"Choose an institution you care about and stay on its side"

In a dialogue on the tradition of liberalism in Romania, Professor Gabriel Mursa, president of the Friedrich von Hayek Institute in Romania, noted the harshness with which Romanians criticized politics in the interwar period and added that, in fact, it was a critique of democracy. It seems to me that the issue deserves more attention from all those who see democracy as the best way to govern a country and that it flourishes when it is accompanied by the rule of law and the market economy. Even today, the Romanian population has a strongly negative opinion about politics and it is already known that political institutions such as political parties or the Parliament have among the lowest trust ratings. The question is whether people are wary of any political means or whether we are dealing with a discrediting of democracy.

I don’t think an answer can be given too easily. It could be argued that democracy and politics are indeed confused, that they are seen as the same thing in the eyes of the general public, and this explains why Parliament, the quintessential democratic forum, does not enjoy much prestige. It is widely believed that democracy means “too much politics,” too many intrigues, slander campaigns, conspiracies, and conspiracies for obscure interests. It still resists fascist attacks on democracy, that it would be a soft, weak political system, unable to get out of endless political disputes and carry out large-scale projects. In fact, the attacks on democracy are numerous, famous political scientists have studied in depth “democracy and its critics.”

There are, no doubt, confusing aspects that lead him to conclude that democracy is synonymous with politics in general. But it is a wrong conclusion, democracy is just the kind of organization that has the highest degree of political transparency. Other types of political organization such as oligarchy, plutocracy, authoritarianism of all kinds and tyranny or dictatorship are all political, except that freedoms are significantly restricted if not suppressed, censorship affects everything and at all levels, and many aspects of public life. are subject to arbitrariness. In addition, unlike democrats, all other types of political organization involve bloody power struggles. This is also the reason why, for Karl Popper, democracy ultimately means just that, a guarantee that the transfer of power is done without bloodshed.

Authoritarianism too often has a seductive appeal, according to Anna Applebaum, and demagoguery and populism are the main means for politicians who are too thirsty for power to constantly demolish democracy and its institutions. Political scientists always return to the nature of democracy and do not tire of repeating that in order for democracy to persist in a state, it must be defended if not always, at least periodically. Historian Timothy Snyder urges us to stay away from the “one-party state” and choose an institution we care about – a court, a law, a union – and to stand by it. “Institutions do not protect themselves. They collapse one after another if they are not defended from the beginning. “

Interwar Romania is hardly comparable to Romania after 1990. History teaches us that the demons of the past (fascination with authoritarian leaders, intolerance and aggression towards those who have other sympathies, political violence, ridicule of democratic rules, etc.) never completely disappear, if not we are careful they can come back and continue to create significant “damage”. And we must remain vigilant about the fact that we now have in Parliament such a party that embraces or is embraced by these demons of the past. It is crucial to understand that all the gains accumulated in the three post-communist decades come as a result of the fact that the Romanian democracy has always activated its necessary antibodies. In the moments when we risked becoming under authoritarian leaders, we Romanians fought hard for the freedoms obtained so hard, we protested openly and effectively to those who wanted to subject democratic institutions to their own desires. If in the interwar period the Romanian democracy collapsed quickly – and today we know the dramatic consequences – instead in the last 30 years we managed to stay.

The accession to NATO and to the European Union cemented this path, stabilized the Romanian democracy, brought easily noticeable benefits to a large part of the population. But it is good for us to assume a merit of our own, that we were determined, that we knew clearly that we want to access the two structures, that we are interested in European values, that we fought with ourselves to meet the criteria of accession. Any autocrat would be similar to “Saturn devouring his sons”, with which we must compare when evaluating our own democracy.

#Choose #institution #care #stay #side

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.