Idealism Versus Realism

As the headline of this blog says, we’re here to talk about people and how they scare me.
Today I want to talk about something that continually surprises and terrifies me.

Currently Danish journalism is bursting with the topic of the officials sitting behind the politicians. Theirs is the true power. Apparently, when a politician decides he wants to change something the officials are the ones who calculate whether it’s possible, but studies show that they’re abusing this power.

That doesn’t surprise me, really. Anyone in a high seat of power who isn’t directly affected by whether “business” (in this case, the state of the country) gets better will merely do his best to remain where he is.
Now, people want the officials to be elected like how we elect politicians.
The obvious problem with this becomes evident by the following fact:

About one fifth of the Danish politicians have never had a real job. Many never finished their studies.
If the politicians really did lead our country there’d be a time for worry, for how can we have a country run by people who never experienced real life?
They don’t know how hard it is to do an education in the numeric time – they didn’t do it themselves.
They don’t understand how hard it is to search for jobs – they went straight into being politicians.
They don’t understand the mechanisms of the market because they never worked a real job before.

The officials, at least, are professionals. They’re educated and have done this job for years. The politicians change, the officials don’t – and this is a good thing. Everyone become better at their job with time. You need experience to do well, and I’d like for the people running our country to be experienced.
Not to mention the fact that randomly switching from one method to another all the time is extremely inefficient.

If the officials were to be chosen democratically we’d suffer the mechanisms of populism. Politicians can’t focus on doing a good job because there’s always the next election around the corner, not to mention that people will be chosen on charisma, not merit.
If the officials were obligated to this as well they’d become … well, politicians. And the politicians would become obsolete.

Look, it’s not like I applaud corruption. Not at all. I think these officials running the country are problematic, too. But perhaps we’re going about the problem in the wrong way.
We’re being idealistic.
And we shouldn’t.
The world isn’t idealistic, it’s realistic, and so we must become realists as well. We need to go for the most efficient system that is at the same time as idealistic as it can get.

Communism didn’t do very well because it was too idealistic. Its inefficiency killed it. There were farmers in China who would merely go into the field and take a nap instead of harvesting because they were guaranteed food no matter how large the harvest.
Why would they need to work?
The result was famine and the death of thousands.

No idealism works in the long run because there’ll always be someone who disagrees.
“People should just fall in line or leave,” I hear many say. (Hell, I’ve been told to leave Denmark because I didn’t agree with the general consensus of the welfare state.)
But the beauty of life and relationships is that we don’t always agree. How else are we going to grow as humans? A child who always gets his way will become a brat.
We’re individuals and no matter how much you’d want to you cannot change it. Regimes fall.
And this is a good thing because humans aren’t here to serve the system – the system is there to serve the humans.

The real problem with the officials is that they don’t agree. They’re doing their best to hold on tight to their positions and keep the system as it is even if that may not be the best for the people.

A practical solution to the problem would be if each party had their own share of officials. Or a lead official to put in charge to make sure that research was put at work in order to enhance certain political directions. (No, this wouldn’t be proper science, any good scientists knows you must approach a topic without bias)
Or, if officials were to be elected democratically, there should be a minimum requirement for the officials. Proper education and ten years in outside-government business. Preferably in the private sector, but the public sector is so large in Denmark that it’s almost too much to ask.

I’m not pretending to have the solution. I’m 19.
But if we don’t think about it we’ll never find the solution.
All I know is that the solution isn’t to be idealistic.

Corruption is horrible but unavoidable. We need to find a way to limit it while simultaneously staying efficient.
This is why I’m very much a fan of the free market. With as few rules as possible we’d be free to do as we wanted without chains linked to other people’s chains so that when I take a step you wouldn’t trip. Giving freedom limits corruption in my experience.

Though most of the people seeing this are not Danes I would like to hear your thoughts all the same. Are you an idealist or realist? Why? Do you experience similar problems where you come from? How is the public handling it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *