Posts Tagged ‘politics’

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to reality, however dysfunctional, is entirely intentional.

The nuclear age that had taken birth, surreptitiously, in the depths of the last World War, was proving to be a promising financial disaster for countries across the globe, already pulverised by the never-ending financial crisis.

Wisdom had begun to dawn on the handful of nations that were perched high on the nuclear ladder. They realised – after decades of sinking investment in fortifying themselves – that it was essentially a costly experiment in nothingness. Since 1945, despite close encounters and promising starts, miraculously, humankind hadn’t succumbed to unreason. Half a century had passed and the world had witnessed little mass action. No wars were forthcoming. Griping was high, as a result.

Smaller nations were knocking on the door to be part of the elite Fight Club. The Wise Guys nodded sadly, as attempts to pass on the lessons of their folly to these new members failed miserably.

A Council of Nations (CON) had been strung together, amid an atmosphere of healthy mistrust and cordial suspicion. A meeting was arranged and CON Members assembled at an unknown location. The agenda was unclear but many assumed the platform was likely to be used to conjure up a consensus to waging war, and putting an end to decades of collective wasteful expenditure and inaction.

An issue, which had the potential to trigger inclusive disharmony, was the need of the hour. Suggestions were solicited and after brief jousting, Members agreed on the CON Sea. The CON Sea was a sore nerve for years. Everyone thought they owned parts of the Sea but nobody seemed ready to agree. Even to disagree.

At stake were big numbers; multi-billion barrels of crude oil and multi-multi-billion cubic feet of natural gas. Or, so everyone thought. Curiously, everyone’s interest was piqued the moment these hidden treasures were discovered. Financial considerations had a magical way of fathering sovereign interests.

The largest CON Member by size – they called it Big C – immediately jumped into the discussion. It wanted a leading voice and exercised its rights to much of the area, citing history. History was a faithful friend to those particularly gifted in selective perception. Almost all CON Members seemed to share this exceptional gift. To their surprise, Members found that their respective drawings on the map seemed to overlap with everyone else’s.

Tempers threatened to simmer, and then soar. The smaller CON members harboured secret misgivings towards Big C, whose sole reason for existence was to thwart them, or so they thought. They wanted to see Big C out, if possible, but few enjoyed the force or will for a frontal assault. Forced smiles were seen. The meeting went nowhere.

Some smaller CON Members thought of turning to U. Sham, to solicit its wisdom. Sham had a reputation around the world as the Omnipresent Purveyor of Universal Freedom, who had a curious way of landing up, often self-invited, on sensing trouble. Its advice – solicited or otherwise, frequently otherwise – was aimed at quelling trouble when it saw one. Mystically, Sham’s ‘interests’ seemed to span the globe, even in places it had never visited, or heard of, before.

This was fertile territory indeed. U. Sham yearned to get involved, but wasn’t invited. Worse, none seemed keen on extending an invitation. It hoped that someone might invoke the Mutual Defence/Security Treaty that might help it sneak in to the Fight Club. Of course, this could happen only if Big C acted unruly. Big C appeared uninterested, so far. Whether Big C wished to send a message to other CON Members or to U. Sham (or both) was not superficially clear.

Meanwhile, a few more players were in motion elsewhere. Com. Reddie, was seen in conversation with a rather preachy icon known for his pacifist stance, G. D. Ian.

Both seemed a trifle worried at this drama. They thought, not without basis, that CON Sea was really a subtle exchange between Big C and U. Sham. They had to unite, even if temporarily, to avoid being sidelined by either the former, or the latter.

Matters came to a head, soon after. But almost everyone, independently, decided that nuclear arms were an inappropriate tool for warfare as surprise element was non-existent. Something else was needed in its place. They settled for Edible Warfare.

Thanks to technology, the world now produced and ate so much food, inventories were swelling globally. Food rotted, as inefficiencies in the supply chain between inventories and those in need of food were high. It was thought fighting with Food would serve multiple purposes. It would take care of wastage, possibly solve the problem of hunger (socially responsible objectives) and would be a truly surprise element (strategic objective).

The launch of battle was disputed. U. Sham assumed Big C of hanky-panky, Big C duly reciprocated with its perception. Smaller CON Members wished to have the first-mover advantage and assumed that U. Sham would assume Big C’s assumption and would go to war anyway. So they moved pre-emptively. Reddie consulted G. D. Ian, who seemed to be in the default posture of saintly meditation. Stupor was broken, belatedly, and they decided to get involved.

D-Day dawned and bombings began. Food-laden ICBMs flew furiously hither thither. MIGs and F-s downloaded food grains, while submarines capable of carrying vast tonnage of food as payload zoomed underwater. The assault of edibles was so fierce and so much food exchanged that the world paused to wonder. No one had thought there was such a huge stockpile of food on the planet. Gluttony and wastage competed for top spot.

Hawk-eyed observers sensed certain changes as a result of this mode of warfare. Instead of cowering in fear, people began eating more free food. They ate so much that large swathes of populace succumbed to the bear hug of gluttony and obesity. Damage was mutual and widespread.

Both social and strategic objectives were met. But there was no winner.

A gargantuan amount of food was eaten. More was simply frittered away. Edible Warfare had exacted a great toll. There was massive food shortage.

Nobody seemed interested in the barrels of oil and cubic feet of natural gas camouflaged beneath the CON Sea.

These could not be eaten.

 

 

 

Several centuries of being in a state of war with one another exacted a massive toll on old foes, Democracy, Communism, Anarchism and Monarchy. Strong-headed, each found it impossible to share any podium which involved the other(s). Ravaged by savage battles, they decided that their historical alienation needed a rethink. A secret meeting was arranged in a labyrinthine underground facility at an unknown location.

Monarchy took his place in an exaggerated throne specially designed for him. Anarchism was, unfortunately, seated next to him. This caused him immediate distress.

Democracy sneakily attempted to take credit for initiating the idea. That he had managed to bring thick foes to the coffee table was testimony to his modus operandi. Before airing his views on reconciliation, he pretended to request others to break wind by airing their…views. His eyes would be open but he couldn’t vouch for his hearing mechanisms, and most importantly, his mental faculties. Choosing prudence, he decided against sharing his true thoughts, preferring instead to reflect the view of the consensus.

Anarchism, in a signature display of personality, spilled his coffee on the table, ruining Monarchy’s fine linen apparel.

Communism remonstrated. Uncomfortably jittery at Democracy’s perceived first strike, he wondered what transpired to put him on a coffee table with folks he couldn’t see eye to eye with. He couldn’t entertain the possibility that Democracy was perhaps, as was his wont, overestimating reality. Making a mental note to suitably exterminate the Comrade responsible for this transgression, Communism launched into a splendid account of his many virtues.

The proletariat were the Chosen Ones. They were the all-pervading force that held a civilization together. No government, no ruler was the road to a good life. Anarchism beamed while Monarchy fumed at this reference.

Monarchy suggested that while Communism’s speech was eloquently pleasing, behind his goodwill façade, the cousins Feudalism and Fascism lurked stealthily. Communism interpreted this as a suggestion of hypocrisy and, unsurprisingly, Reddened. He quickly reminded Monarchy that nobody cared about his opinions anyway. Monarchy grumbled and held his chin high, even as no one paid homage.

Democracy, true to his character, had no opinion of his own. Opting to reflect the view of the consensus, he did or said little.

Anarchism broke his coffee mug.

Communism continued. He stood for everything ‘less’ and enlisted stateless, moneyless, faceless and classless as his most endearing accomplishments. Also clueless, soulless and perhaps senseless, thought Democracy. He, of course, didn’t share his true thoughts, choosing instead to express fake smiles of approval. Communism pretended to ignore him but developed Cold feelings nonetheless.

Unhappy with the level of orderliness, Anarchism broke one of his chair’s legs.

Meritocracy made a surprise appearance. Training his guns on Communism, Meritocracy said Communism was like a school teacher. When an exam was held and the kids graded, Communism abhorred the A’s and in a swipe of a pen, equalised everybody. The entire class was graded a C and lo! there was equality, a classless society. It didn’t take many exams for the entire class to be F-ed, quite literally. This is what Communism engendered.

Communism made another mental note to teach Meritocracy a lesson and wondered who had sneaked Meritocracy in. He suspected Capitalism but decided to maintain a poker-face.

In reality, nobody harboured affections for Meritocracy. It was left to Democracy to usher him out. He did so, citing popular will. Meritocracy scowled that Democracy was the spokesperson of the uninformed. At this point, Ignorance, Democracy’s trusted Man Friday, was pressed into service and he duly muscled Meritocracy out of the room, permanently.

Monarchy seemed clueless and sleepy, even though he was high on coffee.

Anarchism broke the table, demanding air time. Noticing that no one listened, he borrowed Monarchy’s sword, against the latter’s wishes, and slew him with an almighty swipe.

Pandemonium broke out at this juncture.

Democracy tried to control the rapidly agitating mob by insisting on a popular vote before killings could commence. Anarchy punched him in the face. Communism belched and conveyed that WMDs were installed around the facility, as a pre-emptive measure.

Democracy’s unused brains went numb. As the spokesperson of the uninformed and the will of the majority, he stayed rooted to his position, hoping that someone would force him into action. When none was forthcoming, he attempted story-telling, threatening Communism that nukes would be met with nukes, should push come to shove. Communism backed off at this threat but stayed Cold. Both stood geared for combat, but preferred manufactured menace to actual warfare.

Anarchism, meanwhile, radioed his trusted lieutenant, Arson. Sensing a great opportunity to leave an indelible mark on the meet, Arson flattened the room before proceeding to kick Democracy’s underbelly. As Democracy crumbled to the floor, Communism was overcome with laughter. Arson turned towards Communism and mistaking the guffaws for personal slander, torched him alive.

As Communism succumbed to the invitations of Death, Democracy was relieved.

The will of the majority had triumphed, or so Democracy thought. As he attempted standing up on his feet, Arson whacked his head with a sledgehammer.

Democracy went limp and his non-functioning brains forsook him, leaving him in a permanent state of uselessness.

Arson was a suicidal fellow, given to self-destruction. Delirium stoked suicidal tendencies and he eventually perished to self-immolation, but not before taking Anarchism with him.

None of the Political Systems survived.