The state of Niccolò Machiavelli
In these lines, the question is not whether the policy violates the law, but whether, in this current Macedonian time, the insisting on the law does not hurt the perspectives of the state.
Written by: Zoran Ivanov
Every political philosopher dreams of his knowledge to be confirmed in their life and, based on their theoretical postulates, a functioning society to be organized and set up in a small humane and solidarity commune or in a very strict and cruel state, either way.
Back in time, around two hundred years ago, Saint-Simon, Fourier, Owen were those who dreamed of it, and before them there were Moore, and Campanella. After them Marx, Engels and their followers. Historically seen, very often evolution suffers from an impatient revolution. Skipping epochs, transitions, reforms, Lenin’s doctrine illegally and violently destroys the myth of the utopians for a peaceful constitution of a just union of equals.
It will not be incorrect to conclude that this introduction is not the most appropriate attempt to touch upon the point of this text and in particular to find excuses for the theses it contains. For clarification, the experiment is more or less to amortize the screaming noise about the violation of law and the ruin of the rule of law, the failure to comply with laws and procedures, and political voluntarism. This is because this noise does not offer solutions, but only legitimately, but not always in principle, points to the damages that will be made on the organisation of the rule of law by those who are pushing the state on its path to European integration. That is why the question in these lines is not whether the policy violates the law, but whether, in this current Macedonian time, the insisting on the law does not hurt the perspectives of the state.
Macedonia is overshadowed by a new legal nebula in which politics is again overshadowing revolutionarily the legal area. Since the independence, to date, the Republic of Macedonia has failed to attach itself to the values of the European composition and slowly evolutionarily, without major shocks, and by preventing the crisis, with the strength of the political will of the involved parties, to create a legal culture in accordance with the legal norms.
That’s how it is now too. Current social processes provoked by political efforts to overcome the aftermath of the so-called Bloody Thursday of April last year and the agreement with our southern neighbour since June this year, have provoked radical moves that ignore law, laws, and procedures in their daily political practice. Let’s say it has forced some kind of Machiavellian radicalism in the original Macedonian edition.
The philosopher, political scientist, the Florentine Niccolò Machiavelli, is the first thinker who in his own time, five hundred years ago, realized that policy postulates were not based on ethical and legal principles. He explains that for justifying something in politics, the immoral should be given a moral dimension. From that point of view, the methods of the current Macedonian political elites, and in their campaign to the set goal, are crystal clear Machiavellian.
The axiom attributed to it and according to which “the end justifies the means” is evidently dominant in the Macedonian political practice. His theoretical line is the favourite method of acting of the Macedonian political leadership. Part of the Macedonian political culture is already based on that guideline. Often, like now, even a desired incident.
To be honest, in his original doctrine, Machiavelli has nowhere used the term “justifies”, but promotes the term “determines”. In particular, “the end determines the means”. Namely, with the fiction “determines” the philosopher points to nonviolent, more democratic methods to the desired ends. Politicians, however, understandably, feel closer to the populist transformation “justifies”. Such naming of their wrongful actions provides for the choice of a wider range of non-punitive actions.
Machiavellism is the continuity of Macedonian partyism. This philosophical political pragma has infected our whole society. Such a political style has been practiced since the independence of the country and it is existing with unrelenting intensity. In larger and more turbulent crises, the practice of violence over the legal system is more visible, and in calmer times is concealed.
Now, understandably, judging by the reactions, this current illegal ambience, especially for many theoreticians, legalists, professors, lawyers, experts, analysts, is desperate, tormented, frustrating. Stuck in theory, blocked by cabinet comprehension and salon practice of law, they are especially shocked by the actions that make political the rule of law. Nevertheless, in the specific current social circumstances, here is an opportunity to get involved and look for justifications for the wrong actions. All of us will probably have to face this fact, even come to terms with it. In the state of Niccolò Machiavelli, it is normal for the end to justify the means.
By the way, is was more or less this was before the constitutional changes in 2001. Back then the constitutional and legal rules were also violated. Then also the reactions of the experts and the general public were identical. And then also, sometimes by fair means, sometimes by foul, the constitution changed and legal chaos happened. Paradoxically, however, political compromises at the expense of legal dogmas opened the way for a more harmonious society, for a more prosperous state. Similarly to that time, to such events as at present, we could now afford identical expectations.
Today, after almost two decades, there are again controversies and legal distortions. Again reconciliation, amnesties, constitutional changes. A new wave of domination of politics over law. Something like a mirror reflection. With the same practices, but towards another end. Just like then, this is a time when the revolution compensates for evolution. When unlawful actions are sugar coated and when the scars on the rule of law will again need to be treated for a long time.
But if this is the price, the high price for the state interests, and its integration goals, then the Machiavellian balance of political factors at the expense of the legal norms could not only determine but, with all the dilemmas and reservations, could justify the political means.
Hence, in circumstances in which new values are emerging for Macedonia and its citizens, may it be reasonable or unreasonable, I give support to the philosophical doctrine of Mr. Niccolò Machiavelli.
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