While every time we comprehend the critical human condition so vulnerable around power, war, and terror, it has been a matter of constant disappointment committing to having a responsive ‘Government.’ Suppose we analyze the chaos in Afghanistan today. In that case, it is mainly due to the betrayal and failed leadership of Ashraf Ghani unable to fix the human condition in Afghanistan for the past seven years.
In the New York Times, M. Rosenberg and A. Nossiter detailed the possibilities of a negotiable transfer of power, cooperation between advisors and parliamentarians, rather than hasty evacuations and fleeing by leaving the civilians alone in despair. Based on Sociologist Melvin Seeman’s characteristics of social alienation, we would find ‘POWERLESSNESS’ as a routine or ubiquitary trait common among the masses in liberal democracies. The truth of all the populist-nationalist right-wing mongers is that it holds a ‘direct influence’ on the people of a country; they don’t feel willing to run but to own. We all know the certainty of religion, war, and politics that won’t disappear as an institution from society in any way.
Francis Fukuyama says, ‘glut for power is largely dependent on controlling the dilemma of ‘thymos’ which is the part of the human soul longing for recognition from the outer world.’ Within such democratically elected government lies the undemocratic action that rejigs the article to count within F. Nietzsche’s ‘Last Man’ domain, “men without chest.” These ‘last men’ in particular societies and institutions mainly satisfy capitalist-consumerist culture and lack the ideal of authentic sacrifices to thrive Eudaimonia.
The video of the Afghans at the Kabul airport desperate to leave Nietzsche’s land of last men exhibits the urgency of abandoning the advent of social alienation. Afghanistan’s public spaces for ‘demo-eco’ stands for democratic-economy or ‘demo-pol’ for democratic-politics and ‘demo-edu’ for democratic educational autonomy; be it in the past and the coming days, have been conflicting and imperialistic. Consciously or unconsciously, what seems to be highly threatening of the Taliban’s regime is that it disorder Durkheim’s Anomie or Solidarity among the people.
Restrictions, Resistance, and Revolution are either to Reform or Deform Human Condition.
Usually, the socio-psychological conditions of the people in the conflict-prone area or highly militarized zone contribute to forming a human identity based on external human conditions based on fear and alienation. Their social norms and values completely go unnoticed or weak, or sometimes missing; it affects the inclusive social structure committed towards universal human rights to freedom of choice, dignity, and living.
These tenants of freedom help establish a non-legal and non-restrictive human self-exploration not based on the legitimacy of any state oppression. But European countries like Belgium, Bulgaria, Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, and Switzerland bans full-face veils or Burqa in public spaces, following the footstep of France’s 2004 and 2011 enactment, which remains a matter of choice for the minority Muslim women population.
The women who consciously choose to explore their ‘formed’ collective religious identity are ‘deformed’ under the prejudiced European Union courts and states’ activities (external elements) for the sake of sustaining ‘neutrality’ as nationals. Either you face a fine of 150 Euro in Austria for not showing your face from hairline to chin or 130Euro in Denmark or 750 Euro in Bulgaria or go to jail for seven days in Belgium. This, in turn, has caused ‘normlessness’ or deliberate ‘exclusion’ from the universal religious freedom for women (already an ‘Other’ in terms of religion, gender, norms, etc.) in particular.
The Kabul satellite on an everyday basis revealed people’s desperation to reject another Taliban regime by clinging on the aircraft’s wings without being conscious of falling to death within minutes of the take-off in the air. The traffic jam, the people milling on the runway, trying to enter an airplane cabin, and women throwing children over barbed wires for safety give us a terrifying vision based on human action. Self- estrangement, and meaninglessness as elements of social alienation are more likely to impact women, prohibited to schools, workplaces, etc. Journalists and female governmental officials are targeted for assassinating, barred in offices for deliberate isolation in the long run.
We have an expected controversial region that has witnessed chronic violence adversely affecting to form a restrictive sense of their identity as a resident of Kashmir. During the partition, Kashmiris had chosen a Hindu nation (a particularism or confined sense of existence as a minority to a Hindu majority land than embracing a collective religious majority with Pakistan) symbolizes them as non-partisan even today. But unfortunately, the imposed revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 has led to a massive social disintegration.
A trivial yet influential observation is the recent resistance from Panjshir valley under the administration of the anti-Taliban faction, Ahmad Massoud, son of Ahmad Shah Massoud, who Al-Qaeda assassinated before 9/11 in the U.S. The region has refused to surrender it to the Taliban and assemble a clout of 9,000 people to combat their decree of terror.
Panjshir might be the emerging juncture of resistance roused with a collective human action to resent against the narrow ideal of the Talibani Islamic charter. Though the fragments of resistance can be found in parts of Kabul city and eastern Afghanistan, reporting few killed in open firing and several injured. Still, Panjshir remains to be an epitome of defiance.
A similar disturbing and contrasting experience in the valley of Kashmir was experienced, with a Muslim majority population yet minority in India that could not have such range of defiance during the unconstitutional scrapping of their special status. Thousands of troops were deployed overnight, internet and landlines were cut off, schools and colleges were shut down, opposition leaders were held house arrest, leaving no usual rattling from the civilians.
The commoners, therefore, had to suffer under curfews with vague human powerlessness and grief due to an intention behind potential demographic change impacting the minority’s social set-up by the government.
Despite possessing a collective religious, cultural, and regional extension in the erstwhile State that has now been bifurcated into two Union Territories, it gives them a mum sense of self-identity based on irregularities and isolation. Under any anti-minority-driven government, the conflict-prone region will continue to suffer from Fukuyama’s Isothymia, which demands equal representation but is hardly attained by the weaker section in democracies.
In Crisis of the Republic, Hannah Arendt indicates that political disengagement always precedes citizens’ consciousness. It mainly results in Marxist terminology, a ‘revolutionary condition that creates a situation where people interrogate the government’s legitimacy. Perhaps in all liberal democratic scenarios, it is marked as ‘sit-in’ or ‘walk miles’ protests. One fine example reveals how the Kurdish Question of liberty, self-determination, and identity formation has been overlooked and undermined as a radical movement.
We must closely compare how Abdullah Ocalan’s vision on forming Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as a revolutionary movement or a party based on self-determination, libertarian municipalism, ecology, and feminism promoted an expansive sense of Kurdish identity, unlike the pseudo-progressive Taliban control. His works on Prison Writings: The PKK and the Kurdish Question in the 21st century cover a range of areas on how any revolutionary movement must not aspire to have a single-party rule or glut to control human lives negating orthodox Leninism. Revolutionary movements must address the crisis of modernity, lack of horizontal or federal structure that instigates an extreme form of unitary domination over the persecuted minority.
Taliban’s regime is surely threatening if we analyze how critical Sikhism, femininity, minorities, atheism, etc., is a particular self within the collective one. Their repressive ideology is not based on ’embodying the particular into the universal but extracting out the particular or minor-self in isolation from the greater universal or whole.’ This radical-orthodox-Islamized group resulted out of deliberate American imperialism from the past twenty long years in Afghanistan.
America, the purest liberal democracy, suffers from ‘hyper-megalothymia,’ as it fulfills to struggle and takes risks for recognition and superiority as a world superpower. U.S. intervention in Afghan to fix the State cost $ 145 billion, having $ 83 billion spent on sustaining the army. It isn’t a matter of pride as the ultimate beneficiary from wasted investment is the Taliban, now on power.
The American-megalothymic-imperial face of funding for arms and ammunition to the Taliban to fight with the Soviets then instigated Pakistan to revolt against the Taliban. Finally, justifying the circumstances for his hasty evacuation is a firm example; what you reap is what you have sown. They played like the Britishers of the colonial India where a ‘divide and rule’ policy was spurring alike among Afghan nationals standing against each other: Taliban willing to rule as tyrants of Afghan, the ex-Afghanistan government, and the civilians.
Such humanitarian crisis and desperation in Afghanistan remind us of the domestic mass migration of the Indian laborers and working-class walked miles or stranded on streets and highways due to the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.
What has, even more, disappointed the working-class was when the Center in the parliament denied having separate data about the causalities that took place during the mass migration of the laborers. According to the provisionally available data, 81’385 road accidents took place from March-June in 2020. One hundred ninety-eight migrant workers died in accidents during the lockdown.
Stranded Workers Action Network issued a report stating that 78% of workers’ wages and salaries were not cleared during the lockdown. People engaged in unorganized agro-industrial sectors, casual or contractual workers having a minimum salary of 5-8 thousand a month are mostly unemployed now. It is expected for severe economic imbalances in the first quarter of 2021. Economists reveal how India suffers from a structural financial crisis and not an ordinary cyclical slowdown.
The article draws a familiar conclusion on everyday laborers alienation from Karl Marx’s class-stratified social system or his views on capitalism given in his work German ideology, which confirms how capitalists exploit the proletariat in the modern civilization in four general ways:
- They alienate the proletariat from the product they made,
- Alienating them from the production processes strictly controlled by the managers up in the hierarchy,
- Treating workers or laborers as a commodity or a machine is an easy replacement for the human mind or body through technology or artificial intelligence after the fulfillment of the production,
- And lastly, social alienation from the peer groups by promoting extensive competition against one another. Even today, Marx’s observation is relevant on how capitalism and authoritarianism foster false consciousness and social disintegration among the masses.
The loss of social integration is not a new subject in world politics or say, it mainly happens due to world political disorder. Why did the people choose the airport as a last resort for their escape to live desperately ‘for and by’ the civil-political rights which became a mockery in their homeland? Why did the laborers felt the urgency to walk miles to homes while exhausted and desperate during the Covid lockdown? Why did the people of Kashmir know no development and potential prosperity after such coerced revocation and silently consumed the loss of their special status?
The answer to all the above questions is the lack of collective representation, citizen-centric government, or destitute-friendly governance that is imaginary and inflicting until the fearful reign ends. The aftermath of such inefficiency of the government makes spaces for resistance and revolution.
Human minds and bodies from such transnational societies have already been battling poverty, starvation, unemployment, civil war dilemmas, etc. The sole idea of administrative and political action in liberal democracies today is the psychopathic glut for superpower, excessive authority without responsibility, and self-improved social status negating Durkheim’s collective representation or affirmative social justice.
It demands immediate reparation to such fear of starvation, loneliness, or normlessness; societal alienation should be considered real. It requires conscientious action to address such mind-body conflict instead of powerlessness and self-estrangement as new-regular.
Durkheim’s considerable reasoning of hyper-industrialization in transitional societies like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, etc., emanates sociological and mental instability that might instigate suicidal thoughts, undue mental pressure, excessive drug, terrorism, etc. The democratic governance in developing countries should never be coiled within the clutch of deliberate communalism and cursory of half-baked progress.
It needs to realize that the survival of the weakest among the most vital power must focus to achieve Aristotelian Eudaimonia within the global society. Active participation in public affairs forms an independent quadrant for social consciousness; it puts a check & balance on the damage done to the present-day valuable human living that will remodify a depressed-driven human identity.
The views and opinions expressed in this opinion article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Eastern Herald.