Commodity and Profit

   Commodity is the sum product of five human elements and one element of Nature’s gift. The cost of commodity is determined by the interaction of these six quanta. These six quanta – the elements – are: firstly, the knowledge of the technology that  enables the manufacturing of the concerned commodity, secondly, the human labor that makes it possible to transform the raw material into commodity by the application of the enabling technology, thirdly, the management that puts these elements of labor and technology in the required productive order, fourthly, the motive on the part of the initiator to go ahead and start the process of manufacturing as a result of which commodity is manufactured and comes into being, fifthly, the enabling environment provided by the established government of the time which guarantees that the elements of motive, labor and technology would be permitted to put themselves in the required productive mode and lastly and sixthly, the raw material provided by Nature on which these five human elements work and turn the raw material into the finished commodity.

  Commodity may be considered a recipe of five ingredients – knowledge, labor, management, motive and enabling environment – deposited and encased in the eggshell of Nature’s gift.  The recipe of these five elements sometimes even without the eggshell of Nature’s raw material is capable of acquiring the properties of commodity and in that case these precious human elements are called service. Service is a commodity because it contains all these elements except the one offered by Nature.

  Each of these five human elements plays equally crucial role in the production of commodity. We may visualize, with regard to the first element, that every commodity bears within it an essential constituent element of knowledge. Production of a commodity requires an inherent element, without which that commodity can never be produced, that is contributed by mind. This element adds to the cumulative cost of this commodity. For producing any commodity we need the required technology without which its production is not possible. For example, for producing an airplane we need the knowledge of a large number of concerned branches of science – aerodynamics, electronics, propulsion, metallurgy etc. – and of their associated sophisticated engineering. In the case of simple commodity, say potato, we need the knowledge of agriculture – putting seeds in the soil, irrigation, providing fertilizer, tending the crop etc. – without which it is not possible to grow potatoes.

  Let us take another example from the life of primitive human beings, say a stone dart. The primitive man needs to have the knowledge of the utility of a pointed stone in hunting an animal, he needs to know the technique of stone-chiseling, he needs to possess the knowledge of correct scrapping of the raw material – the unwieldy crude stone piece – that must be not too less and not too much scrapping of the raw material etc.

  This knowledge of science is the product of mind and in the process of production of commodity this element of mind is deposited as an element of value in commodity. No commodity can be conceived of without this element being present in it. The contribution made by mind in making the production of commodity possible is an inherent constituent element of commodity. This element of mind or knowledge may be made possible by a single individual, by collective and common knowledge of society or by borrowing it from others. This element of mind interacts with Nature through the human agency and gets embedded there in the product or commodity. In the finished goods or commodity the element contributed by Nature in the form of raw material, on which other necessary human elements act turning this natural – raw – element into finished commodity, transforms itself into a carrier like an eggshell wherein human elements get themselves implanted.

  In the like manner, commodity bears within it the three other remaining human elements, namely, the elements of labor, management, motive and enabling environment.

  It is always possible to arrange these six elements in different interrelations while carrying out the production process of commodities. We may take the case of motive and put it in two different relations with the rest of the elements to find out the difference it brings in the resultant economic system.

  If we allow the human desires to fuel the motive, that put the remaining elements in the required order to produce commodity, then the resultant economy would be profit oriented capitalist one.

  On the other hand, if in the place of desires mind is allowed to fuel the whole productive process and put the remaining elements in the required order for producing commodity, the resultant economy would be a planned one.

  A collective human life may use one out of many driving forces that constitute humans’ consciousness to fuel this production process. These constituting parts of their consciousness range from their gross physical body, desires, reason to their True Self. And, any of these graded elements may be used by humans as the dominating guiding principle in organizing their collective life, which includes its economy, society and culture etc.

  The secret of human evolution lies in the constant interaction between the material surrounding conditions in which humans are placed and the humans’ consciousness that acts upon those conditions.

  This much is regarding the motive element in the production process. This combination and recombination or ordering and re-ordering of interrelation is equally possible in the case of other remaining human elements. For example, if we were to accord the primacy to the enabling environment provided by the government of the day, we would get a dictatorial regime committed to carry on the production-process, whether people like it or not.

  Nature presents ready-made material conditions to humans (as to all other living beings) and they struggle in their own consciousness to know – to learn and to uncover – the secret key to handle those conditions in ever better manner and to their advantage.

  Essentially, this is a struggle of human with himself; he has to rise in his consciousness. Then, with the aid of those uncovered secrets humans assault nature. It is their struggle against nature.   But this human consciousness is not a homogeneous entity. There are the pure biological impulses; there are the desires; there is the reason; and, there is also a light within human hearts that is not so apparent as one’s desires or reason. All these elements intermingle to give a definite shape to individual’s personality or shape to their collective life. There, in that life – individual or collective – there remains a dominant element that subdues the remaining ones.

  This dominating element organizes this individual or collective life in a definite pattern and determines its shape and character. If the biological impulses become the organizing principle, it is the lowest kind of animal society ruled by blind force and violence; though desires, reason and the light’s spark are there but they remain in subdued presence with no voice. If desires assume this dominating role, it is a collective life governed by profit and greed. If the reason assumes this leading role in the collective life, it is the planned collective life. Still higher, if the spark of heart’s knowledge assumes the charge, it would be a collective life of complete harmony.

  It is the motive that determines the character of an economy. Also, seen from the point of view of the chosen motive, the ingredients of the concerned economy acquire different meaning and contents.

  Evolution is a slow – very slow – process and it takes time to move onto the next step on the ladder. Humanity has to wait that hour when even the reason would not be the just element for organizing collective life in face of the revealing dazzling light of a still better element. But we have to move step by step and today we must march forward from desire to reason in organizing our socio-economic life.

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