Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Vicious Cycle of Malaysian Politics

Four thoughts:

1. If 19 out of 20 comments we make about the government, the police, the authorities, etc. are negative, rhetorical, filled with guilt-finding and betray a 'hermeneutic of accusation', why would we be surprised if they reacted with more violence, more guilt, more oppression (which further fuels our condemnation, spurring them to crackdown on our protests, thus creating a never-ending spiral)? If we're aware of this vicious cycle, dare we play a role in stopping it?

2. If we TAKE DELIGHT at catching 'bad guys' at their worst, then wouldn't it be poetical that they will behave in a way which best 'delights' us? Since their notoriety drives so much of our conversation and media content, we should ask ourselves if we really want them to change(?), for wouldn't that be unbearable? (What else could we talk about if not their crimes?)

3. We either believe people can change or we don't. If we believe the 'bad guys' CAN change, do our words and actions reflect this? How could they reflect it more? Have we told and encouraged them that we believe in them? On the other hand, if we believe they CAN'T change, then why keep flogging a dead horse? Or does the flogging give the illusion of civil empowerment?

4. We can EITHER a) nurture the victim's capacity to imaginatively use all of his resources and will-power to overcome the situation and (maybe) even gain an extraordinary compassion for his oppressor OR b) focus exclusively on the fact and nature of the oppression (which may be the worst form of victimisation as it 'surrenders' power to the oppressor, paralysing alternatives other than expecting him to change).

We can't do both.

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