- Published on Monday, 18 June 2012 02:45
- Written by JAFFAR MJASIRI
- Hits: 822
WHAT has gone wrong with some politicians and civil servants in the country? This is currently the topic in discussion in every circle in our society. People seem to be disgusted by what they can see in the political arena as well as government departments.
The issues of corruption and disloyalty have continued to be reported from every corner of the country. The question is what went wrong? Is it something of our own making or we have imported it from abroad?
Some people define the erosion of moral fabric as a root cause of the country’s secular and political systems. It is believed that when the society ignored to promote morale awareness and instill discipline in our families, such immoral behaviour emerged with a lot of consequences.
But some people have blamed politicians for creating conducive environment for those who wanted to destroy our values. It is widely believed that with due respect to Arusha declaration, and the Ujamaa ideology, it did not gain ground without any costs on our values.
Some critics have pointed out that Arusha declaration had hijacked philosophy and took the front seat in our society. Why was it so? It is a fact that philosophy looks at various aspects of the social, political and economic undertakings using moral and value prism, which poses a great threat to the politicians.
To many politicians such critical thinking was not conducive for their client which makes the whole discipline irrelevant to them.
Politicians especially those who are not upright if you like, fears that ability of philosophy in imparting tools of analysis to the people, who once enlightened can start questioning the credibility and justification of so many things.
Some specialists in philosophical studies said that the discipline was undermined immediately after the country announced the Arusha declaration. Since 1967 the discipline was not taught by any institution of higher learning in the country. It was the political development studies which dominated our curriculums.
To many philosophers development studies is just another form of brainwashing and twisting people’s ideals to suit politicians’ interests. Some one out there can provoke a discussion to bring this out clearly in very simple terms. The fact that religion was not a threat to the political system under the socialist system has a reason. We all are aware that religion does not deal with a corrupt person in a secular state or system.
It breeds morality in its own denomination or sect without reprimanding those outside their own circles. We have seen time and again religious leaders criticized for playing politics. Sometimes some religious institutions are manipulated to cross the boundaries and mix religion and politics. But mainly such institutions have a strong backing of their Godfathers.
The fact that Divine commandments that are embedded in Judaism, Islam and Christianity are private in nature makes religion limited in terms of taking to task those in the secular state who are corrupt. Many times politicians have condemned religious leaders for meddling in politics.
But secular morale theories embedded in philosophy are duty based ethics. These include the utilitarian which is based on consequences or benefits that the society can achieve through moral obligation which is maximum happiness. There is also the Aristotelian principle of virtue that defines virtuous person as a good person not doing wrong, of good character and one who makes good judgment.
There is also the Rights theory, based on a just system that should be formed by all. Political philosophy exists but unfortunately it is hijacked by politicians. The politika has established that in the second phase government there has been a move by some political leaders to send scores of cadres to study philosophy at the University of Dar es Salaam and abroad.
But once these groomed politicians graduate they do not promote the philosophical values in their political posts but rather remain in the old political game of seek and hide. In last week discussion on Machiavelli philosophy based on The Prince treatise based on new domain. In our context it is about those in position of leadership.
According to The Prince the treatise coaches the leaders to contain the society. For example showing too much liberality can spoil the citizens; showing too little or none at all can turn them against the ruler. Machiavelli points out that when it is necessary to reprimand an important citizen, the ruler should consider having a stand-in do it for him. If the citizen reacts unfavorably to the reprimand, claiming it is unjust, he is more likely to blame the stand-in for the injustice than the ruler.
Such leaders have to strike a balance between showing too much mercy on the subjects, which can make a ruler appear weak, and citizens may try to take advantage of him. It is clear that in such a situation what prevails in the political system is protecting the interests of those in power regardless of the morale issues. After all politicians have no permanent friends or enemies but permanent interests.
But no one can dispute that the question of morality is not the cornerstone of a political system. Some political scientists dare to say that politicians’ first priority is their position; and, later on, comes their faiths.