When one authority replaces another, it dismantles the old order and establishes a new one. This is something which the jargon intellectuals on our media are overseeing day-in day-out while reviewing the recent developments in our country and the region.
When British Order collapsed, it was replaced by no definitive order but a conflict of two orders, Soviet and American. Americans being closer to British values, decided to pursue with British order to battle the immediate threat of communism. The threat was a threat of survival and rather than dismantling the old order and replacing it with a new one, Americans focused on triumph in conflict and used their proximity to British values to their advantage.
After the collapse of Soviet Union, Americans started implementing the American order in the world (much like the British Imperial Order, or Ottoman Order, or Arab Order, or Order of Gladiators). There is nothing unusual about it and nothing suspicious. This world is full of way too many variables to be controlled by anyone as the conspiracy theorist will make us believe. This American Order (or attempts at it) is a logical culmination of that rise and fall of tribes, nations and civilizations.
Just as both societies are rooted in Anglo-sexan social code; there remain inherent differences between Americans and English. First and foremost, English is a society rooted in suspicion (which comes from the historical baggage of being in Europe), US is rooted in trust (which comes from openness and the concept that inherent good of human beings should be counted on to govern the society with minimal government). American is a very classless society (with very few exceptions – race, mind you, is a separate issue) English, on the other hand, were and still are very aristocratic. English like to plan extensively before moving, Americans are doers. Part of the reason of America being America to me is the extreme self confidence in their ability to deal with any situation that arises. There is a saying “I am Ameri-can not Ameri-can’t”. Because of this confidence, part of which comes from the success of America, Americans don’t believe in planning too much but acting. Then there is romanticism with the American dream. Unlike British nationalism, American nationalism is stemmed in some values and not in region or language. The values of liberation and independence of spirit still run deep in reshaping what America is and a significant majority of Americans is euphoric about these values.
Of course there are differences between America too on many issues. For instance, on whether the way to establish American order is through global cooperation or unilateral dominance? There are differences on whether America is better of being a catalyst of change or a ringmaster controlling the change? What comes first, justice or American hegemony? And these contradictions are providing the ammunition to resistance to American order.
But despite these contradictions, post Soviet Union, wiping out of British order and rollout of American order is in place. It is little different from previous rollouts of dominant order because it is 6 decades too late. And in six decades in order to assert itself it has benefited from the relics of previous order it is trying to replace. It would have been much smoother if those relics could have been abandoned at the fall of British Empire but for reasons mentioned above, that was not to be.
There are certain center-pieces of British order, which was carried by Americans for six decades, which need be dismantled and replaced for establishing American order. British order relied heavily on strong military establishments in empire and its old colonies including India and Pakistan. Mid-Eastern monarchies were central to British order and so was the mismatch between the sect of rulers and masses. One State solution under Balfour Declaration was central to British order to control Middle East (now two-state solution, in principle, is a policy solution), emphasis was more on governance than representation, and then is this notion of James Bond, a state with in the state, a secret service determining on its own whims what national interest is. American order ideally aims to curtail all these relics. The problem is they have got stronger and stronger in last six decades and so the task is more challenging and daunting. In this attempt to establish American Order, the old interests are going to fight tooth-and-nail. This turns this rollout into all or none. If it succeeds, it will be a long era of American Order, if it collapses, US, most likely, will fall.
One thing that should be abundantly clear to everyone is that no major global power wants this American Order to fail. China, EU, Britain (with the only exception of handful imperialists who see a return of glory of Crown), no one is ready to replace it – they have their differences over who deserves what, but they are willing to settle them within the confines of the order. Probably only exception is Russia (but it too is acting more out of revenge than any gain of its) and the nobilities/ruling classes in some parts of the world.
This whole rollout is central to our existence and future in Pakistan. The success or failure of new order depends on how things shape up in Pakistan. Democracy has to succeed and militancy has to go. If the influence of militants in Pakistan, its polity and its media is curtailed significantly in next 4-5 years, the order will succeed. If things go wrong there, it will collapse.
World has too much resting on Pakistan to let it fail in these circumstances. If present setup fails, it will not fail alone. It will take with it the new Labor experiment (and even David Cameron’s center right Tory) and Obama mania. If Pakistan fails to eradicate militancy and influence of Saudi monarchy and Salfi Jihadi ideology, the whole system will fall like house of sand. The America will then be controlled by the hawks who will again retry pushing the order (though with much difficulty) till they either succeed or collapse.
Indians miscalculated the centrality of Pakistan in its response post-Mumbai, and have been made to understand what it was. If the present setup falls, it will lead to embargoes and an all out military assault. If Iraq and Pakistan succeed, monarchies will go through a ripple-effect across the region inspired by prosperity and freedom (and mind you the freedom for fundos like Talat Husains and Kashif Abbasis and Ansar Abbasis to utter their nonsense on TV is not what freedom is).
If the order fails, with none to replace, it will lead to a vacuum and a complete chaos and bloodshed spanning decades. That chaos, coupled with religious mythologies, provides a perfect backdrop for some psychos to try to orchestrate the arrival of a fake Christ or Mehdi or Messiah (this psycho disorder exists all around) fueling the religious passion in the era of chaos.
If the order succeeds, America is here to stay for a few decades/ centuries as dominant power. In cycles of rise and fall of nations – it will go one day too and will be replaced by more potent and strong order – hopefully even better in the true spirit of human evolution. I don’t care what my Urban Educated Countrymen label me, I have to say what I believe is right. The world has a lot to gain from smooth transition of order and if it fails, we all pay the price – may be except a handful of Monarchs, Ayatullahs, and Defense Contractors. Let us be on the side where we benefit. It is not a war against the religion – it’s a war against an old order that has outlived its utility. Khatre main Islam nahin!
posted by Ali Malik at 9:07 AM