Saturday, January 08, 2011

Failed State Mirrored by the Buddha's Applied Teachings

Dear Koun Khmer et al;

I am grateful for your knowledge sharing in this blog forum. Lord Buddha said "knowledge contribution (dana) will surpass all other contributions" or "Sabba Danam Dhamma Danam Jinati" in Pali. I have read all your articles for public discussion in here with attention and prestige.

Failed state theory has been broadly defined by scholars in the enlightenment era and this post cold-war transition. The attributions rest upon the affect of two rival ideologies: democracy and communism. This approach might be best described on the external observation of the failed states researchers. However, I totally agree with the definition of failed state that falls upon its failed leadership and people liberation.

I am fully affected by the teaching of "liberation" particularly "individual liberation" to reach "Enlightenment" by the Buddha, and this teaching has been well applied to the modern enlightening world. This is not different from failed state index 2010 posted by The Foreign Policy. In general, Cambodia is better than Burma and Lao in its 42 range, but Cambodia has been categorized by high scores in its documentation of demographic pressures, delegitimization of the state, and public service.

Demographically speaking, Cambodia is facing with youth bulk in recent statistic revelation by NGOs. More than half of Cambodian population is under age of 20 years old (pactcambodia). They are struggling to seek a better life by hunting for career opportunities; they are very different from their elders in both critical thinking and belief. They can be boon for government to heighten their strength as well as they can be the powerful agent to undermine the government. In other word, demographic pressures can define in the context of people exploitation to legitimate the power of the powerful. In this circumstance, the past genocide of Cambodia has become a main tool for politicians to legitimize their power. They have continuously gained power at the expense of their peoples past suffering and trauma. Their elders were directly affected by their traumatic experiences and their younger generations are indirectly affected by this inalienable trauma heritage. With the powerful delivery of controlled media and laid-down policy of the patron-clientele system have surely exacerbated the situation.

Delegitimization of the state is explained as to invalidate the status of a recognizable sovereign state by inclining to live under other state by either brotherliness, ideologies or economic dependency. In this matter, we cannot come up with concrete explanation of Cambodia unless we have some back up references. And I think your next topic of Elitism or Indochina would light up this story.

Third is the public service. Frankly speaking, the public service basing on patron-clientele relationship will not produce any progressive. Some paper has found that patron-clientele relationship in most developing countries are becoming a base for social and political reforming and yes it has taken longer time and sometime it has significantly failed to reform for the a betterment. Cambodia has carried out the culture of patron-clientele since the era of Angkor Wat. It was effective in that time, but it is not effective in this time. The rule of law and law enforcement can surely replace the culture of patronage, patron-clientele bureaucracy, favoritism and cronyism.

All those three high scores of failed state of Cambodia implies well to the teaching of "liberation" by Buddha. Lord Buddha said liberty and self-realization is the ultimate goal for all beings. In contrast, Cambodian people has not yet been projected to release themselves from bondage of pressure, exploitation, abusing of power by the powerful, and poor public services.

For instance, Cambodian people have been exploited by their past traumatic memory of Khmer Rouge; Cambodian people have been counterfeited by the generosity (dana) donated by the elitists and powerful people; Cambodian people have been brainwashed to pay gratitude to others without having chance to balance their gratefulness and truthfulness; and Cambodian people have been poorly treated by the public services, and they have perpetually gone through the same track of political conundrum.

Only one way to wake up our country to embrace the Enlightenment Era and update themselves to grab the current globalization is to "liberate" them from post-war trauma by handing them the space for free speech, allocating them by inventing neutral mass media, teaching the younger generations by the school of analytical thinking (not a parroting classroom), and all Buddhist monks have to learn on how to apply the Buddha's teachings with the current context of social changes and they should not memorize those teachings and parroting to the congregations only etc.

I must end my thought now and I am delightful to your articles and all comments here.

Sincere Regards,

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