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The age of incompetence

When the Corona pandemic started to accelerate one year ago, I was feeling sorry for politicians. Many people were complaining about them and criticising them for the lockdown decisions they took, but I was like, “are there any politicians who did a six month pandemic training prior to Covid-19?” They were as clueless and confused as everyone else.

One year later, things could be different, perhaps less chaotic. But instead, things seem to be getting worse. Just as the rest of the population, politicians keep spending their time arguing and blaming and finding excuses. There are very few decisions that actually make sense. I can’t visit my friend in the next town, but I can travel to a different continent; the local sports shop has to keep its doors shut and wait for financial support, while airlines receive billions so they can keep polluting the world; schools are closed in many countries, Amazon is open everywhere.

But you know what? We can’t blame politicians, because it’s not their fault. Seriously, I really think most of them have good intentions. They try their best – and that is the real problem! They can’t do any better. Because they’re not qualified.

We have defence ministers who never served in the army; agriculture ministers who never worked the land; health ministers who studied banking; transport ministers who never used public transport; and so on. As a result, it seems we’ve entered the age of incompetence. And no, not because of Covid – Covid just made it all more visible. We should actually give thanks to Covid for pointing out the level of incompetence that’s been evolving over the years.

If the virus is really as bad as we’re being told, why don’t we follow the advice of the Zero Covid initiative and do a proper lockdown for three weeks? Shutting down everything, including car factories, Amazon and crap TV. Instead, it’s all dragging on like hyper-elastic chewing gum, meaning we’ll probably remain in some kind of semi-shutdown for the next 26 years.

There are countries that seem to be doing a better job at dealing with this crisis. China for example – but nobody wants to live in a dictatorship, so perhaps that’s not the best example. What about New Zealand or Iceland? Why was their crisis management more successful?

First, they’re islands, and islands are naturally and obviously easier to shut down and control. Second, they seem to have more competent politicians, something which is definitely helpful. Third, they are relatively small.

So I’m wondering: We can’t all live on islands, but we could choose more competent politicians and, most importantly, return to smallness. Perhaps we need to accept that we’re not smart enough to be truly competent on a huge scale. And no, this is no support for the New World Order conspiracy – we do need urgent global authority to solve problems such as the climate and environmental crisis, nuclear threats and gone crazy artificial intelligence. But for day-to-day political decision-making, surely we would highly benefit from creating smaller communities. Giving more power to the mayor than to some greedy dude on the other side of the planet; promoting local food and local health and local responsibility. That kind of stuff.

It’s the age of incompetence, yes. But it could easily evolve into the age of wonderful wisdom. The question is, are we willing to learn the lessons?


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