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The help quotient



"Politics is not a game. It is an earnest business." Winston Churchill


Changes in opinions or circumstances concerning government is best calibrated with the HELP (History, Economics, Law, Politics) quotient which gauges the past, present and the prophetic by employing uninspiring standards.


The HELP quotient can only survive if it is in the hands of the governed with hardy nerves. This prevents the government from becoming control-freaks. Government is merely a sojourner in the land of opportunity eking out a living in a fragile society.


‘History is mostly guessing; the rest is prejudice,’ observed Will Durant, as if referring to the creation of Malaysia and the horrid May 13, 1969 post-elections’ political convulsions. Draconian laws await the ardent researcher who, while belonging to the wrong camp, plans to expose the truth.


Educational institutions in most nations fail to teach the young the basics of economics, to wit: never spend money before you have it; spending is quick, earning is slow; a fool and his money are soon parted; creditors have better memories than debtors; rather go to bed supperless than rise in debt.


And when the young are ready to hold the reins of responsibility, they have no clue where to start, but spend precious time looking for third-rate guidance. The monkey-see-monkey-do factor becomes handy.


The core element in economics is that everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it. The amount of paper money in circulation is strictly a matter of top-notch secrecy and utmost uncertainty in most nations.


But debauching currency finds pre-eminence and prominence like a perfect panacea for not knowing what to do to shore, strengthen and stabilise currency. Inflation, deflation, devaluation, stagflation and recession go unchecked, uncontrollable and unstoppable.


Our economists, meanwhile, are busy engaged in lectures and seminars, and writing books while others play advisory roles for the elites in the public and private sector.


Law, in the meantime, emerges as a measuring rod for controlling excessive thoughts of correcting the ills and wrongs of society. Thomas Hobbes laid the ground rules, framework and blueprint: ‘it is not wisdom but authority that makes a law.’ The masses simply yearn to be ruled by a minority of a tyrannical few while clamoring for ‘human rights.’


Law journals record the landmines and landmarks of the law based on ‘English common law’ that has pervaded and poisoned all legal systems. John Locke claimed that ‘the end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.’ Obviously, Locke was in the minority, and failed to check Hobbes’s notes.


The American lawyer Clarence Darrow made it uncomplicated: ‘laws should be like clothes. They should be made to fit the people they are meant to serve.’ If that could become a way of life, politics would be a great commission, a noble calling, and a pristine profession.


The French philosopher P. J. Proudhon discovered another trend when he realised that ‘the law does not generate justice; it is nothing but a declaration and application of what is already just.’ His seminal All Property is Theft is the penultimate manual for the HELP quotient.


‘The wounds given to the Constitution . . . are still bleeding,’ warned John Wilkes, a British MP in 1764 as he was being expelled from Parliament. But his warning is still relevant today to any government that swears an oath to protect, defend and uphold the written constitution conveniently dubbed ‘the supreme law of the land.’


Except for Bhutan where the Chief Executive is directly concerned with the happiness of…https://www.newsarawaktribune.com.my/the-help-quotient/

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