“When a nation is in confusion and disorder”, Laing says, “patriots are recognized” and when a nation is heading to an economic meltdown, the spirits and spirituality are called into action.

“Men make their own history”, Marx suggests. “And just as they seem to be occupied with revolutionizing themselves and things, creating something that did not exist before, precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service. Borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honoured disguise and borrowed language”.

Pakistani ruling elite finding itself in the economic quagmire with its inability and stubbornness to understand the demands of historical objective conditions has opted to recall the specters of history to fulfill what cannot be fulfilled by old hackneyed methods. However, conjuring up these specters does not mean the wheel of history can be glided backward; on the contrary, the historical cadavers are revived to perform the functions necessitated by the historical conditions.

The threatened ruling class can be desperate and furious, but it is not naïve. It is all too familiar with the tactics of procrastinating on people’s immediate needs while introducing the coercive economic policies under the pretenses of austerity and rationalization. To masquerade the robbery of public resources, religion is used as a red herring. The relations between Santa Claus and departmental stores have already stamped the integral link between religion and capital on children’s minds; they are accustomed to the latter’s authority.

The rulers are fully conversant that building a university in the name of a spiritual leader to enhance spiritualism is another deception through the ruse of reason. The universities are supposed to produce scholars – if they end up producing dunces, it has more to do with the objective conditions though the malicious intent of the ruling class cannot be ruled out; its effect, however, is limited and remains subject to the level of class-consciousness of the students. The concluding idea is to impose capitalistic reason while hoodwinking the people with the noise of a jingling bell on the fool’s cap.

Another bomb of privatization, inflation and poverty is about to be thrown on the beleaguered masses. Spirituality will be transformed into barbarity

With economic doom in sight, diverting the imminent material catastrophe to a spiritual crisis is nothing new. It is a trap and, in reality, everyone knows that spirit devoid of exchange value is useless unless packaged and sold as a commodity to those yearning for a momentary relief from the objectified labor.

Having no material basis, defining the spirit is always an intriguing affair. Anything which cannot survive without matter makes its existence debatable if not illusory. For a scientist, anything that sets apart the alienated labor from pleasure falls in the category of spiritual; art, literature, and poetry fall in this domain while Eros transcending all boundaries of pain is the culmination of physical and spiritual unity and harmony.

The Puritans have always denied happiness and pleasure and promoted alienated labor making ‘obedience to the law, the only liberty’, as one of their prayers beseeches Lord to ‘make human captive, so he shall be free’. History is rife with hideous incidents when Christianity burnt the enlightened souls striving to be free as witches at the stake. In the Hellenic era, Orpheus refused to conform to the established norms and was assassinated for preaching pleasure. Any threat to the surplus value was intolerable.

Mysticism and spirituality are usually confused and used alternately; the former is counterfeit spirituality. “Mystical explanations are thought to be deep; the truth”, Nietzsche says, “is they are not even shallow”. “Mysticism has a marvellous power of making common things strange to us” and amid this confusion rests its power of controlling the ignorant. It controls the primitive urges, destructive desires and reins in the neurosis but it all happens at a cost, the cost of struggle, which makes human spices distinct. The beast is sedated, so is the Ubermensch.

There is one thing common between ‘illusive spirituality’ and the fascist idea of ‘purity of blood’ and glorification of a purified body. More than the scientists,they both rely on panacea panderers. “The first academic chair created by Hitler”, Adorno mentions, “was one for natural healing. His own physician was a quack, Himmler was a chiropractor, and Rudolf Hess encouraged all kind of superstitious approaches to medicine. It should be noted that analogous tendencies make themselves felt in the American lunatic fringe”. While making America great again, Trump has brought these tendencies from the fringe to the mainstream. Pakistan, suffering from feudal relations but pulverized by monopoly capitalism, suffers these pernicious tendencies more acutely. Modi government’s penchant for pseudoscience or AYUSH is a step in the same direction.

The other common feature between Pakistan and Nazi Germany is the over reliance of the ruling class on charity. “The Nazis knew very well how to exploit the complex of taxpayer’s money. They went so far as to grant, during the first year of their rule, a tax amnesty, publicized by Goering. When they had to resort to heavier taxation than ever before, they camouflaged it most skilfully as charity, voluntary donations, and so forth, and collected a large amount of money by illegal threats, rather than by official tax legislation” (Adorno).

In Pakistan, the institution of NAB and those supposed to dispense justice are employing similar tactics to collect money. Recently the biggest land grabber, who usurped the state’s precious land, has been set free on a promise to pay a meagre sum of a few billion in a plea bargain; the theft is legalized. Those who provided relief were rewriting the Balzac’s crime and success story. Has Christ not promised salvation, to turn our scarlet sins into white as snow, provided we are prepared to pay Cesar’s share to Cesar and God’s to God? Even the unblemished premier who takes pride in erecting a cancer hospital has no qualms in accepting donations from the tobacco companies marketing cancer.

“Fascism”, Eric Hobsbawm states,” provided the proof that men without difficulty can combine crack-brained beliefs about the world with a confident mastery of contemporary high technology”. If faith and suffering were Hitler’s slogan, spiritualization and enduring the pain are the slogans of the current rulers of Pakistan.

Mark Twain advised the politicians to “get the facts first to distort them later” but Pakistani politicians under the scrutiny of the Orwellian big brother, have one fact to distort. To conceal the unconcealed lust and robbery of thepraetorian guards from the masses, who cannot fight a war but never forget to have the cake and eat it too.

The nature of Pakistani dilemma is obvious.Behind the attempt of conjuring up the spirits of the past such as buildingastate of Medina, a mere fantasy and the fiction of spiritualization,the only objective isto hasten the process of primitive accumulation while introducing cut-throat, monopoly capitalism. The vicious cycle of importingparasitic creatures from the IMF and various NGOs that keep changing their robesare clear manifestations of hideousness carried out overtly. Another bomb of privatization,inflation and povertyis about to be thrown on the beleagueredmasses. Spirituality will be transformed into barbarity.