I was watching the movie 'Full Metal Jacket' yesterday. The movie sparked the issue about violence in my mind. Why did authorising state take its stand more violently against dissidents than democratic states? The contents which authority is unaware, that is treated as treasonable due to fear of the losing power by unknown. There are attempts to de-legitimize and criminalize all dissent and opposition to its policies. Bounding of law to maintain order without even hearing voices of dissidents create havoc situation in the society.
Christopher Hitchens summarises dictatorship governance as : The true essence of a dictatorship is in fact not its regularity but its unpredictability and caprice; those who live under it must never be able to relax, must never be quite sure if they have followed the rules correctly or not. Thus, the ruled can always be found to be in the wrong. The ability to run such a "system" is among the greatest pleasures of arbitrary authority. The only thumb rule is: whatever is not compulsory is forbidden.
Fear, Paranoia, Suspicion and Desperation are common in the dictatorial state. State believes that it can control the citizens by blocking the information flow and shutting down counter state views. The outmoded bureaucracies of state put iron curtain on the people movements, migration and information flow. And, There comes a tipping point where ripple turns into a tidal wave, a wind into blizzard and a movement into a revolution.
Common people unaware of situation try to explain way crisis as conspiracy theories or playing the blame game on external factors, the relationship between solution and problem becomes a distant one. And by ignoring this, thus state and its citizens allows a crisis to fester. State of Pakistan is the prime example of this phenomenon.
There are two persons who inspired me for this discourse : Che Guevara [an Argentine Marxist revolutionary and major figure of the Cuban Revolution ] and Aung San Suu Kyi [a Burmese opposition politician and ex- General Secretary of the National League for Democracy]. They represent two opposite ways in the fight against tyranny of the authorizing state. I strictly stand on the fact that it is never easy to convince those who have acquired power forcibly of the wisdom of peaceful change. Aang San Su Kyi is doing non violently same in Burma and Che Guevera had opposed American interference in Latin American countries through violence.
In both of these struggles, injustice and anarchy are condoned by those who hold official responsibility for protecting the citizens from acts of violence. State tends to act as guardian of the citizens like the morality police, legislating on modes of behaviour they considers harmful to their citizens. When normal human urges are suppressed, they all too often express themselves in violent acts.
It is necessary to cultivate the habit of questioning arbitrary orders and to stand firm in the face of adversity. Political awareness can be blunted by the state but the natural instinct that led an individual to seek justice and freedom can't be suppressed. The root of discontent that is in protests of the young reflects general malaise of the society. State fails to recognise the reality of human behaviour, an instinct for freedom. Humans are not animals that are driven by hunger and mating behaviour only.
Here it also reflects that economic power is built on the ability to access information and resources asymmetrically. Economists have pointed out the link between the presence of huge energy reserves in a country and political instability and human rights abuse. The reason many suggest for this is that countries rich in energy reserves don't need the efforts of citizens to raise revenue, and consequently such states usually become (and can afford to be) undemocratic like Burma and Saudi Arabia . The price of economic development always comes through exploitation of many. Its not the justification of the act but basic flaw of top - down model of economic development.
I wanted to write about state and violence initially. But ended up at different shores in completion. I realized now that deeply held convictions are always on trial in the fight against arm repression. Today is ours independence day, 15th August. The political and economic changes had put India out of crisis, but there is a little intellectual tradition to support social change. Each youth generation should seek for new model or improvement in existing process for evolving, and today its mine responsibility.
PS: Read more about Authority : I don't walk Left and Irrational Faith -3.
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