Progress is never a conciliation with the Norms.. Understanding is never an isolation from Cross-Borders.. and Love is never a Loneliness nor Greed..!



Saturday, September 27, 2014

Arabic Nuclear Chemistry


 
عالم الذرة العراقي البروفسور حميد العكيلي الذي يحمل دكتوراه في علم الكيمياء الذرية و صورته الصادمة تختصر ما كانت عليه العراق ، و ما آلت إليه اليوم
 
The Iraqi Hamid AlAkili, Professor of Nuclear Chemistry; who is a homeless in Bagdad..
 
هو ليس الأول بين علماء العرب الذين تنكرت لهم الأيام والناس وأولي الأمر والمؤسسات كذلك ، هو مجرد تعبير وتأكيد اضافي على حالة الإزدواجية النفسية والثقافية الني تصبغ الثقافة العربية المعاصرة ، وبكم الدعوات والمقالات حول فضل العلم والأخلاق والمساواة والتكافل والتحضر ، بكم الممارسات سيئة السمعة من الجهل والسوقية والتفاضل والتجاهل والعشوائية في الواقع العربي المعاصر
 
هذا يشمل سائر الناطقين بلغة الضاد ، من عرب وأشباه العرب وأنصاف العرب والمتمسحين بالعروبة فيما بين القارة الهندية والمغرب الكبير ، وفيما بين القوقاز والآناضول وساحل الصحراء الكبرى
 
لقد سقط الجميع في براثن التيه الكبير حينما تم المزج بين العروبة والإسلام ، تلك المعضلة التي تمكن مصطفى أتاتورك من الفكاك منها ، برغم فداحة الثمن الذي قد قسم تركيا إلى شحناء الريف والحضر
تلك الهاوية التي سقط فيها أبناء القارة الهندية برغم محاولاتهم اجادة العربية لساناً ولغةً ، ففشلوا ، ثم صدّروا للعالمين ليس فقط الترجمات المشوه للاسلام ولكن كذلك التعصب والتخبط والمغالاة
 
بالتأكيد هناك سبب معرفي لحالة التردي والركود العربي
لعل التاريخ يذكر حجم التفوق إبان زمن المماليك ، عندما ساد أبناء العجم أبناء العرب
تلك الحالة التي امتدت فأصابت علماء الاسلام كذلك ، ومن ثمَ صار الاسلام غريباً

هكذا ولد الاسلام المتعصب بين الهند وإيران ، وترعرع الاسلام السلفي بين باكستان وأفغانستان ، وتقاطر مسلمي أوربا استجابة لدعوات الجهاد الغّر ، وتداولت الأخبار مدعي الاسلام يلوحون بالكلاشنكوف والسكاكين والريات السوداء

أصاب العقم عقل الأمة ، وفسدت زمم غالب علماء الحرف والقلم والدين ، وصار العرب أضحوكة الزمان ، وعلى هداهم تدحرج الكثير من المسلمين 
 
هناك الكثير من المحاولات لتفسير الواقع ورسم خارطة للطريق
ويعيب على الجميع عدم وجود حوكمة للتقييم والاسترشاد
بالطبع الثقافة العربية ثقافة محكية ، ولذا فان احترام القلم ليس بآصيل
هذا الاسقاط يحمل في طياته خطورة التفاسير المتسرعة والمراهقة والضيقة ، ولكنه يحفز للنبش في الذكريات والتواريخ والعادات لفهم الحقيقة والتجاوز عن الغرضية والنفعية

 
قد تكون العروبة قديمة تاريخياً وإنسانياً ، ولكنها مراهقة عقلياً ومنطقياً
ومما لا شك فيه العلاقة بين الكيمياء الذرية والكيمياء الثقافية
لعلي أصبت ، أو لعلي أخطأت
 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sacred Symbols of the Stone Age



Based on the works of Genevieve von Petzingerwww.bradshawfoundation.com/geometric_signs/index.php

Throughout the Palaeolithic era (50,000 BCE – 10,000 BCE), our distant ancestors often used cave walls and rock faces as a canvas to paint their thoughts and experiences upon. In a time dominated by hunting and survival, these images would often take the form of animals, warriors and ritualistic activity.

However, there are also a large number of strange symbols which appear repeatedly throughout Stone Age, in all areas of the world. Spirals, triangles, zig zags and hand prints were common motifs etched upon the cave walls of Europe, America, Asia and Indonesia. This begs us to ask the question, did our ancestors use symbols as a means of pictorial communication?

The oldest known geoglyphs ever recorded can be found in the Spanish caves of El Castillo and Altamira, dated to between 39,000 – 34,000 years ago. They include red ochre dots and club-shaped images known as claviforms. Genevieve von Petzinger, a cave art researcher, has recorded 28 significant symbols which appear repeatedly and consistently around the world.

It is not currently possible to determine what these ciphers mean, but their repetition across the globs suggest there was a common value encoded into each symbol. What we do know is that in most cases, these symbols are associated with animal imagery (suggesting the language of the shaman).

From anthropological studies of shaman today, we can get a glimpse into the minds of these spirit workers who practiced their magic craft tens of thousands of years ago. They were intimately connected with the spirit world, which was believed to permeate every object on Earth (living and inanimate).

The shaman could communicate with all souls, whether human, animal, tree or stone. It was at night that their powers were said to be most acute, and perhaps there was no realm more conducive to their powers than the underworld. Caves and grotto's all exist in an eternal darkness, so perhaps the subterranean world was used as a gateway between the living and the dead.

These religious leaders may have had a desire to communicate ideas that were not necessarily easy to depict in a physical form. It is possible, then, that these geometric images represent abstract ideas or concepts about animal possession, trance states, divining and healing (the tools of their trade).

Many shaman use psychotropic substances to enter the spirit world (e.g. psilocybin mushrooms, peyote and Ayahuasca). While in trance, these spirit workers often describe seeing strange psychedelic patterns like crosses, dots, zig-zags and wavy lines appearing before their eyes. Could it be that these geoglyphs are pictorial symbols of what they see while in a trance state?

Sadly we may never know.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Americans Are Turning Against Gay Marriage..

Image courtesy of Wikipedia
 
 
As anti-same-sex marriage laws across the country are being struck down, one after another, the country, it seems, is going backwards on its views. A recent Pew Poll thinks that people are lamenting the idea that religion is losing its hold on government (it is?) and they are less approving of gay marriage than they were a few months ago.
According to the poll, released Monday, 72 percent of Americans think there isn’t enough religion in life. That’s up five percent from 2010. Most Americans also see that as bad.

Perhaps as a consequence, a growing share of the American public wants religion to play a role in U.S. politics. The share of Americans who say churches and other houses of worship should express their views on social and political issues is up 6 points since the 2010 midterm elections (from 43% to 49%). The share who say there has been “too little” expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders is up modestly over the same period (from 37% to 41%). And a growing minority of Americans (32%) think churches should endorse candidates for political office, though most continue to oppose such direct involvement by churches in electoral politics.
Source: Pew

The poll also found that just less than half of Americans (49 percent) approve of same-sex marriage and 41 percent are opposed. That’s a five percent drop in approval from February.
Only 30 percent of respondents think President Obama is friendly toward religion. Fifty-nine percent think Congress should have strong religious beliefs.
Fifty percent of respondents feel that homosexuality is a sin. Just 45 percent felt that way a year ago. Forty-seven percent think businesses should be able to deny service to LGBT people; however, a full 65 percent feel that gays and lesbians face a lot of discrimination.
Only 50 percent of Americans feel Hispanics are discriminated against. Fifty-four percent believe African-Americans face discrimination, and 59 percent think Muslims do.
Almost everyone, whether religious or not, thinks that their own beliefs are being discriminated against.

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/09/22/depressing-poll-says-americans-are-turning-against-gay-marriage/

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Scotland Blue Print..

Scotland
 
Across the world, there are many political movements target to break-away regions from their countries.. This is the seriousness and implications of Scotland Referendum 2014..

This is the unspoken and common worry among all ruling politicians worldwide.. If this "Legal" processing make its success in Scotland on Sep 18; there will be no excuse or justification to ignore claims for independence from any territories across the world..

This will start with Crimea, which its referendum had took place, yet rejected by the "Democratic" world, despite the presence of international monitors..

In advance to the referendum in Scotland; it is widely proven how politicians would compile false facts to reach their goals.. Despite the high HDI rank in UK in general and Scotland in particular, there are many evidences that the true facts had been carefully hidden within emotional campaigns of both parties..

Yes, the No campaign are more realistic than the Yes one.. the No party did not disclose the true cost of sovereign divorce nor the long path needed to conclude.. The uncertainty and probabilities of unsuccessful endeavors are unbelievably great and mushroom.. This is the true risk of independence verdict..


UK, and Scotland within, occupy the 14th rank of HDI.. what would be the case for underdeveloped nations.. Since the partition of South Sudan, its deteriorated rank can not go lower than 187, the lowest worldwide..!!


In both cases, separation or unity favored, I believe that UK should revised it representation structure..
 
Currently, they are four British nations, whereas only three exercise partial sovereignty, while England is not.. Therefore, there is no Federation but Subordination.. This is the unspoken bottom-line..


Therefore, England should have its own Parliament, Capital and Government.. Then London should be a Federal Capital, with appropriate representation of the nations..


This will be the threshold of British Equality, Fairness and Justice..


I wonder, why such topic is not raised, so far..!

Nuclear Family Needs To Die


Why the nuclear family needs to die, in order for us to live
The concept of a nuclear family is relatively recent – it is first mentioned in The Oxford English Dictionary  in 1925 – and refers to a household that consists of a mother, father and their children.  It is recent because the cost of establishing a household has been historically very high and young couples simply could not afford to do so.  It was the economic ability to live separately that then enabled the significant social change of splitting up the extended family.  History Future Now believes that the nuclear family is a historical aberration and ultimately doomed to fail.

Extended family is historically and geographically the norm

In many parts of the world today the extended family remains the norm. Most families in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and parts of Southern Europe live in households that are multi generational in their make up, with grandparents, parents and children all living under the same roof.  In some countries, such as Iraq, the extended family concept is so broad that the marriage of first cousins is encouraged, keeping the wealth and the family even closer together.
In the West, if you go as far back as the late Roman Republic and the early Roman Empire the paterfamilias concept extended not just to all of the immediate family members living in a household, but also to a vast retinue of slaves, freedmen and clients.
The break up of the extended family in the West was triggered by the the Industrial Revolution, which was a major driver of internal and external migrations.  Young men and women would leave their family households and go into temporary lodgings near to their place of work. Eventually they would marry and set up a home away from their extended families.
We are seeing the same pattern occurring in countries like China today, where millions of young Chinese from the central and western parts of China have left their hometowns and villages to seek jobs in factories along the coast.  Many households are neither extended families nor nuclear families, but rather single dwellings or group dormitories, with a completely different set of social rules and norms.

The impact of the Great Recession on families

Interestingly, the decline of jobs in the West, due to the Great Recession and a general trend towards outsourcing jobs to lower cost countries, robotics,  automation and software,  has resulted in an increase in the number of people living in extended families.  The number of multi-generational households in the US shot up from 2007 to 2009, according to a October 2011 report by the Pew Research Centre.  It observes that:
Without public debate or fanfare, large numbers of Americans enacted their own anti-poverty program in the depths of the Great Recession: They moved in with relatives. This helped fuel the largest increase in the number of Americans living in multi-generational households in modern history. From 2007 to 2009, the total spiked from 46.5 million to 51.4 million.
Living in a multi-generational household appears to be a financial lifeline for many. Although their adjusted incomes overall are lower, the poverty rate among people in multi-generational households is substantially smaller than for those in other households—11.5% vs. 14.6% in 2009, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data.
Moreover, the potential benefits of living in multi-generational households are greatest for the groups that have been most affected by the Great Recession. Among the unemployed, the poverty rate in 2009 was 17.5% for those living in multi-generational households, compared with 30.3% for those living in other households.
The statistics from 2009 to 2012 are not yet available, but it is likely that the percentage has increased significantly since 2009.

The nuclear family is unsustainable economically

Much of the analysis and press about the re-emergence of the extended family in the West focuses on the fact that it is expensive to live apart and how living together is cheaper for everybody.  The implication is that once the economy gets moving again, people will go back to their old ways and extended family units will split apart.
History Future Now is not so sure.
The decline of the extended family was mirrored by the simultaneous increase in the size of government in order to provide the services that were once handled by the extended family.  Essentially big government has replaced the role of the extended family in many societies today.  Since big government is no longer affordable, the nuclear family will no longer be affordable either.  Here are four examples where a move to living in extended families would help reduce costs and reduce the size of government.
Childcare.  The government currently provides childcare for young families.  This is in the form of funding for nursery placements for pre school age children.  This is expensive, but arguably helpful for the economy as it frees more parents to enter the work force, or to remain in the workforce.  In an extended family, childcare is provided by a combination of grandparents and parents.  This is good for young people as they can develop relationships with adults other than their parents and good for old people as spending time with young people keeps them active.
Retirement homes.  The government currently pays for retirement homes – old people’s homes – for people who are retired and are unable to live on their own.  This is expensive, but arguably helpful for the economy as it frees up adult children from having to look after their parents, enabling them to remain in the workforce.  In an extended family old people can live at home for a much longer period until they get sick or are unable to do anything for themselves. This saves money for the government and is better for the older people.
Pensions. The government currently provides pensions for its retired citizens.  This is expensive and takes money from the existing workforce in the form of taxes and hands it to retired people in the form of benefits.  Given the shrinking number of people in the workforce due to demographics and fewer jobs, this burden is increasingly large for the existing workforce.  If people lived in extended families the cost of housing and living would be lower.  This would mean that government pensions could be smaller and still enable retired people to live comfortable lives.
Unemployment and housing benefits. The government currently provides benefits for people who are unemployed and housing for those who are in need of housing.  This is expensive.  If people lived in extended families housing benefits would not be necessary and the reduced cost of living due to being in shared family accommodation would mean that unemployment benefits could be lower and still enable unemployed people to live without falling below the poverty line.

A fall in GDP would be a good thing

The basic measurement of a country’s economic well being is Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  We talk about GDP per capita (or its cousin Gross National Product -GNP)  and growth in GDP and think that the higher both numbers are the better off we will be.  The problem with GDP is that all it measures is money changing hands in an economy.  If you pay for childcare that has an impact on GDP. If your parents look after your children while you are at work there is no impact on GDP.  If you divorce, sell your house, and buy two new houses and furnishings GDP goes up, but it is hard to argue that this has been a good thing for society.
People living in nuclear families and as singletons are great for GDP as they need lots of services to be provided by other people as it is impossible to live completely on your own.  The number of purchased services  required is huge and range from  builders, plumbers, painters, dog walkers and fast food all the way to therapists and cleaners.  Other services are provided by the government, as noted above.  If more people lived in extended families you should expect a significant drop in the GDP of a country.  If you are a politician who has pledged to boost GDP and employment, promoting extended families will not get you there.
Governments in the West are heavily indebted and as discussed in a previous article there is no real way out, with the exception of debt jubilees (or defaults) and hyperinflation.  But even if the debt disappeared, the underlying problem remains – living outside extended families is enormously expensive and there are not enough good jobs to pay for the way of life that we have become used to. 
The great irony that many people are realising, however, is that they are working in order to pay for the services that are provided by non family members.  If the extended family provided a lot of those services then they would not need to work as long hours or earn such a high income to pay for them.

There is hope

While some people cant stand their in laws, parents, or kids, for the vast bulk of society the extended family is a wonderful thing.  However,  it will take time to readjust to living together.  There will be friction as adult children and their parents work out how to live together with mutual respect.
It is just worth remembering that for the past 70,000 years of human history we have lived very successfully in extended families and it is only in the last 100 years that we have done anything different. A brave politician (I know a number of you read this) would go against the prevailing trends and would advocate extended family friendly policies.
There is reason to think that we can adjust.  There is hope.

http://www.historyfuturenow.com/wp/why-the-nuclear-family-needs-to-die-in-order-for-us-to-live/#.VBltQ29gZvg.facebook

Failed Democracy

 
The true failure of the "Democracy" is never the concept itself, but the governance tools..
If an elected politician fails, no mechanism to remove him/her from the office; till forthcoming elections take place.. Even so, lobbying would control rather than the dissatisfied public..
Political Scientists try to defend the democracy rather than rectify the gaps for potential corruption and misalignment to the public.. No one question the justification and legitimacy of Democracy as a proper ruling mechanism..
WE question the guarantees for its health, fitness and consistence..
Undoubtedly, there is no proper mechanism, therefore, people across the world are angry and eager to mob and revolt..
 
We need to rationalize the Democracy..!
 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Breaking-away.. Scotland Blue Print..

 
 
Across the world, there are many political movements target to break-away regions from their countries.. This is the seriousness and implications of Scotland Referendum 2014.. This is the unspoken and common worry among all ruling politicians worldwide.. If this "Legal" processing make its success in Scotland on Sep 18; there will be no excuse or justification to ignore claims for independence from any territories across the world.. This will start with Crimea, which a referendum had took place, yet rejected by the "Democratic" world, despite the presence of international monitors..
 
The list below tells only about the main claims in Euroasia, yet not all of them.. There are many more in Africa, Asia and South America..

 

Scotland

Scotland
Despite some British reluctance and disdain towards of Scottish independence, the region will hold a referendum on 2014 in which Scots will decide whether or not to leave the UK.
--------------------------------------

Wales

Wales
Though the Welsh independence movement has a long history, the question of Scottish independence has exhumed a substantive debate on Welsh independence. The region enjoys a fair amount of autonomy and has its own assembly government.
Membership in one of Wales' biggest nationalist parties, Plaid Cymru, has jumped significantly in recent years.
----------------------------------------
 
 
Flanders
 
Flanders
Although not all Flemish citizens want outright independence, many seek greater autonomy from the current Belgian government, in order to protect Flemish culture and the Dutch language.
Recently, political parties that favor more autonomy have had huge gains in Dutch politics — on Sunday, the leader of the separatist party NV-A was elected mayor of Antwerp.
------------------------------------------
 

Catalonia

Catalonia
movement has been around for quite some time. The region has its own unique language, culture, dining specialties, and architecture.
The movement e subsided in large part, but Spain's economic downturn has driven many Catalonians in favor of independence. Catalonia is Spain's wealthiest autonomous community, and pays more in taxes to the federal government than it receives — much to the ire of Catalonians.
--------------------------------------------

Basque Country

Basque Country
The Basque country, which lies on the border between Spain and France, has long sought independence based on its unique cultural identity and distinct language; however, the separatist movement has been marred by violence. ETA, the primary Basque separatist and independence movement, is known more for its terrorist activities than its diplomatic negotiations.
But in 2011, ETA declared its armed campaign to be over. The organization has violated ceasefires before, but to date the agreement appears to have ended the violence.
----------------------------------------
 

Venice

Venice
One of Italy's most scenic cities wants has recently declared that it wants to to break away from the country, rather than be burdened by austerity measures. In early October thousands gathered in protest throughout Venice to call for independence.
Venice and the surrounding Veneto area was an independent republic during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It has only been a part of the Italy since the Third Italian War of Independence united the country 146 years ago.
Local polls declared that 70-80 percent of Venetians favored breaking away from Italy.
------------------------------------------


Quebec
 
Quebec
The French-speaking Candian province has always prided itself on its francophonic roots, and last month's elections reflects this sentiment.
The Parti Quebecois (PQ), which advocates sovereignty for Quebec, gained 54 seats in the Quebec general election — enough to form a minority government. 
 -------------------------------------

Kurdistan

Kurdistan
Kurdistan refers to a region dominated by the eponymously named people located in eastern Turkey, eastern Syria, northern Iraq, northern Iran, and partially in Armenia.
Although Iraqi Kurdistan has a semi-autonomous status within Iraq, many Kurdish organizations call for the creation of an independent Kurdish state, based on their independent language and culture.
The main separatist organization, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), has branches in Syria, Turkey, and Iraq. It is classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the E.U.
Not only are the Kurds caught in their own battle for independence, but the conflict in Syria has Turkey concerned over its own Turkish minority.
---------------------------------- 

Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Abkhazia and South Ossetia
Sovereignty over the two self-declared republics in the Caucasus has been a hot topic since the 2008 South Ossetian War between Russia, Georgia and the separatists governments in the two "breakaway republics."
The war started when Georgian forces occupied South Ossetia in order to assert its control and to respond to attacks on peacekeeprs, much to the chagrin of Russia — which is supported by the unrecognized government in South Ossetia. Russian peacekeepers were killed in the Georgian occuptation, so Russia responded by invading both South Ossetia and Abkhazia 
Today, the regions are technically under Georgian sovereignty, and most states do not recognize the Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states.
 
 
 

 

 
 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Arabic re-Renaissance


Very few Arabs and Muslims; who had been gifted the capacity to scrutinize righteous from wrongdoing..  Despite how delicate to address the mostly emotional and passionate topics related to religion and mythical beliefs; these knowledge-warriors are symbols of the divine verdict to enable the nation to survive.. This survival is not meant to hurt, disgrace or defeat any other school of thought or belief, but was necessary to balance the evil powers from stimulating desires and soft spots within the humane fabric..

Prior to September 2011, there were no security domination worldwide, apart from routine criminals and outlaws.. Rare events of terrorism were easy to control and defuse; without depriving the principle rights, interests and concern of the public.. Since September 11, billion were invested in security operations and precautions that already provoke most rights.. Certainly, blames of this spiral phenomenon are pointed to Muslims..

The same applies to many regrettable issues world wide..
As Ibrahim AlBuleihi put it: Muslims (not Islam) had not only over loaded ourselves, but we had over loaded the world with unfortunate events, circumstances and costs..
Confusion, misguidance and superficiality had invaded the Arabs and Muslims ad created paradoxical and contradictive situations with the others..!! 

The true question is about what we are aiming for..?
What we want to accomplish or prove..?

What the purpose, target, gain or endeavor..?
Certainly nothing..

In a simple Islamic vision; the people are divided into three categories.. Leaders, Executives and Commons..
Leaders who are supposed to have Allah swt within their hearts, so they can lead the nation towards the prosperous righteous path..
Executives who have Allah swt in their minds, and had qualification to administer the nation and capable to scrutinize issues and advise the Leaders on the best ways forward..
Then, the Commons, who watch out for Allah swt in their simple deeds and actions, led by those Allah-fearing leaders and empowered by those Allah-knowing executives..
If non of the above are not there, it simply means the abounding of Islam's teachings, bylaws and philosophies.. Which were set to guide the nation..!


Sexual Objectification..



During the last four years, particularly since the awful sexual harassment of female protests and journalist at Tahrir Square, the talks are endless about this phenomenon and the various social, psychological and religious implications..

The below video is a simple nice attempt to hi-light the cause-roots of the universal problem, as defined: Men are Sexual subjects, while women are sexual objectives.. Maybe the video comes for equality and feminism perspectives, yet it is good point of view should the media tycoons respect..
Certainly no...!!


America in Decay

 
 
"Politics is a domain of final ends, subject to democratic contestation, but Administration is a realm of implementation, which could be studied empirically and subjected to scientific analysis.."
Max Weber
 
 
The issue of Civic Service is one of the infinitive legacies of Mankind.. This is not resulted from the continuous debates and arguments on efficiency and best practices, but due to the unspoken contradiction between the mighty tendencies: Anarchy & Order..
 


America in Decay: The Source of Political Dysfunction
By Francis Fukuyama
September/October 2014 Issue
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/141729/francis-fukuyama/america-in-decay?cid=nlc-foreign_affairs_this_week-082814-america_in_decay_5-082814&sp_mid=46845006&sp_rid=YWRpbHN1ZEBob3RtYWlsLmNvbQS2
 

The creation of the U.S. Forest Service at the turn of the twentieth century was the premier example of American state building during the Progressive Era. Prior to the passage of the Pendleton Act in 1883, public offices in the United States had been allocated by political parties on the basis of patronage. The Forest Service, in contrast, was the prototype of a new model of merit-based bureaucracy. It was staffed with university-educated agronomists and foresters chosen on the basis of competence and technical expertise, and its defining struggle was the successful effort by its initial leader, Gifford Pinchot, to secure bureaucratic autonomy and escape routine interference by Congress. At the time, the idea that forestry professionals, rather than politicians, should manage public lands and handle the department’s staffing was revolutionary, but it was vindicated by the service’s impressive performance. Several major academic studies have treated its early decades as a classic case of successful public administration.

Today, however, many regard the Forest Service as a highly dysfunctional bureaucracy performing an outmoded mission with the wrong tools. It is still staffed by professional foresters, many highly dedicated to the agency’s mission, but it has lost a great deal of the autonomy it won under Pinchot. It operates under multiple and often contradictory mandates from Congress and the courts and costs taxpayers a substantial amount of money while achieving questionable aims. The service’s internal decision-making system is often gridlocked, and the high degree of staff morale and cohesion that Pinchot worked so hard to foster has been lost. These days, books are written arguing that the Forest Service ought to be abolished altogether. If the Forest Service’s creation exemplified the development of the modern American state, its decline exemplifies that state’s decay.

 
"The problem with scientific management is that even the most qualified scientists of the day occasionally get things wrong, and sometimes in a big way.."
Francis Fukuyama

The story of the U.S. Forest Service is not an isolated case but representative of a broader trend of political decay; public administration specialists have documented a steady deterioration in the overall quality of American government for more than a generation. In many ways, the U.S. bureaucracy has moved away from the Weberian ideal of an energetic and efficient organization staffed by people chosen for their ability and technical knowledge. The system as a whole is less merit-based: rather than coming from top schools, 45 percent of recent new hires to the federal service are veterans, as mandated by Congress. And a number of surveys of the federal work force paint a depressing picture. According to the scholar Paul Light, “Federal employees appear to be more motivated by compensation than mission, ensnared in careers that cannot compete with business and nonprofits, troubled by the lack of resources to do their jobs, dissatisfied with the rewards for a job well done and the lack of consequences for a job done poorly, and unwilling to trust their own organizations.”

In his classic work Political Order in Changing Societies, the political scientist Samuel Huntington used the term “political decay” to explain political instability in many newly independent countries after World War II. Huntington argued that socioeconomic modernization caused problems for traditional political orders, leading to the mobilization of new social groups whose participation could not be accommodated by existing political institutions. Political decay was caused by the inability of institutions to adapt to changing circumstances. Decay was thus in many ways a condition of political development: the old had to break down in order to make way for the new. But the transitions could be extremely chaotic and violent, and there was no guarantee that the old political institutions would continuously and peacefully adapt to new conditions.

The very stability of institutions, however, is also the source of political decay. Institutions are created to meet the demands of specific circumstances, but then circumstances change and institutions fail to adapt. One reason is cognitive: people develop mental models of how the world works and tend to stick to them, even in the face of contradictory evidence. Another reason is group interest: institutions create favored classes of insiders who develop a stake in the status quo and resist pressures to reform.

But Madisonian democracy frequently fails to perform as advertised. Elite insiders typically have superior access to power and information, which they use to protect their interests. Ordinary voters will not get angry at a corrupt politician if they don’t know that money is being stolen in the first place. Cognitive rigidities or beliefs may also prevent social groups from mobilizing in their own interests. For example, in the United States, many working-class voters support candidates promising to lower taxes on the wealthy, despite the fact that such tax cuts will arguably deprive them of important government services.


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