Published On: Wed, Oct 15th, 2014

Silver Bullets

Jacob Gelt DekkerPoliticians have all the answers. “Have confidence, give me your vote,” they bullhorn, drooping with charm and sex appeal. “Follow your leader diligently and all your troubles will be solved. All other guys with a different gospels are the false prophets. Only I, your true Messiah, has all the right answers.”

"As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs.” preached Johann Tetzel for the Vatican when he sold indulgences as magic formulas for eternity, in October, 1507. Magic formulas have been offered throughout history, from religious promises to philosophical ideologies as ultimate remedy for human happiness, on earth as well as in the here-after, and for ailing earthly economies.

Maybe, for you the epiphany was capitalism, or communism, fascism or socialism. In our Caribbean region, Castro-ism in Cuba and Chavez-ism in Venezuela were praised as Godsend blessings to mankind, but they failed miserably.

Anticipating early elections, politicians climb onto their soapboxes mesmerizing electorates with demagoguery. The electorate has to do but one thing, elect the right political Messiah to public office and surrender to him the key of the money coffers.

But none of the promised magic formulas ever worked. Not Anthony Godett in the early 2000, not 10-10-10, not Gerrit Schotte, Helmien Wiels, or Ivar Asjes. Crucifying the colonial slave trading-Dutch, demonizing imperial USA, inflating racial hate, promoting segregation and isolationism, all failed and none brought any improvement in welfare and wellbeing for the island society.

Silver bullets that kill the culprit, the cause of all ills, and bring endless salvation to the faithful, do not exist. Sorry to have to tell you, it is a fairy tale.

Our society came into what it is today, after generations of careful trial and error. People are resourceful, evaluating and maximizing individuals, who make the best of it, no matter what. Yes, in retrospect, decisions may have been short sighted, opportunistic, selfish or stupid, but on the spur of the moment, those who made the decisions weighed plusses and minuses and did what they believed best.

So our society is a close-knit fabric of decisions, of opinions and best efforts.

The wild card comes into the picture by trying to predict the future, but Nobody can tell the truth about the future!

Forecasting the future is speculation, and nothing more, nothing less. Building decisions on speculations is risky, and often very risky. Risk means uncertainty. Any political, ideological or religious leader who tells you otherwise is a false prophet.

So, our appetite for risk determines our willingness to support one leader or another. In the end results can only be obtained with careful cooperation with all forces.

The truth about the silver bullet to your problems is, that no silver bullet exists.

Written by Jacob Gelt Dekker - Opinion Columnist for Curaçao Chronicle

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