Authoritarian Rule in Pakistan - Zahir's Response to Pervez Hoodbhoy's Oped 'Cyber intimidation: a bad idea'

Saturday, June 23, 2018
Emailed Letter to Pakistanis
Date: Fri, Jun 22, 2018 at 11:23 PM
Subject: FYI - Cyber intimidation: a bad idea --- Hoodbhoy's intelligent oped in Dawn and my comment
FYI - Dr. Hoodbhoy has a most intelligent oped in today's Dawn. I invite you to read it; below is my comment that I sent him.
I share it with you because I think "free speech" in vacuum still leads to asphyxiation. What free speech? Does the West have it? I am still not published by the NY Times which prints "all the news that's fit to print". Who decides what's fit to print? The newspaper owners. Okay I may not be that good -- as they say, billi ko chichray kay kwab. So try challenging any Jewish narrative anywhere in the West.
And what "democracy"? Does the West have it? The beacon of democracy, the United States of America, obliges its peoples to choose between twiddledee and twiddledum every four years while Pax Americana is its national and international imperative --- its now dead National Security Advisor called it: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives. That beacon of lofty civilization teaching the world the virtues of democracy and freedom so easily separates small children from their parents at the borders with the single stroke of the presidential pen --- never mind bombing Muslim nations, and previously Vietnam and Korea, to smithereens with the same stroke of pen, while permitting its proxy agent to resettle Palestine in Palestinian cold blood.
So that democracy, that freedom of this and freedom of that, is what we want in Pakistan? God help us if that's the ultimate result of such political dispensation....
We, the Pakistani English enabled gentry, followed by those who want to be English enabled but belong to the lower stratas of society and can only dream of it, rush to blindly adopt copied solutions from the West, which are already bastardized there, and which are altogether infertile in our national soil. With this summary, below is my comment to Hoodbhoy's oped which I support with the caveat that we need a very authoritarian ruler who rules selflessly in the interest of the nation for at least one generation, about 20 to 30 years, and helps this nation bypass the growing pains that the West suffered for at least ten generations and more, in a single generation, much like LKY of Singapore did for his people.
I am sick of people making "virtues" of the West into a religion for us. We have something far superior. There is no religion in democracy, there is no religion in free speech. There is religion in justice, there is religion in speaking the truth even if one has to give one's life for it. There is religion in raising the consciousness of the public mind. There is religion in serving the public. There is religion in not being corrupt and not having corruptible institutions. I rather have a nation whose preamble to its constitution begins with the Golden Words: Do Unto Others As You have Others Do Unto You ---- no Law and no Right and no Privilege may be legislated in this nation that violates that Golden Rule. I can live with that religion.
[ Added: Although a simple Biblical proverb that predates the Old Testament in origin and is at least three thousand years old, and of course never before implemented in any political theatre since the dawn of civilization, its fair implications can be far reaching in modern political dispensation. For instance, no Policy, domestic and foreign, may be pursued by rulers in power that violates that Golden Rule. This means that, among other things, Pakistan is suddenly on equal footings in the world. She is now boldly standing up to primacy and its geostrategic imperatives with a constitutional mandate that remains unsurpassed in every sphere of political dispensation. It even surpasses every revolution known to man. It is the only revolution for man. ]
And I don't care who rules the nation so long as it is a just ruler. I don't care what laws give me right to speak or not to speak, because, irrespective of the laws, one must speak regardless of consequences as a categorical imperative. One must rise to challenge falsehood as Socrates did --- and that was the highest democracy achieved in that Athenian civilization which could only reward its best human being and its greatest truth teller with the bowl of hemlock! Categorical imperatives are a religion regardless of laws, rulers, and theology.
And funny thing, if one starts implementing these ideas, what do you know, we have achieved the ideal Islamic society within a single generation, the ideal Christian society, the ideal Jewish society, and the ideal Hindu society! That is the society I want --- not what the Brits have, and not what their legatees the Americans have, and not what the Anglo-Saxon white man has preached. And will these ideas ever be published in Pakistan, or the United States?
So I gratuitously share with you this email letter inviting you to read my friend Dr. Hoodbhoy's outstanding oped, and my comments that caveat it.
Begin comment:
Who is this NetrackerOnline @ gmail.com - what's your guess? When people say "intelligence agency" for instance, whom or what are they pointing to... a person, a policy, an institution, or to all of these?
Dissent is a modern notion invented in the West, same as protected speech for individual as well as the press under a constitutional umbrella in what is called no taxation without representation, or "democracy" where the crowd intelligence is believed to triumph by their sheer numbers... these ideas are Western, and firmly corrupted and co-opted by Machiavelli, and both are unfamiliar to the Muslim psyche that has labored under simplistic absolute dictatorial rule of almost thirteen centuries of dynastic Muslim imperial politics; replaced by the East India Company for almost 2 hundred last years. After the yoke of British rule from India was thrown, it was replaced by neo-colonial rule using a bastardized version of Britain's own corrupted and co-opted system which kept in power and only brought to power the feudal classes and encouraged the arising of newer feudal classes among which is the praetorian guard of Pakistan. ....
Okay, I am not writing a treatise, only pointing out that the West had 4 to 5 hundred years to experiment, shed each others blood, and all they ended up with is a new class ruling the Anglo-American empire in PAX Americana. I am sure that textbooks are very nice .... reality is more evil.
And in this reality, what I think is productive for Pakistani psyche for at least 25 to 30 years is an authoritarian rule the likes of Lee Kuan Yew, or Mahathir Mohamad , with the addition of freer speech. All the things, all the motherhood and apple pie things you mentioned, can be achieved. LKY once said he did not have two hundred years that the West suffered. He only has 20.
Our political system is asinine. I can design a much better one in text book. I am sure so can you. Neither will fly in the face of power flux in Pakistan whose sources are in the West.
But I liked your oped. With the above caveat, put me down as one of the many hundreds who will support you, not millions. Your "name" is now, and has been for a while, sadly associated with the Western agenda to introduce Secular Humanism in Pakistan, to denuke Pakistan --- two things come to mind among several others. You are also thought to enjoy the protection of the American Embassy in Islamabad.
Even when you might say the right things, because you are saying it, it is my uneducated guess that people might be turned off, even reasonable people. I hope I am wrong and the millions who read your oped sign up for it. If people are to be permitted to have the right to express their views, then those who disagree with your views or impute impure motives to your life's work in Pakistan also have the right to have their own views condemning yours. I don't think we as a society are ready for such intellectual exercise that doesn't quickly degenerate into fisticuffs.
We need an authoritarian leader unhindered by self-interests who cleans the Augean stables, educates the public mind to raise their levels in both intellect and livelihood, builds enduring institutions, infrastructures and policies, and leaves a legacy of a better more participative governance system that is attuned to the psyche of the Pakistan public mind. Remember what Eqbal Ahmed said, or is attributed to him, something like (paraphrasing): transplanting a tree in an inhospitable soil is the sign of idiotic gardeners... his wording was of course more delectable.
Zahir Ebrahim
Project Humanbeingsfirst.org
California
June 23, 2018
Comment for Pervez Hoodbhoy's oped Dawn June 23, 2018
https://www.dawn.com/news/1415594/cyber-intimidation-a-bad-idea




Published Saturday, June 23, 2018 10:38 am 1572


Authoritarian Rule in Pakistan - Zahir's Response to Pervez Hoodbhoy's Oped 'Cyber intimidation: a bad idea'