Against All Orthodoxies

The oligarchical political and economic systems destroy democratic and secular values

By Prof. Bhabani Shankar Nayak

Orthodoxies are ideas, beliefs, traditions, knowledge, institutions, policies, processes, and practices that domesticate people and the planet. The cultural, religious, political, and ideological orthodoxies are driving the world towards a dangerous situation, where reactionary forces dominate politics, society, and the economy. It also creates and facilitates an oligarchical monopolistic environment.

The oligarchical political and economic systems destroy democratic and secular values to realize individual liberty. The resurgence of flag-waving bourgeoisies’ nationalisms and false patriotisms are inadvertent but natural outcomes of the dominance of different varieties of orthodoxies. The immersive culture of orthodoxies and its knowledge traditions domesticates individuals, communities, and the environment to normalize slavery, inequalities, and exploitations of human beings and nature.

The economic orthodoxies and its unnatural narratives have not only established capitalism but also normalized it as if there is no alternative to capitalism as a system. Similarly, political orthodoxies domesticate citizenship rights and dismantle democratic traditions in the name of nationalism and patriotism.

The cultural and religious orthodoxies facilitate the political and economic orthodoxies to strengthen ruling and non-ruling elites’ control over natural and human resources.  All orthodoxies colonize humanity to sustain and expand subservient knowledge traditions supported by institutions and processes designed by people in power for profit. Orthodoxies are not natural but a product of socialization with social, cultural, religious, and political belief systems created and disseminated to different generations to practice and normalize it.

Class, gender, caste, race, and all other forms of inequality, discriminatory and divisive practices are products of orthodoxies. The culture of orthodoxies normalizes consciousness by creating and socializing with the idea of puritanism and otherness at the same time. It facilitates knowledge traditions concomitant with hierarchy based on inferior and superior knowledge, culture, society, religion, people, and state. Puritan knowledge and hierarchy ensure the reproduction of power, patriarchy, and dominance. Orthodoxies are against human happiness as it instills different forms of fear.

All orthodoxies are assaults on science, reason, innovation, equality, liberty, and human sensibilities. It justifies war, terror, conflicts, and all forms of authoritarianism in the name of peace and order. In reality, all orthodoxies create and establish different forms of institutions, processes, and systems embedded with structural and other forms of violence. It destroys the emancipatory power of people by creating divisive cultures based on religion and nationalism, the twin opium of the masses. Orthodoxies promote various forms of convenient dogmas that sustain hierarchy and power over people. Therefore, orthodoxies are obstacles in the path of progressive social, political, and economic transformations and the deepening of democracy.

Resistance against all forms of orthodoxies is crucial for the emancipation of human beings and the natural world. Individuals and communities must come together to challenge and overcome all orthodoxies for their own freedom to realize themselves as individuals, citizens, members of communities, and as social, political, cultural, and spiritual beings.

Peace, progress, prosperity, harmony, equality, justice, and individual liberties can be realized only by defeating all forms of orthodoxies in our society, culture, politics, state, and economy. The working-class masses are the worst victims of all orthodoxies. Different forms of class-divided societies are products of orthodox ideological practices that destroy all conditions of human emancipation.

The end of all orthodoxies is the immediate necessity of our time for human emancipation, creativity, and happiness.

The writer is a political economist working as a Professor at the University of Glasgow, UK.


 Disclaimer: The views expressed are not necessarily those of The South Asian Times

Image courtesy of (Image: Zahoor/ Dawn)

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