Faith, Desire and Power

Faith, desire and politics intermingle and produce a dangerous cocktail that assaults our democracy today. The merger of the above sacred three forces in our society animate power, understanding and knowledge . The intertwining of faith and desire is the life blood of the right wing politics. At a time, when elections are coming round the corner, it is important to discern how desire generates a politics of faith in our country. This is why it is important to understand the complex dynamics that plays out so as to understand how we mindlessly surrender to a politics of hate which is nothing but a blueprints to our collective doom.

We can trace a desire for power and the power of desire at work in our society. This complex drama of desire and power produces and maintains the neo-liberal economy that simply transfers the wealth of our nation to the powerful elite while we are kept busy fighting Mandir and Masjid issues . It is these cultural wars grounded in identity that feed the neo-liberal economy. Thus, our desire is manipulated to corrupt our faith.

We begin to think that our interest is the interest of the corporate. Thus, while we are told in several ways that we are not good enough to belong to the future and that we have change to enact a golden past in the future, our present become strive ridden as we have conflicts with people, laws, monuments that are represented as obstacle to the coming of the glorious past in the imminent future.
This framing of the future in the image and likeness of a supposed era of fullness in the past renders us unfit in the present, unless we chase a desire to become the envisioned future in the living present. This means that we are then led to prove that we are good enough by living in a future promised by the market forces. This logic is fundamental and plays into our insecurities and enslaves us to the market forces as we become what we have.

This false identification of what we are with what we have is further milked to convince us that we have lost something precious in the past. This sets in what is termed as loss recovery dynamism. The present then becomes a means on the back of which the golden past will arrive in the future. We can view such a logic at the heart of the cry for a Hindu Rastra. This cry is also an echo of the market that tells all of us that we are not good enough the way we are. Thus, a Hindu is not good enough as a hindu but has to become a sanskari Hindu and same is true of every other person. This is how market forces manipulate our desire and corrupt our faith. Thus, to prove ones selves as a sanskari Hindu, for instance, one is led to hate or kill a Muslim. Thus, violence becomes religiously acceptable and viewed as moral and spiritual war.

The logic of neo-liberalism becomes the logic of politics. This is why issues that are based on lack reinforce division and hate in our society. This has led to politics of loyalty and betrayal that has strangulated all dissent as well as dissidents in our country. It has almost become the order of the day to call the minorities as not Indian enough. Media has also become the servant of the market barons and as a result has become propaganda tool of the market forces that are controlling the politics in our country. In this context, it might be good to understand how our desire has become the central principle that moves us in the direction that may be construed as perversion of faith to blind us to the lila/play of the market.

The crony politics of today has become the maid servant of the market forces and plays the politics of religion to hide the transfer of jan dhan or the wealth of the people or the nation into the hands of a few while the people are fed on the opium of religion. Lacanian psychoanalysis might illumine us to understand the plight of new India . It brings desire, object petit a and jouissance as an organising axis. This three inter-webbed notions may assist us to understand how an intoxicating opium or drug-like pleasure which he calls jouissance animates the new self of sankari Indians whose desire is triggered or produced by object petit a (lack or precious object that is felt as absent or lost). The self that is nurtured by the market is always lacking self and consequently the self that is produced by the politics is also a lacking self that is viewing lack or absences in everything except plenum in a golden past. Thus, the lacking self enacts the present as a recovery of the golden past.

A therapeutic awareness might assist us to break the cycle of desire that is on wild search of lost past. Although, object petit a is a fantasy, it being linked to the jouissance or libido, it becomes one’s enjoyment and therefore, one cannot easily detach oneself from it. The new India that is being promoted by our P M Modi is one in which the self in entangled to desire that perverts our faith and we succumb to a politics and economics that takes the jan dhan and hands it to the powerful elite. To arrest this takeover of our wealth of nation, we will have to accept ourselves as not lacking selves. It would be important to refuse take the subject position that tell us that we are not Good enough.

We have to declare the death of the death of the lacking self. To do this we have to enlighten ourselves on the distinction between being and having and understand that our being is not having. This profound understanding of the relationship between being and having and might assist us to resist the logic of the market and politics of our day. Otherwise the hope that ignited in us, by a market driven politics will not just ruin our faith but will operate like a light that we see at the end of dark tunnel as hope but which is actually the headlight of an engine that is coming to crush us. This means our faith and hope can be crippled by the market. This is why we cannot allow our love for each other grow cold. It is only the unconditional love for each other that can purify our contaminated faith and hope from the strangled hold of the market driven politics.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao