Bees make honey, but it is easier said than done. They have to fly 55,000 miles and visit roughly 2 million flowers to produce a pound of honey. One bee colony produces 60 to 100 pounds of honey in a year. An individual bee's contribution is only 1/12 teaspoonful in its lifetime.
These correlations between flowers and bees hit home after the 136th IPU Assembly concluded in Dhaka on April 5. Fifteen hundred guests from 131 countries met for five days. What they eventually produced is an ounce of wisdom that inequality is the mother of all evils. They also concluded that politics must be saved from the clutches of money and organized lobbies.
It echoed the famous fable about a group of mice, who had once gathered to discuss how to deal with a marauding cat. The mice decided that a bell would be placed around the cat's neck, so that they knew when it approached them. When one mouse asked who would volunteer to place the bell on the cat, others made excuses.
In 2015, the president of Bangladesh resented that politics had gone into the pockets of businessmen. That year, the chief justice of the country more specifically claimed that 80 percent of the lawmakers were businessmen. Many more views of many more people shall confirm that money in politics is a serious problem.
But that foregone conclusion does not solve anything. Yes, the problem has been identified, and ironically so in a country, which must be one of the world's most fertile grounds for money-based and debased politics. Money reigns like a monster in our life, and everything about us has money as its bottom line. So, how is anybody going to save politics from money? This question is particularly relevant for parliaments of the world, which are creaking under the oppressive burden of money.
Politics is now so mixed up with business that underlying currents connecting both are indistinguishable. It is almost impossible to win party nominations or elections without money. It is absolutely impossible to win business deals without political connections. What has happened is a sordid synergy between the politicians and businessmen, with moneymaking being their primary and common goal. So, politics is packaged like a business deal, and business is campaigned with political zeal. Who can separate them when these birds of same feather have so doggedly decided to flock together?
This does not rule out the possibility that there are some sincere politicians and businessmen amongst us. But each of them is like that lonely bee whose singular contribution does not count much. Money and power have so badly contaminated each other that what is needed is an exchange transfusion. The procedure involves slowly removing a person's blood and replacing it with fresh donor blood or plasma.
Viral infections are hard to treat because viruses live inside a body's cells. A similar challenge persists between money and politics. Those who are powerful are moneyed, and those who are moneyed are powerful. Both are relentlessly perpetuating the self-serving vicious circle lodged between them.
The might of money in its cataclysmic impact has undermined the concept of dignity. Its purchasing power has turned our minds into commodities, evermore ready to be transacted for a price than accepted for potentials. Money has infused us with the spirit of the world's oldest profession. Payment not pride motivates us; nothing more, nothing less.
Power is now a function of money, and money is a function of power. The rest of us are squeezed between them like hopeless slaves, happily licking their chains for taste of freedom. The prophets of false hope know and beware that honey is toxic in boiling water!