Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Jordanian/Arab detachment from reality

There are two huge gaps between the general Jordanian population and reality.

First, there's the lack of understanding the concept of economy. The economy is good if you figure out how to make money, not the other way around.

I believe the misunderstanding comes from people following the media covering "the economy" as if it were an entity with a mind of its own.

As a result you find people hoping for the economy to become better and not really knowing that the economy is at the end the accumulative sum of the money we all made. (Well, more or less).

Consequently, you are not really motivated to get off your comfy chair and actually do something, because "the economy is bad".

The other gap is in the understanding of the relationship between the citizen and the government.

It comes a result of a long history of oppression and ignorance. The understanding seems to be that the government is the entity that controls everything and everyone, and citizens are obliged to fear and follow the wishes and commands of this rigid and unforgiving government.

The reality of it is that the relationship between the citizen and the government follows a strict set of rules called "Laws". The people in the government have no power unto themselves and can only (as you do) follow/implement the law.

As a result of this misunderstanding, you find the typical Jordanian complaining about the performance of the government and the unfair, yet when the time comes to vote for the parliament, he/she would go and vote for the closest relative, or the one sharing the closes origins, regardless of qualifications or ethics.

The parliament will monitor the performance of the government, and will create, modify or remove laws in accordance with the constitution.

If you vote for a corrupt or an under qualified to go into the parliament, then you chose a corrupt or an under qualified to monitor your government and make new laws. (Stupid vote, no?)

Voting clich├ęs aside. That is what it all comes down to.

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