Essay on insanity in individuals is something rare but in groups parties and nations it is the rule

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Insanity is a frame of mind which exhibits itself in an unusual and weird course of action. An individual would be labeled as insane when he deviates from the socio-culturally accepted way of life. Society sets certain norms and institutions to control human behavior within an acceptable periphery of activities. When an individual goes insane and disturbs the social fabric, he is checked by social institutions to enforce the damage control exercise. The insanity on the other hand, demonstrated by groups, parties and nations in the pursuit of their vested interests have caused much more damage to the cause of humanity. More often than not, the damage control machinery was altogether lacking or was too inefficient to check the rampant destruction unleashed by groups and nations in their insanity. If history is anything to go by insanity in groups, parties and nations has had been a rule rather than an exception transitional ending.
Man is primarily moved by self-interest. Psycho-analysis has had revealed that man is selfish, self-centric and self-styled by nature. His aggressive and greedy approach compels him to satisfy his greed, by hook or by crook. He has been discriminating against his own kin and kith to amass wealthy and power. But luckily, with dawn of civilization, society developed certain mutually agreed norms and social institutions to ensure stability in society. The individual kind of insanity was controlled instantly by activating social control mechanisms of the society. Thus larger sections of society were not affected by menace of individual insanity. Society devised a variety of social controlled mechanisms ranging from informal to formal social control, from retributive system of justice to reformative system thus whenever an insane individual clasher with the societal conscience he was made to pay invariably.
Having said so and depending upon the historical premise of the preposition it would not be naive to suggest that insanity characterized by groups and nation on the world stage. Another argument goes that the corresponding damage caused by individual insanity is much less than the one caused by barbaric ad fanatic groups and nations in the line of their duty. But recent incidents have inspired the world community to rethink about the possible damage the act of an insane and irresponsible person can cause to the world peace. The making of an anti-Islam movie in the US the act of an insane individual has seriously jeopardized the world peace and harmonious relations among world civilizations. The demonstrations across the Muslim world in reaction to the film and the killing of American diplomats in Libya and massacre of a score of people and unimaginable destruction of property in Pakistan are all indications that in this global village and in this age of information technology an insane act of an individual can spark irreversible chain reaction of hatred and hooliganism across seas. In the recent past the civilized world was shocked and mummed to listen about an insane individual when an “educated” Norwegian teen went on killing spree to avenge his government’s policy of toleration and multi-culturalism.
Insanity, however, in groups, parties and nations has been a rule rather than an exception. It is said that the power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Hence corrupt and powerful groups and nations have exploited the weak and marginalized groups and nations throughout history. History tells us that there have been a notorious nexuses between the clergy or for that reason the church and the despots. They have had exercised insanity to perpetuate their rule. Scientific reasoning was condemned being opposed to the religion and morality. The first victims of the group or elite insanity were the proponents of “free-thinking” and “thinking out of the box”. They were challenging the status-quo hence “bugs” of society. He was made to pay heavily on account of “polluting” the young minds of Athens; Socrates was compelled to drink hemlock because of his corrupt ideas – idea that unexamined life is not worthy of living. So he was made to leave the profane world.
This group insanity tailored by joint adventure of church, Monarchy and aristocracy continued to reign Europe for better part of its history, until the principles of equality, liberty and fraternity gained ground firmly. ‘King can do no wrong’ was the hallmark of this insanity. Scientific thought and inventions were suppressed brutally. G.Bruno, an Italian philosopher, made known his thoughts towards the end of sixteenth century which were found offensive to the religious creed, hence Inquisition ordered him to be killed “as mercifully as possible, without shedding of blood i.e. to be burnt alive”.
The perseverance and resilience of the movements of enlightenment finally gave way to the emergence of new socio-political philosophies and scientific inventions. Industrialization brought economic dividends to the larger section of society. Thus the hope nurtured that the human civilization would benefit greatly from its new found ideas and lights. The ideals of freedom democracy, liberty and equality would enrich human heritage across the board. The insanity of the days gone by would be laid to rest beneath the deed sea. But all that proved to be the fore lone hope. Resuscitation of insanity, more daring and more damaging this time around was making headlines across the globe.
The industrialists were amassing wealth at the cost of poor workers. The ‘haves’ were not ready to share the benefits of science and technology with the unfortunate lot of the ‘have-nots’. The class conflict started resonating in the socio-political discourse of modern Europe.
Then the proponents of freedom and equality found themselves under divine responsibility to teach civics to the “uncivilized third world countries”. The white man’s burden was reckoning their conciseness to go out for the depressed nations of the world. So insanity guided them to colonise and enslave the savage. The Dutch, the Portuguese the French, the Spaniard and the English rushed to the distant lands of Asia, Africa and the America to teach civilization to the savages. The stories of plunder, loot and cruelty in their new colonies exposed their Nobel mission. Atrocities were committed against the local populace. The produce of their labour was sent to the Europe, while the farmers and peasants were made to suffer starvation. Every freedom movement was crushed brutally. That was the hallmark of insanity of the ‘civilized’ nations inflicted upon ‘uncivilized’ and ‘uncultured’ nations.
The twentieth century notwithstanding the establishment of democratic and international institutions across much of the world had seen worst kind of insanity in groups and nations. The military imperialism was replaced with economic imperialism. There was a race to acquire more and more economic resources to strengthen one’s nation-state. This was the time when philosophies like ‘utilitarianism’ and ‘American Realism’ was taking sway of political discourse in Europe and America. This race of capturing world resources and demonstrating military might resulted into the World War-I – millions were perished and hundreds and thousands were injured or amputated or maimed. What was achieved? Nothing the result however was rampant destruction, devastation and damage across the globe.
The world had not yet recovered from the trauma of the untold misery came in the wake of World War-I; when the self-styled leaders and saviors of the nations like Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and others of their ilk hijacked the world peace once again. The gullible nations were driven by hypothetical slogans like the master race. The lust for power and expansionism was so moving that they were ready to pay any price for that insanity. World War-II broke out; millions were killed; properties were ruined; agricultural lands were left barren; cities destroyed. In short, this new insanity proved very costly to the human civilization.
To stop the barbaric Japanese from annihilating cities and towns across the Asia pacific, a new and different kind of insanity was decided to test this time around. This was the insanity the world had never listened before. Atomic bombs were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The ensuing devastation was beyond one’s wildest imagination.
Notwithstanding the insanities, of groups or nations, and the aftermaths that followed, the appreciable fact is that human history was always replete with instances of sanity where individuals, groups and nations have tried to salvage the humanity from the sinister clutches of misery and misfortune. Better sense was given way to prevail. United Nations was formed to sustain collective efforts to avoid wars, and to cope with the threats to the world peace collectively. It has done a remarkable job in this direction, despite its shortcomings.
Since insanity is a frame of mind imbibes in its holder the feeling of dominance and superiorly and it stems from power and wealth or the lust thereof. So it was not possible to eliminate it altogether. Thus it started showing its pernicious effects with the setting of stage for cold war. The cold war-I must not be misled by the fascinating term ‘cold war’ rather it was considerably hot and radiant-kick started a mindless race for arms across the world; the war industry became the most lucrative trade across the oceans.
The world was divided into two ideological blocs; the capitalist and the communist. The much needed resources for human development were poured into the war-industry inference all that proxy wars were fought around and at the cost of poor and developing nations.
Then the world saw one super power going insane and committed the most risky insanity but invading the hinterland of Afghanistan, presumably to gain access to the warn-waters of Arabian Sea. How could the other super power remain out of the loop in such a befitting situation? The United States started pouring in the dollars to bring, train and master-mind the Jihadis against the ‘Atheist” USSR.
With the break-up of the USSR, the new World Order was agreed upon among the allies to “lead” the comity of nations. With military imperialism and economic imperialism have gained their objectives the cultural imperialism is being designed and tried variously; either in the name of clash of civilization or in the name of “freedom of speech”. All these insanities of the twentieth first century have seriously compromised the high ideals of world peace, international law and justice.
These ‘sane’ and ‘civilized’ nations of the world need to realize that insanity (injustice) anywhere is a threat to peace everywhere.
9/11 was the best excuse to experiment now found sole super power status in the midst of Muslim and Asian Powers. ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ as they alleged was a sufficient potential cause to oust a dictatorial regime and free its people. The cost of that insanity was no less than 500,000 lives and destruction of property amounting to billions of dollars. The insanity is justified that despite heavy toll and human lives the cause was too sacred to be pursued nonetheless. These are some of the few insanities the first decade of the 21st century has seen.
Pure in name as it is a variety of insanities can be traced across the religious-political landscape of Pakistani State and society. Pakistan has been the victim of group and party insanity every now and then.
Insanity in parties can be traced in the constitutional and political history of the country. The onslaught of insanity was so audacious and tearing that the very ideals upon which the body polity was founded could not sustain its integrity and nationhood. Awami League was bent upon for “parting of the ways”, while Peoples’ Party was so intransigent to give democratic transition a chance. So because of the insanity of the parties or more precisely insanity of their leaders the first free democratic exercise culminated into the disintegration and dismemberment of the country.
Insanity in groups has also caused unprecedented misery to the fellow countrymen. Sectarian violence and Islamist militancy have emerged as a new reality in our midst. They have become constant and formidable threat to the state and society. They are bent upon tearing the social fabric apart. These religious and militant outfits are using religion to justify their notorious political agendas. Today’s Pakistan, as security and defence analysts say, is facing the existential threat from within the body polity. These militant groups, be they TTP, SP (Sipah-e-Sahaba), (LashkerJunghvi), TJ (Tehrike-e-Jafria) to name a few are driven by their fanatic designs. They do not believe in the pluralism of Pakistani society. Similarly persecution of religious minorities by their insane groups is another bone of contention for the security apparatus of the state. Pakistani state has miserably failed to contract these insanities to be repeated in the streets of Quetta, Karachi, Peshawar, Lahore, Gilgit and in the Tribal Areas (FATA). Virtually no part of the country is out of reach of these insane groups. They operate and execute their plans with impunity.
There may be different and various causes of insane behavior. The two broadly outlined causes are inferiority and superiority complex.
When the down trodden and neglected segments of society are exploited over time and again they lose confidence in the system of the state and society. So whenever they find a chance to vent their anger against the system they do not hesitate to demonstrate insanity in the form of mob violence. Workers and unionists clashing with the factory managements for higher wages is another manifestation of inferiority complex. This kind of insanity stems from socio-economic injustice.
Superiority complex also refuses insanity in peoples. They started calling themselves the Master Race the civilized and plunge the World into Wars Religious groups also have this kind of insanity. They want to purge the society of infidels.
Another dominant cause of insanity in nations is the economy. The insanity of world powers is mostly driven by economic concerns. The looting/plundering around the resources rich areas of the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa, India Ocean etc. to secure oil and gas deals for their companies, they can go to any length. Had Iraq not been sitting on the second largest oil reserve of the world, the Security Council could have shown restraint to mandate the invasion of that country. Similarly economic and financial crises in Europe and America they are roaming around the Asian continent to capture its markets. In all such instances economic interests are the top most cause of insanity.
Still another kind of insanity in groups and nations is a xenophobic insanity. The groups and nations protect and promote their cultural traits with the exclusion of all others. They discourage, and sometimes resort to violence to discourage plurality and diversity of beliefs and cultures.
To recap the essay, it can be presumed safely that insanity either in individual or in group or in nation is equally deleterious and has potential to destabilize the system, State and the society. Individual and group insanities can best checked through social control and by employing the state’s security apparatus. Insanity among nations however, can only be dealt with by strengthening the international institutions, belief in the supremacy of international law and equal sovereignty of all states. It is this insanity which has rendered more harm to the world at large. Belief in “unity in diversity” is the durable solution to insanity.

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