By: Parveen Kaswan (Follow for more updates)
Though nobody can deny triumph of Liberal Democracy over all other political frameworks in modern times or existed in any time for that matter. But still there are many views from other theories or ideologies which are much relevant and will be in all coming societies. In the same manner Karl Marx have written in his The German Ideology(1945) about the ‘Ideas of ruling class’ in class ridden society or, with over simplification, in a capitalist society. Though I don’t believe in all theories and of-course not even close to be a marxist, but still what stops us from exploring the Ideas.
The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas; hence of the relationships which make the one class the ruling one, therefore, the ideas of its dominance. The individuals composing the ruling class possess among other things consciousness, and therefore think. Insofar, therefore, as they rule as a class and determine the extent and compass of an epoch, it is self-evident that they do this in its whole range, hence among other things rule also as thinkers, as producers of ideas, and regulate the production and distribution of the ideas of their age: thus their ideas are the ruling ideas of the epoch. For instance, in an age and in a country where royal power, aristocracy, and bourgeoisie are contending for mastery and where, therefore, mastery is shared, the doctrine of the separation of powers proves to be the dominant idea and is expressed as an “eternal law.”
This truism must be the starting point for any rational analysis of how beliefs are formed, transmitted, adopted, modified, resisted, and overthrown. Indeed, Marx’s observation supplies us with quick answers to outstanding questions about the way our world works simply by focusing our attention.
Consider, for instance, the foremost media firms in operation - NDTV, CNBC etc. Who owns them? Big business conglomerates. Who controls them? Powerful elite clubs. The result of concentration of means of communication in hands of a small number of families is that the ideas transmitted by the major media represent interests of those families or their partners via such ideas and by selective journalism they want you to believe what they are projecting. This is a typical case of systematic brainwashing where one part of the picture is presented in such a way that people take it as whole story. These ideas definitely cannot make big impact but undoubtedly they are trend and agenda setters.
These days even many hindi words are being added in Oxford dictionary because of their high use during conversation in English, as India is home of highest English speaking people in the world. Even these 1.2 billion and 1.3 billion people in India and China respectively are learning English these days rather than propagating their own language (in-spite having profit of their huge number). Reason is very clear as they have accepted the Western ideas, Life-style and in short accepted their ideologies, maybe it is good because of many legitimate reasons (not comparing which is good or bad). Here I am only talking about the end result rather than the reason behind accepting these norms.
Same is true when women are demanding their rights and freedom. The society which is led by males in every sphere is unable to understand the real problem. Nobody is denying that there are biological differences between both sexes and even nobody can deny but problem is when people don’t recognize them as person or don’t agree in giving them a personhood. Same is true when marriages are breaking, and they will say but I have provided everything including good food, house and security. But they forget to recognize Meslow’s famous Need Hierarchy Pyramid, according to which these things do not necessarily satisfy someone, at the same time they will not dissatisfy also. But for the satisfaction belongingness, self-esteem and self actualization is as important as other physical things. Even dominating males will stop women from doing many things which they otherwise wanted to do and will argue that they are not capable to do. Knowingly or unknowingly contradicting themselves, as they are stopping them from doing which they can not do (at-least according to them). The ideas of the patriarchal strong section are ruling on all other thoughts here.
Capitalists need cheap land for their industries and in return they show a promising future to the Tribals and rural people everywhere in general and in developing countries in particular. They make it very clear to these tribal people that in current situation they are not living a worthy life and they do this without paying attention that development is a subjective issue. For someone buying a big factory or a car is the aim of life but for some it is not as important, may be because of their ideologies or their veil of ignorance. Recent example can be seen in Niyamgiri hills referendum case in Orissa, where a dozen of Gram Panchayats have denounced the plan of a multinational company setting a big plant. The industry promised these people a lot but all in vain and they were unable in attracting those villages. ”It’s crazy when these outsiders come and teach us development. Is development possible by destroying the environment that provides us food, water and dignity? You have to pay to take a bath, for food, and even to drink water. In our land, we don’t have to buy water like you, and we can eat anywhere for free”, a Dongria Kondh in Orissa, India.
In a case honourable supreme court rightfully observed ” the whole issue of development appears to be so simple, logical and commonsensical. And Yet, to the millions of Indians, development is a dreadful and hateful word that is aimed at denying them even the source the sustenance. It is cynically said that on the path of ‘maldevelopment’ almost every step that we take seems to give rise to insurgency and political extremism”. It’s high time for government and society to understand the ideas of local tribal and rural people, recognize them and give place in development plans.
Here, in every case the ruling ideas are sprinting toward oppression and as famously said by Simone De Beauvoir, every oppression is a state of war without any exception.