Sunday, 10 April 2016

We need passionate politicians not rational ones

A.S. Amarasinghe Vidanage
MA in International Security and Law in Denmark.
BA Horn in International Politics in London.
10 April 2016

It is is vague where reason ends and passion begins. But it becomes somewhat explicit if
one places Mahinda and Gotabaya Rajapakshas to the passionate side and Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickramasinghe’s government to the reasonable side.  

While MR and GR were passionate about defeating terrorism and its aftermath MS and RW are rational about everything from electricity shortage in our country to regarding our position as a nation-state among international community. Destiny of a nation, for its good, is not determined by the reasonable leaders but by the passionate ones.   

I explain why I prefer the side of passionate. The passion is what moves and changes things rapidly. It moves things to the next level. Rational minds are always in doubt and less progressive.     

The greatest recent example of a passionate leadership, within our nation, comes from the actions of MR and GR’s conclusion of thirty years of war and their postwar developments.  As none of the contemporary middle eastern countries are capable of eradicating terrorism from their soils for decades what MR and GR did is historical and need to be appreciated. It was MR who was defiant against David Milliban and Bernard Kouchner to protect our interests.  The conclusion of war was a result of his passionate leadership, which paralleled with unique geopolitical occurrences. A rational Defence Secretary would only have doubted the conclusion of war upon those Indian and UK diplomacy.       

Not only that, since May 2009, Sri Lanka was acting like a proud nation. With the help of Chinese Gov - this China needs us and we need China fact is a need. It is not driven by the desire of China to control Sri Lankan politics - a network of highways and many things were built. Back then, I was a proud Sri Lankan citizen in UK. I knew that what we have gained is going to last for ever. I saw the future that our children walk proud with their heads high as equals with any other proud nation. That all changed when a ‘Napunsaka Government, was enacted in the Parliament by a tiny majority. We have been a victims of the slogans of Human Rights and rationality ever since. As classic realpolitik always gets its way we are once again been consumed by the agendas of US, UK and Indians.   

Max Weber once said that no country that never new physical force against its
enemies, whether it is internal or external, ever becomes a state. No state becomes strong or proud by just protecting blind human rights. In fact, the mantra of human rights is keeping developing nations in perceptual development. It is David Hume who once said that reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them. It is under this passion of our leaders that we ought to find our security, prosperity, art and humanity. Not the other way around.

Now we are again a victim of the conviction of Imanuel Kant who concluded that ‘all our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason.’ Ironically, as the time has gone passed, those same western nations, which stipulated the reason and human rights to us, have gone irremediably wrong with their convictions, A system of Chinese governing is increasingly gaining momentum. None of those idealistic convictions had ever stopped the powerful nations, since the WW II, trying to gain upper hand in international relations. Millions of innocents were killed, bombed, and displaced under those idealistic pretexts. It teaches only the physical force keeps the world order. Now so called idealistic nations have rotten from within. David Cameron is actively opposing Human rights charters. And its 4-year-term leaders have made the country a place to launder money to rich and powerful. It is another matter why the US still possesses some political spaces left for passionate politicians - the US is a an unique case.

Our beautiful Sri Lanka begs reforms. We need accountable institutions and
bureaucracy to run it. Our cities and roads were never built to suite our tropical climate. Trees canopies along the roads and cities which prioritise pedestrians’ needs are yet to be designed. Garbage along the roads are piling. None of these things will ever change under rational politicians when their focus is about the 4-year-terms at their hands. We desperately need passionate politicians for our nation.

We need politicians like MR and GR back.

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