Fear and insecurity are fundamental to the insurance business. The more the people of a country are living in fear and insecurity, the greater will be the profits of insurance companies.
Our capitalist government takes no responsibility to provide prosperity and security to the people. The government has now surrendered this role to the insurance and finance companies. New insurance companies are springing up one after another. They are competing with each other to convince people to feel afraid and insecure.
There are several foreign companies that have been knocking on the doors of our country to liberate our people from fear and insecurity, and now our government has given them permission to enter. These companies estimate that the graph of fear and insecurity is rapidly rising in our country. This means, that they can invest capital to accumulate more capital.
Insurance companies and their agents are trying their very best to liberate our people from the all-pervasive fear and insecurity. They are spending crores on advertisements to make people realise that they are living in fear and insecurity. The more people realise that they are living in such fear and insecurity, the more they will be trying hard to rid themselves of this fear and insecurity,.
Examples of such fears are: the fear of a family as to how they will provide for their future in the event of an accidental/natural death of the wage earner; fear of dying of something incurable; parental anxiety about their child’s education; anxiety about being able to provide for themselves post-retirement; and thousands of other fears! They even fear that a dog will kill the cat, or how will they cure the cat or dog if it falls ill.... such fears afflict people! Insurance companies and their agents are making people aware that they can liberate them from all these fears and more.
One day, a gentleman, an insurance agent came to me. He was aware that I am a political activist. He came to teach me about fear and insecurity, so that I would educate my friends and contacts to seek insurance. He kept telling me, almost nonstop for about an hour, about insurance. Finally, I told him that I am completely secure. But yes, I am afraid of just one thing. He was confident that finally there was some effect of his attempts to educate me.
I told him that my father had given me a pair of footwear, and some pants and shirts as presents. These are very valuable to me. I am anxious that these do not tear or get worn out through use. I am anxious about these belongings, that someone should not steal them from me. Some enmity or natural disaster should not damage them.
Expressing my fears on this count, I asked the gentleman insurance agent sitting in front of me whether there was any policy to insure these things. He was stunned. He recovered his senses to tell me that no such policy exists. I insisted that some company must be providing a policy to insure people’s most valued things. He could not utter a word and just shook his head to convey a “no”. I started saying that some foreign company must be there, but he said No even before I could finish my sentence. I told him not to worry and to definitely get in touch with me if such a policy ever came about. I offered him some tea that was prepared, he drank that and took leave.
Cutting the story short, let me conclude this letter.
Two kinds of social systems are possible.
The first, like ours, which is a capitalist system. The motive of this system is “private profit”. The work of the State and the government is to secure the interests of capitalists, to increase the growth rate of their profits and to develop capitalism. In this system the State has no obligation to ensure the prosperity of the whole society. Every basic right of the people like public health services, hospitals, education, housing, etc., is in the hands of capitalists for their private profit. Each individual and each family has to take individual responsibility for ensuring his/its own prosperity.
The other system is like this. The State takes responsibility for the education of every child that is born to society. Parents do not have to spend half their lives worrying about their children’s future. The State takes responsibility for provision of quality health services for all its citizens. The State takes responsibility for minimising natural disasters and for rehabilitating victims of such disasters. These are some basic needs in any society. If these are fulfilled, then every member of society can live without fear and insecurity and in prosperity.
The country’s workers, peasants and toilers need this kind of society. Workers have to take the lead in such a system. Workers are the producers of wealth, and only the working class can ensure the welfare of society. The working class must unite to fight for the establishment of such a system. The workers must get organised. Only the working class can allocate the surplus value created by its labour for the benefit of society. In such a system, the social product cannot become the means of accumulation of private profit for any individual or capitalist. It is then that we can create a society that will be prosperous and free from fear.
The specific responsibility of creating this alternative society lies on the shoulders of the working class.
Prabhakar, New Delhi