Local government elections: Make way for decency

Author: megi / Date: 18-02-2015 /

Local government elections: Make way for decency 
Tirana Times - http://tiranatimes.com/

By Alba Çela 

Out of all political science quotes worth to remember, a particular one from Hobbes stands out: “Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Hobbes was referring to the jungle of personal interest in which man would live had he not agreed to consent on a common regulatory body, the Leviathan. The state in other terms, would not change the nature of the human being but simply subordinate it to rules for the protection of life and property. The pursuit of happiness, this idyllic clause and the last island populated by idealists, was added later. Little did Hobbes know that people later would return to his state of nature, which he inevitably loathed, and look at it as a rather interesting alternative. The last exercise in pre-Hobbesian thinking can be seen in last weeks’ Tirana Times. The editorial, which I would humbly nominate for the first prize in radical realistic thinking, was spectacularly named after a Nietzsche-an parabola. “Make way for the beasts with red cheeks.” The article analyzed the noise surrounding the current Albanian electoral battle and judged all concerns about the negative aspects of the as naïve and hypocritical. The author is relieved that the society once identified the offenders of the code of conduct “does not wield a sword to execute its will” and thus punish the culprits. For a society which long ago lost its sword to apathy and political extremism, I don’t see how that would be possible. The consequences of such a loss are not something to be grateful for but to correct as soon as possible. In a normal state the vote would correct everything but throwing out the wastrel. It is precisely the abnormal context in which our voters are forced to choose between evil and evil that makes this analysis obsolete (besides alarmingly poshy and arrogant for daily consumption!) It is all very fine and brilliant to make such a trendy styled plea for realism, quite a refreshing note to all the “liberal dogma” breadwinners. However, the normality of accepting the ridiculous state of Albanian politics and shrouding it in the comfortable cloak of “that’s the way things are!” is still to be argued by the author. In my opinion, what the editors of the Albanian dailies, or at least the articulate and intelligent ones, are trying to expose is not so much the evil but the absurd, the ridicule. The absurd is far more harmful than the petty evil of personal interest. The absurd is a concept that can be applied only in the aggregate level to our political and social system. A system that brings nausea rather than the emblazoned “pre-Magna Carta excitement mixed with shame”. 

Lest take a final look at the very core of this editorial’s thesis: “Politics should resemble the state of nature!” Well it often does, worldwide. But should it? Once we step in the realm of normative thinking we should at least acknowledge that we cannot denominate all the die-hard idealists who argue for a better conduct as naïve or hypocritical. After all I think personally think it is very naïve to see the common declaration of our politicians as counterevidence of their madness. It is also naïve to say that the politicians of today are men who understand freedom and lead a society of free men. Our politicians lead a society of blind men. Yet, I wouldn’t be at pains to describe this editorial as naïve. Because, I may as well have misunderstood everything. The last sentence finishes off this display of brave yet scary anarchic thoughts with a smooth lacquer of cynicism directed at the figure of the General Prosecutor. With a surprisingly childish irony (untypical of the rest of the article at least) the author drives home the point he has been trying to make all the way through, an unquestionable legacy of the one-man solution syndrome shaping his beliefs. Otherwise he would have said: we have a justice department to take care of justice. Hence, the personal attack on Sollaku (one-man-blame; one-man-retribution). What he unfortunately achieves though is the demise of the trendy edifice of his argument which is shattered under the hidden agenda of the article. A pity for such a hard-boiled sincere attempt!