Saturday, May 8, 2021

Ascribing status

A serious impediment in the way of progress, which has been consistently realized by the most sensitive sections of the society right from the time of Socrates, but which is still to be seriously taken by the underdeveloped countries, is ascribing roles to the individuals regardless of their being discordant with their natural abilities, aptitudes and temperaments. By ascribing status rather than discovering the latent faculties and promoting them to play the roles that are in harmonious with one’s pre-dispositions, the ‘bad state’ wasted precious human resource, perpetrated individual injustice and produced collective poverty. The underlying characteristic of human society is the pre-ordained aptitude – temperament differentiation among its members. Different individuals have been bestowed with differing faculties to play different roles necessary to propel the human civilization from progress to progress. If this scheme of things is allowed to function, by providing each individual appropriate environment to promote his/her latent faculties without arbitrarily ascribing roles, progressive march of human civilization is guaranteed. Socrates (470-399 B.C) is the first known great mind to articulate that “Each individual should always be put to the use for which Nature intended him, and then every man would do his own business….” His illustrious disciple, Plato elaborated the thesis of his mentor and considered it an essential pre-requisite of a good and just state. The good state, according to him, accepts human nature, accepts that every human being has his own predominant faculty and drafts each to his proper place. In their assertion that each human being has been bestowed with a special faculty, these philosophers of yore are supported by researches conducted by psychologists. This is also attested by common experience beyond space and time. And the recent discoveries made by scientists working on human genes put a seal on the theory. While Plato recognizes that the ‘state makes the man’, he had, however, learnt that “actual state denies rather than fulfills man”. It is true. This is typified by its malafides engagements in mis-matching the roles of its subjects. Instead of helping to forge a just society by creating a climate where the people would have to achieve status rather than ascribing it, the managers of the state misused public office and created a situation contrary to this. In fact the retrograde system of ascribing roles does not only cause an irreparable loss to the cause of human progress and inflicts an incurable pain on those who are deprived, but it also does not do any good to those who are ‘favoured’. After all, only such career is enjoyed which is compatible with one’s nature; and one performs only in that station which befits one’s faculty. Contrary when is the case we produce a society of frustrated and non-performing individuals particularly at such levels which determine the direction of the societies. Worst, with majority at important places constituting the ascribed status people, the achieved status microscopic category become an eye sore, and are driven out just as bad money drives out good money out of circulation, according to Grasham’s Law. Three man-made factors that emanate from mis-governance and disturbs nature’s scheme and makes mess of it are economic disparities, dual education system and misuse of public office by those who hold it. Mass poverty denied the majority the opportunity to promote their predominant faculty, paving way for the minuscule rich to mis-appropriate the roles for which they were not necessarily created. The same negative role has been played by the existence of private schools on the one hand and public schools on the other. And the final nail into the coffin of human excellence was driven by misuse of public office to serve one or the other personal interest. It is, therefore, little surprising that all those societies, which are reeling under mass poverty and rampant corruption and dishonesty, and which lack arrangements to identify talent and promote it, have failed to make any worthwhile contribution to human progress. Today good governance has become a dream. But it will come true if we maintain the nature’s scheme, leave no scope for ascribing status, create conditions for only achieving status and provide no scope for entertaining wild ambitions to cross over to other man’s dominion.