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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dashing away merit

When you work across the region, it becomes obvious how the level of ignorance and mistrust could have worked for a colonizing force.

Being Dominican and well travelled makes it even more of a unique treat. I cant tell you how many times I have sat and watched well educated people trying to figure out whether my nationality is some kind of trick.

Caribbean people seem conditioned to look at a persons background, family, and nationality as pointers as to whether they should accept that person as a professional. It is also why non Caribbean people, even the worst shysters with little knowledge, can make such inroads in our societies.

On top of that, the typical Caribbean family run businesses are very suspicious of bright professionals (the theory I suspect is that they believe they are one bright young professional away from being screwed). Loyalty and subservience are considered more highly and as such there is a premium on those qualities at the expense of smarts, or ambition. It is natural I guess.

Therefore if you look at most institutions in the region, the prospects for a young person rising up the hierarchy are relatively bleak, except in the banking field, which ironically has to overcompensate to try to retain and build young professionals.

WHat this means is that our societies have even more grounds for being duncified. Its difficult for any person to want to stay in the Caribbean if they are ambitious and they decide they do not want to become an entrepeneur.

Everything is then about connections. A simple glance at Dominica and the level of incestuous relationships in business including huge conflicts of interest explains alot.

Unfortunately, the end result always comes back to haunt you. The more incompetent loyalists continue to drive more and more parts of the business and political hierarchy, the more the country will suffer.

And the more travelling I will do to avoid having to interact and depend on anyone intertwined in that mess.

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