Leaders As Obstacles

One of the factors which make transformative politics and the cultivation of intelligence to assist and maintain the process even more difficult, is the government.

Sometimes the obvious is left unsaid, and that is that national leaders and their bureaucracies are the largest, most intractable obstacles on the path of progress. Let us conclude along with Dror(1987:212) that

"a highly advanced intelligence capacity can make a leader uncomfortable for it forces him to discipline his thinking, leaves less leeway for exercising personal will and generally restrains his freedom of action."
The exigencies of office make it more feasible for these persons to focus on outward shows that will increase the possibility of re-election, with no genuine intention to follow through, and the extreme likelihood that policies implemented by one regime will be overthrown by its successor. Often this has manifested itself in the purchase of impressive physical plant/infrastructure, the hiring of foreign 'experts' and the spouting of terms like-"the cutting edge of technology", "state of the art"- without a clue about how imported technology can contribute to relevant, sustainable development.

To summarise, there is an emphasis on acquiring hardware rather than the time and intelligence-intensive process of developing the software of sophisticated minds.

The information policy of a country is largely predicated on the system of government. We have been described as having hosted a succession of paternalistic governments where you can say the Father/Mother of the Nation replaced the Mother Country. The people, playing the role of the bug-eyed children, are expected only to hand up their votes, shut up and behave themselves. Empowerment of the population is problematic for centralized control and governmental carte blanche. The information culture reflects this non-participatory, hierarchical system. It is characterized by two flows:- a top down flow from government to governed and a horizontal swirl of intrigue, gossip, propaganda, innuendoes, hearsay among the governed (the latter being tapped by the government to gain local political advantage.)

Ventura(1980:4) makes a similar observation about developing countries:
"An outstanding characteristic of developing countries is their astonishing lack of knowledge: about themselves, their friends, their enemies and their technological, social, economic and ecological environments."
The implications of this become more serious as these countries attempt to enter the global arena and are increasingly exposed as borders become more permeable to flows of citizens, friends, enemies and the accompanying technological, social, economic and ecological influences.

DROR, Yehezkel (1968). Public policy re-examined. San Francisco, CA: Chandler Publishing.
VENTURA, Arnaldo (1980). Obstacles and avenues to social enlightenment. Paris: OECD. (Meeting on the Knowledge Industry and the Process of Development, Paris, 9-12 June, 1980)

"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!