The bus 44 and the DOM/ moderation

2021.01.07 15:21

강창오 조회 수:5

In a remote countryside in China, Bus 44 with full of passengers was running on the road. Suddenly two of the passengers produced weapon and began to rob fellow passengers. The robbers did not stop once their robbery done, forced the female driver to stop the bus and raped her. At the critical moment, one middle aged man tried to intervene the situation, got stabbed and beaten up by the thugs, while the rest passengers were remaining silent with no action. The thugs eventually fled and the driver told the wounded middle age man to get off. He protested he was only trying to help but she was adamant saying she wouldn’t move unless he got off. Then, the rest passengers pulled him off the bus with his luggage. The driver looked the passengers over her shoulder with disdain, accelerated the engine. The wounded middle-aged man luckily got a lift with another car, then reached the area where was cordoned off by the police. He then found out that the bus 44 was drove off the cliff, and no-one was survived.

This was apparently a true story that occurred in China in 1999 and in 2001 it was filmed in Hong Kong. The film won awards at Venice Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and was invited to Cannes Film Festival.

There seems to have been no other times when the left-right political spectrum is clashed in full like today. The left-right split dates to 1789, when members of the French National Assembly met to begin drafting a constitution. The anti-royalist revolutionaries seated themselves to the presiding officer’s left, while conservative, aristocratic supporters of the monarchy to the right. The newspapers began making reference to them ‘progressive’ and ‘conservative/ traditionalists’. Furthermore, the split of the two ideologies culminates in featuring Communists and Capitalist/ liberal democracy. It might’ve been less precarious, ongoing clash in the era of cold war when these two giant ideologies were well established with iron and bamboo curtain front.

In these days of political polarisation, the word of The Doctrine of the mean/ moderation sounds so attractive so as to avoid the friction from the left or right. It certainly construes the way to peace compromising by a margin from both sides. No doubt that it will be an ideal world if it works evermore like that way.

Thus, ancient philosophers too, introduced of DOM/ moderation as follows.

Confucius said, the person who follows the mean is on a path of duty and must never be swerved; not exceeding one’s natural order, no more or less in maintaining balance and harmony from directing the mind to a state of self-control. According to Aristotle, the true virtue is character excellence that consists of patience and Doctrine of the Mean/ moderation.

Needless to say, the role of the Doctrine of Mean/ moderation is immense balancing opposition from disputing in peace time. But the balancing is fragile that can be broken anytime when one side of the power is lopsided that is based on the very nature our DNA - Strongest for survival. The history has shown it repeatedly by waging war which, as a matter of fact, is still ongoing in many parts of the world, in invisible or visible, small or deadly scale. Is there a place for the Doctrine of Mean/ moderation when the power is totally disintegrated?

Therefore, however much the moderates try to belittle a notion of following one political spectrum as being partisan, one has to choose the one. Because it is a personal belief about the purpose of one’s life deposited freedom and right which is essence of spiritual food; ultimately relays to a matter of life and death by echoing the famous speech of “Give me liberty or give me death” by Patrick Henry, the American attorney and politician. However, most people stay in the middle path where they can watch the balance of weighing scale. They then join the side with more force of gravity for saving their skin or taking advantage. It is simply an act of being selfish, cowardly or lacking intelligence which the passengers of the bus 44 chose except one the middle aged man. Those passengers cannot be punished in the eyes of law for their no action. But their collective and silent watching on the situation drove them to the death valley consequently. Their moderate option first gave the robbers the leeway and led their lives to end such terrible way.

But, Aristotle said it inversely that taking the side of left or right was the cowardly act and staying in the Doctrine of Mean/ moderation was the courage and moral superiority. But, again, the bus 44 proved the latter in completely opposite outcome. Where was this moral superiority in the bus 44? It is not just a tragic event but represents and depicts the whole picture of our moral pursuit from right or left spectrum.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was a German theologian also known for his staunch resistance to the Nazi dictatorship, retorted his people about their being moderate in that dark situation, ‘Silence in the face of evil is itself evil’.

At the time of this, the story of bus 44 reminds me of the Korean and the world political map especially in leading nations. The function of media is to enlighten the people with factual news but most major media have gone too far by being biased. Again, the major media is turning alarmingly into propaganda that clearly mislead the multitude into confusion. However baffling the situation it is, people should make a right choice for their own fate. If they play their cards wrong, they can end like the passengers of the Bus 44. It is why the consequence of left-right political spectrum is so significant which I’d refer to the spiritual warfare that is displayed in the book of Revelation of the New testament.

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