Chapter 17: Politicians Are Great Criminals
Is there any difference between the criminals and the politicians?
The criminal is poor; he is uneducated, unsophisticated and simple-hearted. The politician is a hypocrite - cunning, diplomatic, sophisticated. But their essential reality is the same. In other words, the criminal is a politician who could not succeed, and the politician is a criminal who has succeeded in attaining power.
But their psychologies are not different. They both want power and domination; they both want to do things without any concern for the consequences; they are both end-oriented, they don’t bother about the means. Their basic philosophy is the same: the ends justify the means. If you succeed, then how you have succeeded - using right means or wrong means - does not matter. Success proves that your means were right. It is the end that proves your means were right.
They are both violent. But if you have to choose between the two, the criminal is certainly the better. He does harm, but his harm is very limited - maybe he kills someone. But Genghis Khan alone killed forty million people; Tamerlane killed thirty million people; Nadir Shah killed forty million people. The exact numbers Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte and Ivan the Terrible killed are not available. But they must have succeeded in killing far more than Tamerlane, Genghis Khan, Nadir Shah.
But numbers for Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler are available. Joseph Stalin alone killed more than one million people after the revolution in Russia. Adolf Hitler killed six million Jews inside Germany, and in the whole second world war he killed nearabout thirty million people.
Criminals have a very limited score. Politicians are great criminals, so great that you accept them as your heroes, so great that they create history.
I have known politicians in the highest posts and I have seen criminals. And I was amazed by the fact that criminals have done whatever wrong they have done out of innocence. They were not aware of the law, they were temperamental. In a certain moment of rage and anger they became mad and they did something, but their act was not premeditated. And that makes a tremendous difference.
The politicians I have known have done far greater harm to humanity. And they go on doing harm, because they have all the powers of the armies, of the bureaucracy. And they do it not out of innocence. Their actions, howsoever ugly, are preconsidered, well planned.
But they belong to the same category; politicians are bigger criminals, that is the only difference - the difference of quantity. The criminals are simple human beings. Their only fault is their unconsciousness. And they don’t take note of what the outcome of their action will be. They don’t plan it well.