Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Subtle Empire, Part 2 - willing actors

Yesterday we talked about the current world system (click here for Part 1).

Today i'm pushing it a bit further, and i'm going to tell you a story. Its the story of how i got here and how i see myself in the grand scheme of things. How i became a willing supporter of the system. Maybe its your story too.

yesterday, we explained how the global Empire is supported by 3 pillars :
1. large financial institutions
2. commercial companies
3. colluding governments

In my opinion, there's a 4th element, and it is very important to ensure the stability of this system:

The Ignorant Masses.

i was part of the ignorance. We'll start at the year 1957. to be precise, 31st August 1957.

That was the year our country received its 'independence' from a former colonial master and global hegemon, the British. Physically, the british were out of the country. No more administrators. No more Union Jack flying on buildings. But they left their system intact. The judiciary was largely based on british common law. the political system was molded according to the westminster system.

But more importantly, the country was ruled by people who were taught by the british and thought like the british.

The british also left behind another legacy : a divided economic system, where different races were segregated in different sectors of the economy. 

Economic inequality + perceived nepotism in the government = racial tension, which led to riots on 13th May 1969.

The new government then decided to take affirmative action to counter economic inequality. One of these steps is sending students overseas 

"we would like to say selamat hari raya to mum, dad, grandma, grandpa, our teachers , the cats at home, etc.."
i am part of this current, along with thousands of other young people from the 1970s until now. What is the intention of this policy?

engineering students came back to create the physical infrastructures of the country, like bridges, buildings, telecommunications networks etc 

accounting students were needed to decide how to use the resources of the economy in the best manner, becoming financial officers and accountants in companies.

and teachers? teachers are key, because they educate the young people,  putting them in a mindset which provides a continuation of the system.
And there's lots more. There are doctors who ensure a healthy workforce, architects who design residences and offices, and so on. What are we contributing to?

".. to reach high income status by 2020 while ensuring that growth is also sustainable and inclusive."

Our value to the country is how far we can bring it wealth. That is why the majority of students are sent to do medicine or engineering. to build up infrastructure and make sure there's a healthy population to do it. It's very rare to get people who are sponsored to study humanities and the social sciences like history.

After World War II, Britain was severely weakened while America remained strong, because it was so far away that no army was able to inflict any lasting damage to the economy. After that, the US and the Soviet Union became locked in a 40-year Cold War for supremacy of 2 economic systems : capitalism and communism. Eventually, the communism fell under its own weight. The US, and the capitalist system that it promotes, became the undisputed 'guide' for the world.

obama (in the middle) : "duduk baik-baik noo, ikut belakang pok ni"
Were we victims of circumstance? probably. Probably because there's no clear alternative to capitalism. 

I used to have a certain view of my life : study, get good grades, work, get good recommendations, become Governor, take a pension, die.

"study, get good grades, get a good job, die"
Multiply that by a million.

"study, get good grades, get a good job, die"
So that is why the fourth pillar is : The Ignorant Masses. We allow ourselves to fall into the same mindset, becoming the same sort of robots. Outside, we're malaysian american bangladeshi  arab etc. inside, our aqeedah is the same : getting a good life solely from this dunya.

This is dangerous. We are not only robots, we are robots with submachineguns. allah gave us the gift of a higher level of intelligence. We will probably go back and serve as officers and bosses and decision-makers. We will be responsible for the livelihoods of thousands of people. A lot of people think only about their own stomachs and are indifferent to the suffering of others. 3.6% of our country's population still live under the poverty line, in a country blessed with a huge amount of natural resources. How are we going to answer in front of Allah?

Unless we reform, hell will be broken loose on us. 'Umar was asked, "can a nation be destroyed while it seems prosperous?"

He answered, "Yes. When bad people dominate the good people."

But alhamdulillah, throughout the years there have been efforts to reform. And we can take part in this reform. We can become the Enlightened Masses. That is..yes, for another blog post insyaallah.