Revival of Animal Spirit in Governance !

Rakesh Manchanda

“Animal Spirit”, a new poster is flooding the print and electronic media today while painting stories on Good Governance. This is not an overnight discovery. Capitalist system today is in a panic mode. We don’t need a laboratory with skills to analyse or to explain how crony capitalism is the killer of E.E.- Ethical Entrepreneurship. It grabs out the virtuous animal spirits of an enterprise to show case it as a necessary evil. This is the `holy spirit` since Stone Age which the American economists, the Indian prime minister, CEOs and Ministers like Montik Singh Ahluwalia ,all are so fond of talking about. Many politicians are expressing their patent `helpless spirit`. People are left to fight their own war of survival like a gladiator. Animal Spirit promotion helps to hide the real challenges and sufferings.

What does the term `animal spirit` stands for ?
Let us pick up the first hand compulsions. The wild character behind the animal spirit needs identification. It shall be great to see the rule of the Jungle and to understand the spirit behind.

No one including any Jungle drum beater formally nominates and crowns the Lion as King of the Jungle. He earns the position of a King through his calibre, strength & attitude. When a lion in a Jungle runs to kill- he runs for food. When a deer runs he runs for life- to protect his daily work. It is only the Lion who in Jungle knows the hidden team work that helps him survive. According to discovery channel a lion does not kill more then 32 times in a year unlike animal greed and animal spirit of few that kills the rest. Each day every hour, each minute and every second the game is on.

Guide to Modern Animal spirits:

In Africa-India many are seen walking miles. We live in an unexplained world where poor people walk miles to earn food and rich people walk miles to digest food. `Greed` supports and does the animal trick : It trains, it protects and it generates wealth for few using more at a neck breaking speed. It cheats the human spirit which desires the team participation but is kept slow for a better living and for a respectful survival. Pizza reaches home faster than the Police and the Ambulance.

Ancient respect for Animal Spirits :

Witch doctors and magicians use this term since ancient times, to dictate power. To monitor business control over humanity. Term was first coined by John Maynard Keynes in one of his economics books, “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money”. The term “animal spirits” is used to describe human emotion that drives consumer confidence and not to fight and overcome spirits. According to Keynes, `animal spirits` also generate human trust. This was true in 1936. Animal sovereignty it appears was born in response to growing conflicts in unfair wealth distribution among people during the great Depression of 1930s.Relation between a man-machine, production- its means and its ends all have taken a sea change since then. Information and IT is the new game changer. We live in a Global village where Rice is one dollar per kg or 5000 K or Rs.50/- per kg but the Sim Card for a mobile is free. Today the humanity of 99 % is standing up against the animal spirit of 1 %. The demand is for Human Rights, better wealth distribution, better share, work regulations and basic minimum survival kit is evident.

Resurgence of interest in the idea of animal spirits in recent years of crisis is evident. Several books and articles have been published on this topic. Keynes believed that animal spirits were necessary to motivate people to take positive action. In the sports arena it is transformed as the `killer spirit` charged up for a win.

Reform with an animal spirit not only succeeded in Africa but prospered in India for two decades. Its success was visible. It was also shared and cheered by a wide section of our people. Why has the picture then changed-dirty in India ? Why reforms are De-forming now ? Could it be just a consequence of the global commodity boom fired by easy investments flooding the larger Western economies after the 2008 financial crisis? It has created speedy windfall-billionaires all over the world, including in India: the Reddy brothers of Bellary are one example.

To go back to our original query, the economy stands shattered. Markets have flip flopped not because Global Governance is pro- or anti-business, but because it has been so hypocritical about animal spirit and about private economy with private and hidden double rules.

Let’s look at some of the new corporate class the real hidden masters instead of the usual suspect, the government. Animal Sprit unlike the modest human spirit of 99 % is more demanding. Animal spirit needs favours, demands elite care, twisting of laws, weak regulations, no civilized competition, ownership of natural resources at a throw away prices and a freedom to steal capital to put in speculative market for a fake growth. Many of these spirits quickly get listed on the stock markets in boom times, and kept leveraging and manipulating their balance sheets as if the rush hour will never stop.

Animal Spirit also provides a permanent do-nothing excuse of the Global Governance Class. Investors spend their time at golf course sipping bear. Football a team game seldom suits their temperament. Worst of all, it is a fast ruining public opinion for businessmen in India; as it confirms the worst old fears of all of them being the hidden spirit controllers: controlling the destiny of millions with hidden profits in tax havens.

The big collateral learners in the animal spirit process are the `human spirit` campaigners as the strugglers. Hope is the magic oxygen behind the 99 % that includes some middle level Business houses. Human Spirit sluggers are forced to be called as lazy, suckers and robber barons as we see in Greece crisis. We live in system where capital is worshipped as a God but human capital involved is treated as dirt.

A broken link in the system needs to be understood, re-connected and corrected fast. A global village disconnect: We see a clear disconnect among powerful ruling elite and the 99%.Majoirty wish to have a better civilized systems with participation and with fair justice. Animal spirit need to sacrifice more. It needs to be accommodative for the global governance world order by allowing flow of more money in more pockets. Growth in the real market can only help to save the `animal spirit` from getting extinct or thrown out of the economic game of survival.

Lion and the Tiger in Indian Jungles are vanishing fast today in spite of Government best efforts to invest in wild life and care for animals. Protection of animal spirit may be a necessary evil but not at the cost of humans.