“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”Extract taken from e-notes here, below:
― William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)
Cassius, a nobleman, is speaking with his friend, Brutus, and trying to persuade him that, in the best interests of the public, Julius Caesar must be stopped from becoming monarch of Rome.Surely, it is not the intention to persuade others to resort to assassination or any acts of violence, but to look really deep within us and make that honest and rationale assessment before leveling blames on others for the trouble and misery of today.
Brutus is aware of Caesar's intentions, and is torn between his love of his friend Caesar and his duty to the republic. Cassius continues by reminding Brutus that Caesar is just a man, not a god, and that they are equal men to Caesar. They were all born equally free, and so why would they suddenly have to bow to another man?
On another level this phrase has been interpreted to mean that fate is not what drives men to their decisions and actions, but rather the human condition.
If one is honest enough in the assessment, seldom it turned out to be our own fault.
This FMT opinion piece by TK Chua, claimed as an FMT reader but former writer with Sin Chew Jit Poh is refreshingly honest:
The fault, dear Malaysians, lies in ourselves
November 13, 2016
Our problems we face are so “man-made”, ranging from sabotage, pilferage, corruption, exploitation, profiteering, smuggling, arbitrage, cheating, taxes, wasteful spending to meagre wages.
By T.K. Chua
Why are we running everything to the ground?
Today it is about cooking oil shortages and the use of recycled bottles to pack cooking oil. Earlier it was water rationing. I am sure most of us have, at one time or another, experienced inconveniences such as a shortage of diesel, sugar, flour, eggs, chicken, beef, rice, and other essentials.
It is strange that as one of the most “governed” countries in the world, we always run short of this and that. Just look at the numbers of regulating agencies and enforcement officers we have. They don’t seem to make much of a difference when compared with other countries with no such outfits.
I am not talking about natural catastrophes here like floods, typhoons and earthquakes that cause supply disruptions. The problems we face are so “man-made”, ranging from sabotage, pilferage, corruption, exploitation, profiteering, smuggling, arbitrage, cheating, taxes, wasteful spending to meagre wages.
Take any problem we face today and I am sure you can pick out the relevant factors highlighted here.
Don’t blame industrialisation or population growth for water contamination and disruption of potable water supply. It is an issue very much related to incompetence, corruption or even sabotage. Two weeks ago it was Semenyih River, today it is Linggi River. When will this baloney end?
Don’t blame the various subsidy programmes for the people but our inability to manage smuggling, corruption, arbitrage, and collusion between business people and public officials. How did subsidies end up benefiting foreigners, exporters and those who are in the position to arbitrage rather than the consumers?
Don’t blame the GST per se. It is our inability to manage prices which have escalated beyond the GST rates, again due to incompetence, cheating and profiteering.
Don’t blame toll rates, electricity tariffs, parking charges, Internet access fees, and university tuition. It is our inability to regulate and control monopolies, collusion and exploitation.
Don’t blame falling oil prices on our fiscal woes. It is our profligate and extravagant ways. Ministers and senior officials get too much perks and privileges. Government contractors, suppliers and consultants get too much profit and compensation for doing little.
We have a big national budget but it delivers only a small output, if you get what I mean. We pump in more money, but there is no corresponding increase in goods and services.
Don’t blame our high cost living on lack of price control or enforcement alone. It is the falling value of our ringgit. Price control and enforcement can’t enhance the value of the ringgit, but proper monetary policy management, including appropriate interest rates, money supply, efficiency and productivity can.
Don’t blame stringent loan conditions imposed by banks, blame low income or income decoupled from prices of homes and cars. Loans are not incomes. We are only postponing the problem if we dish out loans to borrowers who have no means of paying it back.
Don’t blame the US Presidential election or Trump as incoming president. These are mere excuses for global excesses to realign and to find their fundamental levels. The centre of gravity has shifted. US power and influence have waned. Trump will not make a significant difference.
The US is just a “bottomless pit” of consumers and a supplier of US Dollars. Has anyone visited China lately?
We must get the fundamentals right: the rest will fall in place.
T.K. Chua is an FMT reader
It was only few days back that someone vented out his frustration. It is time to tell these naive and ignorant people to do as they stupidly prefer.
If Singapore and Penang, even Kelantan and Selangor are not glaring enough as examples, the corruption, nepotism, and cronyism of the past that become a financial burden today is not good enough a lesson, and the insidious manouvre for legacy, dynasty and crony in perpetuity is not obvious enough to be seen, let them undergo the bitter and painful, likely irreversible experience.
What is happening today are mountain of problems from the past swept out of our sight only to appear and blamed it as others fault.