- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- All Balkan Countries
Fifteen years ago, not being loyal to the state was not frowned upon, because the state had a belligerent policy towards Albanians.
Today, the state is ours, but instead of building it, we have a belligerent policy towards Kosovo. This is why our egocentrism, greed and lost solidarity smother the country on a daily basis.
Changes in society are normal, stemming from the shifting face of the economy, politics and culture. Kosovo has gone through its phases of change over the last two decades.
Contrary to the United Kingdom, where everything is ordered through rules and laws, people of Kosovo have grown accustomed to living and functioning in disorder.
Owing to decades of chaotic life, today we have our own system of “doing enough to get by”.
But, how different is our social order today compared to the 1990s? Has time eroded some of our important values?
Commenting on Albanians’ resistance to Serbia’s state led oppression in 1990s, a civil society activist said the following: “We spent years uniting against Milosevic, we even collected taxes voluntarily. After the war, we couldn’t even collect our own garbage.”
This statement shows the stark contrast between society now and two decades earlier – a timeframe that can be considered as short for major social changes to take place. If we pause and analyse the above statement, an obvious question emerges: What was this drive that held us together, united and organised us? How come a nation, which managed to get through its toughest times of discrimination and oppression, cannot handle equality and freedom?
Memorial dates such as March 24, which marks the start of the NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia, are a good starting point to analyse our social transformation. They enable us to also understand how we lost that great social cohesion we once had.
Back then, there was a common cause: overcoming the oppression and surviving the threat. As a result, people went hand-to-hand to achieve this as well as inform the world of what was happening in this tiny spot in Europe.
People were extremely rich in solidarity and extremely poor financially. It was a grim situation, but the spirit was good.
Today, we have the exact opposite. The situation is better, but the spirit grim. The situation is better because we finally achieved freedom from a destructive regime. However, along with the destructive regime we lost our good spirit and replaced it with a grim one.
Driven by greed, today our society is rich in narcissism and the will to be powerful, but extremely poor in its community spirit to build the state which we aspired to desperately.
Today, we have a country whose leaders come from the very heart of the masses. In fact, some of them used to be very familiar with extreme poverty, something which many in Kosovo still face.
Yet, we now have a country with a widening gap between its leaders and masses. Today we are building a state where corruption and misuse of public funds is becoming second nature. Today we have a society which deems it acceptable for the law to be broken or the constitution to be ripped to shreds even by those who should be its guardians. Today we are living in a country where it is okay to walk over your neighbour in order to reach your goal.
It seems as if the social cohesion and solidarity was guiding us only because we were under the threat of extinction.
Once the threat was shaken off, everyone selfishly started to care about their own business and at many times the expense of the greater good.
This is certainly not the Kosovo we hoped to live in, but we seem too self-preoccupied with enriching ourselves to care and rediscover that solidarity which led us through the darkest times.
To keep its reform policy credible for investors, the government must find common ground with the IMF and look for a new arrangement, experts say.