Mainstream, VOL 60 No 38 September 10, 2022
Against all Orthodoxies | Bhabani Shankar Nayak
Friday 9 September 2022#socialtags
by Bhabani Shankar Nayak
Orthodoxies are ideas, beliefs, traditions, knowledge, institutions, policies, processes and practices that domesticate people and the planet. The cultural, religious, political and ideological orthodoxies are driving the world towards a dangerous situation, where reactionary forces dominate politics, society and economy. It also create and facilitate oligarchical monopolistic environment. The oligarchical political and economic systems destroy democratic and secular values to realise individual liberty. The resurgence of flag-waving bourgeoisies’ nationalisms and false patriotisms are inadvertent but natural outcomes of dominance of different varieties of orthodoxies. The immersive culture of orthodoxies and its knowledge traditions domesticates individuals, communities and environment to normalise slavery, inequalities and exploitations human beings and nature.
The economic orthodoxies and its unnatural narratives have not only established capitalism but also normalised it as if there is no alternative to capitalism as a system. Similarly, political orthodoxies domesticate citizenship rights and dismantle democratic traditions in the name of nationalism and patriotism. The cultural and religious orthodoxies facilitate the political and economic orthodoxies to strengthen ruling and non-ruling elites’ control over natural and human resources. All orthodoxies colonise the humanity to sustain and expand subservient knowledge traditions supported by institutions and processes designed by people in power for profit. Orthodoxies are not natural but a product of socialisation with social, cultural, religious and political belief systems are created and disseminated to different generations to practice and normalise it.
Class, gender, caste, race and all other forms of inequality, discriminatory and divisive practices are products of orthodoxies. The culture of orthodoxies normalise consciousness by creating and socialising with the idea of puritanism and otherness at the same time. It facilitates knowledge traditions concomitant with hierarchy based on inferior and superior knowledge, culture, society, religion, people and state. Puritan knowledge and hierarchy ensures reproduction of power, patriarchy and dominance. Orthodoxies are against human happiness as it instils different forms of fear.
The culture of surrender and adherence to a defined set of ideas or a single doctrine diminishes human creative abilities and domesticates human consciousness in a monolithic direction that destroys dynamism of human potentials. Dogmas and narrow silos are natural outcomes of all orthodox traditions and practices. All orthodoxies are assaults on science, reason, innovation, equality, liberty and human sensibilities. It justifies war, terror, conflicts and all forms of authoritarianisms in the name of peace and order. In reality, all orthodoxies create and establish different forms of institutions, processes and systems embedded with structural and other forms of violence. It destroys the emancipatory power of people by creating divisive cultures based on religion and nationalism, the twin opium of the masses. Orthodoxies promote various forms of convenient dogmas that sustain hierarchy and power over people. Therefore, orthodoxies are obstacles in the path of progressive social, political and economic transformations and deepening of democracy.
Resistance against all forms of orthodoxies are crucial for the emancipation of human beings and natural world. Individuals and communities must come together to challenge and overcome all orthodoxies for their own freedom to realise themselves as individuals, citizens, as members of communities and as social, political, cultural and spiritual beings. The peace, progress, prosperity, harmony, equality, justice and individual liberties can be realised only by defeating all forms of orthodoxies in our society, culture, politics, state and economy. The working-class masses are the worst victims of all orthodoxies. Different forms of class divided societies are products of orthodox ideological practices that destroy all conditions of human emancipation. Therefore, it is imperative for the working class struggles to ensure and defeat all forms of orthodoxies. End of all orthodoxies are the immediate necessities of our time for human emancipation, creativity and happiness.
(Author: Bhabani Shankar Nayak, University of Glasgow, UK)