Saturday, May 05, 2012

Spring comes to Malaysia

From BYLINE- Sunday Guardian (March 6)

Anyone can get angry. But to rise in anger, it helps to be young. The young constitute the heart of any uprising for two good reasons. They have not yet had time to compromise. Their mobility is still unhampered by the usual constraints, otherwise known as the litany of social security that keeps us locked into the conventional, of job, family, property. The second reason is more interesting. The most important stimulant in the complex mix that instigates a mass movement is hope, not anger.

Hope is the positive face of anger. The first two decades of the 21st century will be remembered as the season of volcanic rage across those parts of the world subdued into stagnation in the name of isms [faith, economic philosophy, patriotism] that were often nothing more than pathetic alibis for authoritarian exploitation by local elites. There is a frisson in the air that is reminiscent of the first half of the 20th century, when there was turbulence against colonial power. This time the post-colonial world is challenging those who have usurped authority and denied their people the essence of ferment: freedom. Freedom is not merely independence from foreign rule. It is, equally, freedom from local dictatorship.


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