The Molecular/Atomic Analogy of Democracy
Indian philosophers of yore had christened the universe the Cosmic Egg—Brahmāņđa. By extending the analogy we may say that its yolk represents the elite elements of mankind and the albuminous white the lesser mortals. Democracy too is like an egg—albeit horse’s egg: aśvāņđa. Early Indo-Europeans, known to have domesticated the horse in its natural habitat—the grasslands of Central Asia—were inordinately proud of the fact. At least the Aryans who came to India and composed the truly magnificient Ŗgveda hymns and had left an indelible mark on the languages we speak, if not so much on our genetic make up, show it time and again: Aśva (cognate with English ‘horse’, just as pitŗ-matŗ-bhrātŗ-duhitŗ-vidhavā are cognate with ‘father’-‘mother’-‘brother’-‘daughter’-‘widow’), the Aśvinīkumāras (same as the Greek ‘Gemini’—the twins, Castor and Pollux—the constellation), Aśvatthāmā (the Mahābhārata hero and his contemporaneous namesake: an unfortunate elephant that got killed), aśvattha (where horses are tethered: the peepul tree), Yuvanāśva (the childless Mahābhārata king who got accidentally pregnant himself!)… The list can be extended almost at will.
That is exactly what politicians do: repeat a slogan (horseshit) or related mottos (aśvāņđa, horse’s egg) over and over again.
The early molecular/atomic theory of matter stated that the smallest, indivisible constituent of a given matter was its molecule/atom. In the last hundred years or so atoms were shown to have even smaller particles like neutrons, protons and electons/positrons. The corpuscular theory of light postulates that light is made up of particulate photons. The fundamental particles do not seem to end there; faster-than-light tachyon had been making the news in our student days and, more recently, the elusive god particle. The overview of the molecular/atomic theory of matter and its extension is that there is a long chain of fundamental particles in the world of matter and energy.
The molecular/atomic analogy, extended to democracy, recognises smaller political entities subservient to the nation but the resemblance stops there. The general rules are
- that there should not be any inner party democracy,
- do not try to stop factionalism, for it is akin to fission, and helps the role players in aśvavyābasāya, horse-trading,
- do all that can be done to let entropy (chaos and confusion, in layman’s parlance) increase with the passage of time.