• Angeline Loh
    Angeline Loh

    Angeline Loh

    • Malaysia
    • Travel Journalism
    • Aliran

    Angeline Loh replied 16th Feb '14:

    Reality's Contradictions

    A slogan is an attention catcher, often used by politicians, but implementation is the test. When reality kicks in, rhetoric is kicked out. Proof of the pudding is in the tasting.

    Politicians frequently ride on the waves of the most pressing current issues, or what they perceive as popular public concerns. A typical example is corruption, which is a major concern in many countries globally. The ordinary citizen is well aware that when corruption sets in at the top, it inevitably infects the lower echelons of government and society. Any public figure with the guts to make a stance against this public evil will inevitably attract popular interest and votes.

    However, impementing anti-corruption measures and policies in reality is far more difficult than touting a slogan, especially in an established system where corrupt practices have become the norm rather than the exception. How can right sounding laws be juxtaposed on an establishment that chooses to ignore them or selectively implement them, besides imputing interpretations that result in the justification of such malpractices; and this is only referring to the possible malfunction of the justice system.

    Corrupt practice always gives way to higher profile underground activity and mob reign over the ordinary, powerless person, rendered voiceless, and silenced into submission and conformity to the prevailing moral decay. Might becomes right, and money says more than honest fair play.

    Thus, the power of persuasion lies, not in mere accumulation of wealth, but is driven by the hunger for power. A potentially incurable addiction. As was expressed by the 19th century historian and moralist, Lord Acton in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

    Who then are the victims of their own slogans? Isn't it those who often take the high ground of self-righteousness, promising the ideals that many hope for? The much sought after deliverance from 'slavery' to an imagined freedom and justice. It is easy to sow hope, but not as simple to make it a reality.

    When deliverance doesn't materialise, the proposer is discredited and the slogan remains a mere slogan. 


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