Sep 25, 2023
Sep 25, 2023
Human life is nothing but a continuum of conflict between the right & left portions of his/her brain. The left raises questions on everything and the right tries to answer them. One complements the other and there is no existence for us if both sides are not working in tandem. A similar situation exists on a macro scale too. The Left in any society raises 'inconvenient' questions and the Right tries to find answers. The body politic would be moribund without a proper mix of the Left and the Right. But it is also important to have an overall direction for any society and nation if it is to develop and progress. Perpetual ideological conflicts adding up to a zero-sum game can make any nation stagnant. While assuring the existence of Right and Left elements in our country at all times, it is equally important for us to select a net positive direction if we are to get India into the super league by 2020.
Right or Left
India has chosen the democratic way forward and so be it. Political parties and politicians will be part and parcel of any such democratic process. Even if we don't like most of our politicians, they will remain an indispensable part of our society at all times. Democracies are run by politicians and those who want to have the comforts of a democracy should learn to tolerate all kinds of politicians too. But there are ways and means to improve the quality of our political leaders if we can encourage political parties that nurture the type of politicians we adore. All political parties (including lean and family ones) have an underlying ideology and ultimately it boils down to which ideology we want to promote. While the Left parties have an international character in their ideology, the Right in every country tend to be conservative and nationalistic. Left is concerned about the human being in each citizen while the Right prefers to concentrate on the citizen in each human being.
Politics is just one of the numerous activities in our lives and any political ideology one decides to follow has to be consistent with his or her own lifestyle, background and beliefs. One cannot be a petty bourgeoisie at home and lead a revolutionary socialist party in public. Also one cannot possibly be a communist inside the house and a spendthrift in public. If one is convinced and decides to follow a particular ideology, he or she should be equally willing to change with it. I have come across many communist leaders who take extra efforts to get away from public gaze for visiting temples / churches / mosques or even for consulting astrologers. Some of them get away with the excuse of accompanying their spouses. But then the pertinent question is how they are going to lead a society if they cannot even convince their own spouses. Communism is an atheistic ideology and communists should be avowedly 'areligious' too because all religions are built around the concept of God.
Left Only Promises
Left ideologies have mass appeal because of their concern for the poor and deprived. It is unfortunate but quite natural to have poor people when 80% of the wealth in any society is held by just 20% of its members. Mankind has tried out several systems in several societies so far but pattern of wealth distribution has remained more or less the same. Even in communist countries, where private wealth is not allowed, the same proportion is followed in distribution of state power among the ruling elite. The facade of state socialism helped only in camouflaging the real distribution of wealth in all the erstwhile communist countries including Soviet Union. Without understating the genuine efforts of some great leaders in creating a socialistic society (immediately after the revolution in such countries) it can be unambiguously concluded that 'pure' socialism is an unmitigated disaster as an ideology. Strict socialism is a failure and mutation is called for if it is to be of any relevance in the future.
Marx had described religion as opiate of the masses but less than two centuries later communism is replacing religion. Left ideologies have opiate like qualities in attracting youth in every country. The concepts of socialism, atheism and communism appeal to everyone who reads through the relevant literature. The utopian concepts about land belonging to those who till and state power to the working class sound absolutely logical to any youth who dreams of ushering in a just world. They seldom bother to analyze the basis of those ideologies and their contemporariness. For example few realize that Marx (and Engels) had lived in a society which had few factory owners but millions of workers and they never considered the aspirations of each of those workers to become an owner one day. The type of society that inspired Das Kapital was industrial while most of the world is still agrarian. The value system and dynamics of an industrial society is completely different from that of an agrarian one. Industry runs on discipline while agriculture rests on trust. The type of relation between men and machine is totally different from that of men and soil; former is mechanical and latter tending to be emotional.
Right Can Deliver
Human beings are similar biologically and what differentiates one from another is culture more than color. Thanks to great levelers like travel, tourism and television, there is a minuscule band of international citizens who are comfortable in any gathering but a vast majority are at home only among their own. This feeling of 'our own' is what makes a nation and only when people of one nation stand together there is progress for that nation. After World War II, there are many Germans, Italians and Japanese who say 'patriotism is good but nationalism is bad'. No doubt they have a reason for saying that. But what they forget is that their countries still remain strong nations only because of the underlying national feelings. Patriotism will help in liberating a nation under foreign rule but nationalism is what will make any nation great. Only those political parties that can consolidate the collective power of masses by arousing the positive aspects of nationalism can take any democratic nation to heights.
While ideologies of the Left tend to be vague as a nation progresses and becomes powerful, those of the Right focuses more on the individuals as the consolidation reaches higher levels. Communist manifesto left every one guessing by merely stating that the state will wither away once the proletariat has taken over power. But in Soviet Union we saw this in practice by the consolidation of power by a coterie of decadent leaders hiding behind an iron curtain of censorship and exiles. Same has been the case in all the communist countries. The Left ideologies have thus proved to be incomplete and incapable of taking us the full course as a nation and as individuals. They merely lead us to a dead end.
In India, we have now reached a decisive stage in our experiments with the best form of government and society. There is no point in wasting time looking for an answer on the left side. Neither can we go back to the era of astrologers, yagas, kings and rigid caste systems on the extreme right. We can definitely find a modern and progressive form of governance by staying on course towards the right. As always the answer definitely lies on the right side.
More by : J. Ajithkumar