Wake up. This isn’t a dream it’s a nightmare. It never used to be this way, but it sure seems to be where we are now. Once again, I am aware that some people don’t like politics and the world affairs as others do…but just remember as Pericles said: “just because you do not take interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take interest in you”.
Ndigbo, it is high time to put aside disagreements and differences and unite worldwide, to face our common enemy. The fault is in ourselves; just like in Shakespeare. Cassius: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”. It is a no brainer for us arguing against pursuing common interests. Isn’t that what society and civilization is all about? Yet, we frown at even the suggestion of such pursuit, because being right is more important to us than anything else, including being civilized, empathetic and listening to fellow brothers. Civilization is a process in which our best ideas are constantly vying with poorer ideas and beliefs for mainstream acceptance.
Some people are perpetually surprised because reality does not comport with their fantasies. Again, as the Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel said “we must always take sides.” Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered when human dignity is in jeopardy…. sensitivities become irrelevant.” What is most distressing is the operating beliefs of each political party unit? Somehow, they view their way of doing things trumps another and vice versa. There is lack of collusion to unify ideas for the greater good. It reminds me of the Lilliputian factions in “Gulliver’s Travels”. They were at each other’s throat because eggs were cracked from different ends. In true confrontational style they were named the Big Endians versus the Small Endians. Such labeling has continued in political speech, dividing rather than uniting.
Righteousness is the wall blocking progress toward solutions for our mutual troubles. Certainty is the trap door in progress toward understanding one another and our condition. When righteousness is armed with radicalism in action and rhetoric it becomes extremism. Extremists cannot be shouted down or ignored because every such effort only lends their screams credibility. The responses to any argument, like killing someone from the opposing party, shows the ugliness and paucity of humanity that exists in the souls of men. It is less like living in a democracy than being a child trapped in a house where there is an abusive and unpredictable alcoholic father, who will brook no reason, respect no counterargument, admit no error, and always, always up the ante until catastrophe inevitably strikes. This is what I mean by the idea that we are living through an emergency.
What discourages me, and many others is not the debate. It is the debasement of the debate. Debate is fruitless when you don’t agree on common rules, facts and suppositions. But more than what was written we were never destined to know the truth, though there was much which we might surmise. While political arguments have been going on for a millennium, arguing did not necessarily mean eviscerating your foe and taking no prisoners (so called “do or die” affair). I suppose I would see things not as inflection points but as indicative. And what they are indicative of is an exhausted political and economic system running itself slowly into the ground by default. You don’t have to operate with a malicious spirit to do tremendous harm. Insensitivity and hatred are sufficient.
Enough said and stay tuned.
Dr. Osy Ekwueme