Sunday, September 17, 2006

Kill the head; kill the roots?

Some problems are reasonably likened to a snake; the appropriate solution delivered to the head. There are problems like weeds whose solution is applied to the roots.

Such is the problem of incompetence and corruption in public service. It will do no good to kill or replace the head. It must be attacked at its roots.

The greatest irony in the “power of the people” is that the people are not in charge of its use. They can only wield their power through intermediaries. The root of incompetence and corruption in public service is the failure of the people to provide for immediate and absolute accountability for those intermediaries.

The people allow the terms of public service to be determined by the (public) servant. It is absurd.

Systemic incompetence and corruption will not be eliminated by those whose existence depends on a system that tolerates incompetence and corruption.

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