Who runs the world?
If this world is a machine, then who is the ghost in the machine? Who runs this world is an old question with answers that keep changing with time. Human beings used to be hunter gatherers in the early ages. Some of these people shifted to rearing animals rather than killing and eating them. A mix of these wandering people, upon settling into territories over time started calling themselves as nations, some strong and others weak. Wars were the next natural development. The principal cause of war, which was greed, was camouflaged by religion, ideology and imaginary conflicts. To stop some of this chaos, great empires were born – the Roman Empire, the Prussian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and many others.
The First World War, which started as a war to end all wars, led to the demise of empires and the creation of Soviet Russia. The hurt pride of the Germans led to the Second World War and the end of the European era. A bipolar world dominated by the Americans and the Russians emerged. In 1990, with the implosion of Soviet Russia, America unleashed globalization to bring almost the entire planet into its control. This turned China into a global factory, and India into an intellectual slave provider, to achieve profit for the US corporations. It badly backfired and today, President Trump is trying in vain to reverse globalization.
So, who runs the world now? Global corporations? Military power? It was believed that control over resources creates a symbiotic relation and balance that runs the world. But the newly brewed trade war between China and the United States; the exit of Britain from the European Union; the American Military Power shining in its impotency to establish rule over Afghanistan and Iraq, occupied decades back; and Iran, Turkey and Hungary staring back in defiance at their erstwhile mentoring nations, have all thrown up new doubts. Every time victory over terrorism is declared, bombs blasts at the most unexpected locations rattle this illusion. There is unease and uncertainty in the air. So now, who is controlling the modern world?
Let us go to Neti Neti, ‘not this, not this’, line of thought of ancient Indian thinkers. Money does not control the world. All major international currencies are tied up in a tangle and no one is really leading. All ideologies and isms, are dead and in a great paradox, Communist China is today’s most capitalist country and the United States is promoting most vigorously, the rights of its workers and the interests of its locals over that of its immigrants. Religion is dead as a force, not only politically, but also in its role as a moral and social reformer. British journalist Catherine Nixey, working for The Times, in her book In The Darkening Age, narrates how nations following the Christian religion, despite preaching peace, had been violent, ruthless and intolerant. Lack of human development is glaring in most of the orthodox Muslim nations.
It is important to look at the Vedic concept of Kali Yuga – the Age of the Dark for two reasons. One, it explains to a large extent the increased entropy, disorder and uncertainty of the contemporary world. Internet-driven electronic mass and social media have established a kingdom of lies and deceit over the human mind and an explosion of a mindless, unfocused generation growing up in every country of the world is imminent, in varying intensity and time lag. There was a Hollywood movie ‘World War Z’, sometime back, wherein zombies created by a biological infection almost took over the world but for the heroics of the protagonist. In real life, however, there is no protagonist and the end would unfortunately be different from the one shown in the movie.
The world, the way it is or is going to be, will eventually end but humanity will survive; good human beings will remain alive. Therefore, the point is not to brood over what is wrong with the world, and to face the reality that there is hardly anything right with the world. The point is not to be passive and see the decay and degeneration of human values, but to connect with the Infinite of which this earth is a minute part and the human part, further a small part of the planet itself. The Indian mind has always seen the Earth as Mother, humanity as one, and the world as a family – Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.
A Chinese proverb says that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Let us take that first step by connecting to the Infinite Intelligence centre inside our own body – our soul, or with whatever other word we may like to call it. A multi-layered system governs everything, whether it is our life inside, our life around and the world at large. The first step to know who runs the world is to know who runs you!
MORE FROM THE BLOG
The Tower of Babel is mentioned in the Bible (Genesis 11:1-9). The prideful ancient Babylonians wanted to build a mighty city and a tower with its top in the heavens. The work remained incomplete after they were cursed to speak different languages…
The New Year 2024 begins on a positive note. The Indian economy is doing well, and people generally enjoy good times, if not great. There is no distress or despair in the air except for some intransigent pessimists who are perhaps blind to everything good…
One of my cherished childhood memories is singing before the image of Mother Durga created on the wall using cow dung, called Sanjhi, in our home every year during Navratri. This was not done in every house in our locality and many children would…