Little attention is paid to the disconnect and degeneration that infests all sectors of society and polity – the dictatorship of the super rich. Even elements of the Establishment grovel on bended knee, eager to refill the hookah of the affluent. “Affluenza” is all over.

It was refreshing to learn of two sisters in Jhelum withdrawing all their money from the bank and then burning all of it in the bazaar, as a protest gesture against family feuds over property matters. How many have been usurped and disinherited by conniving kith and kin?

In Washington, there was a heavily-attended premiere of a noteworthy documentary, “These Birds Walk,” on humanitarian Abdul Sattar Edhi. It focuses on the Edhi Village center for runaway and abandoned boys. In strife-ridden Karachi, it is an oasis of solace. Edhi’s devotion to the sufferings of the neglected is an implicit rebuke and unspoken attack on a society that turns its back on the truly needy. Goodness flourishes in Pakistan despite uphill odds.

Under the hijab of showy piety, there is idolatry. This prostration before the rich is at the core of national weakness. Rule of the rich, in effect, ensures that those with neither the will nor skill to run the country have been given the tools to ruin it.

There is constant bitchery now about dictatorship. But the real tyranny is being overlooked – the tyranny of money.

It is a prevalent cultural malaise that is under-discussed and under-reported. With sectors of the media now awash with money, there is little incentive to put a spotlight on it. If it were put, it would not be hard to figure out how the public agenda is being manipulated for private gain. When children of the ruling cliques are being positioned for power, the proper term for it is monarchy under the façade of democracy. A tiny elite has been able to capitalize upon a weak ethical culture to rig the system in its favor.

Is this phenomenon restricted to a certain region? It is not. The infection has spread worldwide. In its report, “Working for the Few,” the British development charity, Oxfam, has concluded that the world’s richest 85 individuals own as much wealth as the world’s poorest 3.5 billion people. This mind-boggling disparity makes a mockery of notions of fairness and socio-economic equilibrium.

Is this lopsided monopoly sustainable when the excluded – newly angered and awakened – are pounding at the gates? The UN continues to shut its doors to a Muslim nation with veto authority on the UN Security Council. The European Union unconscionably doesn’t let Turkey in for the simple reason that Turkey is Muslim. And Russia continues to go on with the Winter Olympics in the historically Muslim city of Sochi, with the wealthy participating nations indifferent to the humanitarian calamity that befell Circassia, Chechnya, and Dagestan.

The posture of the global elite is a signpost to an accelerating pathway to a crumbling status quo. If left unattended, this bubble is bound to burst.

14 centuries ago, Hazrat Ali had warned: “An un-Islamic government may last a while, but tyranny cannot endure.”

The writer is an attorney-at-law and policy analyst based in Washington DC. He is the first Pakistani American member admitted to the  US Supreme Court Bar.

Email:mowahid@aol.com