I have always found it fascinating and quite intriguing when you consider that thought processes are not just mere patterns of routine brain activity but rather complex and highly enigmatic energy shots that lighten up certain areas of our minds, consequently…our entire system. Living in present plays a vital role in generating new thought patterns.
While riding the bus to work this morning, i let my mind flow and be carried away to the lush green grass and bush stubs that cover the pleasantly adoring Nairobi National Park. The tall,graceful giraffes i could see from a distant were already up and religiously engrossed in an almost ritual-like grazing routine. Further ahead i could catch a glimpse of the beautiful ostrich flapping its huge heavy wings, maybe signifying a new mode for the day ahead…till a cool gust of wind, breezy zephyr jolted me to the throbbing noise inside the matatu.
” If you arrest him you are arresting another tone of 45 million other citizens…let our people come out in large numbers and vote for better. Vote for change…We ought to send them home this time…,” the heated radio conversation rumbled on as i unsuccessfully tried to listen in and connect the dots. At the back of my mind i kept on wondering how much will power ‘democracy’ yields and how extensively majority power dynamics influence our daily lives as citizens. Whether we consciously notice it or are swept unknowingly in the masses.
Some few years back in high school,my literature curriculum included a play- An Enemy of the People ( i consider it a privilege to have studied it) authored by famous playwright and who most consider as the father of modern realism- Henrik Ibsen. The drama predominantly addresses the hypocrisy of society as a rotten sepulcher that tolerates moral degradation as exemplified from the highest ranking of power hierarchy, the noblest, to the humblest of persons in society. Moderation. Democracy. Though written as a response to disapprove the hypocrisy exuded by leadership during the Victorian Age, i figured the dynamics and patterns are relatively ,if not completely the same as in our current society as a nation.
Ibsen humorously lays out the play, with a guised, resilient backdrop that seeks to address issues that even our present society has problems grappling with; corruption;moral decay; shrewd deals and an elusive address of justice for the minority in society. The common denominator reiterates to the ‘fact’ that ‘the majority is always deemed right.’ I find it true that ideas grow stale and platitudinous- they die. Henrik ,through his main character Dr. Stockmann, shoots straight that there aren’t absolute principles of either wisdom or morality. Everything is relative.
He further portrays that the masses are nothing but raw material that must be fashioned into the people. Most of them are not ready to stand up, but are rather intimidated and ruffled at the thought of facing down the hypocrisy of the aristocracy clothed as a democracy within their current jurisdictions. They are people run down completely by the brain wash of governmental bureaucrats and unsated political mongrels’ greed for power and wealth. This makes it imperative for individuals to cultivate humane qualities that will shape a society and masses into a more rational and educated level, one that fully understand and participate in real democracy.
Majority rule dynamics are deep rooted in the Bible era too. For instance the time the Israelites are sojourning to Canaan from Egypt; Moses being a sensible leader sends forth a 12 man reconnaissance party to go out and spy the land. After several weeks this party returns and gives an account of what they observed. Unanimously they agree that it is a beautiful, fertile country with strongly defended cities and with men of huge stature. However, when it comes to the final verdict whether or not to pursue the promised land and take over, there is disintegration of 10 against 2- Joshua and Caleb.
It is clear that victory had been guaranteed to them from God but due to majority mentality the Israelites are thrown into a panic frenzy and become uncontrollable. Some even suggest hysterically that they go back to Egypt! See how majority power waters down a pre-determined course of action? It only needed a few influencers to press the correct buttons and exert an adequate amount of pressure for the masses to go berserk like untamed mindless creatures without a sense of sanity or reasoning ability to make logical decisions on their own. Fear, Irrationality. An enormous lack of faith and confidence. A risk averse mentality.
Even though they finally reach the promised land, the Israelites have to spend a painstakingly 40 years extra time to achieve it. Something they could have done roughly in a year after crossing the Red Sea. Look around you…Within you…do you have the guts to confront what is wrong and stand for what you believe is right and can benefit the community and society? Soon we are casting the vote. How mentally prepared are you? Do you vote for change or a community,family,tradition,party and popularity?
It’s deeply embedded within the human nature to want to be associated with and affiliated to things, people, organizations, movements – innocent on their own- but life threatening and huge impediments to personal and societal growth if supported for all the wrong reasons as vessels to put pressure and bring about a shift in dynamics. Whatever the reasons you are affiliated to a political alignment, activist movement…think…is the cause right for development or is it just cool and popular with no real issues to be addressed?
The majority is not always right and only the strongest man stands alone.
How firm are you?