b)The Western Financial Crisis
The crisis that hit the West and then travelled to the rest of the globe has provided a life time of work to many professors –most of whom failed to see what was wrong with a world where theconsumption levels of a select few were supporting the production choices, intellectual rigours andaesthetic values of the rest. Some intellectuals did have misgivings but, really, no one seriouslyexplored the faulty premise on which the world economy rested –unbridled, unwarranted,unquestioned consumption. This is because the idea of consuming not as per one’s desires but asper one’s needs is yet to make headway in the West. Till this does not happen, the West’s cries of bewilderment at its predicament are not likely to result in anything useful.Western banks, credit rating agencies, securitisation companies, Wall Street honchos –all havebeen discredited by the crisis. But three equally guilty agencies have escaped relativelyunscathed: the governments, the media and the academicians. I do not have much to say aboutthe first –whoever expects governments to be prescient or wise is living in a fools’ world; I won’tsay anything about the second –media is still in its teens, all energy but little purpose. However, Ido have something to say about the intellectuals: the least this class can do before it goes abouttelling us why everything came down like a pack of cards (and pocketing fat pay cheques whilethey are at it) is to apologise -with a capital A. And, while we are on the letter A: - how about a littleAccountability?Let us make no mistake. The crisis that struck the West is not a financial one but an intellectualone that has philosophical undertones. A recovery won’t begin and, even if it does, won’t besustainable (never mind the numbers and the pie-charts) unless the dons at all those reputedbusiness schools and Universities utilise their expensive research facilities and impressive journals to create and popularise an economic system that, at the very least, ensures that no oneanywhere in the world goes to bed hungry for any reason whatsoever. One malnourished childshould be enough to blast our faith in all those erudite lectures.We must also accept that our fascinatingly complex mathematical models do not as yet have theability to appreciate what is otherwise a self evident truth: that a man, any man –white, brown,yellow or black - is more than the soft drinks he has the ability or the whim to purchase.*****************
Israel and the Palestine (and, generally speaking, all such internecine conflict zonesaround the world)
A displaced race needs a home. It gets one at the cost of another that was too weak to resisteffectively. And everyone lived happily ever after…just who can seriously consider this ending asanything but improbable?So, what have we before us courtesy that smart nonsense our grandfathers engaged in almost 65years ago? Palestinians are outgunned every time they rebel but they keep rebelling. Meanwhile,the Israelis, a gifted set of people, are busy garrisoning themselves morning, noon and night evenas their benefactors, the Western powers, keep reassuring them that they are not alone in ahostile world. But no matter what is done for them, the Israelis still feel threatened. Nobody is safe.None is happy.The Palestinians keep finding new ways to die; the Israelis keep finding new ways to kill. Bothsides are a lot less human with each passing day. Both sides (and the world at large but more sothe Western nations) are culpable.