If this is an animal farm…

The parties, coalitions and individuals opposing the totalitarianism today are your conduits to freedom. Their human frailties and failing do not mean the fight is wrong, or justifies the passing of our trust back to the guys pinning us down with a gigantic boulder of tyranny.

By Praba Ganesan (The Malaysian Insider)

FEB 4 — Totalitarianism. Form of government that theoretically permits no individual freedom and that seeks to subordinate all aspects of the individual’s life to the authority of the government (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

Malaysians have to ask themselves whether they live in one, even if it is likelier a neo-totalitarian state. Both have the common thread of an absolutist government — seeking to sustain itself at the expense of its people.

When you live in a totalitarian state then your first principle, prime objective has to be to free yourself from that predicament. Either flee or defeat those who uphold that totalitarianism. Everything else comes secondary.

Democratic ideals can only prevail in their entirety when they have breathing space. Otherwise they are choked, twisted and ultimately denigrated as dangerous precedents which will lead to uncertainty, Western imperialism, religious extremism or godlessness (same-same really) and moral decadence.

Those accusations are not true by the way, but the control of political process, finance and “law” enforcement instruments enable those in power to portray things external to “their” reality as being counter to “our common good.”

Those living on the wrong side of the “Iron Curtain” for the most part of the 20th century can bear testimony when only a single paradigm reigned over peoples irrespective of their personal views on what constitutes better government.

But totalitarianism was not exclusively a malady of socialism, in fact socialism became the victim of totalitarianism. Many post-colonial nations are or were victims of it, because it is very tempting to rule by barring reason.

Whether it was Stalin’s communism, Kruschchev’ antagonism, Mao’s communalism through teacher barbeque, Tito’s Slavic assimilation or Mobutu Seko-Seko’s pro-democracy through local brutalisation (replaceable with Pinochet), ideology and theory are compromised in order to protect an elite.

That is obvious enough.

But looking at Malaysia, many fail to realise that even those who initiate opposition to the oppression are also victims of the system. They are products of a totalitarian system and our expectation for them to rise above the muck effortlessly is naive.

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