Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thrown in the Water

I'll make my point concise. The people in Egypt are bad, but the government is worse. The government says that the people aren't doing what they're supposed to be doing, and they're right. People have become lazy, irresponsible, selfish and just plain ill mannered. But the government took every measure to make absolutely sure that this is how people ended up, and they've succeeded and that's why they're worse.

The plain truth is that no one has a sense of responsibility, no sense of ownership, and the government wants people to have all this at their own will, when it's convenient. People are told to step up to the plate. That is the equivalent of throwing someone in the water, who had barely ever seen in his life his reflection upon its surface. And worse yet, expecting him to swim.

We're told to swim by a government that has denied us water to bathe with. We're told to rise from our wheel chair by a government that made sure we're paralyzed. We're told to fly off a cliff without the wings that could have been.

The average Egyptian man is taught to be spoon fed, and never to take responsibility, both by his family and the government.

Momma's gonna check out all your girlfriends for you
Momma won't let anyone dirty get through
Momma's gonna wait up until you get in
Momma will always find out where you've been

In short:

Momma's gonna make all of your nightmares come true
Momma's gonna put all of her fears into you

… and the horror of it is that the man starts a family, holds a position in the government and in life and is asked to be responsible. Even a dictionary can't help begin to explain what it means to be responsible.

But even worse off are the women, they're the closest thing to puppets in our society. From birth they're told what to do, and how to be. They can't even begin to comprehend a life free of slavery, so much so, that they don't feel they're enslaved. They become programmed like robots. This is 'Haram', a sin, or this is right. By the end of their grooming they'll tell you all the Haram/Halal things as if they were printed in their DNA, but they will not be able to disclose as to why, they just know it. They're responsible to be what is expected of them, the picture perfect girls that society expects them to be. They can do whatever they want however and as long as they're not caught, that's no problem. There is no responsibility here, just an image to be kept.

When they grow up it really turns worse, so much worse. That girl turning into a woman is asked to start a family. The already clueless husband expects his wife to be some way or the other. It's a disaster though, because the girl find herself in charge of a family together with a pampered man who doesn't know anything either. They both create the cells of an irresponsible society.

The true disaster is yet to come, when the woman, who has known nothing of responsibility so far, is almost solely responsible for her children. That's all the water you can ever get thrown into, and judging only by history, we can see that she's no swimmer at all. What kind of things does the woman teach them? She has had no experience of her own, she really knows nothing in the world and she's expected to pass down that knowledge to her children. She becomes the new Momma, and so it goes.

This is as concise as it gets. Each point alone is an expandable disaster. I haven't even mentioned the incompetence of people at the jobs they do, the kind of education that abjures responsibly. I haven't even mentioned the selfish manners, or what happens when irresponsibility is present in those who are theoretically responsible for the rest. The point is simply, how do you expect to make someone a swimmer if they've never been near the water? Why blame them when they drown after you've thrown them in the water?

In the words of Kurt Vonnegut… So it goes.


LouLou said...

The question is would a different society have tolerated this form of governance for so long?

Government is a group of individuals who get together and establish an institution based on a certain vision of ends and means. In the history of nations, it is always a risk that the wrong group of individuals with the wrong vision would reach power.

The question becomes, does society have the awareness and the tools to recognize and correct this if and when it happens? Do you have the correct risk mitigation, damage control and redirection mechanisms in place?

Because if society doesn't, then the first time government fails, failure becomes a permanent state of affairs.

You can't rely on government to hold itself accountable if it fails, to create a reality where government knows that if it fails, it loses power. That's not a function of government. That happens INSPITE of government.

It happens when society stops seeing leaders as all-wise, super-heros rushing to the rescue and decides to control and limit their power, forcing them do defend the wisdom of their decisions to a skeptical public. It happens when society begins to see the ruling elite as human beings who should be entrusted with power only if their vision of ends and means is examined and found sound by society and THEN evaluated on results.

You describe a government that is clearly bankrupt, that has had 25 years to perform and has demonstrated that it is incapable of delivering results.

So the question is, what happens now? Who is suffering more from the status quo? Government or society? Who has more responsibility and more incentive to seek change?

After all, government is doing just fine. The ruling elite have a lot of stake in this status quo. So why should they want to change anything if they don't have to?

LouLou said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wael Eskandar said...

I agree with what you've said and the questions you've placed, however I must say that the number 25 for years of a failed government is not actually 25. In my opinion the real number for the catastrophe we're in is 56 years.

We're talking about 56 years of shutting up the people who hold the government accountable, and the only mechanisms that are in place are those that make people impotent in the face of the government's failure.

People are sometimes good, but what can they do in the face of a government that's turning its country into a colony.