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MAHBUB UL HAQ CENTRE CRISES OF GOVERNANCE: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 1999 OUP KARACHI
Javed A. Ansari College of Business Management As liberal, socialist and social democratic discourse looses credibility and popular participation in democratic processes declines throughout the world, legitimizing imperialist dominance becomes increasingly problematic. New ideologies have to be crafted to justify imperialist dominance. Humane governance is one such ideology. The Mahbub-ul-Haq Centres 1999 Annual Report on the crises of governance is essentially a somewhat simplistic defence of this ideology. The conceptual chapter in the Report written by Meghnad Desai explicitly identifies the Kantian and Rawlsian foundations of humane governance ideology. It is the people (and not Allah) who are sovereign. The rulers should be subject to the will of the people not to the will of God. Liberalisms authoritarian and totalizing orientation is fully reflected in the claim Humane Governance is a norm appropriate to all countries. Liberalism asserts the universal sovereignty of the people who have an absolute right to reject or reinterpret Gods will. Both civil society and state are seen as instruments for building the peoples capabilities for exercising sovereignty. The capabilities that are to be built are those which prepare the masses to deal with the emerging market economy and instill habits of contract fulfillment. This makes it clear that within liberal order the only legitimate aspiration of the people is the will to accelerate the sustainable rate of capital accumulation every thing else is subordinate to this uniquely genuine aspiration. The fact that the formal sovereignty of the people is really the sovereignty of capital is made clear from the instrumental conception of democracy, which the Report endorses. It argues that democracy has not brought about an advance towards a rule based society. The masses do not have the right to reject the rules of liberal law that guarantee capitalist property rights the rule of law is the rule of the law of capital. The liberal constitution should not be easily amendable and social atomization should be promoted through political decentralization and sexual and religious homogenization. The purpose of humane governance of the state, the market, the society is ultimately to maximize the

2 welfare of the people i.e. to maximize the present value of consumption flows by maximizing long run profit. The achievement of this purpose requires the transformation of the subject of God into the subject of capital the citizen who participates in state processes in his own interest (maximization of profit) and whose sovereignty is guaranteed by the securing of the fundamental human rights which are the obverse of the individual and social duty to accumulate capital. These rights enrich the people by expanding their freedom of choice expanding, that is the realm of the circuit of capital. The new political economy explicitly recognizes the threat posed by democracy to liberal order. Democracy permits what the new political economy calls rent seekers to prioritize the interests of particular capitals over the duty to maximize the long-term rate of return on capital in general. The prioritization of the interests of capital in general is rational (by definition) but the actual empirical behavior of particular individuals and collectivities always threatens to violate this rationality: hence the need to constrain democratic behavior by means of a liberal constitution framed by an enlightened priesthood. Thus it is the framers of the American constitution standing on the corpses of seven million slaughtered Red Indians and holding aloft the flag of liberty who are the people It is their sovereignty that is sacrosanct. Liberalism claims that sovereignty belongs to the framers of the American constitution for all times and in all places for they are the true representatives of universal, permanent capital. John Rawls construction of the original position is a formal statement of this fundamental tenet of liberalism. Humane governance is thus a means for ensuring the social dominance of an elite liberal priesthood (the people) committed to the supremacy of capital in general and owing no allegiance to a particular country except to the global state of permanent, universal capital, America. That is why there is not the faintest hint of patriotism through out the Mahbub-ul-Haq. Centres Report. It repeatedly describes the Kashmir Jihad as a border dispute and never mentions the rising tide of Indian brutalities in the occupied territories. Delegitimating patriotism must involve a weakening of the commitment to national identity hence the emphasis the Report places on decentralization. Decentralization is a primary tool for the achievement of humane governance As the report notes decentralization generates political pressure necessary to focus government attention on humane governance priorities. It notes with satisfaction that decentralization by default is already underway due to the increased dominance of a huge corpus of NGOs in Pakistan. Decentralization serves to delegitimate issues of high politics such as concern with national security, international capitalist dominance over national finance, subjugation of national industries to multinationals etc. Decentralization is essential for achieving the imperialist objective of limiting the volume of state activity to the protection of human rights and the guaranteeing of (capitalist) property and contracts. National identity should also be weakened by making civil society independent of the centralized state. Civil society institutions specially the media are seen as imperialist agents and sponsors of human rights discourse with full commitment to liberalized

3 markets. in which prices reflect (monopolistically) determined scarcity values and government intervention is outlawed. Civil society is also to serve imperialism by agitating against increases in national defense expenditure. Converting religious society into civil society involves above all defeminization the social triviliaration of the role of the daughter, the wife, the mother and the child and the delegitimation of honour (ghairat) and chastity (iffat). This is achieved by co modification of female labour therefore naturally this is a key element in the humane governance agenda. Promoting defeminization is a key element in the reconstitution of the economy as a full-blown capitalist entity emphasizing the social primary of capital accumulation and the safeguarding of capitalist property rights and contracts. Civil society is an adjunct to the capitalist economy. Civil society constituents legitimate interest orientation and structure communities to simulate individual utility (consumption) maximizing behavior. Such behavior legitimates self love and a society in which self love is universalized is necessarily incapable of worship. Such self development is also necessarily cannibalistic it destroys the communities from which it emerges and serves only universal, permanent capital. This has been the historical experience throughout Western Europe and North America. Humane governance cannot be limited to a particular sphere economic, political, civic. As the Report says the three dimensions of humane governance are inextricably linked and complimentary they form a governing framework and require a holistic approach. As the Report accepts, humane governance is an ideologically charged concept. It is a continuation of the 1989 world humane revolution, which established the universal primacy of freedom. Capital is the concrete form of freedom and the integrated character of the humane governance project reflects the exclusive, totalizing character of capitalist order. Capital is not willing to share sovereignty with any other, hence the sovereignty of the citizen provides only the form for the substantive sovereignty of capital within liberal order. The Post Fordist system of accumulation seeks to universalize liberal order and its proponents seek nothing but Pakistans total subordination to universal, permanent capital through. Increasing social sector expenditure Liberalizing land and credit markets Liberalizing trade and privatization Expanding population control and opportunities for the comodification of female labour. Increasing the market access of the poor Eliminating government subsidies and increasing user charges Imposing legislative limits on government debt Guaranteeing political autonomy of local bodies and provincial governments Encouraging NGO participation in local and provincial government Reducing the legislative and fiscal power of the federal state Reducing the size of the civil service

4 Drastically cutting defense expenditure Remodeling judicial systems to reflect liberal norms Establishment of special financing faculties to create partnerships between governments and NGOs Mobilizing popular forces advocating subservience to human rights imperialism Organizing groups within the government to support the agenda for imperialist subordination Weakening the formation of opposition forces resisting imperialist subordination This agenda of humane governance is a programme for drastically weakening Pakistan. This wreaking is to be achieved by: Destroying the defense capacity of the state Destroying the capacity of the state to determine the pattern of resource allocation Fracturing the national polity into autonomous provinces and localities subservient to imperialism Delegitimizing Pakistans existence by creating a social order focused on self interest and self love- a civil instead of a religious society Politically mobilizing elites committed to liberal imperialist subservience and apposed to Pakistans existence as a non liberal anti imperialist Islamic state Imperialism seeks to delegitimize popular concern with issues of high politics Kashmir, the nuclear programme, defense of national economic sovereignty, the implementation of the Sharia, elimination of interest etc and constitute a civil society focused on the competitive pursuit of self interest by utility maximizing local or single issue collectivities. This it is hoped will dissapate opposition to the political agenda of capital in general and legitimate Pakistans subordination within imperialisms global order. But civil society cannot take root in Pakistan, as long peoples holistic commitment to Islamic values is not fundamentally dented. Civil society can prosper only after Islam has suffered a major political defeat Turkey in 1924, Egypt in 1953, Bangladesh in 1971. Civil society the competitive pursuit of self interested collectivities is an alien import. It has no roots in Pakistani local histories, cultures or politics. People regard civil society organization and leadership as an imperialist implant, because the universalistic claims of human rights discourse are false. There is nothing in the traditions, self interpretations, vocabularies and ethos of the Pakistani people which can induce them to own civil society. They instinctively rally for Islam for the sufi masters have embroidered. Islam into myriad local cultural practices. Legitimizing civil society is much easier in a culture without a holistic religious tradition as Xudong Zhang shows one can speak of a genuinely Chinese post modernism emerging in the 1990s. Liberalizing state policy must lead to the dismemberment of Pakistan. In order to understand why this is so it is necessary to explicate the nature of the relationship between the market and the state in capitalist order. A market economy cannot stand on its own.

5 Naom Chomsky describes modern capitalism as a system of administration of markets by collectivist legal enterprise mergers, cartels, corporate alliances in association with powerful states and international bureaucracies which regulate and support private power. The function of regulating, legitimating, supporting capitalist power must be performed by the capitalist state it cannot be performed by the market. When liberalism deprives a particular state of its power to regulate capital in general (the essence of high politics) this power is shifted not to the market (which cannot regulate itself) or to provinces / localities (which cannot regulate capital in general) but to a metropolitan state which makes the disempowered state its client. That is why it is legitimate to treat imperialism and globalization as inter changeable terms. Global capital needs a global state. That global state is America and the purpose of human rights and good governance discourse is to legitimize American monopoly of high politics. Pakistani representatives of global capital recognize as natural and rational the need to subordinate national policy preferences to American hegemony. This is natural and rational because without this, capital cannot be effectively regulated or supported in Pakistan. American national preferences and interests are the concrete manifestation of the interests and preferences of capital in general. It is irrational to support the Kashmir Jihad, safeguard national nuclear capability, defend national economic sovereignty, reject Indian hegemony, Islamise the financial system because this subverts American hegemony. But abandoning these concerns is abandoning any justification for the continued existence of Pakistan for there is no such thing as Pakistani nationalism permitting Pakistans subordination within liberal imperialist order Sindhi / mohajir / Pashtun nationalisms are essential instruments for achieving such a subordination. Imperialist humane governance ideologies must therefore continue to seek Pakistans disintegration through civil society development and state decentralization.