Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The State Citizen and Morality

Written by Carol Lawton

Ethics and Morals are debatable but at what point does it become objective. Each person has their own ethical and moral standards but is it defined by the State they live in as to what is acceptable. This tirade is based upon a conversation that I had in a shoe repair shop with a teacher today. It started out with a comment about a long time girl friend and who she ended up with vs who she used to date. My answer was that it’s life then I comment that our community was regressing and going backward from the original design. This is where the conversation took various turns.

My points for the regression of the community were as follows:

1. Sewage going straight into the sea. (We pay a sewage progress bill every month to NWC)

2. The top soil, garbage and sewage that comes out of the regularized (Operation Pride settle) in heavy flood waters off the hill to dig up the roads.

3. The smooth well built roads are down to the marl rocks which form the foundation of the roads.

4. The house are not numbered

5. Neighbors don’t know each other

6. Idlers and beggars on the corners

7. No more green spaces

I would list more but this is a shorten version. Long and short of it is this teacher said that the community was not regressing but that I was using a definition of development that does not fit Jamaica and that it was my type of thinking that reinforce the colonial model of development. All this statement is bull to me because if a well laid out community is forced to live alongside squatter who care little for the community they affect. A police force that does not follow the noise law or loitering laws, a government that care little for the environment and citizens who care for nothing but a roof over their heads and some food (money) then we must be a bunch of animals just living together because we a stuck on a rock. I remember the mongrel statement but this is just a tirade nothing personal.

He then went on to state that we are tropical people and throughout the topics this is how most countries are because of the customs of the people. Bull again. One thing that he did go on to talk about was values which I had to agree with him. The gist of the conversation on values boils down to at what point does the state step in when the family the basic structure of the state fails? Is it the laws of the state which have failed hence the control systems placed upon the citizens have regress to the chaos we have now where morals are bad and immorality is good. Where the good guy finish last and money and brute power are the key determinations of success and right? Are there multiple laws or one law for all in Jamaica for citizens, the rich, the poor and the civil servants? It is almost cave man like to think but he was right on the mark. The family is failing hence the state is failing as the family is the building block of the state. In AIDS torn countries, AIDS is the fear for state as it moves to destabilize entire families, villages and towns. In Jamaica, AIDS is a problem but more important are values, morals and ethics. Our population is very young and there is a disconnect with the last generation for some reason

The prime example is the music on the buses. An old lady commented that this was not the type of music to play while young people are on the bus to a conductor. The conductor said in a joking manner, it’s Irie Fm and laugh it off to the delight of the whole bus. Do we not have laws for this or is it that it’s everyone doing as they please. Is it that the State and the Teacher are of the same view that to enforce the law is to reinforce the standard of our past colonial history and let tropical people be tropical people and do as they please. Right around now I am very sarcastic because when I asked the teacher so where are they headed morally then since that is where the bankruptcy is? He drew a question sign in the air and says God knows!

Personally I think it is time the State apply the laws on the books. This application just as PC Lewin stated should go after the small things but it must be applied to the government as well. “Police wants insurance from public; their cars should meet the same standard”. If the State begins to act morally and ethical as it deals with the affairs of State the mirror effect will be the citizens will comply especially since the State is not just saying it they are doing it. The hard dry no feelings enforcement of the laws for all. When laws are not enforce then justice will cease and chaos will reign. Jamaica is at the brink of a failed state not by economics but moral and ethical failures and its toothless justice system.

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