Status Quo and the Recipe of Exploitation

December 13, 2009 at 9:45 pm (Global Issues, Pakistan, Politics)

By Omar Javaid

This world has seen two world wars already, but we don’t seem to learn! The on-going events hint for another grand finale. Today the world possess the power to destroy itself many time over; millions of mega ton of nukes, developed under pretext of security and deterrence, are just a touch away from unleashing hell all over. What prevents it can become its cause as well!

Nothing change the shape of a civilization like a war; a living nightmare full of miseries, torture, and devastation of unimaginable level, benefiting only a fraction, and leaving the rest dead, raped, butchered … et al. who wouldn’t want to avoid it, unless the benefits outweighs the losses! Benefits …? It is important to look into the motives behind each conflict … a living organism attacks when its survival is at stake, so does a human being even if anticipates so, few do so for the lust of power.
Survival of a society depends upon the natural and material resources it have, probably for the same reason the motive behind most wars even world wars was economic, and the same might be true for the third as well, God forbids.
There is a fallacy that the resources, on which our survival depends, are limited. The perception of scarcity fuels greed, as abundance does otherwise. Probably for the same reason we never saw any one fighting for clean air, as yet. Scarcity is a perception, based on ignorance of limitation of our cognitive capacity. Scarce is our knowledge, though we don’t realize, thus causing all sort of problems we see around. Localized Omniscient I would call it, tends us to assume, decide and latter regret our actions, at micro and macro levels. Any social units comprises of individual, whose behavior defines the overall dynamics of the whole. Omniscient localized at individual’s level thus enforces the status quo depending upon the level of homogeneity in a social unit! … “Ever wonder why masses remain silent, idle and consider any precaution as wasteful unless a major disaster breaks?” 
Humans are afflicted with confirmation syndrome. Like attracts like; thoughts and assumptions are many times more difficult to counter when they are shared, or homogeneous for that matter. This phenomenon escalates the thresholds of localized omniscient from individuals to groups, societies, races, economics classes, religious factions, nations and even civilizations. Conflicts within a social unit are only inevitable in short-term unless either the masses homogenize toward a status quo or acquire epistimocratic attitude (i.e. realize the limitation of personal knowledge, and seek its true source), former is effortless, ego fulfilling, latter is grueling like climbing a hill.
State of ‘Status Quo’ is though paradoxical, as its foundation threatens the monotony that defines it. Localized homogenized omniscient impedes the ability of a social unit to grow intellectually, economically, spiritually and/or culturally. Adhering to the status quo thus can be lethal or even disastrous if another social unit emerges as a competition, enemy, rival or a threat for survival of the former.
The world, civilizations, nations, races, religions, societies, communities, economies, business organizations and even socio-economic classes are social units, each of which could have a rival, which can be a threat to its survival; competition henceforth ‘instinctualize’ growth only if the social unit has the ability to bypass the instincts embracing status quo or be epistimocratic for that matter! “Probably for the same reason capitalism enjoyed an upper hand over communism, until communist regimes learned the tricks and today we know who is taking a lead.”
In other words ‘Status Quo’ of each social unit is erected around certain sacred myths, believes, fears, fantasies endorsed by ritualistic practices, traditions or norms unique to this unit since many generations, if it had survived that long. Rivals have their own, making each of them a threat to what is held sacred by either. Truths and laws which are not localized or are universal rather, tends to do otherwise, they become the basis of unison of seemingly dissimilar social units. Such a truth could be presence of a third unit which emerges as threatening for the first two. …“America supports India against Pakistan, and then supports Pakistan against Taliban, and further plans with China against India …!”
This brings us to the main point, ‘Status Quo’ of your enemy, opponent, rival or competitor is an opportunity for you, and vice versa. Status quo of any social unit can be  used to keep it under control, submissive, if so then wouldn’t it be lot more profitable, yielding and nonviolent alternate to any of the ferocious ways to acquire resources like an armed invasion!
This is an interesting tactic for having ones control over a social unit, though very risky as the population of targeted social unit must be kept anesthetic, until and unless the exploiter takes over complete control of the resources of the exploited one, as otherwise there is a chance of revolt from the population of the targeted social unit. Taking over of resources will allow the exploiter to gain unprecedented bargaining power and control over the subservient ones, and once that’s achieved the exploiter can enjoy his hegemony and proceed further with his agenda. …“The French revolution, world wars and other up-risings occurred only because the exploiter agendas were exposed or were obvious enough to cause retaliation. However on the other hand agendas of World Bank and IMF are concealed well, and for this reason indebted nations never realize so even when they submit themselves to the international financiers in lieu of bankruptcies.”
A Nation is a social unit comprising of many overlapping smaller sub-social units. Religious Sects, Races, Casts, Socio-Economic Classes, Political groups, different business units connected through a supply chain etc, are all examples of sub-social units. Some of them are strong and some are weak thus vulnerable for exploitation by the stronger ones, such as farmers vs. the landlord they work for, the employees vs. the employer, the politicians vs. the general public, Banks vs. individual borrowers, Media vs. its viewers, et al … all of these could be live examples of exploiter vs. the exploited. All the exploiters thus have one thing in common i.e. they are all wealthy and hold some degree of bargaining power over the exploited, but that’s the outcome of a long and patient struggle  done by the exploiter to gain sufficient control over the exploited.
The process of gaining power over the resources of exploited social unit is a great balancing act, on one side the exploiter needs to maintain the status quo among the inhabitants of the social unit continuously reinforcing old fears & myths and inculcating new ones, and on the other side he has to slowly and patiently take charge of the critical resources on which the survival of the exploited depends. This requires the exploiter to be not only a great deceiver, performer, expert in demagoguery but also an expert strategist, opportunist with an extraordinary ability to understand and predict social behavior. Exploiters are Evil Social Scientists hungry for power and lust; they can be individuals or a group of many likeminded demagogues.
Advancement of technology has made their task easy! In old times there wasn’t any means to communicate or continuously influence the thinking, simultaneously, of entire population. Today media has done the task easy and has provided exceedingly creative ways to keep the minds of individuals under influence as required to maintain the status quo. This was not so at the time of Karl Marx, and for that reason he predicted the great peasant revolution which would have been ignited by the ever increasing stress and intensity of recessionary phases of succeeding business cycles. Karl Marx’s prediction could have materialized if Leo Strauss ideas of “keeping the masses influenced by myths and fears so that their decisions and actions are manipulated accordingly” wouldn’t have surfaced and endorsed by the neo-cons. Thanks to Leo Strauss for providing demagogues a mega tool to have unprecedented influence over the masses under the pretext of democracy.
Before coming to how democratic system helps sustain a status quo within a social unit, it’s important to clarify that technological growth is not necessarily impeded by the status quo of a social unit, technology rather can helps sustain or further reinforce the state of the social unit rather. Technology is always develop around the value and belief system of a society, if it is imported from a foreign source then the kingpins have an authority of this technological transfer to the social units, these kingpins or demagogues rather use the technology for their own agenda of exploitation.
Adherence to democratic thought by a social unit shows that its inhabitants prefer to abide by the status quo, hence the majority rules! If that’s the case then it’s another great tool for the exploiter only if he has already learned how to influence the thinking and inculcate fears through the power of media. Through a democratic system and appropriate use of media, feudal and pharos of the old world have now gained an opportunity to rule and exploit the natural resources of a nation (a super social unit) unprecedentedly under a pretext of majority’s will.
Since this world has become a global village due to high-tech communication gadgetry, hence the exploiters have gain great power to influence the thinking or reinforce the status quo of inhabitants of geographically distant locations. Further through the modern tools of economic imperialism (World Bank, IMF, WTO, SAP, and TRIPPS etc) the scope and range of exploitation has now extended to encompass the entire globe.
 An observing eye will see that there are only three motives of any action, i.e. Lust, Fear and love. The eco system we see around is beautifully balanced on Fear and Love (sacrifice) only, lust is rather more of a human characteristic, creating unbalances of such a magnitude that survival of the whole ecosystem is now at stake. This essay was just meant to highlight a problem, making the solution due on the author. The objective here was to explain how status quo is an integral part of our social system and the way it is being exploited to create all sort of miseries for the humanity.
Understanding the problem is half solved, which I have intended to summarized according to best of my knowledge here, however there can be gaps and I am all ears to listen to arguments and question on the subject.
Exploiters try to keep their agendas concealed but they are seldom successful in doing so particularly when the extent of exploitation is huge, and their exposure makes an excuse for uprising, if some traces of cognitive and economic independence remains among the exploited.
Today the magnitude of exploitation is at an extreme never witnessed before; further the agenda of exploitation is also getting unveiled gradually, therefore increasing the possibility of a mega clash commonly known as third world war. 
What is important now that at individual levels we all try to open up our minds and question what is happening around and why, so that the probable crisis is deterred. If not then our children or their children might curse our generation for the mess we would have left at their disposal.

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