One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

The illusion of Power

Here I am reading the two different opinions from two close generations on the same subject, decline and transformation. Professor Joseph Nye in his article, “What is wrong with transformational leadership?” compares era of Clinton to those of Bush Junior’s era and blames Bush for ignoring reality in favor of changing it but on other hand expresses satisfaction on the power of current institutions. Umair Haque a representative of current generation in his article, “The Economic Roots of Your Life Crisis” does not blame leaders but the decline of the institutions for general “disorientations of current generation”.

Well, I am not in mood of taking sides but for me, it is really interesting to see the differences of opinions in two neighboring generations. Looking to the nature of general decline both in terms of governance and economics that is global in its nature, it would be unfair to blame individuals who were more of products of those institutions. I am reading Professor Nye’s article for long and I have noticed a big shift in his position from advocating the projection of “smart power” to currently more focusing on “leadership”. By having a look to the lists of his current articles, “When Women Lead”, “Angela Merkel’s Vision Thing”, “Charisma We Believe in” and now “What is Wrong with Transformational Leadership”, I feel that he is seeing the problem with “leadership” instead of his proposed “smart power” and still looking for some charismatic and smart leader for successful execution and strong comeback of his “smart power” (In Mideast, the goal is "smart power"......"Smart Power" ).

To me, power is the biggest illusion that people get from fall or failures of others. After collapse of Soviet Union, there were a big shift in balance of power on the world’s theatre but instead of seeing the resulting chaos, the “generation” who was involved in the struggle against Soviet Union got an illusion of power. That is a common symptom both in West and East, particularly in Pakistan that was frontline state in struggle against Soviet Union. Like Professor Nye, the Pakistani generation that was involved in struggle against Soviet Union, got an illusion of power and instead of seeing the mess they had created during their “Holy Struggle” both in Pakistani institutions and society, they tried to project their “power” to Afghanistan and Central Asia. Guess what was the “Power”? Of course, it was not something secret and mysterious. The power that was the fruit of two decades of struggle was Taliban and religious extremists groups. After two decades of projection of “Taliban Power”, the toll of destruction to Pakistani institutions and society is unimaginable. Tolerance, trust and confidence are things almost missing in the society. How our “Power generation” expect from current generation to not be disoriented? This is lost generations who have the problem of wasting too much time in understanding their situations, society and governing institutions than learning and inventing time. The time they spend wandering about their situations and governing institution is not only wasted but also waste them. This is a generation that is lost in waste. It is really unfortunate that instead of rethinking institutions, the politicians are blamed. Despite of all these, I see a hot pursuit for “Charismatic and Strong Leadership” to bring changes to Pakistan.

Let me dare to say, “Sorry, with decline of most institutions, any charismatic leadership will be just a memorable failure”. It is not time for hunting a leadership but “leaderships in all spheres” and serious rethinking about the restructuring of institutions. There is still time to come out of “illusion of power” and correcting others but instead it is time for “correcting self” and that is more of an urgency call.

As a member of current generation, I walk in same shoes as Umair Haque walks. It doesn’t fit and it hurts walking so “you” can’t blame me for not walking well while it hurts. Our problem is that change has already come (May be through technology) but we still want to forcefully resist it. Let’ see if change will force us to go for change or we will be saved just by continuing to look for a “Charismatic Leader” and blaming failed leaders for the mess.

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