Sunday, November 26, 2006

The State of Malcontent III

Holland is a small country of 200 by 200km east to west and north to south. It has 15 million inhabitants of which 1 million under-educated, mostly Islamic emigrants from rural areas in Turkey and Morocco.
For historical reasons the people of Holland tend to be overly egalitarian and they don't respond kindly to authorities. This plus a number of other traits fosters mediocrity and conformism and inhibits originality and creativity.

Nevertheless, the country prospers economically. After World War II the level of income hiked steadily year after year and a social welfare system was put into place by consecutive socialist and/or liberal leaning governments, which was on a par with the lauded Scandinavian countries.
All combined have resulted is a form of "virtual living" under a secure cheese-dome, in which basically nothing bad can happen to anyone. Nanny-state government and conglomerate insurance companies between them have seen to that.
Unpleasant aspects of life are either put conveniently out of view (like hospitals and old people) or are ignored all together. As for the pleasant things, these are enjoyed to the full under the motto "we want it all and we want it now." No personal gratification is denied, because as the promo industry keeps telling us "You deserve it".

Furthermore nothing is accepted: no authority, no criticism, no consequences.
Under the term "authority" are understood almost all organized systems in society, but also institutions that inhibit personal growth like marriage, extended families and such.

Criticizing is also not a done thing. People don't take kindly to it. But it was dealt with. At first all and sundry were forcibly democratized which levelled the playing field no end; later on when no-nonsense became all the rage a so-called flat organizational system was devised to the same effect. So nobody runs the risk of getting any critique, everybody happy - with the exception of clients and customers who are having to deal with all these bossless, equalized employees who are a law unto themselves.

Another unhappy result is the inability to improve on oneself and it prohibits the development of a learning curve of sorts. It would lead too far to mention here the educational system (see elsewhere in this blog; tip: try the term "labour party" in the search box).
Consequences were really made short shrift of: they were simply declared non-existent.

The result is 15 million very important, totally dysfunctional individuals who at best tolerate each other ("gedogen"), who declare they are the happiest people on the face of the earth, but who have made moaning and groaning into a national pastime. The remedy for the dissatisfaction is sought in policies and in even more materialism, bigger budgets, more social spending. It's a hole which fails to be filled. It never fills because the root cause lies elsewhere.
To be continued.

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