Question: In what way could a statesman who understood what you are saying, give it expression in public affairs? Or is it not more likely that he would retire from politics when he understood their false bases and objectives?
Krishnamurti: If he understood what I am saying, he would not separate politics from life in its completeness; and I don't see why he should retire. After all, politics now are merely instruments of exploitation; but if he considered life as a whole, not politics only - and by politics he means only his country, his people, and the exploitation of others - and regarded human problems not as national but as world problems, not as American, Hindu or German problems, then, if he understood what I am talking about, he would be a true human being, not a politician And to me, that is the most important thing, to be a human being, not an exploiter, or merely an expert in one particular line. I tried to explain that yesterday in my talk. I think that is where the mischief lies. The politician deals with politics only; the moralist with morals, the so-called spiritual teacher with the spirit, each thinking that he is the expert, and excluding all others. Our whole structure of society is based on that, and so these leaders of the various departments create greater havoc and greater misery. Whereas if we as human beings saw the intimate connection between all these, between politics, religion, the economic and social life, if we saw the connection, then we would not think and act separatively, individualistically.
In India, for example, there are millions starving. The Hindu who is a nationalist says, "Let us first become intensely national; then we shall be able to solve this problem of starvation." Whereas to me, the way to solve the problem of starvation is not to become nationalistic, but the contrary; starvation is a world problem, and this process of isolation but further increases starvation. So if the politician deals with the problems of human life merely as a politician, then such a man creates greater havoc, greater mischief, greater misery; but if he considers the whole of life without differentiation between races, nationalities, and classes, then he is truly a human being, though he may be a politician.
11th Public Talk 30th June, 1934