In the rending of the veil of pomp and circumstance after parliamentary opening ceremonies, the citizen wonders what truth remains truthful, and whether we were all taken in?
Has Leviathan, the all-consuming monster of State, become a permanent threat to our pursuit of life, liberty and happiness? Has the State become the insatiable Ouroboros snake that even devours its own tail?
Interest in symbol politics, in court-like ceremonies of splendor, dropped to an all time low. Yes, things appeared most precious and essential at birth, when five years ago, an illusion of freedom was delivered, dazzlingly from the hands of its creators. But the promise of equal playing field, a State with equal rights and duties for all, of inclusiveness and fairness, quickly evaporated. Marginalized and excluded by a closed ruling elite, celebrations of the islanders turned into bitterness for many.
The State, the Jack-of-all-trades from health care to garbage collection, has become the most inefficient, wasteful and corrupt enterprise in our society. And it does not shame to levy its unnecessary losses on its citizens. Yes, in the eyes of the public, paying taxes, more often than not, has become legalize robbery.
An aura of amateurish management, learning-on-the-job and straight-out enduring incompetence overshadows brilliantly designed and conceived structures of governance, laws, rules and regulations. Courts of Law, the last vestige to protect the citizens against institutionalized abuse and plunder, failed miserably, over and over and again. Merit quickly made place for favoritism, cronyism and nepotism.
Will those, who claim to be acting in good faith, in all their naivety and simplicity, be able to adjust the system into a kinder, gentler and more just society? Frightened and intimidated by the challenge, most prefer to turn a blind eye and endure. In the process, existing institutions are simply drained from power and turned into puppet shows.
Public bitterness, skepticism and straight out contempt are changing the perception and appreciation of democracy. A gradual sliding into an informal economy and administration has been an ongoing process for some time; it may even slide into total anarchy if governance stays on its present course.
When will there be a new young leader to turn the trends?
By Jacob Gelt Dekker
Opinion Columnist for Curaçao Chronicle