This is the third serious political and economic crisis, undergoing in Bulgaria for the last 23 years. What is common for all three of them is that they are all based on economic arguments, which find expression through political means. None of the crises in Bulgaria has been given rise by purely political reasons. The fall of the socialist system was an economic process in its essence, although this crisis could be classified as a crisis, originating from very serious political preconditions. Yet, these political preconditions were much more pronounced in the central European states than in the south-eastern European states. The Eastern Bloc fell apart as a result of the collapse of its economic model. On the other hand, the crisis of 1996-1997 was also based on purely economic reasons. If the government of BSP hadn’t led the country to its next economic collapse, this crisis would have probably been avoided and the government would have completed its full mandate. It is no accident that the government of the triple coalition managed to govern for full 4 years, as a result only of the global economic boom, which coincided with the coalition’s mandate, despite the multiple outrages it created. It is only a happy concurrence of circumstances that the global recession did not being until the end of the triple coalition’s governance, since the parties that formed it would have lost the power in the similar inglorious manner as the government of GERB had at present. And vice versa, people would have hardly ever gone out on the streets, if Boyko Borisov’s government hadn’t coincided with the world recession. We should bear in mind that a significant part of the demonstrators had actually voted for GERB, back in 2009. Naturally, by no means should we misjudge GERB’s incapable government, which additionally deteriorated the economic situation in the country.
What is different in all three mentioned crises is that the one in 1989 and the one in 1997 appeared within the limits of the political space. In 1989, the totalitarian state stepped back to pluralist democracy through changes in the main laws in the state. From this point of view, it could be claimed that the transition has been completed. The matter is that its essence is in radical cross-purposes with people’s expectations for fair distribution of the economic wealth, created from the socialist system, which was actually seized by a ruling top of the communist nomenclature and its figureheads. In 1997, under the pressure of the street, BSP, which drove the country to its next economic crisis, was forced to hand over the power to the biggest opposition party, which, on its part, managed to recover the economic stability for literally several months. Unlike the previous two crises, for the time being, demonstrators stand for a change in the very political system and, in general, it is not quite clear what they propose instead. Actually, this is where the revenge of the far left wing, which has found its opportunity to regain power, clearly peeps through the protests of the streets. It is no accident that the last congress of BSP approved extremely radical left wing messages – on one hand, in order to respond to the street’s appeal and, on the other hand, in order to prevent the formation of a new left wing radical party, which could fragment the electorate of the former communist party.
Why did it all come to this? The only reasonable answer is that whenever Bulgaria is being governed by means of communist manners, the country usually lapses into the next crisis. For the duration of its incomplete mandate, Mr. Borisov managed to revive the manners of governance, specific for the totalitarian society. According to this model, one central administrator sets the tasks in the governance. It all begins and ends with the interference of Mr. Borisov and his subordinate staff are assigned only the implementation of the superior leader’s commands. In this approach, the skills and qualities of the cadres is of no importance. They could be any kind of “lady-birds”[*], simply because the very structure of the power eliminates the need of any kind of conscience or intelligence. The only thing that matters is submissive performance of all assigned tasks.
To the regret of the central demiurge, whenever the system relies on such centralized decision-making, firstly, the chances for correction of wrong judgment are being eliminated, since no one of the executive officials in the pyramid would have the bolds and, most of all, the insight to question the superior leader’s ideas. The problem is that in this approach, at a certain moment, the skills of the staff begin to play a more and more important role and the central planner gets preoccupied with correction of mistakes, instead of actual planning. It’s an entirely different topic whether Mr. Borisov has had the capacity to rule the country at all, moreover in the conditions of the biggest economic crisis for the last 70 years.
Furthermore, the feedback between the executives and the central administrator tears apart and gets unreliable because the appointed “lady-birds” find it more important to report positive implementation and achieved goals, instead of reporting the actual situation. Thus, the centralized decisions tend to become more and more wrongful, since they are not based on the actual picture.
Thus, it turns out that the failure of Mr. Borisov’s government is actually the failure of the socialist conception of making politics, instead of the right wing one. We come to the absolutely natural conclusion that any left wing government would eventually fall from power, expelled by the people.
What is the alternative? The only alternative is forming a right wing government, which, relying on traditional right wing Christian Democratic values, would conduct the urgent reforms, required in the country. It is because the fourth in a row left wing, radical by that, government, inspired by extreme left wing demands and realized by the party of the former communist nomenclature, whether independently or in coalition with its clones, would permanently throw Bulgaria in the periphery of the European Community, getting out of where would be, if not impossible, at least extremely difficult and at the cost of serious sacrifices. And the people of Bulgaria have reached the upmost end of their tolerance towards new social and political experiments.
Why should the alternative be sought in the right wing, which follows tradition Christian Democratic values? It is because one of the specifics of the Christian Democratic doctrine is that it discusses only the values and principles, on which politics should be based. Adherence to these principles guarantees that all government decisions would be focused on protecting the interests of each and every individual, irrespective of his/her political orientation. Christian Democrats do not raise slogans for achievement of a certain specific form of state government to lead to upmost prosperity of all members of society. Instead, it lays down the main postulates, based on which each and every individual could develop his/her life and future. A basic characteristic of the Christian Democratic doctrine is its orientation towards protection and preservation of human dignity. According to Christian Democrats, the state should not interfere with people’s lives in order to achieve equality in their social status. Elimination of inequality in society is impossible. What is important for Christian Democrats is that the existing inequalities are not due to violation of the laws and social norms and morality. This is why the basis of the Christian Democratic doctrine is adherence to the laws in the state. This is the basis, which can be used for the foundations for developing a democratic society. Whenever, however, an individual is unable to take adequate care of his/her interests, society should come to the aid of this individual and help him/her. This is solidarity in society. Christian Democracy does not deny the social state. Based on the principles and values, which this doctrine follows, any model of democratic state could be developed. The type of state depends on the social debate and the ideas and concepts of society’s members. If this debate prescribes for development of a more liberal state – this could be done. If the dominating opinion is for development of a more socially oriented state – there is no prohibition to prevent it. What is important, however, is adherence to the principles, which Christian Democracy follows.
The Christian Democratic doctrine does not differentiate social strata. Protection of human dignity implies that on one hand, the state does not aim at punishing the rich strata, while on the other hand, it also defends the poor by guaranteeing them certain assistance, so that they can get back to their feet in order to develop their potentialities. The only requirement for the development of society is observing certain moral and ethical values.
What Bulgarian needs is enforcing the power of the law. The lack of justice in the state is the result of this government’s unwillingness to enforce adherence to the laws. On the contrary, during the last years, we witnessed just the opposite – laws, being used in favor of certain circles and groups, close to the power, on expense of the interests of society. This inexcusable behavior is ultimately in the basis of the mass-scale impoverishment of Bulgarian people, of the low living standard and of the reality of crime, in which Bulgarian society is forced to live.
Bulgaria no longer needs left wing radical experiments. It is high time Bulgarian political life regain the normality of the right wing concepts, which would set competition free, subdue monopoly, recover the rule of law and provide opportunity for development of people as individuals and masters of their own lives.
[*] TN: “Lady-bird” is a slang Bulgarian word for an incompetent and improperly appointed official.