Batting for Goacracy

There is given-ness to Goa. A lot of what we deem to be Goa and Goan-ness is inherited by us. It was neither chosen by us nor deserved by each of us. It is given to us by birth and to a great extent, we have become Goans because we absorbed it and found our life and being in it. Thinkers like Edmund Husserl calls this enabling condition in which we are born a lifeworld. Our lifeworld is Goan. It is the oxygen of our life and being in the world. It is our goanizing condition. It makes us Goan and we belong to Goa and Goans. We do not reflect on our lifeworld unless we find that it is threatened and is on a brink of collapse. So long as the lifeworld is stable, we mindlessly swim into it like ducks in the water.

Jurgen Habermas teaches that the lifeworld can be decoded through our communicative action. It is a glue that produces mutual understanding. It is our hermeneutical lens to the world. That is, it is our pre-understanding that generates all understanding. It is unquestionably a natural standpoint from where we see the Goa, Goans, others and the world. It informs our way of being in Goa and the world. We are not merely passively thrown into a lifeworld. Although we are produced by our lifeworld, we also produce the lifeworld and hand it over to the next generation. This means the lifeworld is dynamic and evolving. Our goanizing produces us and our lifeworld. What we call lifeworld is what we name Goan-ness. Goan-ness is un-nameable and can never be emptied of its meaning and content. It is a horizon of shared meanings, values and forms of being in the world. This is why it has been said that we may take a Goan out of Goa but we cannot take Goa out of a Goan.

Of late our Goan lifeworld is under tremendous attack. This is why it must be said that Goans have lost their natural innocence. We seem to have hit what Paul Ricoeur calls first naivety. This seems to have led us to become suspicious of most political formations and developmental programmes. An unmediated certainty and beliefs that animated our life and being have died and communicative action is replaced by what Habermas calls strategic communication. This is because Goa, Goans and Goan-ness are acutely felt as being under threat. The sense of impending loss then pushes us into a dynamism of recovery. This means we feel that we are steadily losing everything that we deem as Goa and Goan-ness. We can feel that a kind of joy as Goans is being snatched away from us. The unnameable power of Goa and Goan-ness is fast dying and we cannot stand this loss.

Using the Greek word, cratos for power from where we have demo+cracy ( Democracy), we may say that Goacracy is fast dying. This impending death of Goacracy has triggered anguish and anxiety amidst us and we feel an urgent call to save Goa and Goan-ness. This sense of alienation from our beloved Goa and Goan-ness manifest the power that Goa has over us. We have to arrest the fall of Goa and Goan-ness and restore our Goacracy. But we cannot do so through strategic communication that originates as a reaction to the sense of loss that is afflicting us. We need emancipative communication to save Goa and Goan-ness and thus reverse the breakdown of Goacracy. We can only do it through acquiring what Paul Ricoeur calls second naivety. This means we have to give up formal, pragmatic strategic communication and embrace emancipative communicative action that follows discourse ethics that does not just look to build consensus but one that agrees to disagree and find solidarity in dissensus.
It is this communicative action that embraces everyone even one who disagrees with us but shares the lifeworld of Goa and means well has the potency to save Goacracy. This means we have the challenge to embrace an ethics of dissensus. This means we have to follow the principle of unity on the essentials and the non-negotiables and allow liberty on the non-essentials and stay faithful to honesty and charity on everything else. This shows that the ethics of dissensus is a kind of discourse ethics that avoids the excesses of consensus-oriented communicative actions. Only a communicative action that is open to dissensus makes room for second innocence or naivety that can produce emancipative communicative action that will enable us to save Goacracy from decaying. Hence, we have to remember that we cannot save Goa through self-righteous autocracy. What we need is democratic freedocracy.

This means we need a Goacratic approach to our democracy that puts Goa’s interest first. Our Goa-centric standpoint has to once again become the guiding force of all discourse in the public sphere in Goa. This means politics of freebies, job promises that somehow remain abstracted of the primacy of Goa largely stay away from the Goacratic lens. To restore Goacracy, we have to bring the primacy of Goa into our public sphere. The public sphere is not some empty space that we have to fill with Goacentric voices. The public sphere is a network of communications. We already are facing a Goa abstracted network of political discourse. What we need is to work to produce a Goacentric public sphere. By reclaiming our communicative power, we will be enabled to produce a politics that enables us to reclaim Goacracy for all Goans. It is by believing in our shared Goan-ness that we will be enabled to intervene in the Goa abstracted political discourse in Goa and bring about a change in discourse that will make Goan interest the centre of our all political debate and process. Such a discourse has the promise of becoming a public opinion producing a politics that will make place for Goacracy to take its rightful place in Goa.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao