Random Thoughts

A Critically Honest Defence of the West

Money is a slippery slope of corruption, which by its nature serves to propel human beings to the hell of indecency. It is also a necessity, to comfort us from the pervasive terrorizing specter of insecurity, which has haunted humanity almost from its inception. It is imperative that we come to an ethical compromise with this ineradicable reality. How can one nation not stifle its own progress and yet refrain from subjugation of individuals or societies, which have opted for a non-militaristic alternative, because of foolishness, pride or a false superiority. The history of the world is replete with high civilizations like India and China and individuals from Africa, who have been subjugated and humiliated because they did not transform their cultural superiority into military might or attained a technologically less advanced society for multiple reasons. This is not a justifiable defense of their lack of perception of reality or their internal pursuit of stability, because much of that was achieved on the backs of and to the detriment of the less privileged. 

It is important to realize that the West has done the same, but with the ability to numb the masses with some economic security, which blinds the masses into brainwashed acquiescence. The redeeming grace of the West is that it has assured a minimum comfortable standard of living for the least able, and has thus proved more humane, in spite of its false premises and unethical behavior. It is the more focused self-interest that allowed the Netherlands to throw off the yoke of the Spanish Empire and intellectually realize that the domination by a distant power is ultimately not in the long-term interest of its native inhabitants. The American War of Independence is a shining example of the same principle, irrespective of the fundamental truth that all wars, whether of independence or not, are a hidden instigation of some power elite, to incite the ignorant masses to fight for the long-term benefit of others, on the pretext of morality, patriotism or other misguided philosophy to serve the pecuniary or power agenda of the controlling few.

It is the sobering reality of wisdom and analytical thought, which rescues us from the intoxicating fumes of chauvinistic jingoism and blind patriotism. Unfortunately it is a rare quality not to be found ubiquitously, and thus explains the thinking of our founding fathers, and their choice of our government, even though one cannot be sure of their intentions. The serious worry they had for the unbridled passions of the public and the destructive attitudes of the non-property holders led them, partly out of selfishness and partly out of pragmatism to restrict the vote to those, who had something to lose. This was very perceptive of Madison, who stated that the innate differences between the nature of men, led to their differential ability to acquire wealth and thus it was better to entrust the future of this fragile republic to those who had an interest to guard, than to the anarchy of those who had nothing to lose. It was only a short step from this to the Hamiltonian philosophy to enrich the rich, in his suppression of the Whiskey rebellion and redeeming of the continental debt.

The entire philosophy boils down to the analysis that the rabble can only rebel, resist or hold power for a short span. It is in its nature to fragment, exhaust and simmer down with time, because it is only a transient effervescence, with no staying power. The greedy and power hungry nature of man and the inherent corruptibility of any government due to the weakness, nationalist jingoism or the self-perpetuating proclivities of any bureaucracy, particularly the ruling elite cannot clean up the Augean stables infested with the above virulent, unhealthy garbage of humanity. Thus is Thucydides vindicated, about the history and destiny of humanity and power and its recurrent cycles of folly!


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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