You can read the previous post in this multi-post commentary here.
Silence and indifference is complicity
Outside the Romanian Anti-Corruption Court, there were no protesters. No one was demanding justice. Not one desperate mother. Not one hungry pensioner. No one.
The absence of protest against corporate greed and tax evasion may be because no one was paid. Obviously, no one was paying. Protest, some Romanians say, is freelance work for the poor.
How did they become so cynical?!
Still, everyone in Romania complains about the failure of government health care, education, and social services that are a consequence of problems including the whole-scale tax evasion going on. But no one is going out of their way to take a stand and speak their heart.
No one gives voice to our intimate demands that justice roll down like thunder.
Witnesses being called to the interviews weren’t given to the imagination that it is, in fact, their duty as citizens to voluntarily provide unrequested documents and evidence – let alone speak out about the bigger picture of the fraud or its consequences on Romanian economy and society.
Instead, they were preoccupied with the headache of the summons and procedure, lost time, and, a few, the fear that their complicity could result in personal fines and taxes for years of unpaid taxes.
The witnesses did not imagine that this is an opportunity to strike against corruption. That this was a moment to begin reform.
If asked why not, the answer would be something like this: “Corruption is so big. Even if this case were to be solved in the right way, it doesn’t change anything.”
The Romanian people are complicitous in corruption- no more and no less than the oligarchs and politicians that are decried so often in the mainstream and new media.
That the Romanian people are compicitous is a reminder that we are all complicitous in corruption – whether that corruption be as simple as a labor contract, an institutional prejudice against multiculturalism, or our nation’s interference in the free will and aspirations of other peoples and nations.
And for so long as we remain complicit in silence and indifference, our star-crossed fate shall be that same as decreed by the Prince of Verona at the end of Romeo and Juliet:
“All are punish’d. ALL ARE PUNISH’D!”
The question, then, is urgent.
How should courageous voices speak loudly against corruption when complicity and self-interest outweigh even our own commitment to a better world?
You can read the next post in this multi-post commentary here. Or start at the beginning.
25 February 2011
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About Stan Faryna
Mr. Faryna is the founder and co-founder of several technology, design and communication companies in the United States and Europe including Faryna & Associates, Inc., Halo Interactive, and others.
Stan Faryna served as a Global Voices author and translator. Global Voices is a non-profit global citizens’ media project founded at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, a research think-tank focused on the Internet’s impact on society.
His political, scholarly, social and technical opinions have appeared in The Chicago Defender, Jurnalul National, The Washington Times, Sagar, Saptamana Financiara, Social Justice Review, and other publications.
Mr. Faryna also served as editor-in-chief of Black and Right (Praeger Press, 1996), a landmark collection of socio-political essays by important American thinkers including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Copyright 1996 to 2012 by Stan Faryna.
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