Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Rouge Bureaucracies

Dr. Omar Javaid

Image result for bureaucratic machineFrancis Fukuyama suggests that state bureaucracies emerged to cope the threat faced by empires from external invaders. After agricultural revolution, when human society produced surplus for the first time, threats of invasion from outsiders became a problem, and as an antidote an army had to be maintained to thwart the invaders. During earlier days, every member of a tribe was trained to fight, but when tribes grew in size and turned into empires, professional armies were created to readily fight back the invaders or initiate an advance into enemy territory. That was a pre-requisite for survival of an empire, particularly when the empire was in competition with another empire of comparable size. To finance the army, a system of taxation was typically employed. The public was convinced to pay a tax in exchange of the security from foreign invaders. To manage the tax collection and utilize it to maintain an army, a bureaucratic system was created, which would manage resources without nepotism and whose managers would serve the empire above any personal agenda. Thwarting nepotism was in fact core principle behind erecting bureaucracies. At first bureaucracies managed the resources necessary to maintain an army, and later law enforcement. Today the system is employed by every state to maintain an entire array of public institutions including system of education, health care, railway, airports, law enforcement, garbage collection, supply of utilities, maintenance of city infrastructure etc.

The Question of Compatibility of Islam with Modernism

Dr. Omar Javaid (Based on his talk at IBA on 21st Feb 2019)

Image result for modernism islam

"Who wants to be happy in life? All of you perhaps! Consumerism, one of dominant modern ideology, tells us that by maximizing consumption we can maximize our happiness, despite modern economics talks about diminishing marginal utility. Most of us today, perhaps under social pressures, often follow consumerist ideals, without realizing that in real it makes us unhappy at the end if the day. Typical corporate culture also encourage us to be a better consumer, and by focusing and surrounding ourselves with too much material products we risk acquiring materialistic values. We may begin to see and evaluate our relationship with real people in context with the relationship we have with products. Our relationship may even become disposable, eventually we would perhaps become lonely, surrounded more with things and less with people. In fact we may end up determining the worth of people we know from the products they owns, and worth of the time spent with them by the material benefit we receive from them. This has already become true in the western world according to Ralph Ferver, even in context of the time we spend with our children and parents and other close family members.

Friday, June 7, 2019

The Irony in using science to sight the moon

Dr. Omar Javaid

It is ironic that in an attempt to unite the nation on the date of Eid Celebration, Mr. Fawad Chaudhry only succeeded in dividing it even further. His insistence on the use of scientific method to determine the date of an event of a pure religious nature only doubles the ironicity of the matter.

Image result for moon sightingWhy Muslims Celeberate Eid, or fast during Ramazan, or pray fives a day? To answer this question we will obviously ask some religious authority or scripture. If this is correct, then who would answer the question about how and when to fast, offer prayers or celebrate Eid, or if observational, technological, statistical, or any other technological or scientific method for answering the above questions? Again the answer is perhaps the same.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Why do Pakistan need IMF?

“Why a country goes to IMF?”

Because the country wants to import some stuff which it doesn’t produce in-house, and is short of money, so it has to borrow money from IMF.

“What are the other ways a country can make money to buy stuff from other countries?”

There can be many ways, Export revenues, tourists’ spending money, remittances, foreign investment, donations from other countries, lending from friendly countries etc.

“Why can’t we rely on these sources?”