Use and Abuse of Dictatorship

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  • To handle inconvenience, temporize not suppress it

According to the article Rome defines dictator as, “to give power to some one man to make decisions without consulting others and to carry them out without anyone having the right to appeal.” Rome chooses to have dictator whenever any thread appears to harm their state. For Rome having dictator at emergency was always helpful to deal with present and future threads. In fact whenever any danger, either internal or external appears citizens get apprehensive. In such situation the safe way to deal with danger is to temporize or to take time to deal with problem instead of directly going to trickle the problem right away.  Without taking time and preparation if someone tries to end the danger they mostly end up been weak, which strengthen their enemies.

According to the article internal threads for a state are caused by two reasons. One when citizens allowed more power than they should have and second is when administrative body is corrupted. It is difficult to recognize the internal threads initially because mostly we give power to someone whom we think is able and competent; therefore, it is easy to overlook their mistakes.

In article they have given examples from Rome, here I want to give example of my own country Pakistan. When Musharaf was dictator he without taking any second opinion declared “War on Terror” at the first it seems effective but now Pakistan is fighting “War on No One.” Since, it was a quick decision by a dictator without well preparation of state which made Pakistan weaker and Taliban come up with new plans to fight back. As suggested in article it would have been helpful if other methods like negotiation or peaceful talks were done with Taliban to address the problem instead of going for an unending war.

  • In spite of appointed by free how it become harmful

In the article the example taken from Rome talks about the free appointment of 10 people who were responsible to make laws and take all decisions by their own. These ten people were appointed by free election. They were expected to be good but the outcome was contrary of what had been expected.  The article says that when “unrestricted authority” is given to someone for longer period means more than a year or so, it may always be dangerous. It may have good or bad consequences according to the nature of that person. It means if a good person is given power for longer time period the results will be good and vice versa. But later on it says that regardless of the person, if absolute power is given to anyone they become arrogant and misuse their power.

Dictators can be helpful in the times of emergency but prolong unrestricted authority makes them arrogant and they mostly abuse their power.

The Concept of the Political

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Carl Schmitt defines state as the “political status of an organized people in an enclosed territorial unit.” Here the word political not only talks about the form or means of government or governance rather Schmitt associates many other aspects of human attachments and daily activities with the term political. Schmitt claims that, “the specific political distinction to which political actions and motives can be reduced is that between friend and enemy.” It means that anything for which someone willing to “kill or die” is political and or in other words something becomes political when it comes to friend and enemy distinction. So the values, relationships, or other things for which someone can scarify or die are friends and ones who are dangerous for friends are enemies. In other words we can say that we make friends or enemies on the basis of differences and likes. Friend and enemy distinction is based on the values which are important for us.  Anything can be political when it creates strong bonding among people such as religion, moral values, ethnicity, nationality, economic status and on so. For instance, if certain ethnicity encourages it people to make group against other ethnicity then it develops the notion of friend and enemy distinction, then it becomes political.

Homo Sacer: The Logic of Sovereignty

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Homo Sacer is a term used by Roman to identify a person whose citizenship is removed because of his wrong deeds, hence, Homo Sacer left with only bare life. Bare life means a person without having a say in political activities and state related issues. On bases of this Nazi Germany removed the citizenship of Jews and then killed, punished and torture them without juridical trials and without considering constitutional laws.  Since, Homo Sacer is place outside of the law and killing of Homo Sacer is not a crime. But killing of Homo Sacer is a controversial debate among philosopher. Some say that Homo Sacer is outside of law so it is okay to kill him without committing a crime and other say that one can’t kill Homo Sacer because a sinister can’t be offer to god. Because in early Roman, religion and state affairs were under the control of god and killing someone was considered scarifying for god.

According to Agamben, sovereignty is sometimes inside of the law and other times it is outside of the law depends on the situation. In the state of exception power belongs to the dictator or the head of the state even beyond the constitution. Sovereign has the ability to suspend the rule of law because law has given power over itself to sovereign in the times of emergency. Therefore, in the state of exception sovereign has monopoly over law and decision making. Other than emergency, in the time of peace constitution has power over all decision making processes. At that time sovereign is within law.

 

Why UN established? Is it Successful?

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  • Intergovernmental organization to promote international co-operation. League of Nations failed ( WWII) _ avoid misfortunes _ united Nations
  • Duties _ peacekeeping _ peace treaties _ towards democracy _ promote human rights _ providing humanitarian aid, devastated by war and disasters _ international security _ economic and social development _ political freedom
  • Achievements _ Food aid _ 104 million people in 80 countries/yr _ Aid to refugees _ Syria, Mali, Sudan _ Protecting children _ rights of children _ death rates decrease _ peacekeeping _ running elections _ reproductive health and population management _ drastically reduce infant maternal mortality
  • End conflict, foster reconciliation in Namibia, Tajikistan
  • Rwanda: These setbacks provided important lessons for the international community to deciding how and when to deploy and support UN peacekeeping to maintain international peace and security.

 

Human Rights

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  • All of us regardless of who we are and where are born, entitle to human rights. Human Rights are not privileges and can’t be granted or revoked, these are inalienable and universal therefore, promoting human rights is the essential to ensure peace and harmony.
  • United Nations: peace and security _ fundamental functions of UN _ indispensable to endorse and promote human rights
  • To protect people from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, migration, disabilities, rights of women and children, sexual orientation, and the rights of various minorities, are being addressed
  • UN _ focuses on Political and civil liberty rights _ right to life and integrity, vote, religion _ protect from slavery, forced, labor, discrimination, torture.
  • Economic social and cultural human rights _ right to work, equality, vulnerable, standard of living. Rights of groups _ right to development, clean environment, peace.
  • Draw attention to a wide range of human rights issues.

 

Memorizing is Not Learning

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I agree with Taylor that the conventional way of studies at schools and even at university levels encourage students to memorize the correct answer instead of appreciating students to dig the depth for the answer from untouched angles. Testing and examining method at schools provides only answer or few answers to the questions. Most of the time questions in traditional setup are close ended. In order to promote true learning first of all the questions should be open ended and students should be supervised to get the answer instead of providing answers to memorize. In most of the conventional teaching system students are in a continuous competition with each other to score high grades. The level of intelligence is measured by the numbers scored on the test without acknowledging the circumstances where the test has being taken. Sometimes even if the student knows the answer but due to some other problems he/she may not able to perform well on the test day and got bad grades. Consequently they are been judged as weak students. Their talent, hard work and abilities are being underestimated and vice versa.

Socratic tradition of teaching should be encouraged in the schools because it opens doors for discussion based studies where teachers work as facilitators. In this way students will have chance to share their ideas without been judge. Classes will be interesting and students will not fall in sleep or will not keep their eyes on watch all the time. For class participation and for class attendance teachers will not have to allocate marks. A specific syllabus will not be required for a class. Everyone will response to the questions according to their understanding and will justify their responses through various approaches. There will be no right or wrong answer neither will be only answer for the questions.

This idea of Socratic teaching style is similar to the way Buddha start to learn about the life and the sufferings comes with it. Then from personal analysis and understanding through critical questions Buddha was able to open the doors towards enlightenment. Buddha attended enlightenment through thinking about the problems of life from various angles and he analyzed problems in critical way to get solutions instead of believing in the conventional norms of life.

The Development of Ego

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Ego is not the intrinsic property of any individual. It develops like other behaviors later in life due to our actions and reactions to events in a certain way. Our thinking and approach to things from different angles gives birth to ego. The initial thinking process takes place in our brain, then from those contemplation cultures, civilizations and identifications emerges. Even though no material object has any intrinsic meaning yet cultures and societies categorize things into groups and give meanings to them. Labeling is not bad, it helps us in social communication but using these labels to identify and to discriminate beings according to our own biases generates iniquities. Labeling leads to judgments and negative thoughts about others. Ego develops because of our ignorance and development of ego enhances the ignorance. Ego comes from attachment to materials objects, it comes from identifying ourselves different from other, it comes from labeling others, and it comes from perceptions and interpretations about others. Thoughts are not evil, but our interpretations give birth to evilness and ignorance which makes us egocentric. As result, we trends to do gender, we start to categorize people in to caste, creed, race, and ethnic groups. Then we develop ideas of bad and good, rich and poor, ugly and beautiful, man and women, friends and enemies, and so on and on. These all groupings strength our ego and ignorance thus, we fail to achieve enlightenment.

According to Buddhist philosophy human brain is restless therefore it is difficult to control our thinking. Medication is a training of brain to keep it calm and peaceful. To lessen human suffering it is important to gain the peaceful state of mind. A peaceful brain is less discrimination and it is almost free of ego. In order to achieve enlightenment it is important requirement that one should have calm brain to concentrate on path of enlighten being and to come out from ignorance.