by: XHABIR DERALLA
What do the expressions “close to the government” or “close to the opposition” mean? Very often, these expressions are used to shorten or silence the view that a person or structure, media or organization has unprincipled, and even corrupt connections to political parties in power or in the opposition. And most often, the reality is completely different, although the media, due to laziness, ignorance or under political-corrupt dictation, create the reality as black and white. That “reality” is absolutely politicized (partisan) and everything that takes place in society is attributed to the political parties. Wrong, very wrong. This way of thinking causes unforeseeable consequences in building political culture in society. In this way, the popularity and power of political parties is strengthened, that is, of the party elites and their influence on the public opinion. By this, the original power of intellectuals, artists, civil activists, leaders in communities is weakened… Whatever they think, whatever they do, is simply attributed to the “connection” or “closeness” to one or another political party.
If this way of thinking is followed, everything depends on the political parties, no one can think and act independently of the party matrixes. It simply can’t be imagined that someone could be outside the party herd. Black and white world. Reality created by long years of propaganda and political corruption in key areas of society –media, education, academia, culture, business and even show business. For the propaganda, creating a picture of a black and white world is the easiest, there is no space for colors and nuances. But real life is something else.
Numberless people have sold their “artistic soul” to the party devils and have become party infantry. It’s known that the criminal core of part of the political parties in the country has a terrible need to completely discipline its membership, spreading and capturing as much as possible a greater number of people who, thanks to their profession (journalists, intellectuals, artists, academia…) then become tools for propaganda and extended political corruption.
But no matter how powerful they are, the political parties can’t mobilize every one of them and put them in party headstall. Grinding human meat for the needs of the political parties (read: party elites) is not characteristic for all parties. On the other hand, in society there are individuals, groups and organizations who don’t budge from the path and direction they have built themselves, following their own system of values and beliefs.
And here, we come to a very important point. It doesn’t have to mean that if an expert, columnist or artist advocates the same or similar views and values as the ruling party that it’s under the influence of that government. It can be totally the opposite! It can mean that the government is open to suggestions and adjusts its policies and practices accordingly to the good advice or criticism of the experts or public opinion makers. Certainly, there are many traps here and complicated processes, which can disturb that nice balance in social relations. Nevertheless, that’s where quality, responsibility and transparency in the democratic processes lie.
Let’s take an example. If one or a series of columns and analyses published in the media have had an influence over the government policies, it may speak of the high quality of the authors, but certainly also of the high democratic capacity of the structures in which the decisions are made. And, most importantly, it’s about the values! Can intellectuals, artists, journalists and activists that promote European values be independent? Can they be independent if they support and advocate for human rights and freedoms, call for respect for diversity, equality, freedom and justice? Certainly yes.
And certainly, one can be with progressive leftist views, and one can be an advocate of more conservative or neoliberal views. And that doesn’t immediately make them part of the party propaganda machinery. For those who read and think with their own head, the differences between the propaganda, on the one hand, and the sincere advocacy of values and political orientation, on the other hand, are quite obvious. For the others, the party is everything and no one can think with their own head. That’s that.
So… Can the progressive political parties, even if they be in power, promote the same values and views as some civil society organizations or public opinion makers, and translate them into policies and practices? Yes. And does this make the people who share those values pro-government? It doesn’t have to mean. Why would they be pro-government, when they have their own head and their own, beautiful professions and social positions? It can only mean that people and structures with same or similar values are also in the sector known as politics. And they can be democrats and listen to the people who have something to say about the values they themselves promote.
And can someone be an “expensive whore” as Latas said about himself, one of the most prominent players of the gruevistic propaganda machinery? Of course that can also be, but the question is how much credibility such a character can enjoy.
Consistent and credible public opinion makers, media and civil society organizations criticize policies and practices of political parties, regardless of whether they are in power or in opposition. It’s about the common responsibility of all, not just of political parties, to participate in building political culture and in supporting the public interest. The best they can! And in accordance to the values in which they believe in. That doesn’t have to mean that they are party marathoners, but that they are creators and that certain political parties follow the same political and value course, as some intellectual and media elites in society.
It’s logically and incomparably more democratic for political parties to be just one of the many forms of organizing citizens, united around values and ideas, and not be the only source of ideas and place that advocates values. That is not democratic, but on the contrary, leads to an authoritarian state that at the same time is deeply criminalized, captured…
Politics don’t belong only to political parties, but to all citizens. The opposite claim leads to an authoritarian rule of a small group of people.
One who doesn’t understand this can be an easy victim to black propaganda of the criminal gangs that are at the head of some political parties in the country. Not everything has to be a conspiracy, right?
translation: N. Cvetkovska
This post is also available in: Macedonian