Alea iacta est – ‘The dice is cast’

February 28, 2022by Rajeev Hora0

Alea iacta est – ‘The dice is cast’

(A worthy response received from friend Amit to our earlier post)


Thank you for penning a ‘from the heart’ post given the geo-political crisis gripping the world now. The question that surfaces from the reading – has anything changed since Tennyson wrote his poem ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’. The world has faster, more robust means of communications, a better understanding of human psychology, knowledge of a rapidly unfolding existential crisis of ‘Climate Change’ that will change the way we live, what we eat, that will draw up national boundaries or make them irrelevant given the mass migration that will happen. And yet we resort to resolving our differences in opinion, conflicts of interest by using modernized versions of rocks (missiles), spears, bows and arrows.

We perhaps are the only specie in the world that can cause the destruction of our own at a scale none other in the animal kingdom can match. The fearsome dinosaurs with their super-goliath bodies, but small brains (relative to their body size) managed to live 65M years until a yet to be fully understood cataclysmic event caused a wipe-out. Would the homosapiens now in their 200,000th year manage to reach a million? The optimism in me is not thriving.

The line between good and evil in conflicts has seldom been strong. Even the mythological stories from civilizations around the world – Greek Pantheon, the Hindu epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata, Shakespeare’s tragedies to a careful reader and observer show the diffused nature of this line. We humans align ourselves to warring camps much like our tribal ancestors did – resource greed, revenge and assuaging of lost esteem, assertion of superiority and dominance.

The leaders proselytize  about the virtues of their positions, stories are concocted to make a point and to be sold to generations as history. This war in Europe feels akin to the ‘war to end all wars’ that ended with much human tragedy some 103 years and a few months counting ago. In plain sight is revision of nationalistic pride and history, appropriation and forced cultural assimilation, catching up on lost opportunities and a misplaced notion of the being the one to restore the Motherland to her former glory (nevermind the millions starving and without access to medicines and medical aid in its countryside).

The world awaits with baited breath, hoping of sustained resistance in the face of insurmountable odds. Much is at stake for diplomacy and dialogue to continue failing. And much is at stake for the world for a tyrant not to emerge victorious, for the tyranny won’t stop here, but will give birth to countless tyrannies around the world.

Alea iacta est – ‘The dice is cast’ – Pawn moves on the world stage have ensued – much to our moral dereliction of duty to improve our world and the existential crises that envelop it. Only resolute statesmanship and coming of the world’s sane minds will alter from the dangerous course we are in.

Me the insignificant, sitting here in Toronto sees life getting difficult for everyone especially for the economically vulnerable. High gas prices will lead to high inflation, which the central banks will try to contain with increasing lending rates – which will stop economic recovery from the pandemic globally. This will lead to politics of local convenience – increased nationalism and an increasingly belligerent world.

It is sadly a mega catch 22 situation.

With humility,

Amit RJ


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