The Most Advanced Monkeys
Societies are dynamic, not static. So are the cosmos. Nation-states are dynamic too. Thus they change perpetually, which has led to the phrase, ‘Change is Constant,’ though in Pakistan we might think that we are going round in circles whereas we are in a descending spiral of change.
Early philosophers could not understand why the world changed, so they ignored it, assuming a static world. That was one of the reasons why new discoveries are anathema, oftentimes blasphemy, for they challenge established beliefs created by clergymen, kings, rulers and jurists. Remember what happened to Galileo who said that the earth was round, not flat, that planets rotate round the sun, not the other way round? To this day many illiterate clerics issue mind-bending edicts, like a mullah recently gave a fatwa that the earth is flat. Even in Cambridge there was a ‘Flat Earth Society’ when I was up.
It was not until the philosopher Hegel that change began to be understood, though his philosophy was metaphysical. He assumed change to be inherent, formed the concept of the dialectic as the mechanism of change where thesis and anti-thesis constantly synthesize to create a new thesis and anti-thesis causing perpetual conflict through perpetual change.
What was the norm yesterday is frowned upon today, like wife beating. Husband exploitation could be frowned upon next. Laws and societal norms change to control base human nature, be it the laws of the land, rules of faiths and religions, customs and rituals. Whereas in the past human sacrifice was acceptable to please the gods, today it is animal sacrifice to please the One God, as paganism and idolatry gave way to monotheism – mostly. Laws, religions, customs and rituals are always the controllers and governors of base human nature. Thus when after a natural calamity formal and societal policing of human behaviour collapses base human nature takes over and rapes, kidnappings, thefts and murders happen. It’s a very tricky and fragile balance, which is reestablished only because the majority retains enough civilization to re-impose behavioural governors.
Notions like rule of law and egalitarianism – that everyone is equal before the law regardless of station in life – supremacy of constitutions, parliament, executive and judiciary as the three branches of government that must be separate and independent of the others – have all been crafted to govern base human nature. Administered properly, these governors become very powerful. Administered badly, they crumble. If these governors are reduced to window dressing and rulers misuse them to perpetrate injustice, self-perpetuation and self-aggrandizement to propagate ‘democratic’ dynasties, society gets dis-balanced, the myth of the legal governors of human nature evaporates and base human nature takes over.
By the same token, when laws break down the governors that keep the animal nature of rulers in check become ineffective too. There’s a lot of sense in the adage, “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely”. It is part of human nature that when the governors of society break down the most powerful prevails. These are the rules of reality; if rulers respect these rules societies succeed. If they don’t, societies fall. If the most powerful has its fangs taken out it cannot replace errant rulers and save degraded society, it breaks down into chaos where there is a free-for-all in which the weak get trampled. Society scatters to reform itself and create new realities. It is so in the animal kingdom; it has been so in the history of the most advanced monkeys. If you are wondering who the most advance monkeys are, it is not chimpanzees, it is us humans.
Even in older democracies, if it ever comes to the survival of the State, the most powerful force starts flexing its muscles, as the Pentagon did after 9/11 and virtually started running America in things that mattered. The Department of State lost considerable importance in foreign policy making, Congresspersons were brainwashed with strategic communications and their perceptions artfully managed to obediently do the needful, allowing security agencies to transgress the freedoms of American citizens, foreigners and important heads of state and government. The only force more powerful than the ruler is the ruled themselves rising as one entity. This is what happened in the French Revolution, a bloody upturning of the status quo that led to the end of monarchy. Revolution, as against anarchy, is not a one-off thing. It has to be permanent and perpetual to keep constitutions and their systems dynamic, alive and delivering. Thus rulers need to understand that they shouldn’t push the limits of power crafted by societies to breaking point.
Today’s European colonizers first trampled upon the norms of what we call international law and democracy today, occupied two-thirds of the globe and proceeded to denude it of its wealth to enrich themselves, leaving poor, hapless peoples in long-term penury. After they had developed economically they took on the luxury and mantle of democracy, not the other way round. Democracy and development don’t go together. Democracy comes after development. Before development comes thought, research and invention. Then comes occupation and plunder of the resources of others and the creation of captive markets. Having enriched themselves first, development and universal education follow. After development democracy emerges, when an educated people understand what modern electoral democracy really is even though that is often tweaked against their collective will without their realizing it.
This pattern of human behaviour still persists, as witness the recent conquests and takeover of the Crimea by Russia and the earlier conquests of Afghanistan and Iraq by America. Of course pretexts are created, but only fools take them more seriously than they should be. More developed societies that call themselves democracies have found ways to beat the system by controlling the will of the people through electoral manipulation and propaganda done by the unseen ‘Deep State’ in the background.
We the uneducated only follow the pantomime of modern democracy without understanding. Those regarded as educated mostly mimic western behaviour and habits without knowing their historical backgrounds. Thus we constantly change by collectively descending further into deprivation, wretchedness and loss of freedom. We tout all sorts of bogus figures that economists pedal out to create the mirage of success while poverty in India and Pakistan is around 75 percent and more in Bangladesh despite them supposedly being democracies. Our biggest problem – volcano really – is our population growth, Pakistan is the worst. We are procreating ourselves to death. Pakistan’s real population is around 230 million yet no one sees that the lights are about to go out because this land cannot sustain more than 250 million, if that. If our population had been half of what it is, which it should have been had we not, as I suspect, been descended from rabbits, we would have been an advanced middle-income country and ascending. Karachi has an infrastructure to sustain 8 million people; its population is around 20 million. Education has gone down the drain. Medical care is a fiction. Prices are skyrocketing, real incomes are descending, joblessness and indebtedness are increasing, our currency devalues making imports dearer while our exports remain below our import bill, corruption has descended to loot and plunder, our social fabric had been rend asunder, security is non-existent as terrorists have taken control of larges swathes of the State, lawlessness is rife, the army has been demonized, child abuse has increased and women reduced to chattel. The government’s writ doesn’t run throughout the State; instead a lot of it has gone to criminals and terrorists, and increasing.
Yet there are a certain breeds of monkeys the world over called finance ministers, economists, bankers and regulators who would have us believe that economies are improving. Does their gibberish reduce our pain? I can assure you that there is no physical pain, no degradation greater than hunger for an empty stomach starts eating itself. Can you imagine how degrading eating grass can be? Can you imagine how begging for food destroys a person’s self-esteem? Can you imagine how humiliating it is to beg for work? It destroys one’s soul. If a society destroys a human being’s soul it wages war against the Almighty for Man’s Spirit comes from God’s Spirit. Such a society eventually destroys itself because it cannot improve the human condition. The graveyards of empires and states stand testimony. Those of you who have never experienced hunger and degradation might soon be experiencing it if things go the way they are.
Terrorists and Mafiosi have grabbed every lever of power. The biggest Mafias are the government and its agencies like police, utility bills and tax collectors and political parties in cahoots with private criminal gangs.
The people of Pakistan are totally – and I mean totally, completely and utterly – unprotected against the State and its Mafiosi. God help us, but He will not until we help ourselves first. I think God has no time for a people who die apathetically while they are living.