The Chinese proverb is very importune here: “You can conquer from a horseback, but you can’t rule from a horseback.” Afghanistan’s gone through rather dramatic twists and turns over the last century. As for now, the people have managed to set up a government, American-backed, fragile, corrupt, but at least, wobbling.
“Big ideas.big ambitious projects need to be embedded deep within culture at a level deeper than the political winds; it needs to be deeper than the economic fluctuations that could turn the people against an expensive projects because they’re in an unemployment line, and can’t feed their families.” — Neil deGrasse Tyson.
People need to understand that today’s world is run by Science, and in general by STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). This is a truth that needs no proof. Look at the American National Science Foundation, the Politburo of China, or People’s Action Party of Singapore, which consist mainly people from STEM academic backgrounds. What I do want to propose is a change in government, a government (and nation) that respects “big ideas” that Neil deGrasse Tyson mentions above. The optimal way to do this is to design the government itself like such — a Technocracy.
“Leadership in education has been a hallmark of global leadership over time over the last three centuries.” — William C. Kirby.
And so to achieve a Science-aware population, we need to reform the education system, which is clearly defunct. Heck, literacy rate in Afghanistan is 32% anyway; and also, the commonfolk doesn’t understand what value education has. We need to change this. We can’t build a government with ignoramuses. And so, education needs reworking in Afghanistan, from primary to higher education institutes. I personally vouch for an English-dominated curriculum, mimicking the Singaporean national curriculum. Incidentally, the Singaporean government has generously uploaded detailed outlines of all the curricula for their school classes.
The youth today, much to my sorrow, idealize singing as the way out. True, art leaves a permanent mark in history, but Afghanistan isn’t history yet, and people needn’t treat it as history either. Our youth need to realize that they build through hard-work, not through escapism. We can’t build a nation with singers or warlords either.
I’d like to end this article with something I managed to write in a bout of creativity:
“Case in point though, we need a new foundation to build our society on, so that in the long term, Afghanistan doesn’t tumble down, as it’s done before, like the Communist, or the later theocratic reign.”
Special thanks to Noorjahan Akbar who was the original motivation for me to fully express my views. She made me realize that maybe voicing my own opinion isn’t a cry in the wilderness after all, at least not as much as I thought it was. You can read her article on the impact art is making in Afghanistan.
Also, here’s Neil deGrasse Tyson’s reply to the Gettysburg Address: