COMMENT : Liberty versus safety — Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

All those attempting to break the chains that bind them and speaking about the simple truth about the violence of those in power are slaughtered wholesale 

Mir Muhammad Ali TalpurHuman beings generally tend to prefer safety over many other apparently intangible but otherwise absolutely essential things like liberty and dignity, and consequently, this makes them predisposed and vulnerable to slavery and bondage. The immediate and apparent advantages of safety cloud their sense of judgment and lull their sense of dignity, making safe bondage and relatively gainful slavery appear attractive enough to be accepted voluntarily. The attractiveness of safety plus marginal profits blunt the sense of dignity and liberty enough for them to acquiesce to a life where their real worth will never be realised. Moreover, they will eventually be denied even that safety and gain for those who conditionally offer these regulate them according to their requirements.

Stefan Molyneux in his essay “Why People Resist Liberty” in his unique and unconventional way explains: “We have a natural aversion to that which is highly likely to bring about danger. Natural selection has done a wonderful job of picking those out of the gene pool who do things that get them killed. The brutal power structures that dominated almost all of human history used endless violence to maintain their rule, but always had to at least provide the appearance that the violence was caused by the ‘immorality of the disobedience’ of the ruled. Throughout history, mock trials have been the norm, which drape the veneer of justice over what is, essentially, a Mafia hit.”

Molyneux then prudently adds, “The lies required to sustain the illusion that murder is virtue are virtually without number. The obvious irrationalities of the rulers are recast as the rationalities of gods. The obvious hypocritical double standards of power are justified according to the divine right of kings. Any citizens who attempt to break the chains that bind them are slaughtered wholesale, and then labelled dangerous to the other citizens a mind-bending reversal of what is actually true! Societies wrecked by dictatorships, wars, plagues and famines are called ordered, while even the thought of a voluntary society not run by ‘genocidal criminals’ is called chaotic and anarchic. Since the dawn of our species, people have been endlessly slaughtered for speaking the simple truth about the violence of those in power. In addition, anyone who listened to such speeches or was even in the same family or in the same house was also tortured and butchered.”

This is exactly how it is in Balochistan today; all those attempting to break the chains that bind them and speaking about the simple truth about the violence of those in power are slaughtered wholesale and then labelled dangerous to the other citizens, a mind-bending reversal of what is actually true. Those who acquiesce to dictates of the elite and establishment are labelled as virtuous and rewarded to induce more people to emulate them. The establishment here along with brutal force employs psychological and political pressures to assure conformity. To this end religion, national interest, democratic ideals and economic benefits are used to ensure conformity, but dissenters go missing and turn up as tortured and mutilated bodies.

The persistent ‘dirty war’ being conducted by the establishment to make the Baloch people accept the ideology that it has pandered since 1947 has intensified in proportion to the failure in its implementation. Quite a few people known to me have gone missing; the most recent one is Bahar Khan s/o Jamal Khan Marri, resident of Hub, abducted near Sakran outpost on October 22 last year while returning from his eldest brother Mazar Khan’s court hearing. Two sons, a nephew and a relative of Ameedhaan Badani Marri, an intrepid fighter who himself was martyred in a clash with government mercenary Baloch group in 1987 near Kahan, are missing since June 1, 2008. Also missing since September 20, 2010 is a wonderful person and an accomplished gunsmith Ali Khan Lohar aka Nari Kehar. Dr Akbar Marri, a former student of mine, is also missing. It is noteworthy that Ameedhaan’s eldest son Khamisa was martyred in a clash with security forces.

The Baloch in their long history in general and families like that of Ameedhaan Marri and Shaheed Majeed Langov’s have managed to defy the natural selection that ‘genocidal criminals’ have tried to impose through endless slaughter and retained in their gene pool, and continued to pass on those genes of resistance and of speaking simple truth. Those who do not barter their liberty for safety retain and pass on to their offspring the genes that do not have ‘a natural aversion to that which is highly likely to bring about danger’.

Those offering conditional safety and benefits in exchange for liberty control their level willfully to ensure more acquiescent mercenaries. Mullah Naseeruddin, the sardonic sage, once decided to accustom his donkey to survive without the expensive and not easily available fodder. People warned him of inevitable failure yet he began fodder-reduction by a fistful daily. This continued for quite some time until one day a dejected Mullah announced that the foolish donkey died just as it was getting used to living without fodder, adding had it survived one more day without the last fistful it would have got used to living without food and he would have been spared a lot of trouble and expenses. Those who take away liberty in lieu of safety and periphery benefits, like Mullah Naseeruddin, keep reducing the privileges that they initially offer not because of the naivety that he showed but with a pernicious and malignant intent to ensure complete unquestioning submission.

In progress is an ugly tussle for the coveted and lucrative position of the chief minister of Balochistan with all candidates trying to present his more-loyal-than-the-king credentials and till submission of this piece it was continuing. The establishment for its purpose co-opts from among the Baloch those who ‘have a natural aversion to that which is highly likely to bring about danger’ to provide it with the spurious legitimacy it requires to continue to exploit the people and resources. Hitherto all the co-opted set-ups have failed miserably and regardless of who leads the latest edition of spuriously manufactured legitimate face of establishment it will fail even more miserably.

To conclude I will quote Benjamin Franklin who sums up the matter brilliantly: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

The writer has an association with the Baloch rights movement going back to the early 1970s. He tweets at mmatalpur and can be contacted at

Courtesy: Daily Times 

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