Politicians are criminals?
In Pakistan lawbreakers easily elevate to lawmakers
By Zahid Ali
A penchant for corruption and criminality is an electoral asset in Pakistan. Most of politicians are crooks. At least, that is what a lot of people think in our country. One assumes it is a reproach. But not in Pakistan. Pakistani politicians who have been charged with or convicted of serious misdeeds are three times as likely to win parliamentary elections as those who have not.
MPs in Pakistan leave office vastly richer than when they came in. In Pakistan lawbreakers easily elevate to lawmakers. Constituencies represented by crooks suffer economically. A bigger cost is in the legitimacy of the public sphere as a whole when even MPs can flout the rule of law so brazenly. It’s getting harder to prosecute and penalize politicians for corruption. Politicians are great criminals. Is there any difference between the criminals and the politicians?
The criminal is poor. He is uneducated, unsophisticated and simple-hearted. The politician is hypocrite, cunning, diplomatic, sophisticated. But their essential reality is the same. In other words, the criminal is a politician who could not succeed and the politician is a criminal who has succeeded in attaining power.
But their psychologies are not different. They both want power and domination. They both want to do things without any concern for the consequences. They are both end-oriented, they don’t bother about the means. Their basic philosophy is the same, the ends justify the means. If you succeed, then how you have succeeded, using right means or wrong means, does not matter. Success proves that your means were right. It is the end that proves your means were right.
They are both violent. But if you have to choose between the two, the criminal is certainly the better. He does harm, but his harm is very limited, maybe he kills someone. But Genghis Khan alone killed forty million people. Tamerlane killed thirty million people. Nadir Shah killed forty million people. The exact numbers Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte and Ivan the Terrible killed are not available. But they must have succeeded in killing far more than Tamerlane, Genghis Khan, Nadir Shah.
But numbers for Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler are available. Joseph Stalin alone killed more than one million people after the revolution in Russia. Adolf Hitler killed six million Jews inside Germany, and in the whole second world war he killed near about thirty million people.
Criminals have a very limited score. Politicians are great criminals. So great that you accept them as your heroes, so great that they create history. Criminals have done whatever wrong they have done out of innocence. They were not aware of the law, they were temperamental. In a certain moment of rage and anger they became mad and they did something, but their act was not premeditated. And that makes a tremendous difference.
The politicians have done far greater harm to humanity. And they go on doing harm, because they have all the powers of the armies, of the bureaucracy. And they do it not out of innocence. Their actions, howsoever ugly, are pre-considered, well planned.
But they belong to the same category. Politicians are bigger criminals, that is the only difference, the difference of quantity. The criminals are simple human beings. Their only fault is their unconsciousness. And they don’t take note of what the outcome of their action will be. They don’t plan it well. The politician is the criminal who has not been caught, and the criminal is the politician who is not clever enough, who has been caught. And the criminal was doing a very small thing, on a small scale. But basically they are not different. The politicians are ugly creatures in the sense that they go on interfering in other people’s lives. The ordinary criminal uses direct means. That’s why he is caught. The politician uses very indirect means. It is very difficult to catch hold of him.
There are also radical revolutionary politicians too. Just to be a politician was enough, but to become a revolutionary radical politician, cancer doubled, trebled! Was not politics enough to be a criminal? Had one to be radical, revolutionary? We always find beautiful words to hide ugly realities.
No politician can be revolutionary, because the only revolution is spiritual. No politician can be radical either; the very word “radical” means concerning the roots. The politician only prunes the leaves, he has nothing to do with the roots. Only enlightenment takes you to the roots.
Politics has existed always, politicians have existed always, but what has happened? The world remains the same sorry-go-round! In fact, misery goes on becoming multiplied every day. All these revolutionaries and radical politicians have also only proved to be mischievous, with good intentions, of course; but intentions don’t count at all, what counts is consciousness.
The politician has no consciousness; in fact, he is trying to avoid his own inner problems, he is trying to escape from his own problems. And the easiest way to escape from oneself is to become concerned about world problems, economics, politics, history, service to the poor, transformation of the conditions of the society, reformation. All these are strategies for escaping from one’s own problems, subtle strategies, dangerous, because one feels that one is doing something great, while one is simply being a coward. Politics is the surest way to be ruined in this world. There is one fundamental law of all revolutions: when the revolution comes, things will be different, not better, just different.
Politicians have been driving the whole world for centuries, to where, to what end? Is it not time enough that we should see the whole stupidity of the game? At least we are aware, fully aware, of five thousand years of politics, before that the case must have been the same, but after five thousand years of political games what has happened? Man remains in the same darkness, in the same misery, in the same hell. Yes, politics goes on giving him hope, a hope for a better tomorrow, which never comes. Tomorrows never come.
Politics is a new opium for the masses. Even communism has proved nothing but a new opium for the masses, communism is a new kind of religion. The strategy is the same: “Tomorrow will come the revolution, and everything will be all right.” You have to sacrifice your today for tomorrow, and the tomorrow never comes.
Many years have passed since the Russian Revolution, and the tomorrow is still as far away as before. The people who sacrificed, sacrificed in vain; it would have been better if they had lived. The people who were killed were really committing suicide, hoping that they were doing great service to humanity.
Mark Twain was right to say that politicians are like diapers. They both need changing often and for the same reason. So called radical politicians are not exception to the saying. “Throw The Bums Out!” is a very common saying we use to describe what we all want to do to the criminal, corrupt, and incompetent politicians that infest all levels of society and humanity. It’s the obvious thing to do to anyone we elect/select who sells us out to special interest money and political party insiders.
We all know the vast majority of our so-called political representatives are not being attentive to protecting and defending our best interests. Instead, our political representatives/employees are doing the bidding of those with the most wealth and power. Nobody in their right mind would keep employees that are corrupt and incompetent and doing harm to the business. So this begs the question. When are we going to wake up and realize we are not and have not been in our right minds because we don’t do anything to get rid of these criminal, corrupt, useless and destructive employees.