theory, the Ryotwari settlement was supposed to prove better than the permanent settlement, in practice its impact was far worse. It became more devilish version of Zamindari system.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

3. India needs to contribute in more significant ways to modernising and democratising the global order. It also needs to balance between nationalism and internationalism, a practical sense of what is feasible in today’s world, and a well-defined crafted hierarchy of Indian priorities on the global stage. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Indian Express , Insights on India

Why the question:

The Voice of the Global South summit that Delhi convened last week did not produce any spectacular outcomes; it was not supposed to. The forum, however, marks an important effort by India to make global governance work for the developing nations, whose concerns tend to get a short shrift in international forums.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the need to democratising the global order and steps India must take in this regard.

Directive word: 

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you must debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You must give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context of current global order.

Body:

In the first part, write about the various major issues affecting the global order rendering it archaic and un-democratic.

Next, write about the steps that India must take in this regard to make the global order more democratic while ensuring its priorities are not compromised.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

India is playing an increasingly important role on the international stage due to its growing population and sheer economic might. Today the world is fragmented, torn by crosscurrents, contradictions, and multivalent forcefields, not singular visions. Internal political pressures generated by social divides drive domestic political dominance over addressing global existential imperatives. A close look reveals that the world is one in which the values of the West will continue to have relevance in public discourses and civilizational dialogues. And, today’s world is also one in which voices and perspectives of other cultures will drive differentiation and excellence, not universalism and emulation.

Body

Background: Why India can be voice of Global South

  • The Voice of the Global South summit marks an important effort by India to make global governance work for the developing nations, whose concerns tend to get a short shrift in international forums.
  • The virtual forum has provided valuable inputs from the Global South that could facilitate India’s ambition to steer the G20 summit in Delhi to success later this year.
  • The forum is also about India reconnecting with a global group of nations that had fallen off the Indian foreign policy radar since the end of the Cold War.
  • Over the last three decades, Indian diplomacy’s focus has been on reordering its great power relations, bringing stability to the neighbourhood and developing regional institutions in the extended neighbourhood.
  • That 120 odd nations attended the meeting underlines the willingness across the Global South to support Indian leadership on addressing the global challenges that have had a massive impact on the condition of the many developing countries.
  • The twin crises produced by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian war in Ukraine have had a devastating and disproportionate impact on the Global South.

Issues affecting the global order

  • The Russia-Ukraine war is having an outsized impact on the global supply chain
  • Impeding the flow of goods.
  • Fueling dramatic cost increases and product shortages.
  • Creating catastrophic food shortages around the world, particularly acute in low-income countries in africa. Given that ukraine and russia were generally viewed as the granaries of the world.
  • Foreign exchange crisis: Apart from this, nations do face several other problems as well, including, in some cases, a foreign exchange crisis.
    • Many of these problems may have existed earlier but have been aggravated by the ongoing conflict.
  • Churn in West Asia:The Abraham Accords in 2020, which brought about the entente between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, has been the harbinger of certain new trends in the tangled web of relationships among countries of West Asia.
    • Iran as fulcrum: China and Russia are continuously trying to firm their relation with West Asia and with Iran in particular, even when U.S.’s relations with Arab nations appear to weaken.
  • No unity of purpose in Asia: Unlike the unity and the strength displayed by European nations — backed by the U.S. and NATO — to checkmate Russia, there is no evidence of any such unity of purpose in the event that China was to launch a conflict with Taiwan.
  • China-Russia relation: China and Russia appear to have further cemented their relationship and the situation is shifting towards a formal alliance.
    • China’s growing influence in the Pacific region, including in the Indo-Pacific, is further strengthened by the alliance with Russia.

Steps that India must take

  • India has the capabilities to take adequate care of its national interests and play a central role in ensuring peace, prosperity and security around the world.
  • From the era of non-alignment to bilateral strategic partnerships to memberships of multilateral groupings such as SCO, BRICS, QUAD and now I2U2, Indian diplomacy has smartly engineered its move to achieve its national economic and strategic objectives.
  • Under its Neighbourhood First Policy, India has been supplying power to Bangladesh and Nepal while championing a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation electricity grid.
    • Besides, India has been liberal in extending aid to its neighbours whenever required.
    • India must work to a well thought out strategy to achieve its well-deserved place in the emerging world order.
  • India can make a collective call for reforms in the UNSC. If not, then efforts must be taken to make UNGA ultimate authority to decide on international security.
  • India’s presence in Indian ocean and being net security provider in the region is already noted by littoral states and India must go on to leverage this to stop Chinese dominance.
  • Bilateral tie-ups with Japan in Asia-Africa Growth Corridor must come into fruition. Quad can counter Chinese narrative in the South China Sea.
  • India can use its closeness to Russia to negotiate a peace deal with Ukraine.

 

Conclusion and way forward

  • The way to manage the global agenda in a multivalent world order is to accept complexities, contradictions, and contrariness as realities
  • Delink issues from one another to prevent singular difference from overwhelming other functional relations.
  • Decentralize global negotiating forums from one another; devise diverse ways to work on issues that are distinctly different.
  • Encourage varying clusters of country officials to lead on different issues; nurture plurilateral leadership groups by rotating their composition from issue to issue
  • Embrace variety and avoid blocs; invite innovation; focus on substance; and dial back on polemics.

 

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

4. Dependence on Chinese imports continues to increase despite the government’s push for manufacturing in the country leading to a large trade deficit with China. Analyse its implications on the Indian economy. Enumerate the measures that are needed to bridge the trade deficit. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

The latest data released by the China customs department shows India’s trade deficit with the country breaching $100 billion for the first time in 2022.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the trade deficit with China, reasons for its increase and its impact on the Indian economy, steps that are needed to bridge it.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start by giving statistic regarding the trade deficit with China.

Body:

Frist, write about the factors that have led to increasing trade deficit in the recent past despite measures being to taken to promote domestic manufacturing.

Next, write impact increased trade deficit will have on the Indian economy. Substantiate with facts and examples.

Next, write about ways to mitigate impact of negative impact of increasing trade deficit and bridge the growing deficit.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

The latest data released by the China customs department shows India’s trade deficit with the country breaching $100 billion for the first time in 2022. This is countering the Atmanirbhar Bharat goals, especially with ongoing geopolitical tensions between the two countries. Dependence on Chinese imports continues to increase despite the government’s push for manufacturing in the country. The inability to reduce China’s influence often gets voiced in the call for a boycott of Chinese goods.

Body

Reasons for trade deficit

  • Most imports from China are intermediate goods used by Indian manufacturers.
  • The recent surge in Chinese imports is mainly due to the Indian manufacturing sector showing signs of a pickup.
  • A sharp rise in chemicals and engineering equipment, including electrical and non-electrical instruments, is driving a large part of the imports growth from China.
  • They are used in the manufacturing sector here. Cheaper Chinese goods are also powering India’s green transition, digital economy, and even the latest real estate and construction boom.
  • It raises concerns that these imports continue to grow at a healthy pace (at 22% in 2022) even as exports to China shrink (at 38% in 2022). Impact on Indian economy.
  • India in the past did not diversify its supply chains which remained largely dependent on China. For example, the Indian electronic goods space is still largely focused on the assembly of products and did not have much discretion in sourcing of components.
  • The growth of Chinese manufacturing sector, in the last few decades, whereas the Indian manufacturing sector remained sluggish and comparatively inefficient.
  • Given the geographical proximity of China and low prices offered by Chinese firms, it is cheaper and economically efficient to import from China rather than domestically.

Mitigation measures

  • There are no shortcuts to reducing dependence on them. It will require a long and sustained policy boost to empower Indian manufacturing.
  • At the same time, the government will need to look for alternative suppliers for many important raw and intermediate goods from China. India is not alone in looking for alternatives.
  • The whole world is now talking about the China Plus One strategy and looking for better alternatives to China.
  • The government should adopt a pragmatic approach of using trade with China to bolster manufacturing in the country. For example, Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) and bilateral collaboration with countries like the USA for semiconductors.
  • Government measures have been put in place for China.
    • Scrutinising Chinese investments – keeping Chinese companies out of 5G trials
    • Curbing opportunistic takeover of domestic firms – FDI restriction on China
    • Cutting import dependency for APIs – Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks and PLI Scheme
    • De facto ban on the import of Chinese power equipments

Conclusion and way forward

  • India cannot completely end its strategic dependence on the import of most crucial products. What it can do, however, is diversify this dependence by reducing China’s role in it.
  • India can diversify dependence by working more with the U.S., Europe, South Korea and Japan. This way it will increase its reliance on countries with which it also enjoys good political relations.
  • Providing further impetus to self-reliance in major sectors where India is a net-importer is a prudent way forward where technology and capital will have a huge role to play.

 

Topic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money laundering and its prevention.

5 What is a deepfake? Examine the threats posed by them and steps that are needed to counter the growing menace of deepfakes. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

The cyberworld has been facing the challenge of deepfakes for a while now. AI is used for fabricating audios, videos and texts to show real people saying and doing things they never did, or creating new images and videos.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about deepfakes, threat posed by them and steps that are needed to counter them.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining deepfakes.

Body:

First, Deepfakes leverage powerful techniques from machine learning and artificial intelligence to manipulate or generate visual and audio content. Discuss then the concerns posed by them. Deepfakes can be and have been weaponised to inflict harm. Deepfakes can inflict damage to individuals, institutions, businesses and democracy.

Next, write about the steps that are needed to overcome the challenges posed by it.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

Deep Fakes are the digital media (video, audio, and images) manipulated using Artificial Intelligence. Deep fakes are a new tool to spread computational propaganda and disinformation at scale and with speed. Deep fakes have evolved from mere annoyance to high stake warfare for creating social discord, increasing polarisation, and in some cases, influencing an election outcome. It allows hyper-realistic digital falsification that can inflict damage to individuals, institutions, businesses and democracy.

Recently, cybercrime officials in India have been tracking certain apps and websites that produce nude photographs of innocent people using Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms.

Dangers Associated With Deep Fake

Deep Fake makes it possible to fabricate media — swap faces, lip-syncing, and puppeteers — mostly without consent and bring threat to psychology, security, political stability, and business disruption.

Undermining democracy:

  • A deep fake can also aid in altering the democratic discourseand undermine trust in institutions and impair diplomacy.
  • False informationabout institutions, public policy, and politicians powered by a deep fake can be exploited to spin the story and manipulate belief.
  • A deep fake of a political candidate can sabotage their image and reputation.
  • Leaders can also use them to increase populism and consolidate power. Deep fakes can become a very effective tool to sow the seeds of polarisation, amplifying division in society, and suppressing dissent.
  • Another concern is a liar’s dividend an undesirable truth is dismissed as deep fake or fake news.

Damage to Personal Reputation of personalities:

  • Deep fake can depict a person indulging in antisocial behaviours and saying vile things.
  • These can have severe implications on their reputation, sabotaging their professional and personal life.
  • Even if the victim could debunk the deep fake, it may come too late to remedy the initial harm.
  • Further, Deep fakes can be deployed to extract money, confidential information, or exact favours from individuals.
  • A deep fake could act as a powerful tool by a nation-state to undermine public safety and create uncertainty and chaos in the target country.
  • Nation-state actors with geopolitical aspirations, ideological believers, violent extremists, and economically motivated enterprises can manipulate media narratives using deep fakes.
  • It can be used by insurgent groupsandterrorist organisations, to represent their adversaries as making inflammatory speeches or engaging in provocative actions to stir up anti-state sentiments among people.

Concerns regarding deep fake images:

  • The technology becomes vulnerable because deep fake images, audio and videos are very realistic and can be used by cybercriminals to spread misinformation to intimidate or blackmail people, seek revenge or commit fraud on social networking and dating sites.
  • It has become one of themodern frauds of cyberspace, along with fake news, spam/phishing attacks, social engineering fraud, cat fishing and academic fraud.
  • It can be used to create fake pornographic videosand to make politicians appear to say things they did not, so the potential for damage to individuals, organisations and societies is vast.
  • With the improvement in technology, deep fakes are also getting better.
  • Initially, an individual with advanced knowledge of machine learning and access to the victim’s publicly-available social media profile could only make deep fakes.
  • Development of apps and websitescapable of such editing became more frequent and easily accessible to an average user.

Way Forward Solutions:

  • To defend the truth and secure freedom of expression, we need a multi stakeholder and multi¬modal approach.
  • Media literacy for consumers and journalists is the most effective tool to combat disinformation and deep fakes.
  • Media literacy efforts must be enhanced to cultivate a discerning public.
  • As consumers of media, we must have the ability to decipher, understand, translate, and use the information we encounter.
  • Even a short intervention with media understanding, learning the motivations and context, can lessen the damage.
  • Improving media literacy is a precursor to addressing the challenges presented by deep fakes.
  • Meaningful regulations with a collaborative discussion with the technology industry, civil society, and policymakers can facilitate disincentivising the creation and distribution of malicious deep fakes.
  • We also need easy-to-use and accessible technology solutions to detect deep fakes, authenticate media, and amplify authoritative sources.

Conclusion:

  • To counter the menace of deep fakes, we all must take the responsibility to be a critical consumer of media on the Internet, think and pause before we share on social media, and be part of the solution to this infodemic.
  • To defend the truth and secure freedom of expression, there is a need for a multi-stakeholder and multi-modal approach.
  • Collaborative actions and collective techniquesacross legislative regulations, platform policies, technology intervention, and media literacy can provide effective and ethical countermeasures to mitigate the threat of malicious deep fakes.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

6. Utilitarian ethics accepts consequentialism, welfarism, and impartiality. Elaborate.

Difficulty level: Moderate.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Philosophical Mondays’ in Mission-2023 Secure.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about consequentialism, welfarism, impartiality as a part of Utilitarian ethics.

Directive word: 

Elaborate – Give a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the context. You must be defining key terms wherever appropriate and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start with a brief of Utilitarian ethics.

Body:

First, write about consequentialism as a part of utilitarian ethics – bringing about good outcomes is all that ultimately matters, from a moral perspective.

Next, write about welfarism – from a welfarist perspective, good consequences are those which increase well-being in the world, while bad consequences are those which decrease it.

Next, write about impartiality – Accepting this conception of impartiality means treating well-being as equally valuable regardless of when, where or to whom it occurs.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

Utilitarianism would say that an action is right if it results in the happiness of the greatest number of people in a society or a group. Utilitarianism is a theory of morality, which advocates actions that foster happiness or pleasure and opposes actions that cause unhappiness or harm. When directed toward making social, economic, or political decisions, a utilitarian philosophy would aim for the betterment of society as a whole.

 

Body

Utilitarianism and consequentialism

Greatest good of the greatest number, was famously given by Jeremy Bentham, the father of utilitarianism. Bentham’s fundamental axiom, which underlies utilitarianism, was that all social morals and government legislation should aim for producing the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. Utilitarianism, therefore, emphasizes the consequences or ultimate purpose of an act rather than the character of the actor, the actor’s motivation, or the particular circumstances surrounding the act. It has these characteristics:

  • Universality, because it applies to all acts of human behaviour, even those that appear to be done from altruistic motives;
  • Objectivity, meaning it operates beyond individual thought, desire, and perspective;
  • Rationality, because it is not based in metaphysics or theology; and
  • Quantifiability in its reliance on utility.

Utilitarianism and welfarism

Welfarism is the view that only the welfare (also called well-being) of individuals determines the value of an outcome.

Specifically, from a welfarist perspective, good consequences are those which increase well-being in the world, while bad consequences are those which decrease it. Philosophers use the term well-being to describe everything that is good for a person in itself, as opposed to things only instrumentally good for a person. For example, money can buy many useful things and is thus good for a person instrumentally, but it is not a component of their well-being.

Utilitarianism and impartiality

Utilitarianism is committed to a conception of impartiality that builds in the equal consideration of interests: Impartiality is the view that the identity of individuals is irrelevant to the value of an outcome. Furthermore, equal weight must be given to the interests of all individuals.

Accepting this conception of impartiality means treating well-being as equally valuable regardless of when, where or to whom it occurs. As utilitarian philosopher Henry Sidgwick states: “the good of any one person is no more important from the point of view  of the universe than the good of any other”. As a consequence, utilitarians value the well-being of all individuals equally, regardless of their nationality, gender, where or when they live, or even their species. According to utilitarianism, in principle you should not even privilege the well-being of yourself or your family over the well-being of distant strangers (though there may be good practical reasons to do so).

Limitations

  • A limitation of utilitarianism is that it tends to create a black-and-white construct of morality. In utilitarian ethics, there are no shades of gray—either something is wrong or it is right.
  • Utilitarianism also cannot predict with certainty whether the consequences of our actions will be good or bad—the results of our actions happen in the future.
  • Utilitarianism also has trouble accounting for values like justice and individual rights. For example, say a hospital has four people whose lives depend upon receiving organ transplants: a heart, lungs, a kidney, and a liver. If a healthy person wanders into the hospital, his organs could be harvested to save four lives at the expense of his one life. This would arguably produce the greatest good for the greatest number. But few would consider it an acceptable course of action, let alone an ethical one.

 

Conclusion

Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism because it rests on the idea that it is the consequences or results of actions, laws, policies, etc. that determine whether they are good or bad, right or wrong. In general, whatever is being evaluated, we ought to choose the one that will produce the best overall results. In the language of utilitarians, we should choose the option that “maximizes utility,” i.e. that action or policy that produces the largest amount of good.

 

Topic: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

7. If greed is the sin of capitalism, then envy is the vice of socialism. Debate. (150 words)

Difficulty Level: Tough

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Philosophical Mondays’ in Mission-2023 Secure.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the limitations of capitalism and socialism from an ethical point of view.

Directive:

Debate – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you agree with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by giving context.

Body:

First, write about as to how greed is sin of capitalism and give arguments to elaborate. Substantiate using examples.

Next, write about the vices of socialism especially in regards to envy and its impact. Cite examples to substantiate.

Conclusion:

Conclude the answer by giving a balanced opinion.

Introduction

Capitalism is based on individual initiative and favors market mechanisms over government intervention, while socialism is based on government planning and limitations on private control of resources. Left to themselves, economies tend to combine elements of both systems.

Body

Greed is the sin of capitalism

Capitalists don’t cause harm to their employees out of malice or greed. Their motivation comes from the brute reality of market competition. If a capitalist doesn’t produce at the lowest price, he knows that he will lose customers, and if that continues, his firm will start bleeding money. So he has to keep his selling price as low as possible. But if he’s going to lower his selling price, he also has to lower his costs, or he won’t make any money. Hence, he tries to pay out as little as possible for his inputs—the machines and raw material that he buys, and the wages he’s paying to his workers. So every capitalist constantly tries to get the most out of every dollar he spends, including from his workers. This is how firms survive in the market.

In this process, the socialists call capitalists as greedy.  Karl Marx said “While the miser is merely a capitalist gone mad, the capitalist is a rational miser”.

Crucially, the capitalist drive to accumulate money isn’t primarily about individual capitalists being bad, greedy people, but rather the relentless pressures of the system itself.

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.

Envy is the vice of socialism

Socialists are by and large concerned about people amassing personal wealth. They commit themselves to expropriate wealth and distribute it to less wealthy.  If someone became wealthy because they founded a successful business, what socialists fail to understand is that that person has found a way to produce something that consumers happily hand their money over for. And that they created jobs in the process where workers are happy to exchange their time and skill for an income.

Socialists see the outcome, not the process. Envy blocks them from trying to understand how economic value is created by the free market. They cannot accept that the free market creates more winners than any other system because they only see that some people win even more than others. Capitalists don’t care if Bill Gates is wealthiest on this planet.  As a matter of fact, millions of people were able to get an income from working at Microsoft or using their product to make their business more efficient. The free market is a system that is literally built on voluntary exchange of goods and services, creating what’s called economic surplus. People only trade voluntarily if they benefit from it. But socialists would want to being Bill Gates down.

Hence socialism is based on three-legged stool which are envy, ignorance and faith according to its critiques.

Conclusion

Each ideology has its own shortcomings in their truest form. Today no economy is purely capitalistic or socialistic. They are a mix of both. China is communist but trades freely with the world. India believes in welfare state model while economy is capitalistic. USA also is majorly capitalist but has allowances for the needy. Combining both elements is the new norm.


Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE

Please subscribe to Our podcast channel HERE

Subscribe to our YouTube ChannelHERE

Follow our Twitter Account HERE

Follow our Instagram ID HERE  

Follow us on LinkedIn : HERE