Random Thoughts

Who Shall Guard The Guardians?

Everything has an answer but some answers are right and not good and others are good but not right, but who shall guard the guardians has neither a good or right answer?

The problem can be defined very succinctly in mathematical terms. If I asked anyone to multiply the number of atoms in the universe by the number of photons in the universe by hand without a calculator, it would take eons to do it and require precise details about two unknown entities, but they could be approximated to an acceptable rate of error. All that is required is patience, persistence and genius.

In Hindu mythology, there is such an example. In the temple of Shiva, Kashi Vishwanath, there are three golden rods and on one of these rods are stacked sixty-four discs of decreasing diameter, with the smallest disc on top. There is a Brahmin priest, whose job, it is to move the discs, one by one from the first rod to the third. He can only move one disc from the first rod at a time at the rate of one per minute and never put a bigger disc on a smaller one, and using the middle rod as a way-station, move as many discs from there, as long as they are in decreasing diameter from below upwards at the rate of a load per minute, as opposed to a disc per minute from the first rod. According to Hindu mythology, the universe will come to an end when the Brahmin has finished his task. This is not some pro-Brahmin propaganda, it could have been a trained monkey, who was doing the job. The point of the story is that it will take a finite amount of time, be it trillion years, before the job is done.

Now take another example of somebody counting numbers aloud and serially. The job will never be finished, not because it is intellectually difficult, but because it can never be finished. It is truly infinite. There are different degrees of infinity and for that I refer you to the work of Cantor. In my misguided opinion, these are not the type of problems, which ethics, religion and purpose of life provide. Darwin clearly solved the problem and every creature will maximize its own opportunities at the dire detriment of unrelated individuals and thus better that my little finger be saved and the world destroyed. The selfishness of DNA has been well documented from segregation distorters to the basis of gestational diabetes, as a battle between mother and fetus. The beauty of Evolution, like Adam Smith's invisible hand is that it evolves into co-operation not for altruistic reasons, but to avoid the incessant individual destroying behavior of unmitigated selfishness and thus appeals to selfishness to engender co-operation. Thus from the ashes of selfishness, rises the Phoenix of altruism, so that it can regenerate selfishness. The answer is right but not good.

The charm of Hindu or Buddhist Karma or Christian philosophy is not that they are right, but that they provide a useful control over the bulk of modern humanity and modulate their behavior to allow civilized discourse and hold the law of the jungle in abeyance, so that life is not reduced to the Hobbesian level of nasty, brutish and short. By promoting a future life and an ultimate judgment by an impartial, but merciful God, they give false hope by appealing to the hope, greed and even fairness of the gullible ignorant multitude. The answer is good, but not right.

Lest some of you critics label my diatribes as constant carping cries of a confirmed cynic, I want to emphasize that it is the ego of the DNA, which is selfish, which needs to be tempered by the fire of co-operation to be converted into the durable steel of survival of individual or belief. This is the reason for the humbling, touching story of Krishna or Christ. At a crucial moment, at Indraprastha or in the last days of Christ, the job that these incarnations of God, that I do not even believe in, chose was to wash the feet of others. They, who had the monopoly on pride and power, purposefully chose to be humble. 

I think the chosen servants of the citizens of the United States need to read the New Testament, Hindu or Buddhist scriptures and not behave like the privileged clients of a partial God. Unfortunately, in my thirty plus year experience, I find the elected representatives of the foremost country in the world, such complete scum buckets without integrity, that it confirms my lack of faith in humanity. 

I am no moralist seeking an unattainable Utopia. But when I see the bought and paid for shameless, self-serving, power hungry elected officials voting to take away jobs from hard working Americans, black and white, then I say, that most politicians are addicted to power and thus prostitute themselves for money, the only means of getting their fix of power. They are the worst excesses of the instinct of survival gone pathologically astray and the best proof of the lack of existence of a just, vigilant or omniscient God, who would have destroyed them even before Sodom and Gomorrah!

To them, I say, vote for campaign reform and restore the tattered garment of your integrity, so that it is whole enough, to be at least a shroud for your vices, if not a bright, shining adornment of your virtues. Those who live by corruption shall flourish by corruption and unfortunately the innocent are the ones that perish. The common citizen needs to realize that most politicians are hungry for power and money. The old adage in Sanskrit clearly states, that there is no sin that a hungry person will refrain from. 

The political process is like the alimentary canal. The most fragrant and delicious viands, after traversing the passage, end up as feces. The moral fiber is macerated by the teeth, principles are broken down by the acid in the stomach, any good is neutralized in the small intestine and the residue is putrefied by bacteria, until smelly useless waste is expelled and is dangerous to the health of the public. We must reduce the power and eliminate money. Politics was never meant to be a career. No salary should be paid to elected officials. It should be considered an obligation or honor and no one should be allowed to take up paid employment after any elected post, as the meticulous, detailed and even somewhat paranoid prescriptions of the founding fathers and especially the federalists have slowly, systematically and inexorably been sabotaged, vitiated and made a mockery of, by those whom Mark Twain, so perspicaciously and correctly labeled as the sole native criminal class.  


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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