My Favorite Martian.. talking about Aggression

Category: Nature & Science Views: 3750
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"Much of the good that man has done, has been undone by the aggression inflicted by him on his own kind. While he has grown in his capacity of understanding and using things around him, he remains persistently blind to his own faults. Starting from the hairy creature, emerging from the cave wielding a club thirty thousand years ago, right up to a modern Yale graduate with a nuclear arsenal at his disposal, his emotional apparatus remains practically the same." These provocative remarks came from the little green man whom I found perched up on top of my bookshelf yesterday. If men from Mars are known for their cold objectivity, this extra terrestrial (ET) lived up to the reputation. He continued: "Although cleverest amongst all the animals inhabiting the planet, why is he the only one who inflicts pain and kills his own species and destroys the environment his life depends upon? Despite being the only creature endowed with consciousness on earth, why is he incapable of introspection and self-correction?"

He went on "The only change I notice, is that the methods and forms of aggression have become more effective and sophisticated as the humankind advanced. Bullet is not the only weapon of aggression any more. You can also control the world by killing with kindness. Give clever development loans to the rulers who surrender their sovereignty to you, and let them embezzle, making their poor subjects to pay back. Save their shaky thrones in return of the resources they sell to you cheap, and allow them to tyrannize their people. Stir up revolts, proxy wars and civil commotion using covert methods, and bring down the leaders who refuse to comply with your agenda. Anybody, who fails to see aggression in the method, will see plenty of it in the results. Millions can be seen dying of hunger, malnutrition and sickness caused by poverty in failing economies. Thousands are killing each other using arms, mysteriously supplied to them from the developed world."

"You do not mention terrorism which is the burning issue today!" I wondered.

"Of course terrorism is another form of aggression outside the pale of law. It is practiced by states as well as people, and is meant to coerce each other for a political or economic end. The difference is that the states perpetrate the crime with impunity and get away with murders, while the individuals get hanged for retaliating against it", he promptly replied. "Both kill innocent people. Unless both are held accountable to justice and punished, this tit-for-tat vendetta will continue." he added.

"Terrorist groups are essentially the aggrieved people of the client states of the superpowers. Such states, by their inability to defend the interest of their own people, have effectively privatized war by default ...( Eduardo Galeano). Finding no justice at home or in any international forum, they are driven to militancy to make themselves heard. They kill and get killed, accepting punishment in advance, while telling the world that the life it offered to them was woefully not worth living. 'People versus Superpower', is a new phenomenon that has appeared after the near demise of the state in a Unipolar world. It has to be recognized and codified under an updated Geneva Convention and the International Court of Justice, which are restricted to dealing with 'State versus State' disputes. Why on earth you men cannot see the obvious? "

"I still cannot find an answer." I said hesitatingly "Every one justifies his own aggression to counter other's aggression and no one agrees on who started it. Every war is claimed to be in the interest of peace. I suggest you read these highly respected scholars who have spent their lifetime in investigating the human mind and behavior. Perhaps tomorrow morning we can resume our dialogue." 

The Martian had assimilated all that was offered with his supersonic perception, and was ready with his comments the next morning: 

"I find different scholars addressing the issue from different points of view. One is the instictivist school, founded by Darwin and led by ethologists like Konrad Lorenz and Desmond Morris. They believe that aggression is innate in animals, including humans, which was developed as a useful instinct during evolution. In the wild, it was used for defending territory and improvement of the species by selection, but never for killing members of the same species. However, social inhibitions and controls of the organized human society, have subsequently distorted this natural urge to destructiveness. This can be corrected by channeling the instinct into constructive activities through a new approach of education, sublimation and imprinting rational responsibility on the mind of the child. The youth, as they question the old values of their parents' generation, can be made aware of the new challenges faced by the mankind and their militant enthusiasm directed towards resolving them. So far, the demagogues have been tapping their energies to serve their vested interests. " 

"The behaviorist school, led by the B. F. Skinner on the other hand, denies existence of aggressive instincts and believe that human behavior is a product of the social conditioning that man undergoes while growing up in his society. Accordingly, behavior can be changed, 'by changing the conditions of which it is a function'. A 'technology of behavior' need to be developed that will use positive reinforcement to recondition human behavior. That can lead to a new culture, where greater good of others becomes a virtue and pure self interest a sin. "

"Erich Fromm, a great mind in contemporary philosophy, finds these approaches reductionist, and based exclusively on either the 'hardware' aspect of nature or the 'software' of nurture. What they altogether ignore are those great qualities, which make man stand out amongst animals. Although accusing man of killing his own kind, they have not given him the credit of laying down his own life for the love of others, a non-instinctual act for any animal. It is not an urge to kill, but love for life that is man's true socio-biological heritage, which is lost in the acquisitive distortions of modern times. It has to be rediscovered and nourished trough genuine freedom and doing away with all forms of exploitative controls. That would need radical changes in the existing social and political structures that are responsible for tolerating and even promoting the destructive aggression that the world suffer from."

"The rationalists like Bertrand Russell warn that the technology of mass killing has excelled to a level of terminal efficiency and puts the future of mankind at stake. The existing political forms are obsolete and unable to avert the catastrophe. Reason is the human attribute that opened up the doors of knowledge. It can be used for banishing war as effectively as it was employed for developing weapons of mass destruction. A number of centuries-old enemies in Europe have succeeded in seeing the last of wars, by deciding to pool up their dignity, freedom and resources instead of fighting over them. There is no reason why, peace zones like the European Union cannot be replicated and eventually consolidated to cover the entire world. The answer lies in working towards a World Government with universal disarmament of the state, which can be built upon the foundation of the United Nations." "So what is your conclusion", I asked earnestly.

"Although your scholars may differ on the roots of aggression, they all agree that its fruits have turned poisonous. What passed for a sovereign right so far, may clash with the well being of the world. If some nation continue to pollute excessively, that will result in an environmental disaster of global magnitude. If they build nuclear arsenals to demand subjugation from the rest of the world, a surprise retaliation may make the planet inhabitable. Nations have to re-learn living together as a world community, the same way as the individuals learnt to live in a civil society. Each one having the right to property, but accepting punishment for depriving others of the same; allowed to grow strong, but barred from intimidating the weak; free to accumulate wealth, but surrendering portion of it for the less fortunate. They must be held accountable to international justice and submit to its verdict the same way as people abide by the laws they frame in order to live in peace, or indeed live at all. This calls for shedding the old culture of rule of the strongest to a new one of rule of law."

I could see a ray of hope but had seen enough of torment inflicted by man over man, not to jump to conclusion, and asked: "But who on earth is going to design the new culture and when?"

"Luckily the dream of Utopia is not as alien to man, as I am to you " added the ET with a glint in his eyes "and new culture is part of it. At present the profit- makers dominate the scene, and they have made a virtue of consumption and acquisition, which necessitates unwarranted exploitation of human and natural resources. Culture is nobody's monopoly, it is a drama written by its own actors who change the plot as it is played out. The designers of a postmodern culture are already there and can be seen at work rallying for world peace, human rights, and poverty alleviation in the world capitals and in their respective fields of action. Some soft pedal their message of love and peace in the dreams of humanity ---- the mothers who sing lullabies of flowers and fairies to beautify the imagination of their young ones; the story -tellers, the poets and the artists whose creativity gives birth to awareness of life and compassion, and the teachers who nurture the minds in their charge to help them decide in favor of peace when war seem imminent; and the promoters of sports and inventors of games who offer outlet to emotions and training to young minds. Others are the enthusiasts ---- the scholars who devote their lives in discovering the cause and effect of human behavior; the scientists who foretell the ugly consequences of aggression, the citizen who refuses to buy from a polluter and the exploiter, and the law-makers who contrive barriers against covert oppression. Last but not the least, are the youthful militants of peace, who question the decadent values of domination and challenge the mightiest on their faces ---- against their designs of invading weaker nations; for what they are doing to the environment of the world and economies of the underdeveloped nations; and for what they are not doing for the starving masses around the world. Millions like you must identify yourselves with them, get organized to dethrone the culture of selfish and exploitative nationalism and replace it with the mission of global well being. The citizens of the world need to join these designers of new culture, to support and encourage them to gather momentum and to win."

Before I could interject "But..." The Martian had disappeared, perhaps to prod another confused mind into action.

The author is an independent commentator based in Karachi, Pakistan


  Category: Nature & Science
Views: 3750
 
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Older Comments:
MAROUF MOHAMMED FROM JAPAN said:
Dear Sirs,
I have for sometime been trying to reach you by phone but to no avail.
I would very much like to join and pay my dues of US$50, but still prefer to convey the details of my credit card by phone. I would very much appreciate it if you mailed me details of your phone number and the appropiate time to call.
2003-03-24

S.JAKVANI FROM USA said:
XCELLENT ARTICLE....I WISH THE WHOLE WORLD APPRECIATES THIS EVALUATION...AND ACT ON IT..
TX
2003-03-22

S.JAKVANI FROM USA said:
xcellent article.....I WISH,ENTIRE WORLD SEE THIS WAY...AND IMPROVE OWN PERFORMANCE AS WELL AS THEIR WORLDLY AFFAIR....THANKS...
2003-03-22

NATHAN BILAL LANG FROM USA said:
...very good story and well worth the time to read it. I hope and pray that man take his rightful place and be the khalifa he was designed to be. However and unfortunately, he can do with his will what he pleases. It is a shame that it has become warped by his own reasoning. May Allah(SWT) intervene and save him from himself. To the writer/author of this article I beg of you to write more and keep giving us good arguments and suggestions like this. May your life be rewarded for such wonderful sharing of words and wisdom. I pray that blessings and mercy continue to be showered upon you and yours. Ma salaam. As salaam alaikum wa rahma tullahi wa barakatahu. Fi amaan Allah(SWT).
2003-03-16

LU FROM AMERICA said:
Subhan Allah
2003-03-16

MENSUR AHMED FROM ETHIOPIA said:
Asslam alykum how are you how is eman ,work we are fine. Thank you in is information i will have give to you my encouragement anything.
2003-03-11

MAHMUD FROM BANGLADESH said:
It has so deficult in this moment.
2003-03-10

JUTTA POETZ @ MARIAM ABDULLAH FROM MALAYSIA / GERMANY said:
Perhaps at the root we need to change some very basic aspects in our lives, and that mostly in ourselves first. Militancy in whatever form, under the mantle of peace or whatever, is wrong. For the simple reason that it uses force. I believe that you if you ARE GOOD and DO GOOD without selfish motivations, people will notice, and maybe that will convince them that they should change themselves. But the change is up to them, and they can only be helped once they have made the decision to change. Similarly to a drug addict, there is no point forcing rehabilitation without the commitment of the addict. If you force a person or nation or community by whatever means to comply with an ideology that you believe superior, they may comply because they are weaker and have no means of fighting for their own believes, but their commitment is not sincere, and they will break free from this force the moment they have a chance. But if you convince them by example, they will come to you voluntarily because they want to. And this freedom to decide is something that we must give to each human; whether his or her decision is right or wrong, is another matter. Important is to provide this responsibility of decision making to each human, as only that will build mental independence and maturity and result in the proper use of the mind. As it is now, most of us are easily manipulated in our thinking and our believes because we have not learned intellectual independence. We succumb to peer pressure, advertisments, desires. Much of it because we need to belong to a group, and are afraid to stand by ourselves. In order to belong we are willing to compromise on our believes and convictions. Clever people can exploit this to their advantage, and throughout history this has been done, by any religion or culture. What we all need more of, is respect for each other, humility in ourselvesand much much less ego. I enjoyed your article. It is definitely one of the better ones I have come across. TQ
2003-03-10

MASUDRANA TAHER FROM TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA said:
Assalam'u alaikum brothers and sisters,

I have desired to post my opinion because I feel that we, humans, need to understand about ourselves. What we are doing, destroying other people's lives just for something else that is not even worth the situation is completely negative. And one thing that makes me even more stunned is that the Canadians are also supporting America to conquer the battle. I, myself, am a Canadian but I feel that we should not reach out for the American's hands to support them. Is this our fight? No, it's between the American's and Iraq and other known countries. I was taught in school that if you are a bully's friend and he asks you to help him fight his enemy for whatsoever reason, then you should never agree to that situation. If this is what Canada has taught me and other fellow educated people, then why are we committing the same problem that Canada has taught us to solve? But not only that, Allah has stated in the Qur'an that he created every human being equally, which is from mud and clay....but from his creation...some of the mud and clay were soft, hard, white, brown, tan, etc. The only biggest problem in the world is coping with other humans the same way that we want to be treated and how Allah wants us to be? Do you think that anything will go wrong if we stick to the Qur'an, Allah's message, and our prophet's message?(peace be uppon him) This is defenitly a simple question and a simple answer. I believe that most of the people in the world have dirty hearts which needs to be purified by words from Allah and his best messengers. We are fighting the way a dumb animal would fight....without seeing what we are doing, we are creating major sins that needs to be understood and repented. We are all equal, brother's and sisters, and yet we kill and destroy many people's lives, without knowing how awful their pain and suffering would be like. Inshallah, if pure hearted humans die, they will feel no pain. Thank You!

Masud Taher
age
2003-03-09

ABDUR RAZZAQ FROM USA said:
For alternative perspectives on Gulf War I see this website:
http://www.bangla2000.com/mboard/vbulletin.asp?ID=1730
I do not claim to know the veracity of these statements but they are highly interesting. I also find it ironic that the US knew of Saddam's atrocities long ago (and most were peformed prior to 1991)and turned a blind eye to them. If they cared so much about the Iraqi people why did they not help them then? The US also supplied much of the chemical agents to Iraq that were used against Iran. So when he did their bidding, he was allowed dispensation for his actions. However, now he is being called to the carpet for deeds performed 15 years ago. Now that it suits US interests, we have decided to stop him. Truth be told, UN sanctions have crippled that country probably as much (if not more) than his oppressive regime. This does not excuse Saddam, but it pains me to see Muslims and human beings in general, line up in support for such an untimely and misappropriated show of force and aggression. And it pains me more to see the Muslims begging for assistance from non-Muslims, just like in Muslim Spain, instead of joining together, and taking care of our own dirty laundry.
As Salaamu alaikum
2003-03-09

DANIEL HARRISON FROM USA said:
Let us all thank God for His grace, for we all deserve to die, not only the murderers, but also those who try to do what is right. No one can match up to God's righteousness. Therefore, we must thank Him for His forgiveness and His grace.
2003-03-08

IRFAN FROM USA said:
I read your aggression theme and I really liked it. Thank you for sending me this kind of info.
2003-03-08

CLIFF JACKSON FROM THE NETHERLANDS said:
The article is impressive on many levels. How can an independent commentator based in Karachi Pakistan have so much insight into what's going on this planet?
How can I contact S.A. Abidi?
2003-03-07

GUY MEYNEN FROM BELGIUM said:
This marvellous creature from Mars might have arrived in Porto Allegre on its earthly journey, be initiated in Sufi thinking or studied Noam Chomsky. Too bad there are so few similar Martians!!!
Best greetings and keep courage.
2003-03-07

SHAFI UR RAHMAN FALAHI FROM INDIA said:
Bismillah
my dear brother in islam i read yuor news builten.
iam very happy that yuo send to me very best knowledge.
thank you
yours brother in islam
shafi ur Rahman falahi
2003-03-07

MUHAMMAD RABIU HASHIMU FROM FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA said:
Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wabarakatuh
iam in short of word to express my joy on the you are rendering to me and other muslim brotherss all over the world ican only say 'jazakumullahukhair'more grace to your ellbow keep up the good work of spreading the true religion see you in jannat in shaallah.
2003-03-07

RASAQ MANUEL-ONI FROM ENGLAND said:
Peace be unto us all in the name of Almighty ALLAH,Amin.
This piece is highly intellectual and profoundly philosophical. It is one the best pieces I've ever read in my entire life and hope to read more with the believe that, this world would understand them...and act accordingly.

Masalaam.
2003-03-07

ADIBA FROM ENGLAND said:
asalaam,
inshaallah you are in best health to my brothers/sisters reading kindly my comments.
i would just like to say i think it is wonderful how you take the time to send us brilliant newsletters,i appreciate it so much i do really believe ALLAH is so happy with you.

thankyou my friends

khuda hafiz.

my wishes ,thanks and walmest regards to your actiona in the name of our almighty.

Adiba Khan-converted sister.
2003-03-06

ALEXIS MAESTRE SABORIT FROM USA said:
IN SPANISH)WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA, USA, 6 de Marzo del 2003.COMENTARIO DE ALEXIS MAESTRE SABORIT.YO opino que es hora ya de que los infieles norteamericanos Dios, les de su merecido, ya que han abusado y explotado a los paises arabes(islamicos)en su afan de querer dominar la region, han abasallado a ciudades y pueblos enteros con sus bombardeos que han dejado muchas victimas civiles e inocentes.Dios debe castigar lo antes posible a los ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMERICA, por todo el mal que le ha hecho a la humanidad.Saludos.ALEXIS MAESTRE SABORIT.
2003-03-06

JAY HOWARD FROM USA said:
I thought Isamicity was a voice for moderate Islam? The article about, "My favorite Martian" should have come with a sign up sheet for Al Qaida. If this is your moderate voices speaking, I will hate to see what the Islamic fanatics write.

Jay Howard
The Religious Research Project
2003-03-06

MUHAMMAD FO'DIL MUHAMMAD-NOAH FROM NIGERIA said:
This is a thought provoking lecture for who cares to listen.
2003-03-06

SHAUKAT KHAWJA FROM CANADA said:
Very good article. May Allah bless you for your effort. Ameen.
2003-03-06

ALASSANE ABEIDY DIAKITE FROM MAURITANIA said:
Simply excellent.
2003-03-06

ISAAC FROM MAURITIUS said:
As-Salaam Alaikum,

This is the revolt of Shayaateens (Evils & Jinns).
Probably a "dajjaal messiah".
The Kaafirs cannot see their world (A'laam-e-misaal).

The believers understand these plots very well. In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

113: 1. Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the Dawn
113: 2. From the mischief of created things;
113: 3. From the mischief of Darkness as it overspreads;
113: 4. From the mischief of those who practise secret arts;
113: 5. And from the mischief of the envious one as he practises envy.

Ameen
2003-03-06

GUY DUBUISSON FROM USA said:
I just want to say that this is a great piece of writing. I enjoyed reading it.
2003-03-06

NOON FROM USA said:
Fantastic. Your Researach & Comparative Ability
makes your ideas clearer in Several Dimensions.
S.All.a Th.ank All.a U.
2003-03-05

MOKADDES HASSAN KHAN FROM USA said:
Very inspiring article. And some very inspiring and insightful comments.
It is the individuals who have to take the steps. As Muslims we believe, I will stand before the Lord on the day of Judgement and be asked, of my deeds. Not what someone else has done, but what my reaction was. Not how someone else reacted, but how I tried to stop oppression.
If everyone tried to change, what they had control over, rather than worry over what they cannot change, then there would indeed be a enormous change, (Inshallah) for the better.
Consider all those youths who join the armies of the World, if they refused to fight or even join in the first place. Would there be armies to wage wars?
2003-03-05

KELELAWAR FROM MALAYSIA said:
'israel should be the focus, but not the Iraq, then the roots of aggression will become the only 'root', therefor the problems become converged instead of concaved and the design will become easier'
2003-03-05

LOUBNA NASSER FROM U.S. said:
ALTHOUGH MAN HAVE EVOLVED TO THE MODERN WORLD, HE STILL HAS THE MENTALITY OF THE CAVE PERSON. ACCREDITED EDUCATION DOES NOT IMPLY THAT AN INDIVIDUAL HAS STEPPED UP TO THE NEXT LEVEL OF BEING A CIVILIZED HUMAN BEING. MOST OF THE SCOLARS ARE INDIVIDUALS WHO RUN THE SHOW THAT AIMS TO MANIPULATED THE OTHERS TO BELIEVE THAT A PERSON HAS REACHED SUCH A LEVEL. THE SHOW IS ALWAYS FINANCIALLY SUPPORTED BY THOSE WHO KNOW NOTHING ABOUT EDUCATION. THEIR SUPPORT EMERGES FROM THE FACT THAT THEY WANT TO GAIN THE PUBLIC APPROVAL. THEIR MENTALITY IS THAT THEY HAVE THE MONEY, WHICH OTHERS NEED TO SURVIVE. IN CONCLUSION THE WORLD IS STILL THE ANIMAL'S KINGDOM.
2003-03-04

ZAKIR FROM SINGAPORE said:
A simple and direct essay, bringing out the major causes for the curent problems in the world. The world will be a much better place to live if we stopped letting the Financiers and the economist to take charge of running the world.

The unfortunate part is I believe that everybody on the top knows the issues...so what is left to happen is a major catastrophe and then start to pick up the threads from there...Oh God will we never learn?....
2003-03-04

ELIAS said:
A very beautiful and realistic portrayal of the current issues in the world!
2003-03-03

PHILLIP E RAMSEY FROM UNITED STATES said:
Wonderful! This earth is but one country!
We must trust in God but we also must tie our camels. If not what happens to our camel is our fault.
2003-03-03

BRIAN D. LAWLOR FROM CANADA said:
But who on earth is going to design the new culture and when?..not who on earth my friend..already have a plan in action started by our GOD long long ago. Why do we do as bad as we do good..Isaiah 45:7 many religious peoples do not have the understanding of those words and the reason why..too make our knowledge complete..if we form into this one globla body but were always pampered and only shown the good would we as a global body of peoples recognize evil when it came upon us..would we be able to recognize it, to defend ourselves against it..there was a reason for the bad my friends.Do not ask yourself if you are squeaky clean..ask yourself is Islam squeaky clean..the answer changes doen't it..are the bellies of the Islamic people full..are the children all ecucated..no..so in that respect you have failed your GOD islam as have my own church which like the other structure points to society, have turned self serving. There is a bringer of peace Islam is waiting for but only after a severe war where many muslims are killed..in my bible it is not just muslims who die.."a third of the trees, a third of the animals and a third of the peoples will perish"..this is that severe war we approach so I leave you with this....Muhdi already walks the earth with you...this last newsletter was very good...to the point..if all is known..what you do tomorrow, next week, next year on a sunny Sunday afternoon is already known by our GOD..we just need take the steps to get there..patience Islam....this is a time much awaited for a very long time..time to recognize this global body and the responsibilty each of you has towards this global body od peoples...put Russia,China and America backing Isreal...not enough..do you realize who backs you Islam..who guides your actions??you know this answer already my friends..take care out there..
2003-03-03

UM MUHAMMED FROM SAUDI ARABIA said:
This is enlightning and creative...the little alien can see things we often fail to see as humans consumed by the daily routine of life and its workings. Sometimes we have to step back, look at of ourselves and our environment in order to see the bigger picture. Some are blind, and keep wandering around in darkness, some myopic and too stubborn to correct their failing sight, some have corrected their vision and put things into perspective with the lenses of truth, while others' insight shine, manifesting itself into a clear vision for all to follow...let us seek the advice and solace of those enlightened ones...those who are so needed in these dark and troubling times. In order that we may one day live in peace and harmony with each other. Peace.
2003-03-03