ALI – Politics, anew

Politics, anewUsing the concept of andldquomodernityandrdquo as our basis, we can examine andldquopoliticsandrdquo through the lens of three main historical periods: pre-modern politics as andldquothe art of leadershipandrdquo modern politics as andldquopower-centeredandrdquo and post-modern politics in the era of andldquodivided societyandrdquo under a mixed orderOne of the two reasons I have for taking andldquomodernityandrdquo as my basis is that, unfortunately, Western modernity continues to shape our mental and physical worlds, as it is the writer of history at this point. The other reason is that in these ambiguous times, with the splintering of reality we see all around us, we are in the midst of a post-modern chaos in which everything is at odds with and in conflict with everything else.

At the same time, we see that while Muslim minds might be offering some much-needed order in the midst of this chaos, they are not fulfilling this duty. Instead, we see that in Egypt, Muslim minds have been put under oppression as part of a dark era on the Indian subcontinent, a complete rejection of the nation-state in the place of the caliphate, followed by complete submission to the Islamic world in Iran, pragmatism (in the form of Rafsanjani) and populism (in the form of Ahmadinejad) derailed Islam from what might have been its revolutionary legacy in Turkey, Islamists have had their heads turned by promises of power not really belonging to them, entering the supervision of the state.

Of course, there are exceptions to these examples I am keeping them separate for now.In the pre-modern traditional worlds that existed in Islamic, Indian, Chinese and other non-Western societies, politics was the andldquoart of leadership.

andrdquo In fact, the same was true even in ancient Greece. The word andldquopoliticsandrdquo in Turkish –andquotsiyasetandquot — is linked to the word andldquoseyis,andrdquo which means horse groomsman or hostler A andldquoseyisandrdquo has the job of using artful work, skill, love and intelligence to transform a wild horse into a well-bred and noble steed.

Society is filled with disparities and wild savagery its leader needs to use such skill and mastery to bind all the differences together, and in doing so, be the orchestra conductor of society.andldquoPower relationsandrdquo in government have shaped politics in modern times.

And as modern nation-states have gathered all the divine attributes they can under one roof, what emerges is injustice in the form of totalitarianism, privilege and ideological tyranny in every arena of life. If power relations are to be taken as the basis, those in power must recognize all real powers in society, including the will of the people of the nation secondly, classic functions must be used to rein in the state as much as possible and thirdly, the only real and acceptable target of the leadership must be the creation and spread of andldquojustice.

andrdquoBut now, in post-modern times, the vase of enlightenment, so to speak, has broken reality has splintered, and all the flaws and sins have been scattered in every direction. Debates over the character and use of power will no doubt continue until the last person is alive on this earth.

In post-modern times, there must be agreement reached in society as to what the universal values are, so that those in power can rule with fairness and justice.The most essential problem facing modern politics is an utter lack of morals and ethics.

When there are no disputes when it comes to morals, then religion is not necessarily separated out from politics. This does not mean we have to pass up on either religion or politics.

Various religions can come together on shared ground to find shared principles and solve their problems using andldquodefining-understanding,andquot compromise and social agreement.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman