Trust is something which humans implicitly seek when they go about performing actions, whether in themselves or on the externals. This permeates into every single action of a persons life. Consider a simple instance in a person’s daily routine, in the morning, brushing of teeth is dependent on his trust that the brush he uses will clean his teeth and the toothpaste he uses will keep mouth fresh and healthy. The person’s trust in the brush and paste has been managed by the consumer company who created a subconscious desire in the person that he has to use these to get the desired effect. I believe that this behavior has spread into all areas of human interaction.
Companies and organisations have made it so prevalent that the overwhelming majority believe that it is the reality. People are being made to believe that they are the ones who decide what they get. Unfortunately it is that, people are just given that impression. People are influenced into desiring and then these desires are catered to by these very same companies. Now I must be sounding like one of those anti-capitalist activists decrying the invasion of capitalists into our daily life. But it is reality. We consumers are being forced out of our choices which we seemingly are making out of our own volition.
As a customer of the Indian Democratic system, after having watched recently a documentary called “The Century of the Self” , I fear the same could have entered the Indian political scene. Recent elections have been fought on a high tempo. And most of the efforts of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) went into making the voter feel that he is going to be a part of their future government decision making process. Whether this is going to happen or not is open for debate as the future is not here yet. The documentary focuses on how the collective has been dismantled to cater to the individuals. This has the potential for breaking down the aeons old beliefs in the strengths of being united or more pertinently, in the strengths of collective bargaining. When we lose this, we expose ourselves to corrosion, and once corroded, there is no getting back unless we are willing to replace the whole structure, which will entail great costs.
In all this gloomy sense, we may still have a chance to be a collective. Protests all over the world are signs that the collective still exists and we need to enable these to enter our mainstream again. Our choices have to be ours in the true sense and they need to be collective ones.