Now, this is very crucial advice from Russell. Russell lived on this planet for almost a century. During his lifetime he also studied various political systems. One of them is socialism or communism. The problem with communism is that it takes brutality to implement it, even though the ideas that are being implemented are quite nice. Russell has proposed a timeless solution. That is to pack whatever form of socialism with some kind of democracy. Otherwise, the implementer would take advantage of the political situation. Examples of this are China, Russia, Cuba, Libya (i.e. Qaddafi’s), etc. I can’t say that Russell was ahead of his time even though in certain things he was. But Russell was surely a personification of modernity. I mean modern in the sense of being ultra-modern. There is definitely glamour and charisma associated with this polymath’s personality. In Pakistan, we face political turmoil. People simply like to live their favorites and hate the rest. This is a really old pattern. Nobody is concerned about the kind of polity we should have. Reading people like Russell always gives us a clearer perspective on things. I personally believe that if Pakistan, or the Muslim world at large, have to make progress, they would have to embrace some sort of democracy. I would say some kind of democratic socialism would be good. Mere democracy is nothing. But anything else without democracy leads to brutality. The idea is to couple democracy with something. Let’s say democratic Islamism. Islamic principles provide every kind of rule and law to run a country with peace for Muslims and non-Muslims. But appoint one bad caliph, and he would take advantage of the whole society. There are loads of examples of wicked caliphs taking advantage of ordinary people and treating them with cruelty. Couple Islam with certain democratic principles, and you have a polity running without deadlocks and possible exploitation.
“Socialism, in any desirable form, must include democracy; if not, the union of political and economic power merely increases the opportunities for exploitation on the part of the governing class.”
― Bertrand Russell, The Selected Letters of Bertrand Russell: The Public Years 1914-1970, Ch. V: Respectability at Last (1944-1954), To the Editor of the New Statesman (28 September 1945), p. 412
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