Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Of Kleptolords and Kleptocratism

It’s Kleptolords, stupid. Or, to be more precise, the bumbling kleptocratism that kleptocracy engenders and the kleptolords who hold sway over palm and pine, as it were. This sums up the exceptional mess wrought upon by CWG that today is so gallantly, yet retributively, expanded to Corrupt Wealth Games. The newly endowed eponym says it all.

Enough has been hyperventilated about the shenanigans in the CWG to need any more elaboration. It is important though that we understand the root of this malaise and not its mere symptoms. Which is why I’ll confine myself here to the philosophy of this practice — kleptocratism — and its passionate practitioners — kleptolords — who extract the most mileage from such given opportunities.

First kleptocratism. Put simply, it is kleptocrat’s ‘ism’. Interestingly, despite its omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, and despite its limitless practitioners, this is the only philosophy in the annals of humanity that its followers, admirers, and converts are wary of writing about. Consequently, the rich tapestry of this multi-hued, will-o’-the-wisp construct has remained largely, if not entirely, unexplored.

Unlike sibling nihilism or anarchism, strangely kleptocratism does not believe in chaos and anarchy. It flourishes best in an orderly state where the State and its various organs take care of law and order so that the Hobbesian state of nature with solitary existence, incessant duelling, nasty guerilla warfare and brute mannerisms are not for it to worry about. It has one dominant and defining theme that it promotes and espouses: to pillage the State exchequer noiselessly at every conceivable turn so that the practitioners’ future generations are taken care of in its pre-and-proto-embryonic state.

End, not means, is the basis of a kleptocratic outfit. This bedrock of acquisitive, possessive individualism embraces the ardent practitioners of the same craft. Kleptocrats hunt in packs — pillaging. Much the way group dynamics contribute to its synergy, the merger and acquisition of various groups likewise contribute to a transcendent synergy. It is an ethereal sight when the Johnny-come-latelies hug the upstarts and mesh with the parvenu and the resultant sanskritisation is a sight to behold. The field surprisingly is free of acrimony: no fight over the proverbial bones; no turf battle; instead a vivid peace hangs thick over the pie-dogs.

Kleptology has its own immutable logic and inexorable raison d’etre. It is more a science than an art form even in its philosophical foundation. So attractive is the philosophy of kleptocracy today and so immune is it to the reach of the precarious State apparatus that the followers are legion. It appeals greatly to the till-now-deprived who have suddenly found a perch to voice their own aspirations in a hierarchical society that despite modernism still values the feudal order of things. The easy way out for an upward social mobility in a stratified society through riches and power/pelf serves as the opiate for the masses. The dispossessed is ready to undo the historic wrong perpetrated on generations of his forbears. The clock has come full circle.

Though proletarian in spirit, kleptocratism stops here unlike the Marxian model, and wishes the State to stay for perpetuity. Presently it does an encore and the kleptolords — the smoothest and most selfless of all lords — take charge. This is the gentlest brand of overlordism known to humanity.

Kleptolords are a vastly understanding lot, very understanding of fellow klepto-humans. So empathetic are they of their klepto-denizens and their myriad problems that they move heaven and earth to resolve and garnish them so that others — the prying, despicable moral kind — are shushed. The instinct is tribal what with their hunting in well-oiled clusters and the entire parody of desecration sculpted in a commune way and living. The symbiosis of existence has all the crest of symphony only occasionally punctured by the trough of cacophony — of that microscopic minority that pretends uprightness and fair-play.

The kleptolord knows that he can best flourish in a group, excellently networked, so that the phalanx move is seamless and works with clockwork precision. Celerity is the kleptocry, and loyalty to the ranks is the heart of the matter. So socialistic are the networks and so strong its foundations that there is no discrimination on the basis of the pecking order, sex, caste and rank. The commune-thinking treats every heaven-born member in the same manner.

Now, do you see a pattern emerging in all the goings-on of the CWG? Whether it is the post of chairman or vice-chairman of the Organising Committee or the various procurements made or unmade by hand-picked personnel or the tribal instinct of mutual back-scratching in awarding various contracts, the entire edifice is based on the philosophy of kleptocratism and lorded over by a kleptolord, who, with rich past experience, knows in his bones, no harm and nothing untoward can come his way.

If you still harbour the idea and delude yourself with the thought that the various oversees — group of bureaucrats (GOB) or group of ministers (GOM) — would stop the carnage, throw such outlandish wishes out the window. No sooner the game ends and the dust of success that’s going to be inevitably tom-tommed settles down, other scams and scandals would inexorably fight for space to take centre stage, pushing CWG out of the public gaze and thereby consigning it to the ever-growing dung-heap of scandals. We live in Hamara Bharat Mahaan, don’t we? Indeed, we proudly do.


  1. Am of the view that there is no 'Control-Alt-Delete' for kleptolords in our 'System'. Hence, they are flourishing in a State of controlled chaos.Now we are hearing 'valued corruption'. Forget layman, the cynical attitude of those in the 'Comfort zone', towards kleptocratism is highly deplorable.Its a paradox, that those who having the 'magic wand' are using it like a hollow stick.

    Well framed article.

  2. My dear Sir

    I am yet to come across a tribe which is so socialistic and systematic. One wishes this tribe all success in all its endeavours.

    Long live democracy and its most favoured constituents.