Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Emotional branding, xenophobic tactics and indolence in politics

For people who read widely and voraciously on financial and economic matters there is often, but not always, a degree of realisation and awareness that politics and governance do matter very much when we look at the economic health and direction of the country.

The connection between politics and the economy of the country is in the form of revenues collected by the government in the form of income tax, sales tax, duties, excises, assessment and quit rent. The citizens and residents pay to finance the machinery of government.

The expectation of the citizens and residents is that the government will provide protection, public order and look into ways and means to maintain the welfare of its citizens and residents.

This is the simplified view of things.

When we add realpolitik and all the political skills of obfuscation and skullduggery into the mix the citizens (here, we leave out the residents because they have no voting power) sometimes get confused.

The confusion comes when the citizens cannot decide how they should think.

Should a citizen think as a member of the country and society as a whole?

Should he or she think for just the immediate family?

Should the citizen think as a follower of his or her own religion?

Should the citizen think in terms of his or her own race?

There are so many possible scenarios depending on each citizen.

But, of all the different political skills of obfuscation and skullduggery, the greatest evil, in my opinion is where a political group emphasises and screams to differentiate citizens based on race.

Xenophobia is driven by base emotions. It is powered irrational fear; "You are different, therefore, you are to be feared."

This allows a political group to win arguments and support without any effort in thought, articulation or research. 

Just whip up a mob and the tsunami of fear turns into rabid violence - job done.

With this tactic (I will not dignify this approach by calling it a strategy), the political group gets away with financial abuse, embezzlement, incompetence and all sorts of abuse of power.

James Bryce wrote about the indolence of citizens. Nobody wants to think. It hurts the head.

Nobody wants to study hard. It hurts the head.

In any case, the system adjusts the academic scores so that as many students as possible gets a pass and, even distinctions.

The only problem with this tactic is that the fools among the citizens who support this political group will get nothing meaningful, be it financial benefit or intellectual skill.

It is George Orwell's porcine metaphor and allegory run riot. And, if you have a sense of humour, you will realise that even the preceding sentence may not go down well with citizens who profess certain religious leanings...that is if they even read this blog and, ....if they even understand the language that this is written in, and...if they get the nuance.


walla said...

What with the abysmal Pisa ranking, brain drain hemorrhage, massive federal debt, little prospect of industrial transformation, and wrecking dependence on imported low-skill labor add-on increasing social ills, we are d00med.

That is, if one thinks for the country and independent of race or anything else.

But too many don't seem to care and don't bother to find out, for that matter think for themselves and ponder harder about the real situation.

We should all say goodbye to one another and move on to await our respective final departures. Those who can should leave this land. Those who can't should create their own inner world. They who can but still stay should find their own vicarious escapism if only to avert focus on the death knell being sounded everyday.

What a waste.

flyer168 said...

"Emotional branding, xenophobic tactics and indolence in politics"

Hi DM & Walla,

Yes indeed.

Just to share this...

"...I know. David Cameron will never say that the English interests are to be protected by the Excalibur.

And the Norwegian Prime Minister of course will not say that Thor’s hammer was supposed to protect Scandinavia.

That’s because they are idiots who do not believe in their own folklore.

I for one believe dear Santa, even though I am not Scandinavian, in the Valkyrie!

Anyway, I digress.

The reason for this e-letter is to tell you what I want for Christmas this year.

I would like to have, dear Santa, please please please, grovel grovel grovel, a tunnel which is not so smart, but which actually works.

I have been a really really good boy this year. So I think I am entitled to two requests. My next request is this.

I read a report yesterday that TNB expects to record losses in the first quarter of 2012 as long as it has not yet received the cash from Petronas and the government.

The report says that “the company's president and CEO Che Khalib says the cash-flow position of TNB is still in critical position until it receives the cash from the government and Petronas.”

Okay. Here’s my next request.

Please dear Santa, grant me the intelligence and wisdom to understand how a company which owns a monopoly business of providing an essential item to 27 million people plus all the investors and businesses in the whole country could record losses and have cash flow problems if the government or the nation’s cash cow, Petronas did not help?

I know. This will be hard for you dear Santa. But please at least try to grant me this one.

Thanking you in anticipation.


p.s. Salam to all the elves.

Posted by art harun"

You be the judge.