The election results in Budapest, Zagreb, North Macedonia and Montenegro are not unambiguous, nor are they all objectively progressive. Positive examples tell us that these election victories came after great organisational work and partnerships between traditional parties, civil society, media outlets, independent intellectuals and groups, as well as citizens gathered spontaneously.
Influences and ideas in the region of the former Yugoslavia certainly spill over the borders of our political creations, regardless of the will of holders of political power to ensure that the situation is not too stimulating for cooperation, especially among certain opposition groups with civic characteristics. When it comes to certain shifts, we see them as the fruit of many years of dedicated work to change the regime (North Macedonia), as the building of networks of trust through cooperation with many opposition actors, but also with civil society organisations (Budapest, Zagreb), and the establishing of a regressive political concept with the significant participation of the church (Montenegro).
So, these events are not unambiguous, nor are they all objectively progressive. This inevitably prompts the question: which of these could be applicable in Serbia?
In the long run, this could certainly be the case for the experiences of Budapest, Zagreb and North Macedonia! The experience of Montenegro, on the other hand, should be studied carefully, as a warning against allowing the church to arbitrate in matters of “this world”, which can be extremely dangerous.
The experience of Montenegro should be studied carefully, as a warning against allowing the church to arbitrate in matters of “this world”, which can be extremely dangerous.
What are we told by the positive experiences? This is great organisational work, which takes quite a long time to realise and requires the significant engagement of activists and partnerships between traditional parties, civil society, media outlets, independent intellectuals and groups, as well as citizens gathered spontaneously, meaning that it requires a respectable consensus on intentions, goals etc. So, painstaking and, figuratively speaking, “bloody” work, which awakens a considerable sense of caution in us, and even disbelief that this would be feasible here… However, one must still try, because good examples exist, in the vicinity, and one only needs to roll up the sleeves and get to work.
When it comes to the notion that a new leftist party could emerge in Serbia, that is possible, in so much as miracles are generally possible, but is highly unlikely! That’s because, over the course of thirty years, almost everything in Serbia has been politically concentrated in the centre and towards the far right. Quite simply, in order to form a leftist party, apart from a programme, which is easily penned, it must offer an entire array of answers to questions of how to rein in the provincial performance of the neoliberal concept of the economy, with all corrupt and other elements. It must then create policies on education, social and health security, a policy for the return of children to Serbia, breaking with the harmful national policy etc., etc. So, the left would have to work much harder if it wanted to really change Serbia. To beat the drum on national chests, while at the same time plundering the citizenry, is a policy that pays off for individuals, but it leaves behind a scorched earth, a destroyed society and a ruined state. Preventing that is the first task for the left.