Monday, December 31, 2012

  Civic man and the metaphysical man

This write-up aims at projecting the idea that modern political and economic institutions are not in favour of keeping man in his original, metaphysical status. Individuality, as it is, is a burden to the 'trade' requirements of these institutions such as Politics,industry and media. Their interest is to convert men into virtual mass creatures, more fit and suitable for their above referred trade needs. This is an extremely dangerous trend that deserve serious attention of social scientists.

Before the emergence of democratic ideas in the world, politics practiced by late Kings,feudal Lords and their likes was mere STATE CRAFT; the art and science of keeping the civilian population (the people ) effectively under control,for the sake of maintaining the integrity, and safety of the state. People were rather the 'property' of the ruler.

Though democratic notions had emerged in Greece millenniums ago,its modern revival, with a thrust on the centrality of the INDIVIDUAL, had happened after the reign of the ROMAN EMPIRE. Roman citizens were truly cosmopolitan, as many nations, with people from different ethnicity and languages had come under its control. A citizenship of Rome was a mater of FREEDOM than the usual subjugation, for the first time in history.

It was followed by TOTAL REVERSAL of the old 'STATE SUBJECT' status of the INDIVIDUAL in the world, thanks to the MAGNA-CARTA treaty, the French Revolution, and the American Revolution. Human liberty and equality have become INALIENABLE rights of man ! He ceased to exist merely a SUBJECT under kingdoms and empires. Ensuring his dignified individuality and status has become the sole,central purpose of political institutions. The fathers of American constitutions had put all the emphasis on keeping freedom of man from all the forms of coercion under the state machinery, as state was the main culprit behind men's non-freedom in history.

Democracy has come to the center stage of world politics. The proverbial GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE has taken root as the leading political system in the modern world. The end purpose of all political thought and systems was aimed at ensuring the pious goal of developing the INDIVIDUAL man into his maximum freedom potential. This was indeed a spiritual, or say, metaphysical goal.

Capitalism also has emerged as the chief economic system, an ideology based on the uniqueness of individual freedom. Man was allowed to seek his self-interest without any restriction, as it was thought to be the NATURAL LAW.

The big twist to this goal !

Emergence of capitalistic ideas were definitely complementary to the democratic ideals in the beginning. It stood as the symbol of the free spirit of man ! Every one was free to seek his-own path of growth and development. This ideal had got well reflected in the fantastic capitalistic growth in Europe, and then followed at every corner of the modern world.

The twist that we are going to write about is self evident. Self evident facts are such facts that it do not need any logical reasoning. Any one can observe self-evident facts by opening up his senses, both internal and external. Hence, let us observe the great twist of man turning back again in history as mere SUBJECTS of the STATE, under our modern democratic nations.

Twists in the basic democratic concept:

If one leave away the one and a half centuries of initial democracy in America, the rest history of modern democracy in every part of the world was sad stories of self-deception about this great ideal.

As big industries started entering the center stage of world economy, our democratic governments have all turned ECONOMIC DEMOCRACIES. The old concepts of inalienable rights like dignified individual entity,personal liberty etc.have given way to ECONOMIC EQUALITY. This concept has resulted in providing equality of OPPORTUNITY to every citizen. Those who could make use of the opportunity better than the other could attain center stage in every aspect of life.

If it was a man's physical strength, or his strength in organizing large armies to fight enemies were the old-world criteria for capturing leadership roles, it has become BUSINESS SENSE, or business acumen, the deciding factor for becoming MASTERS OF MEN in the new world. Thus, big industrial houses have come to the center stage of the world. Thus economic equality has replaced the old fundamental concepts of the INALIENABLE HUMAN LIBERTY in the main stream world. Democracy had no other option but to turn ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY. The ECONOMIC DEMOCRACIES had no other option but to play second fiddle in government policies and programs to the real masters - - -the industrialists and business men. The real players in democracy have become these big corporate houses, and of course, the NEW CLASS OF PROFESSIONAL POLITICIANS !

Periodical Elections, a free Media etc. have remained effective symbols of democracy, but the mere STATE SUBJECTS status of people under the such governments has become a reality. While the industrialists wanted these men as workers, engineers and marketing professionals for running their business, professional political class wanted them as loyal political workers and VOTERS . Both these groups never needed the above said INALIENABLE RIGHTS of man for these offered positions! Those rights have become a botheration and a hurdle, than an ideal to pursue.

In short, democracy has turned a convenient instrument for both the above neo-masters of the modern times,for pursuing their specialized trade goals! It is not what it was intended to be, in substance and spirit, or in practice.

Media, though traditionally known as the DEFENDERS, and WATCH-DOGS under democracy, are largely owned by corporate houses in the contemporary world. Hence, they were able to create a false image of OPENNESS and TRANSPARENCY around the above arrangement, so that no objection or complaint emerge from any corner. The recent Arab uprising was down played by media as mere local events. The current agitation in the US ( OCCUPY DC) is also not finding any deserving coverage in the world press, or in the electronic media. Such uprising of people for regaining their lost centrality in the priorities and goals of governments are not portrayed by the media in the RIGHT PERSPECTIVE. Such uprisings are projected as mere localized disturbance.

The civic man of modern day has very less chance of even recognizing his lost paradise - -no agency in the modern word want him as a metaphysical entity with inalienable RIGHTS and PRIVILEGES. If he was arrested and jailed by the old time Kings, at least he knew who his tormentor was. In today's democratic set up, his tormentors are invisible, making his status more pitiable than any other time in history !

His original status under the sun, as an independent, self fulfillment seeking entity,( as portrayed under the liberal traditions in the aftermath of enlightenment era ) has no takers in the contemporary world. Modern day political institutions want him as STATE MATERIAL for the existence and continuation of the state concept. The ideal of a fully developed, and fully EVOLVED men forming a rational entity called STATE, for managing their collective affairs including economy, remains a UTOPIA ! For all practical meaning, mankind has returned to the old spirit of the jungle in leading life. It is total submission of the weak, and the underprivileged to the whims and wishes of the strong and the powerful.

In the absence of any rational or moral agency in the world to lift mankind from its present day - dark age like - condition, it stands totally ORPHANED !


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Thursday, August 5, 2010

reinvent democracy to reinvent lives

Ayn Rand wrote CAPITALISM is an unknown ideal. We should say, DEMOCRACY too.

We have democracy every where with its periodical elections, and elected representatives acting like old time Kings and Royals.Their high handedness,greed for more and more power and money,their fierce fight among themselves for those privileges,peoples freedom to cry about these injustices and media's act of faithfully reporting all the goings are, in short, what we experience as modern-democracy! The only difference from the old regimes of Kings and Royals is that, now we have our own species of 'people' in the seats of power! No difference in the spirit of the ruler and the ruled. The evil of political authority based establishment, a myth that was fit for the old regime of Kings and Foreign rulers is in place, even under 'peoples own' government.

Whether documented or not in the ancient rule books of democracy, it should be self evident that instead of power and political authority, the ruling element of peoples government should have been plain human reason,wisdom and common sense. Why should peoples own government need 'power' over own people,equal in status and relevance? Constitution is the embodiment of such collective wisdom of all of us and when political power is used to enforce it over 'equals' can not be democracy. It is faulted at the foundation itself . Plain truth is that democracy has degenerated itself as a plain fight among interested group of people to grab political power. This fight has turned a professional occupation called 'POLITICS'. Media have smarty turned the game an entertainment-means for people, like similar role of wrestling bouts!

When police routinely slap citizens on the street, cane-charge and even fire at them when they demonstrate against the State for some or other injustice,or when tax men con and blackmail citizens routinely in democracy, laws that originally had meant to protect citizens and liberate them turned tools in the hands of the agencies of power to 'TRAP' citizens, the relation between government and its people is better to be termed as that between a predator and its prey! Never, repeat, never, some thing that even remotely resemble an arrangement of EQUAL PEOPLE to manage their collective affairs that naturally originate when living together in large communities !!

But can our Political- leader class ever realize such unfortunate foundational twists and deformation of democracy, and seek remedies to rectify them? A firm no, because the present system absolutely suits them. They have become clever users of  an old myth that use the ' halo' around the name of 'peoples' power. Communists cleverly had run fascist governments for centuries, using such halo around the name of the 'working class'.

The only strata that can open the eyes of the world towards  this deception in the great ideal of democracy is the MEDIA, so called Peoples' Voice. They arrange TV debate every evening on various aspects of bad governance. If they could mention these fundamental fallacies at the foundation of democratic principles aso at least once in a while, eyes of every citizen would have opened, and a sincere,silent movement could have been initiated to 'reinvent democracy'. Their professional duty is not only to inform, but to educate,enlighten and direct too.

This author was after the media for a long time ( over 6 years) to join this much needed initiative of 'reinventing democracy' so that it suit our enlightened times, and give people their due dignity and status  that is fit under 'their own' governmental-system,but there was zero outcome ! Will all like minded people come forward to share this mother of all CAUSES?