Malaysians must unite to combat the fanatics and fight off the bigots who are adamant about destroying the federation, urges Syerleena Abdul Rashid.
Benito Mussolini is probably the only historical figure who can aptly personify the term fascism.
Mussolini started off as a journalist and through his experiences became a political activist who believed that his country, Italy, had been unfairly treated after World War 1.
It was during this period that he formed the infamous “Black Shirts”, who symbolised Mussolini’s philosophy – where one group of humans could commend superiority over another.
He believed that “fascism denies that the majority, by the simple fact that it is a majority can direct human society; it denies that numbers alone can govern by means of a periodical consultation, and it affirms the immutable, beneficial and fruitful inequality of mankind”.
His idea was simple – the state had complete autonomy and absolute authority over its people and could only be lead by an elite group.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
In present day Malaysia, the fanatics and the bigots we face are actually no different from those of the past.
They have an unrestrained disregard for universal values, human rights and social justice.
Their inability to embrace healthy human relations and all the diversity God has bestowed upon humankind makes it difficult for us, as a nation and more so as a society, to progress.
The disrespect they display against democratic values by hammering down threats of racial violence makes a mockery of the freedom of expression guaranteed in most democratic constitutions.
Their charade and over-the-top theatrics exist to sway Malaysians into docile passivity and fear.
They now use certain colours to represent the foundations of the type of world they want us to live in and have no qualms about destroying our nation or our cultural values.
Think of it this way: when an army of impractical dreamers is set loose in the world, the most noble of causes can soon turn into an orgy of gory threats and stomach-churning imagery.
People are often drawn to the ultra-right wing factions not because they are seeking self-advancement; rather they are seeking self-renunciation. Thus, even the slightest acceptance from a minority can make them feel significant enough.
This is nothing but a side-effect of their insecurities. Confident, contented and fulfilled people tend to shun such groups.
To those unrelenting haters of democracy, pluralism and liberalism are more often associated with everything unclean and sinful.
The fear of change (brought forth by multiculturalism in a globalised world) and the notion of embracing diversity (brought forth by multi-religious societies) makes them slither further down the pillars of self-hate.
These dejected underachievers are attracted to the current revival simply because clutching their bigoted movement provides them a sense of worth; their desperation so intense and their embrace of the irrational too obsessive.
For sound-minded Malaysians, we see these racial supremacists as living examples of those who live in seclusion – devoid of purpose and logic.
When human beings experience tragedy, we often react in two ways – the first, either by giving up and succumbing to self-destructive habits, or the second, by challenging ourselves and finding our inner strength.
Fanatics are as old as humanity; they are the perpetual camp followers of our species, always searching for a cause to embrace for dear life.
For Malaysians, spreading the gospel of fortitude and optimism is by far the only chance we have left to come out of this slump.
There is an old saying, happy people do not make history. Those who do are usually from the disenfranchised and marginalised groups; those who are overcome by their frustration, feelings of discontent and helplessness are driven to respond in a way that is worthy enough to be remembered in the historical context.
From the ashes of dismay and chaos, the most harrowing moments can turn us into heroes and martyrs.
This is our moment, right now. Malaysians must unite to combat these fanatics and fight off the bigots who are adamant about destroying the federation.
We must realise that as a society and as a nation we have the numbers needed to make them fear us for a change.