Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Hobbes justifies ISA? Go fly a Kite, Chin Huat!!!

"But why would people want a strong government?
Because we are fundamentally a Hobbesian nation.....
Blaming the BN for the ISA is easy, but such self-righteousness will blind us from acknowledging our own evil taste for authoritarianism."

-Wong Chin Huat, The Nut Graph

The basis of Lockean social contract is the
consent of the governed derived from the natural rights.
On this basis, Locke formulated the justification of slavery and conquest in term of response to or retaliation to violation of natural right. This is, however, "but the state of war continued" and therefore all forms of slavery and tyranny are invalid by definition.
It thus follow that there is a
moral injunction to rebell against such institutions. As a practical matter, in every society, a part must rule the whole. As the majority is composed of more will and is stronger than the minority, the will of society must be determined by the majority.
This makes
liberal democracy a moral imperative of natural law and reason itself.


"Society can and does execute its own mandates:
and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle,
it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression,
since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself.”
“The rulers should be identified with the people;
that their interest and will should be the interest and will of the nation.
The nation did not need to be protected against its own will.”

-John Stuart Mill


This feeble attempt at a possible satire & sarcasm by Wong Chin Huat of the "Nut" Graph is pretty crappy. It is probably also an attempt at appearing to be "balanced" in favour of the apologists of a "strong government" - by blaming the people for the existence of the ISA.
The people have become the convenient scapegoat this time around.
The perpetrators of the campaign of disinformation, lies, apartheid, polarisation, suspicion, siege-mentality, ignorance, hatred, and violence (by threatening another May 13 on Television, that too!) - are in Wong Chin Huat's opinion, faultless!!!

In an attempt to appear to sound intellectual, this apologist for ISA,- this "political scientist by training and a journalism lecturer by trade, Wong Chin Huat uses the Federal Constitution as his “bible” to fend off the increasingly intolerable evil called “state” - quotes Thomas Hobbes in his article as a defense for ISA!
Is he Nuts or what?
Or maybe he's trying to live up to the name of The Nut Graph?
Maybe the SB didn't pay him a visit - maybe it was just a "macai" of that advocate of a "strong government" who might've met him at the anti ISA vigil last Sunday, where he probably wasn't called to speak ....

First and foremost, Chin Huat - it has never been proven that we need a "musclehead" Government or a circus for a Parliament, which Mahathir happens to propose.
We need good governance with an enlightened leadership - not idiots who resort to brute force when they are challenged intellectually.

"Social contract" as defined by Hobbes is something else, Chin Huat- here in UmnoLand, it is supposed to be what "Umno" wants, as and when it pleases.
In their dictionary, it doesn't have anything to do with the Federal Constitution which might fit Hobbes's definition. It has nothing to do with the "reason" which Thomas Hobbes would advocate in his definition.
Without a doubt - a bad government is better than no government.

But in our case, it isn't about "no government" - we do have alternatives, which certain quarters would not allow. It's about the rulers who perceive political and intellectual adversaries and an enlightened citizenry as enemies! It therefore strives to silence opposition, propagate hate , suspicion and apartheid under the guise of "education" and "benevolence".
To claim that Hobbes would declare our government is "benevolent" is true - probably relative to Stalinist USSR, I suppose.
Votes garnered out of gerrymandering, campaign of lies and ignorance is no measure of the people's desire. That's called "Cheating" on Umno's "level playing field", or the "social contract" as they see it!
So, to say that the people have traded-off their rights for "stability" with ISA, is at best a big lie!
The votes for BN weren't votes for ISA, (although that is what it amounts to in reality) as most people are in the dark where their rights are concerned - or at least are terrified to exercise their rights, lest they lose their small mercies granted by the almighty Goons!

The problem Chin Huat doesn't seem to realize, is the fact that it isn't the people who desire a "strong government" - it is the government that desires it, so that they get do anything they desire (right or wrong) with impunity in the absence of counter-checks.
To make matters worse, we are today left with a shell of a judiciary, and a pathetic parliament, where foul-mouthed idiots masquerade as "leaders" who represent the government (since the time of Mahathir). To make matters worse, the role of the head of state has been reduced to that of a puppet!

They don't like the fact that debates should take place in parliament - under this "strong government" of brutes (with penchant for threatening/stirring up sectarian conflict), it is better done behind closed doors on their own terms.
They rather have a large "coalition" wherein there are second-class allies with whom they can "negotiate" with bullying & corrupting tactics.

With a toothless opposition, the parliament is nothing but a circus ring - what more with a servile media! That is the only reason why we have Speakers who throw out opposition YBs with the flimsiest excuse, while they play the apologist for unthinking liars like Nazri and morons like Tajudin & the infamous Bung!

At the end of the day, the ISA isn't a security law - it is a law that is used to justify repression and oppression (physical, spiritual & intellectual).
It is a law that is used to prop up an intellectually bankrupt government, which is in fact weak in terms of governance & accountability - so that it would appear strong in terms of brute force.

I seriously doubt that this is what Thomas Hobbes would have envisioned for a "Social Contract"- definitely not John Locke or Stuart Mill, anyways ....


"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things.
The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse.
The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself"

-John Stuart Mill


  1. Doc , TQ for this enlightenment because when I first read Wong's posting I was pretty confused.

  2. Doc, check. This will surely raise your BP or was it intentional to raise your low to high.

    You got us all worried Sunday last. That nephew of yours is a gem. You the mentor I am tempted to assert.
    Cheers brother.


NOTE: We do not live in a Legal vacuum.
A pseudonym/ nickname with comments would be much appreciated.