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APPENDIX A The Dilemmas of Personnel Systems For many years your country suffered under the brutal regime of the Headman and his Purple Shirt Party. Coming to power through a rigged election, the Purple Shirts promised economic prosperity and ‘‘equality beyond the ballot.’’ Instead, widespread corruption, power abuses, and the enslavement of the majority became the reality of the day. You and your fellow citizens did not have a viable chance of changing the excruciating situation. Elections were no longer contested, the opposition was outlawed, and political rights were suppressed. Any public criticism of the regime was harshly punished . The opposition leaders were imprisoned, many of them were tortured , and their families were denounced by the state-controlled media as parasites, traitors, and terrorists. Those few who dared to join occasional demonstrations were routinely teargassed, beaten up, and arrested. Your fellow citizens were even afraid to express their opinions privately, whether in a group of colleagues, neighbors, or friends, for fear of being exposed to authorities by the omnipresent network of clandestine informers. Every factory, school, and street had its ‘‘guardian angels’’ who gathered information and passed it on to secret services: teachers reported on their students and students reported on their teachers. You sensed that the authorities always knew about the jokes you told in your workplace, knew who had written you letters and who had visited you. Repression and punishment were spurred on and backed by a system of incentives and rewards. The regime strived to purchase the loyalty and commitment of your countrymen. It rewarded anyone who was willing to join the party and declare his or her commitment to adhere to the official teaching of Shirtism. Most positions in the sphere of public employment, the army, and the police were reserved for members of the Purple Shirt Party, their families, sympathizers, and collaborators. Some people truly PAGE 235 ................. 18039$ APPA 06-09-11 09:17:33 PS 236 Appendix A believed in the principles of Shirtism, while many others joined the party because they wanted their children to study at university or because it was a necessary condition for the advancement of their career. The party membership card was necessary to hold leading positions in any sphere of public life. The regime of the Headman has recently been overthrown by the White Tulip Movement. Initially an underground opposition to the regime, the movement has gained mass support as the champion of freedom, democracy , and clean government. After clinging to power, it released political prisoners and launched comprehensive political reform through the promulgation of a new constitution, which guarantees human rights, civil liberties , and the fundamental principles of fair trial. Soon thereafter entrepreneurs could reopen their defunct businesses and students could read previously outlawed writers and attend concerts of bands that had previously been banned. To the appreciation of both the domestic and international communities, the movement organized the first free elections, in which all parties participated. The White Tulip Movement won the elections , although the Purple Shirt Party also gained a significant proportion of the votes. The movement established a new government but found itself isolated at the top of the state apparatus it had inherited from the Shirtist regime. The majority of operational posts in the civil service and the armed forces remained staffed with people who were associated with the Purple Shirt Party and the network of its informers. In order to deal with this personnel problem, the new prime minister called a meeting of her cabinet to discuss feasible solutions. You were invited to attend the meeting as her advisor. The prime minister opened the meeting by stating that the problem of inherited personnel was one of the major challenges facing her administration: ‘‘Today we have to address the problem of persons who willingly participated in the repressive machinery of the Shirtist regime. They may not bear any direct criminal responsibility for gross violations of human rights but they are politically responsible for the implementation of these violations.’’ You witnessed a heated debate during the cabinet meeting, which divided ministers into four groups. A spokesman for the largest group passionately argued for the Deshirtization of the entire society. ‘‘In my opinion,’’ he said, ‘‘members of the Purple Shirts are dangerous and untrustworthy. They, including so-called former party members, remain loyal to the previous regime. I say including PAGE 236 ................. 18039$ APPA 06-09-11 09:17:33 PS Appendix A 237 ‘the so-called former party members’ because a Shirtist will always...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780812205763
Related ISBN
9780812243314
MARC Record
OCLC
793012603
Pages
328
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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