Food For Thought

From Ideologies to Imagologies

Collapse of civilizations and empires is a subject which gathered a lot of interest during the course of human history. In different periods the reasons of collapse were different. One thing however was common – that is the absense of the will of adaptability. Civilizations adaptable to change only survived as change being the only constant in this arrangement of time and space we call the universe. 


This could be true even for the multiverse which is yet to be discovered. Jared Diamond in his famous book Collapse defines this human oscillation from the one end of pendulum to the other – the fable of adaptability and change.

With the ensuing globalization and the positivist-cum-capitalist approach of the modern world, collapse of a civilization or a country is no more a viable option. The world being the global village is so acutely linked that any failure will send ripples all around. This is probably going to be the century of global commons. Besides the earth, ocean, air, atmosphere and emerging common culture, the most astounding commonality is appearing in the form of complete humanity being taken as one for the first time in centuries. Any endemic in Africa will convert into epidemic and soon will become pandemic. Same is true in terms of travelling and transfering of ideas, ideologies, habits, norms and even customs through modern means of communication. If the world is becoming one for the first time in human history, then can it be called as the collapse of Westphalian states or even the dawn of a new era of post-post-Westphalian state? State is still an important unit, not as a territorial entity anymore, but as a bundle of data.

The datafication of human race is the bedrock of emerging commonality of one race (How much common building blocks, genes I have with you, will be the buzz word soon). Pakistan as a state has to brace this change with dignity and vitality of a nation. The era of narratives or the narrativity of national objectives is getting diluted. Those talking of mere national narratives should be preaching the concept of adaptability through change, reason and logic of survival. Narratives of any kind are going to be obsolete soon. Narrative in real terms is the history being played in future. This part of 21st century, the third decade and beyond is the era of political science and sociology. Captives of history will be frozen in the ice caps of some wonderland. Anthropogenic interference around us has already set a climate velocity, which is very difficult to retard unless the complete humanity is taken as one. Pure kinetic and security narratives would be poor narrativity of a nation in a very complex and interesting world.

Pakistan is fast becoming the hydraulic society of India, security narrative of the state will hardly be sufficient to address this, but the emerging global principle of commonality surely can take this on in the realm of science of people and sociology.

Survival of the state will be based on the principle of snowballing the social capital. The vertical geopolitics coming face to face with virtual geography, is a boundaryless geography of keyboards, politics, economics, foreign policy, security and strategy. People living on social and urban fringe can any moment become part of core through the virtual geography. This has transformed the complete concept of ideology. As per the modern concept, the ideology is nothing but the imagology of virtual reality. This rapidly happens in the West whereas in the orient the still ideology overlaps with the religion. The emerging phenomenon of the oneness has also challenged the geo-historical sequences all over the globe. As per the same, the perennial enemies can become partners of will. The social mobilization creates political change by creating new groups that in subtle way demand participation. This also leads to view interpretations and ultimately redefines the geo-historic sequence of a nation. Once set to occur, no nation can stop this. This can trigger a mechanism of new geo-political wavelength between the states.

Out of the modern concept of global relations, the geo-economics will still be relevent, as adaptability to this is the safety net of struggling nations. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is whiff of cool air and is strategically very important for the well being of the country. There is however, a geo-political caveat to it and that is ‘the good working and economic relation with Iran.’ Pakistan can create a desirable cordiality with Iran and CPEC can mesh in Iran also. Problem emerges if another close ally of Pakistan (for example Saudi Arabia) gets perturbed with new found cordiality between Iran and Pakistan. This has to be tackled by creating a symbiotic geo-historic sequencing between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Both of them vis-a-vis each other are living in history, they are to be convinced to live in political science and sociology of the second decade of 21st century. Captives of narratives are to be liberated through pragmatic reasoning, logic, adaptibility and change, the principles of emerging oneness of the mankind. The branded global terror organizations are also not something outside of this phenomenon, rather till now they are dealt with mere kinetics or the historical metaphors, the change will come when the measures beyond the treatment of ideology and stagnant idealism are adopted. The use of virtual geography by these elements is a clear sign of the social mobility but in an obtrusive way. For Pakistan the road to prosperity passes through the multiple economic corridors with China, Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia. Strategic location is a big plus, but if not prudently used, it becomes a dilemma and a bane of poor geopolitical wavelengths. Here then, geostrategic powers start unfolding the roulette of mathemetical game theory taking the unclaimed strategic location as the wild West of any empire.

The writer is a freelancer having a military background and regularly contributes for national dailies on issues related to national security, strategy and foreign policy. He is also a Ph.D scholar at National Defence University.

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