Question: Please be candid. Can we know truth as you do, cease to exploit, and still remain in business, or do you suggest we sell out? Could you go into trade and remain as you are?
Krishnamurti: Sir, please, I am not dodging the issue. I will be perfectly candid. As the system is organized, unless you withdraw into a desert island where you cook and do everything for yourselves, there must be exploitation. Isn't that so? It is obvious. As long as the system is based on individual competition, security, possessiveness, as its foundation, there must be exploitation. But cannot you be free of that foundation because you are not afraid, because you have discovered what are your essential needs, because you are rich in yourself? Therefore, although you remain in trade, you find that your needs are very few; whereas, if there is poverty of mind and heart, your needs become colossal. But again, unless one is really honest, absolutely frank, and does not subtly deceive oneself, what I have said can be used to exploit further. I would not mind personally going into trade, but to me it would have no value, because I have no need to go into trade. Therefore, what is the use of my talking theoretically? Not that I have money; but I would do anything reasonable, sane, because my needs are very few, and I have no fear of being crushed out. It is when there is a fear of losing - the fear of the loss of security, preservation - that we fight. But if you are prepared to lose everything because you have nothing - well there is no exploitation. This sounds ridiculous, absurd, savage, primitive, but if you really think about it sanely, if you give a few minutes of your real creative thought to it, you will see it is not so absurd as all that. It is the savage who is continually at the behest of his wants, not the man of intelligence. He does not cling to things, because inwardly he is supremely rich; therefore his external needs are very few. Surely we can organize a society which is based on needs, not on this exploitation through advertising. I hope I have answered your question, sir.
Auckland, New Zealand
Talk to Businessmen 6th April, 1934