By Vivek Pattanayak in Bhubaneswar, July n17, 2023: The media coverage, mostly in the West, dominates news about the war in Ukraine, not that there are no hostilities elsewhere in the world.

For long Yemen was scene of hostilities based on Sunni -Shiite sectarian conflict followed by invasion from a powerful oil rich Arab Islamic country, a long-time ally of USA. The year long so-called “military operation” by Russia against Ukraine is nothing but internecine war between the two Slavic nations, once a part of the same country known as Soviet Union or USSR ,the super-power during now forgotten Cold War .

For years military conflicts have continued in Somalia, a country broken up into several warring entities, described in political science as a perfect example of a failed State. Libya after brutal end to Gaddafi and his regime, thanks to the military interventions of US, UK, and France, is in a chaotic state with erstwhile military generals as war lords have caused indescribable misery to civil population causing migrations crossing the Mediterranean Sea in the overloaded boats which capsize frequently.

In the name of promoting “Arab spring” the Western countries tried to destabilize the Assad led Syria which spawned civil war based on sectarian consideration which involved Iran, Turkey, USA, and Russia. How pleasant Spring can become hot Summer, it is a copy book example. How big power intervention can be the cause of needless human suffering.

This bloodshed had been preceded by unjustified invasion by USA and UK on Iraq to remove Saddam under false charge of possession of weapons of mass destruction which paved the way for a monstrous regime called ISIS occupying a part of Iraq and Syria.

The latest fratricidal conflict in Sudan after years of civil war ultimately leading to the creation of South Sudan after atrocities in Darfur by militant Arab Janjaweed shows there is no respite from armed conflict in the region.

After years of depredation by Boko Haram on women and girls in Nigeria, even a strong ex-military General as democratically elected President has not been able to extirpate this vicious group and its ideology . Al Sabah has done similar heinous crimes in Kenya and also in lawless Somalia.

Ethiopia even after secession of Eritrea has not freed itself from internal military conflict on ethnic and language considerations. Afghanistan during two decades of US led NATO occupation witnessed continuous war with heavy casualties on both sides including civilians. Peace settlement which brought back Taliban to power has given disastrous life to women, and minorities after a chaotic withdrawal of occupied forces.

In the Indian sub-continent State sponsored cross border terrorism under active and deliberate support of India’s neighbour Pakistan once a part of larger India has made the life of innocent Kashmiris, whether they are Muslims or Hindus, miserable for more than two decades in addition to barbarous terrorism unleashed on Mumbai, and other attacks elsewhere notwithstanding the most befitting response of surgical strike and Balakote aerial action . Militancy among Maoists have remained untamed for years. Manipur demonstrates unsettling civil society.

In Myanmar, military coup has destabilized the life of innocent civilians compounded by displacement of Rohingyas who have become stateless.

Sri Lanka after years of bloody conflict experienced a nerve wrecking terrorist attack. Nepal after a long period of Maoist insurrection after abolition of monarchy following the royal carnage is yet to settle down as a stable polity.

In much acclaimed oldest constitutional democracy, the “Blackman life matters” agitation exposed how fractious the society is. Soon after that the world saw on live TV an attempt made to wreck democracy by the defeated President by encouraging the lawless crowd to attack the Capitol Hill, the seat of Congress, its symbol of democracy. Similar attempt was made by another defeated President in Brazil. France is now experiencing massive agitation exposing the fault line in the social fabric.

Britain’s exit from EU causing visible economic decline was occasioned by the British nationalism which has now degenerated to the level of English nationalism after repeated call for Scottish national independence. The Ultra nationalism is sweeping Europe known in the post- War era as a liberal and tolerant society accommodating people of different regions, races, languages and cultures, whether they came from erstwhile colonies or disturbed areas as refugees .Immigrants across the continental Europe are in the midst of uncertain future.

The portrayal given above is just proverbial tip of iceberg of global descent to dystopia.

Nations are governed by many institutions with politicians sitting in the driving seat. No wonder political class is losing the confidence of people. In the past charismatic leadership of ideology driven parties promoting Fascism, Nazism and Communism were attracting people for certain period. Such systems then yielded place to democratically elected governments after decline of liberal society, military adventurism and religious persecution under Mussolini under Fascism, Hitler under Nazism and Stalin under Communism.

Such new democracies in turn get interrupted by coups led by military ostensibly due to political ambition of generals, colonels and majors and captains although coup is justified to remove corruption and bring in efficiency.

It is common knowledge that military establishments are cornucopia of corruption as one sees in Pakistan over more than half a century. Coups are rejected by common consent across the world. Constitutional democracies are preferred but there is new trend of political parties seeking terms after terms with growing nexus between business and parties even one charismatic individual leader not willing to cede power manipulating elections through illegal funding .

Power tends to corrupt, they say. Usually, it affects governing institutions but when political and commercial power combine it is a pernicious cocktail as it tends to promote ersatz capitalism known as crony capitalism and political oligarchy. Its tentacles grow affecting bureaucracy and military. No institution is free from this malady including judiciary and fourth estate. It is beginning of degradation of the moral fabric of society. Kakistocracy becomes epitome of governance.

Not that this form was unknown in the past, but it was confined to limited areas and territories. The world today is globalized needing collective action to common danger of global warming and environmental degradation. Will world engulfed by kakistocracy, fast declining to global dystopia be able to meet this challenge.

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