Amidst us live the good and the honourable. They are still around and can be found. Probably you are among them.
Sadly, many have resigned to the inevitable: knowing, little or nothing is achievable, withdraws gently to a silent pasture to graze and gaze. A foot backwards is a footprint in the wrong direction. Each such step leads to a decadent, debased, debauched, society of which we complain and in which we live. Are we a bunch of Mr. Do Little’s and Mrs. Do Nothing’s?
Wailing and weeping that society is crumbling is an armchair pursuit, a recreation that provides no respite but yet what more can be done without Power, Privilege and Position? To walk on the corridors of power, holding a position of privilege is to enter the chamber of the ludicrous- to see not, hear not and talk not, of the happenings under the canopy. Strength of their characters are drained; none of the favored dare do otherwise- what, to lose all? Instead, grasp what is in hand and reach out for more. Just write off those that carry the triple-P, they live too close to paradise. Still, there are others outside the charmed circle of servile sycophants, worth talking to. This is addressed to such.
Society has a voice to speak and an ear to hear. Most are prepared to listen but who dares to speak? Many are not positioned to speak, a few that could, do it in the privacy of trusted company and the message does not carry the required distance. With many ears eager to give a hearing there are not sufficient voices to make the soundings. The voice of any politician is weighted being over privileged that it does not ring true, to a moderate ear. Voices, untainted with hidden agendas are heard scarcely.
The fault lies in not exercising the freedom of expression that can be stretched to a comfortable length, in times of peace. Don’t pardon timidity and frailty that accompanies it. Victor Ivan travelled beyond the frontiers pelting stones at the cloistered and cocooned. He became an untouchable because he dared to confront. Except for a fearless few in the media where have all the good men gone? There is more fear than reason to fear; silence of the lambs persists.
We lived in hard times when national security was a concern and restrictions were understandable. It was like asking for the withdrawal of security barriers seeing traffic on the road when the enemy is at the gate on a suicide mission. No reasonable court in heaven or hell will grant it. If it did, it would carry a foul stench. Times have changed and we are in a stable secure society where freedom of expression can travel the distance of democracy. For sure, Supreme Court will protect it, provided no harm is caused to society. A court derives respect from the justice it does, not at pews, prayer mats and pinkamas.
Fear is the possible reprisal from a Government. Yet the unkempt press lives another day to write again. Freedom of expression is alive to the courageous. More often, convenience and comfort, makes many laid back. Voices that should be heard are mute, to safeguard their lines of access to those that matter. Offending such are considered heinous. Sometimes it is sheer lethargy expecting others to play the desired role. Democracy cannot flourish without contributions from those capable of enriching it: if, instead prefer to relinquish their obligations. Share the blame along with the Government if democracy does not work to satisfaction.
It’s the Professionals that must come forth as they thrive on their skills and expertise and can stand independently on their feet, without succumbing to the fancies of the commanding dominant. If the element of fear is dispelled and determination is in mind, the social obligation is theirs to fulfill. They have the ability to perform, intelligence to analyze and the experience to execute; their strength lies in having a fall back profession on which they can thrive, endowed with a personal exchequer.
Many professionals possess such talents but in search of instant gold or office of importance, have prostrated themselves at the feet of the undesirables. Petty positions as minor chieftains or greed attracted to the strings of the public purse have made them servile sycophants. Yet, there are better men at large with great professional skills that can stand-alone, instead dejectedly stand-aside and stare without coming alive at a time of need.
In the past it was the academic community that brought glory to the social arena with their fierce independence and active minds but no more are they heard except for a bare few with left leanings and national perspectives, as voices of their own. Instead they have become humble servants of the patronizing privileged, rooted at home with state authority and on stints abroad with the foreign mercenaries, in search of upward mobility.
The business community acts to offend none- being more diplomatic than the diplomats. In the past commercial interests were part navigators of politics, especially the semi urban national bourgeoisie with their feet firmly grounded to the soil? Today’s Top Twenty competes with each other to serenade the Government, understandably with a 2/3 majority and an invisible opposition. If there is a class that deserves an award on being Deaf and Dumb on national issues that goes to the new generation of the management teams in the private sector- sissies that succumb to stoogery in contrast to their predecessors, sturdy men with courage to express stark reality irrespective of consequences. The Bribery Corruption Act must be extended to the private sector, the breeding ground for most shady transactions – an insignificant pawn but a capable deterrent for a checkmate situation.
Politics is not a supermarket where you can select wholesome products. It’s more like a coffee morning where charitably inclined ladies gather to chatter while giving a few handouts to cleanse themselves. The national narrative requires public servants that are not corrupt, judges that do not bend to power, journalist who report properly, teachers that do teach, generals that stay away from politics and politicians that stick to their election manifestoes.
Brilliant street politicians do not necessarily make good governors. The man on the street is engaged in an unending talk on issues of governance in his own idiom but not so the man in the air-conditioned office that live off the best of many worlds. We have much to blame ourselves for a sorry plight.