Civil Responsibility (2)

The Disaster of Political Apathy

Some always criticize Netizens are no more but angry youths typing radical opinions on the Internet all the day which the major don’t give a shit, or even if they do, not that radical. These people may not know many wars or disasters in history were the results of apathetic people. They never care about anything, they know nothing. When it comes to the time they have to face it, they take the stupidest approach to the situation.

It is always those who are apathetic to politics and history serve as catalysts to political disasters, not those enthusiastic. If you just join the majority and say, hey, most of the guys don’t think too much, I just follow them, it is a safe side to take and there should be no problem. This is a serious fault. Apathetic and ignorant people can easily become irrational and fanatic once they are irritated or manipulated.

Politicians can easily dominate this country by making more people ignorant and apathetic to politics. The only way to stop this is to stand out, to care for the people and things happening around you, and to protest against injustice.

Humans easily become evasive, fallen, lazy and irresponsible. That is why democracy cannot last forever. If a generation of people is willing to shoulder their shares of responsibility, there will be democracy for a short period. However, with the lapse of time, when their descendants become lazy and unwilling to take responsibilities, totalitarianism will knock the door again. Totalitarianism is not the result of this and that dictator, it is the result of people’s laziness and depravity.

Democracy is not a way to choose the best or the worst. It is just a way that you choose and you accept, everyone agrees to the result. Even it comes to the worst scenario, the people are still willing to take the responsibility to face it, instead of shifting their responsibility to the rulers. Only this way will they reflect and rectify their mistakes. Under totalitarianism, people are free from their responsibilities, they can blame all faults on the rulers, so they never have a chance to reflect.

Rational principles of Elections

Voting is a way to discover problems; analyze them; to draw people’s attention to the source of problem and to persuade others; to think of solutions; and to empower to carry out the solution by voting.

Spotting the unfairness of the society is recognizing the problems. To think the reasons behind, it is the analyzing process. To speak out before the public is to bring out the problem and persuade others.

However, for the latter two parts, there is a problem. Are people really capable to accomplish these two goals? They may not be able to suggest how to solve the problems. If people think the current situation is unjust, then how can they make it just? They must know the actual way to solve it, not just saying “well, let’s elect someone else”.

Just casting the vote by impression but never think of the essence of the problem and ways to solve it, the problem of course remains unsolved. So think about based on what ground, and for what purpose, you casted your vote. How you vote leads to such result. Say, if your reason is “you just don’t like the current administration”, the result may help you vent your discontent.

Yet the injustice remains. It is because social injustice is not the reason you cast the vote. If that is the reason, you may start to notice some politicians unknown to the public but have some insights on this matter, promote their publicity and influence, so that they can be strong enough to challenge the status quo.

If you never try to do this, then you have your share of responsibility. It is because you just take the laziest way to vote the well-known politicians. You do not think seriously about the future of the society, you just put your bets on the one you vote, wishing him to do all the things for you, and you just wait to reap the harvest. How can this change the society?

After electing someone, you should continue to monitor, remind or even criticize him. It is not that once you elect him, and then he will work according to what you think. He is just a representative, but he doesn’t read your mind.

In a democracy, the responsibility of the citizens exists all the time, before, during and after the voting, not only at the times of elections. If you don’t take it seriously, you share the consequences.

Once you elect someone, you have to share the responsibility by casting the vote. Whatever he does, those who elected him have a share. For those who did not, they have to follow the rules of democracy, trying to persuade others to agree with their views, and more importantly: to accept the possibility that one’s view may be wrong.

So the point is the attitude to politics of every single person. The benefit of democracy to the people is one thing only: the capability to solve even the worst scenario. Though one’s power is limited, one has his own vote. He can try to convince others to change their minds.

Wrong decisions and bad leaders are not real problems; they can be changed. Everyone has the capability and power to contribute to the change.

What’s more, electing a guy doesn’t mean that we have to support him to the end. Quite the contrary, after electing him, we should focus more on him, to see if he does anything wrong. You are not a die-hard fan to some artists; you should not take everything of him without reflections. “the Legend of the Galactic Heroes” (銀河英雄傳說, a popular Japanese political novel) has refuted absolute obedience, patriotism, and any decisions based on the grounds other than ethics and logics. We do not vote someone simply because we are fond of him, not because that he loves the country, not because we and he belong to the same camp.

We vote as we believe our power, though small, is nevertheless important.


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