Or how citizens lost control to the political structures that govern them!
Seeing that we are a mere 15 days away from election day in Morocco, I thought that it might be healthy to share my opinion on Government; the structure with a big G, not the people acting within it.
It is mandatory to keep in mind that Morocco is a young country; a very young one. The kingdom of Morocco is only 60 years old, and has spent most of these 60 years trying to re-adapt old imperial governance structures to the new and ever changing world that we need to live in. Moroccans have also greatly struggled to detach themselves from the colonial baggage that have defined a whole generation’s relationship with power.
Although Morocco has made noticeable progress in matters of democracy, personal freedom and human rights, the past 60 years left the country with a structure that grew in complexity and power over the years until it became mightily bigger than the citizens that created it (and the people that it supposedly serves).
Similarly to Frankenstein’s attempt to create life that ironically left him with a death bearing creature, a half-a-century long strive to create a political machine that gives Moroccans an equal chance at controlling their own fate ended up stripping them from all power that they once had and forcing them to respect man-made laws and structures the same way the godly obey divine law.
This sanctification of manmade political structures has become particularly apparent recently, especially during the recent controversy that surrounded the sale of state owned land to current and ex-ministers, high military officials, advisors of the king etc. (referred to as “servants of the state” by the Ministers of Interior and Finance).
Upon discovering that members of the political elite have been acquiring land in one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, for $35 per meter square, a mixture of shock and outrage fueled the vox populi that demanded an investigation on the matter.
However, and contrary to what one might expect from a system that is supposed to serve the general will of the people, these voices got crushed when the two ministries cited before justified the legitimacy of these purchased by invoking a 1995 legislative decree that was published by the prime minister’s office at the time. As is the custom, Moroccans stomached this as another loss that reinforced their feelings of powerlessness before elected officials that are meant to represent them and a system that allegedly gives each one of them power over the political structures that govern them.
Even more recently, the current head of government killed any doubt that the political machine holds more importance that the citizens that created it by explicitly asserting that, as a leader of the government, his first priority is to serve the country and the system before tending to the citizens’ needs.
The increasing glorification and fear that Moroccan have towards the “Frankenstein-esque” organizations that rule them are not groundless. The mystery and complexity that characterizes the system have made citizens grow less and less able to keep up with the different structures that are being created, and consequently lose interest in the politics.
Therefrom, electoral programs put forward by political parties that promise the electorate to regain control over government need to break this sacred seals that have been put on the laws, regulations and organizations that make up the government.
This process of desanctification can be achieved by making the different organizations that constitute the government more transparent so as to allow for a better understanding of their underlying structures and grant Moroccans the power to audit their functioning. Furthermore, a continuous updating of the political machine will greatly contribute in the abolishment of the myths of rigidity and inalterability that envelop the laws and regulation that organize the country. Moreover, it will prevent future instances of political perversion and abuse of these structures by the political elite; such as the “Servants of the sate” controversy.