by Dr. Dejan JOVIC
Let me remind the readers that that trend started after the demands for pluralism (situation in which alternatives are acknowledged and nurtured) won over Communism, which also claimed that there was no alternative (to it). Although socialist [Communist] authorities refused to recognize it, liberal-democratic alternative did exist. It was tempting not as much because of its own characteristics (because majority of population did not have any direct experiences with liberal democracy), but mostly by virtue of being something else, an alternative to the existing political system (recall that first political parties un the former Yugoslavia were called alternative movements). Therefore, what happened in the meantime with political pluralism, especially regarding the most important political decisions? Could it really be that ten years ago we won freedom, or did we actually enter a new type of political system that also does not offer alternatives?
The answer to that question is not simple. For many it will be painful, because it demolishes illusions they had about liberal (Western) democracy. Just like the former East (under Socialism), the former West also maintained its internal stability with assertions that there is no alternative (to the Western democracy). Margaret Thatcher (in Croatia, unlike in Great Britain, still very popular) was especially well known by her policy of no alternative. She is known in Great Britain even today as Ms TINAL, which is an abbreviation of the sentence she liked to use - There Is No Alternative! Of course, she was not the only one. Almost all other western politicians, especially on the right, agreed with her.
Nevertheless, while the world was divided into the capitalist and socialist blocks, we still had the option of dreaming about the other world, on the other side of the Iron Curtain, where everything was better than here. Marxism was much more popular in the West than in the East, just like liberal democracy inspired the East and disappointed the West. Although the possibility of realistic choice was prevented by the existence of the Iron Curtain in the midst of Europe, we at least had choice in the world of ideas.
The victory of liberal democracy over socialism (1989), according to Adam Przeworski, left only one game in town. Now, even in the world of ideas, according to Francis Fukuyama, it is impossible to imagine anything better than liberal democracy. Contemporary transitologists claim that liberal democracy is perfect and it will, consequently, overcome all other alternatives, globally. It is true that there will be resistance, but in that conflict the lands of freedom (as United States of America describes itself in its national anthem) and the evil empire (the term American presidents like to use to describe other nations), liberal democracy will not only ultimately triumph, but also destroy all other doctrines. Even in the internal politics, there is no more alternative. Neither left, nor right, neither Marxists nor anti-Marxists, neither capitalists nor working class. Everything has been unified and replaced by the third way, which (naturally!) has no alternative.
The problem, however, is that those who say these things are actually describing the world the way it (perhaps) should be, rather than describing the world the way it is. Not only is it true that in reality there are huge differences between rich and poor and minorities; privileged and oppressed, but those differences are actually increasing with every new day (and especially in those societies ruled by the globalists; for example in Great Britain). Since politicians tell us something we cannot see in real life, many feel that there is no point in voting for anyone. If there is no alternative, than there is no choice. If there is no choice, does it make any sense to vote in the elections?
(Dr. Dejan Jovic is a professor at the University of Stirling in Scotland, Great Britain, and can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.)