Democracy and Goacracy

The emancipative communicative action that can save Goacracy is discourse ethics. Discourse ethics is procedural ethics. It does not tell us what the answers are. It tells us how to arrive at those answers. It is ethics for the truth in the coming. Discourse ethics is interpersonal. It is not ethics for an atomistic self. It is not deductive alone. It combines both deductive and inductive logic. It progressively transforms the Kantian categorical imperative into a collective imperative. It also marks its distance from John Rawls theory. It resonates with Habermasian discourse ethics. Habermasian discourse ethics seems to be limited to the consensus model of communication. We have to expand it to include our consent to dissent. A broad consensus includes dissensus as we all agree to disagree under its banner.

Emancipative communicative action intending to restore Goacracy will have to include dissent and has to remain sufficiently open so that the unnameable Goan-ness can find its traces within it. We are used to legitimation drawn from institutional power, hence would desire closure. But when legitimation finds its authority in the charismatic power, we do not have to have the final closure in advance. This does not mean anything goes under the label of Goan-ness. It is communicative action that produces repugnance and is the one that will point out what cannot be accepted as Goan-ness. This means Goan-ness that is embedded in the lifeworld that becomes the ground that forms episteme as Michel Foucault taught us, fires all discourse formations. It will manifest where and how we compromise and fail Goa, Goans and Goa-ness.

Discourse ethics is a meta-ethical theory. It guides the dynamism of discursive practices. It does not strictly fashion the end result. It only fashions the way we reach it. It strikes a balance between ideal role-taking and real dialogue. The ideal of Goa that we have has to open us to the real of Goa that is discovered in dialogue with other dialoguing partners who are also having the interest of Goa to their hearts. Discourse ethics thus provides us conditions to purify our individual’s interests that may not be free of egoism and come to the consensus that will discover the real of Goa grounded in the episteme that informs our lifeworld.

What unites all of us has to be the Goanizing principle. It is this Goanizing principle that will compel us to enter discursive formations and discursive practices shaping up in the public sphere in Goa. The Goanizing people can open us to enter into the discourse, and the principle of rationality then govern our argumentation leading to understanding and discovery of the real Goa. The principle of rationality can lead to the tyranny of totalitarianism of one’s own position. It has to have tampered with the principle of reality. The principle of reality is integrating principle that readies us to open our closed understanding of Goa and Goaness and enable us to see the point that the other participant is making. The reality principle has to be followed by the emancipative principle that leads us to align with the emancipative discourse of free Goa and restore Goacracy.

We seem to be hit by what Slavoj Zizek calls heaven in disorder. We all dream of heaven but cannot unite together to bring the heaven of our dreams on earth. Zizek takes his cue from Mao Zedong who famously said, ‘ There is a great disorder under heaven; the situation is excellent. Mao certainly saw an opportunity in a disorder or crisis. To Zizek that condition has changed. The disorder is no longer under heaven. The disorder is in heaven. It seems to be true. We all know that we are stuck with a double blow. There is disorder under the heaven. Goa and Goan-ness are in deep crisis. We all feel the loss that is threatening to come. But we seem to be unable to unite under the goanizing principle. This suggests that Zizek is right. There is a disorder in the Goa of our dreams. We do not seem to agree to disagree. We are hit by the poison of suspicion of the intentions of each of us. It is high time that for the sake of Goa we have to find solidarity.

Maybe we have to seriously ask the Freudian question: What does a Goan want? ( Freud asked what does a woman want?). Political opportunists are thinking that the political space in Goa is up for grabs. We Goans are caught in the vicious cycle of the left of the centre Congress and the BJP of the far right. There are also new parties that are opening new political spaces. But with too many players in the fray, there are already fears that in the end, it will become a zero-sum result as there are fears that the unwanted right-wing may come back through the back door. This is why ‘what does a Goan want?’ becomes an important question. It does hold the key to the fate of Goacracy. We seem to be failing to make up our minds as to what we really want. The issue is complex and we are certainly confused.

We seem to be facing the question that Stalin was asked in the 1920s, which is worse, the Right one or the Leftist one? He is said to have said they are both worse. We too have the same predicament. Faced with the choice of the worst, we seem to have got into a state of indecision. With no alliance among the political players, there seems to be no viable middle road. There are several who are now promising to be the go-between the left and the right in Goa but most of them lack credence. Maybe it is time that we in Goa have to take Mao seriously. We have disorder under heaven in Goa and have to show courage and character to see that it is an excellent opportunity for us Goans to come together for Goa, Goans and Goan-ness. We do have the breathtaking ability to miss the chance. But this time maybe we have to change this record and grab the opportunity to put Goacracy in its rightful place.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao