Thursday, February 24, 2011

The politics of preservation/Oh! The sweet taste of freedom

In light of the recent assertion of opinion worldwide, there is a string of commonality that can be seen. In both the opposition to opinion and the assertion of it, we see that either/all parties trying very hard to protect something. You have the pro-present ruler parties fighting for the present ruler as their protector, even giving their lives for him/it. You have the pro-change parties who are willing to give their lives for change – change that they want to be a part of.

You had pro-Mubarak supporters shed the blood of anti-Mubarak supporters literally on sword and horse. So, Hosni Mubarak is the man and killing all people anti-Mubarak must die? If he was indeed the man, he wouldn’t have to run away from power, being forced out of power. You have Muammer Gaddafi saying that if he chooses to, he will rain terror on the nation and people will die. His supporters are going house to house to “kill his supporters”. Who is the scarier lot, would one say? The 10,000 odd supporters or the many more Libyan citizens who really want to get out of the daily hang noose that Libya is now. It seems that in the end it will be a numbers game. The best numbers will win, whenever victory is achieved.

The pro-side seems to attempt the preservation of what they think will sustain them. That’s on the assumption that Gaddafi will be their great sustainer. Whether a great track record or a fear they’d rather not consider, is it not them who would sustain him in the end? The anti-side wants to preserve freedom and democracy among other things. A far better thing to preserve. At least, they are taking interest in preserving their own fate. This substitutes a bloody revolution, like this, for an any-old-day election, that’s not rigged hopefully.

What good is giving your life when you could be dead when it actually happens? It is you believing in it so much that you jump in with your everything and then die that makes you a martyr. It is not a proclamation that you will do it that makes you one. When one makes such a proclamation it is usually when he has the comfort of doing so, like in literal cases of Muammer Gaddafi when he said he will die one. Other leaders under pressure aren’t as outright but seem to show a turgid exuberation that amounts the same tone.

True martyrs don’t have the option, either because it kills them to not stand for what they believe in the opposition of whatever or because they are made martyrs by the people, in the face of whom their martyrdom ends up being rubbed in – if one is wise enough to take note. Moreover, martyrdom, which takes care of itself, is hardly the issue unless you really want to be one and you are willing to do anything for it. Yes, absolutely bluntly, becoming a martyr for the sake of becoming a martyr. If one was indeed worth the glorification, they’d make better use of it while they were privileged to be alive. If the glory attained would, then, still be an issue, they should be a benevolent to the people who will actually give them that glory. It all adds up to same thing in the end. Further, it is inexplicable what good that will do for them once they are dead and gone. It’s all a very fuzzy concept indeed.

If it’s change and non-oppression that is being asked for, then martyrdom may just be a by-product/consequence. It cannot be the end goal and must have its place towards the furtherance of times towards better times.

So, the bravado really doesn’t achieve much, and the true heartfelt bravery comes from people who are really looking for that change. But not all these people really want change, it seems. In some cases, they just seem to want a wisp of the sweet air of freedom. It’s not that in all cases there was true non-governance and tyranny. In some cases, life went on and politics was just played on high grounds where three (or four) square meals a day, just enough water and roof over the head was not as important as power and ego in its absolute extreme context. If it is all just for the wisp of freedom, the bloodshed is surely not worth it.
The true heartfelt bravery does not come out indeed because these people need their time to make ends meet first. When it does, then (ending up) giving your life is almost inevitable because a man can only take so much before giving in to the psychosis of the desperation for better times. You can’t blame a man for that. You can only blame the man who puts him under those conditions, especially if it is the consequence of idealistic well meant policy that went bad or that would have never worked. From an article I read recently talking about the rule in North Korea, it’s not about achievement of equal result but the availability of equal opportunity that makes the prefect crossroads that don’t get nations into a series of revolts, one after the other.

As long as we know what we are asking for in a better government, and not just asking for a better government. As long as we know what we are asking for in change, but not just asking for change. As long as it’s not that wisp of freedom that will be refreshing but that real on-the-ground freedom that will not drive you into a psychosis of desperation that will spiral into a series of events as the world has witnessed in the past some months.


  1. I get your sentiment that bloodshed isnt worth it. But I wouldnt discount it- the idea of sacrifice goes a long way in keeping an ideology running. Sacrifice is extracted by the promise of honour which works as a very powerful incentive.

    Agree on this one: "As long as we know what we are asking for in change, but not just asking for change." We tend to get so taken by ideals, like this Anna Hazare thing, who knew what he was asking for even?

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  3. Yeah. Those aren't wise like the two of us, and the others like us, like the hype, sadly. The question is whose blood? Perhaps not your blood or mine, no? :)