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
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
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
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.
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
Wayne Campbell is an
educator and social commentator with an interest in development policies as
they affect culture and or gender issues.