Monday, May 11, 2015
Our Collective Failure
It is not that it happens. Rather it is how brazen it is. And how blatant it is.
And to think that the perpetrators of this humongous scheme could just get away Scott-free, happily enjoying the fruits of their complicity is a sure sign of our collective failure. Failure as a people. Failure as a society. Failure as a nation.
Forget the Jho Lows of the world. Forget the advisors, the directors and the CEOs of the world. Just look at ourselves. For the fault lies with us.
For years all of us have sat down in front of our television set, sipping our teh tarik while seeing our rights being trampled and transgressed. And yet we do not see any reason why we should move our ass and do something. In short, we could not be arsed to do anything.
And why is that? That is because collectively we suffer from chronic apathy. We would not care to do anything because in our mind we asked, “Why should we?” There are always some blokes or suckers who would shout and scream; who would take up cases and argue in Courts; who would be arrested and detained overnight and sometimes for a week or two; who would go to the street and demonstrate. So why should we? It is not our fight.
Malaysians by and large are a docile peace loving people. We love our peace and tranquility. We absorb a lot. An electric train’s wheel fell off from the sky and paralysed a driver. Oh well, that fellow was unlucky. A bus sped down a hill and plunged into a ravine killing tens of passengers. An over-developed hill gave way and swallowed two blocks of apartments killing hundreds. Oh well, how sad. It is the work of God. Rainy season larrr…
That is what we are.
Until and unless our own rice bowl is hit; or our own car is scratched, we would not be arsed really.
Because that’s what we are. A lazy apathetic bunch of big fat assed creature who just don’t care. Who would cheer from afar. Who would silently pray that all the fighters – well, it is their job – would win. Who would just whine during lunch or happy hours with friends. Who would just gossip; cut and paste some memes and pass them around on whatsapp or share them on facebook.
Thousands of years ago, Aristotle posit that justice is a matter of fit. In his vision of an ideal State, people are allocated roles that suits them – the roles that enable them to realise their nature.
Corollary to that is his justification of slavery. According to him, slavery is just if it satisfies two conditions. It must be necessary and it must be natural. Arguing necessity, he said if there was no slaves how could citizens spend time in an assembly to deliberate about the good of the State and society? Slavery is thus a necessity.
But how about the 2nd condition, ie, that slavery being natural? He said slavery is natural if there were people suited by their nature to be slaves. These are people “for whom slavery is the better and just condition.”
“A man is thus by nature a slave if he is capable of becoming (and this is the reason why he also actually becomes) the property of another, and if he participates in reason to the extent of apprehending it in another, though destitute of it himself.” (The Politics, Book I).
And so here we are. All slaves.
We are slaves because slavery is the better and just condition for us.
We are slaves because we are all capable of becoming the property of others. And when we partake in reason, we only do so to the extent of trying to understand and follow the reasons of others for we do not have our own reason. Nor do we want to have any. In short, we are destitute of reason.
So, everything around us now is our own collective failure.
No one should be blamed but our own collective self.