Hope and Social Harmony

A guy from Kerela once told me a story which never stops to amaze me:

A fisherman puts a dozen crabs in a basket and seals its top. Then no matter who strong the basket is, the crabs team up together and break free. Many lose their claws (limbs) in the process, but it’s a price well paid for the freedom they all deserve.
In the second case, the dozen crabs are left in the same basket, but this time the top is left open. The light from the top of this shallow container is perceived as achievable escape route and all the crabs independently quest towards being the first to reach to the top. In the resulting scramble, they pull each other down and hence no crab is ever able to escape.

Life of a citizen is like that crab trapped inside an airtight container. As Karl Marx once said, “We have nothing to lose but our chains”. A bloody revolution soon followed in Russia which led to purging of Czars. A citizen pushed to the edge has no option but to rebel. An accidental hero is born when the action of this lone desperate man is worshipped by thousands of sympathizers and ardent followers.
So how does any government prevent such an explosive situation? Simple like our fisherman friend, give your citizens/crabs hope. Show them a path through which each and everyone can achieve a respectable comfortable life. Then make sure everybody gets busy pursuing this vision. A point to remember is that it’s the journey, not the destination that keeps a person engaged (and hence under control). When a person believes that their much cherished goals are within reach, they forget all planning, strategy, pledges. This disorganized mass then loses its unity and is easy to control.
India has been a functional anarchy for the past 60 years, but it still survives, why? Unlike the governments in Middle East, citizens witnessed socio-economic mobility. People from the villages moved to the city and escaped the clutches of poverty and oppression from the landlords (zamindars). Education led to creation of a new breed of Indian Middle Class who did not inherit wealth but created one. The government/container is saved because everybody is busy and nobody teaming against it.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply.... we want your views

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s