Monday, March 02, 2009

'Moral Relativists' of our time

See Kumar's post on Groundviews here.

A moral relativist is one who hastens to compromise with iniquity and injustice on the pretext of laying “foundations in ground realities“.

When simple folk do it we call them apologists, when the well schooled bring their scholarship to bear for these unbecoming ends, it is moral relativism.

A lot of people have joined this wagon. Kumar identifies Dr Michael Roberts as one of them. Dayan Jayatilleke is another. Rajiva Wijesinghe is a third. I wont be as kind as Kumar. These are truly apologists. Why give a special status just because of their 'master-serving' scholorship?

Wijepala on Groundviews responding to a comment by Kumar on the same subject in a different post does ask this significant question:

Why is it that the people who complain about being tarred as LTTE apologists for criticizing Mahinda, are the same people who label others as Mahinda apologists for pointing out Western shortcomings and hypocrisy?

and Kumar's response:

Wijepala's comment is well taken. Yes pointing out the things Michael has, is reasonable. But overall the article to me seems to seriously lack balance; this is intellectually troubling in an intensely politicalised time like the present.

My problem is indeed fundamentally with the 'exposure of the Western hypocrisy' that Roberts seeks to make in his post. Its a cheap one used by a cheap Sinhala Chauvinist. In simple terms it goes like this: "you all bombed indiscriminately earlier. now dont shout when we do it". How can this be 'well- schooled scholarship'?