As Romania prepares for its local elections at the end of September 2020 scandals explode one after another, a very cheap and kitschy ones. Politicians swear on live TV programs, retired celebrities morph into politicians, right-wing ones of course, etc. At the same time the grotesque neoliberal ideological offensive that had lost momentum globally long ago still prevails in Romania which makes the main parties there look more like museum exhibits rather than contemporary political organizations.
That by itself wouldn’t necessarily be a problem should there be any kind of left party that would be confronting the mainstream politicians on a daily basis. But the situation is pretty bleak. The newcomers on the Romanian political scene like the Union Save Romania and the Plus party also look at the state as if it’s a huge company and they are the management; hence there is no talk of poverty or exclusion or any social problems, really.
“They perceive themselves not as politicians really, but as some sort of entity to which the management of the state was subcontracted to” – Maria Cernat explains.
The Romanian situation resembles a lot the Polish one. Politicians look at the state as if it was a corporation, thus the kind of elites-driven oligarchy and the obsessive attachment to compromised notions like trickle-down economics ets. The current leaders cannot even imagine there is any other modus operandi except for the self-nominated high society to lead, but since they are not leaders they do not lead, they just prevail over the masses and exploit them economically and emotionally.
“The different element in the Polish political reality is that the dominating ideology has been switched from frenzied neoliberalism to allegedly-patriotic hooliganism” – Boyan Stanislavski explains.
Yet, the Left is asleep at the wheel. The Romanian left-wing party instead of dealing with the political failures of the right-wing engages happily into horrendous internal quarrels and didn’t even manage to gather 1,000 signatures to be able to stand in the local elections in Bucharest, Romania’s capital city.
“If you are a party and cannot collect 10,000 or even 1,000 signatures, then you don’t exist“ – Boyan Stanislavski comments.
This however is a structural problem, that could eventually be overcome should any kind of responsible leadership be elected. The other, much more dangerous problem is the complete lack of spine and the absolute subordination of the left to the status-quo-liberal-democractic model of political behavior. The Left will keep losing to the so called right-wing populists because the latter are not afraid of any postulate and fiercely attack the status quo, while the left wants to be “serious” and “polite” and is prepared to make all kinds of acrobatics to avoid wacky accusations of Communism, Bolshevism and so on, which of course cannot be avoided once they step out of the role designed for them – the one of ornamentation on the fringes of the overall political landscape.