Tamil Information Centre
User Name:   
Password:   
  Remember Me  
Sign up  |  Forget password
Home   
Search
    Contact us
Religionisation Of Politics: Amour Of The Authoritarian Personality
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Saturday)

By Sarath De Alwis

We live in dark times, times of lost hope, times of wrecked promises. The common candidate has turned in to a protean political swindler. The autocrat knocks on the door. 

As the blunt and bright political satirist Art Buchwald put it these are not the best of times or the worst of times. These are the only times we’ve got.

New Year festivals are measures of time. From our tribal days, we have relied on festivals and rituals usually linked to harvesting times as a device that offers a renewal of life. On this new year, our nation is focused not so much in a renewal in life but to make sense out of chaos that surrounds us in life.

After a life and death struggle to free ourselves from a tyrannical autocracy which succeeded somewhat partially, we seem to be again blinking at the abyss, tottering at the top of the precipice of parochial prejudice.

A group of Marxist philosophers now known as the ‘Frankfurt School’ fled Hitler’s Germany and took refuge in Berkeley California. In that Academic refuge, the leader of the group Theodore Adorno edited a volume titled ‘The Authoritarian Personality’. It was a part of a larger project that covered what bothers us today. It was called “Studies in Prejudice”.

The thinkers led by Adorno dissected the ‘Authoritarian Personality.’ They used what was called the F scale- the Fascist scale. It identifies nine principal traits in the authoritarian personality.   

Power and Toughness is carefully projected. Conventionalism is observed with meticulous attention. Submission to authority was amply rewarded. Anti-intellectualism was religiously observed. Superstition was ingrained. Destructive nature was habitual. Cynicism towards general norms was natural. The authoritative personality had an exaggerated concern over sex.

Now, if the reader can identify the Authoritarian personality in our midst today using this F scale designed by the cream of 20th century thinkers my toil would be amply rewarded.

Ours, is a primitive society.  Our cultural traditionalism resists economic incentives and opportunities. We want school uniforms. We do not want vouchers. We need the fertilizer in a bag. We do not want to decide what fertilizer to use. We have stopped thinking for ourselves. The authoritative personality, the powerful patriarch, beloved of the Sangha does all the thinking we need.

The Sangha endorse what the leader wants because they are in comfortable collusion to keep things as they are.

Now comes our greatest misfortune. By a combination of fortuitous circumstances, we succeed in changing the helmsman. Hope was short lived. The changed order is not coercively authoritative. It is pigheadedly in pursuit of a mirage of its own making.  In the age of artificial intelligence, exponential technological progress, our replacement of  the autocrat is caught in a time warp.

He believes that Sakka the king f Gods painted the profile of the Rabbit on the surface of the moon! The same Sakka entrusted with the task of protecting this sacred island. 

This polluted piety and debased devotion is the bane of pluralist and democratic Sri Lanka. In a recent article Tisaranee Gunasekera with characteristic fidelity to fact and luminously lucid logic encapsulates our standoff with contemporary common sense.   

“The TNA is a democratic Lankan party. Comparing it to a man-eating demon illustrates how a warped version of Buddhism is being used to portray the minorities as the inimical and devilish ‘Other’ intent on destroying Sinhala-Buddhists. This deadly practice began with the Bhikku Mahanama, the author of Mahawamsa. Mahanama enshrined the three myths which have become the bane of pluralist and democratic Sri Lanka – sacred land, chosen people and holy war.”

With Sangha in authority, over matters political, our entrapment is deadly. The vertical transmission of cultural and social values is a weapon that was developed with exquisite élan in the decade of the Mahinda Rajapaksa monolith.   

Rajapakse brothers are sponsors and patrons of nearly all Buddhist ventures in to electronic and digital media. This Vertical transmission is as effective as genetic inheritance.

Karl Marx told us that economic development would bring about pervasive cultural changes. A century and half later, Samuel Huntington in his ‘Clash of Civilisations’ insists with more than adequate proof that cultural values are an enduring and autonomous influence on society.

Bhikku Madagoda Abayatissa thera is the spiritual pilot and rhetorical navigator of the ‘Pohottu Party’ and the Rajapaksa Klan. Speaking at the launch of a book – ‘Punchi Chandayen Janapathiwaranayata Kalayuththe Kumakda’ – Lessons of the mini election for Presidential stakes’ he presented the flight plan for the Pohottuwa party. “We must build a nationalist movement as was done in 1956.”

We have come a long way since 1956. What happened in that watershed year was a historical change of course. What the monk remembers is the negative side of that change. There was also a positive side of that change that Pieter Keuneman the Communist later recalled. “I doubt whether we will ever witness so moving a spectacle as the people streaming in to Parliament, as they did after the election of 1956 and reverently and affectionately stroking the benches where the members they elected would sit.

Despite the disorder that followed the negative aspects of the 1956 that Rasputin of the Rajapaksa tribe recalls today, the country has progressed. Received wisdom assumes that economic development impacts traditional norms and values. We mistakenly hope that absolute assumptions, beliefs and practices of the tribal order will make way for a plural order that is rational, tolerant, trusting and participatory.

Cultural change is path dependent. Who sets out the path? In our Sri Lanka the Buddhist clergy still exercise that prerogative.

Mahinda Rajapaksa during his Presidency gave Venerable Medagoda Abayatissa thero a firsthand experience of the perks that await mercenary monks. He is anxious to have them restored. It included a state security detail, a Pajero SUV among others.   

Source: Colombo Telegraph

Share on Facebook


 Latest 25 News/ பிந்திய 25 செய்திகள்:
Maithri and Mahinda will get together - Dayasiri
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Wednesday)
U.S. places conditions on aid to Sri Lanka
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Wednesday)
Will announce future steps when President returns- PM
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Wednesday)
A ‘No-Confidence Motion’, Or What It Means To Have ‘No Faith’
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Wednesday)
If Constitution process stalled, Sampanthan’s Opp. leadership meaningless: Mano
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Wednesday)
Sri Lankan apparel stands to gain from US-China trade spat
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Wednesday)
Lord Buddha’s relics from MSU won’t go to Sri Lanka
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Wednesday)
“India Will Be There Whenever You Need Us” (If You Do Things Our Way)
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Monday)
The struggle goes on...
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Monday)
Lack of professional diversity in politics
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Monday)
What Is China Doing To Pakistan? The Same Thing It Did To Sri Lanka
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Monday)
Larijani leaves for Vietnam, Sri Lanka to discuss Syria
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Monday)
Many disappeared Tamil youths still alive in detention camps – detainee
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Monday)
We have the answer to Geneva
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Monday)
Why South Asia’s majorities act like persecuted minorities No conspiracy theory about minorities is too implausible to cause outrage
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Monday)
Welikada Prison incident 2012 CoI recommends prosecution of 6 high-ranking officials
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Sunday)
Iranian parl. ratifies extradition treaty with Sri Lanka
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Sunday)
Army violates agreement on UN Peacekeeping missions: HRCSL
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Sunday)
Expose` -Gota and Henda after forming armed intelligence unit killed 130 in 9 years and over 13 of its members ! Cogent evidence -Keerthi Ratnayake a former Intelligence unit officer !
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Saturday)
Why Lanka’s Parliament has declined and decayed
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Saturday)
Sinhala and Tamil New Year
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Saturday)
SL earns over USD 161mn from UN peacekeeping
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Saturday)
Parliament won't be dissolved- Austin
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Saturday)
Reginald Cooray sworn in as Northern Province Governor
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Saturday)
President clinches deal with UNP to continue coalition
Published Date: 14/04/2018 (Saturday)
Donate
Support our work to bring rights to life in any way big or small
 Amount:

Donate using PayPal

Select dates to view
past and future events
<<<Apr - 2018>>>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1
23
4
5
6
7
8
9
10111213
14
15
16171819
20
21
22232425262728
29
30     
 Stand up for Rights and Justice
Tamil men accuse continuing torture in Sri Lanka Take a stand against torture and urge UN Human Rights commission for human rights to investigate
Read more...
Take Action
Urgent: They’re beheading children
Repeal Laws that Entrench Discrimination and Perpetuate Violence
UK: Stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia
Latest Publication
Armament for Repression: Militarisation of Sri Lanka Conference Report:

Armament for Repression: Militarisation of Sri Lanka

Read more...

Thiruvalluvar
About us
Site Help
Getting in touch
Other
Facebook Youtube twitter
Sitemap  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms and Conditions
Copyright © 2018 ticonline.org, All rights reserved.