Todays Date
August 16, 2022

Successes are whispered, “injustices” cried bitterly

By Denko Maleski


With three university professors as candidates, the presidential debate was an opportunity to see not only where the Macedonian politics is, but also the Macedonian science. The representative of the Macedonian nationalists showed that the changes in people’s consciousness are the most difficult. When the famous thinker Keynes was told off for changing his attitudes, he replied: Yes, in the light of new facts, I am changing my attitudes, and you? Neither the facts from 2001, when the state was at the edge of the civil war, were enough for most of the Macedonian scientists to at least be careful with their “civic concept,” which starts from the fact that it does not matter which ethnic community you belong to, but whether you enjoy all human rights. And the facts show that promoted as the best and most advanced, this civic concept, without guarantees of ethnic collectivities in the political system, first, in dust and ash, broke down the Yugoslav federation, and then continued to ruin the republics. Milosevic wanted a strong federation that would dominate the Serbian nation as the most numerous in the federal parliament. Other nations, who sought equality as national collectivities and guarantees against the majorization of the Serbian nation to the rest, were opposed to this. Then, the same principle of majorization of smaller ethnic communities continued to break the interethnic relations in the republics.
Instead of timely protecting ourselves from that wrong principle, we incorporated it into our first constitution, institutionalized the majorization of the Albanians by the Macedonians, we disrupted the political system to articulate the demands of the second largest ethnic community and expelled the political decision-making from the parliament, first in the streets, then in the mountains. It seems that, to this day, the legal mind did not understand that a correct political strategy is needed right before all “demos”, before formulating the constitutional provisions. Constitutional provisions built on the wrong political strategy, namely, are being demolished as a tower of cards. We did not have such a strategy at the beginning of the nineties. We did not pay attention, or we did not want to see that behind the civic concept there was the domination of the majority nation. Such numerical domination, as elsewhere in the former Yugoslavia, ten years later, led the Macedonian state into an interethnic conflict.
The new constitution, shaped by the provisions of the Ohrid Framework Agreement, produced dramatic changes in the political order: it set the country on a completely different track – towards a multinational state. The dream of the Macedonian for a Macedonian nation-state remained only a dream that could not be realized in conditions of the existence of a woken numerous nation such as the Albanian in Macedonia, which requires equality and draws strength from two Albanian states on our borders. Thus, real life showed us what should be written in the constitution: equality as the only opportunity to preserve the unity of the country. Finally, leading to the edge of interethnic war in 2001, with young people killed on both sides of the ethnic division, we saw what future awaits us without that equality. Who does not change his mind in the light of this fact?
It is not changed by those who simply refuse to accept the great change in the political order of the country that emerged from the Ohrid Agreement: multinational Macedonia. Even the intentions may be your best, but if you refuse to accept this reality, this fact of life, and your mind operates according to the model of the Macedonian nation-state, with rights for minorities, the legal conclusions will be correct in accordance with the model in your head, but wrong according to reality. This is what happens to numerous lawyers, as well as to the party of Macedonian nationalists and their candidate for president.
Well, why do not others, SDSM and their presidential candidate, for example, openly tell the people the truth about the new character of the Macedonian state? Well, because elections are not time for clearing up scientific truths and dilemmas, but a battle for votes, Macedonian nationalists always need a candidate who rejects the reality of multinational Macedonia, or bi-national if you already want to rub salt in a wound, in an addition to the myth of the Macedonian nation-state. Namely, the myth that is daily nourished brings dividend to the elections of Macedonian nationalists, while others are forced to hide the truth, because votes are only lost with it. Such was the position of the SDSM candidate who, in the presidential debate, had to participate in the game in which the truth is lost. In a sense, the representative of the Alliance for Albanians and Besa was also included in the same game, whose views on this crucial issue, what country the Republic of Northern Macedonia is, are far more radical than the said ones.
The Prespa Agreement fits well into this story of “traitors” that caused the state to undergo defeat, a story which can win the presidential election. And, in fact, realistically, both the Ohrid Agreement and the Prespa Agreement are victories for our country that must change if it wants to survive in this turbulent world. But the problem with democracy is that it must pass with the Macedonian people who do not change at the same speed. Thus, successes have to be whispered, and the “injustices” that have been made can be spoken loudly.
In this sense, these elections are another replay of the old battle of liberal people with Macedonian nationalism. With the old theme of injustice that has been inflicted on our people in a historical continuity, from long ago to this day. If it is for comfort, there is no nation in the Balkans that will not tell you the same story: that history was unfair to it. I understood that even Slovenians have such a story: a man sitting beside the road was crying bitterly; God asked him why he cried, and he said he was crying because he was a Slovenian; when God heard it, he sat down next to him and began to cry over his fate.


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