Nationalism is the most successful way for mobilizing masses for a project. The greatest dictators world has ever known have been creations of an aggressive nationalism. The invasion of neighboring territories, the extermination of others and hatred against others, are the most certain ways of mobilization and leadership of a nation. Einstein called nationalism “an infantile disease” being “the measles of mankind”.
Orwell called nationalism “power hunger tempered by self-deception”, whereas Chomsky qualified it as “a way of oppressing others”. Nationalism, however, has proven beneficial in certain areas. According to research carried out by the World Bank, countries with stressed nationalism have lower levels of corruption and developed economies. While the greatest number of examples shows that nationalism has created strong leaders and millions of others that have sacrificed for them, the case of Norway shows the opposite. In this Scandinavian country the level of corruption is zero, whereas the economic development is impressive. The nationalist bureaucracy in Norway is not oriented against the foreigners who live there, but in the protection of public property and state funds as if they were personal belongings. Even the slightest forms of abuse of public funds and properties are considered as national betrayal. Their nationalism does not make them rude and cruel towards the others, but rather too sensitive against damages to the nation they belong to and feel proud for that. Without constructive nationalism and affection towards the society one belongs to, there would not be any reactions even against the worst cases of corruption and organized crime. In countries where nationalism is destructive, i.e. oriented towards hating the others, the citizens are mostly selfish – they feel satisfaction in others’ corruption and regress rather than their own and their nation’s advancement and progress. This particular type of nationalism has been the cause of the greatest tragedies mankind has ever lived.
CORRUPTION AND CIVIC REACTION
Macedonia has been governed by the conservative party VMRO-DPMNE of the Prime Minister Nikola Gruveski since 2006, whereas their coalition partner, Ali Ahmeti’s DUI has been in power since 2008 – a political party derived from the Albanian guerilla who fought against the government
ruled by the same conservative party in 2001. Both political parties have (ab)used nationalism as a means for mobilizing their supporters before each and every election cycle. In the last parliamentary elections, Gruveski fought for acquiring a parliamentary majority in order not “to be conditioned by their Albanian partner”, whereas Ahmeti wanted 25 Albanian MPs (almost all regions where ethnic Albanians usually win the elections) in order to “force the Macedonian partner to take into consideration the Albanians’ needs and interests”. If their nationalism were real, both Macedonians and Albanians would probably have to deal with institutions with low level of corruption and sustainable economic development. A sincere nationalistic approach by both VMRO-DPMNE and the DUI would mean preservation of public funds and properties, the same as they would probably do with their own private property. However, data show that in Macedonia, every third person lives in deep poverty, almost a third of the population is unemployed, more than 600,000 citizens have left the country and the level of corruption is at its highest peak. These figures reveal that VMRO and DUI’s nationalism is neither constructive nor destructive, but rather fake. The corruption that became public refuted all the nationalistic rhetoric used by these political parties in the last elections. The same scenario is being prepared for the early elections of 24 April 2016. The silence against the corruption of these two political parties proves the fake nationalism in the greatest part of their supporters. Research shows that citizens with an emphasized nationalistic pride are too sensitive even against the most minor cases of corruption. Their reactions are usually explosive, intemperate and aggressive. In the case of Macedonia, unlike anywhere else, corruption has been accepted as a normal act.
These nationalistic masks can be (ab)used with the aim of saving certain current political personalities, who have immersed in organized crime and corruption. The publication of tapped telephone conservations of VMRO and DUI’s officials that reveal huge corruptive affairs, have put Macedonia in a deep political and security crisis. The agreement reached in Przhino, which provides normalization of institutions through a transitional government that would take the country to early general elections, is constantly being obstructed in order to undo it. The hindrance against the attempts for completing the public prosecutor’s team, which is about to investigate the cases of corruption and the insistence of creating a new special law that would discontinue the publication of corruptive materials, are a result of attempts for hindering the process of Macedonia’s stabilization. The fear from confronting justice will be the main inhibitor of the normalization of the situation in this country. The mission of saving corrupt politicians can put this small country into a new spiral of interethnic violence, conducted by fake nationalists. The future of an entire country, of its robbed citizens is endangered only to guarantee the bright future of their corrupt leadership. Nationalism in Macedonia still remains as one of the most successful means for public hypnosis and self-deceitful mobilization.