Sunday, March 18, 2007

Who wants to be the President?

Here is a perfect thesis for aspiring PhDs in sociology: correlation between critical thinking and prosperity (economic and cultural).

If there isn’t an instrument which measures critical thinking on societal basis there should be. I have this daunting suspicion that nations, which foster critical thinking in their youth, will have a tendency to prosper and develop at a higher rate than the ones that don’t.

Tajikistan, I am afraid to admit, is in the latter group. Tajiks are a unique nation in this respect. They either have utterly clueless, but ambitious folks who want to run the country or they have a similarly clueless mass that sheepishly accepts anything it has been told over TV and other mass media. My take is that together these two phenomena work to the detriment of the country, denying it a possibility to become a stable and highly developing country.

Looking for answers as to why such phenomena exist in Tajik society I came accross our mentality. It is filled with conformism. We are taught from our childhood (in our family, then in schools and then in real professional life) not to question the authority; even when the authority is wrong, inaccurate or just plain stupid.

In this senseless whirlpool of traditions, education and the fear to become an outcast because of your thoughts, the natural curiosity of the young Tajiks (prerogative to critical thinking) becomes dull and skewed. As a result when an average Tajik graduates high school he is one fine element of the society that has little to offer to the world.

At the end generations of young people get raised with somewhat distorted model of the world in their minds. While as a product you have a very abiding mass of population (the dream of any dictator btw), you also end up mentally castrating any talent the country could have produced were it organized differently.

With the fact that the position of authority bears such a great weight in our up-bringing, it is no surprise that every kid in the country aspires to be the President of Tajikistan!!! For many the position of power seems as the only liberating aspiration worth struggling for. What happens when too many people compete for the position to rule? Yep, you guessed it right! It leads to political and economic instabillity.