Rehabilitating thinking as a virtue
by, Naseer Ahmed
People need to rehabilitate thinking as a virtue. The focus on an ideological and cheap sentimental take on life leads people to digital barbarity. I mean people become efficient operators, but real bad citizens.
Well, cheap theatre sells; it makes individuals rich, popular and famous. However, it has the potential to convert some individuals into murdering beasts; and some individuals, and some groups explore this potential of cheap sentimentality.
Extremism has become a psychological basis of modern life. Economy is based upon a kind of unlimited selfishness, which is indifferent to its social consequences. Politics has moved from nice sounding show off to hateful ideologues. A majority of media is all about pious rage and cheap theater. You don’t see an iota of analysis in what the majority of people watch and read.
In the end, you don’t see many people thinking about problems and their answers. People have been trained to adopt the simplest explanations, which are also based upon strong passions around cultural prejudices.
The similarity of all type of extremism is quite obvious, but there is a strong desire not to acknowledge the extremism one happens to sign into. That Pakistan India thing, same kind of problems, but Pakistanis see those problems in India and ignore, or justify them at home. And the Indians do the same.
An ideology was promoted by tabloids for years. The leading democracies refused to look into the extremism promoted into those tabloids when they were spending billions to understand the extremism with a different name. And the most vulnerable members of their minorities are paying the price for this negligence. It is just difference in name, but the heart and soul is the same.
Not trying to think has its own pleasures. Not thinking saves you from discomforts of a boring activity, but it does not save innocent people from poverty, wars, genocide, discrimination and terrorism. Besides, the cheap theatre around good causes keeps you confined to photo sessions and feel good factors.
Democracy and citizenship is basically based upon thinking. It is sad that corporations do their best to keep bombarding you with cheap sentimentality in order to disrupt thinking.
The politicians are also into selling through cheap drama. Their solution is that by following them we could dance out of our problems. Not need to talk and discuss, just applause the barks and keep dancing. Don’t even think what we bark at, just dance.
Media is also full of screams and slogans. The organizations you work for and the organizations you like are all about emotional exploitation.
The terrorists of all types use all kinds of techniques of emotional exploitation which corporations, politicians and movie makers use. They have located selfish idiots who want to belong to some grand illusion. The idiots who are skilled operators, but running away from a thoughtful take on life, citizen responsibilities and facts. They use some of these idiots for their dark purposes.
It is easy to see this problem in South Asia. Attacking just one or two types of extremists does not sort out extremism. One or two types of extremists are just the most obvious cases, but extremism runs deeper than what the policy makers are ready to accept.
Basically, the challenge to extremism should come from all sides. And the challenge should attack its roots. A cheap theater sells good but it could also be used for crimes against humanity. When it is used for crimes against humanity, it is time to challenge it in economy, politics and media, religion, race, art, literature ideology and family.