The mayor of the city I live in has won a second term in office while being imprisoned for corruption for about a month. He was caught by police while someone was bribing him. He was reelected with a score of 70%, making him one of the most popular mayors in Romania. We knew in advance that he was going to be elected, so his success came as no surprise. He will continue to rule the city from prison until justice will be bribed enough to free him. This is widely regarded here as something completely normal.
Tolerating crime without taking a stance against it equals being partner in crime. There isn’t such a concept as neutral when talking about things that involve everyone in a community. Neutrality = denial of responsibility. Period.
In heavily dependent, eroded and frustrated populations, we often find the idea of “good enough” or “the less bad choice”. This happens due to what positive psychology calls “learned helplessness”. After ages of abuse and corroded values, the fact that “it can’t possible be better” becomes a self-evident truth. This population CAN’T IMAGINE something or someone better. And if you can’t imagine it or you can’t dream it, then you can’t find it or you can’t do it. This population is fated to repeat the same pattern.
Punishing the mayor is only the minor part of the solution, since the population is the force that generated his election, therefore the entire population should be put in jail if we were to apply the concept of collective responsibility. Since we can’t put an entire population in prison, the problem has no solution. On a higher level however, the population is fated to suffer the abuse from the mayor (when he gets out of the prison and starts to take revenge), hence being punished by default.
It is really difficult to tell who the victim and the abuser is, since the mayor and the community change roles alternatively. The mayor abuses the community; the community elects him again so as to secure her position of victim and his position of abuser, respectively. The mayor is dependent on the votes of the community; the community is dependent of the suffering inflicted by the mayor.
1. I can’t show compassion to people complaining of how bad their life is in Romania, since they are the artisans of the present situation.
2. If you need to be abused or you need to abuse someone – either way – you’re welcomed here in Romania! The population is secretly excited by this perspective.