Between Progress and Justice
"While giving careful consideration to harmony between profit and social justice, we aim to devote ourselves to the development of national industry, to foster progress and to promote the general welfare of society."
These are the words the late Mr. Matsushita said during the early days of his company the world eventually known as Panasonic. His words had emphasise much of social justice citing his experiences as a lowly electrical worker whom became Chief Executive Officer of his company.
It seemed quite strange for a person, especially an upper-class one from the electric industry to speak about social justice. To others it may call it as a desperate attempt to appease people especially those whom are against the profit-oriented inclinations of the ruling class, that they had resorted to use populist ideas in order to sway away people from those clamoring for land, bread, justice, and freedom. That, frankly speaking, they would tackle about business ethics as if a panacea to resolve tensions, but does it mean those ethics would benefit workers? Sorry to say, but other than a rhetoric to encourage people to be productive and strong would say it isn't enough to appease those whom are greatly affected by crisis.
On the other hand, and actually, there's nothing wrong in Mr. Matsushita's statement trying to make harmony between profit and social justice. But in today's setting wherein workers being exploited if not disenfranchised by the society supposed be abide by hope and justice, his ideas are just plain ideas being peddled as rhetoric, compared to the actual profiteer, irrespective of the sector he belongs emphasises profit and sacrifices well being of those actually creating every product such as gadgets, clothing, or even processed food.
But then, things make clear that in spite of seeing really existing profit-oriented businesspeople, still there are those whom are willing to sacrifice for social well being through a real fair share to the workers as part of a social progression. How come Scandinavian countries or UK under Attlee practise social justice in its programs? How come China became successful in having its workers during its first few years through its "iron rice bowl"? Of management and employees acting as a collective in ensuring the well being of the company? The mission is clear for those who insist social justice: putting practise the virtue of solidarity as a highest form of charity than charity alone, as fostering social, as well as economic progress comes greater responsibility of ensuring community's as well as individual's upliftment.
Or to tell straightforward:
"It's better to sacrifice their increasing profits than their own heads."
As long hours of work making good quality things brought tremendous profits, it is necessary to reward workers progressively and just. But as long as profiteers create crisis, jusitfy exploitation, may as well they themselves create their fall. Right was Marat to say that "five or six hundred heads cut off would have assured your repose" as exploited beings, bereft of development regardless of its long hours of work just for a short pay and a crisis difficult to resolve. No offense, but will anyone remain contented in short pay as crisis continue to linger? Working hard alone doesn't guarantee hope, especially in a reality full of inconvenience. If Mr. Matsushita had afford to say words like Social Justice and fostering progress and devoting to general welfare, it includes those who actually made things happen such as those on the front line.
As entrepreneurs aspiring to become industrialists; of engineers, scientists, all willing to create solid foundations and fulfilling aspirations of the people, it is indeed an obligation, an aim to devote in creating a society that is just and at the same time generating progress. Yes, it is indeed difficult for them to succeed in their devotion, especially that today's order of things in developing countries had acted half-hearted in regards to industrialization while presenting infrastructure and the illusion of stimulating production, currying foreign investment, yet actually accommodates the ruling few than benefits the many. You may also wonder why half-hearted bureaucrats prefer a country awash with cash and imports rather than seriously adhere to fulfilling people's aspirations such as what Mr. Matsushita did, much more that those who favor the former would rather say international capital and a series of neoliberal terminologies rather than urging people to stimulate production in one country such as a developing one.
That's all for now.