Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Is it the old jungle law that still rules the world ?

Is it the old jungle law that still rules the world ?

Law of the jungle was very simple. It was the rule of the strongest. Whether in the matter of having food, mate or a resting place, it was the privilege of the strongest to be the first. If any one else wanted all those privileges, he was free to have it, by defeating the former.

The single criterion for having this kind of upper-hand on everything was PHYSICAL STRENGTH.

A change happened to this singular criterion of physical strength at later stages, at least in the history of the species of man. The less strong could group together, gathering the strength of many, to defeat the strongest single member in the group. This grouping together did not happen naturally. It required leadership skills of some one from the group of the less strong. Instead of the superiority in physical strength, an element of mind had emerged in the scene. A mind that was capable of uniting the oppressed to fight the strongest. He was more a strategist than a physically strong man. This quality was respected in the same way once the physical strength was respected in the jungle. Instead of the strongest man in the group, now the strongest  leader with the largest, or the bravest followers was respected in human societies. These leaders had become invaders and war-lords in the history of the world.

 This man of mind was shrewd enough to keep all the other strong men in the tribe also with him, in the fold. It was a natural fraternity of all the strong men.  The original spirit behind the grouping of oppressed class of men to defeat the strongest in the group had taken a retreat here. Hereon, the phenomenon of men’s grouping in the history was always the grouping of strongmen for supremacy in societies. Even if the original form of grouping of the less strong with the original spirit had occurred at times, it always was later taken over by the strong men as their own, for achieving their goals. 

When collective strength of the group also couldn’t save men from natural calamities, wide-spread diseases and famine, the religious man had taken over the leadership of human societies in between, claiming his supernatural connections. He became all powerful in matters of both war and peace. The Brahminical hegemony in Indian societies, and the long reign of the Church in Europe are best examples of this phenomenon. In Europe, Church head had even the right and privilege for appointing Kings.

The criterion for social leadership had again taken a marked deviation from the period of  Industrial revolution in EuropeA new category of  powerful men has started emerging in the scene, in the form of the manufacturer-trader class. Besides the leadership skill required for the old kind of social-upper-hand, this new class had the special gift  of ‘business acumen’ too, to claim their superiority in society. It has become the most admired quality in modern societies henceforth.

The attraction of the adventurous travels to the new overseas markets and the exotic items brought from these mystery foreign lands by these new class were so powerful that, it is said, the British high society members were even willing to exchange their knighthood and similar honours to acquire them! Many European Kings and rulers, in collaboration with these new trading class, could free themselves from the clutches of the all powerful Church during this period, and bring an end to the era of Church supremacy in the world.

Luckily or unluckily for the world, this new class of business men never attempted to take over political thrones for themselves. They  preferred to remain in the back ground, and finance the operations of the political class instead. How the East India company, a private company initially, had come under the direct operations of the British Empire is part of the recorded history. The phenomenon of the grouping of all the strongest for achieving the common goal  was again seen here.

Freedom as a right of men was rarely demanded by ordinary people in history. Magna Carta treaty, wherein human kind heard for the first time wonder concepts like FREEDOM, was demanded by the then Nobles from the Kings of that time. King was arbitrarily confiscating ships and cargo of the Nobles who were in trade. The treaty was forcibly got signed from the King under threat of military action, by the group of Nobles!

The House of Commons also was introduced in England with the active help of the House of Lords, who wanted to reduce the power of the King in collaboration with the  new rich class of Traders. Thus the seeds of democracy was never sown by genuine common people during its re-emergence in the modern world. But it was undertaken by other parallel class of powerful people, who wanted to take over  political power from the hands of its former masters, and keep it with them. It was always changing of political and social authority from the hands of one master to the other.

This old reality about democracy is unfortunately alive and active even today ! It remain in the hands of politically active and powerful, two classes: the professional political leaders, and their friend, guide and collaborator, the business class.

It is hence the reign of the old jungle story in modern societies even today- -the reign of the powerful, over the common citizens.A passive media, willing to sing in the tunes demanded by any current master- who ever they are- help the drama to thrive in the world, without obstructions.

The new 'liberalism' only aids this calamity !

This age is proud of its 'liberal' ethos. Every man is more or less allowed to pursue his ways of gaining happiness ! The state is supposed to be only a mechanism that helps to facilitate this base goal of the society. It looks fine and perfect in theory. But what it leads is to the same old jungle way of life, where the freedom of every unit of life was more profound in a special way; as there was no controlling authority at all ! Those who could act smart against the strongest could ensure his survival against all odds. But the natural competition for survival was real,with no diluting from any central authority.

If we look closely at the liberal traditions of today it is amply clear that those jungle day social system was what got translated into our modern day democratic-capitalistic system. The only very damaging difference is that the governmental system here has legitimized the going, in the name of economic development of the collective, ie. the whole nation. The old time natural supremacy of the strongest has got altered into the supremacy of those could make it big in the economic front; ie. the entrepreneur class ! The old free game has got restricted by  governmental intervention, with the intention that the entrepreneur class may thrive,and bring 'DEVELOPMENT for all citizens ! Those who could aid the above process are welcome to join the scheme as ancillary forces. Modern democratic societies attempt to cement this socio-economic system in their nations, as the only viable model. No other paradigm of development is there in the platter of the modern world, hence, modern world has fallen into a man made kind of jungle system. The supremacy of 1% entrepreneurs has become the order of the day for the rest 99% common citizens, and the establishment runners, a kind of Godfathers for the former class. 
Here, FREEDOM has turned a natural privilege of those who could make it into rich entrepreneur class, and those who are into professional political activity who define and control the freedom of all.  

Freedom has not been taken away from any one, but it has been made something to be aspired and achieved exclusively by individual effort ! The routes are only two; amass wealth, or share political power by joining any political party. The rest are destined to be the class of 'subjects' ( Citizens) in the establishment, as it was always in the history. 

As liberalism is the root ideology that got developed into modern capitalism, with its added insistence on the philosophy of 'self-interest' as man's base nature, it naturally ended up squarely on the old jungle laws, with an air of legitimacy. MInding, or caring for the other did not find any acceptable ground in capitalism other than that of plain ALTRUISM. Thus every modern democratic state took it as their moral duty to look after the poor and the underprivileged in the country as if in a super refugee camp. 

Contemporary world has no other model of development other the above described democratic -capitalism. Hence, the other predominant features of the 'jungle' are also widely prevalent in the modern world, such as ever increasing demand for rights and liberty by the ancillary class of people. Those who are at the bottom most level of life standard, a sure and certain outcome of 'sieving-out' function of the non-productive elements in capitalism, increasingly lose their very entity as dignified human beings. They lose the base respect towards their own selves first, and then that towards the fellow beings, and world in general. 

They become anti-socials, and as a natural law, take up criminal activities. Many turn into organized camps of violence such as naxalism and Maoism, and a few into terrorist activities, for some real, or imaginary causes. In s nutshell, such individuals are men with lost self-identities. The mainstream world does not belong to them. They live in a no man's world, alien and dangerous for any peace loving society ! 

World has lost it common sense to realize the above natural outcome of modern 
democratic-capitalism !

It is like a theory in physics; when every one attempts to win over the other for ensuring his own self-interest driven growth needs, it naturally creates an economic, or wealth based  hierarchy in society. This wealth based hierarchy leads to power and relevance based hierarchy. The ones in the top get to enjoy unlimited freedom in society, at the cost of lesser and lesser freedom and liberties for the ones in the lower strata. More than the material needs like food and shelter, the questions about basic 'selfhood' of man take centre stage here. The existing system may satisfy the food and shelter needs of the majority population, but what it fails to see is the needs of the mind of man, or for that reason, that of every unit of life on the planet. 

A truly democratic establishment was originally supposed to bring in equilibrium in such a volatile state of inequality, but as we have seen, due to the sole model of development now known in the world, states are compelled to be with the class of entrepreneurs for the 'growth-needs' of the nations.

No one, or no agency exists in the contemporary world to advise 'common sense' to the present masters of the establishment that, the need of the day is to have a socio-political system that insists on the need of every man to look after the needs of the fellow men also, for the sake of lasting peace and tranquility in society.  When one cares for his own survival, personal development and freedom, jungle kind of competition is natural and inevitable. It will automatically lead to the hierarchies on the above described lines, that would definitely lead to social anarchy ! 

Here one need not share his wealth,or resources with others. He must simply realize the danger and damage in keeping the rest of the world in the abyss of irrelevance and disdain ! He must realize the danger and damage in creating exclusive realms of life, comforts and standards for himself and his likes in society. As Gandhi said, he must realize that the extra wealth been given at his disposal by nature merely as a TRUSTEE of the common wealth of the society ! Every occupation in life must receive equal respect and dignity in society, instead of the existing tendency of reserving high social status, freedom and highest monitory returns only to the entrepreneur class !

No man will cry about what the other man eat, where he sleep and dine, if he gets equal dignity in every sphere of life in society. Like the natural difference in body size and shape, man is naturally equipped to live with such inequalities in life. But problem arise only when inequalities in dignity and respect stands highly INSTITUTIONALIZED in any society, and it is this institutionalized gross inequalities is the bane of modern societies ! 

Rousseau had once said that if a society have gotten rid off the wretchedness of lives of the poor and the underprivileged, the pleasure of being rich and powerful felt by the higher class of men would cease to exist ! He meant that the only pleasure of the rich and powerful in the world is their marked difference from the common folk. 

What every enlightened establishment must strive to ensure is the absence such institutionalized relevance and higher status of its rich and the  powerful !

 Hence, man’s collective common sense must rise to realize that, sustainable freedom for the world is possible only by liberating the other person !  The unchangeable law for having one’s permanent freedom, and freedom of human societies in general is, liberating the other by each individual, and liberating larger societies by state institutions. A liberated man only would be able to realize the worth of FREEDOM, and then liberate all others around him.

Our civilization on earth would deserve to be called truly civilized, only when  our socio-economic and political institutions realize this simple natural law and set right their ways.   

Authored by: Abraham J.Palakudy

He is a seeker of truth and knowledge. His areas of special interests are Mind and Reason, Spirituality, Metaphysics, and polity

Contact him: ajoseph1@rediffmail.com
His profile and other blogs: https://www.blogger.com/profile/14249415589712707293