• Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:11 am

OP-ED: Madness, mayhem, and manipulation

  • Published at 02:04 am January 12th, 2021
US Capitol protest

It is a grim outlook for a new year, but it is not completely hopeless

Should the citizens of the global village expect anything in 2021?

Does it not seem that it will be another series of new episodes, like last year, beset by the madness, mayhem, manipulation, and tyranny that dominated 2020.

For most, the future will be knitted from experience gathered from a year of facing the coronavirus pandemic.

While the regimes were busy doing damage control, everything seemed to have gone haywire; they were unable to control the virus outbreak, or the frustrations of the people. The governments, both in developed and developing countries, gradually took charge of the crisis.

The world leaders were left defenseless in the face of government bureaucrats and elected officials who dance to the tune of their corporate overlords and do what they want, when they want, with whomever they want, all at taxpayer expense.

Now that the people have slowly begun to trust scientists, pharmaceutical producers, United Nations bodies, development economists, health care experts and services, and development partners, the governments with advisers and politicians need to get back on the drawing board to redo the plans on how to live with the Covid-19 virus.

In the broad political spectrum, politics and politicians must come forward with sustainable solutions to the new dimensions of global crises, which is impacted by the pandemic.

Such rethinking has surfaced when the nations’ history, politics, and politicians add problems due to attempting quick-fix solutions, which are not sustainable.

Let the politicians and bureaucrats understand that people will not digest any kind of hypocrisy, double standards, or delusional belief. Nonetheless, the politicians and bureaucrats initially had hiccups when the pandemic was ravaging the economy. There is also no denying that the government wasted crucial time, funds, and effort to get things back on track.

Citizens of developing countries have tolerated injustice and abuse which befell upon them due to the government machinery such as police harassment and brutality, corruption, criminalization of politics, robberies from infrastructure development projects, forcible occupations and invasions of homes and properties of the weak and the minorities by politically-backed hooligans, state security surveillance, unfair taxation -- and the list grows on and on.

Global citizens have been utterly helpless in the face of government injustice meted out, both at home and abroad. Indeed, the systemic violence being perpetrated by the state and non-state actors demoralises any nation-state, writes John W Whitehead, founder and president of The Rutherford Institute.

Until we can own that truth, until we can forge our path back to a world in which freedom means something again, we are going to be stuck in this wormhole of populist anger, petty politics, and destruction that is pitting us against each other.

Saleem Samad is an independent journalist, media rights defender, recipient of Ashoka Fellowship and Hellman-Hammett Award. He can be reached at [email protected]; Twitter @saleemsamad.

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