Friday, October 13, 2006

Fragility of social order

I was browsing a Time magazine the other day and reading about Dafur and Africa in general and it got me wondering about the very basic things in life that we take for granted. I walk on the streets unaware that there is an underlying social order that stops from anybody walking up to me and slapping me. Nobody thinks of simply walking into my house one day and asking me to get out of the house so that he could live there. Nobody walks into my work place and tells me that I have lost my job and he is now going to work in my place.

But this kind of atrocities happen in many parts of the world as we continue blissfully unaware that we are secure in a unspoken order that our society follows. In many a conversations people wonder why certain countries never make it out of their anarchy and chaos. More often then not most arguments hinge on that premise that if they cant help themselves then they don’t deserve any better.

One of the most common statements I have encountered is that if India and so many other countries can fight and gain their independence, why not Africa. Why does Africa look to the world for help in restructuring its society? Why can’t the people rise against injustice and help themselves? How would our society be if we were asked to create social order without a strong governing body above us?

Let us say that tomorrow the government of any stable country suddenly says, “We are done governing, you guys deal with managing yourselves”. Will we be any better than Dafur? Were we any better in New Orleans when Katrina hit the most developed country in the world? Were we any better when communal violence reigned in Mumbai and Gujrat? Or did it look any better when LA riots paralyzed the city? It takes very little for anarchy to consume us inspite of centuries of civilized living. And in most of these cases there has only been a momentary lapse in services. Then why does it surprise us that countries that have never seen proper self-governance and ravaged by war and famine for decades can never seem to bring order to their lives.

Africa will help them itself one day. But till then let the world not turn away from helping them. This is a global issue no matter where it happens. We cannot turn away from it. It is not their problem, it’s ours because one day it might come home to roost.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

They say that people get the government they deserve. This may be partially true. However, I believe that better previleged nations should assist the weaker ones in times of trouble. The purpose of the United Nations was to bring together nations around the world to establish peace around the world and to assist countries that are facing problems. The world is looking the other way while the poor in Dafur are at the mercies of power hungry leaders. The US's president is struggling to justify the death of 2000 + soldiers in a country that it invaded and disrupted. The last thing he needs before an upcoming election is to get his fingers dirty with a monsterous problem called Dafur. I understand that Dafur is not an easy problem to resolve and that there are so many complex social problems there, that it can be impossible for an outside country to assist the people. But can it be true that if all nations in the world unite they cannot bring an end to such manmade attrocities as genocide? Can it be true that dictators can continue to rule a nation with an iron grip and create a reign of terror, fully confident that the world community will not say a word. I think the UN has completely failed its purpose and it is not helped by the fact that its leader is fighting a war without much support from the world community.

sukracharya said...

Frank, nothing but liberal dose of liberal BS.... take zimbabwe for example... during the white regime, it was the envy of africa... good economy, good social order etc... mugabe and his black goons now are at power and look what they have done to the nation... they have screwed it up in every way possible....

now look at romania.. ceaucescu was a bad dictator.. but romanians finally got over him and now they are re-ordering their society... take a look at russia... after the soviet union collapsed, they plunged into anarchy... they havent fully recovered but are on the way to a good recovery an surely better than most nations... look at australia.. australia was a nation of convicts.... but the whites made australia into a great place to live in.... look at dubai.. its a desert for god's sake.... they made it into a paradise through western help ofcourse... look at somalia.. when it was under a stable rule, somalia did prosper, but it took no time for it to plunge into chaos and it still is in chaos... should western nations help them by replacing the black leaders wit white leadership??? then people will scream 'apartheid'... if black leaders are given monetary help, they will simply store all the money in their own swiss bank accounts.... so what exactly can any developed or developing nation do about it?? easy to sit in ur chair and give commands, that this shud be done and that shud be done... africa is a disease, its like cancer, there is no easy cure... maybe amputation is the best cure if we want to save those millions of africans rushing into civilized societies..

sukracharya said...

BTW, a simple example will illustrate it better... look at blacks in america... are they really trying to improve their lot?? no... they still are under-educated, still live in bad neighborhoods, still have a huge percentage of kids born out of wedlock, then there are drugs and gangsters and what not... and katrina and new orleans became such a chaotic thing because new orleans is a black majority city.. if the same thing had happened in maine, you would not see such a law and order problem....

Frank said...

Interesting idea. The problem is that if everyone took the defeatist attitude that you do then the solution to every problem that doesnot involve you would be to amputate the problem.

I never said that the problem is simple to fix. And niether do I have a solution. But what I am not doing is writing people and countries off because they have problems that are hard to fix. Thats what makes us more complex animals. If we solved every problem in this world that doesnot get fixed easily by amputating it then only the strongest would survive. Dont give me the whole "Survival of the fittest" notion. I would like to believe that we are trying to make our society a little better than the crazy jungles out there.


-Frank

sukracharya said...

Frank, i am not giving you the survival of the fittest theory agt all... human children are the most vulnerable at birth and take the maximum time to mature and stand on their feet.. so its common sense to take care of them till they grow up... similarly nations and societies which are new born(as in gained independence or got a new administration) should be given the help it needs. Now, look at American Blacks. There are numerous programs to bring them back into the mainstream of society. But still, blacks remain largely seperated form mainstream and they continue to push that barrier... all their actions, from rap music filled with violent lines to their dress code wherein they pull their pants a bit too low to their attitude towards white society, to their own lawlessness, their emphasis on education and marriage and parenthood etc shows that they are like a son who refuses to stand on his own legs.... they now want reparation for the wrongs committed on their great grandfathers..... if this is the disease they are afflicted with, then there is no cure, but self-cure only.... the same holds good for africa... they refuse to stand up on their own legs... now, as a parent, what would you do if your 25 yr old despite you paying for his education etc refuses to take up a job and stand on his feet? would you continue to feed him? i would not since that is a defeatist attitude... i would ask him to get out of my home and live on his own.... similarly if developed nations keep pouring in money to feed the bank accounts of te african dictators, there is no incentive for them to improve their lot... there is no seed for revolution or change.... is that what you want??

Frank said...

A very good point indeed. The question is what is 30 years in "nation years". A 27 year old son who has consistently shown bad returns has spent a good 30% of his life wasting away under the clear undivided attention of the parent but a ntion that has been independent for 30 years is hardly standing up on its own.

I am not advocating any sort of special treatment for any group of people. What I am advocating is rethinking the way we deal with the issue. If the way the world has been aiding Africa hasn't been working as you pointed out, then it is time to rethink how to approach the problem from a different perspective. How to bypass corruption and get to the people directly. However what I am not willing to accept in your argument is that we should give up on them and let them all kill themselves.

-Frank.