Monday, December 29, 2008

Becoming Power

"Power does not corrupt men; fools, however,
if they get into a position of power, corrupt power. "
George Bernard Shaw

One of the greatest legacy of modern civilization is government. May it be authoritarian or democratic, it places society into order. It is definitely preferred over anarchy. As Thomas Hobbes put it, we as rational animals tend to submit in an entity that embodies sovereignty for the purpose of order. And as pluralistic as we are, we cannot deny the fact that there should only be one who would have a final say on things, or else we go on forever squabbling. That is the ingenuity of it all: giving part of our freedom to the government so that we can live freely in peace and order.

And it is power.

Fools in our government misses this point. Yes, we have given them the power yet order, let alone peace, has not been in the same ascent. I reckon it is inverse proportional: as the politician's power increases, people's freedom decreases. The recent incident involving a cabinet member and his mayor son is an addition to the "power play" that has been plaguing my country. I used to believe that power corrupts. This is the reason I will never throw a hat on the political ring. But then, power is an abstract concept that will take form (either good or evil) depending on who embraces it. Why do you think there are lots of politicians vying for power? Personally, I believe there is a self-serving reason to start with. Usually you don't find those who have the passion and the real concern for the people and the country in the government. They are there on the grassroots – people in NGOs, non-profit foundations and community groups. They are not there on the same pedestal as these self-proclaimed gods or under the same spotlight as these buffoons. Most of them have personal problems of their own; barely making both ends meet. Yet they are there. They are there because they believe that they have the power to make a difference.

I initially intend to write this entry as a latest addition to the lashing out by the blogosphere to the appalling incident. I intend to name names and call them names. Afterall, in this digital age where SMS/text can bring down a president, a blogger has the power to stimulate minds; the blogosphere the power to spark a revolution. But then I realised anger is an impulsive response to a negative stimulus. The first time I read the news in the Inquirer I got infuriated. Even with a report deadline I suddenly stopped working and went on clicking every links there are. Any news on any folly by a politician is as sensitive as poking my head with a stick, nay, hit by it to contusion. But as I said I have the power and, also, the intension of not corrupting it by hate or anger. I will just be as fool as they are if I did. Not that I denounce those blogs that tend to lean to the idea that a curse can kill, but I personally believe that this will just be a replication of corruption; this time to the power of a blogger. Lots of bloggers, nonetheless, have re-posted the blog entry of one of the aggrieved (i.e. with lesser power than the gods) and it spread like wildfire. Everyone knows the incident and takes time to check on updates over the news. Hey it even reached me here in Africa. The power of information reaffirms itself. The power to get justice not only for the de la Paz' but for every Juan de la Cruz now comes through a high-speed highway. The power is ours to change the country, then the world.

As long as we stay not fools.

GMT 0 Accra, Ghana

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