Wednesday, May 23, 2007

How To Re-Populate Detroit: Change The Attitude by Akindele Akinyemi


Corrupt governance here in Detroit can be adjusted through fundamental structural reforms that allow open society dynamics to function in Detroit. There should be a distinction between bad management and bad structures. Detroit has more of a poor constitutional problem than a bad governance one.
And if we have Communists on the Detroit City Council who will not vote the right way by allowing Wayne County to patrol the buses then we will never leave the caves of poverty. We have those on that same council who champions welfare and the creation of a communist state through hindering progress with regionalization and privatizing.
Unless this poverty Achilles heel is squarely addressed and a conscious choice is made to embrace the benefits of free market production by rejecting the romantic nostalgia with liberal tradition, we cannot overcome the inherent poverty trap. Perhaps this sounds derogatory but from the perspective of social Darwinists, evolution demands that we graduate from being an informal society into embracing the formal constitutional state where rules are clear, calculable and applied equally and impartially. We destroy our brothers and sister, and do not tolerate those who are different. Without rewarding ingenuity, there can be no motivation to produce profit. Instead, brain drain ensues here in the City of Detroit.
Enlightenment through civic education can confer minimum levels of political literacy, which unfortunately, takes time. Our demand for a quantum leap into development thus appears unrealistic-to the extent that we wish to use socialist means of government. We need to transform Detroit attitudes of social consensus seeking into the modern drive for individual competition-progress through the ruthless maxim of "survival of the fittest."
Our politicians, grassroots precinct delegates and Democratic leadership are prone to exploiting the illiterate masses in the short term, for personal benefit. There are few statesmen who can sacrifice their own short-term greed and selfishness for the sake of long term benefit of "the state" or "Detroit." This manifests itself in using public property for private gain-corruption. After all, they argue, under capitalism, self-interest is the name of the game. Detroit's populations are too poor, illiterate and socially divided to check the leaders at elections or referendums. Benevolence and charity are too abstract to become reliable parameters to guide action under socialist relations or law.
The solution lies in a free market system in Detroit which takes democracy and its consequences seriously. One aspect of the jigsaw should not be viewed in isolation of the bigger picture. What is its impact on the whole, including both history, the present and universal values?
Much of Detroit's culture has to change fast. Liberal leadership and grassroots folks who continue to keep us on the poverty plantation cannot help us find our collective identity and change our city attitudes. Finding and agreeing on basic values, in a democracy must be done through free media debate, which solves problems of our own past.

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