Mahatma Gandhi on Economics

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...Even though I am a layman, I make bold to say that the so called laws laid down in books on economics are not immutable like the law of Medes & Persians, not they are universal. The economics of England are different from those of Germany. Germany enriched herself by bounty-fed beet sugar. England enriched herself by exploiting foreign markets. What was possible for a compact area is not possible for an area 1900 miles long and 1500 broad. The economics of a nation are determined by its climatic, geological & temperamental conditions. The Indian conditions are different from the English in all these essentials. What is meat for England is in many cases poison for India. Free trade for a country which has become industrial whose population can & does live in cities, whose people do not mind preying upon other nations and therefore sustain the biggest  navy to protect their unnatural commerce, may be economically sound (though, as the reader perceives, I question its morality). Free trade for India has proved her curse & held her in bondage...


(Young India. 8/12/1921)



That economics is untrue which ignores or disregards moral values. The extension of law of non violence in the domain of economics means nothing less than the introduction of moral values as a factor to be considered in regulating international commerce. And I must confess that my ambition is nothing less than to see international relations placed on the moral basis though India’s efforts...


(Young Indian Dec 26. 1924)