By Sarath de Alwis –
“The process of growing up is sad and painful for it means a banishment of youthful idealism, the sacrifice of daring, the erosion of ardour; a tacit, perhaps bitter realization that life is brutal, to the idealist and that success in any sphere compels and adjustment to this awful truth. Total integrity may be an occupation for the saint and artist; alas a chimera for the politician.” – Mervyn De Silva writing in 1967
A post script
Mervyn de Silva is the distinguished Editor under whom I had the privilege of writing and also learning the art and science of writing, reporting and commenting. I am sure he would have included political scientists as well among those flexible towards total integrity.
Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka confers the grand title “Northern political aggression and Sothern Existential situation” on what he calls his concluding response to my commonsense approach to patriotism. Describing the passage of a resolution as aggression is again a sign of ‘retarded adolescence.
In any event it has no relevance to the questioned I raised on the integrity of his Smart Patriotism treatise. He has avoided meeting any of my arguments either of the two response I made – Senie Kampf – Smart Patriotism is manufactured history and Perception, Intuition and Reason of Smart Patriotism.
Using the pretext of a purported treason by Justice Wigneswaran Chief Minister of the NPC he has chosen to pick up his own gauntlet and withdrawn in to his Sinhala Chauvinist ‘Vijithapura’ fortress. That is his privilege.
But I object to his raising the drawbridge of Intellectual arrogance to forestall further pursuit. He has bolted the door with a decisive declaration ‘concluding response to Sarath de Alwis’s diatribe against ‘Smart Patriotism’.
I am left with no choice but to leave a post script to an otherwise barren debate where Dr.Jayatileke has been fisherman extraordinary – ‘piscator par excellence’ for red herrings.
In the first rejoinder I stressed that his ‘Smart Patriotism is an exercise of Sinhala self-aggrandizement by intimidating a minority by superior strength. I suggested that his ‘smart patriotism’ is naked self-interest that overrides moral principles.
In the second response I demonstrated that his ‘Smart Patriotism’ is an enterprise of political expediency where he has arrived at a conclusion and is now struggling to discover suitable evidence. I also congratulated him for his brave disregard for Kantian moral dimensions and paradigms of governance.
None of them elicited a response from this preeminent public thinker – a Martin Heidegger of our time. “Making itself intelligible is suicide for philosophy. The human being is not the lord of beings, but the shepherd of being”
As repeatedly insisted in this exchange I am no political scientist and possess no analytical discipline that could match the political and academic dexterity of Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka.
Having read George Orwell, Arthur Koestler and Franz Fanon in my youth and lived long enough to see the unravelling of Régis Debray and brothers Raoul and Fidel I find it amazingly amusing to watch the transformation of the Political Scientist to Trapeze artist. I appreciate his confidence in his own knowledge and his refusal to see, hear or learn new knowledge. I admire his determination to create proof and construct arguments to defend his theories with the vehemence of a crusader.
I doubt however that Justice Wigneswaran was provoked in to moving a resolution calling for an International investigations in to what they perceive as genocide of Tamils was a knee jerk reaction to Dr.D.J’s smart patriotism. Justice Wigneswaran is very much smarter than our smart patriots. Very early in this discussion I described the efforts of Dr.D.J as a Melian Monologue. I should have added ‘with Athenian Arrogance. George Orwell comes to my rescue in this post script. ‘Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.’