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09.01.2017 Feature Article

When Fanaticism Clouds Objectivity......

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Typical of every developing nation that is making strenuous efforts to hit the developed mark, one of the dreadful imps that are likely to militate its progress is political fanaticism. Yet, the tendency to underestimate this ruinous devil and give it room to freely operate is that which remains a major bump to dealing with the situation.

But for petty partisan politics, we could have traveled far to land home most of the dreams we are still chasing today. A 20th century American thinker and philosopher, George Santayana, simply defines fanaticism as "redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim." I could not disagree any further with Iain Banks when he wrote, "There is no feasible excuse for what we are, for what we have made ourselves. We have chosen to put profits before morality, dividends before decency, fanaticism before fairness and our own trivial comforts before the unspeakable agonies of others."

Subjectivity is the latest fashion in town. Petty partisan politics has supplanted our 'neutral' sense of reasoning while objectivity has undergone a pitiful redefinition to suit our whims and caprices. The acute decline in moral standards and the sudden upsurge of what is becoming known as 'throw-dirt-and-grab-fame' phenomenon could all be attributed to petty partisan politics. Critical issues of national interest are either viewed with a lens of politically skewed hypersensitivity or treated as a triviality. John C. Calhoun writes, "Fanatics, as a class, have far more zeal than passion and are fanatics only because they have. There can be no fanaticism but where there is more passion than reason; and hence, in the nature of things, movements originating in it run down in a short time by their folly and extravagance."

The numerous judgment debts that are sitting in the wrong pockets, contracts that have been awarded to incompetent hands, the many uncompleted projects staring at us in the face, as well as the incessant use of dirty and profane language on our airwaves could all be products of political fanaticism. The actions of fanatics are far worse and more criminal than the actions of the 'lords' they seek to defend.

It remains an unsolved puzzle when we can all come together as a people and for once, reach a consensus on a burning issue of national interest without anyone skewing the decision to suit his or her political interest. Pure sarcasm is when the very people pursuing progress put up a rather laughable and utterly baseless argument to defend rot, immorality and all all manner of undesirable behaviour in the name of partisan politics.

If we eschewed fanaticism and embraced objectivity, perhaps, our politicians will not have to wait till a few months to elections before embarking on petty developmental projects overnight to win our applauses and votes. Whoever says our politicians are incompetent needs to have a rethink. Our politicians know the problems confronting the country and they know what it takes to get these problems fixed. But for funny reasons best known to us, we have chosen to avail our intelligence to the politician to sport with it.

If we shied away from fanaticism and embraced objectivity, perhaps, state or public institutions would not be transformed into 'jobs for the boys', with sheer disregard for competence and qualification. If we threw fanaticism to the dogs and opted for objectivity, perhaps, our chiefs would not declare support for parliamentary and presidential candidates and go scot free.

And if we substituted fanaticism with objectivity, perhaps, we would all come to appreciate the uncomfortable truth that our duty to do that which is right and productive does not rest on the shoulders of government, and that, we owe our conscience a moral obligation to protect and lift high the flag of Ghana at all times.

There will be the party faithfuls. And there will be the 'tribal faithfuls'. But Ghana will be better off if the majority of us rate the interest of the nation higher than the interest of our political parties.

Jet Alan.

Jet Alan
Jet Alan, © 2017

The author has 22 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: JetAlan

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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