By Humayun Gauhar
Last week I wrote that while the hyphen in the Chinese philosophical concept of Yin-Yang assumes two seemingly opposing yet interdependent forces in a symbiotic relationship, its absence means end of interdependence and symbiosis. It then becomes Yin and Yang.
I likened Yin-Yang to Hegel’s metaphysical dialectic of thesis-antithesis in which change is assumed as inherent and the perpetual process of synthesis between them causes conflict constantly creating new realities. And I likened the divorced Yin and Yang to Marx’s temporal dialectical materialism in which conflict is the basis of change. Their constant conflict causes constant change. Thus it was that Marx claimed that he had “stood Hegelianism on its head”. Not quite: whereas Hegelianism is metaphysical Marxism is temporal and based on class conflict.
We are more concerned with Marx’s dialectic because it is temporal and we are more concerned with our world. Though I am most interested in the breakdown of Yin-Yang in the American political system, for if the hyphen is not inked in between the two soon the world will go into a deep recession and change shape, I wish this week to look at the breakdown in the Yin-Yang in Pakistan, particularly in the three branches of government where the executive and the judiciary are working at cross-purposes. A headline of this newspaper last Friday said it all: “Government not implementing SC verdicts” – chief justice. Now there’s a reference against the chief justice and three other judges by the Lahore High Court Bar Association for misusing the contempt of court law. “The SC is no longer a court but has become a political field,” said the former president of the LHCBA – breakdown of Yin-Yang between bar and bench too, what?
The executive doesn’t understand the relationship between the three branches of government and treats Pakistan like a fief run by a princeling and his family, his ethnic brotherhood and his loyal courtiers, just as the PPP does. Truly, they are dynastic business Mafias. The thought process of the three branches of government defeats comprehension: the executive is run like a fief and paralyzed, the parliament is hostage to the executive and paralyzed too and the judiciary doesn’t understand the limits of its jurisdiction and is hyperactive. Executive failures and dithering create a vacuum in governance that is then filled by the Supreme Court and the army, bad for both and the country. The Supreme Court keeps interfering in executive functions, like appointments, promotions and transfers of officials or ordering the lowering of taxes and prices, yet it cannot ensure that its officials conduct elections honestly.
In General Musharraf’s case the judiciary just cannot hide its bias. The man is finally granted bail in the last of three cases and hours later he is re-arrested in yet another politically motivated case, the liberation of the Red Mosque from terrorists who had created a state within a state, imposed their own version of Sharia, opened their own courts and ‘punished’ many innocent Pakistanis and foreigners, killed an army officer, soldiers and policemen, destroyed people’s businesses that they considered ‘un-Islamic’ and made a joke of the State. All the Musharraf government did was its duty: to liberate a mosque from terrorists and re-impose the writ of the state, which is its bounden duty. The Supreme Court reinstated the terrorist mullah who headed the mosque, reopened his seminary and made the government pay for it. Worse, the judiciary has given bail to the terrorist mullah who escaped from the mosque like a coward disguised as a woman in a burqa while it has arrested Musharraf for liberating the mosque from his terrorists. What a contradiction, but our executive and judiciary cannot see it. Today’s executive would rather hand over the entire State to terrorists by holding talks with them. Or is it a case not of lack of understanding but deliberate revenge and sheer petty petulance? The terrorist mullah brothers and their cohorts in crime were responsible for the killings there. Yet the lead mullah is free while the person who saved us from him is under arrest. This is not justice but the lack of it. Who was it that said that on earth we have laws; justice is only in Heaven. Spot on. They are making fools of themselves and should fear the day when they will no longer be in office on earth and will have to face God in Heaven.
Why didn’t the Muslims bleat and blame when the Pakistan army liberated the Ka’aba and Haram from religious terrorists who had occupied it? Pervez Musharraf was not one of them as is being wrongly put out. They flooded the Haram and electrified it, causing the terrorists to flee and be killed. They were commended for it; so too should the liberators the Red Mosque. No one arrested the rulers of Saudi Arabia and officers of the Pakistan army for the ‘outrage’ of liberating God’s House. What double standards.
More recently, when terrorists attacked and occupied the Westgate Mall in Nairobi and killed many innocent shoppers of different nationalities, what did the Kenyan government do? Did it say that the terrorists should open an office in the Mall so we can negotiate with them? Did it say they are one of us, stakeholders? Do you negotiate with the virus that is in your body because it is part of you or do you kill it with antibiotics? That is just what the Kenyan government did. Many innocent lives were lost at the hands of the terrorists and the security forces but it is entirely the crime of the terrorists, not the government for doing the right thing. Has anyone said that cleansing the Mall of terrorists was a crime and that the Kenyan president should be arrested for murder? But their judges are not from Pakistan.
I am more interested right now in Yin-Yang becoming Yin and Yang in the wealthiest, most powerful country in history with the greatest knowledge bank ever. You can see it in the conflict between Congress and the executive branch of government. Congress has callously “shut down” the US government causing hundreds of thousands to lose livelihoods and many businesses to suffer. If America defaults on its loans in four days for the first time ever because Congress hasn’t raised the debt ceiling, it is curtains for the global economy. The issue might have been resolved by the time you read this but the damage to US credibility and confidence in the dollar as the world’s reserve currency has been done. Any agreement now will be a temporary patch up job: there’s no gainsaying it won’t happen again. If America defaults the global economy will go into deeper recession than it has ever known and it will take decades to come out of it. America will not collapse but will decline woefully as the engine of the global economy and the military-economic powerhouse that is the engine of the US economic will not be so powerful any more. New global realities and a New World Order will emerge as a result of the onward march of global historical forces. Yin and Yang will find their hyphen and becoming Yin-Yang again. The evolutionary process will still go on as the new superpowers start suffering from hubris and intellectual decadence. The dialectic never stops; it keeps creating new futures and new realities that we cannot imagine. That’s the way the monkey goes, humans being the most advanced monkeys if you ask Mr. Charles Darwin and Desmond Morris.
The US political system stands compromised. It was born of the best constitution in the world but today it is stale, stagnant and outdated. It now throws up poor leaderships that cannot deliver to the people, that cause discord and disharmony in the world and that works not in symbiosis but at odds That happens when you don’t follow ‘Ijtehad’ or constant reinterpretation to keep pace with history and the contemporary and you get left behind. Ijtehad is one of the vital pillars of Islam and Muslims and Muslim countries don’t follow it either which explains their fall from superpower status to the most pathetic in the world. Ijtehad was locked away by religious clerics nearly eight centuries ago and the key thrown away and it seems that America’s political mullahs are making exactly the same mistake. Thomas Jefferson, arguably the greatest political mind of the last two centuries, consulted the Quran for helping write the US constitution. “Jeffersons’s Quran” is a book worth reading. From its great founding fathers, a collection of the greatest political-philosophical minds ever, America has fallen to the mercy of mediocre and selfish minds without original thought. Their prime driver is not country but pressure groups like AIPAC, Wall Street, Neocons, the Evangelists, media, all of which are advertisers and promoters of Israel and the military-industrial complex. They worship the Golden Calf, not God, just like us.
America’s lost morality is exposed by what they are quarrelling over like shrews, while their country and the world goes down the drain: Obama-care, which would make healthcare affordable and available to the poor and middle classes. Is that wrong or eminently right? Sad. Yes, that’s the way the money goes when you keep spanking the monkey