By Muhammad Ali Baig
John Mearsheimer, a renowned American political scientist asserted that ‘in the anarchic world of international politics, it is better to be Godzilla than bambi’. His argument rather seems to be realistic than to be a dogma since it has its roots in human nature. Mearsheimer advocated the concept of maximization of power – Offensive Realism – for states to enhance their chances of survival in the international anarchic system in his book ‘The Tragedy of Great Power Politics’ (2001). The same concept that he envisaged for states can be replicated by individuals and group of individuals on certain levels.
Why certain people behave like a bheegi billi when they fail to dominate and try to alienate and isolate others in the class and at workplace? Why actually do these people fail, apart from having an infallible and well articulated conspiracy? Do they fall short of tactics or the entire strategy seems flawed? Why do these people resort to misinformation, disinformation and propaganda to malign others? Are they mala-fide or bona-fide in their intentions? Why people prefer to remain in groups instead of having a solo flight? Are these people being coward, jealous or invidious? These assumptions or perhaps pinching questions are based upon many daily life occurrences in our society and people from different walks of life are being victims of this phenomenon in many ways and different capacities.
It is an established premise in the Classical Realist school of thought of the Realist tradition that human nature is entirely selfish and constantly pursuing power and prestige at the expense of others. But contrary to this assertion the Liberal school of thought advocates opposite arguments in favour of the positive human nature and declares the circumstances and society responsible positively or negatively to which the human beings remain subjected in the first place. The debate between Realism and Liberalism is intense yet both schools of thought acknowledge that human beings can act and perform in rather mysterious and different ways.
Whatever the factors might be responsible for human beings to behave in a certain manner; one reserves the right to analyze them and their actions from a particular view point. The dominant attribute of human beings is their diversity and variety not only in their facial and ethno-linguistic features but also in their personality, cognition and behaviour. There exists individuals who first try and dominate while exploiting the vulnerabilities of others. The ‘wanna-be’ individuals in the first wave of their conspiracy try and engage everyone and wish to establish hegemony over all. Many people conceivably due to their innocence and them being naive – fall prey to the ‘wanna-be’ dominant individuals. Those who wish to maintain a separate identity with honour and respect are being painted bad due to the use of propaganda. The ‘wanna-be’ win in this phase since they solely rely on tactics including misinformation and preaching hatred regarding certain people most probably their own colleagues but they cannot sustain their tactical level gains. In the second wave the ‘wanna-be’ face fierce resistance as a backlash and the fog engulfs the perceptions of almost everyone. The third wave acts as a wave of transformation and people begin to realize the evil ambitions of ‘wanna-be’ individuals. This wave unveils the true face of ‘wanna-be’ individuals and determines their personality. In the fourth and last wave the dust settles and the reality becomes evident before the eyes of everyone.
Ultimately after a humiliating defeat, the ‘wanna-be’ begin to play the victim card and behave like a bheegi billi to gather the support and sympathy of everyone. The ultimate fate of ‘wanna-be’ dominant individuals is isolation not in their professional lives but eventually they face segregation in their personal lives as well. Without the slightest hesitation it can be deduced that ‘wanna-be’ is a sickness – primarily caused by weaknesses in character and lack of bravery.
There is no doubt that while being at a common workplace or class, honourable people just cannot remain unaware of the shock-waves of certain actions orchestrated by certain ‘wanna-be’ individuals – since those actually reach everyone indiscriminately. While keeping in view Mearsheimer’s assertion, it is safe to assume that being a ‘Godzilla is far more better than to be a bambi’ not only in the international system but the same principle can be applied to societal and sub-societal levels. Under this framework, it can be argued that it is not bad at all for honourable people to behave like a bully since not only it maximizes their chances of survival but it also creates a certain level of deterrence that ultimately prevents people like bheegi billi to emerge and sabotage peace and cooperation among many people.