SPDC’s Knowledge ignorance

SPDC’s Knowledge ignorance


Modified and edited the Malaysiakini Column, Knowledge ignorance” by KJ John.

I have edited and adapted to the Myanmar context from the original news article. I hope that KJ John.and Malaysiakini could understand and forgive us for this. They should even be proud that they could contribute a very good article for the fellow Myanmar/Burmese citizens.

Is the title of this column an oxymoron? According to Wikipedia, an oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines two normally contradictory terms. I would like to argue that my title is not an oxymoron.
In the field of the science or study of knowledge or epistemology, there is a concept in perennial knowledge philosophy called ‘the hierarchy of knowledge’.

By this, in very simple terms and as applied in the field of information science, we mean the hierarchy of data, information, knowledge and then wisdom. Often pictured as a wisdom triangle the peak is labelled ‘wisdom’.

Now what is this hierarchy and what are the nuances of this hierarchy for life and living? We do not have to go far to learn. Myanmar Military SPDC’s life is colourful enough to allow us to learn, unlearn and relearn this hierarchy if we have the head and the heart to learn.  

In a previous column, I wrote that the Myanmar Senior General needs wisdom to govern this nation under our coming system of constitutional and parliamentary democracy, and also if he is aware of the nuances and differences between leadership and mere management.


The problem was that much of this Constitution was written with a so-called Tatmadaw or Myanmar Military’s permanent dominence syndrome. A syndrome is any ‘theological-type belief in a personal and experiential truth which may not be a total or complete truth’.

As much as the current SPDC leader needs wisdom to govern Myanmar and his Generals and supporters from Kyant  Phut and Swan Arrshin need equal wisdom to understand and govern all the people who voted for NLD with wisdom in the 1990  general election to – unless of course, one believes that all the people are stupid all the time.
There are some very bright people out there who are still in denial about what happened in the elections. Wisdom may elude even the best of people in Myanmar – wisdom, like the Lady Wisdom found in the proverbial literature of sacred texts, needs to be sought after and can only be found when God gifts it to individuals.

Knowledge is different; one can develop knowledge in any subject matter if we take an interest in learning. For example, a good friend of mine has such a technical interest in any subject that once he starts learning, he is sure to end up fully knowledgeable about that subject. He will both study and do it.

Therefore, one can have a positive attitude to learning and can master any subject matter until one acquires knowledge or at least complete information. But, there is a more important question: is knowledge the same as having ‘information in the head’ about a subject? Put another way, is almost total or complete information about a subject equal to knowledge?

It is here that I have to introduce the word, ‘gnosis’ or the root word for ‘knowledge’ in Greek. In the Greek understanding of the world, to have gnosis is to not only have information and knowledge of the subject but also the ability to do something with it.

Therefore knowledge must lead to action, presumably for problem-solving related to issues of life and living. Information without knowledge is puffed-up pride which cannot solve any real problems in life, but may only enable us to talk about things.

Lack of knowledge



Ignorance, or ignosis is the lack of knowledge. Therefore, one could argue that ‘knowledge ignorance’ is about knowledge that recognises what one knows and equally, what one does not know. For it is said, ‘he who knows not and knows not he knows not is a fool’.
We have many fools trying to run this country. When I was working for an organisation some time ago I was forced to write a paper on ‘uninformed ignorance’ to inform and educate those who did not know about life and living and how to solve problems with an attitude of decency and courtesy. 


In life, sometimes and maybe always, fools get to rule. Therefore, the challenge of every Burmese/Myanmar who voted for change in 1990 is to ensure that fools do not ever rule again by voting NO in the coming referendum. Or at least to ensure arrogance in ruler-ship does not rear its ugly head again! Ever.
No need to consider about the Military Guided or disciplined Democracy, even the true Democracy is never the best model for godly or wise governance but frankly, I do not think we have a better model of governance on earth. We just need to find the wisdom and knowledge to govern wisely. And, if we know that we do not have the wisdom and knowledge to govern with responsibility and ability, we need equal wisdom to find the right people to become the advisers.

It always takes humility to admit the need for advisers and, more often than not, all governance systems assume that leaders need such assistance. But it is not a good manager who lacks wisdom, and yet relies on weak or poor advisers!

As I have written before, my university professor of Emeritus rank who studied the psychological and social profile of disabled leaders found that ‘disability sets in’ when advisers start giving poor or inaccurate advice.

Who were the SPDC’s advisers on the calling of the Sham Referendum? I doubt they had consulted any wise Lawyers in International Laws and Contemporary International Constitutional experts.


This implies that the technology-related factors in the legality of Referendum and elections were unknown to the SPDC Junta leaders. Really? I have to say that the SPDC Junta has ‘knowledge ignorance’ and does not know what they are doing.
Rather unfortunately though, ‘knowledge ignorance’ in not limited to SPDC Generals, but also among those who appear to be very smart. It is said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I would argue otherwise: that power is made perfect in weakness of humility and not in the power of arrogance.

Dear SPDC Generals, you can still become the government of all the Myanmar citizens. Just do what you have promised and what is right, good and true. After you allowed the Myanmar oppositions to form a Government with Daw Suu as PM and appointed all the oppositions as the Government Ministers and let  them do what ever they like, except for the allowing of States to cut their umbilical cords from the Union or trying to harm the Myanmar Military its generals, families and cronies. Yoy just maintain and watch from the present SPDC position. After one term Myanmar People would definitely understand the value of your Military apparatus and there is a great possibility that one of the Generals would become a PM. Just see Indonesia, Phillipines and Thailand.


Please take me seriously and do not believe your advisers who have ‘knowledge ignorance’.  Make your ‘Gettysburg Address’ at the opening session of Parliament. If you get a standing ovation, you would on the hearts of all our representatives and will be on the journey of wise leadership. May God Bless Myanmar.

Foot Note:



A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined, as in a deafening silence and a mournful optimist.

[Greek oxumōron, from neuter of oxumōros, pointedly foolish : oxus, sharp; see oxygen + mōros, foolish, dull.]


Gettysburg Address

On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln gave a short speech in Gettysburg

, Pennsylvania, commemorating the Battle of Gettysburg and dedicating a national cemetery for fallen Union soldiers. Lincoln’s speech is the most famous address ever given by an American President, and it is one of the most eloquent expressions of democratic ideals ever uttered. He wrote it in the White House, though he made a few changes on the train ride to Gettysburg.
He was preceded at the podium by the noted orator Edward Everett, who had spoken for nearly two hours. Lincoln’s speech, by contrast, took only a few minutes. Lincoln observed, “The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.” Although the crowd gave Lincoln only perfunctory applause, Everett

was more appreciative. He told Lincoln, “My speech will soon be forgotten; yours never will be. How gladly would I exchange my hundred pages for your twenty lines.”
“Now we are engaged in a great civil war,” Lincoln said, testing whether “any nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, can long endure.” He urged Americans to resolve “that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” By emphasizing the equality of Americans, a value not mentioned even in the Constitution, Lincoln had provided a vision of the United States that could justify the carnage of the Civil War and would reshape the meaning of American politics for generations to follow.


Lady Wisdom

Lady Wisdom and Mistress Folly. Throughout the prologue wisdom and its opposite are made to look like real people using a literary device called personification. Wisdom is portrayed as a respectable and proper woman (1:20-33; 8:1-36; 9:1-6).

Folly is pictured as a loose woman, ready to deceive the young man with sensuous pleasures and lead him to his death (7:6-27; 9:13-18). The description of Mistress Folly is so sexually explicit that it no doubt held fascination for the young man under instruction. Perhaps the literary device of sensual personification was used to snare the young man’s attention, just as modern advertising uses voluptuous women to sell everything from toothpaste to fast cars.


Valueless, illegitimate, Killer Than Shwe’s SPDC Junta

   Valueless illegitimate

Killer Than Shwe’s SPDC Junta

Most of the western countries had progressed from the struggles for biological needs of food, shelter and security to the psychological needs for higher social values e.g. Human Rights and Individual Freedoms.

“ASIAN VALUES” defenders had given lame excuses that certain values and liberties must be compromised for the sake of Economy and development so that most of the citizens are housed, clothed and fed.

They wrongly claimed that social and political stability for the whole country is more important than individual Human Rights and liberties.

Even US and some developed countries are in reverse gear by saying that sacrifices in certain individual freedoms must be made for the safety of the country and to fight terrorism.

In Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and other ASEAN countries, there are substantial economic growth and they should start to recognize, respect and appreciate the Human Rights of all their citizens. They should give more lactitute to the individual freedom, justice and equality of their citizens. These are the Universal Values but the ASEAN Governments just labelled and smoke-screened them as “Western Values” just to scared off their citizens’ desires to adopt them.

And some of them resurrect the colonial masters as bogyman to silence the dissidents. They also use the threat of Communists, danger of assimilating into another race and religion to arouse the ultra nationalist spirit. They would not think twice to create the racial or religious conflicts or riots so that they could continue to strengthen their grip of power.

 According to “Western Values”:

  • The fight is no longer over who gets what economically
  • and who dominates who culturally;
  • but over the value systems for rights of the individual; beyond race, creed, colour, origin and religion.

But when we look at Sr General Than Shwe’s SPDC Junta_

  • they are valueless according to “Western Values”
  • or Universal Values.
  • They even do not have “ASIAN VALUES” as they could not fulfil the biological needs of food, shelter and security for all the citizens of Myanmar.
  • They have NO BUDDHIST VALUE, although they are Buddhists. They rob the country from the people and NLD. They are killing, jailing and torturing innocent people and committing rape etc. against the Buddha’s teaching.
  • The SPDC Generals even do not have the MILITARY VALUE according to the
    • International Standard
    • or even the TATMADAW VALUE according to General Aung San’s standard.
  • SPDC Generals also could be labelled as people with no FAMILY VALUES because_
    • Senior General Than Shwe’s children are becoming second illegal wives
    • and Daw Kyaing Kyaing’s marriage to Lu Min although both of them are legally still married to their spouses.
  • So even if we gauge the SPDC Generals with_
    • the pirate’s concept (I would explain below)
    • and Pagan era customs , (I would explain below)
    • nowadays SPDC Government has no value and is an ILLEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT.

     The Alexandria The Great was retorted by the pirate that_

  • was labelled a pirate because he only had a small ship,
  • but as The Alexandria The Great was called the King because he got a fleet of ship and plunder the world.

During the ancient time those KING KILLERS who killed the king became king. Now the world had changed and the Myanmar Citizens, International Governments and UN usually do not regarded those KILLERS like Killer Than Shwe.

Sr General Than Shwe’s successful silencing of the recent uprising by the arrest, torture and killing of the peaceful demonstrators, monks and Japanese Journalist could not legalize his ILLEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT.

San Oo Aung, Dr. 


May Ng said _

Dear Dr. San Oo Aung, I loved your SPDC’s ill political value article in the previous issue. Thanks for writing, to you and to all the Burma Digest family.