To serve the truth, not the group or the public opinion
Writes: Denko Maleski
Arsim Zekoli announced a tweet on the occasion of the poll of Telma and MCIC, saying that Zoran Zaev has been particularly cruel to me. Namely, through selected names, Telma showed who the real presidential candidate was. If my friend’s assessment is correct, I want to answer that Zaev may have been cruel to his party members, if he gave them false hopes or ignored his Albanian coalition partner’s opinion, but not towards me. I neither know him personally, nor is the Prime Minister and president of SDSM my debtor. He is at the head of a party, I stand alone. Our situations and our paths are quite different. Let me explain. In a special emotional moment, thirteen years ago, I described my struggle and, among other things, I said that “… as human beings, we are crucified between the desire to belong and the need to be our own. If we decide to belong, we risk morally corrupting ourselves by adapting our own ideals to the needs of the group. If, however, we reject its values when in conflict with our conscience, we risk to be rejected by the group. The choice is ours. The group gives security (it also gives rewards!), but affiliation to it increases the risk of getting infected with intellectual dishonesty, because politics only points to the sins of the “other side”. However, being alone is difficult, and if you feel a duty to the people, the power to respond with the truth, you risk ostracism. Of course, not expulsion from the city for twenty years, as in Ancient Greece, but exclusion from political entertainment. For, let’s not forget the old wisdom for the priests who become monks for the good wine in the monastery basements, which is equally valid for those in politics.
My ideal has always been people who felt moral responsibility for their behavior and for the behavior of the whole society. These are the strange people who have devoted their lives to the pursuit of the general and not the personal good. The conscience of these prominent individuals, at critical moments, not infrequently, was the last defense against another of the series of tragedies of mankind. What tragedies do I speak about? I am talking about tragedies that result from fear, ignorance and madness of the masses, but which did not happen just because of the conscience of these virtuous people. Every healthy society needs people who are able to look further from the moment and who can show the way that leads out of the polluted atmosphere of the intrigues and machinations of the evil little people. The more it has the better for the society. People who serve the truth and not the group or the public opinion, namely, are the forerunners of a society that warns of the dangers that stand on our path to freedom …” For such a “scout” there is no dilemma whether to publicly tell the truth about what he saw, regardless of personal consequences. At least, his behavior may be influenced by any political function.
What I saw and announced in the text “All our unhappy presidents” is that the parties, and the society as a whole, should gather strength and end the practice of choosing a president who divides the society, so that we can, united, dedicate ourselves to achieving our strategic goals, including democratic reforms. That is how I understand the idea of a consensus presidential candidate. Of course, such changes require a timely consensus between the government and the opposition, and not the rules of the game to change at the last minute by those it is convenient for. Instead so, the parties are preparing, as I see, for another battle for power through which they will save democracy one from each other!? They do not know that democracy as a system cannot exist without parties that cooperate on the most important things of society. And, of course, that control each other. If they do not know and do not want to know, a friend of mine from abroad would say, whose democracy is in trouble today, then let them destroy each other until they come to their senses. What does the society get from such “democracy”? Well, it gets what it deserves, but at least “fear guards the vineyard”: fear not from the democratic system of checks and balances, which requires a joint coordinated effort, but from mutual destruction and imprisonment.
What has been worrying me for years is the state of the spirit of the intellectuals, the state of the spirit that ignores and, thus, belittles. I just cannot explain how much power held the mouths closed of the hostess and the three participants in the two-hour show Top topic, not to mention the fact that, a president of an Albanian party, for the first time in our political history, came up with the name of a Macedonian for a consensus candidate, which, in turn, is not part of the poll. Someone, alluding to our political and intellectual climate, reminded us that we are entering the Chinese Year of the Pig. Year of the Pig? In my thoughts, the words are sending me back twenty-five years ago, in a dialogue with my professor who, sympathizing with my political troubles, the same ones that still torture the Macedonian politics, warned me with a quote from the Bible:
“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs,
neither cast ye your pearls before swine,
lest they trample them under their feet,
and turn again and rend you”.
Although I feel uncomfortable when listening to such comparisons, and not only because of the fact that the attitude toward animals has changed since the time of Jesus Christ, I understood it as a compliment. But I did not listen to my professor. I have continued my struggle to this day, in the way I described above.
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