2021, snakes and ladders and a virus exposing virulent buffoons

2020 has ended, at least by the Gregorian calendar. As always, we are fooled by the time buffoons. Hope springs eternal. This turn of the year, I, for one, am part of this clan, though albeit, reluctantly. 2020 for me was the year of snakes and ladders. Chance pitted morality and malice in a game of realization; conspiracy theories aside.

It was not who did it, but rather what happened, that decided the outcome of 2020—it did not take much to expose the neanderthal within, and the global community was exposed for its posturing and conflict. The earth won.

It showed us the power of regeneration. The Earth made a comeback and reminded us, much as Claude Lévi-Strauss alluded to in Tristes Tropiques, that it was here long before we came and will be here long after we are gone.

The sheer banality of the human, especially the so called human leaders’, discourse in 2021 left me wanting to retch, which I did with abandon. No multilateral claims, nor bilateral ones or unilateral ones, stood any chance in the face of a microcosm of a beast—the COVID-19 virus. We were all exposed as selfish nations, as selfish global communities. Let there be some cheer in that.

Cheer, for now we can, if wise, set a course where technology and this realization should allow us to set a new path for this century and beyond. Will we be doing that? Not much gives me hope. All I see is a hope to get back to what we were doing. Sad, indeed, for this pandemic has shown us how to re-write the basics of global interactions if we want a better future for our children.

Who cares about children, for, virulent buffoons, driven by a false sense of community and wealth, are driving us insane? That we are still unable to build a global governance structure post Westphalia and the World Wars, and the emerging humanity submerging in the nexus of disaster and conflict, is a clear indication that we have no game-plan.

From a cry-baby in the largest democracy on earth to the chest thumping racist pig leading the second largest one, and the self-presuming rats running the game of prosperity, we are nowhere.

The market of human emotions is being played by Bretton Woods multilateralism sloganeering, while we, the people of this world, are behaving like innocent chumps and crying hoarse and befooled into Black Fridays of desires and deprivations.

Indebted nations and indebted people are the harbingers of much that will be at play this year. No degrees or CEOs or pretend leaders can save us. Only a collective bargain amongst humans using the technology platforms of social media can bail us out. Will they organize?

Leadership itself must be rethought. We need a collective and inclusive mind with a desire for action. I sense that if we do not take charge the artificial intelligence, we so nurture, may well beat us to it.

Before I close, a thought about Pakistan. Time has come for rebuilding a national consensus through plebiscites and by delinking election of representatives from election of ideas. The problem here and the problem globally is the same. We must take on serious thought and discourse as a building block and let the rat-race die. I know, you will say, dream on! But dreams are the builders of hope and good cheer! Blessings for 2021.

Published by #empowerpakistanbyazd

Amer Zafar Durrani is the President of Reenergia and Paidartwanai. He is an acknowledged development expert and entrepreneur with thirty five years of global experience spanning more than twenty four countries—of which almost 18 years were spent with the World Bank Group. His present work keeps him engaged in Pakistan, China, Somalia, South Sudan, Kenya, Philippines, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan amongst others. He is now based in Pakistan and developing Reenergia as first of its’ kind ‘do-tank’—innovating and delivering solutions for improving lives while making a profit. In parallel, he has set up Paidartwanai Private Limited, an energy supply and consulting company with a mission to develop sustainable provision and consumption of energy through increasingly distributed and renewable energy systems. Amer is also a Senior Fellow at Pakistan Institute of Development Economists. He is also the Industry Co-Chair on the Energy Corporate Advisory Council in National University of Sciences and Technology, and a partner to NJHR, Geopolicity and RIZ Consulting. He continues supporting, through Reenergia, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), International Trade Center (ITC), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank Group, and the United Nations Office for Project Services, amongst many global organizations. In his personal capacity, he has been lecturing at the National Defense College and University (Islamabad), National School of Public Policy and University of Birmingham. He frequently appears as invited special guest in Media (TV and Radio) on issues relating to public policy and is a regularly speaker on various other international and local forums. Amer speaks Urdu, English, Punjabi, and can has working knowledge of Arabic, Russian and Dari-Persian. He is a graduate of the University of Texas, Austin, USA and has trained at the National Defense University, Pakistan and Lahore University of Management Sciences. He can be reached at adurrani@reenergia.com and adurrani@1818aluminwbg.org.

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