Aug 26, 2007

wealth and poverty of a nation (part 5) final

In conclusion, its in ruling classes own interest to have a libertarian view on regulation, for Pakistan it would make sense for everyone to think about the following:

1- Tighter population control: no matter how much a country produces the population is growing at an unsustainable rate it will eat it self up.

2- education: not just quantity but quality, we have a generation that was raised with out any civic sense, they have no idea what it means to be a democratic capitalist society (in contrast to feudalist), its now ok to take bribes (ok meaning, some one can very casually say that they take bribes amongst family and friends, like there is no 'sharam' (shame), to cut lines, to not stop on stop lights, to splash public restrooms(if you can find any) in the name of ablution with total disregard towards others who might also want to use a dry and clean restroom, anything goes as long as you can say inshaAllah /mashaAllah before and after every sentence that you utter.

3- Wide power base: meaning they should not rely on only a particular segment of the society for legitimacy (not just the rich, not just the literate, not just the young, not just liberals)

4- Genuine power sharing formula that has real representative of the people empowered: it’s not enough to have politicians and businessmen on your side, what’s most important is having people who have really served the community that they represent, people who have a history of social work behind them and so the people they represent really trust them. They represent there people out of there genuine interest in there constituencies well being

5- establish politics as a profession hence an institution: since we are living in the World envisioned by Adam Smith, it might not be in the interest of the people themselves to take the attention of social workers away from there calling, the next best thing is to have professional bodies that regulate a politicians conduct, also folks can take subjects and hence can be trained to think in terms that make there representation more useful for the people and for the government

6- give up control : , there is too much control on everything people do, lets embrace capitalism in its truest form, let people practice there faith and follow morals anyway they like and let businesses do what they do, make money, governments role is to facilitate those things not to raise barriers as Thomas Jefferson once said “That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.”

7- create a sense of belonging to a single cause of progress amongst the masses, let them have clear goals and tell them what there role will be, that message can be delivered through the community representatives ( union/labor unions can tell the labors what is expected of them, teachers can tell there pupil what they need to do, teachers can be told by the principle what is needed from them, (see why we need strong institutes?? if nothing else just to better organize the society in to more efficient specialist units).

8- tell the people about the golden age of Islam, and for a change be honest and precise about the details make them realize how great things were but make sure to tell them that those times were great because there was wide spread religious tolerance, appreciation for art and craft, you will see statues of dogs in the veranda of great mosque in Spain you will learn about great Muslim musicians, its all the finer things that make that era a golden era, when people praise the time they praise the civil law and order, the arts and crafts , the city municipality, they don’t praise the role of mullahs or the role of prayers 5 times a day or that every woman use to wear a naqab, or that all men use to ride there pants above there ankles?? those aren’t the reasons why the Muslims in Spain were so successful, I think Muslims of that era were like a blank slate where ever they went they took interest in there surrounding, in all the new things , just like when a kid goes to a candy store, and with a kids learning agility they embraced all that and become a guiding light for the rest of the World of that time, what people need to understand is that one of the things that happened towards the end of the golden era was that Muslim fundamentalists from the northern African countries raided Spain and burnt down as many books as they possible could, they believed that the Muslim rule was crumbling in Spain due to the relaxed religious atmosphere, what they failed to see was it was a system that worked since the 8th century and it could have been the many other factors that were present at that time (too many ambitious Muslim generals, crusades, the awakening of the Christian Europe etc. etc.) Warren Buffett describes three phases in the economic life cycle of a company, first stage is development stage when the company looses money as it develops products and establishes markets, next stage is rapid growth when is company is profitable and generating enormous profits (Islam’s Golden age?) , third is when the company matures and growth rate slows, In the last stage the company suffers decline, I think we as Muslims are right now in the 3rd phase, there are not many great examples of turn around at this stage (IBM is one success story) but still there is, and the only way a turn around is possible is by being more creative and being accepting of the new ground realities.

Empires and nations also go through the same cycle, Greeks, Egyptians, Aztecs, Incas, all were great empires at one time, the Hindu ideology has faced extinction several times during the course of history, but its ability to bring change from with in in response to changing times has made it last this long.

Since we live in the post industrial world we need to learn and apply the new rules of the game, if we try and run a circus with out teaching the dog any new tricks I don’t think there is going to be any crowds looking our way.


Owais said...

Well said...It is good to know that there are people out there who share your thoughts and ideals.

I am reading up on the history of mankind in general and Islam in particular and would appreciate if you can refer some good books that reflect on the fall of the golden age of Islam as pointed out by you.

I have recently read a couple of books on Islamic history which shed some light on the current state of affairs but I need some more objective material to attain clarity.

GregW said...

Yeah, you've really got a good thing going here. You should make a part six!