Drunk hens

Petar Arsovski

For the few of us, who by some chance have been left to live in the appendix of Europe called Macedonia, it is no surprise that we live in a time of contrasts that are essentially irreconcilable, yet coexist daily and in parallel. Faced with such a chaos of political views and a general rashomoniad of truth, it should come as no surprise that voters are frustrated, anxious and confused. So is the political elite, but so is the reality.
Yesterday, for instance, Tusk said that we are champions of political maturity in the region and that we should serve as an example of how problems are resolved. I think that people wonder if Tusk landed in the same country we live in. We, an example of political maturity? We, a positive example in the region? Stuck in a deep political divide, torn between the desire of the electorate for justice and the apparent attempts of some political elites to hinder it, stuck in slow and painful reforms, without meaningful political dialogue, a rush of fake news and propaganda, general apathy and frustration in politics and the system in general, such glorifications and praises seem to be intended for someone else, as if coming from an alternate reality, from another galaxy.
I wonder if despite the fact that we had been waiting for a change for nearly two decades before the current breakthrough, perhaps the changes caught us unprepared? Did it, however, despite all the preparations, surprise us like “snow in December”? The contrast between the beliefs that the country is moving in the right direction and the disappointment we feel intimately with the lack of quality in the processes at home may create a contrast that is essentially the capacity to turn us into a nation with lasting personality disorder. Why and how do such deep and diametrically opposed value systems and attitudes to political and social reality coexist at one place and at the same time?
First, I think that in our country the revolution really has the capacity to quickly eat its own children. The latest turmoil in trying to establish a rule of law system is a substantial, intimate defeat for the critical public. Who is to blame for this is now a secondary, depleted issue. I have the impression that the reasons for this upheaval and the ensuing moral crisis lie in the fact that it seems, at least in terms of the Europeanization of the state, that the conclusion is self-imposed: the enemies have underestimated them, and our friends have overestimated them.
I think it was somehow illusory to expect that after the great upheaval of the Prespa Agreement, NATO membership and breakthroughs in the EU, those who oppose these processes, both at home and abroad, would neatly declare defeat and surrender. On the contrary. At home, the high emotional price for the Prespa Agreement with the nationalists, who would blindly dispel this process due to some romantic illusions, in parallel with the cannibalization of these emotions by political elites hoping to gain political points, make the story of values ​​that will dominate the social discourse far from over.
Furthermore, the enemies of this process outwardly stimulate fake news, propaganda centers, and political actors opposed to integration while simultaneously heating up nationalist myths in an attempt to obstruct, or at least slow down, society’s approach to European values. In that sense, the battle is not over, and we have underestimated our enemies.
As for our friends, I think we had high expectations and too much confidence in their capacity and integrity. The government cannot deliver a breakthrough on these issues as we expect: it essentially lacks the capacity to break through the administration apparatus, has no partner either within its coalition or in the opposition, to make the break through consensus and political dialogue, and there is not enough political capital to make the breakthrough “forcibly” on its own. Therefore, I think that one should not expect any miracles in the political sense, nor possibilities of such a political constellation for rapid progress. In addition, we have an overestimation of the moral integrity of the “revolutionaries”. In the general mobilization that preceded the political changes, I think that in those ranks, unselectively, structures have also been found which are ethically and morally out of place. We pay the price for that indiscretion today.
It may be normal, on the eve of the start of EU negotiations and NATO membership, to the elements of the country and the region that are opposed to this, that they will make their last efforts to try to hinder, obstruct or make this process politically more expensive. Adding to this strategy the normal process of cleansing society from the recidivism of anti-Western structures, the necessary unraveling of the business-crime-politics triangle as a prerequisite for normalization before membership, is not a big surprise that the discourse seems chaotic,unstable and schizophrenic.
It may sound cartoonish, but I imagine this process as a huge flock of hens in a dark tunnel. The flock is moving toward the light of the exit, but inside, there are a bunch of birds trying to get back, jumping on top of each other, falling, rolling, trying to get out of the flock by jumping along the sides of the tunnel, everything looks like a chaotic stampede, but the flock is still relentlessly moving forward, though feathers fly all over. Why, then, we marvel at the inevitable outcome: we will surely come out of the tunnel like drunk hens.

Views expressed in this article are personal views of the author and do not represent the editorial policy of Nezavisen Vesnik