Friday, 3 June 2016

The Decay hidden in development - The truth behind our imagined order.

"There is no God. But don't tell that to my servant, lest he murder me at night"

 

 - Voltaire

 

 

There is something very sublime about the lies a society tells itself. We, the Homo Sapiens, considered to be the most advanced species on the planet, the crowning glory of evolutionary heritage, consider ourselves to be a creation of God. We consider God to be the all powerful omnipresent, benevolent and condoning force that ensures we survive and thrive. We in fact placed so much of importance to ourselves while crafting these tales to last a millennia, that we neglected the symphony of nature and conveniently ignored everything else. In simple terms, God's prime purpose was set in stone. To atone for human sins so that humans could prosper, reproduce and produce billions of copies. And in this regard we heralded god so much, that it naturally became an obligation to help Gods in these endeavors by establishing what is known as the ''imagined order". 

An imagined order is a lie that is very obvious in hindsight, but which when enshrouded in a very surreptitious and delicately carved potpourri of myths, becomes too difficult to resist. One of which is the myth of development. Since time immemorial, sporadic human societies were made to congregate just so that some development could take place. Be it the gigantic pyramids, or the veritable Great wall of China, or the Taj Mahal, or the Burj Khalifa. All these monuments had very different objectives to serve. The pyramids served to engage slaves in dedicating lives to the service of the pharaoh - the manifestation of God. The wall of China in dedication to the future generations of the caucus. The Taj Mahal to fulfill the whims of the all powerful ruler. And the Burj Khalifa to establish the impregnable supremacy of a modern center of commerce. 



All four of these man made marvels symbolize development in the highest terms. Countless men and women, and later on architects and engineers, came together for many years, and once the edifice was in place, they went back to the silos. In that regard, development always served to integrate populations and till date, all modern nations are founded on the bedrock of an idea that derives from development. While the ideal of development in literal terms united the disparate American states in 1776, development of religious supremacy united the many pariah groups of Islamic militants who established the ISIS. Development is a solid motive, and a timeless trick to get together people who won't otherwise budge. But is development really that good?

The Egyptian syndicate collapsed, The Chinese empire vanquished and the Mughal reign extirpated. And maybe pretty soon Dubai too would lose all the glamor once the energy dynamics change. No development can ensure a long term sustainability of any kingdom or country. Development has an inhered decay of liberty. All development enshrines the belief vested in the imagined order that a state follows. The imagined order in Egyptian Nile Valley fiefdom was unrelenting unbridled service to the pharaoh. In China it was service to the protection of state. In case of Taj Mahal it was once again the ruler and commons relationship. And in Burj Khalifa it was a commercial contract. In that sense all development is centered around fulfillment of an imaginary promise. The Egyptian pharaoh could have simply revoked his obligation to the countless slaves after they built a pyramid by sentencing them to perdition despite their efforts, instead of bestowing eternal blessings. The great wall of China saw countless slaves die and their ash remains buried in the wall. The promise of security never saw daylight for them. It is believed that workers who built the consecrated Taj Mahal were ridden of their hands instead of them receiving honorary benefits from the king. And in case of Burj Khalifa, while it didn't happen, but the state could have reneged any contractual obligations before formal handover of the towering structure, owing to any inability to pay for the services and any other impending bailout clauses built into the contract enforced by a powerful state no one would have believed to fallout
  
All of the above arrangements are imagined orders. People join in because people believe in the myths these orders are set on. The myth of Pharaoh's godlike stature or in Dubai's perpetual prosperity. And so much we tend to believe in imagined orders that we lose sight of what's real. What's real is that all imagined orders come to an end. And religion is one of them. All Kingdoms and Gods and states have this thing in common - the imagined order that binds followers together. But while the imagined order of kingdoms and states is frail and fickle; and we've seen countless examples of ancient kingdoms and modern states falling into bits and pieces. Religion has reigned supreme as the myths go pretty deep. But you never know even with religions. After all, many theologists would still tell you how Islam and Catholicism were spinoffs of Judaism

That brings us to the deeper consideration. While imagined order breeds development, and in that light development is considered a revered virtue, is development just about as pestiferous as the imagined order when it comes to spreading lies that we build our lives and social systems on? Development as it's proved through the above examples, inevitably binds us to a belief. And being bound to a belief puts liberty of conscience in a decadent state. The belief in Egyptian Pharaoh mutilated all possibility of a more just and equal society. In fact as per Hammurabi's code followed by all Egyptian Pharaohs, it was dictated that the death of a supreme woman carrying a child meant much much more than that of a an expecting woman from the slave class. Likewise the development in China and the Taj Mahal too restrained possibilities of people moving beyond what was enforced as a mandate on them.

The above seems paradoxical, and the fact that we need a paradox to spurt development is quite a bit of a blow. We don't develop because we just want to. We develop because we are forced to. And in it lies the innate murder of our freedom of thought. No surprise when Alexander the great visited Diogenes, he was so sick of Alexander and the supposed modern world's garrulous jingoism that he shooed him away. He was the only man to sense the decimation of mankind's most powerful gift - free thought, in the light of development; Development that we humans take immense pride in, till date. 

With time however, inquisitive men like Diogenes plummeted badly, and we now are left with a miraculously large set of human plenums, all developing, all competing on development, and all thinking woah! what a good time it is to live in. While in reality, we're suffering from an exponential metastasizing decay in our thoughts and the degrees of freedom we once exercised in our cerebra. Our conscience is dilapidated, our finesse mortified and our cynicism quelled. We are much more progressive when it comes to materialistic marvels. But when it comes to thoughts, ideals and principals, we can't even write a formidable constitution, such as the one that was written just half a century ago in many nations. We can't think beyond what our myths, our imagined orders, and the concept of development compels us to exercise our thought prowess within the realm of. We are a race that on paper is progressing, but which in the scheme of nature's foreplay on evolution is becoming more and more morbid and decrepit. And one day, in the veil of more development, we'd become a bunch of human heap, sitting on a database of myths and beliefs, so large to devour and digest, that we won't even have any time to create any new ideals to engulf more human subjects into more development.   We're a gone case, but we won't realize it. Our imagined orders make it so very comfortable to believe that we're moving ahead, that it is only when we depart this life that we realize how big a lunatic we were!