A Sordid Affair: Capitalism and Socialism

I have a theory on why the World is going to hell. And, it somehow relates to why capitalism wasn’t the worst idea to begin with.

At the last point of time when socialism had any shot at affecting capitalism, i.e. at the time of the Cold War, people were just beginning to appreciate their individual rights. To even suggest to such a population, standing on the brink of what looked like cities of gold, that they must necessarily share their wealth with anyone, was nothing short of blasphemous. More importantly, it was unfair. Most importantly, it seemed regressive.

“Let the people choose” was the cry of the day.

Fair enough. Had the World not seen enough of foolish kings and cruel dictators? Had we not had enough despotism to not want any more of that in the State? Of the People, By the People, For the People, cried the People themselves. Yes, the World had seen enough of force and violence and oppression. It was choice we craved, and Capitalism was the only way visible to get at it.

And, what have we chosen?

In my humble opinion, I believe humanity has underestimated its ability to evolve/adapt to situations. People, as they existed in their natural state, may benefit from a survival-of-the-fittest kind of system that is capitalism. But, as generations are born and die within this system, the more they internalize these values, these codes of behavior, this sense of what is alright, and what is not, the more our basic values and core principles shift.

What values does capitalism promote? What do we have in place of the things that even cruel kingdoms could boast of? What is it that we value if not valor and honor and intelligence and compassion and understanding and creativity and communication? What is it that we allow the system to teach our children? What does this system reward, appreciate, encourage?

Competition?

Money?

Consumption?

Greed?

No, maybe what we really need is a capitalist government with socialist people. And, I think somewhere the Indian constitution grasped this need. [Or did whichever constitution they “borrowed” the concept of Directive Principles from. Irish, I think?] The Directive Principles of State Policy, contained in part IV of the constitution of India, are not enforceable by any court, but the principles laid down therein are considered fundamental in the governance of the country, making it the duty of the state to use these as guiding principles to establish and maintain a just society.

But, as a nation what do we promote?

As a people, who do we idolize?

And, who shall our children look up to?

Introducing Puppy and Fox

 

Pictures of Puppy and Fox, two of my favorite dogs currently on campus.

Puppy_and_Fox(Nov 2011)

Look at them sunbathing! So Lazy! Puppy is the one on the upper step. She’s mostly like a spoilt princess on cocaine. Unlike the first time I saw her, drenched in the rain, and small and sickly and covered in fleas.

PuppywhenFound(July 2010)

For two weeks I had her drinking milk out of plastic cups, wearing a cut up green t-shirt as a jacket, huddled up against the small bakery at gate 2. And once she regained her strength, well, she’s never looked back.

ShlokasPuppy

Fox is kinda crazy too, but softer and kind of in love with Puppy. Well, they keep having this on off thing.

Puppy&Fox_sunbathing(Nov 2011)

Aren’t they adorable? ❤

I truly hope they aren’t two of the 10 dogs that tore apart a baby monkey and its mother behind the boy’s hostel this morning. 😦

The Word is truly going to hell. But is it really so surprising when we reward the greedy, and can protect none of the innocent?

I miss the puppies…

I Can’t Take it Anymore [said the Pied Piper]

The Murdering
The Raping
The Torturing
The Terror
The Violence
The inability to stop involving the children!

There’s this theory scientists are looking into that suggests that our Universe might just be a giant computer program. There’s another theory that says that human beings existed longgg ago, even indulging in Nuclear warfare. All over the world, unexplained, mysterious ancient artifacts have been discovered that at least point towards the fact that we don’t know everything about the past. To me, these two theories could co-exist, as could they with the theory bout aliens watching over our planet. The reason I bring this up is because I like to believe that some of our older tales and information have trickled down from these futuristic ancestors of ours.

For instance, take the story of the Pied Piper of Hamlin. Long story short, there’s a village of lazy, greedy people that get affected by a plague. Being lazy, they do nothing about the situation until it gets utterly out of hand. At which point in the story, the Pied Piper makes his entrance. He plays music for the people, but finds them super-stingy. It’s only the children that stop to listen to him. And, then too, they’re most often dragged away by their parents. Then, noticing a couple of reward-on-getting-rid-of-rats signs, the piper goes to the palace/mayor and claims that he can rid the city of the rats in 2 days (or something). The people smirk at him, and agree.

That night, the Piper gets up, and starts playing a soft tune. He plays in his room for a bit, and then steps out, his lips never leaving the pipe. As he walks through the village, slowly, rats start filing out of hidden nooks and crevices, falling into line behind him. The piper plays and plays, and the rats continue to pour out, as if in a stream, and slowly, yet surely, the piper begins to lead his absurd following towards the river. As he stands by and plays, one after the other, the rats leap off the stone bridge to their doom, and the few villagers awake to witness this, shudder and bar their doors.

The next morning, the piper goes up to the council/mayor and asks for his reward. “What reward?”, says the mayor, feigning ignorance.

The piper’s eyes grow cold. “The rats are gone.”

“Yes, and?”, asked the mayor, even as the greedy, stingy people looked on. “What had you to do with it?”

“I got rid of them, like I said I would.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” said the mayor.

“Are you sure?” asked the piper softly, head bent low so that his cap prevented anyone from looking into his eyes. “You’ll regret this.”

“Are you threatening me?!”, asked the mayor. “Guards!”

The pied piper raised in hands in a non-threatening gesture, and slowly backed out of the packed hall, which let out a collective sigh of relief. Something about that man was very unnerving.

That night, when the inhabitants of the town are fast asleep, a beautiful tune starts to sound in the night air, soft enough to not wake a soul. Except, one by one, in every house, the children start to wake up. Quietly, they drop out of their beds. Stealthily, they sneak out of their homes. One by one, every child turns around and bolts the door shut. The pied piper continues his song, and the children fall in line behind him.

By now, parents have begun to notice their children missing. At first, they worry. Upon finding themselves locked in their little houses, they begin to panic. The fear spreads through the town like wildfire. “Look! There they are!”, screams a little boy’s mother, pressed against her window and pointing out into the distance.

Faint strains of the piper’s song can still be heard by villagers.

“He’s going to drown them!”, sobs another mother, even as her husband falls into a faint.

But the piper turns away from the river where the rats had leapt to their end, and starts moving towards the nearby mountains.

By now, some of the parents have managed to free themselves. Soon, most of the town is free, and they rush up and down, collecting torches and horses to ride out after their children before the night swallowed them whole.

Meanwhile, the children hadn’t looked back once, their eyes focused on their leader with the strange hat and the musical pipe. If any of them had bothered to turn around, they would have been surprised to see how far they had come, certainly further than most of them ever previously had.

Except for one boy. The town’s only cripple, the lame child had fallen behind as the trail of children followed the pied piper up the winding mountain path.

Soon, he was the only one the search party that was sent out to find the kids could see.

The pied piper, along with all the children of the village – they just vanished into thin air. When the distraught parents finally reached the crippled boy,  they found him standing and staring at the side of a mountain, tears streaming down his face. “They didn’t wait for me.”, he finally said, sounding as if his world had shattered.

The parents of the village were inconsolable, and wished that they had done right by the pied piper, but they never saw him, nor any of heir children, ever again.

~~~ The End ~~~

Okay, so that was pretty much long story long, but, well, I like telling stories. And, since it has been forever since I last read the Pied Piper of Hamlin, it’s more like a cover than the real story. I’m sure I got a hundred things wrong. Just think of it as the modern retelling. :\

Anyhow, the reason I brought up the tale of the Pied Piper, as well as the theories about computers/aliens, is: What if this story isn’t just a metaphorical reference to the fact that children will leave you if you stifle their fresher spirits with your jaded talk of wealth while they still believe in dreams?

I personally think it’s an allegorical reference to Moses and his leading of the people into the desert in the quest for the promised land. Or the advent of Christianity after the Jewish community unfairly treated Christ, who dealt with it so well, that nearly all of their children “left” to “follow” him.

Either way, I think if Aliens are involved (or a supercomputer program, or God-like futuristic ancestors), the implications of this story would be a lot more straightforward.. and a lot more sinister.

Treat your children right, or we will take them from you.

If humanity doesn’t change its ways, the planet will either find a way to destroy us, or we, the planet. The virus will most likely affect our ability to reproduce, counting on the barbaric nature of man to ensure it’s spread across the globe.

And we will die.

Sometimes I think that is the only way to stop the screaming in my ears.

How can you stand it?

Sometimes I think that to die would be more of a relief than an adventure..
Especially when I think of the children.
Our descendants should be ashamed of us…
and if they are not, then we should be ashamed of them.

Atrocities against Humanity: Syria – Leave the Kids Alone!

“Images of the killings in and around Baniyas have transfixed Syrians. In one video that residents say shows victims in Ras al-Nabeh, the bodies of at least seven children and several adults lie tangled and bloody on a rain-soaked street. A baby girl, naked from the waist down, stares skyward, tiny hands balled into fists. Her round face is unblemished, but her belly is darkened and her legs and feet are charred into black cinders.”

This is not a scene from the World Wars, or Iraq or Vietnam. This is Syria, today.

Sometimes I think to be a speck of dust would be more noble an existence than being a part of this septic cesspool of filth that calls itself humanity.

And, for all those ready to jump in and point out that a lot worse happens all over the World, and has been happening for centuries, save your breath. That makes nothing better.

It’s, like, at least once a day, I am ashamed of being human. And, don’t ask me to concentrate on all the good things few human beings are doing to help other living beings on this planet (both human and not so) – we’re only fixing what *we* broke. It’s the least we ought to do, considering the most inhuman acts today are carried out by humans.

I don’t even know why this bothers me. But, it does. Perhaps because it’s happening right now. It’s happening as I sit in class, as I play DotA, as I read Game of Thrones, as I sleep and – the children. Why would you murder the children?

It’s all the same everywhere. Are people really inherently evil? I get angry too. If I knew I could get away with it, I’m sure there would be at least a couple of people who would end up dead (okay, 5) But what kind of creature tortures infants, man?

RIP people I never knew, and never will.. May you find better worlds.

TL;DR – Humans suck. Here’s some more proof.

Damage Control

“It’s not what you think”, he said, taking one long drag from his cigarette before flicking it away.

“What is it, then?”, I asked absently.

“Damage control”, he said, as I watched the glowing embers of the discarded cigarette fade away slowly. “That’s all any of this is.”

I thought of the last set of lost boys, and the cruel trap fate had laid out for them. I thought of the past, and the darkest things that were now forever a part of me. I thought of all that had happened in just one single year.

“I understand”, I said, lighting another cigarette.

I knew a little about damage control myself.

Growing Up

All pretense,
about money,
meaning nothing.
this cannot be it.

I cannot do this.
Always trapped.
asphyxiated.
drowning.
All at once.

What is this feeling?
What is the air thick with?
Weighing down on me in the form of blackened photographs.
Of the soft light from a hundred different lamps falling into a smoky car,
and a million shapeless reunions,
half real, half imagined,
all blurring into one another
tonight.

And
there’s a space
for pain to teach you
but I don’t go there anymore
And there’s a place for the lost and forgotten
somewhere I think I’ve been before
Where I shall not, will not go
No, you can not make me go.

There is a song for every season
& the grass is always greener
On the Otherside.
It ebbs away,
Unforgiven.

But she needs to look to somewhere
that won’t blind us in this cold,
silently laughing at my
each & every
lonely
howl.

As do I, my friend.
The chill has long
set in my heart and bones.
And I am afraid I can no longer see
half as far as I once could,
a long, long time ago.

Aag, the Fire

You know it isn’t right to talk of rain,
when the sky is blue, on such a wonderful day
A bird in April is worth two in May
Worry not, there’s no such thing as pain without gain

Yes, I know how you don’t believe in beautiful days
Yes, I remember how the fiercest storms left you unphased
You wore your mask well, always there, just fitted in place
But, I know you have secrets for I’ve seen your eyes ablaze

The World is cruel, but you don’t have to be
They eat each other alive, but we didn’t have to die
The mountains are lovely, but I love the sea
I might never escape, but God damn me, I’ll try

For there’s an aag* dying to live, that’s burning in me
And I never stopped being a creature of fire
I left home looking for gardens of glee
And I wearily tire of your funeral pyre.

Yes, I love you, but you know why I can’t stay
Yes, I’m leaving, but you will always be what I crave
When you’ve said it all, there’s nothing left to say
And I’ll let our little secrets lead me to my grave

You lit a fire in me, and now I won’t stop blazing
The night is cool, but my soul is raging
I’m tired of this game, tired of all this chasing
Our forms are young, but my spirit is aging

I wanted laughter, and happiness, not a reason to be brave
Don’t tell me what to do; don’t tell me how to behave.
Remind me of nights spent condemning Universes we’d saved?
And I tire of all these moments that so coldly refuse to end
and your voice, hoarse and low, ‘Fire is the Devil’s only friend.’