A common discourse


Zuhaib Ahmed Pirzada

“If you are born poor it’s not your mistake, but if you die poor it’s your mistake’’, Bill Gates. This is a common rhetoric I often listen to. I do not mind when a person who has not gone through education speaks this but when an educated person who calls him/herself an intellectual, utters same ruling class narrative, I have to ponder over it again. No doubt, this is how expression is being used. I am now habitual of listening to these statements, not a day passes when a statement beats my eardrum that this is fault of people’s laziness and their own unawareness.
They say that work-hard; be like Bill Gates as he himself was a poor, who stops anybody of not getting education? Yes, ironically, Bill Gates was right, and perhaps, he didn’t know that around 2 thousand children die daily of unsafe water. Yes, most of them, die poor. A ruling class discourse presents and publicises these examples and cases like Bill Gates, they show them like the symbols of success. At the other hand, majority of the population doesn’t get the basic needs, and cannot move themselves up. Making these examples, constructing the minds, has economic and political reasons which are not told to us because men like Bill Gates who are around 85, have as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population.
This clicks many a time my mind and reminds me of Karl Marx, “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” Undoubtedly, mental production is in their hands, through media, education, and different sources, they cultivate and programme our minds. Yes, minds are being programmed. But, if one does not look at the things without empirical and historical evidences, the reasons would speak their tongue.
When this happens in a society, the victim is called culprit. When, one says, this is not their fault, and on serious note, the ruling elite argues, “this is, you people always blame others, and admit not your faults.” Let’s say, a feudal lord, who has 7 thousand acres of land, runs hundreds of families, joins politics for continuing exploitation, oppresses families and gets their votes, and to remain oppressor joins hands with other oppressors who are more powerful than he is. This is structural violence and imperialism. Laziness is not cause at all, it is symptom.
Like, fever is not a disease but symptom of a disease. The intellectuals, who do not tell masses about the real culprits, are not intellectuals in real sense. Through this, I appeal, whosoever reads this, must go through empirical reasons and not speak the imperialist language. If the intellectual is victim of hopelessness and alienation then its cause is his/her inaction.
—Thatta, Sindh