Non-traditional president in 2019: about post-democracy and our (wrong) choices, Part I

Egidijus Vareikis
DELFI / Valdas Kopūstas

It will be neither an election campaign nor prophesier who will win, although I can almost guarantee who. It is likely that next year, the pretenders for the country’s Top Person will not necessarily be those who are currently in the rankings calculated by professionals and self-taught political “scientists”. The winner will not be the one who is the most intelligent, consistent, logical, sympathetic, and other aspects most worthy – according to the same classical sociologists. The winner will emerge in a way that the classical logic of campaigning cannot explain.

Lithuania is a normal European state. The current “normal” Europe does not trust ordinary, establishment presidents. Democracy and the right to choose is undoubtedly a fascinating value. Theoretically, everything is very beautiful; true and sincere candidates present their plans and intelligent voters — having rationally considered all the choices — elect the best in order to live a long and happy life. However, democracy is merely the theoretical choice between the best choice and the good choice. The democratic system often turns into a choice between the bad and the worse, between the strange and completely incomprehensible.

To the great surprise of politicians — and much to their anger — voters today vote in an illogical, irrational way and in a way the honourable “academic community” cannot explain. Politicians are still trying to justify non-traditional voters’ choices on such things as bad weather on election day, false knowledge, and even “not the right voters” voting. Poor people…

The political theatre of our civilization today is not the same as the textbooks published a few decades ago. Liberals, socialists, conservatives, and other honourable families of political aristocracy are quickly selling their possessions to all sorts of unifications, movements, directions, alternatives, stars, lanes, orders, and other non-traditional forms of polity. Today’s completely non-traditional Trump handles global issues, non-traditional Macron offers his own plan for European Recovery. Finally, these Lithuanian Farmers and Greens in the eyes of the Lithuanian media are only “peasants” – a typical non-traditional party without any classical ideology.

So, the winner of Presidency 2019 will be not the candidate who cries for “return to classical ideology” and explains why the voters are making a mistake, but someone who knows what a non-traditional choice really is.

I can help a bit by advising to forget some axioms of democracy. Axioms that ceased to exist.

First, the voter today is completely irrational, but more than ever they want to — and consider they can — determine the fate of the country. The voter is convinced by politicians that the politician who serves him/her wants to be their servant. The servant does not arrive with his/her ideology, instead the servant arrives to pursue policy projects or solve current problems. He or she will take the issues that an irrational voter will ask to solve, and show the voter without explanation that sometimes there is no rational solution by political means.

Politicians, no matter how much we like or dislike them, are at our whim. In short, we want to live better, so we vote for the right to live long and happily. The essence of so-called representative democracy is that politicians put their hands all over general affairs and make their beloved voters live as simple and careless a life as possible. This is done so that they cannot defy neither geopolitics, nor defence of the country, nor any other “unpleasant” commitments you always feel able to make “your” choice. The ideal democracy should have been a society as an eternal party-time. A happy person does not have to worry about anything, does not have to sacrifice for something, does not have to believe in supra-natural matters or in the afterlife; he does not have to worry about any race, gender or nationality complexes.

We have already the negative consequences of such political happiness: I admit I am a great fan of classical political ideologies, but with today’s voters society doesn’t need any politicians – Socialists, Communists et al. – but managers of good political projects. That is the essence of that non-traditional political nature. Additionally, in less formal way I can notice that today’s photo likes better not a servant in power, but a person with a character. That is to say, more of a cynical manager than an academically ideological mummy’s boy.

Second, for voters, democracy is no eternal supreme value unlike in the minds of old-fashioned political scientists.

Modern democracy with all its human rights has not been a phenomenon lasting for centuries. It de facto became part of the World Order after the Second World War. Democracy’s axiom states that a person is intelligent, responsible, and knows what he wants. On our planet, there are already seven and a half billion smart creatures. Despite the spectacular global mind, many complain that at some stage life becomes a great disorder and what is left with no feeling, and that someone is responsible for the entire circus. Thus, the naïve but self-confident voter asks: when will there be order?

Third, Lithuanian law itself provides for a certain non-traditional form of the Presidency. The President does not belong to political parties, and he/she can does not have to be an adherent of a political ideology. Thus, presidential candidates — unlike in parliamentary elections — should effectively not be oriented to a particular set of political values, but instead to the “people”, to the “voter segment.” Traditionally in Lithuania it is not seen as positive to expose one’s party affiliation, a better fit for non-traditional policy. One’s affiliation with a particular party is seen as a warning signal about poor product quality rather than quality assurance.

Fourth, the world of classical politics has gone on vacation and has no desire to return to work. For the first time in the last few decades, the world has no real leaders. Neither The G-8 nor The G-20 are in control of the world. We have G-200, or maybe G-0? We have the latter, actually, because the countries of the world are not in agreement about its order. Writers of future scenarios are predicting even more disagreements that may lead to the disappearance of the global market … moving into a world where it’s every man for himself. Such an outbreak may be less severe than a nuclear conflict. It could come in the form of a global funeral or new leaders the public have never yet seen. The world urgently needs to be rebuilt. System administrators are only administrators of the current system, non-traditional transformers are the bearers of new ideas and there is no need to be afraid of them.

The genesis of the new political logic we observe today is no longer based on economic well-being and dogmatic perceptions of human rights. The public has already realised that the world’s main problems are neither financial nor legal: they are moral. The grants of that morality policy are the envy, hatred, contempt, and indifference of the public. The Internet came with the hope that we would all become friends, instead it has made us full of suspicion and mistrust. What politicians still call the “random” protest voices, is the expression of a new reality in which, once again, we will all have to live.

Our generation arrived at politics with the classical textbooks of democracy, but modern humans no longer need them. The promise of political science guru Zbigniew Brzezinski about the so-called “uncontrolled world” is coming to fruition. Increasingly, there is talk of ideological funerals – post-democracy, global anarchy, inter alia. Perhaps Plato was right when he stated that democracy should be replaced by something very different: replaced by tyranny. Not necessarily something terrible, maybe even something quite acceptable, but it’s time political scientists came up with a new name and new definition for this new, uncontrolled world.

Only then will we know why our non-traditional choice is correct. A non-systemic candidate is not a mutant of a political evolution. Rather, it is a new species with all the features of a political animal.

How to define such a claim? Read the following text.

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