There are many examples that show we are in the land devoid of ideas

Mečys Laurinkus
Mečys Laurinkus A.Solomino nuotr.

Already in one other piece, I was left asking myself, whether we need snap elections. Immediately another question arose – what after? A return to this topic was spurred on by political scientist V. Laučius‘ talk with philosopher Alvydas Jokubaitis, named Our Greatest Loss, which revolved around how we have become idea barbarians in our political life, Mečys Laurinkus writes in

“And Lithuanians, who celebrate their visible economic achievements, do not see where the biggest loss is. The biggest loss is namely in the area of political, moral and other ideas. In that area of fiction, we have become wild things, barbarians. The ancient Greeks would undoubtedly call such people barbarians,” A. Jokubaitis says.

Apparently, “the current Conservatives could, without much effort or loss be moved to the Liberals, the Liberals – to the socialists and so on.”

To continue the thought, let’s ask – what is the LVŽS based on its views? A mish mash of political ideas? So, what will we have after the snap or regular (it matters not which) Seimas elections? Whoever was to win – the mish mash is the same?

There has long been talked in the world about the sunset of classical political ideologies and the dawn of technocratic political thinking and it has not missed Lithuania, with advice urging to not mourn what died and come to terms with the new reality.

However, every reality, starting and ending with the cosmic, has its own black holes, thus it is still unclear, where technocratic mentality and a consumerist society infected with worldview relativism will take us.

Western European culture, which while being buried is still alive, creates an alternative for any dominating trend. We see this already in politics and economics, ethnic and ethical movements. There always appear people, who do care, what is happening in the world of values, in social life, in culture, in changes of morality.

Thus, it is nothing odd that there are efforts to gather into public and political movements that oppose bureaucratised politics, seeking to revitalise the importance of ideas and perhaps even ideologies.

I believe that A. Jokubaitis summarised correctly that, “After the Baltic Way, we are in an empty space and scurry about it like squirrels. Our world of ideas is one of the most barren of all I see. It is our Achilles’ Heel and it has been such since the times of national revival.”

A clear example – the political coalition construction upheaval. Through the whole story of the war for offices, by the way, the first to be so overt, unconcealed beneath noble words, without a mention, what ideas are being discussed or even fought for.

People can confidently say that their perception of government as a struggle by the trough is correct. And the process of distribution and regrouping has gone so far that even political scientists, perhaps understanding that it is futile, no longer see any reason to talk about values, ideas or such.

For example, political scientist B. Ivanovas sees the prospects of new political “star” R. Masiulis: “It’s a different story with Masiulis. He only needs to find tangible financial support, gather a team of reliable people, participate in the elections and take a decent position, taking votes from both Karbauskis’ list and from Skvernelis, if he were to run separately.”

Elections as finance, arithmetic and as making the correct choices in gathering a reliable team. All else, ideas included, are a matter for the voters’ imagination. But who is R. Masiulis, other than what we know – a manager, auditor, a minister for two different parties? A conservative, a liberal, a socialist? Or perhaps it’s unethical to even ask?

You can find many such examples and they all are a testament that we are in a land devoid of ideas. But can ideas be reborn in Lithuania on the political level, ones that perhaps do not have to hold ambitions to reshape the world or save the EU?

Just a small political party would suffice, which, to quote A. Jokubaitis, would be unafraid of “talking about Lithuania’s uniqueness, exceptionality and culture”, which would not believe that “it is regressive nowadays.” The role of such a courageous party for these times could have been played by the TS-LKD, which unfortunately was also mired in the swamp of bureaucratised parties.

I am unsure I agree with the opinion that “this party has reached the end of the rope… killed off the conservatism, which was one of the foundations of the Sąjūdis,” but if the TS-LKD were to win the next elections, the inevitable coalition formation would paint no better a picture than the current and conservative ideas shouldn’t even be dreamed of.

What are our prospects? Will we continue to scurry around in an empty field or is an escape possible? There are signs of a revival of ideas in Lithuania, which had diminished following the Sąjūdis era. The signs are not very prominent, but if politicians act wisely, the country could benefit.

If global questions are of interest,  Lithuania still hasn’t lost the natural relationship of man and nature, which should be particularly cared for given the background of various changes. I believe that in the future, the Lithuanian Green Party will gain momentum, which currently is struggling with the LVŽS net.

Movements and gatherings of Lithuanity, tradition and the pursuit of spiritual perfection are gaining ground in our land. I would like to highlight the Vydūnas Society, the ancient Baltic religious community Romuva, which faced undeserved criticism in Seimas.

Thus, there is ever more interest in Lithuania’s past, not only the political but also its spiritual history, the things that are valuable to this day and should be safeguarded for future generations.

I mentioned only the potential roots of conservatism. Lithuania has ample liberal, socialist and post-modernist thinkers. If they were to launch a serious discussion with both the conservatives and among one another, the world of political ideas would also be reborn.

Just one must be not a political observer, as A. Jokubaitis says, but a political creator.
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