This post is in connection with Against all odds! John G. Stoessinger writes in “Why Nations Go to War”, “the case material reveals that perhaps the most important single precipitating factor in the outbreak of war is misconception. Such distortion may manifest itself in four different ways: in a leader’s image of himself; a leader’s view of his adversary’s character; a leader’s view of his adversary’s capabilities and power.”
It indicates towards the scenario in which a war is waged. The thing hinted here is the situation in which wars are fought, misconceptions. If there are misconceptions in the minds of leaders what would be the mental state of those in real time battle?
Why would someone go and conquer Mount Everest? Why any human would desire to build a tomb in Pyramids? Why would someone dive 300 meters down in the sea? Why would there be people who spent their whole lives in creating art or symphony? There is going to be tons of books and petabytes of data that will still not suffice what we have accomplished together as humans. It is only because human will and potential wants to assert itself. The will itself is as deep as the ocean and as high as the skies. Against all odds we have passed through time and our will has built the world we see today.
Human will continues to manifests in individuals and civilizations. It is of great interest to understand when ‘human will’ exerts itself in its full capacity and what is its prime impetus? This question interests me because this will lead to my understanding of what moves people to act. I don’t want to be biased but my heart says that it must be ‘love’ and ‘freedom’. Love that is unconditional and freedom that makes people conscious of their abilities of self control.
Is it in the times of war or in times of peace that we tend to become more conscious of our potential to proclaim our will to act? Is this gist of action born in minds of Philosophers/Scholars or Revolutionaries or Generals?
These questions must be approached from a standpoint of a mere unbiased observer. It will surely point towards things of utility that war and peace, reign of philosophers/scholars, revolutionaries, and generals have brought in their sphere of influence. But still consequences of everyone of these have to be studied. These times and personalities come to my mind because they have some distinct qualities, that have necessitated their ability to influence the society. Tomorrow I will try to write about wars.
Your input is highly appreciated.
In past few months I haven’t written anything. The out-pour of words was completely seized and I couldn’t muster up any strength to write. In my conviction for writing there is only one reason I want to speak up/write everything I believe in.
So, today I am lying down in my bed enjoying the respite on weekend and thinking of reviving the same conviction again. I thank all of those who have visited my blog and I request to you to please join in on my journey again.
The world is as bitter as we perceive it to be and it can be as sweet as we dream it to be. It is just a matter of perception. The latter however, inspires goodness, action and faith.
Facebook, Blogoshpere, Twitter and all these social media has brought humanity together. Now we are more able to understand the feeling, emotions and thoughts about each other. And I am very happy to know that mostly we are together. The morals we share, the boundaries we have for each other, the love that resides within; all points towards a Greater Unity (GU). This GU is something integrating all our suffering, all our pleasures, all our sorrowness, all our merriment and all our knowledge. There is no third world, or first world; developed or under developed; democratic or socialist; these are just emotions that reside in everybody. There are some who hold on dear to something that the other thinks is not that important. But all these concepts and -isms just tends to make us divided but with ease in global consciousness and global communication, these things are fading away. I hope that we move on towards this GU and make this world a better place to spent in the so little time we have.
The reason for this GU are found in our own self. Iqbal said:
The world-life intuitively sees its own needs, and at critical moments defines its own direction. This is what, in the language of religion, we call prophetic revelation. It is only natural that Islam should have flashed across the consciousness of a simple people untouched by any of the ancient cultures, and occupying a geographical position where three continents meet together. The new culture finds the foundation of world-unity in the principle of Tawhid (Oneness of God). 5 The word literally means to exert. In the terminology of Islamic law it means to exert with a view to form an independent judgement on a legal question. The idea, I believe, has its origin in a well-known verse of the Qur’an– “And to those who exert Islam, as a polity, is only a practical means of making this principle a living factor in the intellectual and emotional life of mankind. It demands loyalty to God, not to thrones. And since God is the ultimate spiritual basis of all life, loyalty to God virtually amounts to man’s loyalty to his own ideal nature. The ultimate spiritual basis of all life, as conceived by Islam, is eternal and reveals itself in variety and change. A society based on such a conception of Reality must reconcile, in its life, the categories of permanence and change.
– Iqbal in Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam
I face many criticisms on these ideas. Most popular are the ideas of End of the world. That all things are bound to go wrong because the end is near. The other is of conspiracy theorists who claim that there are few secret societies who are actually controlling the minds of the people. These theories are all full of pessimistic attitudes and inspire me to do nothing. This is the biggest flaw I find in them.
War is peace. It was one of the slogans of George Orwell’s novel 1984. War is definitely not for peace but is it always the case? Wars can be fought by people who are in search of wealth and they want to exploit resources of other nations who have plenty. The wars waged on the old Indus valley civilization is attributed to this fact. Another reason is of expansionist approach, the will to have a great empire. The imperial endeavor of Roman civilization, Alexander’s wars, Genghis khan’s regime are some of the examples of this approach. Wars are also fought by nations craving to create hegemony of their civilization or political ideology. American war with Soviet block is based on the very belief that the system of capitalism is better than communist ideology. Although there are material benefits for ruling civilizations but on the surface their claim is of a superior set of ideologies.
Wars are also fought by the oppressed class of people against the oppressors. The oppression can be economic or ideological but it is one of the main reasons of many wars. The wars between Catholics and Protestants were fought because the latter were oppressing the middle class of the society. French Revolution was brought forth by the shear despotic rule of Louis XVI and it resulted in subsequent Napoleonic wars. These wars helped the oppressors vent out their loss against the oppressors but these wars bear witness to the fact that wars are also fought by the oppressed against the oppressors.
Can wars bring peace to the society? Wars have certainly benefited humanity through rapid technological advancements but these wars make human divide sturdy thus slowing down the process of global consensus. Global consensus is the goal of humanity on this earth because it is something that extracts all the goodness in human beings and guides them towards the fulfillment of their purpose of life.
Can we move on towards global consensus (thereby making wars obsolete) through our current political systems and separate national identities? No, in my opinion it is very difficult to do so in the present scenario. The boundaries between nations seems to be mocking this concept of global consensus. Wars will thus remain a potential threat unless we move towards greater understanding of our fellow beings and begin to appreciate the goodness in them.
If we suppose that a Utopian nation is founded on the basis of this coherent consensus of people, does it mean that it will not have any friction with other nations? It will have no friction if others have gone through a similar experience. It means if the basis of this global consensus is formed on the common grounds of what every nation believes, it is possible. It is possible then to make the world a true democracy. It is with extreme difficulty, we humans can be able to perform this feat. The challenge is to cope with those whose authority resides in their vested interests of discontent within people and societies. If we create a world where this consensus can become the driving force, those oppressors will eventually come to the right path or they will be left within small confines of their own world and their authority will be stripped down from them.
From these views I have to conclude that peace does not depend on wars rather it is totally dependent on the ‘will to will the common will‘.
P.S: This post was inspired by nmr.
Little by little, wean yourself.
This is the gist of what I have to say.
From an embryo, whose nourishment comes in the blood,
move to an infant drinking milk,
to a child on solid food,
to a searcher after wisdom,
to a hunter of more invisible game.
Think how it is to have a conversation with an embryo.
You might say ‘The world outside is vast and intricate.
There are wheatfields and mountain passes,
and orchards in bloom.
At night there are millions of galaxies, and in sunlight
the beauty of friends dancing at a wedding.’
You ask the embryo why he, or she, stays cooped up
in the dark with eyes closed.
Listen to the answer.
There is no ‘other world’
I only know what I have experienced.
You must be hallucinating.
I just googled it right now. The first result was of a wikipedia article for the french movie “Life is a bed of roses”. Three intertwined stories that take place at the same forest of Ardennes. The subsequent results were of the dictionary meanings of the idiom. I googled it because I just had a thought about what I have heard many times from people saying that ‘life is not a bed roses’. When I say to them that it is neither a bed of thorns they say no it is a bed of thorns and that you are too optimistic. Well! it is good to be full of optimism then to regard life as counting of days till your last breath. The rhetoric goes on.
People say hope is a privilege for those who have been given all the necessities. In my opinion their are no limits of what people can achieve in their limited life span. This has nothing to do with what you have and what you don’t, it is about learning to weave your dreams into reality bit by bit, thread by thread. The motivations we have in our lives are just the products of this very way but we fail to appreciate the hard work put in by the muses we seek. I know it is very hard to be optimistic in a world where there is hunger, despair, oppression, and what not. It is difficult to gather yourself up and do all the knitting of dreams but it is the gist of the purpose we are being sent here.