We live in a society of falsely created confusion, of anomie and apathy, lacking consensus over key values, including desirable foreign policy goals
The question in the article headline ranks among the merely rhetorical, because everyone knows the answer: President Vučić. It would be tedious to also cite the numerous examples of him usurping power that does not belong to him – from the electing of personnel to investment decisions. It is also difficult to overlook the view that observes us every day from the front pages of the tabloids and avoid the addresses from the screen. The real questions, however, are: what is the name of the order under which we live out the fate of the slowly boiled frog; who were the beneficiaries, and who the mentors and sponsors, of such a rule; cui bono? And finally, will it ever end?
There is numerous, plainly visible evidence that Serbia is selectively weak, cunning, trapped in a web of clientelism and political corruption, and a partocratic state.
We live in a society of falsely created confusion, of anomie and apathy, lacking consensus over key values, including desirable foreign policy destinations. Another verification test is the web of indicators that evaluate the extent to which equality and social justice are lacking.
The political path traversed shows that the leader secured broad mobilisation and a significant parliamentary majority on a story of fighting corruption, only to change through institutions, even before rearranging the pre-existing rules of the game. All levers of power were thus seized and an “uneven playing field” was created in the political game.
Everything today supports the assessment that the regime has passed its peak and that Vučić, confronted by conflicting external and internal pressures, has found himself on the defensive and begun granting temporary concessions
The ultimate effect is the emergence of a captured state that could be described as the meta-organising and institutionalising of corrupt relations that lead to the privatisation of governance. The key consequences of the Caesarism in which we live are the corruption of virtues, moral collapse and the criminalisation of politics and the politicisation of crime.
The external framework for the return to a hybrid regime is primarily represented by the weak transformative influence of the EU. The result is a leader who offers stability through the parallel producing and “resolving” of crises. Vučić is among the gallery of characters who aren’t exactly from the golden age, and he isn’t Pericles, even though he likes to talk about him, but he is capable and he is “ours” – or at least he doesn’t openly belong to the other side.
Everything today supports the assessment that the regime has passed its peak and that Vučić, confronted by conflicting external and internal pressures, has found himself on the defensive and begun granting temporary concessions. To the extent to which Serbia is a relatively rich country of poor citizens, i.e., to the extent that he manages to buy the support of his web of clientele membership that has ensnared every seventh voter, as well as to float between conflicting pressures of his sharply polarised external mentors, things may yet endure. Even more so if the wait for a unified opposition strategy takes as long as waiting for Godot.