Morality Fosters State’s Accurate Foundation for Leadership

A conceptual look at leadership and associated concepts.

It is yet unknown to Liberians that elections and constitutional enactment of any government will not sustain democracy on their own. Even though democracy is the critical foundational slab but it requires morality and integrity with continual support and dedication of its people with common sense of purpose.  

So, learning from Singapore and other great nations has brought in focus individuals with great exemplary leadership and not perfect laws they constitute. For instance, “LEE KWAN YEW is called the founder of Singapore,” and of course it will not be wrong, but such belief triggers lot of questions who Lee was and attempt to allude that he gave birth to the country. No, there were many leaders before him as president, yet they all did little to demonstrate leadership, the sense of purpose and preserve ownership to Singapore.  It took LEE KWAN YEW, a lone individual who swam along far distance of several generations to settle the dust of brutality, bad governance, corruption, nepotism and imperial rules of colonialism to a social democratic governing state.  The country that internally suffered constant violence, destitution, tribal divisions, and lawlessness like ours, yet these contents did not sway Lee away from his determination and desire to immerge Singapore to the top of history. He did not wait for everyone’s collective actions; or wait to see a model of good governance outside of himself to lead his people. This is the lesson worthy for our consumption. To change a state for the good, better or best, you who see the need must act first, this is the precept. If there should be any hope for decisive leadership for “change”, each one must seek the Lee in him or her in society. 

It’s because the fact is that, society is not suspended aloft as celestial object set in order by a Supreme Being. Society lives on cultural values, norms, morality and integrity being birthed by its people, it then becomes the identity that host the uniqueness of the people with common goal and purpose. A society exists to develop and maintain the virtue of standard to guide its people.  But then, the contrary   turning point is, once the society is corrupted, it develops into bad governance, dependence syndrome, bigotry, corruption and lawlessness which remain as   forces that spread its tentacles; a non-impactful belief system and mere politicking tactics that reign. Liberia’s primary issues is the ruin of societal value, culture, lack of self-esteem by the state. The foundation of our democracy is laid for the freedom of sect of idealists spirited in the elaterian rather than gentry. The constant argument that past regimes have  been worst to develop the state should not be a reasoning debate and inherent belief of any government and citizens to nosedive their prior inspirations for state development agenda. Leaders and citizens should realize that the foundation of this country is constantly revolted in such an irrational endless debate of century. Now both citizens and government should make the promise real to the state stable on a simple principle of morality and integrity. But if person sees that the precepts of morality and integrity is hard then no policy, law and elections can sail the country to a save landing flood, as such development in democracy linger in perceptions and constant promises unrealized.  Each citizen must know that what affects the society now has started many years back and is alive in all citizens. We cannot continue to allow this culture of long century debate of politics to affect the moral and common sense of purpose for current state advancement for present and the next generations. The blame game reflects much gloomy progress that demonstrates the real Liberian mentality.  

 Struggle for Power out of Morality Destroys the State’s Development and Good Governance  

In Liberia, development is been viewed from different stand point.  Opposition politicians hold the view of the social contract theory that “government is under obligation to fulfill social responsibilities  owe its citizens, while on the other hand, government’s pro-actors canonize their regime for doing all it owes the citizens. “Our regime is good than that one,” no matter what fiasco the regime brings to national development agenda. Such judgment makes each generation to believe that government or leadership is the presence of President that comes after the conduct of elections. Such belief system has grown gigantic like a metallic steel anchored in a concrete. Consequently, legislations that should escort societal models as a matter of serving the best interests of citizens rooted on moral as responsibility expressed through action is somnolent. Additionally, political institutions that should promote sanity can make every effort only to win elections for the benefit of political morale, connections and at most, for job opportunities it provides to control people for so-called social popularity.

Legislations and political institutions are failing the state. The deluge of precepts for the growth of next generation is misunderstood to aggressive politicking because it’s the way of gaining rapid wealth at the expense of the constituents. As a result, there is a hostile struggle: confrontation amongst politicians and followers which lead to spewing of invectives and character assassination. Whatever way the process is done, the society does not care because over a long period of time the precepts has ruined on dining tables of government that favor elites and family members against the state’s interests and the people. 

So, an election in Liberia is noisy and divisive because it’s the matter of winning by hook and crook without common sense of purpose for the people and state. Genuineness is out of political styles. Politicians are no more honest about their manifestos to the public because the society has gone bankrupt of moral values so they peg financial dish-up strategy to hook the voters – leading electorates to  cast ballots when they do not want to,  but can do so carelessly without considering it effect on their actions. Politicians are not practically concerned with formulating solutions to mitigate effluence of bad governing systems they create. So, the people become the fish waiting for baits.

The impact of such inheritance on citizens is a dependence syndrome. 

The dependence syndrome is inherent in the country’s history. Even after more than 170 years, the country is still not independently prepared for internal capacity and vibrant institutional development and maintenance. The country   cannot boast of massive development so as to be on par in the 21st century. The state internal capacity is trading low from government to government. Sometimes in public debate the remnant of both 70s and 60s’ generations continue to reflect on what they call “Normal Days.” They explained further that in those years morality and integrity were the main proponents of democracy. If this is true then what has eroded such system so rapidly when many of the current political actors are from the very 70s and 60s generations? The generation blame state’s poor performance to young people of today without knowing that democracy demands on each citizen the constant support and dedication with common sense of purpose based on morality and integrity.

The blame game has not supported any advancement of state. If the citizens are honest with themselves, they can lead the government because government comes from its people. In all, what can we learn from our history? Which model of development has the country adopted or developed? We must all act now starting with our self, our family, and institution of service and work.

 It is we, the people’s individual effort and consciousness at all level that will point the democracy compass to the true north. If citizens continue to hope for the messiah to decent from the holy land with an explicit form of governance without a dent, we will wait for long without answer. I do not support dent democracy or government, neither do citizens hope for one.  This is the time for Liberians to turn away from the age-old behavior of looking up to the ‘power of the day’ to instill system of governance without constant support for morality by the citizens and institutions of integrity.

In a case a government fails to provide what is expected of it, only the inherent moral conduct of citizens can restore the virtue of the state. If every citizen invest more time to improve or restore the uniqueness of culture, our society will rework against individual who continue to thwart democracy in lawlessness, nepotism, bigotry and bad politicking.   

For example, the alleged L$15 billion disappearance from the national coffer does not suggest weak financial system but it reveals moral disappearance in the Liberian society.  It is about time now that each citizen rise for high moral standard and consciences.    

Without Morality and integrity, our legal institution alone will not improve the state to the expectation we desire when our country is experiencing economic and ethical stagnation. No amount of legal documents remind us best anyhow as we think, rather than our individual determinations to begin teaching morality at all levels.  

The sustainable foundation for our democracy and leadership must be based on pragmatism, invest into human capacity building, the Sciences and Technology, and develop moral module for exemplary integrity leadership in institutions. As the country remains in the comity of nations looking up to other regional powers or power abroad, we must present moral discipline as a single emblem  for national identity divergent to the record of the country past history.

Country’s greatness lies in the purpose to make people feed themselves, be trained and even negotiate with companies geared toward improvement of citizens’ lives void of sensationalism. Focusing on the country’s top security priority will attract investors. Now that Liberia looks up to other nations for bread, they did not owe the country.  Let it be known that in order for international partners’ contribution to make impact on state, the domestic leadership and people must be strong for the change of massive development or else international partners will exploit the weakness of the state and people.

Liberian Politician’s Contribution is Necessary

Liberian politicians can and must follow a moral course of public service based on truth the demands are higher because it is the fundamental inner standard that surpasses the constant tactical pressures of reactionary posture of politicking in the democracies of Liberia’s political arena. The politics in Liberia has reached to the point that no one easily trusts it. Even politicians and their followers become skeptical about each other concerning the manifestos they prefer for state development and societal viability. Development agenda should not be based on politics but passion driven for a particular problem that affects the growth of the country. I call it real vision.  This means practical change over theoretical messages impregnated with politics totally abstract and only flourishes in the minds. The country progress is blamed to the system of governance and mindset of the citizens; I believe it should be blamed on national moral degeneration by all citizens that have now become culture immunity.

All citizens’ contributions

As in everything else, I must start with myself, Liberians expectation for good governance should come from the way every citizen lives their life and view the country. The commitments for peaceful and purposeful living will create cohesive consciousness that promote morality amongst citizens and promote development. Such commitment can be exhibited at all spheres of lives starting with our home, family and community, church and Mosque. 

The public anticipation for improvement in governing system should not be strictly left to the responsibility of president, because it   keeps the country in a Mary-go-round change. The recent financial saga revealed that nothing actually got missing, not even education, money, and government but moral was the only thing that is missing in the country’s culture. Society that is not coherent based on moral is bizarre. So, we cannot expect the right leaders if we are not morally practical. Nevertheless, the onus is on the leaders to make their people great. Building state capacity through quality learning institutions, promoting morality, unique culture and norms will be the sustainable way to primary development for the state and its economy. 

Currently, the huge pile of garbage in our cities is a direct reflection that there is a moral degeneration on the part of citizens, government and the people. The problem in our country is not leadership we elect but moral we dishonored because the leaders come from the people, community and society. What we stand for as a country determines in each election, the leader we want because leader comes from the people. Democracy is mediated through people and relationships. Yes, the attitude, knowledge and behaviors of holistic practitioners (citizens) are all critical to any change for genuine transformation. This is what Liberia needs. And until we can identify our value, restore morality and integrity in our culture to give real meaning to the state that reflects national interest, the state will remain to struggle in development stagnation.