Why are the bells NOT ringing (Mitica)?
This is a paraphrase of a famous Romanian movie line which is very true at the moment. The bells ring when something happens or when something is about to happen: liturgy, prayer, fire (God forbid), baptism, etc., either bad or good. The moment in which the bells ring at church is usually associated with a common event of daily life or a happy event.
At the moment, our bells are not ringing. The usual events of daily life do not happen that often now and some of them even disappeared. Happy events are becoming not that often. For me, as a designer and consultant, the bells ring when economic and social life is tumultuous, growing, diverse, free, mixed, alive. What I see around me today is nothing like the above. I can only see a declining economy, a lack of confidence, grey tones, whispered words around the corners, scandals after scandals (burglaries, corruption, etc.). Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll be able to take it anymore – our attitude towards the state authorities, who do nothing to fix anything in the economy and society, will definitely change. Moreover, I witness the generalization of the concept of “everyone has to live, I let it go like this, with a small/big amount of attention everything will be solved”. This means that everything is solved in the presence of the bribe.
One day a good friend of mine told me that people from the Ministry of Finance came to do an inspection at his company. The dialogue was short and conclusive.
“Dear people from the Ministry of Finance, I’m fine, fair, honest, I work, I struggle and I pay my taxes.” This was followed by: “Dear Director, we know this, we have seen your records, but we cannot leave you without a fine of 1,000-2,000 lei. We have an order “from above” to raise money, to take the salaries and to secure another month of pensions.” In my translation, this means to bribe the state so that the civil servants can take their salaries because they do absolutely nothing so that the economy can recover. The state lives on the imposed fines and not on the taxes that are collected. Wrong, civil servants get their salaries from fines, not taxes. As a result, the economy no longer exists because it no longer produces enough taxes.
I am not a doctor in economics and I do not intend to calculate how much money the state would raise by fining all the companies that are still alive. I am interested in the phenomenon: the economy no longer exists, optimism is replaced by pessimism, the only money that can be earned are those in payroll and contracts with the state. Conclusion for those like me: designers and consultants need to go home because the economy no longer needs us.
Ahhh, say the “smart” ones, with a “smart” mine: it’s time for values to sift through. The crisis will clean up and only the strong ones will remain. Really!? What am I guilty of – and others just like me – that I am a specialist in my field, but a total non-specialist in finding an easy way out, in having connections and relationships, in closing my eyes when something happens, in greasing the wheels and in other such “valuable attributes” that are usually associated – on this territory called Romania – with the “smart” and “strong” ones? Up until a year ago, my taxes were good, I was allowed to exist, to use my mind, come up with ideas and to help the economy grow. Now, suddenly we are without “value and no longer useful”, as expressed by a mega smart person who has a mega function.
The last conclusion: promoting non-value. As long as the value of a person/company/product/service no longer matters and it is systematically demolished, the only valid way left “to put bread on the table” is to resort to the hidden channels of connections/relationships. Just like twenty years ago, when some people weren’t queuing to get their groceries because they either had a high position, or they knew someone with a high position, or they paid someone in order to have a high position.
The major danger of promoting non-value lies in corrupting the last resources of people dedicated to a profession, ethics and morality. The most likely to perish are the young people who see that the use of the attributes of a natural society does not help them at all. As a consequence, some of them will convert quickly and move on to the actions imposed by society.
Why do I, a designer and consultant, write these lines!? Let those in high function answer this question, if they can do it, of course.