Monday, 13 October 2014

Jamaica,s Situational Crisis 2014 and 2044

In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of others. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so.- Immanual Kant
I invite you to join me on this journey and fast forward to 2044. There is a sense of mistrust between those who govern and those who are governed. To say all is not well within the Jamaican society would be an understatement. Yes, it’s rather a daunting picture. However, thirty (30) years is not too far away. The positive news is that we still have time to change the ending of this narrative.
The recent Bill Johnson polls show that the majority of Jamaicans believe that the country is heading in the wrong direction. Among the issues facing the country in 2044 are a leadership crisis, a balance of payment deficit, a high youth unemployment rate, a high inflation rate, a spiraling of boys’ underachievement in our schools, uncomfortable levels of crime and domestic violence. Its 2044 and Jamaica is now a Republic having replaced the Queen as head of state. Yes, the Queen is no longer on the throne. Mandarin is compulsory in all secondary schools,
To add insult to injury all our CARICOM neighbours now require visas for Jamaican nationals.  The population of Jamaica has nearly doubled reaching almost 6 million.  Jamaicans living in the Diaspora are now able to vote in general elections and Cuba is no longer a dictatorship. Africa is now the global economic engine of growth. Chikungunya and Ebola viruses no longer exit.
Those leaders holding onto to political power would have died in office or forced to retire making way for a new generation of leaders.  However, don’t get too excited the political culture remains the same. Age is just a number not a measurement of maturity.
I apologize for bursting your bubble. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have merged and is still in the business of improvising countries.
The state of unwellness has its origin in the leadership crisis we now face in 2014. As the leadership crisis worsens in Jamaica we are seeing an increase in the application of situational ethics by leaders of all spheres in the society. Our leaders continue to exercise poor judgment in the decisions they make and the population is finally waking up and demanding more accountability. 
Situational ethics is a condition which promotes the idea that when dealing with a crisis, the end justifies the means and that a rigid interpretation of rules and laws can be set aside if the greater good or lesser evil is served by doing so.  
As our leaders compromise more and more on various issues of national importance the country and all the related institutions slip further and further in moral decay.  The decline of morality in the Jamaican society is cause for much concern. While the moral decay of the Jamaican society could be considered more skewed than other prophecy-related topics such as natural disasters and economics it is clear that anyone with a reasonably discerning spirit can see that moral decay is happening now at an alarming and noticeable rate.
There are many reasons for the decline of morality in Jamaica. However, two explanations are paramount.  These are the changing socioeconomic conditions and the rise of technology.
As the Jamaican economy contracts and more and more Jamaicans feel the economic pinch from the fiscal policies being pursued by the government an increasing percentage of Jamaicans are more willing to engage in immoral and illegal activities just to survive. Additionally, there is a widespread view in the Jamaican society that the majority of our public elected officials are corrupt.  This perception seemingly is shared by Transparency International which continue to rate Jamaica as one of the most corrupt countries worldwide.
The fast changing pace of the available technology today is rather frightening.  Laptops and computers now operate using very fast processors. The use of the computer for example is varied and user friendly. The computer is used to answer telephones, do mathematical computations, check bank accounts, and retrieve customer’s bill information as well as book airline tickets.  Robots are being used in assist in some types of surgeries.
On the negative side today’s technology can be used to scam unsuspecting people of their lifelong savings.  Additionally, the technology can also be used to steal people’s identity. Identity theft is a growing problem worldwide. Human beings with the aid of the ever changing technology have teamed up to commit crimes against their fellow human beings at a faster pace and with little effort. This has resulted in the further erosion of morals in the Jamaican society. The proliferation of cellular technology as well as the widespread use of cell phones has led to more and more crimes taking place all across the society. 
With the use of Google Earth technology we are able to view in real time, images of people’s place of dwelling.  Who knows what else Google Earth has planned for us mere earthlings?
The main foundation of governance should be one of equalizing the gap between the haves and have nots. However, instead of bridging the social class divide we see a further widening between the rich and poor. The rich have become richer and working poor have become poor.
Clearly, the working class is being called upon the bare the brunt of the sacrifices being made in the society. They have no choice since their taxes are deducted at source. Those who continue to avoid paying taxes continue to do so since the sanctions in place do not serve as a deterrent.
Our political leaders continue to pussyfoot with the necessary tax reform needed in the society and by extension with the future of the Jamaican society.
The concepts of situational crisis as well as a decline in morality are diametrically opposed to achieving sustainable development. Where are the women and men of good report? Too many of our current leaders from both political parties have failed us. We should revise the Constitution to ensure that Ethics be taught and pass by all political leaders before they are appointed.
Let us not squander the sacrifices and the gains made thus far. The time for strong leadership is now, who will step up to the plate.
“I have nothing but contempt for the kind of governor who is afraid, for whatever reason, to follow the course that he knows is best for the State.”- Sophocles
Wayne Campbell is an educator and social commentator with an interest in development policies as they affect culture and or gender issues.