Our President is hyperactive, so he is not to be criticized when he “puts his foot in his mouth” and yet stays alive. I thought this would be the case with the people’s “pessimism”. The President said it was not a good thing that citizens gave into apathy and stayed alive. They must believe in the state, he said, that it is capable of overcoming the crisis. Without optimism, there is no better life or better future. It turns out that the citizens themselves are responsible for their standard of life not improving, unless they change their minds and give in to the motto “don’t worry, be happy”. And the President himself took care of that. He, personally, awarded the people with the strategy of development for 2020, where it is clearly explained how life will be much better. Citizens should have a little patience and let the strategy fulfill itself according to the plan. Instead of learning the strategy by heart, and looking into the future of the year 2020 with hope and optimism, citizens chose to surrender to dark thoughts and apathy, and not believe in the government. Shame on them!
Since I am an optimist, my first thought was that the President said this casually, for no specific reason. Not every word he says can be gospel. I started having a bad feeling once I heard the Prime Minister. As a highly regarded economist, who is expected to contribute greatly to a better life, Cvetkovic repeated the President’s words! Pessimists are the guilty ones. In his holiday message, he too attacked the pessimism of citizens as the main reason why there is no better life, and why there never will be. Gentlemen, the Prime Minister told us, without optimism, we have nothing, without trust in government you standard of life will improve ever so slightly. He was followed by a multitude of well-established optimists, all confirming that anything can be done when you put your mind to it: Boza Djelic is diligently filling out the Questionnaire, commander Trivan sternly rebuffs every doubt in the great leader, tireless Dulic continues building flats and maintaining illegal construction, Sasa Dragin plans to spend more money from the budget, Malovic rid herself of the boring people from the Constitutional court. And so it goes.
However, when Sonja Liht appeared in Blic, the issue became a serious one. The NGO sector joined in the chorus of complaints against the pessimism of the people: “Regarding some negative reactions to the holiday messages of President Boris Tadic and Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic, that citizens must not give into apathy and that they must believe in the possibility that the state will overcome the crisis, the president of the Belgrade fund for political excellence, Sonja Liht, said that without trust in a better future, there can be no progress.” I finally understood that optimism came as an order from the top. With the pointed finger of a teacher, she tutors us how we must “develop the desire to pull this society out of the crisis and do everything in our power to create a better life”. Unable to believe what she is hearing, Sonja wonders whether it is possible that we have lost all hope. If that is true, we cannot be saved. I absolutely don’t believe that, she concludes.
I absolutely don’t believe that either. It is absolutely not true that citizens lack the desire to pull the society out of the crisis, that they lost all hope their lives will be better one day. They just have absolutely no faith in the stupid and ordered campaign drafted by some fool in the Cabinet of the President, which is then turned into propaganda by Prime Minister Cvetkovic, his ministers and Sonja Liht. Is it possible that the President and his courtiers have nothing realistic and optimistic to tell the citizens about their future, instead of ordering them not to be pessimists, but optimists? Have they done all they could, and the only thing left is to raise one’s eyes to the heavens above? Are the citizens to believe that they are guilty for not trusting the government? And that pessimism is preventing them from having faith in Trivan, Dulic, Dragin, Malovic, Homen?
The marketing team of our President has really lost its mind. And the President himself, for that matter – he is ordering hope for a better future, while, at the same time, doing absolutely nothing regarding the group which effectively rules over Serbia. Is Boris Tadic aware of the fact that the campaign of optimism is terribly pessimistic? This campaign is only one step away from blessed peace. I am God Almighty: with five loaves of bread and two fish I will feed five thousand hungry mouths. Amen.
Translated by Bojana Obradovic
Vesna Pešić, političarka, borkinja za ljudska prava i antiratna aktivistkinja, sociološkinja. Diplomirala na Filozofskom fakultetu u Beogradu, doktorirala na Pravnom, radila u Institutu za društvene nauke i Institutu za filozofiju i društvenu teoriju, bila profesorka sociologije. Od 70-ih pripada peticionaškom pokretu, 1982. bila zatvarana sa grupom disidenata. 1985. osnivačica Jugoslovenskog helsinškog komiteta. 1989. članica Udruženja za jugoslovensku demokratsku inicijativu. 1991. članica Evropskog pokreta u Jugoslaviji. 1991. osniva Centar za antiratnu akciju, prvu mirovnu organizaciju u Srbiji. 1992-1999. osnivačica i predsednica Građanskog saveza Srbije (GSS), nastalog ujedinjenjem Republikanskog kluba i Reformske stranke, sukcesora Saveza reformskih snaga Jugoslavije Ante Markovića. 1993-1997. jedna od vođa Koalicije Zajedno (sa Zoranom Đinđićem i Vukom Draškovićem). 2001-2005. ambasadorka SR Jugoslavije, pa SCG u Meksiku. Posle gašenja GSS 2007, njegovim prelaskom u Liberalno-demokratsku partiju (LDP), do 2011. predsednica Političkog saveta LDP-a, kada napušta ovu partiju. Narodna poslanica (1993-1997, 2007-2012).