Due to publishing of his new book “Liberty-Honor words”, we met philosopher Molor-Erdene.S
-First of all, congratulation for publishing your new book. Why did you write this book? Give us brief introduction about your book.
-I’m a philosopher. It is a philosopher’s mission to write truthfully about society and make it move forward. I have been executing this responsibility. It is not to be better than others. Because I’m a Mongolian, I view the motherland and society I’m living, with critical eyes. The important thing is what possibilities do we have and why can’t we use them. Why is it that we are unable to live by our own will and with more liberty? I published this based on observing how much freedom we do not have.
-I wonder. Don’t we have the most freedom? Abroad, especially in western countries, it seems they live in much disciplined situations by being told what they can and cannot do.
-The countries you say living in disciplined situations didn’t socially drown in superstition, so they have the liberty to live healthy. In many countries, schools and universities are free, therefore everybody have the freedom to learn and get education. Because they follow their traffic regulations, there is no need for someone to make traffic just because they are a minister, thus everyone is free to go without traffic. Mongolian life has no liberty at all. Everybody behaves as they want, thus we bother each other’s liberty. A student doesn’t have stipend and someone with less money has no liberty to study. Because we are penniless, we have no liberty to live healthy. Not only, health and education, even a wife has no liberty to divorce his husband. Everybody has fear.
Everybody is scared. Because we cannot decide by ourselves anything, we visit monks; we are almost like country of monks. Even a minister cannot do his job, so he calls a monk and puts all responsibilities on him. From minister to students, everybody is tied to superstition, thus they fear supernatural powers, indeed not free at all. There is no liberty to live independent by doing your job without following powerful or rich. Therefore it is necessary to explain and understand social fundamental value called liberty in a right way. Not only a researcher or theoretician, but whole society needs to have one understanding, so that everybody can go forward.
-On the book cover, you wrote theory of liberation. Also, there are chapters such as liberation from father, mother, superstition, shaman etc. As you see, are we a liberated people?
-Liberation itself is a beautiful word. We use this word in our daily life a lot. It is important not to be caught in something, being able to leave stuck situation and find out about it. Learning to break free from one’s various situations is first step of freedom.
Way I see it; Mongolians are not able to liberate themselves from their mother and father. It has historical reason such as living close with each other in a “ger”, being herdsmen. But it is a big mistake trying to keep this closeness when we are living in modern society.
It means we live by respecting one’s mother, paying off her help, by their instructions and rules, just as our mind is in the parent’s hand. Yet in modern society, life experience of parents is generally invalid. For example, it is difficult for modern girls to live their mother’s life experience. Their experience is not valid anymore. In their age, there was no internet and smartphone. So how can they talk about life experience?
It is impossible for fathers to talk about their life experience at all, because modern boys are living with different experience. Previously, in a family of herdsman, boys had no way but to become horsemen. For that time, obviously it is necessary for fathers to teach their son how to use life experiences such as using “uurga”, looking after horses, and so on.
Whereas today you won’t become a horsemen like your father did. Today one needs to become doctor, teacher, journalist or lawyer. Thus today’s youth doesn’t need experience of their fathers. I wrote about it in my book. Looking at Mongolian society, children seem to trying to follow what their fathers instructed. It seems they think their father is smart, when in truth that’s impossible. In modern society, for young men to live independent, they shouldn’t be caught by their parents. It is unnecessary for parents trying to make their children go by their words. Parents pressure their children into marrying with someone they want or always asking when they will have kids and so on. 100 years ago, “Gandan” and monasteries were important. Yet in modern time today, that is so unnecessary. Instead of going to monks, isn’t it better to buy and read a book. That is a better choice.
-So, we can think that we should quickly need to leave all this backwardness.
-Yes, Mongolians are living with the old life from 100 years ago. The life from 100 years ago is invalid today. In brief, how we are living being stuck in parents, monks, shaman, superstition and tradition is closing our possibilities to live free and seizing our own life. Today’s youth already have the ability to make one’s own living. Main issue is parents shouldn’t bother them. We need to understand that time with many chances has come. A Mongolian person 100 years ago didn’t have liberty like todays. Generally, nomads or herdsman don’t have liberty, they only have many traditions which blocks liberty.
-You wrote about social liberty in your book. Could you please explain this briefly?
-Social liberty can be understood as young people who are free from their parents meeting strangers and creating their own lives among them. Of course, young people will eventually have profession, work, new friends and wife. It is absurd to talk about your mother when you are married. When you are married, your wife is the person you should respect. You must never miss and cry about your mother when you have a wife. Girls need to think of respecting and loving their husbands. It makes no sense to cry after your father and brother.
In fact, it is important for young people to leave their home, mother and father. Today they are unable to do this. Even if they are married, their father and brother always come first. They get married, but they don’t care about their wife and live by their mother’s words. There are many young people who do this. It is an obvious example of continuation of their childhood life at home and not being able to enter society. What is point in marrying someone if you cannot leave your parents and follow by their words?
-You also talk about knowledge and education of today’s Mongolian people. Would you please share your thoughts about it?
-Personally, I worked in three universities of Germany. So, I know very well what is education and knowledge. Since arriving in Mongolia, I have been reading lectures in different universities of Mongolia. And I observed that most of our students and young people don’t have general education in global level, although they graduated from high school.
Yet, when I meet them face to face, they cannot even express their own opinion. They are like disordered teenage kids and have no idea what to do. Honestly, they are children who need to go back their high school yet they call themselves university student.
They go on like this for four years and receive a diploma. Even the way they receive diploma is very easy, because their teachers are not so much different than the students. They are also received titles such as doctor, professor through any kind of mean. What they talk about has nothing to do with education. They talk about their personal opinion. In our universities, they teach something that is far from international education and knowledge.
Natural sciences such as physics, mathematics, medicines are slightly better. Social fields like law, politics, and sociology have completely collapsed. Knowledge and education aren’t valid there. So called teachers cannot even speak in English and didn’t even read books from their profession in foreign language.
Education has collapsed and at the same time, young people have drowned in superstition. They have days of not cutting their hair or nail, which is from 100 years ago. This is unbelievably sad. They must not be like this.
Mongolian youth is very superstitious and don’t have any liberty at all, always talking about tradition like an old man.
They don’t look forward and never talk about development, education and the books they have read. When they meet, topic is about tradition, useless history and gossip. Generally, young people talk about head aching subjects that won’t let you grow and develop. You can easily see this just sitting in any bar and hear it from table next to you.
-You emphasized the liberty of becoming mature. Who is an adult? Is there an adult in Mongolia?
-Unfortunately, they are rare, because to becoming an adult, one must first know themselves. To do this, you need education and knowledge. You need to find yourself. To find yourself, you need high capacity of morality. It is only you who can make yourself become an adult. No one can make you an adult. One can teach knowledge and education to other people. You will become an adult by mobilizing yourself as much as possible. For this, you will conflict with society, oppose monks, your parents, you will doubt your teacher and view your state critically. All these things need to happen to you, so that you can become an adult. This isn’t easy at all. We are becoming more and more localized. You need your motherland, not the local place you were born. Think about “naadam”. Two people wrestled and one wins. Yet people get divided over where is that wrestler from, when actually two people born in Mongolia wrestled with each other. Becoming an adult means being patriotic. Patriotism isn’t degrading other nations. It means being a reasonable person who tells not to throw your garbage while travelling in countryside, don’t waste waters by washing your car in the river or by not binding trees with “khadag”. This way, you become an adult. Biologically, we become adult at 30 or 40. Yet your brain must intellectually get mature. It isn’t easy to become an adult intellectually. Mongolians are trying too hard to please others. This is stopping them to become an adult. It could be spotted easily during election.
-Besides, we are in crisis of economy, politic, also there seems to be other crisis like mental and human being. Which one is the biggest issue?
In brief, these entire crises are due to the fact we couldn’t become an adult. People who couldn’t create their own belief, education, knowledge and existence independent from others are unable to taking care of their country, political party and economy. All crises are originated here. I tell this all the time. Mongolian men are like eldest son of their wives. Usually wives are responsible for their household. Women try to make man out of a boy, continue his mother’s job and give up in the end. Crises we talk about will go on unless Mongolian men become adult.
Human crises have become social crisis. In other words, they became social, economic and political crises. Mongolians couldn’t become human being. We have psychological problems, our mind is filled with superstition, fear, revenge, localization and division, and therefore we cannot go beyond. Thus Mongolian men need to become adults first.
Modern Mongolians have expensive clothes, Iphone and live in tall building from the surface. However, our mentality is still like 100 years ago. Our thoughts and values are the same as 100 years ago. This is the root cause of our problem.
-You wrote about how we are not united to each other because we don’t have solidarity. What will make us unite and have solidarity?
-Mongolians say that if you are in harmony together, you are strong. That is a lie. Harmony is not enough, there needs to be unity behind it. Harmony means you and I won't fight. We don't have patriotism, so we don't have unity. Mongolians never respect their country. Nobody talks about their homeland, only their born parts. Where were you born and where are you from? Nobody talks about their country. Especially Mongolians travelling abroad are very irresponsible. The name of the country is always going with the bad things. Unity simply means that everyone has a common understanding and consciousness of the motherland. Then we will talk about the development and future of the country. Without understanding of motherland country, it is nonsense to talk about bright future
What do our Mongolians do in summer? When we go out to the countryside, we travel, we drink alcohol, and we throw away our garbage and enjoy our freedom. But it's not really freedom; it's a form of stupudity. This is rude and does not mean freedom at all. Freedom is a conscious and responsible activity. There are solutions and choices. There is no point in talking about freedom if there is no choice to choose from. There is no freedom to want because there is no choice. There is no social freedom because friends follow the word of those around them and cannot make their own decisions. Education is lie, diplomas are lie, and professors are lie, they have no intellectual freedom and same as wearing fake mask. Parents do not have any education to teach their children, young people are victims of their parents and parents are victim of their children.
Social critic isn’t just criticizing. It is search for solution. It is encouragement to go after growth, development and morality. To make it more understandable for readers, I put examples from movies, how they show these topics, therefore I hope it is closer and more interesting.
-Last question. You said Mongolians do not have liberty. So, does it mean democratic revolution did not bring freedom?
-Democratic revolution destroyed liberty of emancipation in education, health and social life. It created a country of riches and superstitions. Today there are three options if you want to live with money, become bank manager or monk, if that does not work, become a politician with fake diploma.
Being wild isn’t liberty. It is indication that you are uneducated and immoral. Liberty is possible by respecting and accepting each other. I wrote this book to hoping this time will come sooner.