Monday, October 16, 2006

Law, Command or Orders

Was ASLI coerced or did they voluntarily withdraw?

In the socio-political circumstances, one person or institution may express a wish that another person should do or abstain from doing something. When this wish is expressed not merely as a piece of interesting information or deliberate self-revelation but with the intention that the person or institution addressed should conform to that wish expressed, it is customary to use a special linguistic form called the "Imperative Mood".

The social or political pressure exerted in the way it was addressed in imperative form are extremely diverse, yet the importance of which is marked by certain familiar classifications. Such expressions may be a "Mere Request", uttered as a "Plea", or may be a "Warning" or is an "Ordering" not merely asking, still less pleading, in order to secure compliance with the expressed wishes, implying that the speaker threatens to do something which a normal man would regard as harmful or unpleasant and renders the affected party to an unwilling course of conduct.

If the "gunman succeeds, we could described him as having "coerced" the victim and the victim as in this sense being in the "gunman's" power.

In nicer linguistic mood, we can also say that the "gunman" "Ordered" the victim to "Obey" as the situation suggests that some "Rights" or "Authority" to give order was present in this case. However, such suggestions of authority may attach the expressions "Order backed by Threats" and "Coercive Orders" or a "Command".

Commands carries a very strong implications that there is a relatively stable hierarchical organisation of men in which the commander occupies a position of pre-eminence. Where a Command is given, there is always a latent threat of harm in the event of disobedience. But to "Command" is to characteristically exercise authority, and not about using power to inflict harm; it is primarily an appeal not to fear but to respect for authority.

Such particularised form of controls are rather exceptional and an ancillary accompaniments or reinforcements of general forms of directions which are addressed to particular individuals or institutions and do not indicate a particular act to be done. The general type of conduct expected are to see that it applies to those directed and expectations of compliance. If the primary general directions are not obeyed, attentions will be drawn to them and compliance then demanded or else the disobedience will be identified and recorded with the subsequent threats of punishment imposed. In all cases, the range of application is a question of interpretation of the particular direction aided by general understanding.

It is true there is a sense in which the "gunman" has an ascendancy or superiority over the victim; it lies in his ability to make a threat which might well be sufficient to make the victim do the particular thing he was impliedly told to do so. There is no other form of relationship between them except this shortlived coercive one, but for the "gunman's" purpose this may be enough without the need to issue standing orders to be followed. Hence we are to use the notion of orders backed by threats or sanctions as explaining what the rules are, that there is a general belief on the part of those to whom the general orders apply that disobedience is likely to be followed by the execution of the threat not only on the first promulgation of the order, but continuously until the order is withdrawn or cancelled.

If such a general belief in the continuing likelihood of the execution of the threat is to exist, it may be that the power to carry out threats attached to such standing orders affecting large numbers of persons could only in fact exist, and would only be thought to exist, if it was known that some considerable number of the population were prepared both themselves to obey voluntarily, independent of fear of the threat, and to cooperate in the execution of the threats on those who disobeyed. We must suppose that, whatever the motive, most of the orders are more often obeyed than disobeyed by most of those affected. We shall call this: "a General Habit of Obedience".

It remains indeed to be seen whether this simple general notion of "Habitual Obedience" to general orders backed by threats is really enough to reproduce the settled character and continuity which the democratic system possesses.

The survey results, in spite of its appearance to the contrary, are really just complicated or disguised versions of this same form. Something more must be revealed about the data and about the person who gives the figures. The current system is characterised by a certain kind of supremacy within its territory and independence and they are not as simple as they appear to be, but what, on a common sense view (which may not prove adequate) is essential to them, may be expressed as an inhibition of conduct with fairly well-defined limits.

Doctrinally, the deepest problems of inequality will not find the lesser race in 'similar situation' to the "privileged". Far less will practice of inequality requires that acts be intentionally discriminatory. All that is required is that the "status quo" be maintained. As a strategy for maintaining social power, the power that is, will first structure reality unequally, then require that entitlement to alter it be grounded on a lack of distinction in situation, then structure perception so that different equals inferior, then require that discrimination be activated by evil minds who know they are treating the more equals as the lessors.

For as long as human equality is limited by race difference, whether you like it or don't like it, whether you value it or seek to negate it, whether you stake it out as a grounds of humanism or occupy it as a terrain of misoneism, meritocracy and justiciability will be born, degraded and die.

As a nation, we should settle for nothing less than equal protection of the laws for everyone, under which one would be born, live, and die, in a country where protection is not a dirty word and equality is not a special privilege.


desiderata said...


BElateD welcome back! ~~ Two gobl;ets of tehtarik + Ms Sunthi to thee and me!:)

You returned ona GOoDFridae, where's FridayGal? Fool of loving&gifting eh?

I'd come back later to see what I can add to your CONtents of this Post; I'm running against time this past week. Just remember don't STOP running, pause for breaks in between. Yes, Bloggers call it a HI-at-Us ("Us" is defined@Desi's Place toAday!

Helen said...

Let me applaud you on your last line. Well said!

Can't wait for the next GE...

desiderata said...

I promised I'd be BACK, to haunt tee, sdr mave, you may even regret coming back so SOOOO-OOON, Helen and Howsy ipohlang's wellcommeess notwithsitting!

Can I summarise my CONtention which means I beg to dis-A0gree, can? "~~~~~

"~~~~~~~~~~~~mirzan's only and sole motivation is Oh My Papa's legacy. Nothing more -- the statement is mere pulling wool over the Rakay's eyes. I am amazed that many citizens still harbour great nostalgia of 22 yaers under the Great Dictator and can't see through the attempt to perpetuate the dynasty -- or issit DieNASTY?~~~~~~~

Another thinktank (Gerakan associated) head Khoo Kay Peng had countered the government's stand, and indeed posed a relevant question:

"If the New Economic Policy (NEP) has been a great success, what has contributed to the contraction of the income pie of the lowest 40% of the society? The drop of almost 2%, from 15% to 13%, is recorded in the Ninth Malaysian Plan. The richest 20% has expanded their wealth by almost the same quantum. Is the government trying to hide from the fact that it has failed to build a bumiputera commercial and industrial community, to expand the individual/private bumiputera's participation in the economy? "

This enhances the premise I posited that if indeed the Government's figures and conclusions were correct, it also means the NEP has "failed miserably" -- the bumi equity (percentage-wise) having stagnated for 20 years (from 1985-2005) hovering at the 20%-mark. So why do you want to maintaing and perpetuate a policy that has failed until one has suicidal tendencies, or it's for political expediency?"

PS: Can you please XXplain your second LAST paragrapg to Desi? I enjoyed your THESIS, I wish Socrates and Albert Camus were present, though I can handle issdar Helen not withstanding -- I dunno about Howsy; where's that Lundoner? Steal with Mimi & Nicole eh? Mave, pls look after this mate -- he's being FRENCH-ised!:(

lucia said...

ah talking about equality and inequality again. anything link with the earlier equality post you dedicated to me?

actually i'm confused over this calculation thing. me no academic, no mathamatician, no accountant, no commerce student (oh and me no buy shares), so have no idea all this par value, market, capital etc.

but one thing i'm not confused about is that the gomen is in denial!!

Kenny Ng said...

just look that the ratio of uni students enaugh, does non-malay are 30%? even my department now less than 10%. this obvious figure everyone can see what about other things?

Maverick SM said...


The 2nd last para, you got to chew it hard! It's the name of the game - the game of Inequality based on race differentiation - that only the Bumis are unequal or must be above equal? I don't know!!!

Maverick SM said...

Lucia, ya, dedicated to you again. I agree with your last para.

Kenny, everything is obvious, so obvious, yet the Malays are the ones that are factually marginalised.

I agree with DEsi, that indeed the Government's figures and conclusions if to be held as correct, would mean the NEP had "failed miserably" and that more than 60% of Malays are actually marginalised.

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Anonymous said...

I don't like the earshot of all those lists he's making - it's like taking too many notes at seminary; you experience you've achieved something when you haven't.

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