Etymologically the word catharsis is derived from the Greek word katharsis which means cleaning, purification, liberation. Aristotle used it to describe the emotional release of the audience during dramatic scenes in a tragedy and the positive effect that emotional release had on the viewer’s mind and body. Social catharsis (collective) is a process where after a tragic event, usually of traumatic proportions, individuals share their emotional experiences with others and this exchange requires emotional recovery, empathy, and collective consolation.
Author: Sefer Selimi Jr.
There is a long time that our society goes through dramatic scenes. In a state caught in a hybrid regime between liberal democracy and totalitarian dictatorship, we heard from audio recordings how the government through political clientelism had turned into a machinery that served the dome located at the head of institutions to fulfill their lucrative interests. We heard how the law was violated and everything else on behalf of the political party. How judges and prosecutors were appointed.. How … How … And all these, day after day until the dramatic scene that in the name of party patriotism, in the eyes of the whole world, people were killed, deputies elected to represent the citizens of this country. They barely rescued their head and the public had an Aristotle’s catharsis, followed by collective catharsis.
The new government was appointed. It came beyond expectations and hope that new people would come to the top of the institutions, who with the responsibility and integrity, which their predecessors lacked, would govern the state institutions. Scandal after scandal a moment was build where we are in front of the dramatic scene, which has not yet reached its culmination to burst into Aristotle’s catharsis. The Special Prosecutor, whose all the hopes for justice were buried, is suspected of being involved in an affair as much corruptive as much as humiliating for all citizens. For this, the collective catharsis will have to wait a little longer.
Building a democratic state with functioning institutions is not easy. Even less when many citizens do not see this state as their own, as their mutual. Even less when the separations are very deep in every aspect: ethnic, partisan, ideological, religious… Even less so when geopolitics gets in the middle and the bear enters in your bed. Even less when it has been ravaged and robed for decades and the robing continues during the day light. And even less when the change comes slowly than it is hard to keep alive the hope.
But what is to be done? Let’s kill the hope and join the flow of refugees to exile? To accept and admit that it doesn’t get any better? I know that cynics confuse hope with naivety, but hope is the only catalyst that can bring change in society. Let us add a little pragmatism to hope:
To build a normal democratic state would require a catharsis, but not Aristotle’s, not a collective one, but a catharsis in the original sense of the word, namely a cleaning, purification, liberation of the political scene in Northern Macedonia.
The previous government illegally tapped over 20,000 citizens of this country, all influential people in political and social life. A private conversation, in a different time context, can always be used to blackmail the tapped person.
Some of the wiretaps were used by the former opposition to overthrow the previous government. Part of them ended up on the black market, meanwhile the head of the tapping operation escaped to shelter through political asylum in Greece. The various centers of influence, which are committed to keeping the region as it is, in hostility to one another, certainly they have e part of it at their disposal. So, these wiretaps will be in circulation for as long as the same people rotate around the political scene who can easily be blackmailed with their past.
To initiate the political catharsis we will need:
1. Judicial vetting – to get rid of the caterpillars that are defending criminals, thief politicians who are selling justice as in the bazar through their intermediaries, in bureaucratic corridors or in offices full of cigarette smoke.
2. Open-ended electoral system – to eradicate them through voting the political mummies that for three decades wander the power pyramid at the expense of citizens impoverished by chronic theft.
All other efforts are just cosmetic changes to the rotten system of crime and corruption, which has spread as a metastasis throughout all society. Let us keep the hope alive, and let us not lose the focus.