Time and again, the pathetic and stinging attribution of “moral bankruptcy” is categorically and patently appended in the ruling administration. The phrase is repeatedly written in national newspapers and loudly mentioned in all radio stations—except those controlled by the government but infallibly paid for by the people. The same phrase is often seen spelled in bold letters on big streamers and small placards paraded during protest rallies and angry marches. The said phrase carries a particular weight and significance because it was an evaluative pronouncement made no less than by the CBCP leadership on standing of the present government in the moral order.
“Moral Bankruptcy”: What does this phrase really mean and actually imply? Where is it premised upon and what is its over-all causal factor? Is it a desperate condition of emptiness that is already beyond redemption? When a private entity or a public agency suffers from such zero moral balance, what is in store for it and what should be its next rational move?
If financial bankruptcy is bad enough, it is not hard to understand that moral bankruptcy is very much worse especially so when this consummate liability is predicated of no less than an entire national government. The truth is that it is not easy to get the infamous rating of bankruptcy in moral standards—something that is not simply “shameful” but actually “shameless”. It requires gross official lying, cheating and stealing, interminable superlative graft and corrupt practices, continuous callous and incorrigible falsity, iniquity and injustice to deserve such an ignominious moral rating.
When the official distinction is no longer between what is right or wrong, what is good or evil, but between what is convenient and profitable or difficult and depriving, when public fund becomes private in nature and personal in appropriation, when the expertise in the tenure of public office is focused on self-service to oneself, family and loyalists instead of altruistic attention to and concern for the general public, when wealth and its accompanying power find their concentration in the hands of a ruling clan with a good number of people who ruled left wallowing in poverty and misery—the moral bankruptcy of a government becomes a living reality.
It is sad but true that when a government as a whole is already morally bankrupt, one or some upright and decent public official members thereof do not make any real difference--especially so when the one top of them is the principal in the said moral ruin of the entire structure. The truth is that a morally bankrupt government in fact becomes not only dangerous, rapacious and avaricious, but precisely even more tenacious to stay in power and might—irrespective of the huge social costs to the country and its people. In this context, human lives become cheap and human rights in effect turn to human liabilities.
Let those who have ears listen. And those who still care, act.
4 June 2008