Thursday, April 12, 2007

"Enough" -is- "Enough" with "Complacency"

"Enough" -is- "Enough" with "Complacency" 
 Egyptian Gazette April 12 
Tarek Heggy
 In a discussion after one of my recent public lectures I was asked by a young student to name "one single" dimension in the contemporary Egyptian thinking that requires a full scale change. My immediate answer was: "Complacency".
In my elaboration I highlighted the following relevant aspects:
-         Any fair outsider cannot negate that Egypt made, throughout the past decade, excellent moves towards a much better economic life. Nonetheless, the inability to admit the gigantic mistakes of the 1950's and 1960's continue to empede the introduction of new systems that would undeniably make the past decade achievements mush greater. We simply need to say it, patently clear, that the way our economy was structured and managed since the mid 1950's was a complete mess. Most of the systems engineered during this era ought to be replaced by systems that proved to be successful in the advanced economies.
-         Our well-deserved pride of our history must not leave us in the currently prevailing "complacency phenomenon". On the contrary, we must admit that many features of our contemporary life ought to be changed.
-         The advocates of the "Medieval fundamentalism" and equally the old guards of "The totalitarian era of the 1960's" are the true enemies of the great efforts to build a "Modern", "Stable" and "Flourishing" Egypt. The first group advocates an "illusion" that could only throw us into the Middle Ages. The second group has taken us through a long journey of failures. Both of them would cut our ties with the world in an age of "No isolation".
I remember that I ended my talk about these contradicting notions i.e. "Self Criticism" and "Complacency", by expounding the opinion that I never stop making: "Self Criticism is like all advancement values… they need to be demonstrated by each leadership in its domain".
"Self Criticism" does undeniably generate positive (non-passive) citizens i.e. members of the society that profoundly believe that they can make "a difference". With such a "belief" we gain "more believers" and "fewer followers".
With a decreasing "Complacency" and growing ability to practice "Self Criticism" we shall not disregard "conspiracy" as an undenied  phenomenon, but we shall certainly relate more of  our major problems to "The way things were/have been managed within our  boarders". For instance, we shall thence accept that the catastrophic living conditions in many many areas such as "Imbaba" are not the result of an Imperial (or Israeli) plot!!! 

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