by Zafar Bangash (Special Reports, Crescent International Vol. 39, No. 7, Ramadan, 1431)
Imperialists, Zionists, capitalists, and their enabling analogs in the poor countries of the world run around and tear up the lives of ordinary people, cause havoc in global markets, run down the environment and everything else in their path, leading to all manner of human suffering.
Imperialists, Zionists, capitalists, and their enabling analogs in the poor countries of the world run around and tear up the lives of ordinary people, cause havoc in global markets, run down the environment and everything else in their path, leading to all manner of human suffering, and then have the nerve to employ their pundits to popularize the idea that poor people deserve the kind of governments they have. And power hungry Muslim wannabes who should know better parrot the same mantra. The suggestion that something lacking in the collective character of poor people — who are the majority in all these societies, who disturb no one, who are only trying to put some bread on the table, who never occupied somebody else’s land, who do not mess with financial markets, who do not drop depleted uranium bombs on innocent mothers and their children, who do not form corporations that profit at the expense of their workers’ rights, and who do not maintain a pernicious atmosphere of constant war and fear — somehow merits ineffective, illegitimate, exploitative, and characterless leaders is an insult to human intelligence and human dignity. The only ones who merit this kind of leadership are those who have the luxury of time and resources to make a change, but nonetheless while away their time in entertainment, porn, drugs, liquor, gambling, intrigue, political spin, and needless war.
Such are the rationalizations of the elitist academic trash that now graduates from Harvard and Oxford (or for that matter the University of Madinah, the University of Riyadh, or al-Azhar) and lines up behind the world’s power brokers ready to justify, legitimize, and anchor all of their misdeeds in popular culture. When they begrudgingly give paltry millions, after causing billions, perhaps trillions, of dollars of damage (the Saudis donated $80 million after spending $30 billion on a weapons contract with the United States so that both together could use the new arms against other Muslims in Iran and Yemen), they use their public relations departments to advertise how great a gift that was. Who is there to say that the world’s mega-rich owe the world’s mega-poor multi-trillions, not as a favor, but as a right? This is the tragedy behind the tragedy: the world’s poor get the crumbs after their societies have been raped, pillaged, and denuded of their resources and their human potential has been robbed by humiliation, desperation, occupation, and anxiety.
We can do all we want at the local level, and this will definitely help us; but there will never be any permanence to our solutions and efforts unless we make a commitment and have the courage to deal with the corrupt and illegitimate power culture in the world. The United States is exporting unprincipled capitalism with only a symbolic rubric of democracy. Wherever Western-style democracy (capitalism) has taken root, it has always entrenched special interests (of the wealthy) into the public decision making process. Democracy will never be able to shake this characterization. It is the government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich. The more so in poor countries. Current Pakistani president, Zardari is the second richest man in Pakistan with a reputed personal worth of $1.8 billion, and previous prime minister and chief rival, Nawaz Sharif, is the fourth richest, with a personal worth of $1.4 billion; and others in the top 10 are friends and relatives of these two. So long as we continue to employ these systems in our representative processes thinking that we are going to improve on them, and so long as we continue to use this jargon to characterize what we are doing, we are going to be condemned to endless cycles of suffering and pain.
What’s preventing the world’s poor from being free is not serial natural cataclysms, or famine, or lack of education; it is the self-serving exercise of power by a suffocating, asphyxiating, maximalist plutocracy that thrives on injustice, greed, corruption, inequity, and terror. And this plutocracy’s tentacles extend into the mundane facets of everyone’s lives, either through systems employed by proxy governments or through the iron fist of despots and tyrants, who act as sentries for their Zionist and imperialist enablers. Lasting transformational change will only be possible when corporate presidents are toppled from their executive offices, when kings are expelled from their palaces, when financial barons will no longer hold their meetings behind walls protected by praetorian guards, and when governments like the one in the United States are divested of their power.