Wednesday, November 25, 2015

THE NEW YORK TIMES (Nov. 25, 2015 ) about BELGIUM.

The article in the New York Times regarding Belgium and the homegrown terrorists is devastating.  The numerous shortcomings of the existing macro- and micro-policy making or management structures are yet again under attack.  It is hard to defend what is so blatantly inefficient and not working.  On numerous occasions I have joined the chorus of the "J'accuse". Walking in Brussels is like visiting a lab where all forms of terrorism samples are stored with disregard for possible contamination consequences. 

Nevertheless, I have also some sympathy for the prime minister and his government who have to work under the strain of past mistakes. The minister of the interior (Flemish nationalist) has acted loyally and the population at large has remained stoic.  Belgium is more an "arrangement" than a "nation", therefore, it is in a permanent flux of revision, unlike countries with a defined, proven identity. This "fluidity" has its merits, and many shortcomings. The country has been able to avoid unrest or real social chaos. At the same time it has missed opportunities, given the growing centrifugal forces. The state is not "failed" (yet), it is "weak". 

The outcome of the current impasse should be one of a more centralized chain of command in various sectors, transparent mission statements and of getting rid of overlapping, unnecessary, competing structures. The country can be resilient, as it is now.  It does not have to become a copycat ersatz of centralized others. It just has to admit that in its current form, the system doesn't function as it should.  The climate change dispute between regions now is the perfect example of the implosion of rationality.

The "ridicule", if not addressed head on , can easily become a disease with fatal consequences .

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