Ambition kills

It has destroyed nations – individuals too



Herodotus, the great historian of ancient times begins his classic HISTORY with the belief that ambition destroys. Nations were doomed and what caused it was an insatiable hunger to have more. An ambition which didn’t let their rulers be at peace with themselves. To seek that peace they could not help but be at war with others. But the lust could not be put to an end. Out of a spark was ignited a big fire that flared out of control.
Nations, as Eric Hobsbawm analyses tried to overpower  each other not partially, but completely. And in the same completion were destroyed not just those who got killed but those who survived too. `What little chance the peace had, was torpedoed by the refusal of the victor powers to reintegrate the losers’, Hobsbawm writes. What they aimed at, was a `total repression’. Though apparently it was put to a formal end, the first war left something unfinished. The fight nevertheless ended, but the war was potentially there. The seeds of revenge which took just three decades to ripen up. The beast reared its head once again. Some unsettled scores had to be settled and some more human hands were out to give it a shot.
The pre-historic man who fought with pen-knives and daggers had atleast to see the one he would swipe at. He needed someone as his enemy and he could not kill except the one who wanted to kill him. But the modern warfare is too blind to make this distinction. Bush in the bed room or in the battlefield – does not matter.  Iraq is the latest case in point.
Why dig up the buried to revive the scare. It has a lesson for us. Lesson that only powerful can make peace a possibility. Nations or communities comfortably off have no need to extend the contours of their comfort. Once they overstep, the tragedy is inevitable. Assimilation and not elimination, can save us from further destruction. Imperial politics of holding territories against the will of the people means an all-out disaster. Russia in Afghanistan yesterday or India in Kashmir today – the results are same.
History has it, one imperial move has lead to an endless streak of grab and rule. World wars too were, as perceived by the politicians of the time, fought for peace. The same rhetoric which finds a good market in the world politics today. So the solution lies in a collective will to work for human life. Territories wherever occupied, peoples wherever subjugated, communities wherever persecuted are to be freed. It will mean two freedoms. One for those who seek it and one for those who grant it. Both are freed. One from bondage and the other from ambition.

Lastupdate on : Sat, 17 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 17 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 18 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST

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