Bangkok Rama IV Road 15
Introspection is a valuable asset
in the governed as well as in those who govern them. Introspection along with
consensus is a good definition of how the engines of democracy work. But in 2010
introspection and consensus are threatened with extinction and this is happening
just before the public conversation that needs to be had if people are going to
move on. Otherwise we will risk being permanently stranded in the dead zone
between existential nihilism and sophism with no peaceful exit.
Change is difficult. But Political
change is the most more difficult. I was reading about the Tea Party and the
impact that is having on American politics. People rally around the Tea Party
appear at this distance filled with distrust, suspicion, and anger. It may be
that worldwide we have entered into an age of discontent. Everyone rushes to
open their windows and scream that they canít take it any more.
on important domestic and foreign policy issues is becoming almost impossible to
achieve. Someone with clout or a voting demographic group objects and the result
is the proposed law or regulation is sidelined. The whole democratic process
comes to a grinding halt. Without large areas in which people can agree, the
public space where people meet and debate with respect for each other's views
narrows, and belligerence and conflict fills the gap.
Hatred becomes a public poisoning
of enemy wells spectacle. When there is a breakdown of political consensus
sending in the military with live ammo and guns to restore public order is only
a temporary solution. It is not a long-term solution to the fundamental
What are those problems? I can
think of three, and there are no doubt others that can be added to the
How does one restore public trust? How does political legitimacy
continue if consensus and compromise lose their value? How do people get past
hatred and start talking to each other as if each person's view
I wish had the answers.
I am indebted to my friend Chris
Runckel http://www.business-in-asia.com/ who raised the question as to
whether introspection would follow the week of violence.
Bangkok Rama IV Road 15 May