Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Power play.. and morality?

It started in the form of a discussion about my building unhappiness over the hegemonistic American policies which were being justified as power play by an International Relations student friend of mine.

Trying to take a neutral perspective, standing out of the Third World that I'm in, perhaps it makes some sense. There's nothing wrong with seeking power and it's perfectly legitimate for the US to use it's existing power to not let anyone else come up to that level and whatever it's doing at the WTO or the imposed liberalization via the World Bank and the IMF. Perhaps India behaves similarly with the nations that fall short of its might. Perhaps the game is all about rising at the cost of others and bargain as hard as you can on all the fields you're playing on! Now, whether the field is levelled or not, is not your problem, is it?

Exaggerated stress on competition or the high stakes are then going to encourage non-co operative behavior and taking it as a zero sum game, US would need to burn the bridges behind itself so no one else can ever catch up! Isn't that what's happening when the developing countries are being made to abandon the paths to growth that their counterparts in the first world had grown with? We're to think about the environment, the ecology and the sustainability when the whole west grew at its cost, and brought it to the state of today. Hypocrisy at its demonstrated best.

But it would perhaps not be wise to play the kid and be adamant on following the same routes, because eventually, all of us are equal stakeholders in the disaster if that were to happen.

Whoever nursed the illusions of the joys of fair competition is perhaps bound to perish and so even the most naive of game theorists would account for opportunistic behavior by humans wherever they stood to gain something. That's why economists rejected the possibility of cartelization by firms to increase their collective might! There would always be a temporary incentive to cheat and thus disrupt the whole equilibrium. It then makes sense for a Pakistan to side with the US rather than look for deeper alliances with it's other third world partners.

Coming back to the point, it is evident that in reality, everywhere, the powerful player is taking advantage of its power and growing further, or at least retaining its current level, at the cost of the ones below it. That's international politico-economics, and that's hardcore corporate opportunistic competitive behavior.. perhaps even the domestic politics.. or even interpersonal relationships.

For a moment, I'm inclined to look at the humane side of it, when Americans subsidize farm products and europeans impose tariffs on asian milk products. Is the American fatso enjoying the extra cheese burger at the cost of a starving Indian farmer? Is it fair of a first world country to be still bargaining unequal terms with countries that are yet to attain food security? or the ones which are still unable to keep their entire populations healthy and fed?

The question of survival comes into the picture, and perhaps nature has designed it this way... the best 'race' to survive and everyone else to perish.. if they couldn't sustain themselves, they had no right to survive anyway. So when thousands of animal species were going extinct over the past millions of years, they were subject to the same rule of natural selection as today's sudanese kid or vidharbha farmer! So why the sympathy? Is it counter-rational to think of development in a manner that takes the entire humankind forward together and not increase the disparities even further?

Ayn Rand got me convinced with her works that contradictions do not exist, and if I find them, I need to reassess my premises. It got me thinking about the sustainability of the current modes of development. Can the voices of dissent be silenced by use of force? and how does it augur for the future of the world?

Can Al Qaeda, or the fundamental dissent to Western Hegemony be wiped out by American Weaponry? isn't it leading to further discontent, in some cases, even in the American Population?

What about the naxalite movement in India?

The demand for reservation in the private sector in India?

Will the voices of dissent die down by the natural principles or will they take humanity down with them, like a phoenix falling to ashes before it can rise again!

Wherever there's prolonged inequality and thus percieved misuse of power or an unequal sharing, the situation is not going to be in a stable equilibrium. Terrorist attacks, or naxalite bombings, on-street protests for private sector reservations, or the anti-development protests in haldia/singur in WB.....

All are manifestations of the same thing -the dissent, dissent to prolonged suppression.. to a refusal to attain something deserved and cherised....

What remains to be seen is, whether we are inclined to take proactive action or be fence sitters
and watch the show.. till it degrades to the need of civil wars and massive unrest.

Wise men around the world are talking of inclusive growth for the sustainability of humanity itself, but then it might have a conflict of interest with the short term interests or lobbies of several currently powerful stakeholders!

Is it time yet to find a role for yourself to play and join the crusade to save humanity? Any takers?

All of the above, are top of the mind thoughts, unresearched pespectives.. only to initiate myself and some othres around me into the whole subject matter.. coz I now endup seeing it all around me.... the power play.. even in interpersonal relationships.. mismatch of dependencies causes a lot of trouble!

relate.. connect.. and find the convergence.. remember.. Contradictions do not exist!


Friday, January 12, 2007

Me and Poetry?

never realized this....

You Should Be A Poet
You craft words well, in creative and unexpected ways.And you have a great talent for evoking beautiful imagery...Or describing the most intense heartbreak ever.You're already naturally a poet, even if you've never written a poem.
What Type of Writer Should You Be?

yes.. i've never written a poem! and certainly would like to believe what this test says!