By Bardhyl Zaimi
Politics remains a hopeless labyrinth just like in Kafka’s “Process”. Politics in Macedonia for years functioned in corridors with light “whispers”, hugging the institutional life, i.e. normal functioning of the institutions. From the top of the political Olympus everything was conducted in public life and in most cases solutions were provided to citizens without a meaningful debate and without the necessary knowledge of the situations that are constantly causing institutional cramps. For a long time in Macedonia there has been grotesque perception of politics as a “game” that is played somewhere behind the public curtains. In his book “After the Political Passion”, the essayist from Barcelona, Josep Ramoneda, warns of the fatal end of politics, making an autopsy of all misunderstandings that emerge over the “political” idea, but also returning the public’s authentic understanding of politics as a vital space for freedom and civic self-realization.
Among other things, this author, in a rather intelligent way, suggests that there is bad perception that there are super people behind the curtains of politics, the only worthy ones to cope with the fates of other people. Exactly this authoritative perception creates an untouchable dark area from politics where in fact all the fatalities that are related to democratic life occur, which implies to all unhappy debates, as politics is defined in modern theories.
Behind the curtains of politics, Ramoneda says, there are people like us and there is nothing mysterious. For a long time in the public sphere we have had a kind of mystification of politics, which essentially requires power, without reporting to voters. Such politics invents this curtain with the citizens, because only this way can it mystify the very existence, which essentially means abuse of the will of the citizens, without asking many questions about how their lives pulsate.
This is a kind of transformation of the political concept, which in fact is far more than one party, more than one group of people and more than playing in the public space. If we do not have anything to argue about, Ramoneda says, then we should only manage. It is this logic that marks an end to the political passion that actually wants to extend the space of freedom. Politics understood in terms of “managing” people as numbers always has the totalitarian idea of being in the service of oneself and the privileges of power. In these cases, oligarchies “blossom” and always have an inverted pyramid of values. For this reason, only party obedient people are at the “peaks” of the institutions and are always ready to “repeat” party pamphlets in the name of politics.
However, human history always recognizes the opposition and opening of new horizons despite the eclipses created by the transformation of the political concept. Another author who decodes this fatal game of alleged politics is the Hungarian dissident, writer and essayist Georg Konrad, who in his book “Antipolitics” draws attention to the “victim’s view” as an opportunity to combat totalitarian politics of the communist regime. Conrad’s “Antipolitics” is not apolitics, on the contrary, it is a different political engagement that puts the individual and his person in the epicenter and is actually a kind of a “parallel pillar” that opposes ideological mystification.
Conrad’s “Antipolitics” is neither apathy, nor anarchy, nor any other extreme manifestation. On the contrary, his “anti-politics” is another view, much wider and more fundamental over society. Personal view of the world, without ideological burdens, self-protection through civil society. In fact, this “anti-political” view essentially unblocks civil society and puts all hope of change precisely in the wider participation of civil society in public life as a counterbalance to abusive state policies. “Antipolitics” excludes any revolutionary rhetoric and puts freedom in the epicenter and a different view of what politics represents. In addition, this philosophy implies a cultural initiative, a cultural context that excludes previously defined political schemes, understood as a powerful program and dominance.
It has already been said that the dissidents of Central Europe generally revived the notion of active citizenship and gradually facilitated the development of what is known as a “civil society”, which denies the dreadful conformity of the system and affirms tolerance, individuality and pluralism.
“Antipolitics” carries out precisely these necessary realities, this civil freedom, moving from rhetoric and state-embracing practices into social plurality. “Antipolitics” rejects the “culture” of subordination and affirms the culture of participation and the value system. Antipolitics requires the civil society to take full control over the state’s competencies, especially its repressive apparatus, seeking free people, not party soldiers who cannot think. It is precisely in this context that the anti-political view of things seems to be necessary, when politics implied as a dictation requires citizens to create party soldiers or an ideological “ketman” also treated by another Polish dissident, Nobel Prize winner, Czeslaw Milos. In Macedonia, all the best experiences that coincide with another view of social and state realities come from civil society. An anti-political view is always indispensable as a confrontation for usurpations that we are already accustomed to see from politics.
Anti-politics understood as freedom and civic activism remains a necessary counterbalance to expanding the areas of political perception, but also to create a permanent space for a debate over distorted extensions that act in the name of politics at all levels of institutional life. An endangered system of values cannot be regenerated without this view of the citizens, which goes in the opposite direction with fraudulent and degraded perceptions of the political concept.