Ethics, aesthetics and politics of a soldier

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  1. By Imtiaz Ahmad 2.  Philosophy, politics, ethics, and art all forms of social consciousness- are closely related to one another.  It is so because they are…
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  • 1. By Imtiaz Ahmad
  • 2.  Philosophy, politics, ethics, and art all forms of social consciousness- are closely related to one another.  It is so because they are investigating one and the same real world.  They deal with the various sensations and features of the same reality and strive to exercise an influence upon it.  In its relationship with these forms of social consciousness, art is revealed as artistic cognition and embodiment of philosophical, political and moral principles and ideas.
  • 3.  In all the cases, the relationship of appreciative self and creative self establishes through psycho-aesthetic moment and concludes into ethical and aesthetical beauties of the art of life as Social responsibility is commonly known as politics.  According to Louis Aragon, the function of the art is “to give eternal life to what is ephemeral”. In his view, ethics and politics should come before aesthetics.
  • 4.  After many years of barbarity, zealotry and fanaticism, that beauty from bygone times had been beheld for a moment, yet that moment was sufficient to leave a lasting impression in the hearts of the onlookers, filling them with a passionate desire for love and knowledge.  This was unique combination of beauty in art and beauty in life, piercing through the cloud of prudery and religiosity, and making man aware of truth that is joy forever in the attainment of the either of the following:-  Shaheed (zouq a Shahdat)  Ghazi (zouq a Khudai)
  • 5.  When it seemed that joy and beauty would never be seen on earth, the people gazed speechless upon life and waited impatiently to see whether a divine soul might not awaken within the beautiful body.  Among the political actors, soldier stands out because the heart of a soldier becomes the abode of under-mentioned aesthetics and he assumes the following role:-  Paints the nation’s future with his blood  The ultimate of aesthetics and simplest of performed politics is the sacrifice of a soldier  The service of state and nation is the hallmark of ultimate ethics
  • 6.  In his Aesthetic, Hegel emphasized that the beautiful in art stands higher than natural beauty.  Art not only reflects but also creates beauty.  Depicting something beautiful and depicting something beautifully are by no means the same thing.  Painting a beautiful face involves reproducing a beautiful face, while painting a face beautifully means creating a beautiful work of art.  When beauty conveys a message, ethics merges with aesthetics and art becomes inseparable from politics, as it did forAllama Iqbal, in whose work poetry fused with revolution.  Now, everyone says about him:  he knew how to create those poetic inspirations that are the essential beauty of our time, because they are the very cry of the down trodden humanity.
  • 7.  His art was a weapon in revolutionary struggle of humanity, in the titanic struggle between the progressive and the reactionary forces.  It is irrelevant whether a soldier performs well or badly if he does not have a clear idea of good and evil.
  • 8.  Being the combination of patriotism and nationalism a soldier believes in socialist realism, which can only be achieved through following experiences:-  Solid knowledge of the national soil and culture  Sharing the life of the masses and their struggle of a resplendent future  Has to define realism, a frame of mind shaped by the participants’ conception of the world  Actualizing the meaning of the peaceful world and warring world being quite separate  The life in the peaceful world does not make up for the warring world  Soldier also knows that beauty in art is no substitute for the beautiful in real life.  Through the beautiful in art, he affirms beauty in real life, and that the reflection of the beautiful in life through art lends that beauty an eternal aesthetic significance  The beauty of a sunset is temporary; the beauty of soldier’s blood is eternal
  • 9.  Soldiery as an art cannot be separated from truths of life.  The soldier’s function is to describe, not the thing that has happened but a kind of thing that might happen;  i.e. what is possible as being probable or necessary”.  In so far as these functions are inseparable, art of war will be closely bound up with various forms of consciousness, directly or indirectly.  The distinctive trait of art of war, that it is the reproduction of life through bullets and blood  Each soldier’s competence represents not only a reflection of specifics style of life but a kind of self-portrait of the soldier  Behind the image there always stands his character  The originality and freshness of character depends on the historic courage  Vision and the firm grasp of reality of comradeship on the part of the soldier
  • 10.  In simple words, artistic truth expresses not simply what exists but what could exist as a manifestation of life’s immutable laws.  If life is chained and ugly, it is all the more necessary for the artist to depict the beauty and grandeur of the struggle involved in the eradication of thralldom and ugliness, because that is life’s immutable law.  The world stands in need of images of reconciliation for humanity torn by division, images of calm for one too violent, images of revolutionary upsurge for a decadent period- thus ethics merges with aesthetics, producing art of sublime beauty and truth.
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