From the film “I Clowns” or “The Clowns” (1970)
© 1970 RAI – RadioTelevisione Italiana, Compagnia Leone Cinematografica
It is pretty elementary, yet so many people have been missing the point for such a long time. Not others though, because no one uses this openly secret weapon like religious groups.
In a democracy, the numbers count. For votes. But in half-baked democracies such as those in the Indian subcontinent, and in Pakistan in particular, it is the numbers with the pitchforks that count.
Yes, if you have the numbers, and passion, mobs can do just about anything for you.
Time and again, over decades, consistently and repeatedly, we have observed that rioting mobs have been and are superior to the police. They are the only force. There is simply no match.
The subcontinent has this proud medieval tradition of rioting. And then there are vendetta riots. Armed vigilantes taking control of things themselves and making sure that justice is delivered there and then.
Needless to say, that these mobs are often than not motivated by religion. Hindu Muslim riots, Hindu Christian riots, Muslim Christian riots, Muslim Ahmedi riots, Sunni Shia riots, partition riots, ethnic riots, favorite cult or political leader assassinated riots, anti Western blasphemy riots.
The history is so rich, both in variety and frequency of events, that a systematic proof is not even necessary.
The police has learned never to stand in the way of this unstoppable force. Any resistance is futile. When a mob is invading, the best bet for a cop is to run for his life and turn his firearms over to them like a responsible trooper.
After all, the police is neither trained, nor paid, nor equipped to handle these mobs. The worse that could happen is a few days of curfew and the military patrolling the streets. What could possibly go wrong?
So if you have an agenda, the most profitable way of achieving instant and tangible results is to hire a mob. There are professional rioters around who can execute the job with great skill and controlling chaos.
And the state is forced to listen to you. Rioting mobs forced the state to ban YouTube. Perhaps, activists who campaign against internet censorship could use the same tactics. But seriously, the state listens to rioters, say laid off government employees.
Of course, if you are in the business of insurance, life can be difficult for you. A lot of lost bets. Frequent claims, that is, if people bother to buy your hopeless policies at all.
But what of the relatively secular, god-fearing businessman and poor low key resident who is caught in the middle of the storm, just because they happened to be somewhere at the wrong time in the wrong place? Well, what of them? They are just a casualty.
If you are a Pakistani businessman, you are going to pay some very high premiums, especially if your business office or warehouse is located near a religious or political structure. Or even if it is located at a prominent location, where it is supposed to be, or a city square known to be a frequent rioting ground.
The most useful rioting agenda could be setting up an attack on one’s own office or home in order to lodge an insurance claim or to get rid of inconvenient office record. Just stir a riot for a reasonably unreasonable reason, and sit back and enjoy the show.
Who could ever possibly know?
So if you live in some city or village in Pakistan with reasonable population, you could be the next casualty. You have been warned.
Perhaps saying a little prayer at the right time could help.
Filed under: Commentary | Tagged: agenda, curfew, hire-a-mob, indian sub continent, insurance, internet censorship, law, military, mob, Muslims, Pakistan, Peace, police, politics, religion, riot, security, state, violence, youtube | 1 Comment »
Would you believe that the drone is a divisive issue? But what isn’t.
A recent Amnesty International report with a rather emotional title was widely hailed by anti-drone activists, and locally by staunch anti-war parties such as the PTI. However, at the same time the report was criticized by people who think the weapon was doing a great job in firing terrorists. The accuracy of the report has also been questioned, although by some who have a history of defending drone strikes.
Obviously, you cannot expect the US government to concede that drones violate international law. However, I believe that when international human rights watchdogs are disapproving of drones and if the UN considers their use a violation of international law, there is no real need to go out of your way to defend the US drone campaign. Amusingly, a lot of commentators have been doing precisely that to justify the US government and military.
This does not mean that they do not have valid reasons to do that. Drone warfare is not any worse than conventional warfare, except for the fact that it is a constant threat looming on the heads of certain civilian populations, where militants are present. I think relatively safer populations cannot understand how a threatened population may see drone strikes.
The usual response to criticism of drones is that jet bombing kills more if not the equal number of people, can be as terrible for the people suffering the bombing and human rights, and that conventional bombing is more erratic than the drones. All these points are valid.
Whoever is opposing drones but advocating jet or artillery fire is not understanding the benefit of the technology. Pakistani nationalists opposing drones because they violate the sovereignty of the country is merely a nationalistic political viewpoint and has nothing to do with the human loss.
Drone technology is superior, indeed. But if the UN and other international and nonpartisan bodies are maintaining that US drone strikes violate international law, there is no sense in persisting with the support of an illegal device of war.
However, this does not mean that the use of this particular technology is condemned, even though it is a violation of people’s privacy and safety in any case. I do not see the reports criticizing drones and the civilian deaths caused by them as an attack on the technology, but one on the political force controlling these drones.
The drone can be legitimized. The US should stop carrying out drone strikes unilaterally and, since the technology is so accurate and helps minimize losses, the United Nations Security Council should be authorizing and supervising drone strikes when and where needed.
This does not necessarily have to require the US giving up the drone technology to the UNSC, but the UN body would only supervise the US strikes, as in UN Peacekeeping Missions. In this way, drone strikes would at least not violate the international law and the instances of possible abuse can be minimized. Critics may question the feasibility of this proposal, but the viewpoint of defending violation of international law is unreasonable.
Maybe all the criticism on the drone strikes is more about the distrust of the invader, instead of the weapon.
It’s not the drone that kills, but the people behind it.
Filed under: Commentary | Tagged: Amnesty International, civilians, drone strikes, drones, human rights, International Law, legitimize, Peace, politics, United Nations, United Nations Security Council, United States of America, war | 3 Comments »
In my opinion, there is no such thing as an objective system of morality, at least for an (intelligent and) emotional species such as human beings. I would not even consider a single value to be universally agreed upon, no matter how morally correct or incorrect it may seem to any person. Not even instincts of self interest in nature guarantee an objective system of morality.
Ayn Rand called her philosophy of preserving self interest and individual liberty “moral objectivism“. People find her philosophy immoral, but I like it and rather admire her for challenging moral conventions. However, I consider it a bit arrogant and naïve of her to call her philosophy moral objectivism. It is not moral objectivism in the true sense, because it is not objective, you may go with the name, but by her own definition, a more appropriate title would be “rational morality” or “moral rationalism”. Though people would even dispute that, on the count of rationality. I don’t have enough sympathy for the philosophy to even defend that label though.
Even if there is a God, and has ordered a certain set of morality, there is no reason for humans to accept it. God’s opinion is just an opinion and humans may find no reason to find it superior to theirs. And since humans have enough intelligence to reason for themselves, they do not need to follow the opinion of an alien entity, even when enslaved.
Somebody asked me that if there were no objective morality, would it allow people to rape babies. This question has nothing to do with the idea that there is no such thing as objective morality, because this tells more about the person committing the act. While a lot of people may commit the act considering it something wrong, while going on with it, while others would not consider it immoral at all, even if it kills the baby. Take righteous and honor killing for an example. An apparently very wrong act committed for very moral and noble reasons.
There can possibly be a moral system in which even eating the babies would not be considered wrong. On the lighter note, it actually calls to mind Jonathan Swift‘s satire “A Modest Proposal“. But consider someone actually following the outrageous idea for moral reasons
So there is only one explanation of subjective morality systems around the world. Humans came up with it themselves and almost all of them have some sort of contradiction at some point.
Answer to Quora Question: If there is no God, then how can there ever be any sort of objective system of morality?
Filed under: Commentary | Tagged: A Modest Proposal, atheism, Ayn Rand, ethics, God, honor killing, Jonathan Swift, Moral Objectivism, morality, objective morality, philosophy, rational morality, rationality, religion | 1 Comment »