Sunday, May 10, 2009

Why is terror an impossible political praxis in liberal democratic societies?

A scene from Munnar-Trivandrum bus. A guy was sleeping, resting his head on the shoulder of the nearby passenger (Remember, the journey was downhill and the road in Munnar is full of twists and turns. You will really be pissed off if the fellow-seater sleeps on your shoulder). Now and then, the guy who was carrying the cross tried to push away the burden. But like a faithful dog driven away, the sleeping head would invariably come back to its resting place. The sleeper might have drooled. I don’t know. Suddenly the Jesus Christ on the KSRTC bus got infuriated, and slapped the other right on his shaven face. We were all shocked. Startled, the sleeper woke up, glared for a moment at the enemy of the human race, and calmly went onto sleep, keeping his head safely fixed on the aggressor’s shoulder (The poor thing did not understand a single thing, it seems).

The moral: one is not punished for one’s evil while one is fast asleep. That is, terror as punishment, in whatever form, is always already impossible in liberal democracies since in such societies ‘the right thinking, tax-paying citizens’ are always sleeping. They can never be punished for their middleclass evils. After every terror, they just wake, stare around without making anything out, and continue with their sleep.

The difference between orthodox Marxists and liberal Marxists could be roughly put as the difference between a whore and a wife: while the whore pretends, the wife pretends that she pretends. Or to put it in the worn out phrase of our old friend Marx (tinged with a bit of Lacan), while the whore alienates her man from the Real qua impossible, the wife alienates her man even from his alienation. Wherein lies the truth, in whore or wife, in orthodox Marxism or in libaral Marxism? We must stick to the conservative Hegel of High German Idealism: deception of deception is better than deception itself.

In other words, we must take a wife seriously when she says that “I know family is a crap, an institution that kills woman (that is, a deception). Nevertheless we women must pretend that it is not so (that is, deceiving deception itself), and believe in it for the creation of a better generation.” We must also take seriously our Bengali comrade Buddha babu when he says “I know capitalism is a crap, a socio-economic arrangement that kills people. Nevertheless we Marxists must pretend that it is not so and believe in it (at least for the time being) for the creation of a socialist society.”

In liberal democracies everything depends on this vital commonplace: NEVERTHELESS. We must take an academic seriously when he says that “I know that the education system is a crap, a deception meant for the perpetuation of the existing inequality. Nevertheless we must pretend that it is not so and believe in it for the creation of a just society.”

Tell me: Who is the manipulator? Who is the sucker? The whore who says that men are disposable entities or the wife who, through family, conceals even this knowledge from her man and tells him that he is very important?

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