Once upon a time there was a dog called Hosni

A Palestinian Arab student and friend of mine says: You can have a pack of dogs led by a lion but you cannot have a dog leading a pride of lions. That is the truth of the Arab world he added: we’re nations of lions being led by dogs. The end of the dog-regimes in the Middle East is nowhere in sight. But the Tunisians and the Egyptians just made a beginning, a beginning that’ll free West Asia of families of curs who live as if the world is without an end.

Their world is without an end—that is for certain, because they live by the sufferings of the masses. They’re backed by arms that the criminal ruling classes and governments of western nations generously supply to third world despots from the “loans” given by the World Bank and the IMF to make sure that their raw material and their markets remain in tact. This is how the world turns on its own axis and revolves around the bitter sun that shines alike on the exploiters and the exploited.

As far as company is concerned Hosni has nothing to worry. The curs and mongrels of the world have always been united. It is their victims who succumb to imaginary divisions and refuse to unite in the face of the onslaught of ideology and repression.

At a more philosophical level we’re dealing with two kinds of dogs: the existential dogs and the essential dogs. I’m not particularly fond of the existential dogs unless they happen to be street dogs for whom I’ve a grudging respect—they’re free. The rest of them are servants of the rich and they need a master—that’s the grievance I bear against existential dogs. But the essential dogs are the Hosni types. The Third World is full of them. In the countries of Asia and Africa dogginess is not just a virtue but a conception of reality and a way of life.

I thought I would begin this piece with a more dramatic line such as: “A specter is haunting the Arab world—the specter of freedom and democracy.” There are no specters in the Third World. Only dogs and more dogs. The government of the dogs and by the dogs but for everyone.

Egypt has done itself good by throwing out a dog called Hosni. What about the military that has backed the dog all along. In what way are they less dogs than Hosni? What about the dogs in the American government trying to call the shots? Dogs generally work on a relative plane but the dogs that inhabit American politics—they function as absolutes. They are absolute dogs.

Pimps and moneylenders are the worst kinds of people on earth, my brother tells me. The pimps are the ruling classes of the Third World who’ll sell their mothers into prostitution if it means power to them. The moneylenders are the business classes and owners of corporations—the brothel-builders who’ll put their mothers for sale if it means profit to them. I refuse to call them dogs any longer. To shame any creature in the animal world by comparing them with the pimps and the moneylenders is an unfair proposition.

The less than bitter truth is that the poor are condemned to live the lives of dogs. The bitter truth is that the order of dogs is the only order that we see across the Third World. The mafias run the show and the masses are brainwashed by the dogs of the media until their brains start bleeding and yet they are so drugged with lies and false hopes that they feel nothing.

With such indignation Blake describes the poverty of the poor in “Holy Thursday.”

Is this a holy thing to see,
In a rich and fruitful land,
Babes reduced to misery,
Fed with cold and usurous hand?
Is that trembling cry a song?
Can it be a song of joy?
And so many children poor?
It is a land of poverty!

And their sun does never shine.
And their fields are bleak & bare.
And their ways are fill’d with thorns.
It is eternal winter there.

If fascism lost the battle in Europe, it’s because the working classes took a stand against it. Countless people died but fascism and the fascists had to make an exit. The defeat of the exploiting classes is imminent. For the present, however, time is on the side of the dogs.

A specter is haunting the third world; the specter of Hosni and the dogs . . .

Prakash Kona is a writer, teacher and researcher who lives in Hyderabad, India. He is currently working as an Associate Professor at the Department of English Literature, The English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad, India.

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