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Nepotism 2.0

Nepotism: “The excessive preference some give to their relatives for concessions or public jobs.”

Politics and Economics

The political history of humanity is fraught with cases of nepotism, in that we Argentines do our part but we are not original.However, nepotism has a  cultural component  that cannot be dissociated from the societies in which it is applied. This is where our heritage leads us to privilege family aspects and to tolerate certain aspects of nepotism.

The Royal Spanish Academy defines nepotism as: “The excessive preference that some give to their relatives for concessions or public jobs.” Without going further, this simple definition implies reflecting on our criteria of justice, meritocracy, law enforcement and the conception of the state. That is where our  institutional decline lies.

For decades, the “State” was not interpreted as a set of administrative bureaucratic institutions whose purpose is to mediate the processes and relations of society. Separating the concept of “state” from the concept of “government” is the first step in limiting the space of politics. In this sense, the government of  President  Macri   has been taking measures such as decrees 201/2017 and 202/2017 on conflict of interest and hiring with relatives or relatives of politicians in office. However, it was the crisis triggered by the behavior of Labor Minister Jorge Triaca, which forced the president to issue decree 93/2018 prohibiting the hiring of family members in the government.

Is it just then that this decree applies? We Argentines feel more comfortable with the application of a law (decree) than with self-regulation by conviction. We could say that given the lack of restraint in the use of preferences that may be linked to political participation, in  the Argentine case legal rigidity is more beneficial to society .

With regard to the sense of justice, it would be necessary to understand this issue in a comprehensive manner, bearing in mind that no Government has made efforts to create specialized structures through public competition. Such a process would allow not only family members to apply on merit to state posts, but also to society as a whole, giving equal opportunity. On the other hand, a social debate on the discretionary spaces and positions of the state could help to focus the problem on a  process of validating candidates  by removing the weight of the family or friendship relationship.

We are a society that harbors the concept  of abuse of power  and  nepotism is only one of its consequences  . This is not a family member in the government, but a scheme of personal benefit at the expense of the state. Sning out of legal excess where they can pay righteous for sinners is part of our social and cultural evolution.

Publication Date: 19/04/2018

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