State before Government

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Wed 13 June / Jun 2018. 12:00 AM
  • Fahed Khitan

We do not need more democracy at this point in time, nor freedom. The virtual space has turned the entire world into populist entities, to the point that freedom has become limitless and unrestrained.

What we need here and now, really, is a state institution driven by officials who evoke trust and confidence in responsible authorities and governance.

Jordan has stood in the face of challenges and perils that would have toppled some of the world’s finest governments, and succeeded, thanks to the strength of our institutions and the bravery of our statesmen and officials.

We must give credit where credit is due.

It was not democracy that saved Jordan in the 1960s or 1960s, when Jordan lost have of its territories. Nor did it save Jordan in the wave of the 1970 crisis.

Make no mistake, it was the state, not democracy that saved us.

As true as it may be, that Jordan requires a democratic overhaul, still, democracy was never the cornerstone or centrepiece of the Kingdom’s stability or strength.

It has always been the strength of our institutions and the integrity of our leaders, both in the state and in society.

Throughout our history, it was never the parliament or democratic forums. We have been delivered time after time by the good and just hands of our state and leaders. We had generations driven by faith in the Jordanian state project. They were ready to give their lives for the survival and progress of our dearest homeland; Jordan.

Thanks to them, we have survived the odds, no matter how great.

Once again, the parliament never did anything to save us; at least nothing worth mentioning!

We had to keep up with the rest of the world, economically and otherwise. Maintaining our regional and international alliances was paramount, as well, to our survival. But why must the state institution lose its place in the midst of the underway reforms?

Why must privatisation be on the expense of the state’s authority and presence?

The reginal frontier unfolds the fate of nations as a whole, states above all. We either survive or perish.

Notably, the most decisive factor in this confrontation is the states’ ability to withstand internal and external pressures.

Jordan’s most recent popular crisis, just a few weeks ago, was a difficult test of our state’s ability to contain and manage the crisis.

In truth, I do not really know the extent of our success.

However, something about the popular movement does not smell right. Had it not been for the wisdom of our security apparatus, we would have found ourselves in a very deep hole.

Something about the entire situation is unsettling, and it warrants at least a moment of thorough reflection.

An entire week of protests and the parliament couldn’t contain the situation. The government resigned, and still the people were not appeased. The Prime Minister-designate had to make fast decisions to contain the frustrated, enraged public.

Had the people not responded, what could the state have done to restore tranquillity?

The truth is that it may not have spiralled into this had the parliament been allowed to deal with the government early on. A no-confidence vote could have defused the entire popular agitation long before it reached the boiling point. It could have also restored some of the House of Representatives’ popularity and trust.

Then, maybe, the people would not need to take to the streets.

In the upcoming phase, Jordan will find itself in a bit of spot; a complicated situation. The PM-designate has respect and a lot of credit among the people, as opposed to a parliament whose popularity has dropped.

That in mind, the House of Representatives will not hesitate to do anything to restore its prestige and popularity, even if it were on the expense of the government, and a street that is now haunted ever by the Fourth Circle experiment.

The Jordanian populace is now far more capable and ready to take matters into their own hands again.

It is quite likely that a series of political crises will take place.

Meanwhile, the state institution has yet to develop a comprehensive outlook and approach on the future.

All we have now is a government with a PM whose ratings are relatively high. But all around him are institutions still oblivious to the danger and threat of what has just passed, and are incapable of restoring the spirit of statehood and institutionalism.

Everything, in regards to the state-society formula has changed. Odds are, it is going to be quite a bumpy right the Prime Minister, despite the public acceptance of him.

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

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