He Owns Everything. You Own Nothing.
These days the word socialism has become a very controversial buzzword. Fox “News” and right wing pundits have demonized Barack Obama as a socialist in their propaganda so successfully that 55% of Americans now believe that our president is a socialist.
Obama is far from a socialist. In fact, he is a bit to the right of the Republican president Dwight Eisenhower. That shows how far the Republican party has tilted to the right, if they think Obama is a socialist. Obama has given a huge gift to the insurance and pharmaceutical companies with his health care legislation, propped up the “too big to fail” banks with his weak financial reform, cow-towed to the energy corporations with the weak energy bill now stalled in the senate, and by sending more troops to Afghanistan, he continues to feed the military industrial complex, which is exactly what Eisenhower warned about . This is not socialism. It is more like monopoly capitalism, and this is a symptom of a disease that is in it's cancer stage right now in America.
The whole idea of proprietorship was unknown to Native Americans, who didn’t believe in land ownership, because they knew that mother earth belonged to God.
Due to the current barrage of misinformation, brought on by the corporate and media monopoly interests, most people believe that they too can become rich owners, do not believe in sharing the the fruits that God has given us, and don't even understand what socialism is.
So what is it?
The dictionary definition of socialism is
“1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.”
In this economic system, everything is owned by the community. I agree with this system only in the sense that since the community, we the people, and everything else that exists was created by God, therefore everything belongs to God, the father, and the community, comprised of His sons and daughters, share in the property of the father.
This philosophy has also been called “spiritual communism.” Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, amid the antiwar protests of late 1966, put out a mimeographed leaflet (among the very first of his publications in America) from his small storefront temple on New York’s Second Avenue. His followers and sympathizers handed this leaflet out by the thousands on the streets of New York in front of the United Nations building, and later in San Francisco, Montreal, and other cities. His “Peace Formula” was an entirely new approach to the antiwar question, and for thousands of Americans, it provided the perfect solution.
“The great mistake of modern civilization is to encroach upon other’s property as though it were one’s own and to thereby create an unnecessary disturbance of the laws of nature. These laws are very strong. No living entity can violate them. Only one who is God conscious can easily overcome the stringency of the laws of nature and thus become happy and peaceful in the world. As a state is protected by the department of law and order, so is the state of the Universe, of which this earth is only an insignificant fragment, is protected by the laws of nature. This material nature is one of the different potencies of God, who is the ultimate protector of everything that be. This earth is, therefore, the property of God, but we, the living entities, especially the so-called civilized human beings, are claiming God’s property as our own, under both and individual and collective false conception. If you want peace, you have to remove this false conception from your mind and from the world. This false claim of proprietorship by the human race on earth is partly or wholly the cause of all disturbances of foolish and so-called civilized men who are claiming proprietary rights on the property of God because they have now become godless. You cannot be happy and peaceful in a godless civilization. Although there are many civilizations, there is only one God, although He may be called many names in different countries. In the Bhagavad-gita, the holy book of India, Lord Krishna delineates the peace formula. He says that He is the factual enjoyer of all activities of the living entities, that He is the Supreme Lord of all universes, and that He is the well-wishing friend of all beings. When the people of the world know this as the formula for peace, it is then and there that peace will prevail.”
This idea was expanded on in Prabhupada’s “Journey of Spiritual Discovery”
“Our God conscious philosophy is also a kind of spiritual communism, because we regard Krsna as the supreme father and all living entities as sons of Krsna. And Krsna says, sarva-loka-mahesvaram: He is the proprietor of all planets. Therefore whatever there is, either in the sky or in the water or on the land, it is all Krsna’s property. And because we are all sons of Krsna, every one of us has the right to use our father’s property. But we should not encroach upon others. This is the formula for peace. Everything belongs to God, and since you are sons of God, you have the right to use your father’s property. But do not take more than you need. This is punishable. If anyone takes more than he needs, then he’s a thief.
When we forget this philosophy—that Krsna is the supreme father, Krsna is the supreme proprietor, Krsna is the supreme enjoyer, and Krsna is the supreme friend of everyone—when we forget this, then we come into this material world and struggle for existence, fight with one another. This is material life.
Nor can we get any relief through our politicians, diplomats, philosophers. They have tried so much, but actually nothing they have tried has become fruitful. Take the United Nations. It was organized after the second great war, and they wanted, “We shall now settle everything peacefully.” But there is no such thing. The fighting is going on, between Pakistan and India or between Vietnam and America or this and that. Mundane politics and diplomacy and philosophy—this is not the process. The process is Krsna consciousness. Everyone has to understand this point, that we are not proprietors. The actual proprietor is Krsna. That’s a fact. Take America, for example. Say two hundred years ago, the European immigrants were not the proprietors. Somebody else was the proprietor, and before that somebody else was the proprietor, or it was vacant land. But the actual proprietor is Krsna. Artificially we are claiming, “It is my property.” This is called maya, illusion.”
This principle is taken from the first verse in one of the elementary books of Vedic philosophy, called the Sri Isopanisad.
isavasyam idam sarvam
yat kinca jagatyam jagat
tena tyaktena bhunjitha
ma grdhah kasya svid dhanam
isa- by the Lord; avasyam—controlled; idam—this; sarvam—all; yat kinca—whatever; jagatyam—within the universe; jagat—all that is animate or inanimate; tena—by Him; tyaktena—set apart quota; bhunjithah—you should accept; ma—do not; grdhah—endeavor to gain; kasya svit—of anyone else; dhanam—the wealth.
Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.
One should be intelligent enough to know that but for the Lord no one is a proprietor of anything. One should accept only those things which are set aside by the Lord as his quota. The cow, for instance, gives milk, but she does not drink that milk; she eats grass and grain, and her milk is designated as food for human beings. Such is the arrangement of the Lord, and we should be satisfied with those things which He has kindly set aside for us, and we should always consider to whom those things we possess actually belong.
A house, for instance, is made of earth, wood, stone, iron, cement and so many other material things, and if we think in terms of Sri Isopanisad, we must know that we cannot produce any of these materials ourselves. We can simply bring them together and transform them into different shapes by our labor. A laborer cannot claim to be a proprietor of a thing just because he has worked hard to manufacture it.
In modern society there is always a great quarrel between the laborers and the capitalists. This quarrel has taken an international shape, and the world is endangered. Men face one another in enmity and snarl just like cats and dogs. Sri Isopanisad cannot give advice to the cats and dogs, but it can deliver the message of Godhead to man through the bona fide acaryas (holy teachers). The human race should take the Vedic wisdom of Isopanisad and not quarrel over material possessions. One must be satisfied by whatever privileges are given to him by the mercy of the Lord. There can be no peace if the communists or capitalists or any other party claims proprietorship over the resources of nature, which are entirely the property of the Lord. The capitalists cannot curb the communists simply by political maneuvering, nor can the communists defeat the capitalists simply by fighting for stolen bread. If they do not recognize the proprietorship of the Supreme personality of Godhead, all the property which they claim to be their own is stolen. Consequently they will be liable to punishment by the laws of nature. Nuclear bombs are in the hands of both communists and capitalists, and if both do not recognize the proprietorship of the Supreme Lord, it is certain that these bombs will ultimately ruin both parties. Thus in order to save themselves and bring peace to the world, both parties must follow the instructions of Sri Isopanisad.