Response to Breeding 'terrorists': What's the solution?

Response to Breeding 'terrorists': What's the solution?

Comment from Project January 27, 2009 at 2:21 PM

Excellently put together. Thank you editor

If one is not part of the solution, one is part of the problem” – or so my corporate management used to drum into the engineering staff when I worked as an engineer in Silicon Valley in my younger days. Being a ’stud’, I found myself adept at not only comprehending the problem domains, but also provided useful, implementable, and actually shipped solutions. I was so enamored by that slogan and my successes that I found the principle to be an excellent lesson to teach my own children.

But strangely, I have consistently failed that lesson myself as soon as I entered the social arena and started applying my ‘awesome’ problem solving skills to the new problem domain of justice activism.

Here, the problem domain is pretty well understood, unlike in electrical engineering, where some real hard work and thinking was often necessary to even define the problem domain to tackle to build useful products around. Once that was done, the solutions often actually presented themselves and it was often the timeliness or attractiveness of the implementation that won or lost the markets.

But in the social domain, the matters are far more convoluted. The problem is rather simple. ‘Baboons’ out to conquer the world using lies and deception and by cultivating fake enemies as pretext for “imperial mobilization”. But what’s the solution-space? Platitudes of Moses haven’t worked.

Hegemony is as old as mankind.” So is oligarchy. Every once in a while, the oligarchs or their designated emperor have extended their reach and created greater dominions for themselves. This lesson is so old that St. Augustine even built an entire political-theory around it in the 4th century AD. The problem has been remarkably well understood and captured beautifully by him in this pithy statement:

When the King asked him what he meant by infesting the sea, the pirate defiantly replied: ‘the same as you do when you infest the whole world; but because I do it with a little ship I am called a robber, and because you do it with a great fleet, you are an emperor.’ ” (The City of God against the Pagans, Page 148).

But what is the darn solution if one is a modern victim of such an ancient ‘white man’s burden’?

Certainly if one is an emperor, the solution has been formulated and time-tested for every epoch since time immemorial – from god and divine rights to rule, to ‘la mission civilisatrice’, to Machiavelli 101 and the sophisticated Dialectics of Deception to move any unwilling public to fight for extending the empire.

So as per my corporate slogan “If one is not part of the solution, one is part of the problem” – I must be part of the problem since I side with the innocent victims and don’t have any solution.

How does one become a part of the “solution” so as not to remain a part of the problem?

Thank you.

Zahir Ebrahim


Response to Breeding 'terrorists': What's the solution?

The Plebeian antidote to Hectoring Hegemons

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