We are all getting consumed with narratives about the democracy we want, the constitution verses and laws that would govern our lives and transform it into a better one.
Transforming into a democracy is obviously a multi-level process that can’t just happen at well. Well here is whichever institutional changes made into a system that seek to make it better.
I happen to find focusing only on these aspects of social, economic and political life deeply troubling. Problem inherent in such an approach is in how it attempts to reduce the transformation needed into one that is most concerned with enablement only as the driver of that transformation. Thus focus on constitutional reform, political parties law, election law…etc.
As its the case in Jordan; A good election law or a lesser good one becomes the sole consumer of conversations, articles, protests producing a united narrative only in it’s focus.
No one talks about the flawed values that are consumed and lived by within our culture that need change. What is talked about only are regime, old guard, leftist, right wing, Islamists, loyalists, east Jordanians, west Jordanians…etc.
Those conversations and aspects are important but where is the conversation on values?
Someone who lives among Jordanians for few months can easily tap into our most poisonous upheld values:
1. Low level of social capital outside of families. No trust culture. Zero sum playing field in most aspects of our transactions with each other. Be it at the individual-to-individual level, institutional level and of course at governmental levels.
2. Big ego, and how! You find it with children, teens and adults the same. A culture of defensiveness when clearly at fault. A culture of no accountability, of most victim-hood, no responsibility , blame game, you name it.
3. Entitlement without productivity or effort to substantiate such claims.
And the list goes on…
Do we think the above will only change with a two-vote based election system? Can’t we start work on changing these values now? What stops anyone from creating initiatives, programs, NGOs even to start working on the above? Or does it happen only with creating a new political party? A leveling third player? …
I am just wondering how amongst the chaos, we keep forgetting that we need to transform our culture as much as we want to transform our political rights.