Argentina: Meritocracy and ‘Cryptocapitalism’
It’s about time to make a change, don’t relax, do it slowly. We’re still a young country, that’s our fault and there’s so much we have to go through. Find a fight, act up, if you want, you can bargain, look at Finland* they’re old, but they’re happy+
Meritocracy: Capable technical bureaucrats
The Argentinean State is dysfunctional. Some of the people who work in it are good, capable and responsible, committed to the many levels of public service, allowing the gears of the immense state machinery to move slowly and heavily.
For those technical bureaucrats who make a career by dint of good performance, honesty and dedication to service, I only have admiration and respect. Friends and acquaintances work in the public service with a delivery that places them in the category of patriots and example. But they are a tiny percentage of the total, validating the Pareto ratio (20/80) in which a small percentage of elements produces the greatest impact of the system.
This task carried out by this tiny group of people is adorned with epic trimmings because they carry it out living with 80% of rats, leeches and filth that vegetate in a stall, like a raft in the ocean with no direction or destination. That army of useless people cannot continue without controls or sanctions because “the laborer deserves his keep”, the one who doesn’t, no!
Upstarts: Campaign Politicians
Although I admire technical bureaucrats, I am pessimistic about politicians who should be like migratory swallows, but become vines on the walls of public buildings and cling to them all four seasons. It is because of these ivy that the role of the State in Argentina does not work. The role of top-down coordination is needed in the best possible way and perhaps a representative democracy organized by politicians is no longer essential here. Perhaps the time has come for a direct or pure democracy taking advantage of new technologies.
Statistical data scream a decades-old structural failure that neither politicians nor their policies have been able to reverse, as Abel Posse expressed with an ironic and masterly pen in La santa loco de los Argentinos (2006). They failed the strategy, administration and management of public affairs. Instead, the campaign leaders were right with their crude lies. Unfulfilled promises were forgotten under the aura of the ‘rabid current affairs’.
I believe that the main reason for the state’s ineffectiveness is that politics has become an end in itself. Politics has to be an instrument, one more organ of the democratic system that must function in order to achieve the general homeostasis of the body and its integrity. But in Argentina, politics, political positions and politicians themselves work to maintain the status quo of their small parcels of power, harming the whole. Something like the kidneys taking over control of the body, claiming privileges because they are the ones that filter the toxins of illegality and dispose of them to public opinion. The kidneys came to power!
Plus Ultra: Farms and Competition
As George Orwell beautifully put it in Animal Farm (1945), the solution to the current injustice of the rulers could precipitate a more ferocious, totalitarian peer tyranny. It’s worth a try? Yes, to live is to want to improve permanently, competing with oneself and others to achieve it, taking risks. As Ayrton Senna said in his now famous interview with Jackie Stewart in 1990: “If you no longer go through a gap that exists [to pass the car in front], you are no longer a racing driver.”
We have spent decades of this upset stomach, of getting up every day repeating that nothing and no one can change what the country is. And we believe it, at least I repeated it for years as a mantra of the predestination of the States. Hopelessness and anger took over me and so many who chose to leave the country looking for more stable, healthy and predictable places. I understand them, I was one of them until recently.
System: Homeostasis, health and routines
To begin to heal my relationship with my State, I decided to write about the structural issues of our local problem and some other global ones: altruism, social responsibility, sustainability, impact investments, spirituality, technology, social networks, common sense, poverty… and the new capitalism that includes blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Will ‘Cryptocapitalism’ be a possible solution?
About that I will write.
- *Happiest Countries in the World (2022)
- +Paraphrasing Father and Son (1970) by Cat Stevens