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THE SELECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI > Vol. V - THE VOICE OF TRUTH > Part II- Section VII : Economic Ideas > Supremacy of Man : Full Employment


36. Supremacy of Man : Full Employment

The supreme consideration is man.

Young India, 13-11-24, p. 378


Every human being has a right to live and therefore to find the wherewithal to feed himself and where necessary to clothe and house himself. But for this very simple performance we need no assistance from economists or their laws.

Speeches and writings of Mahatma Gandhi, (4th Edn.), p. 350


Through Khadi, we were struggling to establish the supremacy of man in the place of the supremacy of power-driven machine over him.

Harijan, 21-12-47, p. 476


We must utilize all available human labour before we entertain the idea of employing mechanical power.

Harijan, 25-8-46, p. 281


I heartily endorse the proposition that any plan which exploits the raw materials of a country and neglects the potentially more powerful man-power is lopsided and can never tend to establish human equality.

Real planning consists in the best utilization of the whole man-power of India and the distribution of the raw products of India in her numerous villages instead of sending them outside and re-buying finished articles at fabulous prices.

Harijan, 23-3-47, p. 79


America is the most industrialized country in the world, and yet it has not banished poverty and degradation. That is because it neglects the universal man-power and concentrates power in the hands of the few who amass fortunes at the expense of many.

Harijan, 23-3-47, p. 79


As I look at Russia, where the apotheosis of industrialization has been reached, the life there does not appeal to me. To use the language of the Bible, “What shall it avail a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul?” In modern terms, it is beneath human dignity to lose one’s individuality and become a mere cog in the machine. I want every individual to become a full-blooded, fully developed member of the society.

Harijan, 28-1-39, p. 438


Every human being is a machine, only it should be kept oiled and in proper trim. That is what I am trying to do.

Harijan, 25-1-35, p. 399


The hungry millions ask for one poem: invigorating food. They cannot be given it. They must earn it. And they can earn only by the sweat of their brow.

Speeches and Writings of Mahatma Gandhi, (4th Edn.), p. 593


To a people famishing and idle, the only acceptable form in which God can dare appear is work and promise of food as wages.

Young India, 13-10-21, p. 325


I dare not take before them the message of God. I may as well place before the dog over there the message of God as before those hungry millions, who have no luster in their eyes and whose only God is their bread. I can take before them a message of God only by taking the message of sacred work before them.

Young India, 15-10-31, p. 310


We should be ashamed of resting, or having a square meal, so long as there is one able-bodied man or woman without work or food.

Young India, 6-10-21, p. 314


According to me the economic constitution of India and for the matter of that the world, should be such that no one under it should suffer from want of food and clothing. In other words everybody should be able to get sufficient work to enable him to make the two ends meet. And this ideal can be universally realized only if the means of production of the elementary necessaries of life remain in the control of the masses. These should be freely available to all as God’s air and water are or ought to be; they should not be made a vehicle of traffic for the exploitation of others. Their monopolization by and country, nation or group of persons would be unjust. The neglect of this simple principle is the cause of the destitution that we witness today not only in this unhappy land but other parts of the world too.

Young India, 15-11-28, p. 381