The End of Rational Public Discourse

Recent events in Goa seem to manifest that we have reached the end of rational discourse. We seem to have allowed mindless angry mobs to disturb the fabric of peace and harmony in Goa. Mob politics has taken hold of us. Time has come to be mindful of the dangers of a society that mindlessly allows reason to die. Goans do care about the reason. We cannot allow social media to rule us. We have challenge resolutely consider our reason to discern what will disturb the peace and harmony of our society.

Perhaps, to understand the dying of rational public discourse in our society, we have to look at the political practices that are employed in our society. Michel Foucault showed the effectiveness of the method of critical study of practices. The politics of right is always a politics of culture and hence borders on religious, moral as well what it deems to be nationalism. Often, the issues that the right-wing raises are emotive and hence involve the use of mob frenzy to register protest and its disapproval. Letting mob force on the lose vandalising property, abusing innocent people and inflicting injuries and even indulging in some kind of honour killings has become the mainstay of the political practices of the right.

The psychodynamics of mob politics of the right-wing acts on the entire society. Politics, therefore, becomes psychopolitics. But we like to pretend that we live in a decent society and hence, the majority among us take up the role of silent bystanders forcing silence on themselves while keeping a secret track on the issues that burn our society. This new technology of power is working on our psyche shaping some of us into mindless mobsters who enact a monstrosity in the open that terrifies people and form them in massified assemblages that then forget their individual selves, abandon their reason and occupy communitarian identities assigned to them.

Goans are also massified into two main assemblages: Hindus and Christians. The dividing lines are further marked by the politico-cultural as well as religious outfits that play Big Brother who not just keeps an eye on our society but takes upon itself the role of disciplining our us. Thus, political practices become disciplining practices. Reason can contest this intrusion into individual freedoms. Besides reason can show how the politics played by the right wing and its affiliates do not regard the moral dignity of an individual human person. Hence, it is important for us to discern the political agenda of the outfits of the right-wing and find ways of resisting the same. It will enable us to put reason back into our society.

Even if unreason takes control of us, we Goans have the ethical imperative to bring reason back into our political discourses. It is reason alone that will enable us to resist the politics that transform us into mindless zombies. Goans are smart enough not to surrender our minds. We are not mindless of Goa. Goans and Goaness.The time has come for us to be mindful of Goa, Goaness and Goans. Let us trust each other and stand together and work to get reason-grounded political discourse back on track in our society.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao