The President of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU), Vladimir Kostic, said that the authoritarianism of politics and the collapse of institutions have endangered democracy in Serbia so much that there are no democratic models left in the country while the citizens have lost confidence in the institutions, multi-party politics and the meaning of personal participation in it.
Kostic called for a political dialogue to start in Serbia as soon as possible so that society “does not repeat the same misconceptions and mistakes of the past”.
In an interview for NIN weekly, Kostic also said he was concerned that the Serbian society is entering a “spiral of violence” while he sees “occasional sparks flashing” with unacceptable indifference and irresponsibility.
The political discourse in Serbia, according to Kostic, is mainly based on a negative premise whereby the opponent is the devil incarnate.
“Exhausted by divisions, we continue to repeat the same mistakes compulsively, and our divisions usually tend to be definitive. It has become commonplace to think that responsibility is primarily in the hands of those in power since the instruments of creation and decay are primarily in their hands,” the academic says.
Speaking of the political atmosphere, Kostic also said that “for a long time and with strange energy we have been attacking institutions and individuals and then we are surprised that the space around us is devastated, except for the presence of certain political leaders who, precisely because there are no fully functioning institutions and systems, are supposed to lead us out of a dead-end”.
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He also underlined that Serbian society is suffering from a “compulsive neurosis”, as it repeats and persists in the personalization of power through “the figure of a leader”.
“Why do we repeatedly direct our political energy to the idea of a political messianism and accept to believe in the missions we attribute to deus ex machine? Where does the idea that the fruits of civic emancipation require the absolutism of an enlightened leader?” he asks.
Kostic adds that any “personal grouping of power or influence” usually causes “the immobilisation of institutions and individuals, an escape from responsibility, inaction and mental laziness, and drowning in endless political intrigue” of those who “prepare their apostasy by crying out to the leader”.
“Cult following, whether sincere or not, is a disservice to the leader himself,” he underlines.
Speaking about personal responsibility Kostic says there is something wrong with the citizens’ understanding of democracy, politics, the political system and routine in Serbia, as well as national values.
This post is also available in: Italiano