Corruption, kickbacks, percentages, black money, white money, scandals, commissions, accountability, non-transparency, good governance, bad governance, off-shore companies etc., are routinely used key words in daily newspapers and on TV talk shows. Sometime, it is disgusting. Even vomiting can’t satisfy the soul. Nothing positive that this earth can be proud of. Every action of our rulers seems shameful.
By Irshad Ahmad Mughal
Revolutions, principles, resistance, nonviolent rebellions and the like hardly exist. The twenty-first-century has seen changed rules of the game of governing. Only businessmen, business moguls, and leaders of gangs and Mafias are winning elections. If we look at the speeches and jargon of Prime Minster Modi and Donald Trump we are taken aback by their [lack of] wisdom. Their level of thinking is below that of primary school teachers. But who care as these are the rules of the game today!
They have not only occupied seats to govern innocent people but also control advocacy, socialization and brain washing tools. Thus money has become the basic principle to win the game. Look around the world and you will find mostly stupid and less-than-ordinary people sitting in key posts and running governments. From one part of the globe to other, we have the same types of ruling elite. Their sisters, brothers, fathers, and relatives have accounts in offshore companies that shows how they hide and cheat us but on top of that how they force us to pay taxes.
Media works like a pencil does. When it writes a love letter it seems beautiful. When it hurts others it becomes a deadly weapon. Unfortunately, exposing ruling elites, bureaucrats, politicians and businessmen helps media to earn more money. This is strange money where the earning of that money is not rooted in labour – as Karl Marks pointed out – but is rooted differently.
Now look at the situation of Pakistan, where, over last couple of weeks, the Panama Papers have completed captured TV screens. The audience is sick of this stuff but anchors are injecting into their blood daily deadly doses of dirty money. Whom to blame for this new materialisation and new game? The media itself, politicians, business tycoons, military rulers, bought-out scholars, the easily swayed masses? This is an ancient puzzle.
Poor people need electricity, water, and shade as the sun is hot but who cares. They are giving bile and puke. The rule of business is to earn money and make money not to serve humanity and the poor. Government is no longer for the people by the people but is for the money, by the money and of the money.
Rules of business have changed. If you are in a key position you have plenty of chances to give contracts to favorable companies and contractors. Therefore, prime-ministers, ministers, and other elites advise their close relatives to open such companies and win contracts. To win contracts through easy bids is like finding a treasure of gold. In few days, you can become a rich man or woman. When you become rich in only days, you hardly understand what to do with this money. Then bankers and lawyers advise you to save yourself from paying taxes and invest this money in the black market to make even more money. When you have plenty of money, it has become easy for you to get party tickets. Party tickets are guarantee seats in assemblies. Once you are in, you have become the people’s representative, law enforcement agencies will work under your instructions. You can get more contracts and accumulate more money yet again. You can buy anything.
With this money you can buy agricultural land and transfer it into beautiful sweet home colonies with fantastic and beautiful buildings. Once you advertise you can sell sites, plots and names etc. You have become a business tycoon. You rule the world.
Or just build another big plaza, buy franchises of any schools, or hotels or build warehouse and so on – and make money.
What will you do with this money, gentleman! Transfer it to any island where life is like paradise. No tax, no obligation, no accountability…just fun. There are such places on this earth. Now you and your families have become real Gentleman with lot of connections and international passports and lifestyle. When you have completely looted the money, go abroad and live in heaven like prime-minsters and presidents of Pakistan, including Moeen Qureshi, Shaukat Aziz, Asif Ali Zardari, General Pervaz Musharf. All living abroad after grabbing and robbing money from the masses.
Sometime, it seems everybody has become corrupt. Even if you buy fruit from street vender, you have ninety-percent chance of being cheated. You pay for something but get something different. You vote for something but get something different.
Life in this casino type world is short. You can’t win gambling all the time. Some day you will lose your money because gambling has certain rules of winning and losing. When we blow air into a balloon, if we continue and don’t stop, it bursts. The modern economy and politics is like such balloon. It has reached at its limits. Now just wait until it bursts.
I think a new generation will change this rule because they have different orientation and different tools to earn money and make politics. New weapons of socialization, advocacy and mobilization that have already emerged on this globe. If you believe on dialectics, you can predict that the existing synthesis of Communism and Capitalism will not live long as this synthesis itself is but a thesis. An anti-thesis will emerge from it and destroy the existing rules of game.