Friday, July 27, 2007

Collective well-being

As a leader of the ABSDF, Dr Naing Aung, put it, ‘Our parents didn’t do it, so we have to take this responsibility. If we didn’t do it, the next generation will face the same problem.’ This has been Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s argument. People must join together and participate now, so that everybody can live in peace and security in the future. But remembering the farmer-carpenter who is worried about getting the next meal on the table for his family, it is easy to understand why people hesitate.

The fact that parents of all backgrounds usually foster conformity with the regime reflects an interesting twist on the ‘Asian Values’ argument which prioritizes collective well-being over individual rights. Because Burmese parents, like parents everywhere, try to protect themselves and their children form harm, there is no collective well-being but only continued fear and insevurity for everybody.

Extraced from "Living Silence" by Christina Fink, Chapter 5-Families.