Society As An Organic Body (FreePakistan Newsletter # 142)
0 By Tibor R. Machan
0 Issue of the month: Uprooting the state aristocracy
FreePakistan Newsletter # 142
0 Society as an organic body
0 By Tibor R. Machan
0 Letters to FreePakistan
0 Issue of the month: Uprooting the state aristocracy
0 Basic social services to all
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Quote of the Month:
In a constitutional democracy, persons owe loyalty to the constitution rather than the government. I have long argued that on precisely this point, American public attitudes are quite different from those of Europe.
[James Buchanan, Speech at Hillsdale College (February 3, 2003)]
The market economy means peaceful cooperation and peaceful exchange of goods and services. It cannot persist when wholesale killing is the order of the day.
[Ludwig von Mises, Interventionism: An Economic Analysis (1940)]
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PHILOSOPHY OF LIBERTY
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http://www.jonathangullible.com ; www.philosophyofliberty.com
SOCIETY AS AN ORGANIC BODY
By Tibor R. Machan
[Tibor Machan is a philosopher, a Hoover Institution research fellow, and a professor at the Argyros School of Business and Economics at Chapman University, USA.]
Karl Marx, in his posthumously published work Grundrisse identified his view of humanity very clearly. Humanity is an organic whole (or body). People aren’t individuals but the cells of this organic entity whose development and maturation Marx tried to chronicle in his works.
When you have an organic body you are looking out for, if some part of this body is faltering, another part may need to be called upon or sacrificed so as to help mend it. Just as with human beings sometime a part of their bodies are utilized to fix another part, so with humanity--or society, if that is all you have available to manipulate.
Mr. Obama was educated and raised as at least a crypto communist, someone who holds this Marxian view. As he expresses it now, “We are all in it together.” We are like a hive or colony of tiny critters and so none of us can have any rights that give us the sphere of independence that an individualist view of society aims to establish and protect for each citizen.
This is a serious position, not something frivolous. Mr. Obama is not perhaps a card carrying member of the communist movement but shares its central tenets. The idea that individuals matter as individuals is very far from his worldview. At most it is classes that count but not individuals. If some segment or part of society--or the country--is in need of support, another may be imposed upon to supply it.
I recall when Welsh actor Richard Harris injured his nose doctors took bones from his hip so as to repair it. It all went swimmingly.
Political leaders--rulers--in collectivist regimes see themselves as assigned the job of keeping the body politic intact. So if some element of society needs to be contracted or even cut out so as to remedy or mend another part, they see themselves as obligated to carry out the job. They cannot be bothered by what they regard as the fiction of individual rights!
A matter like this needs to be kept in mind when politicians are evaluated. It needs to be kept in mind in the current presidential election, too. [Courtesy Tibor Machan]
REHMAN MALIK’S 6TH SENSE
[Rohail Baseer, Peshawar]
Our esteemed Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik has a sixth sense that the two fires erupting in factories in Lahore and Karachi were a terrorist attack. I also believe that it was a terrorist act and the people responsible should be punished. In one of the factory it has been found that the fire started when electricity was shut off and the generator started. Therefore the people responsible for the sad incident is the Government. And the Minister of Power and Water is responsible for all of these fires. If Rehman Malik, instead use his sixth sense to help resolve the internal debt of the IPP’s and if he can improve on the transportation of furnace oil to the Thermal power units, so that the trucking companies don’t steal and mix water with the furnace oil, making its quality worst and reducing energy production and increasing energy cost, then he would help end electricity loadshedding and help everyone in Pakistan.
There are countless other similar incidents of death and injury caused by the electricity load shedding in our country. Rather than blaming unknown and invisible terrorists and creating fear among the population, I would like to request the esteemed Interior Minister to help resolve our country’s internal problem of electricity load shedding, fake degrees, Haj scandal etc and most importantly the Murder investigation of the President of Pakistan’s wife. [Pakistan Observer]
[Col. Syed Riaz Jafri (Retd), Rawalpindi]
Pir Bilal Chishti of Ajmer Sharif called on the Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and invited him to visit the dargah, says a news report. Hope the PM doesn’t make a dash to the shrine before 17 September to invoke its blessings to ward off the evil of his expected indictment by the SC and donate another million dollars of the poor taxpayers in the process?!
BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE
[Z A Kazmi, Karachi]
‘Passengers go mad at railways over engine failure’ (Aug 29). Any cartoon film producer may buy one railway ticket and he would get a four-star tragic story free of cost. [The Nation]
S M KRISHNA YATRA
[Col. Syed Riaz Jafri (Retd), Rawalpindi]
S M Krishna the Indian Foreign Minister paid a visit to Data Durbar, Lahore, and left without reciprocating of making even a token donation of a million dollar! And then India talks of improving relations between the two countries?!
DAVID & GOLIATH
[Rahat Siddiqi, Karachi]
I fail to understand the exuberance and emotional outburst of PPP and its coalition partners in their support for Bahria boss, which in many ways is similar in content and enthusiasm to their support of the President viz a viz the Swiss Case Letter. Who is David or Goliath depends upon the perception of an individual. In any case a man who doles out bullet proof cars to ruling elite, in power or in opposition, is very difficult to assume the role of David. This is therefore a feud between two very controversial persons, in which national political parties should not get involved so blatantly.
While I can understand the political compulsions or commitment of these coalition partners to support each other, there is no justification in supporting an individual involved in a subjudice legal battle between two private citizens, unless the coalition considers scandalizing the judiciary as one of their primary objectives. Perhaps this coalition government needs to evaluate their performance, failings, governance and deliverance during past four years in comparison to performance of Supreme Court and its credibility amongst the masses. [Pakistan Observer]
TV TRENDY TREND
[Col. Syed Riaz Jafri (Retd), Rawalpindi]
Some of our female TV artists (News casters and anchors) have started wearing skin tight skin coloured shirts which on the first sight make them look like wearing a very bold sleeveless and a low neck shirt. One wonders what they are up to and what do they want to look like to their viewers in such an attire? I will not talk of it being Islamic or unIslamic but such a dress is certainly outlandish for a family guarding jealously its culture and old values.
WHAT A JOKE?
[N.Z. Jehan, Karachi]
Ever since he became petroleum Minister Dr Asim has been advocating increase in energy, fuel, gas and CNG prices to encourage import of LNG, LPG, gas etc. To make fool of people, for some ten days he reduced prices and has re-started killing poor consumers by horrible increases. Yet his cruelest joke for the poor people is; that he has caused to poor is; I recommended reduction in prices but Ministry of Petroleum, etc. turned it down. [The Frontier Post]
WHAT IS SUNAMI?
[N J Jehan, Karachi]
I still wonder what does Imran Khan means by sunami? His belief and perception to me appears surely different from 99.999999-percent people of world.It is destruction! In my opinion for Imran, ‘Tsunami’ means one thing: ‘kursi’- absolute power which incidentally corrupts absolutely. Everything he wishes to execute is not possible with ‘tsunami= absolute power. Will he get is big question mark. Nevertheless, one thing is clear. Imran being billionaire cannot have the right feeling of already poor masses victimized by horrendous corruption, horrendous rise in commodity prices, utility tariffs pounding 16.5 crore poor, safaidposhs torn to bits by the ruling ‘ithadi tola’ whom he never criticizes the way he should. By the time his ‘tsunami’ comes, we would be already completely sunk by ongoing ‘tsunami’ of corruption by all. [Pakistan Observer]
PROTESTS AND PROTESTS
[Col. Syed Riaz Jafri (Retd), Rawalpindi]
Protests and protestation seem to have become a part of our daily life. Be it the lawyers, doctors, political parties, labourers and factory workers or students all throng the streets and not only block the traffic but also most of the time resort to causing damage to the public and private property like burning of the vehicles and buses, damaging the traffic signals and sign boards and even looting and vandalizing the private properties and businesses etc. Strange as it may seem, the strike is called for some act of blasphemy committed in a far off foreign land but we burn and damage our own national properties in protest of it!! Could there be anything more brainless than it?! At the same time do we realize that striking work for a single day in Karachi alone causes a loss of 3.15 billion rupees? By the same token it would be at least 10 billion rupees for the entire country. Can our already weak economy afford to bear and sustain such a huge loss?
Anyway, now that our leaders and even the govt. do not have vision and or the realization of the gravity of the losses caused by such strikes and protestations, let’s learn to live by them. I suggest a sizeable area – say a park, a Press Club, exterior of the National and Provincial Assembly buildings etc. – appropriate for the type and the nature of the protest be earmarked where all protesting persons could gather at the given time and date to register their protest peacefully and in a disciplined manner. However, if such a manner of protest doesn’t bear fruit, then the protestors could stage sit-in strikes there and if further needed do the Gherao of the place till their grievances are tended to. The protestors must not resort to any vandalism or cause damage to any private or public property. No roads and traffic should be blocked as the essential work of the state must go on unhampered. No one should die in the ambulance f or being able to reach the hospital in time.
Let’s develop the culture of peaceful but effective protestation against all that we do not approve of collectively.
PROBLEMS FACING THE FARMERS
[Sher Gondal, Mandi Bahauddin]
Kisan Wing, Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Society (PESS) held a meeting on Saturday here to discuss difficulties being faced by farmers when they approach revenue officials to seek relief. President PESS Mandi Bahauddin Tehsil Subedar MajorBashir Ahmed presided over the meeting. District President Kisan Wing PESS, Mukhtar Virk said revenue officials including presiding officers of revenue courts were corrupt. They fleece public and complaints against them were always disposed off in their favor by their superior officers. He said Patwaris had left their areas / Halqa of responsibility and had established their Patwarkhanas in the city in rented houses.
They change/update entries in the revenue records without visiting the spot. Revenue courts are places where justice is put on auction. Revenue court staff negotiates with the litigants and manage to get a decision of choice of that party who gave high bid. He said last year a resident of Dhoke Kasib filed a writ petition in Lahore High Court Lahore against revenue officials on the ground that they had allegedly embezzled large amounts of mutation fee in addition to fleecing land holders for execution of mutations. The writ petition was accepted and on the order of the High Court, Anti Corruption Establishment registered criminal case against not less then 135 revenue officials including 85 Patwaris, he informed.
He said it was pity that ACE staff was hesitant to arrest the accused. The meeting condemned ACE for showing leniency in arresting the accused and urged CM Punjab to direct Director Anti Corruption Establishment Gujranwala to arrest the accused and forward their challan to the proper forum for awarding exemplary punishment to them. The meeting also demanded immediate dismissal of the accused from service. The meeting further resolved ex-servicemen would protest throughout the district if ACE did not arrest the accused within a week time.
Winding up the meeting, SM Bashir said corruption menace had widespread in all district departments including police and education. They were no more public service departments. Government officials behaved like princes. He called upon ex-servicemen to keep watch over corrupt officials in their respective areas and give their particulars with type of corruption they had indulged in. PESS would prepare a list of such corrupt officials and ask the concerned authorities to initiate legal action against them. The meeting was attended by Tehsil office bearers including President PESS Phalia Sher Muhammad Tarar, president PESS UC Sohawa Diloana, Capt Amin, Chief Petty Officer Sharif Secretary PESS Mandi Tehsil, CWO Abdul Gani Gujar and Chief Petty officer Aslam.
[Col. Syed Riaz Jafri (Retd), Rawalpindi]
Reportedly 29 got killed, 87 injured, 5 cinemas, 3 banks, one Chamber’s building, One Church, 4 Police Posts, 7 police vehicles and quite a number of shops were gutted by the violent protestors on Friday 21st September. All this carnage took place in Pakistan in protest against the blasphemous film on the life of the Holy Prophet (SAW). What is not understood is as to why kill and damage own people and property in love for the Prophet (SAW) while the actual blasphemers remain totally unaffected and unconcerned by our such protestation?! Still more alarming is the fact that all appeals from the religious, political and government leaders to desist from violence and vandalism had no effect upon the protestors who kept coming in hoards defying the barricades and tilting the containers placed to block their way. Police looked helpless in controlling the situation and at places had to withdraw to safety to escape the wrath of the protestors. Is this the way to record our discontent and what message have we given to the world as a nation? Something to ponder over by our political and spiritual leaders!
Issue of the month: Uprooting the state aristocracy
[Asghar Mahmood, Islamabad]
This refers to a number of letters which appeared in the News Post on September 3 and 5 on the VIP culture in the country. I also have an incident to share with the readers in this regard. Many years ago, I was attached with the Cornwall Constabulary Headquarters, Exeter, for familiarisation with the British police. One day, my conducting officer told me that there was some change in the briefing schedule as the officer concerned was with the prime minister in the officers’ mess. I was surprised at this information as while all senior officers were present in their offices, a junior officer was sent to attend the prime minister. I learned that British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who was famously known as the Iron Lady, was travelling through Exeter. After a long journey, she wanted to have a break. Her security officer informed the police headquarters that the PM would like to have a cup of tea at the police officers’ mess, if it was not inconvenient for the mess staff.
The chief constable instructed the superintendent of the police’s special branch to receive the prime minister and escort her to the officers’ mess. After relaxing for some time in the mess, the prime minister thanked the superintendent for their hospitality and left for London. Her cavalcade consisted of only two cars. In reply to my question “why the prime minister was not received by the police chief himself” I was informed that since it was not an official visit, there was no need for the police chief to receive the prime minister when he had other important business to take care of. Can this happen in Pakistan? [The News]
[Abdul Qadir Haye, Islamabad]
Imran Siddiqui’s letter “Our leaders” (Aug 30) transported me to the year 1973 when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was on an official visit abroad and I was part of his delegation. He decided to have a stopover in Copenhagen. A meeting with the Danish prime minister was arranged in the hotel where Bhutto’s delegation was staying. A few minutes before the arrival of the Danish prime minister, Mr Bhutto came into the hotel’s lobby. The Danish PM was not there five minutes past the appointed time, and the protocol officers had started becoming concerned. We were at the hotel’s gate looking for some VVIP movement but there was none. Shortly thereafter, the protocol officer said that he could see the PM coming. We did not see any vehicle, or anyone who liked like a VIP, approaching the hotel. Just then a person with a raincoat slung over his arm was seen briskly walking towards the hotel and trailing him a few yards behind was the lone security officer.
This was the Danish PM who came six minutes late and apologised to Mr Bhutto for being late. He said that he had to go around the block because he could not find a place to park his car and it was in the next block only that he had managed to find a space and hence the delay. No space had been reserved in front of the hotel for the prime minister and neither was any traffic warden present to allow the prime minister to park his car while he was in the meeting. Five-hundred meter is a long walk for our leaders. It is not security but the grandeur around them which charms them. They wish to be seen in full glory. [The News]
[Zaheer Ahmed, Islamabad]
Qadir Hayee in his letter in the News Post (Sept 3) narrated a very interesting episode when the Danish PM came to meet Z A Bhutto in Copenhagen driving his own car without any protocol and got late because he could not get parking space. I had a similar experience in Stockholm, Sweden which I would like to share with readers. In 1976, I went to Geneva to do a General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (now WTO) course. I was part of a group of representatives of 15 countries which went on a study tour arranged by the GATT authorities. We were official guests of the Swedish government. We were provided with public transport passes and a lady escort who was a minister’s wife and a senior officer in the foreign office. No private cars were provided to us.
One day when we were travelling, our escort pointed at a car and told us that the gentleman driving the car was the Swedish prime minister. Incidentally, the same PM was later assassinated while walking alone on a footpath but the Swedes did not change their system in spite of this tragic incident. These two episodes are examples of the egalitarian mindset of these highly developed societies and should be an eye-opener for our leaders. As against this, we have leaders who are addicted to pomposity. Not only our presidents and prime ministers, but the ministers, parliamentarians, political leaders and even ulema do not want to move without security escort and protocol. Of course the threat of terrorist attacks is one reason but the main reason is that our leaders want to be seen in full glory. [The News]
[Samina Amir Malik, Islamabad]
PML-N’s leader Ch Nisar who has accused the federal government of using secret funds to buy the loyalty of journalists but has stopped short of namingthe beneficiaries of this benevolent scheme or spelling out how an aspirant could enroll for the dole-out. I hereby disagree with what Ch Nisar has stated. Firstly the secret Fund is not an amount of Billions of Rs it is a small amount that is not more than 40 to 50 millions, the ministry uses this amount for different purposes in different ways. This fund is an auditable fund the cabinet division audits it, andreleases the Annual report of how it has been spent. This fund is always given in the form of Cheque either for the Advertisement purposes or in the form of Assistance. Secondly this fund could not be withdrawn by the Information Minister or Secretary Information without each other’s willingness, so there is a proper method of Check and Balance regarding this fund.
Kind of false perception is being created that the government uses this Secret fund to bribe and oblige the journalists, rather, as we all know that there isn’t any proper institute for the journalists which could take care of them in case of any disaster or death, the government distributes this fund among the Survivor or the Widows of those Journalists who die, the fund is also used to provide the journalists with the medical facilities, for educational and Marriage expenses of the Children of the journalists after the recommendation of Journalist organizations or Press Club. [Pakistan Observer]
NO PLOTS FOR TAXPAYERS
[Nighat Malik, Lahore]
Will the president, the prime minister, the public accounts committee or the chief justice take notice of how tax-paying members of the public are being harassed by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Islamabad? It is time citizens of Pakistan accept the reality that allotment of plots in Islamabad is for the exclusive benefit of the civil and khaki bureaucracy, pressure groups such as jurists, parliamentarians, etc. and not for the common taxpayers of Pakistan. In 1989, the CDA advertised the allotment of plots to the general public in sectors D12 and E12. Computerised balloting for the plots was held on August 31, 1989 and successful allottees were sent allotment letters in October 1990. Applicants for plots in Mehran sector E12 were mostly middle-class civilians. The last installment was to be paid at the time of possession, which has not materialised even after 23 years. It seems that the CDA is following its undeclared policy to ensure that the dream of ordinary citizens to own a plot in Islamabad never materialises. Scores of other housing schemes have come up since 1989, which were developed and their possession handed over to members of the paid elitist establishment.
In 2008, I again applied for the allotment of a plot in the DHA Valley, Islamabad and was very hopeful that the DHA, unlike the CDA, would not betray the trust of the public. Having paid the 11thinstallment in May 2011, I was told that the payment of the last installment is to be deferred till further advice from the DHA office. Before this development, fabulous newsletters had been sent informing us of the development work taking place at the DHA Valley. According to press reports, it has now emerged that the DHA was in partnership with Bahria Town, which was handling this project. This fact was never revealed to the general public, which had invested in a DHA project, not a Bahria Town project. Who is responsible for this betrayal of public trust? [The Express Tribune]
[Mazhar Butt, Karachi]
In 2009, a complete list of bank defaulters was published and shown on electronic media. A report of the same was also submitted in the Supreme Court (SC), so that all those businessmen, political leaders, retired army men and journalists who were among over 3,300 people who got Rs 153.5 billion loans written off from 11 financial institutions between 1999 and 2007 could be bought to book. However, it is disappointing to note that this matter of great national interest was never pursued in earnest and the defaulters were set free to enjoy.
The SC has just ordered NAB in the containers case to either recover the amount incurred on the case from the accused and in the event of failure bear the mark-up on it. It would be fully justified if the honourable SC also passes a similar order against the above bank loan defaulters and the financial institutions involved in the scam. NAB or the concerned financial institutions should be penalised by making them pay the mark-up on the huge amount of Rs 153.5 billion if they fail to recover the same in grace time awarded by the SC. Unless quick action is taken, it is feared that the nation will lose this amount forever. [Daily Times]
It is for the people, especially for the think-tanks and NGOs, and no doubt for media also, that the big issue for the next election should be the provision of basic social services (water supply, sanitation, public transport, roads, paved streets, street lights, libraries, parks or playgrounds, and noise and pollution free environment) to all the citizens in Pakistan not only ensured in the constitution but binding on the next government also. If achieved, that will be a great step forward towards the unification of the ordinary and elite Pakistans. Is there any political party ready to take up this at the top of its agenda? [Editor]
PARKS FOR THE PUBLIC
[Fatima Motala, Karachi]
Karachi is a big city with too much population. After a whole week of busy routine, people need a healthy picnic on weekends. The common man finds it in public parks which are best for recreational activities. Public parks are the only source for relaxation and peaceful environment in stressful urban areas. As the population is expanding, the demand for public parks is also increasing. Karachi’s population is well over 15 million but the number of public parks is very low. Parks are necessary for the people of all ages. In a highly populated city like Karachi, the number of parks should be adequate to the population’s needs. The condition of parks is not good. The administration does not paying attention to them. Due to insufficient arrangements, lights and fountains are almost always out of order. Drug addicts can be seen in the evening and at night in these parks. It is requested to the concerned authorities and CDGK to take steps to construct public parks in central locations in all the major localities of the city. This will very helpful in maintaining the physical and mental health of the people. [Pakistan Today]
REQUEST FOR WATER SUPPLY
[Eng Muhammad Ijaz Dar, Lahore]
I would like to request this newspaper to kindly bring to the notice of CM Shahbaz Sharif an issue which is creating problems for the people of the area. There is no water available in Park Lane, Aswad Street, Bhundrapura and the surrounding areas for the last three days, because of some non-repairable problem with the tube well installed there.I have personally checked the site and there seems to be no chance for repair. As a responsible citizen, I have tried my level best to contact the XEN and MD WASA on their cell phones several times but there has been no response. I have also tried to convey the message to the PA to MD WASA several times, but he was not available in the office, neither did he respond to my calls. This issue has already been brought to the notice of SDO WASA, Freed Court House Road, who has taken no action. [The Nation]
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