We saw it happen in the UK, we saw it in the Philippines, and now we see the same in the US; all three are protest votes about the operative culture of kleptocracy, managed and ordered by an equally ‘corrupt system’.
Actually these are in fact the ‘new barbarians’ ready to rule in their ‘new barbaric ways’; as Professor Ian Angell warned us some time ago; but we did not take him seriously either, nor did we take note of his warning.
Ian Angell, dubbed “the Angell of Doom” by The (London) Times, lays out his manifesto for the New Barbarians who will lead the economic elite into a Brave New World over the next two decades. He rejects the long-held view of information technology as our benign liberator from mundane work.
Instead, he regards it as the seed for a new society, in which the winners in the knowledge economy will construct their own “smart regions” founded on libertarian principles and enlightened self-interest.
Who is the corrupt system?
Michael Harmon wrote two important books for American Public Administration. One was called ‘Action Theory’ and the other ‘Organization Theory for Public Administration’. He was my professor of Public Administration.
In the second book, he starts with a story of a five-year-old boy being battered to death in his own home by his stepfather, but all 360-degree neighbours who knew something was not right, did not do anything and therefore “colluded or collaborated to kill the boy”.
My other late professor of Psychology and Management, Jerry B Harvey, in his teaching and writing made famous a similar concept, and called it,‘the Abilene Trip’. In fact the ‘Trip to Abilene’ was voted one of the most popular management concepts, and was rated even higher than Maslow’s Hierarchy at one time in late 1980s.
His argument or theory simply states, all groups tend towards being silent about wrongdoing when they have an opportunity, because they dared or cared not speak up about it. But when challenged, they all disavowed that they did not exercise a volition option by their non-action. This he labels as ‘the Abilene Paradox’.
Intentions versus actions
Every human being, to qualify as one with a conscience and seeking to live a righteous life, must always compare and contrast one’s personal conduct versus one’s true intentions; whether actively or non-actively pursued. This is my greatest concern with these ‘new barbarians’.
They may quite unintentionally take and provide leadership on the road less travelled and then, when things do not work as anticipated in their limited worldview, they blame all others except themselves. The Syrian head honcho is today’s classic example; at so much cost to human lives.
These are really individual bullies, but they sit in (or assume office) official roles and unelected capacities but chose to abuse their roles and positions of public office for private purposes or agendas. They appear not accountable to anyone else; including God.
Therefore, whether it is Sepp Blatter in the world football sports body, or it was the Clintons in US politics, or the new tribal chief in the Philippines; or even the close-one-eye culture of Aung San Suu Kyi on the Rohingya issue; they are all bullies of different colours and shades and we must all speak up against all of them.
Both president-elect Donald Trump and President Rodrigo Duterte may be sincere in their efforts to “achieve their agenda” but the means must also define their ends; otherwise, when all is said and done, it will be too late to say otherwise. After much life is sacrificed it may be too late to find out truths about the non-existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction or WMDs.
In my lexicon and dictionary, these types are ‘selfists;’ who understand self-love more than their love for others. They rule by the power of their money and new-found authority but are only driven by self-love or their primary ego or self-glory.
They live in a completely glorifying world of Maslow’s highest level of self-motivation. But as I have argued elsewhere, especially in my Theory R, we must also learn to love others and seek the good of society more than self-glorification; if we really want to care about others in the world and truly make the world a better place.
I rest my case.
KJ JOHN, PhD, was in public service for 32 years having served as a researcher, trainer, and policy adviser to the International Trade and Industry Ministry and the National IT Council (NITC) of the government of Malaysia.