Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Must charity begin in the gambling den?

 
Azly Rahman
Jun 7, 10
12:38pm
“Show me a capitalist, and I'll show you a bloodsucker”
– Malcolm X, African-American revolutionary leader.

Charity begins at home, not at the gambling table, I should say.

Malaysians of all races are fuming over the offer that more than half a billion Ringgit will be given to charity if the ban on sports betting licence is lifted. Nationwide protests over this issue are gaining momentum and has yielded results in key Pakatan Rakyat states. But what is the issue and the non-issue in this gambling-happy country, especially when it happening illegally essentially and pervasively?

gambling gamble 220207In my column two weeks ago I wrote of the consequence of sports betting itself – one that will continue to turn this country into a gambling nation when already its people have gambled into choosing their government.

Malaysians must put a stop to gambling and understand the moral, psychological, and political-economic implications of these forms of activities. Fundamentally instead of making us into charitable people, gambling turns families upside down. It creates chaos in society and becomes a social cancer if it is not curbed.

Morally, how could the public be told that it will benefit from the half billion Ringgit profits from sports betting when essentially the money itself comes from a complex accumulation of earnings in which human suffering and the surrendering of oneself to chance and not by working hard, are embalmed in the so-called “charity”?

Destroying generations ahead?


How could that be morally right when those engaged in it are gambling addicts and their lives revolve around illusion of wins in a business that will certainly, like drug trafficking, create junkies out of those wishing to get rich quick?
Are those gambling kingpins blind to the fact that families are destroyed in this entire scheme of things? Have we not, in this cut-throat capitalist system, used people enough to maximize profit from them, that we want to continue destroying generations ahead?

Psychologically, how could children in a family of gamblers live to learn that life is about working hard and earning an honest living and not playing with chance that, in the case of sports betting, can always be rigged?
The mind of the child needs to be filled with consciousness that gambling can become a pathological condition and one not only can lose everything but will be hunted down by debtors and gangsters.
How might the family live a peaceful life if the father or mother is a compulsive gambler and that this is possible through the state provisions of legal betting/gambling? Gambling is a psychological trap and kills the mind, spirit, and eventually the body.

NONEPolitical and economically, how could a country allow the free flow of proceeds from gambling to permeate into the public sphere and to be used perhaps to buy votes and to maintain an already corrupt political system that thrives on whatever means necessary to maintain power?
How could we live with a government that blatantly and arrogantly allows gambling licences and rationalise it via utilitarianistic arguments – that the tax paid will go to building social institutions? How could one build moral institutions based on immoral business instruments?

Free enterprise and freedom to do business does not mean the freedom to set a long-term agenda to imprison society and its subsequent generations. That would be a blue ocean strategy of feeding our children to the sharks.
Capitalism itself is essentially based on immoral premises, particularly one based on Keynesian and Friedmanian economics that do not look at the deep social impact of developmentalism and how it produces and reproduces human beings like cattle addicted to green grass called money and moves with its velocity.

We have created Frankensteins

Already we have institutions whose development we cannot control – the malls, golf courses, country clubs, cheap-labour factories, conveyor-belt educational institutions, vote hungry race-based political parties, junk-selling media enterprises, etc. – that are based on exploiting human gullibility and create classes of people whose pattern of consumption affect each other. Already we have created Frankensteins out of the technologies of dominance we continue to develop mindlessly. We now want to legalise more and more forms of gambling.

gambling gamble 220207 mahjongIn the whole scheme of sports betting, the question remains: how have we come to a point in our evolution that sports as what the Greeks conceived as one of the ars liberalis (arts and skills of a free man) has become a reason to gamble and to have fun with it? From the arts of a free man to the science of the imprisoned self, must we now conceive of sports and its postmodern life as a game of chance?

We must come back to our senses and to reclaim our lives as ethical beings. We must support any political party and any government that will not allow our children to live in a society wherein the streets are no longer safe because gamblers and kingpins are having their billion Ringgit shoot-outs. Gamblers are losers and a government that approves gambling licences is a loser and will be a losing government.

Charity begins in one's heart and not in the gambling den.

DR AZLY RAHMAN, born in Singapore and grew up in Johor Bahru, holds a Columbia University (New York) doctoral degree in International Education Development and Masters degrees in the fields of Education, International Affairs, Peace Studies, and Communication. He has taught more than 40 courses in six different departments and has written more than 300 analyses on Malaysia. His teaching experience spans both in Malaysia and in the United States and in a wide range of teaching context; from elementary to graduate education. He currently resides in the United States.

8 comments:

皇雅婷豪 said...

金銀愈加磨鍊,愈加光亮,人生愈加考驗,生命愈加光輝。 ............................................................

clk said...

Let me put another analogy, if one were to make money from high-handed tactics, be it to based on immoral grounds, exploitation of workers, overcharging its customers, hidden charges etc. or any other less than honest means and makes a lot of money from it; then one day decides to donate some of its surplus to charity, will it make this person/company actions justifiable?


Why don't everyone overcharges and then says we'll donate your surplus to charity?

A charitable act from a wrongdoing doesn't make it right.

I'm not saying legalised gambling is illegal...but you decide.

Serene said...

I agree with what you said "How could one build moral institutions based on immoral business instruments?"

Hopefully one day Malaysia will abolish all gambling and prostitution in the country.

佩GailBohanan1蓉 said...

鬼故事~美人劫
美人劫-下
美人劫-中
美人劫-上

MinB2139 said...

男女互悅,未必廝守終生,相愛就是美的。..................................................

奕生 said...

凡走過必留下痕跡!不留言對不起你!.................................................................

Wintermute said...

Show me an anti - White, "Black Muslim" votary of Howard Zinn and I'll show you a Marxoid moron.

http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/howard-zinns-fairy-tale-3751

wawa said...

Hi Sir,
i am one of your student from school in Perlis :).
glad to find you here.

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