Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Cheng Lap: A Country Exists for "Barbarians"

A Country Exists for "Barbarians"
Translated by Karen L., Written by Cheng Lap
Original: http://opinion.udn.com/opinion/story/6777/739442 

Source: Dennis Jarvis (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Regardless whoever you are or whatever ethnic group you are in, you, like anybody else, are born with a nationality. We have taken it for granted, membership of a country as an inborn package, that we somewhat forget to leave room wondering why it exists.

Outwardly it does not bother us at all without a stance of the existence of countries, while delving into the matter will you find an opposite answer to the initial expectation. It is expressly so since we have been in a democratic government -- though everyone of us is not directly holding the governance of one's country, every statement one voices and each vote one casts are influencing the country little by little.

Putting forward the idea, if we choose to ignore the consideration why countries are countries, it is natural for us to confuse with the roles for governmental positions. From the legislator to the president, how do we determine the right person -- functioning component of a country? Politicians, as well as bureaucracy are gearing and bearing -- with fair quality can they perform better.

We sometimes vote for a politician out of our perception of him/her being good, kind, competent, smart, or his/her healthy image, or the mutual stance with ourselves. Truly these are virtues, however here is the twist: embracing these advantages does not necessarily represent he/she is the proper one. Traditionally, being honest and having good manners are on our list of an able candidate, yet is it authentic? The answer to the presence of country lies on this question.

Western countries, if not all, refer to a country as "she" -- a goddess or a mother. It's not my intention to deny such figure of speech, but in my opinion, "it" would be more appropriate.

You mush have heard, more or less, the condition of international world remains anarchic where law is an empty recommendation. International law helps distinguishing right from wrong at most, whereas we could only pray to God for the effective implementation. Let's untie our mind shackles: What would happen if the entire judiciary, police together with judges, disappeared one day? If somebody was killed then, given that police existed no more, what could you possibly do?

The state of anarchy gives us the very answer. Politeness, reasoning, law, dogma, order of an international society -- EVERY social norm, natural as air, becomes faintly discernible. They are still there somewhere, yet no one is authoritative enough to enforce them. Yes, if someone simply wants your head down or wants to take over your possession, they should be wrong. But sadly the case in anarchy is that this someone could succeed and could get away from any of the punishment that he/she is supposed to receive.

Mere civilisation is unlikely to function in an anarchic world. Barbarity, inevitably as a consequence of such a world, can only be dealt with a new set of survival rule.

In a society of civilisation, you read and learn, in order to be qualified to meet certain criteria for a job. Then you make money in order to exchange for necessities of life, and if conflicts beyond personal level arises, you settle it rationally through lawful methods. One is regarded civilised to fulfill these situations.

In a barbaric world, reading and learning though available to one, there will be no examination to test one's capability. Conflicts are being settled not by reasoning and law, but by minimizing others' threat through conquering or governing. No one, in this case, will be hired for a job. It becomes one's responsibility to fight against each other by all means for resources so as to survive. Even so, dejectedly enough, law, if there is, does not provide you protection over your possession and anything else. Thus it narrows to the one and only way to let people know the price if they ever lay hands on you -- that is, violence, sufficient violence.

Those succeed in a barbaric world does not necessarily act in a barbarian manner, but it's a must for them to understand barbarity -- to use it as a means, to compete against it, to arrive at the level of barbarity as their counterparts. Anyone who could come through life in such environment must possess the ability to live despite the fact that the legal protection ceases to exist. These people are open-minded enough to realise that civilisation only stands when they can maintain their lives from barbarity.

Many of them who play by the rules and master the rules in a civilised society are talent, whereas they still could not get rid of the tag of "men in civilisation". To lead a country or excel in diplomacy, on a contrary, is more like hunting in the wild forest or fishing in the sea.

There is one thing about civilisation - either it stays through proper preservation measures obviously, or it will suffer, particularly so under the circumstance of barbarity. It is vital to understand how this barbaric world works. In other words, countries are there in the interest of the people's lives, their culture and dignity under the anarchic international environment. Or, we can put it this way -- Countries exist for barbarity.

This explains a country's need for violence. As a tiger protecting its cubs, a country has to be ready for others' deceitfulness, rampage or sneak attack from time to time and acts decisively to protect its people from harm. Two opposed measures are adopted, internally and externally -- one soft, one precautious and harsh, or else fatal aftermath will follow. The smaller country, the more resourceful it needs to be.

As a result of it, one will gain an insight into the origin why western culture describes a country with a feminine pronoun. But then if the object isn't within the inner circle, the soft side has to make way for the beastly nature -- it is monstrous creatures that it has to face. That is what we need for the leader of a country, not some perfectly graceful gentlemen.

Extraordinary leaders, if not all, are far from "normality": Napoleon was sort of a "bodgie"in the days of military school if we depict him in today's terminology, and the artilleries he led back in the days did not start off as the best given that cavalry dominated; Adolf Hitler was an unemployed young man living below the poverty threshold and failed to get into his dream school; Emperor Gaozu of Han was a hooligan until his mid-life kicks in; Bill Clinton was a draft dodger and enjoyed Mary Ann.

In the eye of mainstream, the background of these figures are out of orthodoxy, but it happens to be this unique personality formed -- disobedience to the general thought -- that make them stand out from the crowd and be able to deal with the outside world.

We have seen many successful figures who start off impish or mischievous and end up being owners of companies while those behaved turns out to be senior employees. Somehow our society gets overly attentive to the latter one, but for the former one, it has not given weight to foster certain talents. It throws light upon the phenomenon in our society -- everyone wants to get a job, and no one creates enough jobs to balance the demand. One started to lose count of conformity, but it remains short of leaders. The ones who attempted to be leader and failed should reflect on their customary being in the comfort zone of a highly civilised society.

In the core value of mainstream, ironically, it is conveniently found that those challenged the norms are labelled as worthless. The leaders of the future are screened out too early before we realise.

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