Literally squeezing last drops of socio-political, historical, scientific and literary analysis coming out of global cyber industry since last decade now, I am pushed to share one humble bit of my personal lay-reader’s critical viewpoint on US Elections 2016.
Liberals in the USA, who are weeping as if a valuable ideal has lost, always have a way of rationalizing blood on their beloved African-American, or in fact any president’s hands; these are interesting times when we have even movies coming out of Hollywood rationalizing or at least problematizing the paradox of a drone operator’s choice; alien immigrants, who are in the long queues of naturalization and now chest-thumping for an allegedly lost compassionate ideal, have a way of forgetting how they support puritans, religious bigots and radical xenophobes back home; in short, all of us, somehow, ultimately end up settling over a subjective resolution of choice-paradox staring at our face.
There may be more humanistic exceptions but a closer inspection would certainly reveal deep crevices.
We must, at least, accept this double-standard as an apriori fact but unfortunately, it won’t happen since it has never happened in the past. It is what you call an outlier habit of mind, not even closer to the mean value, not within any standard deviation. Its fragments are scattered all over the pages of history of ideas.
Now, when the fun part seems finally over, Pakistani conservatives would start selling the same bull-crap aimed at rationalizing totalitarianism, secular or religious nationalism verging on the boundaries of soft-fascism, or at least, selectively biased populism. Understandably so, since Conservative right-wingers don’t need to be original; after all, they derive their lifeblood from an age-old xenophobic impulse with diverse manifestations. Social, religious or philosophical theories merely presume this impulse as a fact and try to channelize it.
Pakistani liberals will have nothing original to say as always. They are merely a manifestation of phantasmagorical reactive attitude that sparks off in response to an equally phantasmagorical conservative psychology rooted in the above mentioned fundamental impulse. There is no original Pakistani liberalism, as such, which really belongs to its own milieu. There are fragments of it but now they are considered a shade of conservatism since the liberal mean is shifted ahead, and will soon be completely lost with the coming generation.
So where do we go from here?
In fact, history has a way of reminding us incessantly that there is a lot of randomness that cannot be predicted in historical process. By lot of randomness, I mean so much that is beyond any rational models yet developed by human beings.
We must realize that ultimately, human beings are doomed to choose with every reconfiguration of a spatio-temporal continuum, and all such choices are justified as logically ‘reasonable’. As Camus said, it is always easy to be logical but it is almost impossible to be logical to the bitter end. I think he was too gracious to put that qualifier ‘almost’. It is perhaps simply impossible.
All the dialectics that arrive after the forced moment of choice just aim to pronounce one rationalization or the other. All religious, philosophical, or political views against an absolute justification of necessary relativisation of all values are merely an ameliorated bull-crap. The smell coming out of the rot underneath ideological paradigms of reason is too much to miss. Let us not fool ourselves with short bursts of one ideology or the other.
In a nutshell, our best analyses must aim to describe, again describe and continue completing the sketch, while always stopping just short of prediction. Prediction gives a false illusion of control. Prediction gives us more hope than is necessary. Hope is a drug that should be imbibed in infinitesimally small doses. Too much hope has a way of transforming itself into ideology.
All of us do have our socio-political sensibilities, religious or quasi-religious notions of morality, and plans to arrive in time at our Utopian destinations. We are doomed to travel toward the idealized terminus. But while doing so, we must not forget that we are collectively adrift within a chaotic flow of history, and there is no way to know whether this chaotic flow looks deterministic from some higher plane or not. As I said, any notion of control is merely an illusion.
If there is any least common idealistic denominator, it is flowing as close together as possible. Applying any conditions on this ideal of spatial close proximity would ultimately negate that ideal from within. This ideal seems necessary since we have an impulse to live and not kill ourselves.
But all of it, that is, realization of the flow, this strange presence we call life, is nevertheless very interesting; its so sedative and at the same time so tragicomic. As Vonnegut put it so bravely, life is no way to treat an animal.
Once looking back from somewhere ahead on the flow, all of it, the complexity of the process, the multitude of variable space seems so mesmerizing. Its sheer grandeur, beauty or nefariousness cannot be missed. Just like when you this 1987 flashback of Donald Trump interviewed by Larry King.
Certainly, there are more surprises awaiting the pundits still bent on predicting eventualities, one way or the other.