The Way Things Ought to be in South Africa

2014-08-16 20:00

"These are the times that try men's souls."  -- Thomas Paine (January 29, 1737–June 8, 1809).

There have been, of recent, a notable expose of people in high places with fake university degrees and the subsequent protection and idolizing of these individuals.

Theologies are created to strangulate the truth and honesty to protect holders of fake university degrees. These theologies are sugar-coated with humanistic philanthropic themes to sound acceptable; thereby staging an opera that demonize integrity, truth, honesty and decency. And this opera has continued to conduct the performance ever since.

But this opera is set to have a second part. What are the implications or has been the implications?

Any society that fails to tame the wild nature of individuals by recommending honesty, rules of social conduct and executing sanctions in cases of blatant lying and dishonesty, that society has placed its head on the chopping block, it has booked its self destruction.

A society functions well and succeeds only when the ethical integrity of individuals in society is high. To this end, when truth and honesty are strangled in favor of an individual with low moral base, then a society loses its sanctity and become liable to being patronized to the abyss.

This is why it is very important that a society takes much care in the manner it cultivates its foundational ethics. No society which sacrifices honesty and truth ever knows peace, development, or felicity. That society will forever continually be plagued by social discontent. Its wheels of prosperity are locked; trying to drive forward but in reverse gear.

This is because cohesion in society cannot tolerate an incestuous rape of its hallowed principles. A society that builds monuments in honor of morally compromised dishonest people can never become the sweet land of liberty and goodness.  By reasoning out with the wrong; by elevating primitive depravities to the spiritual level that society desecrates all that is good, true and beautiful.

When a person successfully completes university studies through tears, and strenuous years of personal sacrifices, sweat and blood, a Graduation Ceremony is convened where he or she is crowned. This Graduation Ceremony is presided by the highest authority in the University. The graduates are crowned “to be found worthy of character and learning.” Therefore a university education is not only about a person possessing intellectual acumen or having sophisticated intellectual expression BUT more importantly character. So where is character to a person who is armed with fake university degrees?

Thomas Paine should be weeping in his grave. He should weep because the esteem and nobility of humanity is slain upon high places. And Machiavelli in his grave rejoices! Remember it was Machiavelli (in his little book the Prince) who advised that if you are a politician and you fight for power, if you win and become a Prince, the first thing you must do is to kill all the people who supported you, because these are the people who are the greatest threat to your acquired power.

Why should we make Machiavelli to rejoice in his grave by fine tuning a society where every noble honest philosophy of politics is divested of meaning and impregnated with slogans of deceit that gobbles up honesty and sound morals? Why should we dye dishonesty with tinctures of social respectability and in the process shuffle off the truth?

Once a society loses integrity, it gives way to a jungle, a very horrendous jungle.

That we could degenerate into a rubber stamp of fakers at the expense of the whole country, is really a testament to the futility of our pretenses.  It is really the nadir of the ridiculous that someone can stand in public, stuck his chest out and declare boldly that an individual lying, dishonest and lacking of character is the greatest, thus hijacking the genetic codes of social character.

There is a need for a massive radical shift of conciseness within our society. The demise of social morality in any society; will forever haunt any society that allows itself the sordid luxury of entertaining such moral lapses within her embrace. Any attempt to modify or abate, repudiate or tone down sound morals is fatal

If you conduct an intensive and extensive study of philosophy like I do, from Africa to Asia, Europe and America, you will realize one thing; all philosophies form one remarkably coherent whole, they are united in one fact: they all mourn the death of morality and character in society and individuals comprising the society.

If you can delve deep into the oceans of oral stories of ancient Africa and ancient African folk tales, you will be aware that ancient African discourses put at the centre, the sanctity of character. Character is the cradle of credibility. Without the element of character everything is cancelled. These were communities where rationalizations were scorned, lies were rejected and equivocations mocked. These were comforting communities for people who lived lives of fairness. Ancient African communities were nightmares for charlatans and deceivers, but a great place for those who loved truth, common sense and decency.

This saga of fake university degrees has given this country the most effective lessons in the history of Africa an Africans in what spin can achieve. Spinning the truth is about twisting the facts of a very troubling situation until it is impossible to figure out what the hell is going on.

BUT HAVING SAID THAT, It is good that once moral lapses have been made, such an individual should show, not only show, but demonstrate, through practical acts, remorse and personal regret - and that has been exhibited recently. We should accept, hug, forgive and move on in love with joined hands. At the end of the day we all recognise our human frailty.

We all have in our inner recess the dark depths of human depravity and misery: depraved, wretched, subject to death. It is a common heritage: by nature no man is either better or worse than his fellows. This is a universal malady.

Plato in the second book of his Republic, complained that all men are poisoned. "Men by their natures are evil and cannot be brought to good". But at least, please let us try, and aspire to be good in all our daily thoughts and actions. 

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