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Historicism The Corrective Theory for Men, State and Nation.

Byline: Abid Latif

When your enemy is making mistakes, don't stop him in the middle." (Napolean Bonaparte)

All the known theories of governing the world; be these of politics, economics, socialism, capitalism, realism, liberalism, constructivism or system level theories of Balance of Power, deterrence and beyond, deal in after currents of social, political and cultural intents. Historicism emphasized the same fact that social and cultural phenomena are determined by history. Richard Corless once said that Nothing ages so quickly as yesterday's vision of the future."

As per empiricists, everything is the prisoner of time serial, the expansion of universe is also the tick tock of cosmic clock. History is a celluloid film upon which the story of time, the rise and fall of civilizations, the reach and outreach of humanity is written. The archeological discoveries, the millions of years old fossils and rock formations are all a physical manifestation of time trapped from veneer to deep down of everything, in layers.

In short, historicism is at work everywhere. The more ancient a civilization, the more pronounced it is. Pakistan-India are standing at a new bend of historicism, where the baggage and burden is withering away, commonalities are no more the things to bank upon. The divisions emerged in last seventy years are so deep and wide that these can't be bridged, circumvented or even ventured. This is a crisis situation and one requires principles to solve, not the models, case studies or paradigms. The historicism, therefore is an exercise in correcting the context of history. Correction is required at all the three levels, the man, state and beyond. System level analysis at individual, state and international plank is required simultaneously. The enmity matrix between India and Pakistan is not at the level of people, not even at state but defiantly at the level of a sense of the nation.

Muslims in India are not attacked by Hindus as individuals; they face brutalities whenever they try to behave like a nation within the Indian state. The problem is of internal assimilations, the divergence is due to different social and religio-cultural values, the difference is of historicism despite having a common history. All wars are won by the combination of three simple ingredients: the technology, the tactics and the paradigmatic metaphors. The USA and its NATO allies were far superior in technology while operating in Afghanistan, they were weak in tactics and completely out of sync in paradigmatic metaphor. The metaphor grow and sprout in the fields of historicism. The national text of a nation is very important. The Arabs are romantic because of the influence of Thousand Nights (Alif Laila), the Iranians are practical minded because of Shahnama, the Indians are clever and diplomatic due to Arthashastra. Naratives of a nation are always imbedded in cultural and historical texts.

The Federalist Papers, the same way had far reaching effect upon the American strategic thinking. The third wave in human development i.e., the Information Age, is challenging all the concepts of every form of knowledge on earth. The second challenger is the epic growth of the science, specially the biology and physics, which challenges the religious dogmas. Richard Dawkins has converted more people to atheism in six years than anybody could do in six hundred years. A new cult based on science is emerging which is supra the man, the state and the nation. Islam, Christianity and Judaism cannot accommodate this nonchalant scientific hopping in any of its form. But Hinduism, Buddhism and Communism can eventually become co-relating ideology with the Dawkins. Such developments are responsible to put India in the spotlight, which it cannot share with anyone. Indians think that Pakistan is asking its heredity share.

The confessions made by Mr. Modi during his visit to Bangladesh and the panic over China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, actually vindicates Pakistan's stance. One, it ratifies that in 1971 it was India that was responsible for the breakup of Pakistan, secondly it is again India that cannot see Pakistan prospering. All the stories of mass murder, rape, arson and loot attributed to Pakistani Army were a propaganda which many feeble minded believed to be true. The phenomenon of historicism has therefore itself corrected the record on the coming into being of Bangladesh. Pakistan's response as a state has to be measured. There is a Roman proverb, Si vispacem, para bellum" (if one wants peace, prepare for war). Preparation is the key. The other thing can be maintaining the diplomatic momentum against the Indian mentality of hegemony and arrogance. The variables of animosity towards Pakistan are changing shapes as a Kaleidoscope of Shehrzad of Thousands Nights Fame.

The stability-instability paradox can be exploited by Indians by going for a limited venture under the nuclear hang over without disturbing the threshold. The second strike capability is ironically linking up with this paradox, thereby resulting into a strange nuclear environment matrix. Usually among any nuclear arm state, the war can be in terms of nuclear, conventional or sub-conventional means. India is trying to slice the pie further into nuclear, conventional, limited, sub-conventional and asymmetric. In a strange fashion, it is creating a perception that war from limited to downwards is a possibility which can be an option to be adopted by India. In simple words this is brinksmanship, the classical way. Donald Rumsfield once said, There are known: the things you know you know. There are known unknowns: the things you know you don't know. But there are also unknown unknown: the things you don't know you don't know".

Pakistan should be concerned about the unknown unknown' about Indian intentions, manifestations, capacity and capability. The historicism is therefore very much applicable in contemporary underpinnings in this part of the world.

Pakistani state is being challenged by the terrorists on the one hand and Indian covet shenanigans on the other. The people of Pakistan are different from the Indians, always looking towards the steppe on the west rather than aligning to the east. 'Indus Saga and the Making of Pakistan' by Aitzaz Ahsan has amply highlighted the historical origin of the people of present day Pakistan, whose cultural and historic roots are immersed in the Central Asian, Islamic and Aryan culture. Historicism leads us to a very essential conclusion of human history, only those civilizations, empires and states survive that made human security the centre piece of their policy. Every fable about an old King or Queen applauds the sovereign who practiced justice and wellbeing of the people. Pakistani State is well aware of this fact, therefore is concentrating in providing security against the obscurantists as it is the basic ingredient of wellbeing of a person and the denizens.

India conversely is threatening Pakistan's security, one, by stocking fissiparous tendencies amongst the renegades and second by indulging in water aggression. Pakistan is an agrarian based country with about 70% of its population directly linked with agriculture. This is also the informal economy of the country. (The ratio far exceeds if the urbanite population of Karachi is excluded). Nothing can unhinge the Pakistani state less the threatening food security, which is directly linked to the rivers and canals fed by the upper riparian.

Afghanistan is not Pakistan's 'Achilles Heel' as believed by many. The common social and cultural affinity is a bond between two people. Strategy is probably the most used and misused word in the contemporary world, and strategic depth is the misnomer based on something which can't sustain the impact of first arrow from the quiver. At the breakout of hostilities, strategy transcends into operational plan, operational plan itself is the first causality of war as no plan survives first contact with the enemy, thereby letting tactical acumen prevail all over. With the help of historicism let us discover our text, the seed vault of all narratives: Saif-ul-Malook, Heer Ranjha, Kashaf-ul-Majoob, speeches and sayings of Quaid-i-Azam or Iqbal's poetry. The national narrative has to be drawn from that everlasting source. We might have to revive the Persian-Arabic language roots the way Rashtriya Swayamsevak Singh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is reviving Sanskrit in India.

They believe that their national narrative lies buried somewhere in old Ramayans and Shalyooks.

Conclusively culture and historicism is the fourth wave of human development. Luckily in Pakistan a cognizant realization is appearing about its importance in the making of Man, State and the Nation.
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Date:Jul 31, 2015
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