Hans J Morgenthau, (1904 – 1980) was a German-American jurist and political scientist. He was one of the major twentieth-century figures in the study of political science and International Relations.
In 1948, he stated that “all politics is power politics.” According to him, human nature and mindset revolve around the pursuit of power.
Positive and negative use of power is a reality through out the world but it is more relevant in today’s power politics playing in Pakistan.
In an educated and enlightened society that believes in liberalism, constitutionalism, enlightenment and is equipped with hardworking, honest, highly educated and intelligent leadership, power will be used positively, for the welfare and betterment of the common people.
But when a society is lead by power-hungry, corrupt, incompetent and dishonest political and religious leaders and the society is predominantly poverty stricken coupled with illiteracy, the outcome is the negative use of power and the ultimate failure of the state.
History dictates that, In most post-colonial countries, like Pakistan, power is used almost and utmost negatively because of the powerlessness of people to resist over-ambitious political and religious leaders and their principal creators and backers wielding real power in the country.
In Pakistan’s context, we have colonial legacy, unfortunately, our ruling elite class still with the colonial mind set, is using power negatively against their own people for maximising their authority and wealth; it is used and misused for nepotism, exploitation of national exchequer through corruption, accumulation of wealth, sending it abroad.
Consequently, 75 years of Pakistan’s history are filled with examples of lust and greed for power to maximise wealth and authority and reflect a colonial, feudal mindset to permanently suppress the enlightened, educated and professional segments of society by suppression, intimidation rather eliminating them by branding as traitors.
The culture of power politics favouring a bunch of corrupt, incompetent and dishonest leadership is further deepened when voices of dissent are silenced or those who are supposed to challenge the compromise, surrendering or status quo and raise their voices for change in favour of public interests.positive use of power for welfare of the public by ensuring justice, merit, professionalism, rule of law and accountability is the need of the hour in the country.
Power can yield positive results in Pakistan, if it is used at micro and macro levels for uplifting the socio-economic status of poor and needy people by formulating pro public short and long-term policies and its honest implementation in the field.
The country has suffered and is still paying considerable damage because of the negative power politics, particularly in the wake of recent devastating floods across the country which has ruined everything from communication networks to human loss. Despite doing good for the flood effected, they are slugging mud on each other for their own nefarious designs.
Without transforming the minds, role and characters of the elites and the public, a better future is unlikely. Therefore, negative politics in all shades, ways and means should be banned, as it is used for lust of power and a culture of greed, violence, hate and extremism in the society.
In Pakistan, there is an urgent need to transform the mindsets from, colonial , feudal, authoritarian, greedy and corrupt into responsible, visionary, honest and wise through robust modern education system and overall of existing outdated political, economic and social order.
Right now, the only way forward for our ruling elites in all its shades in Pakistan is, to respect constitution, parliament, and other institutions of national governance and use power positively to prevent the country from further descending into economic, political, social and environmental disorder.
Sher Khan Bazai, Former Secretary Education, Balochistan Pakistan. The writer can be reached at skbazai @hotmail.com