Posts Tagged ‘people power’

Man in exercising his intellect and manual labor, is not merely filling time but validating his life. He is making useful to others. Man as a social animal in order to be happy has to connect with others. Society is his creation and quality of which reflects his inputs into the common fount.  As a useful member he is standing between his ancestors and future of his offspring. But as a social animal you and I are not simply connecting dots in time and place. We are part of social changes like the heat thrown from blazing fire. Ancient Greece is the cradle of democracy. This form of people power has enveloped much of the world and quality of the present government reflects also social changes. Welfare state may be viewed in some parts as Nanny state and in some government interference to regulate unfair trading practices as not desirable to them. Quality of life under different forms of governments reveal social stagnation or progress. In short the present is not merely man bridging the past and future. He is like honey bees carrying social changes.

If such social changes have only produced  some one percent garnering national wealth it might show laws are not correctly formulated as to have produced this vast inequality. There are special groups to push their own agenda and lobbyism has become incorporated into the people power within which law makers work for particular advantage of some section than the whole. The idea of Bread and Circus by which Imperial Rome bought the mob works even now. Social changes have thrown wool over the citizens. Happiness that is inherent in individual, a virtue has by default come to be equated in the consumables that he could purchase. We are a victim of our own success.  

“The pursuit of happiness” is the most famous phrase in the Declaration of Independence. Conventional history and popular wisdom attribute the phrase to the genius of Thomas Jefferson when in an imaginative leap, he replaced the third term of John Locke’s trinity, “life, liberty, and property.”  It was a felicitous, even thrilling, substitution. How did this work out in practice is yet another.


Timon of Athens belonged to the school of Cynics and while the city was in an uproar he went around as though he had no idea of coming invasion of Xerxes and asked why they were working themselves to a lather. One morning he went to the woodlands accompanied by his servant. Seeing the nobleman in charge of logging, Glaccus by name Timon asked why he was up there about so early in the morning. The man said he was supplying the wood for ship building. “There is a war coming on !” exclaimed Glaccus. At the end of conversation Timon advised that there was no guarantee the wood going into building a vessel for naval battle would serve its purpose. He explained all the hazards the vessel was subject to when uncertain weather and uncertain course of the war were against her. ” But she can carry sea-men.”the man insisted. “Why you want them to drown rather than on land?” At the end the Cynic advised. “If you were to hang from any of the branches, you are dying among your kith and kin and you are assured of a fine funeral.” Glaccus knew well enough to keep quiet. At the end of the day Timon had seen enough folly that his fellow men committed in the name of patriotism. He turned to his servant, “I am so happy. I need not skip a rope every time Athenians throw one”. Timon proved in his conduct he was a cynic. The term “cynic” comes from the same root as “canine.” Their view : The world is basically evil: in order to live properly, people must withdraw from participation in it. You know what the world will be if all good people were to shirk their responsibility in changing it for the better?

If man does not dare change society according to his vision he will be condemned to live in one that he cannot see eye to eye with it. It is what we see in our present world though social changes were not result of a cynical view of the world. Progress and undue reliance in our own ability to work changes created the world. Naturally in a consumer society happiness has come synonymous with fad and novelty of things. It is a cashless society and progress spelt for all a good life on credit. It was a disaster waiting to happen for people who dared not follow their own vision. People perish for want of vision. Virtue of an individual is not in his holiness; not in his intellectual capacity; nor in his religion nor in any ideology. All these are means to fix his vision and happiness is the result of being able to make them serve his best interests. Period.

Vision of man is in his integrity that he is an individual. If he wants only to conform to the general trends he has  compromised his virtue. Happiness derived from goods than from happiness that is based on soul is as different as a drug induced happy feeling than the happiness of being alive to the world of real time and people.

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I grew up in the shadow of a war and seen dictators tumble and the new come in their wake. I have seen Stalin exercising absolute power and the politburo treated like toilet roll. There were many even after the Soviet bloc collapsed officially imitating the great psychopath. I also see those who have no ideology but power. Every one of them sitting on the throne and growing old. They are touted as fathers to their people. They cannot really see straight for the sake of people or for themselves. Why are they then allowed to sleep on their jobs? Obviously the people have let them. People have been thus made fools of for some millennia.
Not any more. I have been seeing in the Middle- East people reclaiming their right to topple their heads of state who have ceased to lead. These heads of state have had not a single idea by which they could benefit. So they became poorer when a few close to the figurehead have fattened. It is clear that no one becomes rich out of thin air. Those who became poorer became poorer only because they let others rob them, their rights,opportunities and lives. The back-room boys,cabal, cliques and party bosses owe to none but to their own power. This power as with millions stolen from the public they can peddle to make their power secure. Power-play is the name of the game. People do not know if they have power because they never knew they alienated power to hungry jackals who prosper at their cost. It happened in Tunisia, Egypt and the whole Middle- East need to know their power does not come from external sources but from themselves.
The people allowed Mubark and others to think for them. The same problem shall surely arise if they were to allow some vested parties think for them in future. Religion has made frauds come with the deceiving words to lead the people. Instead of Mubarak some shall make a grab for their power using religion. Or it may be that some cursed ungodly ideology that has no meaning or relevance to them and if they succeed use them as a test case. Ayatollahs and Mullahs ought to sit where they belong. They are not licensed to deprive the people of their right to choose what is best for their families. They may guide them in their spiritual quest but not twist their physical lives to show their power to their advantage. Kings, Ayatollahs or any privileged group who think they want to have power without responsibility are frauds.
Destiny of every Middle Eastern country depends on their people. Definitely it does not rest with some one who would rather use suicide bombers than do his duty. Duty of an Egyptian is to think for himself in which direction he wants his children to grow up. Either prosper or go up in smoke with their bits of flesh and pieces of bones scattered from the Golden Horn to the strait of Hormuz?
If people do not exercise their responsibility they shall be certainly run over by every fraud whose religion is suspect, whose promises are written in the wind.

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