The Bankruptcy of Our Elite!

By Jumana Ghunaimat

تم نشره في Wed 15 March / Mar 2017. 11:42 PM
  • Jumana Ghunaimat

Poverty is no longer an issue exclusive to the citizens’ inability to meet the requirements of daily life.

The erosion of the middle class too is another dangerous implication of the deteriorating economic situation. But that is not all.

The most privileged classes in our society have immersed themselves in vanity and exhibition, by a variety of means. Meanwhile, the role of our elite, the upper class, in society, supposedly the crème de la crème, is receding.

In more ways than one, we suffer the bankruptcy of our elite; not the per se financial or economic bankruptcy of the upper class, but politically, culturally, and socially.

The instances of this shameful and frustrating phenomenon is overwhelming, mind you, and perhaps it is just a manifestation of the objective circumstance which has landed us here, today, but that does not make it right!

On a daily basis, we are faced by instances of their detachment from our reality.

All those titles; their excellencies, professors, specialists, analysis, engineers, doctors, in an abundance of professional and academic prefixes, and still they are all together unable to diagnose, let alone treat, the pandemics of our society.

Ignorance, for one, is not bliss.

More so, among le crème themselves, there are many clueless MPs and specialists who haven’t the slightest idea what they are talking about it.

Some, on the other hand, do know what they are talking about, theoretically speaking, but that’s about all they know. They are incapable of addressing the technicalities and practicalities of reality.

In other words, societally speaking, we are cognitively and scientifically impoverished by this scarcity of applicable qualifications.

Occasionally, one comes across a real specialist or professional, but most of those have also decided to distance themselves from the public sphere and the political scene, leaving it for the self-diluted professionals to determine the fate of their nation.

As journalists we have always sought the opinions and testimonies of specialists and experts in a variety of fields, starting with politics and politicians, all the way to social studies and sociologists, notwithstanding.

Still, we are shocked by their inability to address reality and their lack of the skills needed to formulate professional, objective, scientific opinions on any issue whatsoever.

Despite the elite’s obsession with academic and professional titles and prefixes, they seem to be vacant of the knowledge it infers they would otherwise possess and provide.

As a result of this detachment on one hand, and the bankruptcy of the larger lot —eager to participate in the public sphere for purposes that have nothing do with serving their country— we find our public institution suffers the scarcity of qualified experts who actually have the knowledge and care. There are no responsible and qualified specialists in government, nor are there capable MPs in Parliament.

Most of our economists are suspended in theory, while our sociologists are most subject to traditionalism in their views, which is why neither one of them is capable of presenting practical, realistic propositions.

Moreover, so long as this behavioural and preferential pattern succeeds, nothing will change.

Now is the time to sound the alarm.

As the ridge widens, the problem deepens, and our public institution’s performance regresses, all atop the newly founded and dramatically incremental phenomenon of poverty, we now need our specialists more than ever, as scarce as they may be.

The scarcity of qualifications is a dangerous issue; it vacuums the public sphere of qualified, scientific references and professional skills.

To address this, we need to seriously explore the issue; accurately scale it up and uncover its catalysts, in order to engineer a cure, maybe, to salvage what can be saved.

As far as exploring the problem goes, we have a couple of unanimously agreed upon explanations.

First, there is the question of our education system, and the deteriorating quality of its outputs.

Second, hand in hand with the above, there is our derailment from democracy, after the Single-Vote law was amended in 1993.

Typically, the outcomes of the ‘new’ voting mechanism back then is now, and in recent years, beginning to surface. That is of course, notwithstanding the preposterous, needless, and corrupt manipulation of election results, which has carried on for years.

All of the above was simultaneous to the state’s conscious and backwardly decision to marginalise, subdue, and minimise the role of political parties.

Hence, the result was the frail political-party dynamic we have now and the bunch of political clubs called parties, which do not even appeal to its own members and founders, in some cases, weakening the public’s interest in political participation.

Naturally, curing our parties of this incapacitation needs time; and above all, it needs a will of steel to reform the political sphere and revive its dynamics.

That said, the combination of a deteriorating schooling system along with the sidelining of the democratic process and political participation, combined, gave rise to a generation of specialists who are either vacant of knowledge and looking for prestige, or full of it but disinterested and disaffected by the political and public affair.

Naturally too, the continuation of these enabling factors for decades since and the success of its ‘vacant pioneers’ resulted in the culmination of the issue and the spread of a vacant and disaffected, privileged elite.

Still, despite all this deterioration, and the perils that come with it, we still find those among the elite who challenge curricular reforms and education development!!

When will it be time for us to we wake from this slumber if not now?

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.