Amnesty: the primary task of politics is to avoid violence
Writes: Denko Maleski
In a democratic society in which groups are freely competing, politics and not law have primacy in preventing violence. When conflicts in a society overwhelm the capabilities and power of politicians to channel them into peaceful adjustment, then violence follows. On April 27, 2017, we saw the spark that could have caused a wider conflict, and even a civil war. History is full of such examples. Brought in a situation of a bitter conflict with the opposition, every government is upright facing before the dilemma whether it wants to avoid the conflict or win by using force. For, with a signal from the leadership of the parties, on April 27, the country could have been plunged into chaos. But at that moment, even now, the party leadership, however, behaves responsibly. They prefer peace to war.
Of the participants in the Macedonian political process, the president of the country irresponsibly behaved in his last speech using inflammatory rhetoric. He said that the new government, by concluding agreements with Greece and Bulgaria and accepting the “Tirana Platform”, was working against the interests of the Macedonian people and the Macedonian country. He did not say that he disagreed with the new politics, but that it was pure betrayal. Such words are a call for violence. A call on people to rise up against the treacherous government. In the role of the guard of the Holy Grail, the president is trying to overthrow the open democratic process that has produced different politics. With such rhetoric there is no democratic pluralism, because democracy starts from the recognition of the legitimacy of all participants in the political process and changes in the country’s politics. There is self-political pyromania. If there had been someone with the same language from the other side, we would all have been burning. Fortunately, for now, this is not the case. The prime minister, referred to by the president as “Zaev”, was dutifully quiet.
But the potential of the people to be manipulated for violence, if the emotional theme for the “name” and “Albanians” is again abused, is worrying. In the show “Alpha”, which went after the speech, the citizens voted for President Gjorge Ivanov as personality of the year. In that half-hour as I was decorating the New Year’s tree, from the first to the last viewer, everyone who called did not spare compliments to the current president. And, now, what to do? The primary task of politics is to avoid violence, not to encourage it. That’s exactly how I understand the amnesty: as adjustment to the interests of the groups in order to avoid violence in a society. What are those interests? When it comes to Macedonia, we have a problem here: we are falling low. In a decent pluralist democracy this would be the interests of those segments of the population represented by the parties: workers, farmers, capitalists, “yellow vests” … In our country full of corrupt politicians, these are their selfish interests, this time, their freedom. Namely, with the termination of court procedures against them, they are ready, it seems, to vote and give a chance to the process of Macedonia’s accession to NATO and the EU.
Regardless of the terrible moral defeat at the expense of the rule of law, any government that is aware of the dangers of conflict and inability, without the support of the defendants the state to make the decisive step towards the modern world, will accept their conditions. Namely, when, generally speaking, politics will lead the country to choice: the rule of law or the survival of the state, the choice is clear. The atmosphere in the Macedonian Parliament during the speech of the president of the republic reminded of a political system that is just about to implode. Rule of law? First, we will need to bring in the political process, find solutions to our failed political system and exit from the “captured state”. For, a society whose political process is thrown out of balance cannot produce a rule of law. Sad to say, but in such dramatic situations, law can think what it wants: the primary task of politics is to hinder the implosion of the political system and avoid violence. Are they accused of abuse and violators of April 27 so strong? No, but I try to look a little further and conclude that if we do not join NATO and the EU now, the state will violently break up. Namely, out of the alliances, left by itself, internal and external forces will again tear our Macedonia to pieces.
From this brief analysis I omitted one important factor: the great powers of the West. Just to say: as the primary task of Macedonian politics is to avoid violence at home, the primary task of the great powers of the West is to avoid violence in Macedonia, the Balkans, Europe and the world. An amnesty arose from the intersection of these two interests. I leave you to decide for yourself whose influence was crucial. Macedonia in NATO and EU membership negotiations will have something to hope for in the new 2019. We will build the legal state if we want, but now, first things, first. Let’s finish the most important thing first.
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