I’m writing this, prompted by a sense of déjà vu in the wake of the American presidential elections.
I am not calling out the loser in the election at this time. Who I do want to call out today are the ideological liberals of the world at large.
And here I’ll try to put forth my two pence on why I think liberals the world over owe themselves an apologetic explanation.
The socio-political, socio economic and socio-popular world as we know it today is largely the fallout of the communal churnings of the world wars, especially the Second World War when intelligentsia of the academic and artistic kind or the liberal elite as it were, self-appointed themselves to tell the world what it ought to think, feel, say, do, buy, eat and even look like. Though grudgingly, they did not mind when their de facto mandates degenerated into popular culture. Theirs was ‘normal’, while the rest were radical, extreme, conservative, traditional, or just backward.
Thus, this set of moralizers made it their prerogative to evolve at whim, not waiting to convince the slow adapters, rather confusing, ridiculing and belittling them, to leave behind massive populations across continents feeling suppressed, frustrated, angry and delegitimized. Indeed, the conservatives feel even legally condemned. Liberal is not only hip, it is politically correct, it is also legal. It’s a fashionable cloak that gets modeled and remodeled from season to season, while stashing and storing the conservatives deeper down the layers of society.
Personally, I do not wear any labels. Indeed, I am not one that gets swayed by either popular culture or the flavors of the season. Nor am I one to not believe in change or bucking convention. I do, however, see the hypocrisy that runs through the two ends of the spectrum that serve as potent fodder for the rise and growth of mercenary leadership, especially in the spheres of politics, religion, commerce and the arts.
The world today is ruled by the rich who thrive on the backs of a people so sodden in low self-esteem and perpetually looking for validation in one or the other idols. These masses are further lulled into a false sense of propriety by the technological emergence of social media.
It is a misnomer in democracies is that people can govern or rule themselves. The masses are more conducive to being led rather than to lead themselves, which explains the clout of not only politicians but also of the rich and the famous. And so with each leadership phenomena nations rise and fall as do communities, cultures and religious faiths.
Liberal jargon such as ‘progress’ and its variants seem to hold little meaning because, as I see it, societies do not, or perhaps they never were meant to move linearly. Rather, social upheavals I’d say, are part of a cyclical churn.
My surmise is by no means a theory of social evolution, but just as nature churns itself through calamity and lushness, human populations too undergo constant churning through ideology if not basic survival instinct. It is the strongest of intellect, not so much of might, that survive the upheavals to continue to revive or renew dominant cultures or give birth to entirely new realities. Absent an ideal, let alone a middle path, we can only choose our sides in this fight for survival, and await the outcomes, if not consequences.
What this American election cycle, historic by all measures, has thrown up is every wrong political metric that ideologically differing parties could possibly have followed in their partisan quest for power. Where they are at now, as politicians and as a people, mere introspection is not enough as a conscience building exercise. What they need is strength to withstand what is the beginning of a social churn that will have to go through the motions of reinvention as a society and as a democracy.