Saturday, August 4, 2007

The collective silence

With all the political killings and disappearances that are happening around us, Jose Ma. Montelibano laments why are we not out in the streets to condemn the killings. Even US solons have urged GMA to act on the killings.

The absence of collective outrage may be explained by the absence of a collective sense of nationhood.

Those who are silent about these killings, view these killings as a fight between the left and the right. They are silent because they are not part of any of these groups. They are mere watchers on the fight between these two protagonists.

We all know that the killings are condemnable. We should rise up against it if we are morally upright citizens. But unfortunately, we are, collectively, not good citizens. It is more of a norm to look in a different direction when we see unlawful acts. Good deeds, good citizenship, volunteerism, heroism are very common news items because they are not the usual way of things are done. Apathy, distrust, hopelessnes is not news because these are the prevailing attitude. These are the norm.

The absence of a collective sense of nationhood results into a collective silence towards political killings. A campaign on citizenship will help bring about this sense of nationhood. With s strong sense of country, we can easily mobilize our people to pressure government to act on the killings. With a better collective moral value, it may be difficult to find individuals who will execute these dastardly acts. Our moral values have become so low that life has become so cheap. The absence of a collective outrage to condemn the killings is a reflection of what we are as a people, walang pakialam. But we can do something with this kind of collective attitude. We are just too busy with our individual advocacy and agenda.

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