More than anything else, the beginning of a new year is a loud reminder about time, ticking away incessantly every moment. There are days when it seems that we are caught in a cruel vicious circle, going round and round like hands in an old-fashioned clock. That’s just an illusion though. Time marches on, not round and round. In 2017, this is bound to become more evident.

Considering that Zardari has returned and Fazlur Rehman is gearing up once again to patch up things between him and Nawaz Sharif, you might disagree. You might point at the broken record of MQM still playing in Karachi and children still dying in Thar, at the dark clouds of greed and slavery that continue to hang over our heartless power-elite and the sordid games they and their children play.

You might point at the never-ending imperial quest for plunder and absolute power ravaging our globe. You might say: The more things change, the more they stay the same. And you won’t be entirely wrong in saying that. But you won’t be entirely correct either. For the times they are definitely a-changing; more so now than ever before.

Consider this: President Erdogan of NATO-member Turkey finally mustered the courage to say that the US-led coalition is supporting Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syria. Meanwhile, a China-Russia-Pakistan huddle was convened in Moscow the day he told the world what he has actually known for years. The third round of this trilateral consultation on Afghanistan identified the increasing activities of Daesh as their foremost concern in the country. Add US occupation of Afghanistan to the picture, and you need not connect any dots. Things are changing and they are changing fast.

It is not only about geo-politics, though that is perhaps the most visible indicator of the massive change that is sweeping our planet. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that humankind is crossing the threshold of a new awakening as we speak. It has been astir for some time. And now, when the tectonic plates of geo-politics are visibly shifting, and the falsehood and tyranny of the oh-so-civilised world has been effectively challenged, this new consciousness is finding the room to breathe and bloom.

As I said, this is not only about how the China-Russia nexus is leading the liberation of our world from the clutches of the US-led empire, how country after country is joining their win-win club and coming round to stating the truth about the emperor being not only naked but also heartless, soulless and barbarically violent. This is a paradigm-shift. It could open up the possibility of looking at our world with new eyes, of embracing the new consciousness that has been knocking at our door. It could open up the possibility of real change.

In my opinion, the impact of this China-Russia axis of resistance against the hegemony of the predatory US cabal and all that it stands for will go much further than providing the foundations for a new multipolar world order. It will provide oxygen to a post-imperial post-material consciousness, a consciousness that builds upon new ways to relate to each other and the wondrous world we share. After all, there is more to humankind than greed and cunning.

The new consciousness has been astir for some time, surfacing in seemingly disconnected fragments in distant parts of the globe; from farmers and scientists rejecting GMOs to parents and doctors trying to save children from the hyper-active vaccination industry; from blue and white-collared workers rising up against austerity and other instruments of neo-liberal exploitation in Spain and Greece to the popularity of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn in the US and UK, from Julian Assange and Edward Snowden to the revival of organic food and traditional medicine. The list is too long to document here.

These are not disconnected fragments. They all call out different lies of the empire, lies steeped in pseudo-science and selective morality. They all point at the human will that refuses to allow truth to become subservient to powerful moneyed interests and their insatiable greed for more and more profit. The emergent multipolar world order would help bring these fragments of the new consciousness together.

I know there are days when it seems that the unjust order is here to stay like a permanent backdrop to the sordid musical-chairs that the privileged power-elites and their prodigies play, in Pakistan and most other countries of the world; that the reign of tyranny is never-ending. Sometimes it seems that it is only the faces of tyrants and their victims that change, that too when they do.

Sometimes it seems that humankind will never learn to live in harmony; that we are going round in a vicious circle of injustice, waxing and waning in different corners of the globe at different times, rather than marching on to cross successive frontiers of human progress. There are days when, despite victories and defeats, the global order of things seems unchanging. After all, what good is peace and justice if it doesn’t extend beyond some door? As Martin Luther King Jr said: Justice is indivisible. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

For after all, at the end of the day, does it really matter where the child who is dying of hunger comes from, whether he is dying in Yemen due to war or dying in Thar due to corruption? Sometimes it seems that even if the war against the poor people of Yemen ends, a new war against another nation would start in its place. That one set of corrupt elites would be replaced by another set of corrupt elite. As if the world would keep spinning round and round.

Don’t trust your judgment on such days. As they say permanence is only an illusion. Trust me, nothing stays the same. The time is always ticking, changing everything it touches. These days, when the tectonic plates of geopolitics are shifting, it is ticking faster than ever before. You’ll see that in the coming days.


n             The writer is a freelance columnist.