Autocratic leaders love Presidential System – and Imran Khan is no exception. Pakistan has witnessed a consistent deterioration of democracy and fundamental rights quality during his nearly four years-long stint. He has touted Presidential System on many occasions while in power. Now that he has been ousted through a constitutional process by an active parliament, he has once again tried to discredit the Parliamentary System to preach a transition to a Presidential System. His logic? A Presidential System bars dishonest politicians from holding power. The reality? Such a system is potential autocrats’ personal favorite.
METAMORPHOSES (Pygmalion and Myrrha)
by Ovid, translated by A. D. Melville
In Metamorphoses the Latin poet Ovid tells “of bodies changed to other forms.” The first part of the excerpt that follows tells of the sculptor Pygmalion‘s creation of a perfectly beautiful woman, who is later brought to life for him to marry. The latter half describes the consequences of this marriage two generations later.
“…. philosophy is nothing else but religion rendered into thoughts and thinking expounded …”
– Marx, Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right: Introduction (p. 108)
“Darwin gave atheists their story of genesis; Marx gave them their eschatology.”
– Views expressed by a cleric in a Youtube video presented by the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Magna, Utah
Imagine if the people of the Soviet Union had never heard of communism. The ideology that dominates our lives has, for most of us, no name. Mention it in conversation and you’ll be rewarded with a shrug. Even if your listeners have heard the term before, they will struggle to define it. Neoliberalism: do you know what it is?
Its anonymity is both a symptom and cause of its power. It has played a major role in a remarkable variety of crises: the financial meltdown of 2007‑8, the offshoring of wealth and power, of which the Panama Papers offer us merely a glimpse, the slow collapse of public health and education, resurgent child poverty, the epidemic of loneliness, the collapse of ecosystems, the rise ofDonald Trump. But we respond to these crises as if they emerge in isolation, apparently unaware that they have all been either catalysed or exacerbated by the same coherent philosophy; a philosophy that has – or had – a name. What greater power can there be than to operate namelessly?