Macedonians reject the socialist brainwashing of the past
Tragically the term “conservative” has a derogatory meaning in Macedonian society. In today’s Macedonian society, people who are ideologically conservative are often described as dumb, uneducated, backward looking, blindly religious, closed-minded, etc. This streams from the ideological background of high school and university professors. Until the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991, every professor was a Communist Party member or collaborator or both. The ideology came from the Party, poured into academic institutions and suffocated (often literally) everyone who dared to stray away from the socio-communist idealism.
The Communist Party claimed it was creating a perfect society: law, order, with opportunity and equality for all. Oh, how it failed miserably. Of course, let us be clear, there was never “true” Communism or Socialism in Yugoslavia. The ideology was abused for individual profits and creation of new political elite. Now, almost 30 years after the breakup of Yugoslavia, we are left to deal with the void of proper political science that lingers in our society.
Irving Kristol, who is portrayed as the grandfather of neoconservatism, has been quoted describing a neoconservative as a “liberal mugged by reality”. Fortunately, for conservatives, intellectuals, and democratic society, that is precisely what is happening today in N. Macedonia. Unbeknownst to most people, this trend is organically spreading among the Macedonian population. People are turning more and more conservative after seeing the results of the “liberal” policies of the past few years.
Communism is done and dusted, and social liberalism has proven to be ineffective, especially in the private sector and the economy. The Social Democrats who ruled the country after the breakup of Yugoslavia created shady oligarchs and unscrupulous millionaires instead of protecting the middle class. The economy was in shambles, the courts, the pillars of the justice system, were crumbling, the administration was sluggish and inefficient, clientelism, bribes, favoritism spread like wildfire throughout government. The sins against honest and hardworking citizens by the Left were too painful to ignore. Consequently, most of the population started looking for new options. So where does a fresh political ideology come from, if the academic world is infected with the ideology from the old regime?
This is where our younger citizens come into play. Many are educated away from our universities in foreign educational institutions. With open borders and developed technology, the young people realised they have been misled by their mentors for far too long. With the help of the internet, education abroad and information sharing, the Macedonian population realized that the Right is often right. The new alternative was discovered in conservatism.
The premise that conservatism is a backward ideology that forbids and limits people’s thoughts and ideas and leads to dictatorships was discredited as soon as people realised that communism has only borne dictators and tyrants and given legitimacy to totalitarian regimes. Conservatives have allowed the Left to label them as xenophobic, homophobic, radical extremists for far too long. If conservatives believe in a healthy family and strong family values, then advocating for clean energy, air and water for our children and generations to come, is surely a conservative issue. Today the conservatives are broad-viewed, open-minded, modern, and urban. We no longer live in a black and white society; the Left should be the one that is keeping an open mind (for conservative ideas).
This article was originally published for Conservatives Global.