Digital World and New Politics

In a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power. Humans think in stories rather than in facts, numbers or equations. Simpler the story, better it is. Big data algorithms have already created digital dictatorship in which proprietors of digital platforms rule the world. Digital world has empowered the common man immensely. Political leaders who can create narrative through digital platforms can rule the empowered common man. But this supremacy of ruler will remain a temporary phase because bigger narrative and better algorithms will replace the old one. This quick change of narrative will further create chaos for societies. We can say that digital development is not in consonance with political and social realities.

Human mind understand simple stories. If you can create a better story, you can control the human mind. The Human mind gets disrupted by complex net of information. The sense of disorientation and impending doom is exacerbated by the accelerating pace of technological disruption. The liberal political system has been shaped during the industrial era to manage a world of steam engines, oil refineries and television sets. It finds it difficult to deal with the ongoing revolutions in information technology and biotechnology.

Revolution in information technology has confronted human with biggest challenge ever in the form of political and social upheaval like we face in Pakistan. The opportunity for critical thinking about democracy or liberalism has been hijacked by by few political players, whose sole purpose is to discredit existing political leadership and gain power. While followers of this digital political thinking engage in political debates but have almost no tolerance of any criticism directed at them.

Our already weak, so called democratic system, is now struggling to understand what hit it as it was  hardly equipped to deal with this scenario. The orthodox political slogans like “Roti Kapra or Makan” have been overtaken by digital hashtags #ImportedHakumatNamanzoor, #VoteKoIzzatDo. These hashtags are like football matches. More the tweets, higher the hashtag. These hashtag are measure of the strength of a political party. It is productive to enhance image of the political leader is questionable but It definitely bring social media teams of opponents under pressure. Then there are teams of trolls who take care of opponents with abusive language or whatever is available to them in digital form.

Recent unrest in society is continuing for about last one year or so. Masses fear the coming back of old regime will haunt them and are in a hurry to embrace new grained power gained through digital techniques, irrespective of its consequences. They are unable to understand that yet there is no alternative to political system which is foremost requirement to govern the country and similarly only armed soldiers and professional army can save you from enemies of the state.  Probably youth and their handlers of digital narratives are not aware of the consequence to weaken and demoralize their own  Army.

Pakistan’s military is a central player in many of today’s most pressing security challenges.  Few institutions face such extreme and diverse pressures. In recent years the Pakistan Army has been asked to simultaneously combat terrorism, internal unrest and fight a much bigger rival on its eastern borders. Moreover, it all is happening in an area which is one of the most strategically complex regions in the world.

Pakistan’s armed forces are instrumental in country’s external and internal affairs primarily due to strategic location of the country and its organizational abilities to overcome natural and man- made disasters. War on terror is still continuing. Despite its importance and best deliverance, Pakistan’s Army remains under criticism in its media. In the past media was critical of security forces, primarily to increase viewership. Now few politicians have also joined the bandwagon for their political agendas. Digital platforms are being used for uncalled for criticism and some foreign elements have also joined this bandwagon. This practice is detrimental to national security and have its repercussion. While social media activists must refrain, Army itself need to open up to make public aware of prevailing threat to the state   and the efforts being put in by officers and men in uniform and sacrifices being rendered by them. Masses need to understand the value of state and its defenders. Only a sovereign state can provide its people the fearless life and sovereignty is only achieved through strong economy and strong military.  There is no such thing auto-safety in the global affairs particularly when your western neighbor is Afghanistan and India is neighboring  your eastern border. Every inch of 881913 sq Kilometer of Pakistan is being defended by valiant soldiers of Army. Army leadership due credit for defending the motherland at all fronts irrespective of social media gimmicks and political rhetoric.

Pakistan follows the  political practice in which a number of families monopolise most of a country’s wealth and power, and then use their control of the media to hide their activities and cement their rule. Through its monopoly over the media, the ruling elite can repeatedly blame all its failures on others, and divert attention to petty issues instead of real issues. When you live under such an artificial environment, there is always some crisis or other that takes priority over boring stuff such as job opportunities, inflation, education, healthcare, water and food security etc. By manufacturing a never-ending stream of crises,  corrupt elite can do wonders to gain powers.

We are passing through pessimist moment of disillusionment and anger, after people have lost faith in the old stories but It is more critical and dangerous to take an unknown path which leads no where but towards destruction.

Technological challenges are unprecedented, and though the political disagreements are intense, we can rise to the occasion if we keep our fears under control and are a bit more humble about our views.

liberalism, nationalism, Islam or some other novel creed, who so ever, wishes to shape the world of the year 2050, it will need not only to make sense of digital world, big data algorithms and bioengineering  but will also need to incorporate them into a new meaningful narratives. Meaningful narrative is the solution for humanity which states will require to generate through political entities.


Written by Dr Atique Ur Rehman. Writer can be reached through his email

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