Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
- ‘ or
Who will guard the guards?
- – This my friends, is a quote to be revered.
I first read it in Dan Brown’s novel Digital Fortress.The original quote is in Latin; in both languages it sounds poetic to me, and perhaps it is eerily prophetic.
The phrase, originates from the poet Juvenal, the Roman satirist who mentioned this phrase in his collection of Satires. In relation to Juvenal’s poem, the quote questions the possibility and effectiveness of enforcing a defined moral behaviour on women, when the enforcers themselves were not free from corruption.
The latin extention of the quote is:
audio quid ueteres olim moneatis amici,
“pone seram, cohibe.” sed quis custodiet ipsos
custodes? cauta est et ab illis incipit uxor.
The english version of this phrase (and feminists are going to love it) translates to:
I hear always the admonishment of my friends:
“Bolt her in, constrain her!” But who will guard
the guardians? The wife plans ahead and begins with them.
In modern times however, the phrase has been used to express concerns on excessively imposing governments and oppressing dictatorships. It would be unjust though, to restrict the application of the quote solely in reference to the pre-determined guards of society (the government & its security forces). The time has come, infact it can be safely declared that it has been long overdue, when the application of this quote must be extended to the televised, online and print media.
I cannot help but feel that the media has violated our fundamental right to be able to think on an individual level. I cannot help but fear that this collective bombardment of like-minded ideas is saturating the limits of what an average human brain can evaluate and absorb rationally. I cannot help but feel and it is but natural, that as the rationale of the human brain is exhausted, it is extracting further sustenance from irrationality, or radicalism. When I mention radicalism, do not confuse it with the terminology associated with Islamic extremism.
When the thoughts and beliefs of various personalities are expressed on individual locations, it gives the audience allowance for a wider degree of thought dispersion. For example, I, along with thousands of others, run individual blogs in which we say what we want to. When you read a person’s message on an individual location, you may choose to accept or refute an individual’s idea.
But what about online content control of expression of thought when you write for the major blogs? Who guards what blogs, stories and thought streams they run as a collective unit, when they nitpick the right contributions and choose what to run? Who challenges the globally practiced editorial policy of making changes in headers and / or content of articles, news runs or investigative reports? Who checks what kinds of media campaigns are being run, what is the campaign’s ultimate objective and who verifies the financiers behind the media campaigns? A collective thought is far more powerful in its effect and is more likely to be thought of as a representative sample of the overall population. Hence, more likely than not, it will influence your mind and your beliefs. The problem is further exacerbated by the changing of news / article headers. Headings are signposts that focus the reader on the most important content in a piece of writing. Through the heading, the viewer constructs a visual image of the core message, and judges the news / article for the same, regardless of its contents. One must realize and accept that there are few souls with complete conviction; and such channels, newspapers and blogs are ripe tools to mould minds which are either devoid of individual beliefs, or are caught in the throes of confusion.
I write this with the realization that people rooted in the media will not hold the same thoughts as I do, but I feel I must express my concerns out in public at least, and challenge the legitimacy of the idea and philosophy that the media, the Fourth Estate, as described by Thomas Carlyle, and as used by Jeffrey Archer in his novel to great effect, is the beacon of morality, truth, and justice; and above all, is independent!
For any media / news agency that needs to tell the public how diligent, moral and honest they are, and even that through advertisements run on its own channels, cannot hope to instill a vote of confidence in its viewers, can it? You know an entity is truly lost when it needs to market its sense of justice, and honesty.
I plan to write more about the issues that trouble me in regarding the pathways selected for communication with the masses. At this point in time, my objective was to question the accepted principle of giving the media free reign. In the coming weeks and months, I hope to further develop my thoughts, my beliefs, and share them with you. Your comments of agreement or disagreement, will be highly appreciated. This is merely my thought process in development.
I got an email on my office mail today. It was actually a very interesting read, on why Muslims haven’t been able to exercise the degree of influence proportional to their size. I think it makes perfect sense. It sure makes interesting reading… particularly coming from a Pakistani
official (Dr.Farrukh Saleem). The writer is the Pakistani Executive Director of the Center for Research
and Security Studies, a think tank established in 2007, and an Islamabad-based freelance columnist. The article specifically focuses on the reasons behind power held by Jews, which are relatively small in number.
So why are Jews so powerful?
There are only 14 million Jews in the world; seven million in the Americas, five million in Asia, two million in Europe and 100,000 in Africa. For every single Jew in the world there are 100 Muslims. Yet, Jews are more than a hundred times more powerful than all the Muslims put together. Ever wondered why?
Albert Einstein, the most influential scientist of all time and TIME magazine’s ‘Person of the Century’, was born to Jewish parents.
Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis was a Jew. So were Karl Marx, Paul Samuelson and Milton Friedman.
Here are a few other Jews whose intellectual output has enriched the whole humanity:
Benjamin Rubin gave humanity the vaccinating needle.
Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine.
Albert Sabin developed the improved live polio vaccine.
Gertrude Elion gave us a leukemia fighting drug.
Baruch Blumberg developed the vaccination for Hepatitis B.
Paul Ehrlich discovered a treatment for syphilis.
Elie Metchnikoff won a Nobel Prize in infectious diseases.
Bernard Katz won a Nobel Prize in neuromuscular transmission.
Andrew Schally won a Nobel in endocrinology.
Aaron Beck founded Cognitive Therapy.
Gregory Pincus developed the first oral contraceptive pill.
Richard Levin, President of Yale University, is a Jew. So are Henry Kissinger (American secretary of state), Alan Greenspan (Fed chairman under Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush), Joseph Lieberman (US Senator), Casper Weinberger (American Secretary of Defense), Maxim Litvinov ( USSR foreign Minister), Issac Isaacs (governor-general of Australia ), Benjamin Disraeli (British statesman and author), Yevgeny Primakov (Russian PM), Barry Goldwater (US Senator), Jorge Sampaio (president of Portugal ), John Deutsch (CIA director), Herb Gray (Canadian deputy PM), Pierre Mendes (French PM), Michael Howard (British home secretary), Bruno Kreisky (chancellor of Austria ) and Robert Rubin (American secretary of treasury).
George Wald won a Nobel for our understanding of the human eye.
Stanley Cohen won a Nobel in embryology.
Willem Kolff came up with the kidney dialysis machine.
Over the past 105 years, Jews have won about a 15-dozen Nobel Prizes while only three Nobel Prizes have been won by 1.4 billion Muslims (other than Peace Prizes!!)
Why are Jews so powerful?
Stanley Mezor invented the first micro-processing chip.
Leo Szilard developed the first nuclear chain reactor.
Peter Schultz, optical fibre cable.
Charles Adler, traffic lights.
Benno Strauss, Stainless steel.
Isador Kisee, sound movies.
Emile Berliner, telephone microphone.
Charles Ginsburg, videotape recorder.
Famous financiers in the business world who belong to Jewish faith include
Ralph Lauren (Polo),
Levis Strauss (Levi’s Jeans),
Howard Schultz (Starbuck’s) ,
Sergey Brin (Google),
Michael Dell (Dell Computers),
Larry Ellison (Oracle),
Donna Karan (DKNY),
Irv Robbins (Baskins & Robbins) and
Bill Rosenberg (Dunkin Donuts).
In the media, famous Jews include Wolf Blitzer (CNN), Barbara Walters (ABC News), Eugene Meyer (Washington Post), Henry Grunwald (editor-in-chief Time), Katherine Graham (publisher of The Washington Post), Joseph Lelyveld (Executive editor, The New York Times), and Max Frankel (New York Times).
One of the most beneficent philanthropist in the history of the world is George Soros, a Jew, who has so far donated a colossal $4 billion most of which has gone as aid to scientists and universities around the world. Second to George Soros is Walter Annenberg, another Jew, who has built a hundred libraries by donating an estimated $2 billion.
Did you know that Harrison Ford, George Burns, Tony Curtis, Charles Bronson, Sandra Bullock, Billy Crystal, Woody Allen, Paul Newman, Peter Sellers, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Douglas, Ben Kingsley, Kirk Douglas, Goldie Hawn, Cary Grant, William Shatner, Jerry Lewis and Peter Falk are all Jewish.
As a matter of fact, Hollywood itself was founded by a Jew. Among directors and producers,
Steven Spielberg, Mel Brooks, Oliver Stone, Aaron Spelling ( Beverly Hills 90210), Neil Simon (The Odd Couple), Andrew Vaina (Rambo 1/2/3), Michael Man (Starsky andHutch), Milos Forman (One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest), Douglas Fairbanks (The Thief of Baghdad ) and Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters) are all Jewish.
So, why are Jews so powerful?
Answer : EDUCATION
There are an estimated 1,476,233,470 Muslims on the face of the planet: one billion in Asia, 400 million in Africa, 44 million in Europe and six million in the Americas . Every fifth human being is a Muslim; for every single Hindu there are two Muslims, for every Buddhist there are two Muslims and for every Jew there are one hundred Muslims.
Ever wondered why Muslims are so powerless?
Here is why: There are 57 member-countries of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), and all of them put together have around 500 universities; one university for every three million Muslims. The United States has 5,758 universities and India has 8,407.
In 2004, Shanghai Jiao Tong University compiled an ‘Academic Ranking of World Universities’ , and intriguingly, not one university from Muslim-majority states was in the top-500.
As per data collected by the UNDP, literacy in the Christian world stands at nearly 90 per cent and 15 Christian-majority states have a literacy rate of 100 per cent. A Muslim-majority state, as a sharp contrast, has an average literacy rate of around 40 per cent and there is no Muslim-majority state with a literacy rate of 100 per cent. Some 98 per cent of the ‘literates’ in the Christian world had completed primary school, while less than 50 per cent of the ‘literates’ in the Muslim world did the same. Around 40 per cent of the ‘literates’ in the Christian world attended university while no more than two per cent of the ‘literates’ in the Muslim world did the same.
Muslim-majority countries have 230 scientists per one million Muslims The US has 4,000 scientists per million and Japan has 5,000 per million. In the entire Arab world, the total number of full-time researchers is 35,000 and there are only 50 technicians per one million Arabs. (in the Christian world there are up to 1,000 technicians per one million).
Furthermore, the Muslim world spends 0.2 per cent of its GDP on research and development, while the Christian world spends around five per cent of its GDP.
Conclusion: The Muslim world lacks the capacity to produce knowledge!
Daily newspapers per 1,000 people and number of book titles per million are two indicators of whether knowledge is being diffused in a society. In Pakistan, there are 23 daily newspapers per 1,000 Pakistanis while the same ratio in Singapore is 360. In the UK , the number of book
titles per million stands at 2,000 while the same in Egypt is 20.
Conclusion: The Muslim world is failing to diffuse knowledge.
Exports of high technology products as a percentage of total exports are an important indicator of knowledge application. Pakistan ‘s export of high technology products as a percentage of total exports stands at one per cent. The same for Saudi Arabia is 0.3 per cent; Kuwait, Morocco, and Algeria are all at 0.3 per cent, while Singapore is at 58 per cent.
Conclusion: The Muslim world is failing to apply knowledge.
Why are Muslims powerless?
Because we aren’t producing knowledge,..
And, the future belongs to knowledge-based societies.
Interestingly, the combined annual GDP of 57 OIC-countries is under $2 trillion. America, just by herself, produces goods and services worth $12 trillion; China $8 trillion, Japan $3.8 trillion and
Germany $2.4 trillion (purchasing power parity basis).
Oil rich Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar collectively produce goods and services (mostly oil) worth $500 billion; Spain alone produces goods and services worth over $1 trillion, Catholic Poland $489 billion and Buddhist Thailand $545 billion.
So, why are Muslims so powerless? Answer: Lack of education.
All we do is blame everyone else for our multiple failures and kill each other in the name of ISLAM!!!!!
I concede that I have not been able to personally verify every figure presented by Dr.Farrukh Saleem. But I think the overall idea of the article is to highlight why Muslims have not been able to wield power which they should have. I think the above mentioned stats present it beautifully.