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I suggest you look at the links imbedded in these blogs or at the end of the blog as an integral part of my argument.
31 Brain-lock (1)
Any numbers of Latvians have commented on the lock-the-brain mechanisms that appear to affect the thought processes of Latvians, those living in Latvia and those living abroad as well.
The latest comment comes from Džemma Skulme. The artist comments that Latvian politicians appear to live in the world of “folk poetry” and that on the whole “A Latvian does not seek, does not analyze who he is. Instead, he assumes a pose.” (Latvietis nemeklē, neanalizē, kas viņš ir. Viņš ieņem pozu.)
A near similar comment comes from the renowned Latvian theatre director Alvis Hermanis. Hermanis—who has studied the Latvian mindset in a cycle of plays that lasted five years—claims the Latvian mindset to be: “naïve as that of the American Indians”. See the magazine "Ir". Of course, Hermanis is speaking of the naiveté of “Indians” in the sense that it permitted them to trust the whites who invaded and then destroyed their native cultures. Hermanis suggests that Latvians who live in the countryside do not yet understand the language of the elites (? liars) of Europe.
The above list (and it could be longer) comes to mind when listening to the pre-election vapid and “nothin’special” arguments of the political parties presuming themselves to be able to form the next government of Latvia. This lock-brain approach has been described by the Latvian politologue Ivars Ījabs as a process which “step by step leads Latvia to abandon the civilized orbit of Western Europe for a trip that may not have a return ticket”.
Somewhere in my various blogs, I have mentioned that many Latvians suffer from the Turret’s Syndrome. The most obvious manifestation of this syndrome appears in internet posts, where ad hominem arguments, various forms of insults, open anti-semitism, and other forms of slurs are a common occurrence. While Turret’s Syndrome is a universal marvel in our time, it is a particularly strong involuntary tick-of-speech among Latvians. My own theory is that this is the result of the above mentioned brain-lock, which the unconscious mind, unaware of the causes of the brain-lock, attempts to correct by screaming insults to gain attention. What is gained in reality is, unfortunately, a substitution of insults for a critical mind.
How to be cured of the Turret’s Syndrome?
One answer is to NOT-VOTE in the coming elections. I see a large turnout of a NOT-VOTE as Turret’s Syndrome in reverse. If the NOT-VOTE were to become reality, it would clearly defrock politicians of authority.
However, the closest Latvian variant to NOT-VOTING that is gaining popularity among Latvians (in e-postings) is to suggest participation in the elections, but to drop in the voting box an empty ballot. Herewith, this site accepts the EMPTY BALLOT as a worthy successor to the not-vote. For a full if prejudiced discussion of the pros and cons, click here. Note that the chairman of election reform Valdis Liepins presumes to call an empty ballot (tukša aploksne): "... an evil invitation, one that can be called for only by one who wishes to sabotage the elections". Actually, an EMPTY BALLOT is to express distrust in the Saeima as it is currently constituted, force a rewrite of an outdated Constitution, and, yes, it means to force a corrupt government to face up to the crisis it has created.
See nullification for relevant arguments from the U.S. that may find application in Latvia.
Asterisks & Links of Interest
Compulsory voting in the EU Parliamentary elections
The abstentionist elephant
On the Meaning of Voting
British Government Attempts to Bracket the Constitution
Ground Zero for Thought
Why Forced Positive Thinking Is A Lot Of Crock?