Tuesday, July 9, 2013

We The People

What constantly amuses me is the fact that most people are pissed off that there are so many differing views on something or even anything.

They are consistently surprised when they meet or read views that are different than theirs. I find their shock to be funny.

For instance, the so-called 'liberals' in KL are often shocked when some people don't share their 'liberal' views. And some 'pro-democratic' supporters just can't take it when there are people who value other forms.

We can see this in movies and music. Most people are mortified with the Justin Bieber phenomenon, or the huge interest with Twilight the past few years. Perhaps as horrified as their parents were when they started listening to Queen or Nirvana or watched porn.

What IS shocking, really? The very foundation of democracy and capitalism is to allow and even promote differing views, settling it with a vote either through a political election or the daily market election where consumers vote with their money.

Let's look at age of consent. In the US, the age of consent is 18. Meaning you can have sex at 18 and get married at that age (though you can be convicted for a murder as an adult, at 14. Go figure.). UK has it at 16. In Thailand, it is legal for you to work in a bar at 18, but illegal for you to consume alcohol or even frequent a bar until you are 21.

In the old days, you can marry at 9 years of age, perhaps younger. In some parts of the world, this is still true, though most modern civilisations peg the marrying age at the legal 18. Or 16.

Who determines all these things? Why, we do. Laws are set by the people. This IS our social contract, bound in a legal manner. Borders are merely imaginary lines we set so one set of rules apply on some parts of the earth and another in other parts.

Democratic concepts push for a variety of views, and even have safeguards to protect the minority views and groups. Even in business, minority shareholders still have some protection. So owning 51% of a company - say, Wayne Enterprises or Stark Industries - does not mean you can do as you like and fund your cave-spelunking, BASE-diving, bridge-jumping hobby using experimental products your company is developing in R&D.

In fact, rules and laws can be exploited so much by minorities that South Africa was under minority rule - Apartheid - for quite a number of years. It took a whole bunch of revolutionaries and Mandela to make it majority rule once more.

A similar situation exists in Israel. The Palestinian numbers are growing faster than the Israelis. Israel would have two options - recognise Palestine or allow every Palestinian the right to vote. Being the majority, we could see a Palestinian head of state for Israel. There is a third option - kill them all or leave them out for the zombies to eat. Highly unlikely.

My point is - differences in opinions and views should not be the basis of despair and distraught. It should be celebrated. The difference in opinion drove the Edison-Tesla rivalry, the Jobs-Gates business feud, Galileo versus the Catholic church, Freud vs Jung, the list goes on.

What humanity needs to evolve out of is emotion. Our politics usually degrade into hate-filled catchphrases, charged with racist and bigoted agenda.

"Buy Chinese last". "Melayu malas". "India mabuk". Hmph. Primitives.