Study of Societies

WHEN CIVILISATIONS PEAK AND PLATEAU

It is the visionaries who inspire their nations towards a path to greatness, while the inept and the corrupt leaders drain the resources with their delusions of grandiose and their irresistible appetite for megalomania. During the early and rising phase of the civilisation, the rulers are mindful of their integrity and are patriotic and compassionate. Then, while civilisation is at…

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Study of Societies

THE INEVITABLE SELF-DESTRUCTION OF EMPIRES

Strangely, it was the Roman citizens who breathed the biggest sigh of relief when the declining Roman Empire (27 BC – 1453 AD) finally collapsed. Perhaps this is true for most empires. The burden of an aging empire is painful for those unfortunates who have to endure it; they wish that it be gone quietly. When an empire is crumbling…

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Study of Societies

THE PANDIT, THE PARASITES AND THE PARROT

Every moment somewhere on earth a miracle happens. It is said that if you believe in miracles then you will see them happening. I am a believer in miracles. I am going to share with you a story about a miracle. On one winter afternoon, as we arrived back from a shopping trip, in the corner of our garden, beside…

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Study of Societies

PERENNIAL PROSPERITY ELUDES PAKISTAN

The most powerful and enduring ideas also happen to be the oldest. Ideas like justice, unity and genuine democracy, ideas which have stood the test of time. The secret of a civilisation’s success as well as their rise and fall are interlinked with these very same values. This is confirmed in the Islamic holy book Quran and Allah says: “Indeed,…

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Study of Societies

SADDAM TRIED (AND FAILED) TO UNITE THE ARABS WHILE G.W. BUSH HAS SUCCEEDED

As we enter 2009, I am realizing that George W. Bush has an important legacy. The ongoing culling of Palestinians in Gaza by the Israelis has convinced me that Bush has bequeathed to us something quite extraordinary. The massacres of Palestinians in Gaza are criminal, pure and simple. The Palestinians, of course have no way of defending themselves against the…

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Study of Societies

THE PRICE IS THE POWER

After many years of rapid growth of incomes and output, there should be little doubt that an economic slowdown of some degree is now well under way in the world. In many cases, this slowdown is accompanied by inflation. Just how much a threat this inflation is posing is open to question. But we have the double curse – stagnation…

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