Political Science As Propaganda

It is, however, necessary to utter here a word of caution. Political Science, as defined here, is a Western product It upholds and explains facts and events from the view-points of the Europeans and Americans. “A suspicious reader” writes Alfred de Grazia, an American political scientist, “may perceive in the story of basic ideas (of this science) presented in these pages a bias toward Western political science. Aver roes (Ibn Rushed), the Muslim Aristotelian, are not ranked with Aquinas, the Christian Aristotelian. Ibn Khaldun is not credited with the basic development of the idea of world history over Augustine. Machiavelli, not Kautilya of India, is called die founder of the idea of power politics”.9

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This fact is deplorable, particularly for we us, Pakistanis. No doubt, political thought and philosophy have been, predominantly, Western in origin and developed in the modem age. Though man is, as Aristotle said, a political animal—ZOOM politikon, and is so in all countries of world and in all ages of human history, but the Western man has been more of a political animal than the Eastern both in theory as well as in practice. “Western man has been more vocal, more socially self-conscious, more possessed of glimmerings of the methods and principles of pure science from die beginning”.

In spite of it, the question is: Why have the political science, thought and philosophy been monopolized by the West? Why could not die Eastern peoples, with few exceptions mentioned above, develop this branch of knowledge? There are many reasons: but we shall mention only three.

Firstly, society in the East came to be arrested at certain initial political forms of development in the past, such as monarchical and autocratic, as we shall explain in a later chapter and did not develop further into really popular and democratic forms till very recently and even then under Western inspiration. We, the peoples of the East, have lot of history of kings and conquerors, autocrats and oppressors, but not much of die history of people’s governments or mass movements for democratic forms of government, as it occurred in ancient Greece or in modem Europe. In other Words, the East had been deficient in die past in political sociology, that is, in political activities and social practices.

Naturally, what die people do not do, they do not think of it. Secondly, political ideas evolve in conditions of conflict and confrontation of mind against mind, of thought against thought, and of thinker against thinker. In the East, as contrasted with the philosophic developments in the West, this has never been so, except in a rudimentary fashion at the hands of an Ibn Rushed (Averroes) or an Ibn Khaldun. Their political theories and thought also did not develop further, because they were soon neglected and forgotten. We know about diem only when they were, so to say, discovered by the Western writers. We have no tradition of knowledge of our own going back to these Muslim or Eastern thinkers of die past.

Thirdly, the East, as contrasted with the West, did not distinguish between things religious and non-religious, worldly and non- worldly. Religious mind is, on the whole, a closed mind and, ordinarily, is not inclined to observe facts of life, nature and society. It does not therefore develop scientific attitudes and interests. Hence the Eastern peoples never evolved any political thought or philosophy of their own. Political thought is a delicate plant: it could not grow in die East, because the soil was too infertile for it But new thoughts are emerging here as well, partly because of the hammer-strokes of the Western dominance, and the struggles against it They are, however, too inchoate as yet to become a science.

 

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