Saturday, April 02, 2005

Planet Xob

Planet Xob isn't a good place to live in.

Goods that normal Xob people use such as clothes and televisions and even manufacturing equipment comprise only a fraction of the Gross International Xob Product. A sizable chunk of it is a redundancy, viz. weapons - usually manufactured only by certain technologically developed nations. Weapons that everyone tries not to use, but needs to possess for national security; but weapons that can kill all the same. A significant chunk of the Xob's resources are trapped in these weapons. Resources that could help eradicate poverty are spent in making atomic bombs; resources that could be used to predict tsunamis are used to build battle tanks.

The people who actually rule planet Xob are not politicians. Politicians are people who draw attention away from power - like Zaphod Beeblebrox. Politicians are puppets. The actual rulers are a set of corporations trying to maximize their profits. They are instrumental in trapping Xob's resources in redundant weapons. They also control a large section of the media. They have their branches in almost all the nations that constitute Xob. They parade around under the name 'MNC's.

Demand for weapons is kept alive by orchestrated disputes, also called wars in local Xob lingo. Having installed power hungry egomaniacs (using a procedure called electoral funding) as leaders of all nations ( democratic* and totalitarian), large corporations see to it that these states are at war with each other almost perpetually. However, though quite rare, things are known to go wrong for corporates every now and then: the leaders actually start making peaceful overtures toward each other! Xob corporates have a remedy for this irksome scenario: civil war. Fund some guerrillas with some specious cause. Human (also the intelligent life form on Xob) greed will see to it that fighting goes on. This policy has been known to be extremely successful - especially in an AIDS ravaged equatorial continent.

Once a nation finds a dispute within itself, international opinion is influenced by stories on the mainstream press. Since almost all mainstream media is owned by the same corporations that manufacture weapons a bias is introduced into the news - in a manner subtle enough to fool the masses. The Media executives do learn a lot a finesse at Business School.

Weapons are manufactured by the prosperous nations. Lots of jobs hinge on the purchase of these weapons by poorer nations. There have been many instances when the poorer nations decide not to procure these weapons - perhaps due to a sudden bout of pacifism. Then the rich countries try the age old trick of pampering the competition of the poor nation by selling them some new weapons. Competitive pressure - temporary good relations with the competing nation notwithstanding - requires that similar weapons be procured by the poor nation - either from the rich nation in question or any other rich nation. These acquisitions help drag the rich nations out of a recession. Thus, the poor man pays the rich man's debt.

The rich nations, however, outsouce simpler non sensitive work to the poorer nations. When the poorer nations start getting a little money from these jobs, a backlash in the rich land restricts the number of jobs that change hands.

Doesn't Xob seem a particularly depressing and dishonest planet? Thank god I don't live on Xob. After all, Planet Earth is a much better place than Xob.

* As per the folklore of certain parts of Planet Xob, Democracy is the from of government in which people write the name of their preferred candidate on a piece of paper and drop it in a box. Then the box is misplaced - and a random number generator (developed by of the corporates mentioned earlier) is used to determine the winner.

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