NOW, LOOK HERE !
(publicistics — second volume)
Chris MYRSKI, 2001 ...
[ There is no idea about the cover, because in this book are gathered great variety of different journalistic materials, it is not a work of fiction, and such books are usually not illustrated. ]
CONTENTS OF THE SECTIONS
In the previous volume are:
I. For Journals
In this volume follow:
II. For Newspapers — till 2014 including
In the next volume are:
II. For Newspapers — only from 2015 and after
Chris MYRSKI, 2001 ...
Contents Of This Section
THE TRUTH ABOUT BULGARIA*
In order to save time of already overloaded with information reader I will share with him (or her) this truth in the very beginning, freeing him in this way of the necessity to read the material at all. So, the truth is that we are incredibly poor!
And now, for those who will find five minutes free I will itemize five reasons why I think that this is so.
1. Somewhere about a month earlier was raised the question about our national reserve, where it turned out that it came up to 32 tonnes of gold (I quote from memory). It is interesting that then I have heard not a single economist, no matter that we have quite a lot such clever people (or, maybe, exactly for that reason?), to have made the simple arithmetic that 30 something tonnes, these are 30 something thousand kilos, or a bit more than 30 million grams, what if we divide to 10 mln Bulgarians (roughly speaking) gives by three grams and a bit per capita! In other words, the national reserve for each one of Bulgarians equals 1/10 ounce of gold, what, practically, is the smallest golden coin with size a little bigger than that of one stotinka /cent, only that made of pure gold (one golden dollar, or other coin is usually about 10 and more grams). More or less as much weighs the simplest wedding ring (about 5 grams), recalculated in 14 carat gold).
2. Many times I hear that they speak about international loans, which are given to Bulgaria by one or another organization, for this or that occasion, during the ruling of "our" Government, or, respectively, of "other" one. And it usually goes about sums of the order of 80 mln dollars, 150 mln dollars, even, I think, there were talks about 300 mln dollars (here and further I mean US dollars, naturally). As you see I am pretty imprecise with these numbers, because even if we were granted a loan of 500 mln $, than this would have given approximately by 50 dollars for a head, or a dinner in a decent (not luxurious) restaurant in the country giving us the loan. In other words, our creditors do not dare even to "pay us one dinner", because they doubt that we will succeed to return them the money sometime. And mark, please, that people speak about milliards only when it goes about our tiny levs (our national currency), or when this is our whole foreign debt.
3. One of the things, about which is spoken a lot, but never comes time to do it, is the privatization. In order not to sound unfounded I will make comparison with one of the "ours" (former communist country)— with the Czech Republic, which has population more or less like in Bulgaria, and a bit smaller territory. From the beginning of the last year (as far as I know), the Czechs have received the corresponding bonds or points for 50,000 crowns per head, which in the previous year were equal to our 50,000 levs, but now they come to 100,000 levs. At the same time we speak about privatization by us for 25,000 levs, and if it will be conducted at once, then it will be now not four but five times less than that in Czech republic (taking into account the bank interest rates for the gone away more than an year), and when it will be performed in Bulgaria then this ratio will be probably 10 times less per capita.
4. In regard of working salaries, then there these numbers are even more drastic: the minimal taxable salary in Bulgaria is roughly 2,000 lv, or 40 US$, against 1,000 - 1,200 US$ in a "normal" country; and the average salary is 60 - 80 US$, against 2,500 - 3,000 US$ in "normal" countries (the quotes are at the discretion of the reader about this, what is this normal country). In general, the proportion is about 30 times, what is quite real, because after the opening of our market the prices have nearly equalized (although I will not argue if someone will begin to state that our real salary is "only" 25 times less).
5. At the end, the fact that the alcohol by us is 7-8 times less expensive than in the "normal" countries (what is confirmed by the difference in prices in Bulgaria between our perfumed vodka bearing the name of traditional for us hard drink "rakiya", and the original Scotland raki /vodka called whiskey), says that the Bulgarian is so poor, that he even "can't get drunk like the other people" (for, if he could, you can be sure, the state should have begun to profit from this).
So that the truth, as was said in the beginning, is that we are incredibly (but, alas, you must give credit to the author) poor, though the optimists assert that everything will improve ... if we will have more luck with the politicians, as we have had in the football.
ABOUT THE MARKET AND THE BULGARIAN*
(When we have a free market it remains only to learn how to shop)
Looking at our market for the last years one can come to the conclusion that it is not such as one would have liked it to be, or, saying it otherwise, not like in the other Western countries. In addition to the economic reasons and levers, with which the state must regulate the production and market, which we shall leave to the specialists, i.e. economists, to discuss (because the existence of market does not mean that it must function entirely unguided), significant influence shows also the psyche of Bulgarian buyer, which still is based on the model of centralized supply from totalitarian times. More precisely, such is the psyche of the people in the age above 50, but they are the major buyers by us, for the reason that those engaged with regular working hours are shopping at least twice less than the unemployed and pensioners. We will focus on five important moments of market economy, that are not enough clear to the masses, or at least are not well realized but are taken for some exceptions. They are the following:
1. Each company works for itself,
with the exception of financed by the state and the so called non-profit organizations, which work for to spend the given to them funds (or according to the well known from our past rule: "the goal is to justify the means"). There is not a firm or company that works for the client, in its disadvantage, with the exception of those cases where the interests of the clients coincide with those of the company, or in some short periods — of creating of its image! But except a work for gain or without it there is simply not a third way for functioning of a company for prolonged period of time. Such is the market, such is the capitalism, yet that is life.
2. Each price is established by the client,
not the producer, or the intermediary merchant, who may make all possible prognoses and analyses, but until "his majesty" the client says his heavy word these are only "calculations without the innkeeper" (as we in Bulgaria say). This is quite elementary, but not realized by the majority of Bulgarians, especially by the pensioners, who still think that there must be some committee on prices, as it was in the past. In order to convince ourselves in the correctness of our statement let us imagine that is sold such product which nobody can afford the luxury to by (say, space shuttle), and then whatever the companies have done, however scientifically they have set its price, the product would have not found its buyer. The producer or the merchant have the first word, but it is not determinative until the client accepts the product silently (similarly with the family, where the man is the head but the woman is the neck, as we like to say, and without her the head can do nothing). The influence, anyway, is mutual, but it is important to understand what is determinative. The ignorance about this situation not only produces many emotions for the elderly people (this, is some extent, is not so bad for them, because they need emotions, even the negative ones), but also inhibits the market, for the reason that, creating possibilities for momentary gains for some merchants, this, in fact, worsens their image as a whole (and isn't of advantage for anybody, since it isn't advantageous for the market).
3. Each advertisement is paid by the client
and, of course, not by the company, since it works only for gain! This statement is etymologically put in Slavonic word reklama, i.e. the English word "reclaim", which is decomposed in re + claim, and must mean returning of the invested in it money, what it also means in English (though there this is not exactly an advertisement; yet the Bulgarian word means also returning of some product back). The proper English word "advertisement", for its part, means something added to the price, only that here the root is German Vert meaning a value (what leads us to the Latin). This is quite naturally, but it is insulting (for those who come to the idea to give a thought about the matter) that the one who buys some widely advertised product pays, in reality, the advertising also for those who do not buy it. Still, every cloud has a silver lining, as the English proverb goes, what in this case reduces to this, that the ads outline the range of goods which are not pretty necessary for the general public, and, hence, a thoughtful buyer must restrain himself from buying them (looking for alternative things). Nobody does advertise bread, or cheese, or potatoes, sunflower oil, sugar, etc. (only if they are very special in something, and in this case also several times more expensive), because everybody knows them and buys in all cases, but are advertised: coca-cola, alcohol, cigarettes, sporting goods, prostitutes (ouch, sorry, "companions"), et cetera. The advertising, unquestionably, is the soul of trade and we can not do without it, but it is useful if the general public knows that the expenditures for it begin with 10% and reach to one third of the price of the product.**
4. The market has no global regularities,
it has only some local tendencies (or trends), but also for them there is no guaranty how long they will continue, and this is the most important thing that has to be known. More precisely: the only global regularity which the market has is that it has no global regularities, which were accessible for the uninitiated (or profane) citizens, for the simple reason that they alone are participants in it, and when some regularity becomes obvious and people begin to correct their behaviour according to it, then it already changes, most often turning into its antipode! Even for the enlightened specialists in economics and marketing it, still, remains a phenomenon which can be analyzed (usually post factum), but not predicted sufficiently well. The model of saturated with a given product market correlates in some extent with the question of predicting the droughts, or floods, or flooding of the Nile, where the great (practically unlimited) number of unknowns makes the exact solution of the equation impossible. In addition to this the ads and all sorts of momentous moods of the masses can disturb the calculations (while for the flooding of Nile, for example, is of no importance what is the meaning of the ... crocodiles on the question).
For this reason the success comes more often to large companies, because they apply (if at all, of course) the only right strategy for moderate winnings, known under the name "divide and conquer" (or divide ed impera in Latin), investing in different areas, for to make possible that, loosing in one of them, they will gain in some other one. The small scale producer or buyer has practically no chances to win with risky operations as a rule, only as an exception, and for him remains the single possibility to work hard, yet not for to win but not to lose, and in such case he will do well with some minimal profit in a saturated market. The bad thing is that in Bulgaria both, the producers and the buyers, still dream to become rich at once, to grab a lot of money, and ... as a rule they lose. But what to do — this is characteristic for the stage of "green" capitalism, or for the period of initial accumulating (or stealing) of capitals, and this pursuit of the "golden calf" has continued in USA, probably, for more than a century, so that why it not to continue by us for at least half a century?
5. The market is profitable only for those, who can influence it,
and these are basically the large scale producers and traders, while the smaller producers and common buyers are forced to adjust to it, what in many cases is not in their interest. If our supply under the centralized planning, for example with foodstuffs, was not especially good, then this was explainable, either with some peculiarities of our market, or with our unwillingness to make it better (on account of, in the general case, our low living standard, although it is much lower today), because in Czech Republic in the sausage shops earlier were at least a dozen of varieties of sausages, and even in the former ("unbreakable") Soviet Union almost always were at least five sorts of cheeses and about ten assortments of melted cheeses, while in Bulgaria in the best case were two sorts of white cheese and two sorts of cheese. And besides, the abundance of products on the market does not necessarily mean abundance also at the homes, in what we now, on our bitter experience, become convinced. The competition, surely, is a good thing for stimulating of production, but it can be imitated also with a well done planning.
The market is good for the buyer when it is saturated and people make their purchases evenly and predictably. When this is done "on strips" or stormy, were it because somebody has said that certain product will rise in price (as a result of what it really rises), were it because people want to spend their money faster, in order to oppose the rapid devaluation, and then stay half an year "assimilating the food" like a python having devoured a whole lamb, or on the contrary — don't buy anything because wait until the product drops in price, and while they wait it begins to rise up — all this only hinders the normal market relations, from what the buyer indisputably loses. Lose as a rule also the sellers (and the producers who stay behind them), because the lack of rhythm confuses all forecasts. As the experienced men say, everything bad on this world comes from irregular relations (meaning intercourses), but the market is a kind of "intercourse" between the sellers and the buyers, and if we want that both parts took pleasure in this game (for the market is an interesting game and field for expression of many of us) then this must be done showing more intellect, or (what, as if, comes to the same thing) respect to the partner.
If we now want to outline
the main differences of our market from the Western one,
we are bound to acknowledge the following two things: the Bulgarian most often buys at high prices; and the production is done, usually, in packets, not evenly! In his desire to buy something cheaper the common buyer continues to make traditional queues, and in this situation the merchants offer him either abnormally high prices (they, surely, have not gone mad for to want to lose), or products of lower quality (again for the same reason). With this behaviour of his the Bulgarian as if alone "muddles the water" and nobody is guilty for the harm that he has made to himself! The advantages of market economy can show itself when the producer begins to look for a buyer for his goods and with that purpose tries to make them better, not vice versa. Another confusing moment comes from incomprehension of the difference between current shopping by little and some kinds of hoarding, where the majority of people buy en bloc not because of some reducing of prices (which to propose them there in so way, when they alone hurry to buy in bulk), but because that is what has got into their heads, or they have used to do so. When our people have decided that there has come the season for making of pickles then they, in any case, buy in bulk, and due to this in that time the prices jump up, although tomatoes can be canned in June and July, for example, if then they are cheaper. It is high time to learn to buy this, what they offer us (cheaper) in the moment, not this, what we want to buy, because this approach is more profitable not only for the buyer, but also for the seller, who has put out his goods and has interest to sell them. This is not question of poverty, because the Western people, who are ten times wealthier than us, react better to seasonable or momentous prices, stabilizing them in this way, while by us they "go crazy". And, surely, we must become used to the fact that on the market the goods never end, because their presence is maintained via the price mechanism!
The wish for quick enrichment, for its part, forces the producers to rush to "flood" the market with this, what is the most demanded, forgetting that they are not alone in the market and that the other producers make just the same. For this reason one year the potatoes become very cheaper, in another year these are the peppers, then tomatoes, then onion, then sugar, and so on, because each one bases his calculations on the gains in the previous year, which calculations are done "without the innkeeper". The market also without this is prone to cyclicity (as each natural process in the world) and there is no necessity to increase it, drawing down the lower positions of prices, and up — the higher ones. If we don't know in which direction to draw, then it is better not to draw at all, and instead of looking for maximal gain to look for constant and moderate one.
Of course, nobody was born knowing, and we have to adapt to the market long time, but the important thing is to understand that it is common for the whole nation and we are participants in it. The wish for personal win is natural, but the pursuit of mutual pleasure must also become natural for the Bulgarian. At any rate, there is no other way!
1994, Oct 1998
FIVE YEARS OF DEVASTATION*
There have gone five years from the time when our "Bai Tosho" have come down from the political scene (helped by his fighting comrades), five years when different political powers (parliamentary, extra-parliamentary, and backstage) have ruined everything what was possible to be ruined in our long-suffering homeland, and with "enviable" success! Conscientiously or unintentionally, reasonably or not, aiming at political or personal favours, but these five years (there's one word, by the way in the Slavonic languages, something like "fiveyeary") can be rightfully named five years of the biggest devastation: devastation in the "Party and Government", devastation in the Trade-unions, devastation in the Church, devastation in the army, as also in the militia-police, devastation in the science, devastation in the culture, devastation in the education, as well as in the healthcare, devastation in the center of Sofia, as also in the periphery, and in other towns, devastation in the villages, devastation in the scientific institutes and in the factories, devastation of the nature, as also in the human souls! Five years of devastation right and left, up and down, devastation amidst young and amidst old! But, still, each rule has its exceptions, namely: there has flourished moral laxity, has flourished crime and corruption, has flourished human stupidity everywhere where possible. From Balkan countries we were, maybe, the most educated, although the poorest state — now we are only the poorest (after Albania)! We have rejected the totalitarianism with total devastation — hurrah, gentlemen!
It is another question whether was necessary to destroy all this (and what exactly) or not, but the fact is that we have destroyed everything. Many can object that one can not build a new house on the rotten foundations of the old one, that it is necessary first to demolish them (maybe in order to build a new "factory of our life" — how has put it our poet Nikola Vaptsarov), that all this is valid for all totalitarian institutes, that they could not have reformed from within and it was necessary to crush them down and substitute with new ones, that as our science, so also our education, and medicine, and army, and militia, must have been created anew. This might be so, gentlemen, but when it is necessary to demolish our old house, then where will we live until we built the new one? What reasonable owner destroys his old house not having secured at least a temporary home? And our "temporary home" have become the campgrounds — both, literally and figuratively! We have rejected the red "bright future" in order to substitute it with blue one, but changing of the colour does not remove the utopia, it only creates turmoil on the "building site" of our life. The having become proverbial under the totalitarianism pun, that the errors of growth have turned to growth of errors, continues to be valid also today!
Whereas in some other countries it does not happen so! And I am not speaking about some distant and exotic countries but about some of our "brotherly", and even Slavonic, if you want, countries. And really, why it did not happen so in Czech Republic or Slovakia, and in Hungary, and in the Baltic countries? Why when in the other countries people have done gentle revolutions, in Bulgaria have happened "rough disorders"? Why when the other countries (well, surely not all of them) have rejected the communism, in order to show that they have realized its falsity, we have stuck to it as if have grasped a bag with gold coins, and later, when the same countries have begun already a turn to the left, in order to show that they have matured enough, for not to come to extremities in the negation, we continue to turn to the right and will we continue even more in this direction? Do we, really, like so much the poverty that still can not jump over the level from the times of "Bai Tosho" (with our about 50 US$ average monthly working salary nowadays), or are we chasing the level of Somalia? And why the Czech crown for five years has devalued roughly twice, while for this period our lev has done this at least 25 times? Well, we are not like in Russia or in Serbia, but we have also not their problems.
So that, if we are wise enough to perceive that we are silly (as have said the ancient folks), then we should have looked around first in Bulgaria, for to convince ourselves (if we have still some doubts about this) that everything is collapsing, then abroad, for to convince ourselves that it can be otherwise; and then to think a bit what a thing we can do in order not to give reasons to the civilized countries to laugh at the "drunkenness" of our whole nation (as has called it in his time our Renaissance writer Ivan Vazov), what has already begun to look like chronic alcoholism, because continues for such long time.
In the moment, in fact, we hesitate in which direction to move: to the left, when the "bright communist future" turned out to be complete utopia and the way to it — total stagnation, or to choose the right-wing capitalism from the beginning of the century, which proved to be quite cruel for our poor nation, and also amoral enough. But who looks for the truth at the ends he will not find it there! And the question also is not in this to avoid the oscillation (because this is impossible and would have been our next utopia), but to lessen its amplitude, to search for the state of equilibrium, to stick to the axial line of the way, to float in the middle of the river, or how you want to name this centralizing, what is just a question of reasonability. Otherwise it becomes free oscillation. Such oscillation, what we would have had if we take a wooden plank, fix it motionless at one end, deflect its other end to the left (for example) and leave it — then the free end will move initially in the right end position, then will return to the left, then again will move to the right, and so on many times, where most slowly it will move and most longer it will stay exactly in the end positions, which are the worst, while with greatest speed it will pass exactly the state of equilibrium, where it must finally stop. So that this is what would have done a wood or a tree, but we are not trees, gentlemen! ... Or, maybe, we, still, are trees?
DO YOU WANT TO LOSE YOUR 13TH PENSION?
It is true that our people have become poor, the money does not suffice, and the more it does not suffice to those who have less then the others — this can't be denied. Yet the question is in this that the inertial thinking from the stagnation times hinders many pensioners (but also working people) to act adequately to the situation of high inflation and leads to loss of a thirteenth pension each year, putting it shortly. And the loss is pure, because you get nothing in return. Let us look at the things in more details.
An averagely taken pensioner receives 2,000 levs as pension and earns additionally in various ways about 1,000 lv, what gives approximately 3,000 lv income in a month. But then, the harder the Bulgarian is living the more he tries to economize — the so called "white money for black day" —, so that in the end of the month he, usually, puts about 1,000 lv in some saving account. Despite the possible objections of many pensioners, that they can't save so much money in month, I personally think that this calculations are valid for at least 2/3 of the pensioners in Bulgaria, but even if they were true only for 1/3 of them, and for the left part — for twice smaller sums, then it, still, is worthy to pay the necessary attention to what is said here (because it is not to be scorned at half of a pension, right?).
The middle between 3,000 and 1,000 is exactly 2,000 levs, i.e. each pensioner keeps at home on the average about 2,000 lv during the whole month (where similar is the situation also with the working people, who receive on the average 4,000 lv pure and come to zero before the next salary, or averagely again 2,000 lv). By the existing lowest possible interest rates (for termless deposits in DSK — 56% yearly, or 4.66% monthly) this gives about 90 lv lost in month, or for entire year — about 1,000 lv, i.e. half a pension till here.
An average pensioner has in his accounts saved money about 70,000 lv (i.e. about two yearly salaries, what is quite real). At the same time the difference in the compound interests between one-month deposits and six-months such is about 1.5% on the average for all banks, and this gives another half of a pension. And mark, please, that I don't speak how much you would have economized if you have bought shares of the company A&B, for example, because with the shares one may win, but may also lose; neither am I speaking about imaginary gains (say, if you buy each month by kilo meat less, then this will save you 200 lv, and if you don't buy 10 kilos, then this makes a whole pension "gained").
So that the 13th pension, the lost one, is a fact! It remains only to see what we gain at the expense of this loss, and this is the comfort to have money at hand in any moment. But isn't it possible to make so, that your money were accessible and you still received high interest, i.e. that "the wolf was satiated and the lamb remained alive"? It turns out that this is quite possible and we propose here the following simple scheme of distribution of deposits on the basis of 100 thousand levs, namely:
a) In DSK (State's Saving Bank), as the most secure place (which can go bankrupt only together with the State) you keep roughly half of your money, and more precisely: in two places by 20,000 lv for a term of one year, but shifted by six months and even on a fixed day of the month, whichever you choose. (As far as the queues in banks are the biggest respectively between the 5th and 15th day of the month, because in this period are paid the pensions; between 20th and 30th, when are paid the salaries; as well as in the first pair of days of each month, especially in the beginning of half of the year — then we propose to use some day between 15th and 20th). Let us accept as an example 15 Jan and 15 July respectively.
b) In five different banks (for the reason that, in the end, each bank can go bankrupt) you make deposits by 10,000 lv each month, from the months between the yearly deposits, for a term of six months (say, from 15th Feb to 15th June inclusive, by a month).
c) In the nearest to your home branch of DSK (or another bank) you make an usual current, termless deposit of maximum 10,000 levs.
d) At home you keep maximum 1,000 lv (half of a pension).
By this arrangement you have in your disposition the following sums: in every moment — roughly 500 lv (half of the 1,000 lv, as a middle); each working day — up to 10,000 lv; once in a month, summed — 20,000 lv (10,000 from the 6-month deposit, plus 10,000 from the current one); and twice in an year — the sum of 30,000 levs.
This distribution of you money meets the basic requirements of the strategy "divide and conquer" (dividing of the banks and periods). For greater completeness could be added one more rule for minimization of the risk, namely "the rule of the fearful" what says: the greater the proposed to you win (here, the interest), the less you allow to be "caught on the bait" (here, to put your money there)! In other words, counteract the advertisement.
A small detail: there exist some banks which allow you to "return the time back", counting each month for 30 days, respectively also for bigger periods, what for an year gives difference of five days. So that if you want to shift the maturity of some deposit with a pair of days back make use of these banks. Naturally, this is not significant, but it is always good to have less to remember, so that if all your deposits fall on one day of the month this turns to be pretty convenient.
So that: to lose or not your 13th pension — the choice is yours!
P.S. By an average interest rate of about 5%, as it is in Bulgaria somewhere since 1998, it is clear that with such tricks one will never come to a whole pension, but to only about 50-100 levs (in 2005), yet this also is money which should not be thrown to the wind. In addition, it is correct to divide your money in (at least) two different hard currencies. All these are obvious things, but the main reason why people avoid to do this is that they just don't like to be moderate (no matter what the ancient Greeks have said on that question).
TIME TO DRAW CONCLUSIONS
Briefly said, the situation in Bulgaria is clear — there is no center. But the point is: why there is no center? Why there are by us very small number of politicians with influence, who have succeeded to restrain themselves not to become "red" (meant are the former communists), neither "blue" (the "only" democrats, according to them), more than "needed", when already the ancient Greeks have written on the temple of Apollo at Delphi the slogan "Nothing above measure"? And if we ask ourselves this question then it is difficult not to come to the conclusion that moderation, worldly experience, and wisdom, these notions are to a great extent synonyms and are associated primarily with the mature age. And really, in our dissolved Parliament, according to my modest opinion, the average age was about 40 years, where in the times of our "Bai Tosho" the average age tended to 65 years, or our Parliament has become significantly younger.
Surely, in sports, sciences, and in many other activities, existed age barrier, and even if it is not obligatory, still, the top achievements are possible most often up to 35 (rarely to 40) years. But these are activities for which usually fast reflexes are necessary, while in the politics, in practice, is exactly on the contrary — important is not the speed, but the reasonability of the decisions, which comes after the age of the "dashing" youth, or up 40 and above. And in our Parliament, maybe, only a third of the members were on age above 45 and, I think, again more or less as many were below 35. This, exactly, has determined the colour of our former Parliament not as blue or red, but as green, in sense of unripe! Precisely this was our trouble. In this was our main unnecessary striving and if we can realize this even now — it is still good.
The next moment is related with the way of centering of political powers, what are pretending to be doing both, the red and the blue ones. But I can allow myself to have some doubts in this, because we are coming to the old proverb about the wolf and its skin, and, besides, centering can't be done from one side only, it requires simultaneous movement from the both ends, otherwise not the Parliament is centering, but the center of Parliament is shifting, what is not the same thing.
We must remind ourselves that the blue party have emerged because there existed the red one, similarly to the emergence of communism in the beginning of the century, and of the fascism, too, in order to oppose the cruel capitalism of that time, and also one another. Now the right-wing powers in the Parliament have returned us so successfully in the wild and cruel capitalism from the beginning of the century, has happened such stratification in the society, and such impoverishment, that the voters with good reason turn again to the left, i.e. the history as if begins to repeat. But this is not centering, this is battle of ideas! On the other hand, our people must be glad, that only for five years they have succeeded to convince themselves that neither the left-wing reality (45 years is enough — the well known slogan of UDF, the Union of Democratic Forces), nor the right-wing alternative (there have passed less than 45 months, and this also is enough) are good. The ideas sound very nice, but their realization is limping, for the reason that the truth is not at the ends, it is in the middle, and, hence, both poles just must converge!
In worldwide scale it happened exactly so: the capitalism, as more adaptive, has succeeded for more than half a century to move quite to the left and to socialize itself to such extent, that in a number of contemporary countries this socialism, about which we have talked so much, is largely built; the socialism, for its part, has tried to turn to the right, but because of "right-wing phobia" and organic incapability it just collapsed. Somehow or other, however, both ends have met, regardless of the terminology. It remains only to hope that in our Parliament, too, will happen some similar movement from both ends, as they say, "with the help of God".
One question, which our Parliament has not succeeded to solve to the end, because it has not wanted to do this, was to change the minimal barrier for participation of political powers in it to the really minimal, i.e. to one person, or, say, to three persons, in order to avoid some occasional errors. As far as both political colossi stand at both poles, the existing system is directed to elimination of all levels of moderation. But we should not forget that a river does not consist of its left, neither of its right, bank, it is what is between them! Otherwise the river splits in two arms, and when one nation divides itself in two parts it is obvious what happens, so that if our readers want that there were, still, one river in our political life, then they are just compelled to look for party in the middle. Even if the chances for putting of such party in our Parliament are very small, nevertheless we must try to do this. This is simply the only reasonable alternative for our country.
But let us also not forget the piquant idiosyncrasy, that everybody learns from the mistakes of the others, but from his or her own — does not want! Because of this our political powers cal learn only when they stay in opposition (for then they can not make errors alone for the reason that they don't take whatever decisions, and the errors of the others are so many that they can be, as we say, shoveled with a spade)! In this situation the only way for some party or coalition to straighten and improve itself (if it is really viable) is to go in opposition. From what follows, my honorable readers, that if you truly care for parties at both poles, then the single way to help them is not to vote for them! If this happens then, you can be sure, in the next elections they will shine in a new light, else they will continue to "smear", either themselves, or one another.
In the end let us imagine some cowboy from the Wild West having lots of guns: one has served him faithfully more than 45 years but lately has begun to fail and shoots much to the left, in spite of all smearing and the changing of its whole hammer mechanism; another gun has emerged not long ago, it has modern design and is with dark-blue colour, it was recommended to him by the best Western weapon experts, but it shoots much to the right; the other guns he has not yet tried, trough some of them he has even not once shot. But time has not to be lost and expert commissions to be appointed, he must shoot because he is encircled and the bullets are running out. How you think, dear readers, the cowboy will behave?
P.S. In 2008 is seen quite clear (but it was seen also ten years earlier) that the question about the center is highly important, and because the left- and right-wing poles are centering itself very slowly it remains only the possibility of emerging of new parties, which have to be centered as much as possible, or at least that they wouldn't have reasons for fundamental tensions between them only because of this that, hmm, one of them cry "uhh" and the others "hurrah" (in what, as if, consists the main difference between our UDF and BSP — the latter are the former communists). The new more or less centrist party was the emerged in the very beginning of 21st century "Tsarist" party, because, at least in theory, our people thought that the Tsar will think about them (and not about his land holdings, as it, basically, turned out to be). Well (if we take aside the question with his lands, which just "pocks the eyes" of the Bulgarian), they are up to some extent a center, if not for other reasons then at least because during their mandate they were "anti" both, the blue and the red ones, so that they have no other choice left to them, but this is not exactly that center, which the author has in mind, and which our people seek.
The proper centrist party, of course, is, before, as well as now, the Turkish party, MRF (Movement for Rights and Freedoms), without which no one Parliament can do, which, it turns out, is just forced to be centrist, for the simple reason that it is not party in the conventional meaning of the word! It is not classical party because this about the rights and freedoms is no special platform or idea; its single platform is that it is ethnical, and in this case it must be liked by all Turks in Bulgaria. Yeah, but all Turks are like all Bulgarians — there are among them poor and wealthy, intelligent and simple, and so on, so that their leaders can't avoid to try to please, as far as this is possible, all of them, and the easiest way to do this is via moderation (by which nobody wins much, but also nobody loses much). So that it turns out that the ethnicity is not such a bad platform for a political party, as many in Bulgaria present this; and also, in the end, maybe it is better if we were taken by the Turks (not that they show special desire to do this, because this, what they most of all want, and this for more than a century now, is to enter in Europe, so that everything that can spoil their image is obviously undesirable for them), than the Chinese or Americans, because with the Turks we have at least common tastes (and understand their, hmm, curses, where with the Chinese we have still no experience, and what concerns the Americans — for them we are simply the next "white Negroes").
But in addition to this BSP (Bulgarian Socialist Party), as much as it succeeds in this, also centers (even the ... causa perduta, UDF, too), and then what else remains to this party, when it has entered in incredible coalition with "Royal courtiers" and "Ottomans". The bad thing in this process of centering is only ... our nation, because the common people are those who require their extremes, even if some of them "smell" of fascists, what impression have made, at least in the beginning, the comrades of "Haiduk Sider" (i.e. Volen Siderov, but "volen" means free, like a haiduk); they can also not be downright fascist, for the reason that the ideas of this movement, at least according to the author, have no ground by us, but this is another topic (it, looking soberly, in a poor country like our, can exist ground only for the socialism, but we are all running away from it like "the devil from the incense", so that let us not count us for big experts on "soil science").
At least on the question of age we are moving in the right direction to the average one and above it, but there may be simple explanation of this — the "youngsters" in the politics have grown up now (if we do not count the attacking "storm troopers" of "Ataka" of just mentioned Siderov, but they also will grow old with the time).
And generally, it is easy to make conclusions, everybody can make them having a bit of common sense (and people do them, if we judge by this that now half of the population does not vote), the bad thing is only that the voice of people is usually vulgar (what are nearly synonyms for the Western world).
ABOUT THE ELECTIONS AND THE DEMOS
Every election, performed in a big group of people and by incomplete information, is, as a rule, unreasonable and represents itself, in fact, a procedure for confirming of the unreasonability! Although at a first sight this sounds like a paradox the allegation is true. By many nations exist sayings in the sense that the choice is a torment, but our assertion is that in the majority of cases this tormentation is also meaningless! It is another question when one thinks to buy, say, mince meat or cheese, or to buy nothing at all, because it is cheaper so (with the current prices). Or when a handful of people — a Board of Directors, or some Bureau, or Commission, and so on — chose between several candidates, because then the choice is used to average the voices, and the very commission in this case is competent enough and has the necessary information. The more, however, the group grows, or the information becomes insufficient, the more unreasonable the choice turns out to be.
This has to be obvious, by this formulation, because the reason is something objective, something that can't be consequence of the meanings of a group of people, and if there existed some exact procedure or consequence of actions (algorithm, if we make use of this more contemporary terminology), applying which we can get the right decision, then there is no need to conduct a choice, using which we may even miss the right decision! Said otherwise, this means that the admission of existence of reasonableness in a multi-parametric choice, under conditions that we are not clear about neither the methods of assessment of each different parameter, nor the ways for "weighing" of all parameters together, seems quite doubtful, but if this could have been evaluated, then it is necessary this to be done. Yet if such evaluation can be performed, then our choice becomes entirely redundant, for the reason that must be applied exactly this algorithm for evaluation and not the common choice.
So for example, who can formulate exactly how long the nose of a given President must be or how high he must cock up his nose; or also what is more important: the number of his shoes or his tertiary education; as also what is preferable: that he was gynecologist, or meteorologist, or musicologist, or to be, as usually is said, man of the people, i.e. the tertiary education is of no importance? Surely, when one gathers together many people it happens averaging of the opinions, what many people wrongly accept for reasonable, but this is just an averaging of the stupidity, and can't add more reasonability!
Together with this, but looked from another side, it turns that the choice is an alternative variant of the lot or divination (and it doesn't matter whether on coffee grounds, or on legume beans, entrails of sacrificial animals, or in some other way) — methods applied from deep antiquity in cases when one is not in condition to take reasonable decision, were it because one has not all necessary information, were it because one is not able to process it in the right manner. This is in sense that here and there we are confronted with unreasonable decision, but in many cases it is just necessary to take some decision, even not quite reasonable, and, naturally, that in such cases one chooses the lesser evil or the less unreasonable decision.
This phenomenon, let us call it "reasonable unreasonability", was marked in ancient times, for to make possible the coming to us of the fable about Buridan's ass, what animal (not what some of you might have thought), posed before two entirely equal haystacks, could not have made his choice to begin eating from the biggest one, and being, after all, an ass and as obstinate as an ass, at the end simply died of hunger. We cite these judgements in order to convince the reader that in many cases (i.e. in the majority of everyday situations) the reasonable consists in the unreasonable, but what are we to do — such is our world! In other words, some "higher reasonability" ("divine" intervention, or a lot) can change some unreasonableness into its antipode, so that, generally, we are not to be much bothered by the not-reasonableness of our, or of the others, behaviour, but, still, the very ascertainment of this fact is useful.
If we now look at the general democratic elections, where people who do not understand (i.e. they don't know the subject area, were it of the governing, were if of the jurisprudence, or economy, etc.) chose people who they don't know (one lives with somebody a dozen of years and in the end it turns out that one does not know the other well enough, and what remains when one has never been able to ask the other one personally about something what interests him or her) and this not requiring whatever document for their qualification (for there is no obligatory tertiary or even college political education), then it is quite normal to agree with the above-said about the obvious unreasonability of such elections!
And in addition to everything else these elections are pretty expensive (at least for our poor country) and practically unnecessary because each more or less good sociological research (where are computed also the percentages of errors via using of several control groups) costs at least thousand times less and can do the same work. The higher reasonability in this case is purely psychological: nothing "shuts the mouths" of the people so good as the opportunity to express their meanings (despite the fact that the common people are not very competent)! This was clear to the more wiser rulers already at the dawn of democracy in Ancient Greece and is stated that the it (the democracy), in fact, was introduced initially by the tyrant Pisistratos, not by the very people.
However, it must be stressed that the fact of unreasonability of the democratic elections does not mean that they are unnecessary and have to be boycotted, or that it is necessary to leave the others to vote instead of us (because this, at least in our view, will make them even more unreasonable, for one usually does not doubt that he alone behaves reasonable), but that one has to take them with the necessary dose (unreasonable) reasonableness. In the end, it is not so important for whom you will vote, because, anyway: according with the demos goes the -cracy!
I would like to evolve a little my thought with the known sentence of the Shopp (they are living around Sofia), that "the wife must be cheated, for otherwise she will go to some other to be cheated". This wisdom is valid even stronger for the politicians and the people (or for the pastor, meant as shepherd, and the flock), so that one political figure "must be able to cheat (or deceive, delude, bamboozle, etc.) the people" ("But he is surely able!" — will say our Shopp) and here is necessary to mention that the point isn't in this are the people manipulated (if we use this contemporary, also in the Bulgarian, word), but is this done to their advantage, and, first of all, is this delusion well thought or the people find it very easy (because we all know, reading some book or watching a film, that this isn't the actual reality but only some fiction or fable, yet this is interesting for us and we are satisfied if the fable or manipulation makes us happy).
And not only the politician, each one of us, in a democratic society has the right (well, not that also the obligation) to deceive, bamboozle or manipulate, ones neighbour (and what else is the commercial advertising, if not the next manipulation of the people?), even only in one's own interest (although this is not explicitly written in our, or in some other one, Constitution)! This may not be much reasonable, because if everybody deceives then life becomes very complicated, but it already is such and the higher reason in this case is in this, not to stand strongly against the human nature. Anyway, instead of citing our Shopp we could have quoted the similar Latin sentence which says that: Mundus vult decipi, or, translated in English, that "The world wants to be deceived!".
But let us return to the elections and remind you that, as alternative of the arbitrary choice, if the situation is very complicated (and in Bulgaria it, as if very often, is such) they can be simplified with some other alternative method. For example, it is necessary to vote and you see that as the left-wing, so also the right-ones, are not capable to better the things (or as have put it our eminent compatriot Bai Ganyu, from the novel by Aleko Konstantinov: "all are swindlers and scoundrels"), the "non-ethnic" (at least in their own view) center has not enough influence over the people, the peasants, as usual, can not live without "field boundaries" and always have not succeeded to divide something between them, and non-UDF democrats (at least according to them) do not exist, or else they don't succeed to enter the "Talking shop" (translation of the word Parliament). So if the situation is so entangled can be proposed one quite attractive method, which, however, can turn to be very suitable for Bulgarian bipolar political model.
The recipe is as follows: a) if you are man, and have to vote, then in the election day you stay up, wash yourself, shave, breakfast (or not — according to your income), put your new clothes for the occasion, go out on the street and move to the premises where have to give your voice, but before to come there you look to what side you have positioned ... your "instrument" in this special day, and if it is in the left trouser leg you vote for the left-wing, else if it is in the right one — for the right-wing (and surely the probability that it has stuck exactly in the middle is practically equal to zero); b) if you are woman then the procedure in the beginning is the same (without the shaving, is supposed), and then you cast a look at the symbol of masculinity of your husband or lover (as it befits a woman), or choose yourself some man on the street (as it also befits a woman) and vote in accordance with what you find to be the case. Who knows whether in this procedure some "higher" reason is not hidden?
If this method does not suit you then you can apply one rule known, possibly, since Roman times, which we will call for shortness the "rule of the husband"*. It is based on the method of elimination and is the following: if you are married husband and have to make some important choice, which you can't do alone, then you ask your wife and act as possibly on the contrary to this, what she has advised you; if you are man but unmarried — use your girl friend or neighbour woman for the purpose; and if you are woman then just make the opposite of what you have thought to do (as it also often happens with the women). It is surprisingly how good results this method can give in a wide number of cases.
REQUIEM FOR ONE COALITION
When somebody decides to build a new home, or to demolish the old, he usually calls his friends (and followers) and makes a coalition, scientifically speaking. After building the house, or, respectively, demolishing it, he may drink his drink with these friends, or make new coalition (for building or destroying, say, of a summer cottage), but the old coalition, in any case, does no longer exist. It has been so from tines immemorial, it is so now, and it will be the same in the future! Otherwise, coalition that stays too long monolithic, begins to be like an irritable old man, for whom all pray to God to take him faster to the other world (how it really was with our well known Fatherland Front in the recent Bulgarian past).
In other words, the only evolvement, which some coalition can endure, is to its disintegration! Like we this or not, it doesn't matter, for such is the life! And the only things that can be said about somebody who leaves the life are good words. So that let us forget the bad and recall us only the good about our not unknown coalition called UDF (Union of Democratic Forces), because it has done many good things for Bulgaria.
The first thing, about which we have to thank the UDF, is that it has helped the troubled and inflexible BCP (Bulgarian Communist Party) from the times of our "Bai Tosho" to change to a modern left-wing party, what without help from outside was very difficult and almost beyond the power of BCP. The main advantage of multi-party system is this, that it does not soften the critic of opposition, and UDF was strong and young opposition: so strong for to be able to take the power, and so young for ... not to be able to keep it! Exactly such uncompromising opposition was necessary for BCP in order to reform it in the initial moment.
Further, we must express our gratitude to the UDF for this that it, really, was a coalition, and in this case it has begun very rapidly (even before its coming to power) to disintegrate. It now also does not want to become a party and continues to disintegrate, freeing in this way quite painlessly Bulgaria from the useless bipolar model, leaving only one pole and a group of modern young opposition parties for its balancing! UDF is a modern opposition, more then this, it is the eternal opposition to all left-wing parties, no matter is this good or bad for the country in the given moment, and in the same time it is sufficiently weak for to change something, what is pretty good. In this sense UDF is the ideal opposition and, when in a near future it will fall down to roughly 15% of the seats in the Parliament, it might become necessary to take some measures for its preservation and conservation for the future!
On the third place, but this is as if the most important issue, we must thank the UDF for this, that it has helped to a big number of people to perceive the benefits of left-wing idea and understand that the socialism, really, is the only future of the mankind! Yet not socialism of fascist or communist type, but exactly social-democratic socialism as the best, at least for the moment, variant of compromise between the immoral capitalism and the utopian communism. This ripening of Bulgarian people could have been reached in two ways: either allowing mass emigration, which after a time will unavoidably show to the emigrated that Bulgarian proverb "you have a cow — you drink milk, you haven't one — you only look" is not justified for Bulgarian nation (as it isn't justified also for many wealthier nations in the world); or trying to built in our country the rough capitalism from the beginning of 20th century, in order to allow the whole nation in shorten terms to become convinced in this. Our UDF has done even both this things! In this sense UDF providently has "dug its own grave", where, however, it will take its honourable place in political life.
And finally, UDF has given the main push for establishing of multi-party system and democracy in Bulgaria, conditions which best of all show the advantages of the real socialism, reached in many Western countries! No other political power except UDF has had the necessary influence to show that only ideas (say, about democracy, multi-party system, lawfulness, freedom, etc.) are not enough, due to what is often said that the way to hell is strewn with good intentions! Anyway, in addition to the good ideas is necessary also a good party which can achieve this, else it happens that the freedom, for example, is expressed mainly in freedom of pornography and criminality. In other words, the awareness of the need of freedom, as balanced middle point, has become possible only owing to the bad example of realization of (otherwise good) blue idea.
So that let us take the hats down and bow our heads before the heroism and self-sacrifice of the UFD, sirs and comrades. Amen!
P.S. As every politically engaged work this material also is unavoidably prejudiced, but in broad outlines it is true and indicative for this, that each coin has its two sides. The mentioned tendencies continue to exist. But there is one peculiar moment for the thoughtful people (though the whole population isn't such), namely: even though the people from UDF are idealists, they have no idea, because nobody does deny now the principles of democracy (only their particular realization), nor the inflexibility (not to say the ossification) of old communists, et cetera, so that when the novelty of their movement passes away even the "green" young enthusiasts already begin to abandon them.
Surely, it can be raised also the dual question, especially after the flowed time of the red Zhan Videnov, but the truth in his case is such, that he tried, as far as this was possible, to restrain the devaluation of our lev with our own means, and up to significant extent he succeeded, because all, who have had some money in the gone bankrupt (or, rather, made bankrupt) banks, have received their money, and if there were not the winter marches of the supporters of UDF we could have done without the untimely introduced currency Board. Well, it is true that (under the influence of UDF) also the BSP (Bulgarian Socialist Party, the former communists) have not succeeded to find the decent average age for its politicians, because "Zhancho" was simply Komsomolets. And also other, as we say, "wooden chips for cutting". But there are already enough requiems for BCP (resp. BSP), so that this is not interesting topic. Instead of this the author has something like apologetics of the communism as a new atheistic religion, but this is in a separate booklet.
Anyway, if one begins to comment all his earlier thoughts there will be no end of this, so that it is time to stop here.
SOMETHING MORE ABOUT DEMOCRACY
The democracy is the maximally ineffective form of ruling and this must have been clear to everybody who has asked himself this question, while on the other pole — the most effective ruling — obviously, stays the autocracy. As much as we do not want to accept such view this was known from deep antiquity, and this is the most important reason for existing of all: tyrannies, despotic rulings, absolute monarchies, and various forms of dictatorship (where the question is not, excuses them the author or not, but why they have existed and still exist).
This, that the democracy is the most ineffective form of ruling of some state, naturally, does not mean that it is a bad form, because every event must correspond with its time and place, and must be applied in the necessary extent! Otherwise all looks pretty naive and childish. For if the democracy was the best possible thing in the world and if it has had no drawbacks at all, then for 25 centuries since its instituting in Ancient Greece (by the tyrant Pisistratos, as the historians say) there would have been today not a single state where it were not the single and unquestionable form of ruling, because people, even if they are uneducated, never forget to look after their interest.
If we take a more precise look at the contemporary democracies we will see that in them exist elements both, of democracy (Parliament, or Talking Shop in translation), as well as of dictatorship (Monarch or President). Exactly these dictatorial elements in the democracy allow the contemporary democracies to exist for several centuries and be not mutually exclusive neither with the strong institute of Presidency, nor with the Monarchy. While at the same time in Ancient Greece, at the dawn of democracy, there have simply alternated 5-10 years of democratic ruling with a similar if not longer period of tyranny. In other words, the subtlety is in the compromise between these two extremities. And if a person or a nation can't find the necessary level of compromise, then this level ... again is met, only in the time, i.e. via fluttering between both ends!
The history of every nation, in one or another extent, shows that authoritarian ruling was set only then, when the nation was confronted with some serious danger, were this foreign enemies, were it internal disorders, were it natural disasters, and in the expiring century because of global economic problems endangering the nation — in brief: then, when was necessary that the nation was united and pursued some vital goal. And then when there is no such main goal, or, put it otherwise, when the main goal is just to live well, then was established some form of democracy, or at least of more liberal ruling. Exactly in such cases the democracy was and remains preferred, because together with more freedoms for the personality it provides more amusements for the people.
It is so not only in Bulgaria today, it is so in every other democratic country where each new elections give the people new chances the make various bets about politicians, in the same way as with the horse races. In the end, it is known long ago that, as the English say, people want bread and circuses (what we translate in Bulgarian not quite correct, according to the author, as "bread and entertainment"). And when the people want their "circuses" then why not give them to the people? Yeah, but when the bread is guarantied.
"But the bread is scarce, the bread is not enough, children", as has said our poet Nikola Vaptsarov in a time not much different from this very moment. And when there is not enough bread for everybody then emerges an important goal to survive, keeping the standard of life from at least the times of our "uncle Tosho", no matter that it was significantly lower than that in the "normal" democracies. And when an important goal exists then the people can't endure this ineffective form of ruling. The Western Parliaments can allow themselves to discuss questions like, say, this: should homosexuals be allowed to conclude marriage contracts or not, but by us such debates are not necessary (not because we have no homosexuals, of course). Speaking more clearly: in heavy for the nation moments must be strengthened dictatorial elements in the ruling.
This can be achieved legally: either by choosing Parliament and President of one colour (in these elections we have not agreed to go entirely to the left, but, as the UDF like to say, the future time is ours, so that it may happen that relatively soon we will move completely to the right), or else strengthening the Presidential power (a thing that we always can, and possibly must, do, although this requires changes in the Constitution).
Some of the Western commentators state that we are the first of ex-communist countries having finished the first oscillatory motion and having gone to the second period (i.e. they take for true that we are moving like damped pendulum, what is a model quite near to the reality, though in Bulgaria this thesis is not received with special enthusiasm, either by the politicians, or by the people, but maybe from a distance one sees better), only that very fast movement happens to be characteristic for bigger lability of the system* (put in technical language), or for hopelessness of the situation (put in common language).
Our Shopp (from around the capital Sofia) has one clever thought, namely: "what must be done, it begs to be done". I don't want to be a prophet, but if we do not succeed to reach some stable, united ruling in the critical moment, in which we are now (no matter whether we will call it crisis of catastrophe), then ... well, we will again reach this, but in some more turbulent way. And as far as according with the demos goes the -cracy, then only we alone will be guilty in this process!
WHAT WE HAVE MESSED WITH THE CURRENCY BOARD?*
[ Idea about an illustration: a dam with high wall, where with capital letters is written "Money Board Dam", and in which on the top float different Bulgarian banknotes of 1, 2, 5, and also 10 thousand Bulgarian levs, and from the bottom flow small rivulet with banknotes of 5, 10, 20, and 50 German marks, maybe also some coins. ]
1. If we should have had Money Board in Bulgaria, then we have chosen the most inappropriate moment for this,
where every other moment, were it earlier, were it later, would have been significantly more advantageous for us! If we have introduced the Board 12 months earlier, for example, then our lev would have costed 12 times more, than it costs now, and similar would have been the situation also several years earlier. And if we have introduced it now (end of 1998), then one lev would have been about 1,300 levs, because such is its real price now, if we take as basis the prices from the times of our "Bai Tosho", when one lev was equal to one US$ (not in its official price but via some consumer basket, how it has to be done), and multiply them by this coefficient. At a price of 1,750 lv for one US$ the price of kilogram sheep white cheese must have been about 6,300 lv, of good cheese, milk butter or meet — about 10,000 lv, of white sugar — 1,700 lv, of white bread — 700 lv, of an egg — 230 lv, and so on, but they are lower! This, that there are some exceptions, is explained in different ways and does not contradict the thesis for the correct proportions between the prices of major foodstuffs under the totalitarianism (to what we, anyway, are aiming), with a correction for some highly subsidized earlier branches, like the transport.
The sunflower oil in the moment is exactly as much as it must be, but this is due to the harvest of sunflower and its price will fall down in the winter to 1,500 lv; the cow white cheese now is close to its correct price of 4,500 lv, but it has fallen down significantly and will again fall down up to 3,500 lv; a bottle of raki of 750 ml must be 7,300 lv, and a pack of cigarettes "Arda" with filter — 1,000 lv (and they will become again as much), but our population is now so poor, that the rulers are just afraid to raise the prices on excise goods (as they are maintained in all Western countries), and we come even to such anomalies that one can buy a liter of vodka or raki on tap for 1,000 lv, but a liter of fresh milk "Verea" — for 950.
The prices of major food products in the moment are quite lessened, for the reason that the Board, fixing the salaries, does not allow the prices to grow (because in a market economy the prices of products are established by the buyers, not by the sellers, how thinks almost every Bulgarian), but there is nothing good in this for our economy and, furthermore, from this follows the unavoidable conclusion that in the next one or two years they will only rise up, in what there is nothing good this time for our people! The lower prices of products hinder our own production, which also without this barely "crawls" compared with the stagnation years. Before the Board many food products of domestic fabrication were exported outside the borders because of currency hunger on the part of the companies, but now they have no interest at all to do this (on dumping prices, of course, for our former markets have disappeared, or "gone to the movies", as we say, since we have set our feet on the path to democracy, and to conquer new ones, in conditions of fierce competition with the other developed countries, though also with the former brothers of fate like Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Baltic countries, etc., with which we are forced to compare, we have simply not enough strength). With the necessary unavoidably slow raising of the salaries must flow possibly ten years until we reach again the condition from the end of our totalitarian years, and what are we to produce till that time — isn't pretty clear. Our balance of trade may look good on paper, but in this can believe only such a person, who has not lived at least six months in Bulgaria for to see that we are conjurers in fitting the calculations to the desired results, because it is clear that we produce nothing serious, and all our home appliances are imported, what means that we buy them.
The expected influx of foreign capitals (because by this poverty everything in our country is cheaper and can easily be bought by wealthy Western companies) still does not come, and even the tourism on which we have set big hopes (and which has brought us big income during the totalitarian years) is very poor in this year — as it seems, the foreigners prefer more quiet and "moderately poor" countries. In any event, now we are on the second place in poverty from our former socialist neighbouring countries after Albania (what, maybe, is justified because our name begins with the second character in the alphabet?). It happened so that
The Board only fixed our poverty,
because before it we have just begun to restore the price of our lev and have succeeded to achieve the impossible, having beaten even the American dollar twice, and there were all reasons to expect to lessen a bit more its rate (as we try to do now through the deflation of the lev), but alas, we will never again succeed to do this. This involuntary reminds me one anecdote from a pair of years ago about a question to Radio Yerevan "Do you know what happened with the Bulgarians, have they reached the bottom?", to what they answer "Sure thing they have reached it", and then they again ask them "Well, and what are they doing now?" — "Well, they dig further!" was the answer. Thanks to the Board we have at last stopped to dig further, but instead of this we now
have stuck in the mud!
Our money crisis till that moment was a natural process of searching of hard covering for our unreliable lev and it has passes by itself when our money have begun to be spent little by little (something like the youth acne which, however one smears them, nothing helps, but then comes time and they disappear by themselves). It can boldly be stated that also without the Board the dollar would have been either cheaper, or better commensurable with our salaries. Anyway, the minimal salary in Bulgaria is still less than 30 US$, what is, maybe, the level of Rwanda.
If our politicians have not put again, by old habit, the politics above the economy and have invented something more reasonable than winter marches on the streets, in order to cause the next jump up of the dollar (because the price of some national currency in market conditions is established, first of all, by the credit or trust which one can give to the country, what means that in a stable political climate in it, which in its turn depends at least on the leading to their end of the electoral mandates), then the dollar should have jumped up to some level of about 1,000 - 1,200 levs and should have stopped its growth, by the simple reason that people would have had no more money to buy it, and now, maybe, little by little, we should have emerged to the surface (i.e. to the totalitarian level of living standard), while now with the Board we have so strongly stuck to the bottom, that are not in position to come loose.
2. If there was necessary in a rough way to stop the devaluation of our lev, then we alone could have made ourselves currency board,
which should have led to limitation and elimination of the money market of our lev (for that is what the Board, in fact, has done!) and to fixing it at some reasonably low level. Because, as we say, "the hunger has big eyes", some hard currency had to be given to the people, but it would have sufficed small quantity of it to pacify them, due to the fact that this currency is necessary for them only as means for savings, yet on the background of our poverty one could have hardly saved more than 20 per cent of his or her income. One simple proposition is the following: all salaries, pensions, and other monetary assistance have to be paid partially in hard currency, where this part is, say, 1/3 of the amount (at worst 1/4). Such quantity could have been found by every decent company, because the salary fund is usually about 5 to 10% of all expenses, so that it goes about literally 2-3% in hard currency. A bit more complicated would have been the case with the pensions, which come to not a small sum, but there could have been searched for some loans or other help, or even to issue some certificates, like for the state securities, for round sums of 100 money units, for example (and if the part is smaller then it can be accumulated), and their real payment could have been performed after a pair of years. The kind of currency could have been chosen by everyone and it could have been changed each six months, and if somebody could not find cents for bread or milk then he could sell this currency to whom he wishes, and in this way for 3-4 months would have been established a complete standstill on the money market (with some yearly inflation of about 10-20%, what is quite normal for our ailing economy), as also peacefulness among 90% of the population.
If, despite these measures, the things do not become stable, then could have been used some reasonable blocking of the deposits in foreign currency, for example by the next scheme: free for operation are all deposits up to 250 US$ (or equivalent in other currency), from accounts of up to 1,500 US$ can be taken monthly by 50 US$ (where it is not necessary that this happened each month, and if somebody has not visited the bank for 4 months he can take on the 5th at once 250 US$ — with purpose to buy, say, a TV set), and from deposits with bigger amounts one can withdraw only portions of 1/10 of the amount at three months. Surely there must be allowed exceptions of this rule in cases of need for urgent medical treatment. This is not at all something unheard in the world and the social price of this measure would have been much less than our "system" of sevenfold annual inflation and two to three times compensation with the interest rate.
3. The Currency Board has not at all solved our main problem for bettering of standard of life of the population,
because it has not raised the salaries of working people (even on the contrary — has frozen them), neither has created conditions for intensification of our domestic industry (because it has taken no protective measures for defending of Bulgarian products on the market — introducing high taxes on import goods, to give an example), neither has lessened our foreign debt (but on the contrary — fixing one worse than real rate of our lev it has, in fact, increased the debt, for the reason that its payment is produced in our country, i.e. in levs, but paid outside the borders, i.e. in hard currency), nor has even pacified the people who have succeeded to save some coins for "black" days (due to the fact that by this symbolic interest rate and the unavoidable gradual increasing of the salaries, and the prices which follow them, it turns that the money savings continue to melt — slow but steady)! But it, if one gives a thought to the question, the Board has never set itself the task to solve any of these questions (because it can not solve them!), but simply to accumulate some advantages for one of the political powers, which can hide behind the fact of stabilizing of our lev. Yet such rigid fixing of the price of one currency is direct violation of market mechanism (and we as if state that the market is always a good thing), and in the times of our "Bai Tosho" there also was constant price for the lev (and now we say that the situation then was not correct).
The only good result of the Board's activity is that it has created a stable atmosphere for good accounting and maintaining of constant prices in our national currency. But who has said that the accounting reports must be performed in our own currency, when the main principle in creation of European economic community is exactly the unified bookkeeping in ecus (and after the 1st January in 11 countries will be operated officially in euros)? This does not affect national interests of the countries in community, neither requires real existing of such banknotes in circulation in the domestic market in each of the countries, and their printing and using is planned only for the year 2002. The bookkeeping could have been done in each of the hard currencies, and all calculations could have been converted from levs in such currency (what anyway is done by money transactions in the companies, but in reversed direction).
The prices of the products could have been actualized according with the daily exchange rate or set in ecus, for example, and be recalculated at the moment of purchase, if the rate is pretty unstable, in the same way as it was done unofficially in a number of companies somewhere since 1991, only that they have used usually US dollars. The salaries must have been established in some hard currency, bur paid according with the averaged rate for the past month.
Similar situation has existed in our history, where soon after the Liberation from Ottoman yoke we were tied to the French franc (and our first post stamps were in centimes, not in stotinkis), and this has lasted for many years. And what was our currency under the totalitarianism if not tied to the rouble, where our lev differed with a pair of stotinkis? All "subtlety", obviously, is in this to tie ourselves to strong currency, not to weak one (and when the rouble has "weakened" we tied ourselves unofficially to the dollar (as also the Russians, by the way).
Only that our politicians have had misapprehended feeling of national pride and have thought that it is expressed in working with Bulgarian levs (and this is fixed in art. 4 of our law on bookkeeping). And while they have thought so the proud Bulgarian lion-lev has reduced itself to the dimensions of a ... louse (if we take that a lion of an average size is long about 1.80 m, or 1,800 mm, from the head to the tail, if you do not pull the latter — but it isn't advisable to pull a lion on the tail —, and a louse is about 1 mm, or 1,800 times less). So that if there exists something that has impaired our prestige this is the diminution of our lev, not the official currency in the bookkeeping
4. Even if we have ridiculed ourselves with the Currency Board, we will make a bigger error if now renounce it,
because by a thoughtless change from one level to another the moment of transition turns to be worse than each of the levels! And under "thoughtless" or "unreasonable" here is meant not by exponent, i.e. not smoothly, but with presence of strong sinusoidal, i.e. wavelike, fluctuations, that exceed the new level at both sides, and our transition to democracy happened to be exactly of that kind and accompanied by strong and fast changes, once to the left, and once to the right, that are rather similar to a muscle tremor of an old man than to a reasonable control from central neural system.
At the end, one can get used to everything, so that we can also accustom ourselves to the Money Board (and what other choice remains to us?), and after, so, 5-6 years the things may become better. The bad thing is that we have done this in one quite unsuitable way, and in the most unsuitable moment only for political motives, not from the standpoint of our national interests. But this also has its advantages (as a Scotsman has said after his house has burned down — for his wife, too, has burned with it), because in this way we at last
have realized our poverty
(after we have fixed it for long time ahead), and perceiving of one's own faults and problems is the principal prerequisite for their amending. Let us hope that we will become a bit more bright to succeed to amend them.
CONVERGENCE, WHAT IS THIS?*
(or about the difference between social capitalism and capitalistic socialism)
In literal translation the term "convergence" means joining of two tendencies in one, or two ways in one — something like the joining of two parallel lines in the infinity. The theory of convergence of capitalism to the socialism was very acclaimed about 20, and even more, years back, but at that time the communists very resolutely denied it as reactionary. It isn't that one can't understand them, because then one of the fundamental assertions of Marxism-Leninism was the thesis that the socialism is a qualitatively new step in the evolution of society, and if so a new step has no rights to merge sometime with the previous one, for it will become then that there are no steps at all in this social staircase and, what is even worse, that the socialism can begin at the end to slide down to the capitalism.
From the height of the passed almost 10 years from the transition to democracy it is obvious that our socialism definitely has slid down to the capitalism. And there is an easy explanation of this, because the socialism, or communism (like also fascism), are just variations of capitalistic form of economic organization of society and, no matter that there exist differences, they are not exactly new steps but rather sides (more or less left) of one and the same step. Now this causes no doubts in anyone, but it is, still, necessary to focus on some points of this convergence, which in each of the former communist countries proceeds in different way.
The first peculiarity that strikes the eye is the nearly instantaneous speed of our convergence to the West, so that we
have simply stuck to the capitalism,
and so strongly, that the developed capitalist countries now just wonder how to get rid of us! There have passed only 4-5 years from the time of demolishing of Berlin Wall and it has already become necessary to raise the Schengen one, which, although not made of bricks or concrete, is not less strong than the former. What means that now is imposed to us the question: whom mostly has the Berlin Wall protected — the East from the West, or vice versa? Similar was the situation also with the "mass swimming across" the Adriatic, and with the "Regattas" Cuba - Miami Beach. From a formal standpoint this is not pure convergence but a degenerated form, in which the one straight line has just broken towards the other. Something of the kind could have been expected due to the more powerful "gravitation" of developed Western economies, but the real extent surpassed the forecasts of the very West.
Another characteristic moment, especially for our country, is the
returning back in the time
to the period of rough or green capitalism from the beginning of the century. It is true that for the existing of capitalism are needed capitals, i.e. much money in few hands, and as far as nobody wanted to give his (or her) totalitarian savings (for they, however unseriously small, but were the only savings by us), then the "more capable" were forced to take them away from the others, once in legal, once in illegal ways. It is true also that one can't build a new home without destroying the old one, only that we lived pretty long time "in tents". It is entirely clear, at least from the examples of some of the other "former" or ex- socialist countries, that we could have converged a bit more smoothly and not going back in the time — as in regard of our standard of life, so also in the sense of moral values, which we had earlier — but we out of strong "partisan" predilections, stubbornness, unjustified pride, fraudulence, and so on, have not done this. Not that we have not heard that the capitalism is like a medlar and while green is not to be eaten, but we apparently had little brains, from what follows that now we have to have strong backs, else we shall see no advantages.
Our degenerated convergence, however, does not mean that the West has stayed with arms crossed during the existence of former Socialist Bloc. While our nearing to the West was impeded by our totalitarian governing in the developed capitalist countries there were no obstacles for
gradual convergence to the socialist ideas.
And the West has converged, only more smoothly and moderately, what means reasonably! For what are the various social-democratic Western flows during the last at least half a century if not attempts (and quite successful) for creating of one more humane and socially rightful capitalism? What else if not deliberate convergence, i.e. borrowing of the positive and avoiding of the negative of the real socialism? Each self-respecting Western country has some pension, healthcare or for labour accidents insurance, as also accessible by all, i.e. free of charge in the moment of receiving it, education, while in the past century it was not at all so.
It can't be that the major part of the readers have not heard the phrase that
the main gain from the communism was that it has made the capitalism better,
only that many of those who have heard it still take it for an extravagant declaration, while it is the naked truth, in a global historical perspective! Because the real socialism, anyway, was one global experiment for this how to cope with the shortcomings of capitalism. This, that it turned not to be very fortunate, does not mean that it has not produced results. And in addition, one should not ignore the local economic and social peculiarities and think that if in United States, for example, there was no socialism, then it was unnecessary also in Russia, because the tsarist Russia was very backward in almost every respect country. When the Reds stormed the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, in United States were nearly 100-storey skyscrapers and the conveyor of Ford has throwing out cars in ceaseless stream, in France loomed the Eiffel Tower, In Germany was long ago built the Cologne Cathedral, in Czech Republic the castle of Hradcany, and so on.
And one should also not forget that the "ghost of communism" has emerged for the first time not at all in Russia, but has succeeded to get around the entire globe and has remained there, where in that time were good living conditions for it. But it affects all countries and causes unavoidable convergence of all kinds of capitalism to one more humane and contemporary social order with stronger social elements in it. Yet will we call it social capitalism, or capitalistic socialism, or just capitalism, or in some other way, is not quite substantial. This ghost is now traveling somewhere in the Third World countries, but it has not entirely disappeared, for the simple reason that the ideas about socially just society exist since Ancient Greece, from the times of Platon, or they coincide with the dawn of democracy.
Interesting for mentioning is the fact that while
the residents of Western countries are convinced that the capitalism in not a good order,
and exactly because of this they incessantly try to better it and make it more up-to-date, we behave on the contrary and think that now we have reached the paradise on the Earth. That is the reason why our capitalism will for a long time remain green! Maybe this is consequence of our totalitarian past, to think that this, what we are doing, is the best, but we have pretty fast forgotten that the capitalism is always accompanied by series of crises and needs precise centralized regulation in order to work properly. It is inadmissible to forget about the world economic crisis of 1929, which has prolonged itself for such a big time that has resulted later in the World War II, yet we as if have forgotten this. We have forgotten even the quite recent crisis, which has begun in the beginning of 80ies, but which, at any rate, has added the last touch to the atmosphere of disarmament between the East and the West, forcing the developed countries at last to change the policy of stick with that of carrot (from your "stick and carrot approach"). The collapse of socialist system has solved for a time this crisis, because there emerged new markets for the Western, not only new but also outdated for them, or second hand, goods. But we are already witnesses of several crises in the Far East, of unsolved problems in the ex-communist countries, led by Russia, know also our own problems, so that it is high time to come to the Western view that the capitalism is a bad order, but there is not known a better one (or said in the reversed direction).
The recognition of the real situation could have helped us to find also a cure for it. Otherwise we are left with nothing else than to think that the democracy is to be blamed for our accursed situation. What isn't entirely true, because
the democracy is one contemporary tool for reaching of the goal,
but will we use it correctly depends on our entire population. Denying the natural processes of convergence between the capitalism and the socialism, what in our case means denying of all our achievements from the period of socialism, and rushing headlong to the green capitalism with paid education and healthcare and myths about fast and easy enrichment, can bring us nothing but troubles for the country!
It is hard to find a western country in which at least one of the three leading parties were not pro-socialist, or at the least had not a properly developed social platform. The name is not the most important thing in this case, and in many countries they still are running away from the word socialism, so to say, as "the devil from the incense", but throughout the Western world is spread one or another from of socialism, one or another symbiosis of capitalism with the ideas of socialism and communism.
In one strongly developed and "highly" European country like Austria, for example, by tradition is celebrated the first of May as day, how they call it, of "planting of the May tree", which is one quite interesting custom and I will allow myself to explain it briefly. It goes about raising of one high, at least 10 but maybe also up to 20 meters, pine-tree, decorated with garlands and flowers, which is fixed at the level of ground in some special contraption — something like a carriage mount — so that it can move in one plane only and there were no danger that it will fall to the side. The very raising is performed with united efforts of about twenty common citizens in entirely primitive way, namely using poles and beams, with propping and shifting forward the beams, accompanied by shouts like "c'mon, go" (or "hey-uhnem" of Volga boatmen), until the tree is raised vertically and then it is fixed in this position and stays so about two weeks. During the raising, which continues maybe an hour, all the local people are gathered together, devour grilled chicken, drink beer and rejoice. But what else is this custom if not a holiday of creative labour, or one typically socialist holiday, which we in Bulgaria were so foolish (for this can't be named otherwise) to reject as a relic of totalitarianism?
And one last touch, which we would like to underline: the joining of two poles, or the convergence between capitalism and socialism must unavoidably be expressed in
bringing of the left- and right- wing parties one to the other.
This must not be very difficult for us because the main part of our political figures consist of diverged in their time members of former communist party, who have simply decided to seize the opportunity for making of political career. Yet for this, that they are still not doing this, are to be blamed not they alone, but our nation, which makes them to play this game and even take pleasure to shout at mass meetings "uhh" or "down". The politicians are kind of artists and they can't "play" on an empty stage, and when so then they willy-nilly "dance to the flute" of people. If sometime out people grow so wise to become tolerant to the meanings of the others and to look at the democracy as at some attraction, only then it will cease to be just an attraction! However strange this may sound it is true, because it is confirmed by the practice of Western democracies.
P.S. Ten years later this is still absolutely true. Will it be so after hundred? Let us hope it will. But it is important that our nation succeeds to grasp this elementary truths before the elapsing of a century (when for a decade has not yet understood them well).
WHY THE COMMUNISM HAS FALLEN DOWN?*
The capitalism is society of capitals and from that standpoint it is justified to divide people in three major groups, namely: a) such who spend less than they have earned, or who mainly save money, or are creditors of the society; b) such who have spent more than they have earned till the moment, or live on money received in advance for their future work, or are debtors of the society; and c) such who have good balance of the received and spent, or who live from day to day, or as we also say "whatever was won has quickly gone". This is untraditional dividing of people, different from commonly used in poor, of middle affluence, and very rich, but it allows us to make interesting analyses. Creditors can be not only wealthy persons but also relatively poor, who save, as our people say, "white money for black days". Debtors can also be more or less affluent, and those with balance on the zero — too.
Important for our view to the things is the relation between every citizen and the society.
It is important because, no matter whether one gives or takes from the society, he (or she) is tied with the others, while the one who lives with the purpose to spend everything won is the weakly dependent on the others, or the mostly autonomous. But a society can't exist without good ties between its members, or without some level of compulsion. In the development of human civilization until now we have moved in direction of higher freedom of the ties, where in the situation of capitalism the compulsion for performing of some socially useful labour activity is first of all economic, but it exists. It is like the remote control in the electronics, but we can't do without it. The same is true also in our case — if one wants to live fulfilling life one must keep strong economic ties with the society, otherwise it begins to dissolve and this leads to anarchy. Freedom does not mean total independence and laxity, a thing in which we more and more convince ourselves on the basis of our ailing transition to normal capitalism, but it will never become normal until suitable relations between its members are established.
In the developed Western countries the above mentioned division is naturally performed based on the differences of each individual, which depend first of all on his age. When the young people begin some work with initial salary of, say, 3,000 US$ monthly the company or the banks try to offer them sufficiently big loans of the amount of about one yearly salary, in order to help them to secure for themselves decent home and means of transport, .which money they will repay for ten or more years. In this manner one, willingly or not, becomes debtor to the society until he (or she) reaches some age of approximately 40 years. Then begins the reverse tendency, when he tries to put aside more from what he earns, in order to save for his old age something in addition to the pension. Even if the person in question is daughter or son of a millionaire the situation is similar, because such is the human nature and one should not move against it.
This, naturally, does not mean that there don't happen exceptions, or that a debtor can not invest money in something else while he pays out his debts, or that a creditor can not take loans. He must maintain some zero balance for the period, as does every company, but this does not disturb his ties with the society and rather strengthens them. While that who spends only this what he wins is maximally free in financial terms, but also maximally unbecoming for the capitalism as social order. In other words, this, what is the best for the individual, isn't good for the society, and vice versa, but this is logical as far as the capitalism, and our whole life, is only a set of compromises with the others around us.
But by our socialism the things were not so, because
about 80% of the population have lived by the principle "what was gained was spent".
Surely there were debtors and creditors, but they have not felt themselves as such, for the reason that neither the bank interests were normal, nor decent loans were allowed, nor also one could have remained for long time unemployed. It is possible that for the young ones this might sound strange, but in the totalitarian times the majority of people, really, were more free in economic regard. In order to have been maintained then a stable society this freedom was compensated in some extent with a number of other compulsions and "cares of the Party and Government", but with the time they have ceased to provide the necessary result. More than this, all citizens have turned in the end to major creditors of the state, while our industry has taken the place of the major debtor, due to its low efficiency. This, in fact, has happened to be the main economic reason for disintegration of the socialist community — the lack of reliable stimuli for personal expression of everybody, as well also for his tying to the others. That is why the Gorbachev's perestroika in economic aspect has begun with efforts to raise the economic dependency of the workers and separation of the state from the economy. But these tries have come with some delay and the economic levers were inadequate with the requirements of a developed society.
The irony of our current situation, however, is that we
have not succeeded to find better economic tying between the people,
because, thanks to our extremely low living standard during the time of our transition to democracy, we have boycotted all ways for crediting in advance of the young people, as also were denied all tries for crediting of society on the part its old members, who have suffered in the highest extent by these changes. Taken really our lev has devalued roughly 1,800 times, while the compensation which all previous governments have succeeded to propose via the bank interest are reduced to approximately 30 times, what means that
the creditors have remained with about 1/60 part of their savings,
and hardly will make another try to sponsor the state. The young one, on the other hand, can't hope to receive some significant credits due to the same poverty, so that we again live on the principle of consuming of everything earned. But this isn't, and can't be, a way to a developed capitalist society!
Our paradoxical understanding of capitalism was reduced to the thesis of higher freedom and fragmentation of economy and agriculture, but this is exactly the opposite to the requirements of developed capitalist society! It will be good if the political powers draw the necessary conclusions, but in our efforts to make total negation of the totalitarianism we have come to nothing good (if we don't count the realization that we have come to nothing good!).
The socialism in the former communist countries has collapsed everywhere and logically, while the succeeding capitalism falls down only in some countries like our, where the politics continues to stay above the economy. In a certain sense this is also logically.
P.S. That earlier, in conditions of "muddy water" in regard to our currency, the banks have not released loans is understandable, but even today (in 2008) the things don't look very good, yet this time for the people. Somewhere about 2005 begun "frantic race" between the banks in offering credits to whom they only can, because nobody wanted to take (even companies, probably), for the reason that there is no work and no normal market, but the banks can not only receive money, they must give it away, else the buying and selling can't be performed. Judging by the incessant race in offering loans it seems that people, still, mainly invest money (not that they have much, though the people are not a few), but probably exist also quite enough citizens (and companies, too) who are enslaved to pay back while are living. This, what is bad for the people, is that the slavery of capital is now widespread everywhere, because we are immoderate in whatever, and now have thrown ourselves to live in loans (who can afford it). All the same, in the spirit of the material, the things are moving in the right direction tying the people (if we don't count our excessive efforts).
And one more remark, regarding the wild inflation, when people have looked how for one whole former saved salary they can't now buy even a loaf of bread, and first of all regarding the practically laughable compensation of the inflation via the bank interest. The author still intends sometime to make comparison of the compensation of savings in several ex-communist countries and does not do this because of the difficult access to the inflation rates and bank interests for the countries for at least ten years, but he is practically convinced that worst of all they were compensated in Bulgaria (even in Russia was better, to say nothing about Czech Republic, Poland, or Hungary). Bad is not the very high inflation but its practically zero compensation, and these 60 times losses the today's young people, who have not been witnesses of this, they just don't believe it! Today every day we are deceived so bold from all sides and about everything (chiefly through the ads, but the politicians, too, try not to remain behind), that some young people (let us call them "contemporaries of the freedom") now don't believe reliable and questioned by nobody historical facts, as for example the author has once heard from a young boy that this about the fascists and Hebrews and the gas chambers was not true (because the common sense does not accepts it — but also a country in which the population was "duped" 60 times, without some intervention on the part of the Government, also contradicts to the common sense, yet it is, alas, true).
AND WHERE ARE WE?*
When one takes part in some race (and what is life if not a race for the best place under the sun?) is befitting from time to time to look around, in order to see how he is moving amongst the others. Unless one is at the tail and there's no sense to turn because, anyway, all the others are before him (or her). In this aspect we are significantly relieved because we pretend for the outsider place between the ex-communist countries. But because some of you may doubt in this let us look directly at the facts.
Very suitable for this purpose is the Western journal Business Central Europe (BCE), on the last pages of which each month are published some statistical materials about 12 such countries. Not going into profound economic analyses we shall give here some of the most important characteristics, namely: the gross domestic product (GDP), the unemployment level, the average working salary, and the foreign debt. In the shaded cells of Table 1. the cited data is according to the mentioned journal, while the white cells are computed based on this data. This information, surely, is based on national sources, so that we have the right to question them sometimes, especially what regards Bulgaria, because it is widely known that we are right "jugglers" in the fitting of calculations.
let us begin with the gross domestic product
(or, as we called it earlier, gross national product). The common data for each country must be maximally correct, for the reason that it lies at the bottom of all calculations and plans on national level, but in order to be in position to compare countries with different number of population we must use some measure per capita of the nation. On the Graph 1.** is shown the ranging of all countries on the GDP per capita, only that here is meant the occupied with labour population (what, though, is not explicitly said), because it is this part of the population that generates the gross product. According to the graph it turns out that we are not entirely at the end, where Latvia is a little worse than us, and we are staying even quite near to Lithuania, Romania, and Russia.
It is, though, very doubtful that there can exist some country which is worse than us (even with 10 percents), so that let us compute now one different GDP per capita of all population of the countries. They don't use such characteristic on the West, because it is not much indicative for the economy of the countries, but then it is quite indicative for the living standard, and, besides, it can hardly be "fitted" to the needs. This is shown on Graph 2., where is seen that we are not only worse than all others, but also the differences between us and the nearest to us countries are pretty big, and even
we are three times worse than the average,
to say nothing about the best countries. Then, convinced that there is something "rotten" in the Table 1., let us take the trouble to check how this data was got. When the GDP on capita is received dividing the national GDP by the employed population (or at least that is how the figures on the third line of Table 1. have to have been calculated), then let us now do the reversed — let us divide the whole GDP by that on capita of employed population, what will give us exactly the working population in different countries. This is done on line 5 of the table, and on the sixth is given the percentage of occupied with work population (of the whole) for all countries. These results are shown on Graph 3., where is seen that if the data for GDP on head of the employed population is correct then
we stay again in the end regarding the working employment.
This graph is especially indicative because employment less than 1/3 of the whole population is directly tragical. This can not be explained with the official unemployment level, because with our 10.8% of it we stay very near to the average level of 9.8% for the region. Besides, the record high level of 17% is that of Croatia, and after it stay Slovenia and Slovakia, but they are between the first according to Graph 1. (and also Graph 2.). The only explanation is that we have used "another method", such that would have compromised us less (for it is clear that the data is taken from national sources). Only that they show us in even worse light, because when the things are very bad however one twists them they always look bad. And, moreover, we alone contradict ourselves, because in statistical reference books we give approximately 3,2 mln people working population for 1997, what is with 21% more that the received on the basis of GDP per capita employed people. These about 20 percents are exactly as much as needed to put us also in Graph 1. at the very end with 3,100 - 3,200 US$. But this, still, does not mean that the employed population in Bulgaria is enough, for the reason that the real unemployment by us widely exceeds this about 10 percents, and in totalitarian years the working population was somewhere about four millions. The average for the region of 56.7% is one really average number, at which we must aim***.
Let us now see where are we in comparison with the developed European countries, like Germany, France, Italy, England, and others, in regard of the GDP on employed population. Again in this journal but in another number is cited that Slovenia and Czech Republic for 1997 have reached 63% of the average for the Western European countries, what means that this average level must be about 18,000 US$ per capita of the employed population (the numbers vary a little for different periods). If we compare this number with the corrected and more real for us 3,100 US$ it turns out that we are five to six times worse. And now let us look when we will catch up with them?
If our GDP grows each year with five percents, what is consistent with the official, our and foreign, forecasts (although this is now only in the sphere of good intentions because for 1997 it has fallen with nearly 5%), and apply the formula for compound interest, then we will get that this will happen somewhere after 35 years. Yeah, but this is as if to make your bill without "the innkeeper", because during this time the other countries will not stay on one and the same place. One real forecast of a person born and living in our country is that this may as well occur till the end of twenty first century, but this is not obligatory! Well, in his time our Georgi Dimitrov has succeeded to pacify us with the slogan, that we shall reach for 10-20 years this, what other countries have done for centuries, and the only thing that we have succeeded to reach was the level of Russia and Romania, but now we are worse than them! Surely today also will be found such politicians because, although for the economy there are many problems, for the politics and the politicians there is nothing impossible.
Let us now take in focus
the average monthly salary.
The ordering of the countries here (given on Graph 4.) shows that we are
three times worse than the average for the region
and 8-9 times worse than the best, to say nothing about the "normal" Western countries where the amount of "times" becomes from 20 to 30. And this tragic situation is worsen even more due to the fact that our minimal salary is only one third of the average, or a dollar a day. By the existing now taxation laws if one receives the average salary he pays about 15% taxes on the whole amount, while in totalitarian years this number was around and a bit less than 10% of the then average salary. Today a significant part of the population lives at the expense of foreign help, while nobody helped us before and we still lived good.
It has remained only to speak about the ranging of the countries in regard of their
It is accepted that it was computed as percentage of gross domestic product, because it is paid via it. This relationship is shown on Graph 5., where we are again at the tail with our 87%, what is two and a half times worse than the average. It is interesting to see this debt also as number of average working salaries of the employed population (on Graph 6.), only that there we are
nearly four times worse than the average.
If we take for granted that our working population will increase with 20%, as we have spoken above, then our debt will take only 25,5 working salaries, or thrice worse than the average. The things are really tragical, but what is important is that we should not throw all the guilt so much at our totalitarian legacy, as at out botched transitional period! And really, shortly before the November coup of 1989 our foreign debt was nearly 8 mlrd US$, what by 4 mlrd working people has given roughly by 2,000 US$ on a worker. Yeah, but then the average working salary was about 350 to 400 levs, but they can freely be taken for dollars, because such was the purchasing power of the lev, so that our debt was approximately 5, at the worst 6, average salaries, or even less than the average debt for the region now (8.6 salaries)! As the folks say: what one (and here read state) alone does oneself — nobody can do to him! Or also: if somebody has little brains than his back has to be stronger!
From all this said, however, should not follow that we are now in the very worst position from all ex-communist countries, for the simple reason that in these statistics is not included one highly important (for us) country — Albania. It is not included in the review of the journal in question because it is unquestionably accepted for the poorest European country. If we include it too, then we will not be at the end, what can serve us as consolation. And if we add also Bangladesh there will be two countries behind us. Eventually we can think also about Rwanda. The important thing is not to fall in desperation and to believe in the democracy. If not after 30 years, then after half a century or even a whole one we will enter the European Community. It is true that at least two generations will be lost, but then: what are a pair of generations compared with the eternity?
P.S. Well, we have entered in the European Community, but otherwise we have directly "blossomed and brought fruit". All these 10 years old comparisons remain valid (with small shifting to some average level). In other words, we have settled us, as we have long ago formulated this, in the "basement of European House".
- *** Here, most probably, exist some misunderstanding also in the journal BCЕ because later (maybe after my letter to them) for the GDP per capita they have begun to write ppp (purchasing power parity), what means that everything is recalculated in purchasing power, but this does not change the things substantially, because we, in any event, are at the end by all indicators. And in regard of the unemployment level, then the author is unemployed for a dozen of years now but stays in no lists because receives not a cent, otherwise he must go to sign each month for no reason. This is not at all the single case and a lot of IE (individual entrepreneurs) are nearly unemployed, but are contented with incomes several times less than earlier.
|Gross domestic product (mlrd US$)
|Gross domestic product per capita of the employed population (US$)
|Gross domestic product per capita of the whole population (US$)
|Employed population (mln)
|Percent of the employed population
|Unemployment in percents
|Average monthly salary (US$)
|Total foreign debt (mlrd US$)
|Foreign debt as percent of the gross domestic product
|Foreign debt per capita of the employed population (US$)
|Foreign debt as number of average salaries of the employed population
Table 1a. COMPARATIVE DATA FOR THE EX-COMMUNIST COUNTRIES (SHADED CELLS FROM JOURNAL BUSINESS CENTRAL EUROPE, 11/98)
Table 1b. CONTINUATION
PREDICTIONS FOR THE YEAR 1999*
(or what one can expect in Bulgaria from common sense positions)
Also in the next year
we will continue to remain poor,
what means that the poor will become even more poor and the wealthy — more wealthy, because such is the tendency in each normal capitalist society, for the reason that it is so in the free world, as also in the nature, the big sharks eat up the small fishes! This is a natural tendency which does not at all upset people in the Western countries, and you can hear it also by CNN, but with a smile and slight irony. If in Bulgaria this does not cause smile this is so only because we are not enough wealthy yet. This isn't, though, result of the communist ancestry, but is consequence of a whole complex of natural and economic conditions in the country, as also of our low organization as a nation, because we are not the only ex-communist country, and have sufficient basis for comparison with the others.
But together with this unavoidable impoverishment will happen also the opposite tendency of
increasing of living minimum of the population
and improving of social acquisitions, or strengthening of the socialization of society. There are chances that our minimal salary will at last reach at least 40 US$ till the end of the next year (all the more if the dollar happens to fall down a bit more). This tendency of increasing of lower level of poverty is inherent not only to the communist ruling, but as well also to each developed capitalist country, and it is not expression of some special cares of the wealthy for the poorer, but of necessary amount of common sense, to ensure crisis-free development (i.e. enrichment of the already reach!). It is high time that the Bulgarian has grasped these two opposites and has ceased to ascribe them only to the political powers. And really, as the right-wing can have their social platform, so also the left-wing can take measures for development of the large scale business, because there can't exist capitalism without capitals, or without their concentration in the hands of some minority. The capitalism is a game of compromises, and the democracy offers good opportunities for their achieving.
Our politicians, for their part, will continue to lead their
partial or prejudiced line of ruling
(because the word "party" comes from the root "part"), and, when so, will be again wide away from the right decision, due to the fact that the democratic ruling is based on the lack of best party (for, if such party existed, then all further discussions and elections would have remained obsolete, what was exactly the concept of totalitarianism)! Slowly and with difficulties our people begin to understand this, so that it is hardly possible that in the next year we will have early elections, though not because under the current ruling we have "blossomed and brought fruit", but because is necessary to slow down the speed of changes, if we want that remained some time also for development!
In the next year, too,
the prices of basic foodstuff will remain low,
because our people, who actually establish the prices in a market economy, are poor enough to be able to pay more. In this situation these prices will remain somewhere twice lower than in the Western countries, and one and a half times less than in other ex-communist countries (if we do not count Romania and Albania, with which only we can compare us). Despite the record low retail prices for the region we don't succeed to attract the necessary inflow of tourists, although the relationship here is rather in the reversed direction, i.e. our prices are so low because we have not a big influx of tourists and in the moment we are even more isolated from the world than in the totalitarian years.
Together with this, however, the industrial goods and especially
the communal expenses will grow faster**,
because, no matter of the spread between people view to this, they are significantly lower than necessary. Reason for such assertion gives us, of course, the comparison with the West, or else with the situation in Bulgaria before the November coup. Every comparisons of the prices with the salaries are ungrounded, because only our market is open to the world, while the labour force market is still limited in our state borders (if we do not take into account some 5-6% lucky guys and girls working abroad). Our market will not become saturated, and good regulator of production, until the prices will not set somewhere around their cost price, so that in the next year will again exist some anomalies, or speculatively raised or lowered (say, of intellectual work) prices. In regard of communal expenses and transport they must jump up at least twice in the next year, regardless of whether we like this or not.
There, if one gives some thought to the matter, will turn out that the only gain from the Currency board was in this to appoint ourselves foreign bosses, when we did not want to trust our own. So now in Bulgaria not only the salaries are low, but the bank interest is roughly five times less than the level of inflation, and in spite of this we are more quiet than earlier and don't strike. Not that this should not be so, but this speaks about certain perversity of Bulgarian psyche, because we could have achieved all these effects alone, if we have proved to have some national accord.
can be expected that in the next year the pieces of sunflower oil and sugar will at last become equal, at approximately 1,300 - 1,400 lv, because it was so earlier in Bulgaria, and also now they are equal all around the world (roughly to one US$, but for our market this can be accepted to be 0.7 US$). The prices on white cheese will normalize when will be equalized the taxes on cow and sheep cheese and people begin to buy, like before, mainly the sheep one, what will lead to some decrease in the price of milk to about 300 lv (due to the lessening of its consumption in form of cow cheese and curd). Then can be expected that the cow white cheese will become 4,000, and the sheep one — 6,000 levs***. It is not excluded that to the end of the year will disappear our "democratic" practice instead of minced meat to sell nearly twice cheaper minced and painted entrails, and then the real mincemeat will become about 5,000 lv, and the chicken feet and heads, the duck "lanterns", and the bare bones will disappear from the market (and the menu of the Bulgarian). If not in this year, then in the beginning of the next century this will also be settled****.
At the same time one should not think that in the next year the pepper, tomatoes, and onion will be sold in the season again by 200-300 levs, because who has planted this year such vegetables he will change them in the next to something else, say, to potatoes. So that the minimal predicted prices on onion and peppers are 400 lv, on tomatoes — at least 500, on potatoes — 250 levs. The desire of the Bulgarian always to deceive his neighbour will continue to return ricocheting back to him, until he learns to plant this, what grows better on his soil, to alternate it how it has to be done, and not to chase only after the profit.
The passed first wave of privatization has shown that one share of 1,000 lv, which should have now, because of the inflation, have nominal of more than 10 thousands, has brought on the average 250 lv dividends, what means 2.5% annual profit, or twice less than the ridiculously low bank interest, so that there are no reasons for big "pressure" by next similar action. Besides, those funds, that were mostly advertised, they have brought the lowest dividends (about hundred levs per share), so that, maybe, the Bulgarian will draw some lesson for the next year — for example, that the commercial ads are much bigger manipulation than the former of the communists. Not that there is no sense to take part in the next privatization, but more clever, what means that not everything must be put in one place, where it will bring, supposedly, the biggest gain, but that the sums must be distributed in 3-4 portions in those industries where one feels necessity of development.
What concerns personal medical insurance it seems that we will not succeed to solve this question till the end of the century, having in mind that it was necessary to solve first exactly it, and then to allow private and paid for health care, but there is nothing to be done: the dashing youth (political) can't wait! There will continue also the confusion with paid education, because the Bulgarian still can't grasp that in the most European countries a prevailing number of those receiving tertiary education (to say nothing about the secondary) do not pay for it in advance, i.e. it is how it was in Bulgaria before, and even there where it is paid, like in United States, then this is done not by the very students or their parents, but by different funds and enterprises and this in accordance with the results shown in entrance examinations or in the process of learning, not just so — want to study then pay for it. And if the people don't understand this there are no reasons to want that the politicians have understood it, because their function, above all, is to express the will of the masses.
And still, little by little, the things better themselves, though not because of some merits of the present Government, but for the simple reason that at last we have "reached the bottom". Now there is nothing else left to us except to "hold the air" until we emerge on the surface.
CAN THE BULGARIAN PAY 50% TAXES?*
Our question is entirely justified because they are really so much, at least for the average Bulgarian with the average in the moment salary of roughly 110 US$ monthly, or 180,000 "democratic" levs. And that the taxes are in reality such we can convince ourselves by way of elementary calculations. Firstly, this average citizen receives for the month not clear 180 thousands but they subtract him about 16% income tax, or speaking in thousands, about 30 pieces. Then secondly, because with this money he has no chances to save something for the "bright democratic future", he succeeds almost instantly to spend them in the shops, where for every product he pays also 22% VAT (value added tax), what based on his salary makes 40 thousands**.
And thirdly here come the excises, which build another 60 - 70% of the price of excise goods, a thing that can be verified in our legislation, but we will be satisfied with one simple checking which comes from the commercial practice. Let us recall that 4-5 years ago, when there were no excises on these goods (and even worse if there were some then) a bottle of raki /vodka (0.7 l, sealed) was sold for nearly as much as costed one liter milk. Let us accept that a liter raki, vodka, or whatever other cheap mentè-forgery, costs as much as two liters milk (by retail prices), in order not to be accused in partiality. According with the contemporary prices, however, a liter raki costs at least 3,000 lv, while the cheapest milk (sufficiently diluted) costs 500 lv, from what follows that now we pay three times more, or that 2/3 of the price (i.e. 66%) go for excises. We will assume as basis 60%. The expenses of the average Bulgarian with his meager salary can be very modest, so that let us take that he buys only by a pack of cheaper cigarettes (about 500 lv) daily and one bottle of cheaper raki weekly (or 2,500 lv). In this way we get that the cigarettes make about 15 thousand and the drinks — 10 ths, or together 25,000, 60% from which give 15 thousand for excises. But because it is inhuman if the Bulgarian has not money for a bottle of beer (0.5 l) per day, then let us add also 30 of the cheapest (by 350 lv) bottles of beer, what gives another 10,000, but because the excises on beer are less we will add only the half of this or 5,000. Adding all this together we achieve: 30 + 40 + 15 + 5 = 90 ths democratic levs (which are not equal even to one totalitarian stotinka-cent), what is exactly the half of his salary of 180 ths levs. Well, this is the situation:
half of the income — for the state!
And mark that the author does not try to inflate the calculations, which in some other media could have been raised to 60 and even more percents, because here we observe the average salary, not some, say, 300 ths, where the deductions could have reached 60 ths (and they grow not linearly), neither speak about at least one bottle of branded alcohol (what gives another, say, 20 ths), not about imported cigarettes for 2 ths per pack. We do not add also the taxes for the car, because a person with income of only one average salary can not afford himself to drive a car, as it was before.
More than this, the author does not intend to explain to you that such high taxes are not right (compared with the Church tenth from the Middle ages, for example), because there is not a developed country in the world where the personal deductions from the income were less than about 15 percent, by the same 20% VAT, but at the expense of this with significantly higher excises (for nowhere a pack of cigarettes is less than a dollar, neither a bottle of hard drink is less than 5-6 US$). Besides, the people there pay also their health insurance, which we have still not settled how it is in the majority of countries in the Western Europe and continue basically by the old socialistic pattern. Alas, the contemporary states are not like those of the Middle ages and with 10 - 20% taxes can't be supported the police and the army, and have decent health care, and education, and so on. Only that our state (again regretfully) has become worse than a medieval one, what is the other side of the coin.
Looked otherwise these taxes are justified, where even for this year the table for income taxation is quite simplified, in comparison with previous years, and has only four lines. Though it is still not clear why the percents are given "for sums greater than" and not on the whole amount, in what, exactly, one is interested (unless it is by old totalitarian habit, to make something so complicated that one could become entangled in it). As it is it turns out that for the first 8 working days in the month, for example, the income is taxfree, then for the next 3 days it is taxed with 20%, then for the next 7 — with 26%, and further with 32%. But in broad lines the things are correct, only that they are not acceptable for our people, who have returned, thanks to our democratic transition, with half a century back in the time, for it has to be clear to everybody now that such low living standard we have had neither in the 80ies, nor in the 70ies, nor even in the 50ies. It might be that somewhere in the 45th - 46th the situation was very grave, but this was after a series of wars and devastations, while our "gentle revolution" of the 90ies turned out to be quite "brutal" in practice.
Our people are now so sunk in poverty that they don't understand at all what is good and what is bad for them. The poverty is so strong a distortion in a given country that it confuses all normal relations in the society. If this has not been true then the ghost of communism (which has not at all disappeared from the world arena) would not have emerged in its time, nor would it have generated the humorous phrase, that the poverty is not a sin but a beastly thing. The not unknown Jean Bertrand Aristide has recently said: "we are moving from misery to poverty with dignity". The author does not know in what this movement is expressed, but if people start from misery then whatever movement for them is positive. Only that in Bulgaria happened exactly the opposite, i.e.
we are moving now from poverty to misery, having lost every dignity!
One can not speak about normal capitalist relations under condition that we are not a normal capitalist country! We were normal socialist country and the nations around the world have respected us and we have had no need of foreign merciful help. Now even with the foreign help we are living again worse! Our people are worried because of the future tax on bread and cow white cheese, for example, thinking that it has not to be introduced, while the truth is that there should not at all be made a difference between cow and sheep cheese. For people from the normal Western countries sounds like anecdote this, that if someone bakes bread and sells it he should not include in its price VAT, but if he makes cakes or patties then without this tax is forbidden. This is real anachronism, and the sooner we get rid of it the better, because it distorts the pricing.
If there should have at all existed tax deductions then they should have affected all food stuffs, not only some of them. In the current situation arises the paradox that those, who have not money to buy decent food, pay also some part of the cost of luxurious products for those (not many) who have enough money to buy special piquant sausages and good meat (not minced entrails), where the producers (and traders) win most of all from the cheapest products. When the people are hungry then they must be fed, but not to put obstacles before the market economy. One decent coupon system would have been better then the current situation, and our masters from the Currency Board are right in their requirements.
They are right, those people, in any case (but starting from their interests!), also when they want that we were selling everything what can be sold because otherwise we will not become better. It is our job that we also look after our own interests, not only at the politics! Nobody is guilty that we
have chosen bad model of capitalism,
which might have been good for the West, even for Hungary, Czech republic, Poland, etc., but not for us. The competition is a good thing but when it can be achieved, only that by us there is practically no competition, because the popular masses look not for the best product (as it was, for example, under the totalitarianism), but for the cheapest. Trading mainly with European countries is also a good wish, but it will remain only a wish, for the simple reason that our products just can't be sold there, while in Russia they have been sold for whole decades and with good success. Our untying from the crashing Russian "economic wonder" is right in theory, only that this has not saved us from falling deeper, while some reasonable maintaining of the old relations maybe would have brought some mutual advantage. As also listening to the meanings of some differently thinking persons, but not to such extent that to elect in the Parliament pop singers, or compensate the former persecution of dissidents with their current high salaries and posts. It is good to remind us the Latin origin of the word "dissident", what means one who has not yet sat at the place for which he (or she, surely) has dreamed such long time, where he can dip the big spoon in the state's honey (or gulp from the state's pie). Neither was right to restitute the property to people who have never even dreamed of it, or at least not before the state has given also something from its property to every citizen having worked for the state for decades, while from the conducted mass privatization the average Bulgarian has won not more than for a liter raki in an year. And similar examples.
In the current situation we were left with nothing else, except to reconcile us with the loss of labour of at least three generations (two previous and at least one current) and take
our transition to democracy as some alternative of war devastation.
This is not at all far from the truth, because, in spite of the tens of years of cold war and comprehensive boycott of the Socialist bloc from the part of the West, this bloc collapsed only then, when the developed countries decided to give us a hand. In this sense their economic help, really, was some alternative of the World Wars I and II ! This alternative is significantly more humane and contemporary, so that nothing bad can be said about the wealthy capitalist countries. When the capitalism is society of capitals then every problem has to be decided via the ruling of capitals. And that by this "democratic alternative" some nations have suffered much — well, there is nothing to be done: a la guerre comme a la guerre, as the Frenchmen say. So that it again turns out that we alone are to be blamed for our deplorable situation in which we now are.
But let us return to our first question, can the Bulgarian pay 50% taxes — well, he has to learn this, because nothing else is left to him! And let us not try again to change our rulers often than necessary, for this leads to nothing good. Our troubles come not because the ruling political power (whichever it is) is bad, but regardless of this, that it (sometimes) is not so bad! The reasons for our failures are again in the system, in the model to which we are moving, not in the incompetency of our rulers (although this, too, in some extent is true). Let us hope that we will succeed to save before the world our good name of moderate and obedient nation, in contrast with some neighbouring states. And will expect the creation of some "Requiem for Bulgarian democracy" by a now democratic dissident, who, though, will not be burning with desire for power and personal benefits. Such people, probably, already exist, but we are so inebriated by democratic euphoria that avoid listening to them, because nobody forbids them to speak. Must we again have bans in order to give sometimes an ear to the voice of reason?
REFLECTIONS ON THE EVE OF THE "HOLIDAY"*
According to one old-Greek legend the people once were with two heads, four legs, and four hands, what was very conveniently because in this way they were able to see equally well forward and backward and, as far as they were born such, they thought this is a normal thing and lived happy and satisfied. But because they were happy they did not at all obey and venerate the gods and showed no interest in them. Yet the inhabitants of mount Olympus did not like this at all and decided to punish the people severely. As we know, there is nothing impossible for the gods and they narcotized the four-legged people and after this cut them through the middle in two nearly equal parts with by one head, two legs, and two hands. When the people awakened and saw what has happened with them they were very unhappy and at once began to search for their halves.
Only that they were so used to their halves, which were earlier always close to them, that they have paid no special attention to them, and now were not in position only looking at another human half to recognize at once whether this was their own half or a foreign one. For this reason they were forced to press themselves closely and rub with one another, shift to the right or to the left, turn in this or in that direction, in order to check, have they found their own half. This process continued for a long time, and it still continues, and because of this people can't live quite separated, because each of us is only half human being.
Despite the providently left by the gods specific devices for performing of the "docking" this required special feeling and patience. The people, however, have become used to the searching of their halves and have begun to like this process by itself, regardless of the often presentment that the other person is clearly not their own half. Little by little the very process of searching and fitting has become the most interesting occupation for the human beings and instead of bringing us troubles the gods have done us, in fact, a good service, because have given us one more source of happiness.
Till now everything is good, in general, but some halves have become so highly confused and dumbfounded that they paid no attention to obvious differences in the "docking" devices and have begun to use them improperly, as, for example, not to take in consideration the parameters of tolerances in the connections, to pay no attention to the diameters of the holes, and even to try to insert a "screw" where there is not yet a "thread" for it, as also to turn it in the opposite direction of the thread. By the way, it is curious to mention that in German language die Mutter means not only mother, but also a ... nut in technique, what shows that they have had similar associations. But we are also not much away from them when speak about
people with reversed "thread".
Well, this is the legend, but the truth is that such people exist from time immemorial, and when some thing is quite spread then maybe there is some reason for this, albeit it is taken for improper by the majority of people. The tendency in various Western countries for legalization of the homosexuality nowadays, as also parades of so called gays (what you know well that means joyous) and lesbians, should not lead us to think that now they are more than, say, a pair of thousand years ago. Their relatively number most probably is the same**, only that earlier they were hiding, while now they are even proud with their own perversity. Well, I beg pardon before them, but this, still, is
a pure perversion,
although it has not to be necessarily taken for something bad (or on the contrary, good), because the perversity is quite widespread phenomenon in human life! The very word "perversion" means simply something reversed or perverted and can be used always when it goes about something different from the mass practice. Perversion, for example, is if one shaves his (or her) head in winter (and goes out without a hat, so that everybody can see his bare head); or in summer heat goes in high boots above the ankle; or puts on his cap with the visor backward (because, if he does not need the visor he might have bought himself cap without visor); or goes in winter with warm shirt, that must be inserted in the trousers (because that is how it was made, and it is also cold on the street), but he wears it outside and it is twice longer than his upper jacket; and similar things.
This is something as to butter himself a sandwich, but to turn it with the butter downward and eat it in this way, and if there is something else except the butter then to hold it from below with a hand. Many perversions, though, with the time become normal practices and then those, who do not apply them, begin to be considered as exceptions, so that everything depends on the traditions in the given moment. The younger ones like to make themselves interesting, and this is done easily with changing in some way of their appearance or tastes. In the end, in the case with the homosexuals the important thing is this,
is their exceptionality a matter of fashion?
Here it is proper to begin to make difference between various kinds of homosexuality and discern: natural one, which is consequence of predispositions of the individual; compulsory one, which is forced by some specific living conditions; and fashionable one, which is something transitional and relatively harmless (like the reversing of the cap, or wearing of earrings by men).
The author's opinion is that nowadays significant spread receives the fashionable homosexuality — as a result of the inebriation of not allowed before freedoms. Here we do not have in mind only our country (and rather not our) but the whole West, because at least up to the middle of the century all sexual perversions were persecuted, be it unofficially, be it by the laws. In Bulgaria, up to my knowledge, there were not prisons for homosexuals, but in USA, for example, such existed. And in the "good old England" has suffered the not unknown Oscar Wilde. It is interesting that in more distant past at these things was looked more condescendingly than is looked still by us and in many other countries.
It is stated that the genius Michelangelo was also a homosexual, but it is not known that he was subjected to some persecutions, while in even more remote antiquity, and also nowadays in the Arab countries, is spread, if it can be named so, the "traditional Islamic homosexualism". The vogue is always unstable and it will soon disappear. The young boys and guys who now hang themselves earrings don't realize that this is subconscious expression of woman's features in them, mainly in the age of puberty, because each way for decoration of the man, different from the given by the nature, is acknowledging of his imperfection! The woman can allow herself this, because she must beautify herself, with the purpose to seduce the man, and this is in accordance with the nature, while on the contrary it isn't. But be it as it may, this is not a ground for bothering. Even if an young man tries it a pair of times, in order to see what is this for a thing, this also is not dangerous, because there is no effect of addiction in the sex, like, for example, with the narcotics.
The compulsory homosexuality, on the other hand, arises by prolonged abiding in environment of one sex only (in boarding schools, in army and navy conditions, in cloisters, etc.) and it also has temporary character, where if the situation changes it may disappear***. (It can be reminded the dubious, I would say, meaning of English word "mate", which comes from the verb to mate as to copulate, what leads us to the thought that for the mariners the main "help" was often expressed in this way.) Anyway, the author does not intend to pronounce himself about what is better: that in soldier barracks existed homosexual relations, or that close to them worked brothels, or else to be applied some of the achievements of contemporary (as well as ancient) medicine. Sex is the main problem for every human, and because of this has become popular the funny sentence: sex is not the problem, sex is the answer!
And so it has left the natural homosexuality, which, exactly, was spread before millenniums, as it is spread also today. The right way to treat this point is that
one should look at it as at some ailment.
But this is not an infectious disease, of which one must be afraid, and it can only cause regret (and caused it till now), until there sprang these gay parades with the main intention to show what interesting persons they are. Even the very word "gay" was entirely improperly occupied by them (unless one accepts that this is simply feminine from .. the Japanese geisha). For the thoughtful persons exactly the eagerness of gays to show that they are like all the others, and even more interesting, must prove the realizing of their ailing condition! Only that not many people think so about them.
If the homosexuals have not stated that they are better than the other people, then the latter would have not looked at them with contempt and even disgust (or at least they would have had no reasons for this). Though it could have been stated also the reversed, namely: that if the majority of people have not looked at the gays and lesbians with contempt, then the latter would have not eagerly tried to show that they are normal, and the others — boring and limited people. As you see, the things are mutually related, so that
for achieving of peaceful coexistence are necessary the efforts of both sides.
By the way, many people (at least on the West) are confused as to the origin of the word "homosexual", thinking that it comes from Latin homo (i.e. human, man), yet it comes from old Greek "homogeneous" or of the same parts. Similarly the word hetera does not mean prostitute but simply a being from the other gender (in the traditional for Ancient Greece masculine company).
Whichever the homosexuals were they are human beings, and the exceptionality in one aspect often is accompanied by exceptionality, now as abilities and talents, in some other area! This is not propaganda of this sex but declaration of the fact (of grouping of exceptions or deviations in some packs, what is well known by every player of hazard games). Or, at least, their feelings, as a rule, are stronger than by the heterogeneous love! This may sound like a paradox for some readers but it has its easy explanation with the unnaturality (perversity) of homosexual love, where is missing even non-conscious desire for continuation of the gender. Something similar can be said about Platonic, or of older people, or of children love, because they are separated from the sex. Well, by the homosexuals the love is not separated, but it is distanced from the sex in the established by God way, what has similar effect (and who can with certainty assert that Platon has absolutely innocently lied in bed with his pupils?).
And another significant thing:
the homosexuality is not at all socially dangerous,
as, fore example the narcotics, criminality, wars, and so on. And when so we must learn to live also with people who "don't do it" like us. As far as the purpose of life is to live it happy (unless one raises it on the misfortunes of others) then the ways for reaching of this happiness are not specially important, because everything is a matter of taste. So, some say, has answered the dog when was asked, why he, hmm, licks his bottom (and he does this, surely, because the evolution has thought him to keep himself clean, so that his prey should not smell him).
Well then, happy holiday!
ABOUT DEMOCRACY AND MELIORATION*
The democracy is a good environment for many different social processes, but it is only an environment, not solution of the questions! It is very important to understand this because, good or bad, we already have it and will hardly reject it. For this reason the good understanding of its essence is especially necessary for our country. Figuratively speaking
the democracy is like a fruitful soil: what you plant in it — that is what will grow up.
But this metaphor suggest to us that quite not always "grows up" this what we want to, more than this: that what we do not like often accompanies many democratic undertakings, for the reason that on fruitful soil survive also many weeds! They, the weeds in Bulgarian (though also in Russian), are called buren (burian), what wants to say that they grow very burno, what is stormy, proliferating, so that they are steady and resistant and grow everywhere, but are especially "eager" to grow on fruitful soils, where are propagating in such scale that directly choke the cultivated plants (and there is another word for weed in Bulgarian /Russian, plevel, what comes from the pole-field and says that there is no field without weeds, which for their part have to be polonit-eradicated). And in Bulgaria as if it happened exactly so, because hardly someone will begin to deny that nowadays the criminality has grown several times higher than the totalitarian level, and our poverty has reached earlier unheard of proportions, and our moral norms have "gone to the movies", as we say, and whichever party comes to power it brings to the people only new pains and burdens, and other similar things.
The traditional consolation that the Bulgarian finds in this situation is to choose for himself some political colour (most often according to his age preferences) and to begin to curse the colour of the opponent and blame his party for all our troubles and misfortunes. The people usually are big masters in their efforts to explain
one and the same facts from different positions,
and this so, that the opponent's part is always to be blamed, where ours is always the right one! They are not at all bothered that this is entirely illogical, where on the highest pedestals stay, naturally, our political leaders (for the simple reason that the word "party" is from the root "part", hence each party is unavoidably partial and nonobjective!). Such behaviour can help for some time — works like tranquilizing medicament —, but when it continues quite long there have to be taken measures for real treatment, not only for elimination of the pain.
If we return now to our analogy with the soil it will turn out that in order to have some decent harvest exactly of cultivated plants is necessary to lead some fight with the weeds, to use some "herbicides", that must make the democratic field not so fruitful for the weeds. In the same time we, in the inebriation with "delirium democraticus", have decided that when there are many freedoms now then everything is allowed.
Because of this we have now not only freedom of pornography, for example, but propaganda of pornography and prostitution (for they bring strong financial profits), while in numerous Western countries they would have not allowed publication on title pages of newspapers of various genitalia and sexual intercourse. When some people need such "reading materials" then they could have been sent by post, and at least without obscene covers.
Or also we have decided that when the former "State Security" has compromised itself with a series of anti-democratic incidents, then the best thing is to close it altogether, what as a consequence has turned us in a country without any security and protection! But then even the Americans, with whom we like very much to compare us, have their CIA and FBI, notwithstanding many scandalous incidents with them, and they have no intention to close them, only to reform them if necessary. Denying the centralized totalitarian machine we have simply renounced the centralization everywhere, but
without centralization no state can exist!
Or we have also decided that the market is all by itself enough to provide abundance of goods, only that it has provided affluence of different prices for one and the same goods and possibility for unjustified (although legal, in many cases) enrichment of trade intermediaries, not of the producers! While on the West, at least between the rulers, is known that without centralized monitoring and reasonable intervention is impossible to do today. It was necessary to come the Currency Board in order to eliminate, in fact, the market of our lev and to fix the growth of salaries, for to make us to grasp (yet we have as if still not grasped this) that the freedom is not form of anarchy but a question of self-restrain.
Or also our politicians have imagined that, in order to make the state's coach move, it is enough if they stay in the coach and cry "Gee, go!". But the reasons for our troubles are chiefly economic and with bare cries the situation can not be improved! For our poor country the substitution of centralized management with dispersed one has only worsened the chaos of transition, so that for nine years after its beginning we are again on the same level of our development, with this difference that, having spent our totalitarian savings, we are now 4-5 times poorer than before. Our politicians have rightly scented that with the coming of democracy they are to split in opposing groups, only that they still can't understand that
these contradictions must not affect the economy of the country.
If some enterprises and banks must have been sold to foreign investors then this should have been done continually and in portions, so that not the whole management was transferred in foreign hands, but also not only think how to keep "our bone" for ourselves, no matter that we do not "gnaw" anymore at it, as says one Bulgarian proverb. But we, on the contrary, for a long time have done like the dog from the proverb, and then at once have decided to sell also our "kennel" if we can, only that then they gave us ten times less for it than before.
And so on: we can speak also about the muddle with restitution, with privatization, with paid healthcare and education, or about our sharp turn in the foreign policy and economic ties, and other things.
Our main error, however, was that we have hurried too much,
although we have known the proverb about the "hasty bitch" (who gives birth to blind puppies). And when so, we have entirely forgotten about the necessity to use correctly the democratic "field", and have left it to develop alone uncontrolled. In our elections, for example, take part 30 - 40 parties, while it is clear that more than 4-5, anyway, will not succeed to enter in the ruling. And why they "press" so much then? Well, because they are young — as parties, as also as persons! In world history all: Hitler, Lenin, Napoleon, Alexander Macedonian, and even Genghis Khan, probably, were younger than forty when they have taken the power. They, the revolutions, naturally, are performed by the young, only that one has to stick to some middle point in everything. Not that there are not at all exceptions for very young politicians at the head of political parties, but these are exceptions, while in Bulgaria they have become a rule.
On the West nobody would have voted for higher politician in the age of less than forty years, and he (or she, surely) would not have put his candidature, for the reason that, if the average life span is 80 years and the people are distributed symmetrically around the middle, then it will turn out that half of the population will be older than him and would hardly agree to be commanded by some "greenhorn" (or even "sucker"). Clear and simple, only not for us! Because all political colours have just "wildly"
competed to nominee the youngest possible politicians,
what has logically led to confirming of the shortly mentioned proverb about the "bitch"
Maybe it is necessary to turn the attention of the readers to the interesting fact that, unlike all other professions, from the politician is not required to have whatever educational qualifications! Good or bad is this but it is so, for the democracy requires it. Every educational qualification would have given grounds for discrimination of one or another person, so that this, in principle, is not bad. But it is also not very good, because it does not say us of what kind exactly must be the good politician.
We do not require any property qualifications, and also not a single psychological test, how it is for the drivers, for example. But if the political workers alone can not self-restrain themselves then the people must tell them what is good and what not, because if there is not required special education then from them can be required at least to have rich life experience (coming, naturally, mainly with the age). In order to become politician one should have had time to express himself in something else (at least for the purpose to become known).
And do not think at all that a politician must have necessarily legal education — no, he must rather be some kind of manager or businessman, because his activity is related with ruling of big human masses.
The democracy is one very interesting phenomenon
in the social area, if one begins to think about this. It is interesting mainly with this, that such kind of elections is not applied anywhere else, where some work has to be done! Neither in the army, nor in the police, nor in the production, education, healthcare, etc., for the reason that for each activity is necessary some qualification, which is proved by some form of exam, test, or contest, before a competent jury, or based on documents for graduating from some educational establishment with a given degree (i.e. again in correspondence with the assessment of competent persons, but done earlier). While here, by the democratic choice, the procedure is reduced mainly to this, that:
people, who don't understand, choose persons, whom they don't know,
and not requiring from them whatever documents for competence or certification! Because the common people, surely, have no knowledge of subject area of management (neither of economy, nor of public relations, etc.) nor also know their elected persons, from the standpoint of their ability to govern. The people are not competent at all to take decisions as to how they have to be governed, and if they choose the best ruler only on the basis of possible attitude to them then they will choose that one, who will "throw them the most juicy bones" (as the dog chooses his /her master), or else that one, who gives them only highest marks (as the school children decide), and so on.
This what the elector can know about the life of his (or her) chosen one are only insignificant things (what kind of car he drives, what sort of wine he prefers, or what king of "girls", and similar things), but not which are his abilities for just decisions, his incorruptibility and loyalty, and so on. Exactly because of this such kind of elections are not applied anywhere else, where is necessary to do some work!
At the same time, however, it is well known that the democratic choice is applied at large scale in the world, especially in the recent times and, obviously, it does very good work! So well, then let us ask ourselves the following question:
How is it possible that a procedure of choice, which does not work, can fulfill a choice, which does work?
And let our readers try to find some answer for themselves, because from it in large extent depends the democracy in our country. In other countries the people have some answer, it, probably, is not much away from the truth because there the things go better, while in Bulgaria they are limping quite strongly! Surely many of you are intuitively guessing the right direction, but have not answered yourselves the question on the first place because you have not put it themselves, because it is long ago known the thought that the question is not in this what is the answer, but in this what is the question! By correctly asked question the answer is relatively easy to be found. The author thinks that he poses the question correctly. Well, then try to find its answer, which will be published in one of the next numbers of the newspaper.
ABOUT DEMOCRATIC PHENOMENON
In the previous paper we have defined the democratic choice as such procedure where: people who don't understand (i.e. they don't know the subject area of management) choose persons whom they don't know (i.e. they don't know them directly, but know only some insignificant details) and by this not requiring whatever document for educational qualification (in order not to discriminate some persons, who, by whatever reason, have not had the opportunity to receive proper education).
This is procedure, which is not applied in any other company or organization, when is necessary to do some work, but in spite of this the very choice, applied in the social sphere, obviously does good work in all developed contemporary countries. And let us not confuse this with the democratic tendencies in some companies, which can be applied as additional element by the choice of some boss (his or her popularity between the masses), and think that the democratic choice is applied somewhere else, except in the social government. But let us return to the raised previously question, i.e. to explain ourselves how is it possible that one incorrect procedure of choice turns to be suitable for choosing of people at the highest governmental level?
Let us simplify our task a bit imagining not a choice of politicians but such one done from ... some basket with apples! And then let us formulate the question so:
when, reaching with a hand and not looking in a basket with apples, we will be able to extract always good apples?
Well, now it has become easily, right? Surely when all apples in the basket age good! Simple like all ingenious, because the democracy is, really, an epochal discovery of antiquity! Only that ... only that this is not a choice, right? Because then there is no need to choose but grasp any apple that will happen to be under the hand. It is even possible to say that in this case
the democratic choice contradicts to the common sense!
It is so, yet not exactly, because the ingenuity is precisely in this, to guess about something to what a common person would have never come alone, or would have rejected it as incredible nonsense. Because from the standpoint of choice this is stupidity, but from the point of view of the people, who after the choice will listen to their elected representatives, this turns to be psychologically well-thought-out. The people are asked about something and they feel themselves compelled to answer, and after this nobody is to be blamed that it has turned out not like the people have wanted. Even with the risk to shock some of the readers we can expressed the sentence that
the democracy is ... the best "baby's pacifier" for the nations,
because it both, preserves the mother's breast (i.e. the political system), and gives pleasure to the child (here, to the people)! And the behaviour of population as a whole is, really, quite similar to this of some naughty little boy (at least in our case of spoiled by the "cares of Party and Government" from totalitarian times). The whole population is in many aspects naive, illogical, impulsive, capricious, selfish, unjust, and so on.
So that is how one bad method of choice can turn out to be in the end very good. For readers with some mathematical culture can be said that the democratic decision is similar with the so called "zero solution" of linear homogeneous system of equations (with zeros at the right parts of the equations). When all unknowns are simultaneously equal to zero this satisfies the system because gives zero also at the left part of each equation. This is one trivial and uninteresting solution, but it is solution of the task! And in the social area such "uninteresting" solution can prove to be very interesting from another — here didactic and attractive — point of view.
Of course the things are not so simple, but if we do not simplify a given situation via some abstractions we are often not able to cope with the complexity of the surrounding world, so that the above explained is valid but under some conditions, because the politicians are not, after all, apples (although there is nothing insulting in this for them). While the apples can not stay too long on some posts (for they do not at all occupy posts) the politicians can do this (and have done it under the totalitarianism), and the possibility for an easy change of ruling under the democracy (even if this is because of "childish whims" of the populace) is a very significant characteristic of the system, which is more often than not a positive thing (yet extremely fast change, i.e. early, before the term, usually brings nothing valuable, how we should have been now convinced, looking at our newest history).
On the example with the apples can be seen that in some "baskets" (i.e. states) there are good "apples", and in some others — only green ones! And it isn't that something similar has not happened in Bulgaria, because we have changed a heap of governments but our situation till now was not bettered. Yet let us not exaggerate too much, because not only our politicians are guilty for our situation, there are various economic and social conditions, traditions, discipline of the population, and so on, so that we must extract only the useful moments from our analogies.
So for example, the approach to the democratic elections as zero solution allows us to answer the question: how then the chosen politicians, when there were not chosen the best of them, can do their work? If we try to ponder a bit we must come to the conclusion that there are two variants for this, namely:
either the elected representatives are not those who really govern, or every other candidate would have done the same work,
or some combination of both things! Albeit this sounds a little cynical it is the pure truth. The elected by the people persons give only some directive orders, while the real work perform competent in the corresponding area specialists (or at least it is so in the Western democracies). The situation is in significant degree similar to the ruling in the family, where the man, as a rule, governs, only that according to what wants the woman (and that is why our people say that the man is the head but the woman is the neck). In the family the woman is the inborn strategist, that who sets his (actually, her) requirements, in the same way how the Representatives of the People, while the very managerial (i.e. tactical) activity is performed by the man, and in the social area these are the corresponding competent bodies! The introduction of this dividing of activities in strategy and tactics solves easy also the question with the insufficient competency of the strategists.
The other possibility by the democratic choice consists in this, that all political parties with influence in society (or all sufficiently eminent persons in a given party) can do the same strategic activity equally good. And they do it when their mandates come. So that, if we are not shocking ourselves asking similar questions, we can find answers of many, otherwise "mysterious" moments in the democratic system, which do not compromise it and even elevate it in our eyes.
But let us continue further. All readers know, though they have hardly paid attention to this fact, that after the democratic elections, which as if are conducted in order to choose the best party, in the ruling of the country enter representatives also from the "bad", or lost the fight, parties. More then this, they receive equal salaries with those from the "good" party.
If the goal of the choice was to choose the best party, then why we include also the bad ones?
Obviously because all parties with influence are equally good (respectively bad, especially when we are talking about Bulgaria), and also for to were debates when taking the decision, not after this! Democratic institutions can't do without opposition, what means that the important thing by the democratic choice is not so much the very choice, as the selection of correct relationship between representatives of various parties.
The role of Representatives of the People is representative and strategic, it is not really governing, because they are not executive body where real work is done. Even the post of President in contemporary countries has similar functions, where his power is fairly limited (at least by us). But anyway, every other President, or Minister, or MP, as also every other party, would have done nearly the same work, with some, mainly "cosmetical" differences.
Or at least it has to be so, and it happens so in the developed Western democracies! So for example, in the USA they have republicans and democrats (bipolar model, like by us), but one can boldly bet that both, the republicans are for the democracy, and the democrats are for the republic. Similar is the situation also in other countries. Differences in the platforms, naturally, exist, but they are something like the necktie in men's clothing! They diversify human life, give people additional emotions, but they are not much significant. It can even be said that
the democracy then functions good, when the differences between parties are not big.
So that together with the efforts of the very parties to differ one from the other they must also try to equalize themselves, because such are the requirements of democratic model! "Two sharp stones", as our people say, "can't grind the flour", and as if this is the main political cause for our miserable condition today, when, in spite of all advantages of democratic development, we are worse than under the totalitarianism — worse as nation, worse for the majority of citizens, and worse for our international contacts (which are not determined by the meanings of one or another politician, but by the inflow of capitals, goods, and tourists, from abroad).
Maybe it is not bad to remind often to our politicians that by the democracy, as also in each competition, as in the free market, and, if you like, as it happens usually in life, the deserts are not so much of the won the battle, but of the beaten one, i.e.
the victor wins not because he is better, but because his competitors are worse!
Such opinion would have cooled a little some of the "hot" political heads, but it is entirely justified. This is especially significant in Bulgaria, because the main part of the people vote, as if, not because they believe in the chosen political power, but because they don't believe in the other alternative power! When the things are bad the faith, naturally, weakens, and it happened so when the red won the elections — because the blue ones have compromised themselves before; and later the things reversed and the blue won as a consequence of economic failure of the red.
In addition to this it is not right to throw all blame for some failure only on the ruling, because the role of opposition is not less significant! If we want to determine in some extent the guilt and deserts of each of the parts, then one "Solomonian decision" would have been to accept that their part by the rulers is twice higher than by the opposition, but not more. Each deviation from this view can lead to greater errors, only that in the other side. All our politicians are guilty for the situation in which we are now, and if they don't like this — well, then let them give up to engage in politics — there are enough not worse than them alternative candidates!
And one more thing, generally said
the democratic ruling is more ineffective than the centralized, but it is more adaptive than it!
Democracy is like life — energetic and vivacious, it changes but the society remains, for the reason that it contains the change in itself, and there is no need to wait for something else to change it. It does not threaten with drastic transition periods like this, that we still experience. Only that it functions good when the differences between parties and their platforms are not big and there is no need of special effectiveness in pursuing of a given goal! But when the things become "coarse", as it happens in time of wars, or by significantly lowering of living standard of the population, how it is now in Bulgaria, it often happens so that the democracy retreats before some consolidating power, because the democracy is not the ideal solution! And it is not such for the simple reason that
there is no ideal solution!
Democracy is a good environment, but what will grow in it depends on the concrete conditions in the country.
So that all of you, politicians, don't create conditions which disprove the advantages of democracy, or at least, when you have already created them, try to calm the relations between parties, as it belongs to a civilized country! And as to the common people, they better look at it chiefly like at some attraction created for their own pleasure. Democracy is an interesting game, and what is the purpose of a game that brings no pleasure?
A STEP FORWARD AND TWO BACK
(our country under the scepter of the Board)
The main feature of our democratic transition is not so much movement forward, as the associated with it returning back. This must be obvious for everybody who has some personal recollections and reasons for comparison, because our living standard now is more or less such which it was some 50 years ago. If people now don't ride in horse carts this is because the motor cars, in addition to being faster, are also cheaper; if in almost every family there is already a video this is because it costs twice cheaper than a home computer, and with it one saves a lot of money, compared with the prices in cinemas. And if in winter we use central heating then this is because it is cheaper, or at least it was cheaper in totalitarian years, only that now many of us disconnect it (for sitting in the cold is even more cheaper). So that let us not be misled about our movement — it isn't forward in the standard of life, only in some insignificant novelties, or at least such is the situation for the popular masses.
This, that we have returned back, however, in now secret for nobody and the official explanations of our politicians are that this is temporary condition, but later (when comes the "bright democratic future", maybe) the things will better. Only that the things are such that
the Currency Board also is some returning back, to the stable economy from the times of totalitarianism,
or at least one such not very successful effort. Let us again not err about its implementation, listening to the meanings of some Western politicians, because "every mother praises her own child". The wealthy capitalist countries wanted to have good markets in Bulgaria — and now they have them; they wanted to be able to govern us — and they can already dictate us laws, salaries, bank interests, taxes, and whatnot; they wanted that in the region ruled calmness, which creates good conditions for exploitation of our cheaper labour or working hands (while at the same time the peacekeeping forces are much more expensive) — and they have these conditions. Our intellectual elite constantly flows out to the West because of the incomparably better living conditions there, so that we have become a valuable "factory for genetic material" for the developed capitalist countries. From their viewpoint by us everything is rosy (or maybe now must be said "blue" or "azure"?). Only that it is not so for us.
What, in fact, is the Board for us? Well, firstly:
it has eliminated, in reality, the market for our lev.
We have exulted inebriated by the freedom of market while it turned out that too much freedom is not very good, and that the market must be constraint from above, as it was in totalitarian times, only that then we alone have restricted ourselves, through the prohibition to possess foreign currency. Now other people constrain the market of our lev, dictating unreally high in the moment rate of the dollar (or German mark) and we, forced somehow to take into account the purchasing abilities of the population, have begun to lower the prices of basic foodstuffs (because the prices in the free market are established by the buyers, not by the sellers, as continue to think the average Bulgarian). Only that this is not good, because low prices mean weakly developed economy, low ability for competition, possibility for easy exploitation from the part of larger (and predominantly foreign) capital. The only plus for us from eliminating of the market for our lev is in the returning back to the totalitarian times of stable national currency.
The next moment this is
the restriction of salaries.
We have complained day and night about this how little paid us our "Bai Tosho" and how on the West everything was otherwise, and that everyone could go there on the street and strike as much as he wants, while by us this was punished by the law. Very good, only that now nobody strikes because, you see, the Board has not permitted us to change the salaries. If this is a person of our own we can spit on him and even put him in the jail (as we have shoved our Zhivkov for nothing and again nothing — but at least that is good that we have not shot him like in the Romania), but when this is the Board we endure it. And by all this the author does not dispute the necessity of restriction of the salaries for some time (a generation seam to be a real estimation), but only states the fact of our returning back to the totalitarian centralized planning and establishing of the salaries. There exist some nuances, of course, where now each company can pay as much as it wants to some worker in it, while earlier it had to pay also progressive taxes to the state if had not stuck to the staff tables, but now both, the worker alone pays his progressive taxes (if nears to the average for then salary of 400 levs, or US$, what was of the same value), and the company also is not "gone mad" to pay him so much when can do well with a lesser sum.
On the third place come
the bank interests and taxes.
The interests of banks in totalitarian years were two percents, what for the stable times of "stagnation" (in what consists the goal of each government!) was not something drastic in comparison with the normal three percents for the majority of Western countries in stable periods, and such are now the interests on deposits in hard currency by us (in German marks or in Swiss francs, more precisely about 2,5%). The Bulgarian has decided that he can earn something also from bank interest, but the Board came and made him to give up this illusion. And this is now pure illusion because, if the food has become significantly cheaper, then it has come time for the wave of raising of communal expenses, which, by 5% of gain from the money in the banks, is "normally" to expect to raise with 50%, or at least that is how out present-day politicians think! If the bank interest is low then the taxes and payments have to be high, in order that our country could develop normally, because the "blue" ideal about poor state but wealthy citizens is a mere fiction, which for us was realized partially (meaning only the part about the poor state).
It is still good that they have not yet decided to introduce taxes on the toilettes*, as it was in the times of Roman empire (where from comes the phrase that money don't smell). For example, going out from the assumption by 100 levs daily for an inner toilette and 50 levs for external one. And what is so bad in this proposition? In the end, nobody forces you brutally to submit to this requirement, and, when such wish emerges somewhere, then the corresponding authorities can come to you and seal it (similarly to the disconnecting of central heating), and then you can go somewhere around the corner, or combine with a neighbour, for economy. Democracy requires victims, right?
Jokes aside, but that is the bitter truth, because there is no sense to look for logic in the taxes and payments (or excises). There is no reason for the inheritance tax, yet it existed everywhere. And in Poland, for example, they have had excise on sugar products, what is not a bad idea for our rulers, more so on the background of the cheaper in the moment sugar. The important thing for us is the ascertainment that also in this regard we are returning back to the totalitarian times of low interests, high taxes (and other deductions form the salary), and centrally established prices of central heating, electricity, communications and transport, medical cares, education, and so on. Here also exist nuances, of course, where by the totalitarianism was applied the principle of low payment to the working people, but a part of worked out went to some common funds, what reduced the necessary taxes, while now we receive greater part from the worked out (it isn't right to say "more", because it is several times less) but in recompense they take later more from us!
The fourth thing, that we will discuss, is
the ruling of the country from above, or outside,
not according with the voice of the people, how it has to be under the real democracy, because the people, surely, don't want that the central heating for one month costs more than the average pension, or the minimal salary for the country. The difference is in this, that earlier we were commanded by the Russians, and now this is the West. But this difference is not without significance for us, because for the former Soviet Union we were quite close, as in sense of the living standard, so also in our customs and culture, while for the West we are simply more cultural "white Negroes". Our laws now must be such, which require from us the corresponding Western instances, not such, which could have been established by our politicians. And the point isn't in this that they want something wrong, but that again other command us, or manipulate (what in Latin means to be " led by hand", as puppets), or govern (where is meant Slavonic "rukovodit", what means the same because "ruka" is a hand). Our sovereignty now is even more vulnerable and we have simply a state within the state, which rules over us, while the officially elected democratic instances can only stay at attention like well bred dogs.
The last moment in our returning back is
our isolating from the world,
what is determined by our low salaries and following after them prices of basic products. We import many things, if not exactly from the West, then at least from the Arab countries and the East, but we export almost nothing, and for that reason the prices by us are one and a half times, with the tendency to become two times, lower than in the Western Europe. The Bulgarian now can even less afford to go on excursion or on holiday somewhere to the West (except to the nearest Greece or Turkey, but this is to the south and the east), no matter that he can always receive foreign passport. Now nobody closes him in our country, but he alone does this, for the reason that by our average salary of hundred dollars monthly one can hardly afford to pay for a single day there by the same hundred dollars on the average for food and accommodation. When he, sometimes, travels abroad he has again begun to carry his sausages in the "saddlebag", because it is cheaper in this way. It has fallen also the number of so called excursions with commercial purpose abroad because the market in Bulgaria is the cheapest in the region. (mainly at the expense of the quality of products). Even a cup of coffee on the street staying on foot by us is only about 10 cents (if it has costed more, then people would have brought it from the home in thermoses), while nowhere in Europe it is cheaper than 50-60 cents.
And one more thing, this time not through fault of the Board — we have again one-party system in Bulgaria: in the Parliament, in the Presidency, and in the Municipalities. It isn't the same "unanimity" as in totalitarian years, but the result is the same — the ruling party makes what it want, and all possibilities of the masses to influence the course of events are reduced to obedient execution.
In other words, it can be said that our movement forward under the scepter of the Board is only one
slow returning to the totalitarian times of stagnation!
Just that it isn't clear while we "pushed" forward in such hurry only to stuck in the mud and after that a heap of years to try to come out on the same place of the riverside, figuratively speaking. It is true that now we have many democratic rights, only that we can't, or see no reason, to use them, and the notion "democracy" for the average Bulgarian is a synonym of starvation. By all appearances the situation will be such quite a long time more, until we succeed to return to nearly the same place from where we have started.
AGAIN SHARP TURN
(or where to we have come for dozen years of democracy)
Tsrr, tsrr, tsrr-r — we have "tsurked" out also our tsar on the political arena. (Where for the foreign readers must be added that "tsurkam" — or also tsarkam or tsirkam, the first vowel is read like in English "girl" — means to force out through a small orifice, like milk from a teat, but this ties well with the tsar-king or with the circle or the circus etc. — not that the Bulgarians now are aware of this, but earlier this was clear to the people, because the tsar is royal figure, for he holds everybody in his fist.) But how not to put him there when the democracy has caught us so tight that there is no stirring! Because we have tried with new parties, and with old parties, even by several times, but we can still not extricate ourselves from the mud where we have stuck, no need to twist our souls here, exactly with the coming of democracy, as far as earlier we did not stick so deep. And how we have stuck to the knees in it, then, after the Currency Board began commanding us, there is no disentangling from this slimy substance, at least for the next 30 years*.
Well, anyway, but now, with the King at the head, we will blossom and begin bearing fruits, because he, on one hand, is a King, and on the other is not; for one thing he is a "primus", i.e. primus inter pares (first among equals, as the Latins used to say), and for another thing also "secondus", for he is Simeon II; if you look from one side the people want him, but looked from the other he doesn't even think about kingdom, for the reason that in former elections also were king's parties, but they have not won even half of a percent of the voices together. But, as is said,
a drowning man catches at a straw,
especially when it is given to you by a person who has "studied for a King" (what in contemporary interpretation as if means that he has no special tertiary education, or at the least does not earn his bread with it).
Only that it isn't clear why we should have made obstacles for him, that his party can not be registered, when he not solely has registered it, but also won in the elections the half of all seats! Though this maybe is clear why was necessary, for in his time the poet (Nikola Vaptsarov) has said "Because of this so cruelly you sting, in dying terror I can thing". But this seems to have been communist poetry, so that it should have been forbidden by law.
Though this thing was obvious from the very beginning, because there is no logic to forbid some thing about which we don't yet know of what kind it will turn to be later, right? Yeah, so it is, but how else they could have raised his rating so high, ah? Because they, the saints, do not alone advertise themselves, their adversaries or enemies make them holy. The explanations here do not correspond to the reality (that he has not lived at least five years in Bulgaria), because when earlier the greater powers have chosen King for us he, naturally, has not lived till that time in Bulgaria, but this has not hindered him at all, and we have also had some democratic ruling then, haven't we? Id est, it was clear from the very beginning that was just necessary to find some obstacles, and they were found.
Only that this isn't new phenomenon in Bulgaria, because the law can forbid existence of ethnically-based parties (or also "Cuckoo" party — and why not?), but in spite of this one of our first post-totalitarian parties is exactly ethical party, at least according to the West. The point is that we do not call it officially so because the law forbids this. What comes to confirm that our laws are used by us only to make us to search for workarounds in them, what probably is one of the
main characteristics of "Balkan" democracy.
Similarly we have acted, for example, in our Trade Law, where in Art.4. is written that all calculations have to be performed in national currency, for to prevent calculations, say, in US dollars. And because of this all companies, that have bought their products from abroad, have operated in foreign currency, only that in parallel with the official calculations.
And mark, please, that we are not speaking about the circulation coins and banknotes in the state, only for one clear arithmetic, which, surely, could have been done in whatever sufficiently "hard" currency, according to the choice of the company. In this way now the whole Europe calculates in Euro, while the national currencies are still different. Well, if there was about selling out our country, or about extraction of benefits for the politicians, then we would have listened to the meaning of the West, but when from some unreasonable decision (for to reasonable decisions by us, as a rule, we don't come) can't be won, then we can at least bang our chests that we are Bulgarians (like we now have hanged three lions on our lapel, although the lions have long ago disappeared from our lands).
But let us return to the last elections. It is interesting to ask ourselves then:
who, in the first place, has voted for the Tsarist party?
Well, ... all voters! And there is no sense to look for a "calf under the bull", because how the votes for the blue have shrunk by half so have done also those for the red (at least compared with the previous elections). This, that about 48% of the unemployed have voted for the King, is another manipulation, because he has won approximately the half (43%) of all votes. Only MRF (Movement for Rights and Freedoms, the Turks, DPS in Bulgarian) have retained their votes, because they are ethnic party and are not affected by democratic winds. To the King have gone the votes of all those who just wondered to vote or not to, a thing that must be obvious for everybody. And this, that
approximately half of the voters are hoping for some sort of "heavenly manna",
is quite tragical outcome from the situation in Bulgaria. Even more tragical, maybe, will look the things in the next Parliamentary elections, because then we will be left to hope only for the help of "extraterrestrials"**! For it is clear that for 800 days (how they wanted) we can't reach our totalitarian level, not on account of bad governing but for objective reasons. If the blue have failed (again) this is not because they have bad politicians (they were at least significantly better than the embittered dissidents from the first transitionally years, who have known only to destroy but not to create something). Similarly has failed in his time also the Government of the red Zhan Videnov, not because he has had bad ideas. The things in Bulgaria are messed because of the situation of "crab and pike" or because of
lacking of concord.
And also due to the depressing, directly flattening influence, of the Western market and technologies. Even United Europe marvels how to protect itself from the superiority of American products, and for this reason it was forced to unite, and what remains for such small and economically weak country like ours. If the real unemployment in Bulgaria is about 25% this isn't because the Bulgarian is lazy, but because nobody buys his products, with the exception of some foodstuffs that are now bought, which for that reason are bought, because the Board, although unintentionally, has forced some closure of our market and lessening up to one and a half - two times the prices of basic food products, compared with the West (because by stable currency there is no need to sell them abroad on dumping prices — this can be done in Bulgaria). Only that this prices are low compared with the Western pockets, not with our salaries, from what suffer both, the producers and the buyers.
So that, in short, if the tsarist party will not succeed, this will be hardly because of its errors. Otherwise, in it flowed many political persons, who have never showed monarchical tendencies (i.e. they just have said nothing on this issue). In the end, if our people "grasp at a straw", then why our political figures should not behave in similar way (though earlier than the people)?
But this "straw" has not at all to be "rotten", right? It can not lead us to the bank of the river but it surely will pull us out a little. Well, not for 800 days, of course, because these days are chosen so that to pass more than half of the mandatory time and that nobody could think to change them before the term; and also from psychological viewpoint is clear that for about 2.5-3 years one becomes used to everything — to his work, and to his wife (resp. husband), and to whatnot? In the same way we have become used to our continuing misery and stagnation under the scepter of the Board. In other words,
the tsarist party has chances for success
and they are in this, that there now are significantly more moderate people, not such who can only cry "uhh", or, respectively, "hurrah". Id est we
now have some stable center,
some nice middle point, or at least hopes for such one. The leading personality is not some young boy in the age of 30-40, neither is he bound to make career at any cost, for he is not forced to earn his bread. The King remains a King, even if he fails, i.e. the aristocratic institution has some advantages, although we have already rejected the nomenclature, which was a kind of new aristocracy. But he, right, is at one hand a King, yet on the other hand he does not intend to serve as a King, so that, maybe, there will remain only the advantages, without disadvantages?***
and why the people have voted for the King,
or for the tsarist party? The correct answer in again succinct — because they feel need of strong hand, of course. The young, no matter how much they kick, subconsciously want that some stronger one commanded them; but the older also stick to this meaning, because otherwise we are going to the pole of anarchy, how it has happened with our democracy. For this reason both, the fascism and the communism, had come to power most often in democratic way; for this reason the people have voted quite actively for the not unknown George Ganchev, who, with apologies to the man, can be very amusing and attractive personality, but is clear that he is not suitable for a politician. Similarly also in Russia the democracy can not go without somebody with firm fist. And in addition to the strong personality in this case is important that it came from the West, where, as we all are convinced, people live better, as well as more culturally. Similar strong personalities have emerged also in other ex-communist countries. So that the man has chances, but, all the same, it is not clear will we not mess something betting only on the force and the West. If we put on him as on a personality****, maybe we are right.
But the most important conclusion in the case is that
our people are pretty disappointed by the democracy.
Up to such extent that one third, or every third Bulgarian is openly against it, and every second one does not know with what more to fool himself for to begin to trust it! Because the elections show two things: firstly, how the people accept the game called democracy, and secondly, who they prefer? If they prefer somebody, put on somebody, no matter on whom, i.e. they vote, then this means that they like the game. And if people do not vote, then they are against the system! While by us only 66.7% of the voters have included themselves in this "excitement", what with precision to the last digit is exactly 2/3 of the people.
And that this is a game — well, it is clear that this isn't competent choice, is it? Because it is not applied, not only in the army and the police, but also in any company, where the strategical ruling is exercised by that one who keeps the money, and the tactical one — by the Executive Director, who listens to the Council of Shareholders, and is not chosen at the general meeting of the company, including the doorkeeper.
Well, in some countries this game is useful, because the people, at least from Roman times, want their circuses, but when the bread begins to be no longer enough then the game begins not to be liken by the populace, and that is how it happens already dozen of years in Bulgaria. Because of this our people don't know what to do in order that the game remains, but comes also some alternative of the stable governing from totalitarian times. And for this reason exactly half of the chairs in the Parliament were occupied by the tsarist "straw". But what if ..., says to himself every second Bulgarian.
Only that — there is no way for one impartial analysis not to consist mainly of "on one hand so, but on another one it is else" — this is
again turn to the other extremity.
Well, very good, we have run away from the bipolar model, for a first time we have now three strong parties (taking more than 10% of the mandates), but why was it necessary that this strongest party has occupied half of the places? It is clear that only with sharp stones cannot be ground much flour, but, at the other hand, there are necessary at least two stones, aren't they? Have we not again overdone the things?
Well, it is clear that we have done exactly this. It would have been otherwise if we have had, say, 35% for the first party, 25-30% for the second, about 20 for the third, and a little for some other parties. Then the game would have been interesting, right? But you see, this did not happen! For the reason that so said the people, and the voice of people is voice of God (vox populi, vox dei!, in Latin), so that there is nothing to be done. Well, it has to be so and this will be better than before, but only don't think that the people's decision is the most correct one, because it is just accepted to be the best!
Surely it must happen how the people will, especially in democratic conditions, but this does not at all mean that this, what the people want, is good for them. In some extent this is similar with the right of the stronger, which is taken for correct not because it really is so, but because something has to be taken for right, and the strong can always force his right.
Well, at least we have become rid in some measure of our "delirium democraticus" (and when every second***** begins not to vote, then, probably, we will "heal" entirely). The people, villy-nilly, begin to understand that the democracy is not a panacea for all social illnesses, but only an environment in which the society functions. In some countries and under certain conditions it works good, but in countries like ours it still limps quite much. This, what is important, is always to avoid the extremities, if we want to lead quiet life, but exactly this is the most difficult thing for the masses. And because we can't find the middle point then we ... again find it, but in an incessant oscillation around the middle! Well, in the end, we do what we can, don't we? Let us hope it is for the best.
OH GOD, WHAT WE EAT!
I have bought myself recently some bouillon from one of the big supermarkets, and as far as it was sold in 4-5 varieties (chicken, veal, sour cream, etc.) I decided to read how do they differ. Well, it turned out that ... with nothing significant, i.e. with the essence! Because the only natural ingredients were about 5% highly shredded carrots and crumbled parsley, and the main component of the "bouillon" was — try to guess it! — dextrin (well, maltodextrin, but this surely must be nearly the same) i.e. we
Well, I have already bought it, because they, the ingredients are specially written with the most tiny possible font (4 or 5 pixels, something of the kind), so that even a person with normal eyesight could not have read it without magnifying glass, all the more such like me, exceeded already the 60, so that later (I brought with me magnifier) checked also other firms, and everywhere the bouillons now (I don't know how long, but before some 20 years and in one normal Western country it was not so) were made with dextrin. Then I recalled myself that sometime earlier we have somewhere in the basement dextrin in powder and one winter ... it was attacked by rats (and they are mammals like we, aren't they, so that it isn't harmful to the health) and I was pacified by this and ate it, little by little, and, hmm, my bowels did not glue together. But it turns out that
the best that can be said about food products that are sold nowadays is are they harmful or not to the health,
and such is the function of some control bodies which exist by us, but otherwise, from what they are made — well, mainly according to the price, but there are no problems to buy something expensive and also faked.
Or another example, the ice-cream. Back in the totalitarian times existed chiefly three kinds of it: milk, sour cream, and chocolate, and it was possible to find sometimes also fruit one, but people did not like it much for they knew that it was mainly frozen fruit pulp. The milk ice-cream, however, was made out of milk (and out of what else, might have exclaimed one "totalitarian" person), the sour cream one respectively out of sour cream (and it was felt, no deception), and the chocolate one was chiefly of milk but with added cocoa (and maybe some sour cream). Now there are probably more than hundred kinds of ice-cream (not all of them at the same time in a given shop, but as articles), only read out of what they are made. Well, there are about 20 (!) ingredients, where are preservatives, flavours, some components like Е###, what is some number according to the European (and maybe worldwide) standards for organic products, but surely artificial, including egg powder, but
there is no natural milk!
Well, there is milk powder (even not condensed, just dry, milk), but this is not the same. I have kept for some time a tomcat at home and remember well — what means that I am speaking from personal experience, but who does not believe me can check alone —, that I have poured in his bowl a little of such dissolved milk (for we have drunk such, was it with coffee, or with tea, or then as pure milk, and some even have made it sour), but he did not want. Now I am not pretty sure whether he did not at all want, or after some time went and licked a bit, but he definitely did not like it, while when it happened that I bought sometimes a bottle of fresh milk in bulk from a peasant woman (which for this reason become forbidden to be sold officially, because it is natural and can compete with the big business), then he smelled it closed through the cap already from the door and began to circle around me like ... like a cat around a pail with milk, right? So that difference positively existed, because the animals have instincts, they can't be fooled with advertisements.
Or let us take, for example, the vinegar, which is offered, one beside the other, of two kinds, apple and wine, and there are even pictured apples or grapes, but when you begin to read the components it turns out that it consisted of 5 percent (there is also 6%) purified acetic acid Е###, only that that kind where is pictured red grape contains also colorant. This is the situation. Similarly many (again more than hundred articles in principle) soft drinks, which are cheaper than mineral water, sold for 40-50 stotinki (i.e. 20 euro-cents) per 2 l (and even till 3) bottle, but contain only essence (and by this half of the price goes for the packing). And earlier (say, a century back) when was spoken about lemonade people understood squeezed lemon juice (respectively, for orangeade — orange one, not made out of ... pumpkin, i.e. if there is at all something natural). Or also the wines, which are likewise of many different sorts, but when are sold cheaper than the grape they surely can't be natural, no matter that they have decent taste, and degree, too (because this wine in bulk, which can be found on the bazaar, it consists, in recompense for its natural ingredient, mainly of tap-water).
There is no sense to talk about mincemeat, sausages, special salami (Bulgarian lukankas or soudjouks), various snacks, pellets, corn sticks or flakes, and many others, really industrially manufactured products of food industry. (I have heard from somewhere that the crab sticks were made from crabs only at about 10 percents.) And the eggs that are sold to us, as it turned, were mainly unfertilized. In the sense that, in order to make the hen laying, some cock has to have "known" her, but maybe this is only a pair of times, and then they leave her to lay eggs by habit, there is no sense to "make expenses" for a cock at least once in a week, say, because the cock is unnecessary expenditure for the company, isn't he? And for this reason there is difference between eggs and eggs, as is said, between these, that are sold as usual, and these, that can be bought from some peasant woman (not that they are "unusual", but the yolk has another colour). Id est, the hens are treated like the cows, who, after they give birth once, then all the time give milk (and for that reason in Italian, I'll tell you, exist two kinds of cows: the ones are called vaccas, who have, hmm, udder, i.e. something vacuum-like — to give the easiest explanation —, and the others are muccas, because they say "moo", what they do because they want that somebody milks them).
There are many examples, and I will give more others, but in order to prevent you, in some extent, from unnecessary disappointments let me list half a dozen of rules (some of which I have mentioned earlier, but in another context).
1. Use home animals for testing,
of what is really natural or not. The same procedure with the powdered milk and the cat, I suppose, can be applied also with some mincemeats or sausages and dogs. The animals, as I mentioned, are not easy to be deceived by packages or advertisements, they either like some thing (because it is natural) or don't like it (and surely will not be delighted by some soya meatballs, for example, which is said to be very nice food, but taste like nothing).
2. Check how the things are spoiling,
and by the way they destroy, by the kind of products in which dissolves a given product, judge about its main ingredients (respectively, fractions). This is especially actual for the bread and various bakery products. Here also the things are like with the sorts of ice-cream, earlier there were mainly three types of approved bread (white, dobrudzha, i.e. from the area Dobrudzha on the north-east of Bulgaria, and tipov-typical — as bread for some types of people, like I use to joke, because tip in Bulgarian means usually a guy, fellow, yet slightly scornfully, but in principle this is the most black bread), and now there are hundred assortments (and every time emerge new ones), but they put in them whatnot "improvers", preservatives, flavors, and other additions (normally about 5-10 components). The "game", however, becomes obvious when the bread begins to spoil, because then it begins to grow mouldy, but in all colors of the rainbow. Earlier (it even earlier, as some guys say, and I also can confirm this, the ... condoms were as if harder, while now they only bend all the time, ah?) has existed one kind of mould, blue-greenish one, and it, as far as I know, is good and useful is some sense, because from it was made the penicillin, and there also exist blue and green cheeses, and other similar moulds, i.e. this is normal process of transformation of matter, when these things are natural. But the today's white, chiefly, kinds of bread (at the black ones this is not so noticeable, or maybe they are harder to be falsified and for that reason they cost higher — because earlier was on the contrary, the typical bread was the cheapest), when you leave them in the usual cellophane bags in which they, who knows why, are sold,
these breads begin to get in multicoloured spots,
which are in some places greenish (this is good, were only all kinds of bread such), in other yellowish, up to bright orange, and in other more then black like coal, and in addition to this they become sticky to the touch and glue together. You check this with a piece of bread, this is quite interesting experiment (in warm weather and outside the fridge, of course).
I suppose that similar tests can be performed also with mincemeat and sausages (they, really, become not only green, but yellow, too, and inflated), and in addition emerges a "characteristic" smell. The natural meat, it is more endurable and hard, it tries to dry up, is not made with water (in which is dissolved soya or also potato puree; or powdered milk, if it is about special and endurable salami). Even with the vegetables this is not devoid of meaning, because I have long ago come to the conclusion (not that it is very hard to come to it) that the nitrated products spoil faster and simply become watery and begin to rot. Now, however, have emerged various mutated vegetables, where the situation is exactly on the contrary, what we will clear in the following point.
3. Avoid mutated products, which can be recognized mainly by their hardness and endurance,
because in order that the vegetables have become bigger, or more cold-tolerant, are performed (surely, you judge by the consequences) such mutations, which must increase the cellulose in the fruits or vegetables. For example, the "winter" strawberries, which are ten times larger than the normal cultivated (which are ten times larger than the wild ones — in the sense of volume this is so, because if each dimension grows only two times, than raised to the third power this gives 8), obviously must be very hard, and they are as if the most tender of all fruits (to remind you about your "fragile", which is French fragile meaning the same or delicate or brittle, and there fraise is exactly strawberry; this is seen also in Italian, where these words are, respectively, fragile and fragola). But well, this can be accepted, they are soft fruits, so that some enforcement hinders them not much. But if you buy yourself potatoes out of season (for example in May, June, yet also in other time) and decide to cook them with meat, then the meat in usual pot will be cooked roughly for one and a half hour, while for the potatoes will be necessary at least one whole hour more.
Similarly you may "suffer" also with some tomatoes, which, if they were completely spherical, could have been used, I suppose, as ...billiard balls! Or also with aubergines, possibly with big peppers, cornichons, and others. It is possible that too much cellulose is not harmful, I am not sure, but they are difficult to digest; besides, the taste of such "forced" vegetables is different. People, after all, are not ruminating animals, for to be able to absorb each green (or red, respectively) thing. Put in another way:
compare the time for cooking of the products,
and if they need significantly more time to boil, then they are not from the "normal" ones. Such products are met as if mainly when the normal ones are not in their season, but not always; I have the suspicion that also the hot pepper, and from here the sugar one and hardened not in its proper time, too, is also somehow mutated, or there is in effect some other "forcing" intervention, because they are now with very hard peel, grow quite big, become cheaper significantly earlier, and are really hot, while earlier it was not so. There is significant difference in the hardness between the tender winter hothouse products, and the winter, or even not exactly such, but hard as stones, vegetables. At least to little children don't give such food, who knows how will react their young stomachs.
4. Do not buy out of season goods.
They are somehow forced to bear fruits not in the proper time, and this is done not only with the temperature, but with various additions in the soil, it can't be otherwise. Besides, it is obvious that they are 3-4 times more expensive than the normal ones in their season, what in addition to their different taste (for they are, as a rule, more tasteless) is sufficient indication to avoid their usage; the only reason to buy them is if you have just so much money and don't know what to do with it, or then have become already such snob that can not at all imagine how can eat something preserved, when can buy it in fresh form. Now, I don't say that one can not buy at least once in a month winter tomatoes or cucumbers, or something of the kind, but for preparation of the food is absolutely clear that the preserved goods (sterilized or salted) are very suitable. Generally, don't forget the very old rule: everything has its time.
5. Do not buy advertised goods.
This thing I have said several times in other places and it is obvious for every a little bit reasonable human (even for, ha, ha, women, too), but who knows why the people — and I mean not at all only teenagers, who have brains like a chicken, as is said, or already senile pensioners — are caught on ads and look exactly for the most advertised products. This is not reasonable because the ads in no case — but really not in a single one — are information about the product (as even I have though earlier), no, they are only way to fool you to buy something from the given company, not from some other; and in addition to everything else you have to pay also the ad, even for those who do not buy the product (!), for the simple reason that there is nobody else to cover these expenses, if not the clients. I personally am feeling insulted when am forced to pay also for this, that am forced to listen or look at their nonsense (not to say bullsh##), and do the most reasonable thing, i.e. counteract the ads in all possible ways. More than this, I use the ads ... against themselves,
buying nothing if it is actively advertised,
i.e. I think that if some product is advertised then I should not buy it — clear and simple, isn't it? Because: which products are between most advertised? Well, let us say: soft drinks (because they are only water and essence and without them, more than obvious, you can do), cigarettes and alcohol (because they are harmful to the health and everybody knows this), various snacks, chewing gums, or sweets, at retail (which, being small and in luxurious packings, come out most expensive, calculated on kilogram), all modern and luxurious things for highlife and the snobs (which are advertised because are not necessary and otherwise people would not search for them), taverns and restaurants, places for recreation, airline companies, passenger cars, and other things without which one can freely do (or if you need them then you will look for them at that moment, not when they are blinding your eyes and deafening your ears), in the recent time all mobile operators (because they, obviously, have decided that now is the moment to gain something forcing you to pay according to some "plans" for services that you do not succeed to use, but pay in advance), and other similar things. So for example, if I have guessed earlier that the bouillons, or ice-creams, are often advertised goods, I wouldn't have, maybe, bought them, but a pair of times in an year one can allow himself to be misled, if by little everything is allowed, the important thing is that this does not become your (bad) habit. (So, for example, I don't buy myself ... women's sanitary pads, because our ads, when the democracy just came to us, have begun exactly with this, so that I am consecutive, am I not?)
6. Read the small letters,
because, in the end, they for that reason force the firms to show components and origin of the products, for the people could — but if they want, and if they have enough brains for this — not buy things that they don't want to, i.e. in order to was not so easy to be deceived. In other words, if you want to be deceived, then there are no problems for this, it always will find someone to do it (there are enough advertisements and politicians), but if you occasionally don't want this (i.e. if you are among, so, 5-10% relatively intelligent people, like myself), then to be able to orient yourself. And this not only is right for the clients, but causes no special discontents amidst the firms producers or the sellers, because the main part of the people will, all the same, be cheated, surely. ( For example, they quietly write on the label "apple vinegar", and paint also an apple, and there is written, with normally big letters, that it can be used for "bettering of the taste", and together with this write that it consist of chemically pure acetic acid — in this way both, the wolf is satiated, and the lamb is alive, right? Or another example, they advertise some as-if-medicine, which, however, only does not harm, but whether it helps solely God knows, and show you how it passes through the bowels, or where else it passes, and at the end chew hastily the phrase "Before use read the leaflet.", so that nobody could have legally accused them in anything, and in this way they wash their hands like "mister" Pontius Pilatus, who has decided, instead of to prosecute our Christ, to let the very people inculpate him — one ancient example for the use of democracy, if one gives a thought to the matter. )
But when the point is in this, what can be written on the goods, then I have a proposition, because this, what is written on some articles, that they are natural — say, bio-something, or pure-meat for the meat — is not enough, for the reason that these products are somewhere about 10 - 15% of the sold (at least in Bulgaria) and they are 2-3 times more expensive, and when so between rarely bought, while the left more than 80% of the goods as articles, or more than 90 as bought by people, remain without indication for their naturalness. I have in mind that they are maybe not quite natural, but there is something natural in them, they might not be full forgery (mentè in Bulgarian, like, e.g., the Arab marzipans, on which despite this is written "chocolate", or like the mentioned acidic vinegar, or the bouillons). This what I propose is to mark also all products where is practically nothing natural, they are pure essence or imitation, what is not very hard to discover because is known what must be put in the given product, i.e. with the given name (like, for example, they have begun already to write on some kinds of yogurt in Bulgaria "milk product", because know very well that this is not natural yogurt). Here has to be used some short word which is widely known also on the West, what means that it has to be Greek and/or Latin, and I thing the best choice for this purpose is pseudo, what can be shortened to pse, at least because in Bulgarian (but it's Slavonic word) "pse" means a dog (say, pse-vinegar, pse-chocolate, etc.), and even to the single Greek letter "ψ", written in black paint and put in a circle! In this way will be known that what is not "pse" is more or less decent, while all "pse"-things are pure imitation or falsification; usage of other words like: ersatz, substitute, imitation, likeness, at cetera, in my view are not so universal and elegant like my proposition. I suppose that this will not cause special objections between the companies-producers, but will be much more correct in regard of the clients.
Well, in broad lines, this is all. We are cheated, and will be cheated, when we don't object to this, and are shown concerns only in order not to be poisoned with something harmful. Everybody has the right to choose. I personally long ago, even from totalitarian years, when the cheating of sellers and producers was significantly lower (on the account of bad assortment, of course), has avoided soft drinks, also bought alcohol, we have made at home pickles for the winter, jams, juices, have fabricated wines from wild fruits, have collected mushrooms, and what only could,
buying predominantly basic goods,
without which is impossible, and which are falsified less of all, like: sunflower oil, sugar, vinegar, salt, meat bur when you see it with the bones, ocean fishes (rarely from the rivers), broilers (they might be fed artificially, but their flesh is more tender), butter (then it was not mixed with margarine), bread (I said that in that time it was natural) or flour, white cheese (also natural) or usual cheese (it was then only of two sorts: "Balkan" and "Vitosha", and nobody bothered to "modify" it with different additions), coffee, occasionally by a pair of oranges or lemons, and as if this was all. The left we have made at home, i.e. we cooked. Now the young perhaps don't know that ... the milk is given by cows, and maybe think that there is a tap in the shop, where from they fill the packings — whether I know, when one looks at the ads (yet the ads are according to the people in the country — in each place and time are shown different ones, such that are well taken by the people) one can think it is so, that we all have already become morons.
And as far as I am convinced that some 99% of all people (at least in Slavonic countries, if not also with some digits after the decimal point) are not pretty clear on the issue what means the word "moron" (and in English etymological dictionaries is said that this is "neologism" in the language, but without special explanations) let me tell you what I think on this question. Well, moron, quite obviously, comes from the Latin, where moria is stupidity, what (also unquestionably) is from old Greek, where μωρια was madness, but the Latin morus, what is from Greek μωροσ means ... well, one small mauve or violet fruit, the mulbery (that is better to be called tut, because it so is in Russian and it was so in Persian)! Now it becomes clear that here intervenes the mauve colour (it is morav in Bulgarian), which comes exactly from the Greeks (though the colour can vary much and in the English maroon is given as chestnut one, but this must be the same, because here is the French mauve that you have taken, too, and it means light-violet), and that here are also the eggplants (in Bulgarian "blue tomatoes", or moravi, like noun), but the problem is that as meaning in old Greek μορια (and mark the letter "o") were some sacred olives (in general, small and "silly" fruit, like the tuts). Yet it doesn't become clear (and nobody explains this — except your author, of course) while the moravi-maroon tuts, or the (traditional, for there are other varieties) colour of eggplant, has to be related with the stupidity, and this 25 centuries now, roughly speaking? But it is related because ... well, you dress in maroon-violet clothes and see what people will think about you! Id est this is some extremely bright and outrageous colour with which one only wants to show off (if there is nothing else with), and the greater part of simpletons do exactly this, they "put on maroon clothes", figuratively speaking, in order to become more interesting. Well, on such people rely mostly the advertisements, these are the snobs. They are not bad people, in principle, even
the contemporary consumer society rests mainly on the snobbism of people,
but they do unnecessary things, they boast not with things that are intrinsic to them personally, but with something with what they want only to show off (like, for example, to bore their tongue and stick there some shiny precious stone), and this was thought from the intelligent then Greeks and Latins for exhibition of stupidity. Well, it is quite natural that the ads were directed exactly to such "pillars" of consumer society. If you are one of them then forget everything what I have told you till now, but if you are not so elementary, or at least don't want that you were easily fooled, then read again at least the bold words, perhaps something will remain in you head.
P.S. As far as here it goes about various deceptions with goods it might be suitable to add also a pair of paragraphs about some legal frauds, which the shops apply. Their main strategy is to throw some "baits", obviously, and I have spoken on this issue long ago, but in the recent time I was impressed by two new modifications.
The one I call deferred payment, and it is reduced to this, that sometimes some shops offer products on obviously dumping prices, and even for half price, but this is done only several times, until people don't begin to search for these things, and then they are sold on prices with about 20 percents more expensive than the normal price (in order to make up for the lost). When they must begin with the raising of prices the shops know, because they monitor their turnover, and if there is increased demand then they increase the prices. This is obvious, but this variant is reduced to paying of the same products later, i.e. when one buys cheaper he does not pay the real price, but later on he pays and overpays it. This, what the client has to do, is to look not to mistake the phase and buy when it is more expensive (hoping that it will become again cheaper; yet also because one has already gone to the shop — the presetting is very big hindrance), but to stop at once to by there for some time (say, for half a month - a month). This is an honest outwitting, but why the poorer one, i.e. the client, has to lose?
The other method is the so called distracting maneuver (or, maybe, "red herring"), by which they speak to you about things that are not at all substantial, but can easily confuse you (how it often happens), because one continues to rely on the normal human logic and comes to conclusions which are not at all true. For example, when somewhere is written that the product contains vegetable fats (this concerns the white and other cheeses) one thinks that the fats, after all, are not so important, the point is that this was milk product. Yeah, but here is the point, that in these products is just no milk (well, or almost no), and for that reason such white cheese costs even less than the curds, while otherwise it should have been twice to thrice more expensive. Again "honest outwitting" (i.e. legally the companies are not guilty), but the client suffers.
Well, there are also other variants, for example is cited something that is in no way verified, say that the product in question is with 20% cheaper, bot nobody guaranties to you that they compare with the correct price and not with some invented one (for there are no fixed prices in the market economy). And in most cases it happens to be exactly so. Or that there is lessening of the price with ... 3%, what presupposes that one thinks about 30%. Or they change the places of some goods, and if one does not open wide his eyes he will take something that is just today there, but is significantly more expensive. Or for example, that some melted cheese with dill is on 30% cheaper, but close to it stays a sort with coriander, which is very similar, but is on normal price. And other similar tricks for "baliks" as we say in Bulgaria (what, in fact, is Turkish, the "i" is read as in "girl", and it means small fish), or also for "gulls" (because that is where from comes the English word gullible as naive, easy to be deceived).
In general, I have succeed to find only one advantage from such cheating of the clients — for I, surely, am trying to counteract — and this is that in this way the shop just keeps your tonus, keeps you fit in this way, does not allow you to loosen yourself, to grow old, in the end, because, as I suppose many readers know, the first signs of aging are reduced to impeded changing of your habits, to difficult adaptation to new things, due to the delaying of your reactions. So that, if there is a wish, one can benefit from a number of inconveniences, or else to allow the others to deceive him how they only can. Well, each has his (democratic) right of choice.
WHY THE COCKS CROW EARLY MORNING?
(or what the birds teach us)
Well, I can answer at once this question, but I don't know whether this will satisfy you or not. The cocks crow because in this way they greet the sun, at least the third cocks, and the first ones feel some glimmers (that there is not, for example, solar eclipse). So do all birds, especially the city pigeons, or country crows; they, as soon as the sun rises, and at once soar in flocks (summer and winter) and begin to cry "Grah, grah, hello Rah, hurrah Rah!" or something of the kind in their language. About the sparrows I am not sure whether they do so or not, but about the ostriches, for example, I have heard that they every morning with the raising of sun have begun to spin like crazy, because they are too heavy to fly, but something deep in their hearts simply does not allow them not to greet this ancient god Ra (or even Raykyu, in some Bulgarian dialect). So that, you see now where from people have learned, and also named this god, and where from come all Auroras, aureoles, et cetera, which are Latin and older words.
But compare all the same how immediate (like children) are the birds in their exaltation, and how feigned and silly behave the people especially the Christians, when ascribe to the gods their own shortcomings, like vanity, selfishness, cruelty, and so on. Because such is the idea of the old, maybe already from 5 - 10 thousand years, habit to burn something fragrant, or at least a candle, and think that the fume, which rises up, where must abide the gods (because they, you see, can't be below, they have to be someplace high up, for they are good gods and see everything), gives some pleasure to the gods (who, otherwise, are maybe only sighing about this, thinks a given person of them or not, for they have just nothing else to do except to crave for our veneration), and are especially delighted when one mumbles under his breath some prayer to them (because they, without special prayer, would not at all guess, thinks he about them or not). This is reasoning on the level of kindergarten, but the people, i.e. all believers, do exactly so. While the birds are simply happy, that a new day comes, that they have lived up to it (because the night is a kind of sleeping, temporary death — well, if we don't count the night birds).
But were it only this people would have been priceless. Yet they insist to show their love and veneration to the gods chiefly ... killing somebody for the purpose, and in the best case these are animals. Because of this the names of priest in the Western languages (and probably also in the old Eastern ones) are related with some mincing, cutting (of the throat), i.e. they are "sacre" (what, more that obvious, correlates with the sword or saber, or Bulgarian and Eastern sekira, or Russian sech as to cut, and many other similar words); by us, the Slavs, those names are related as if only with the candles and the light (the priest is sveshtenik in Russian and the candle is svechka /svesht), i.e. they are holy persons (and the latter word is from the halo of the sun), but otherwise we also do various sacrifices with animals (or at least eat such animals on various holidays). Now, I do not discuss here the topic that people are carnivores and eat animals (because this is God's work, we are made so, can't eat grass), but this that we think that when we roast the meat on fire and when the fat begins to drop, then the fumes raise high and reach the gods, and we later eat the animal only for this reason that it does not spoil, but we have killed it for our God, in the name of God (for example, Bulgarian Gergiovian lamb on the day of St. George). And not only when we "communicate" with the gods, but also when we ... give our oaths (in Slavonic) we cut something (because there the oath is kletva and to cut in Bulgarian is kaltsam, klatsna), or at least I think so, that the words are related, and in this way, releasing a little of our blood and smudging with it our hands, or whatever other place, we guarantee our faithfulness to something or somebody. And don't think, please, that this is true only for the Slavs because the English swear /swore /sworn is related — surely, you just ponder a bit about this — with the sword.
Or take also the Hebrews, who think that some animals are "kosher", or good, sanctified, like birds and fishes, for example, while the pigs are bad animals, and when so then they are not to be eaten. But then, what turns out, ah? Hmm, it turns out that the good has to be killed and the bad has to be left to live! Such is the logic of this ancient religion, what, if you ask me, is pure perversion.
And the birds, because we have begun with them, don't kill in the name of their sun, no, they kill in the name of feeding of their body, and, as a rule, they eat different flies, beetles, worms, i.e., insects, which are at least tiny and somehow difficult to provide them with a "soul", because they have no sense of pain; or else they eat fish (if they are sea birds), but there is enough fish in the seas and it will be in all cases eaten by some things (most often by bigger fishes). Because the birds of prey, these that eat their own kind, or small mammals, are only an exception, they are probably just 5% of all birds. With what I want to say that the birds are also carnivores, but there is difference between their approach to the preys and the human one.
But let us continue with ornithological questions. How you think, why the birds ... defecate in flight, in this way (and in Bulgarian): hvar, tsvar, hvar, tsvar (and the vowel here is like in "girl"; and the first thing is dialect for to fly, the second one is dialect for to chirp, but then "tsvakam" is to squirt noisy, like when spitting)? It is clear that when they fly they can't descent each time down to the land to empty the bowels, and also by their imperfect food processing, for they have no excretory system, everything goes out through one and the same orifice, liquid and solid, and when this is done speedily — because in flight is necessary much energy (look how much petrol swallow the modern airplanes) —, then the components of food can't be extracted good and many of them will remain in their droppings, in view of what also today the bird guano is considered the best natural fertilizer (only that is not applied now because comes out very expensive). But not only this, because they do not defecate in their nests! I personally have had recently the opportunity to convince myself in this, for the reason that a ... she-pigeon, in the most direct meaning of the word, has begun to nest on my balcony (it doesn't matter that I am on the fifth floor, but I have greenery there, and the majority of people have already closed their balconies, so that the birds have not a big choice). Now, I have given her water, bread crumbs, apple pieces, but she not only did not eat whatever, but did not relieve herself there, only the male, who visited her approximately as often as a patient is visited, i.e. two-three times in a week, sat on the parapet of balcony and left a bit of droppings but aside. So that the birds are clean animals.
Well, the hens do this in the hen-house, that's for sure, but they because of this stay on some rod, on a roost, in order not to sit on their faeces (plus considerations of security, of course). So that I want to say that a heap of animals, who just walking on the road are dropping, from time to time, some "tarts", are doing this again for hygienic reasons about their "nests", in this way even if they are forced to do it there, then this will be several times less and rarely, and by this they try to stay on feet — the horses, cows, and others —, as if only the sheep and pigs are sprawling where they will. The people in this regard are not to be reproached, but it is, still, interesting to mention that the toilette is placed usually exactly ... in the center of the house, not somewhere to the side, say, by the door.
And why, you think, the pigeons are cooing? Well, this question must be very easy (at least for Bulgarians): because they want to "chukat themselves", in Bulgarian, naturally, what means, sorry, to copulate (literally to hit, crash, like nuts). All sounds and kisses, and mutual knocking with their beaks, they also ... shove tongues (only that I don't know which ones more often, the dames or the males), all this is only prelude to the game of love. And which coo most of all? The males, surely, it is so by all birds — by the canaries, probably by swallows, too, by nightingales, peacocks (they boast with their tails), cocks, and so on. A, there is one kind of bird (it has to be oriole in English) which is called in Bulgarian "chicho-pey" (where chicho is uncle and pey is to sing), but this is only not to chock the children, I'll tell you, because one will hardly pronounce the sound "ch" with a beak (it is "chovka" in Bulgarian); with "tsovka" one can say only "ts". For this reason I hear many times as some small bird (I can't see it, it sits high in the boughs) cries "tsitsa-ta", "tsitsa-ta" (and "tsitsa" is a teat) so that it turns out to be also a cynic.
So up till the insects including the females are the main sex, they are bigger and more universal (remind yourself that by the ants and bees all working individuals are undeveloped females, i.e. "virgins", males there are 1-2%, if not less), but from the birds and above, and especially by the mammals, the males are the kings, while the dames are impersonal, like, hmm, like hens. Because the hens when raise their voices, ah? Well, when they lay an egg, then they turn around, look at it, and begin to boast what a big egg they have "produced", don't they? And what do they say? Surely "co-co", right? Well, exactly for this reason the syllable "co" in Latin (in Slavonic it is "ko", and it has to be the same in Arabic, Hebrew, and others) for all Western languages means something related with (at least) two things or individuals, something interwoven, twisted. For example: cooperation, corporation, correlation, copulation, correspondence, construction, constatation, contestation, condensation, consumation /consumption, container, contour, corruption, commune, conjuncture, compromise, commercion, continuum (and from here also Slavonic konets as end, I suppose), the copy (together with Slavonic kopie as spear), the choir /chorus /Slavonic hor (what is nearer to the Greek original), the cosmos (which is related with the ... hairs and cosmetics, as something nice and ordered), to conserve, the commander, context, Bulgarian (i.e. Turkish) komshia as neighbour, the (French) cauchemar (where you have changed the first part to "night" but left the second the same as -mare), and many many others, literally thousands of words! And if you ask yourself, why exactly the hens have given us this syllable, not, say, the cows, then the answer is in this, that hens have run in every home, where cows, sheep, etc., rarely, they were led out to graze in flocks, they have not done this thing so often, while the hens were under the nose of everybody and their "co-co" was heard every day by all.
And, generally, if life in the air was not so exhausting, the birds would have long ago become masters of the earth, for you know that in many myths exist all sorts of bizarre flying animals — dragons, angels, devils, demons, witches, and even flying carpets. One mode dimension is not a trifle, it gives wider look at the things, at life. And also just imagine how ... romantic is a journey to the hot countries in winter, while it is impossible to live there in summer, so that, let us now return back, and so every year. This hardens the character and the nerves, and leads to interesting life. I, personally, think, that the reason why the human has become master of the earth is not so much in his hand, or in his brain, or in the vocal cords and speech, though this, surely, is of big importance, but in his ... imperfection, he is good for nothing concrete, and when so he is simply forced to push ahead, to do something for to survive (but I have discussed this thesis in other places, so that it is not necessary to indulge in it also here).
And the birds exceed us, or at least give us an example, also with this, that it is possible to live interesting (and enjoy the sun, because we have begun with this here) without necessary killing one another, in order to "improve" or select themselves. Because the birds, as also all animals, in one or other extent, limit their population due to conflicts with the environment, with the nature, with some predators, they have problems with the sustenance, while the humans have limited it, at least until the time of Karl Marx, till the middle of the 19th century, or before the industrial revolution, mainly as result of battles with his fellows and neighbours — and this, more often than not, without whatever special need. But now we are not in position to limit it even in this way, and 50 - 100 millions killed seems not enough for us. So that, I don't know, maybe it isn't bad to look from time to time at different animals, if you want also at hens and cocks. They have something to teach us.
DOES GLOBAL WARMING EXIST?
When I pose so the question then I, presumably, have doubts in this. My view, which I will extend in this paper, is such, that there is not so much global warming as global stirring of the weather. We will see now whether it is so, in what it is expressed, and what can be done in order to eliminate it, if we want to, because it can happen that this is not so bad. But let us begin.
1. Is the weather warming everywhere?
Look, if the weather was warming in global scale then there would have been changing of the integral parameters, as is said, i.e. of the average temperature, the polar caps would have been melting, the level of oceans would have been raised and some countries would have been flooded (like Holland, for example), but such things, if I am not mistaken, are not happening. The average yearly temperature I have not heard to have been raised even with one degree Celsius for the last 30-40 years; maybe there is some increase with tenths of a degree, but this is not so substantial for to pay much attention to it. There are talks that the polar caps can begin to melt, chiefly on the North one, where there is no land but only water, but for the moment this as if is not observed, at least more than the normal, because, all the scholars state this, the weather is warming since the last glacial period (what are some 10 - 20 thousand years, I think) anyway, it warms a bit, but this is a slow process. In Holland there are not floods, and there, where such disasters happen, they are result of torrential rains, landslides, hurricanes, but not of some constant raising of water level in the oceans (with, say, more than a centimeter in an year).
And I have also some personal perceptions, being already in my sundown, as is said, and the only thing that I recall myself is that roughly 40 years before was quite cold in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) and in Moscow in winter (up to 30-40oC below zero), but this maybe was not all the time, just for a pair of weeks, what happens also now sometimes. In Bulgaria some warming in principle is not felt. When I begin to think that it as if begins, because in summer it becomes very hot, almost difficult to breathe, then unexpectedly it turns colder with about 20 degrees, and in addition comes cold winter. Now, this winter, 2012 (in January) was quite cold by us, the consumption of central heating was with about 30 percent bigger then in the previous one, the spring was late with almost a whole month (no matter that the Easter fell pretty early, and this holiday marks the beginning of ... the season of pasture, which is pasha in Bulgarian — at least I think so), but after this has come an August weather already in May, and the delay was caught up somewhere in June, and was so hot all the summer, with record high temperatures in the end of September, and even to the very beginning of November it reached above 20oC in the day, so that, one thing to the other, as if everything was as before.
And don't forget also the "normal" warming due to the carbon dioxide, which comes from the industry and this is so for at least one century, i.e. the greenhouse effect, so that there is nothing new for the last 20 - 30 years. Even this CO2 is only 0.03% (and this is so now as if millions of years), what can't be said that is much, and it is result not of warming of the weather but of working of industry, so that even if there is some warming it is consequence of something else.
2. What is stirring and mixing?
Well, there are stirring the layers of air, the seasons are confusing, straightly said, there are no more seasons! As I said, there happen pretty often big changes, jumps, in the temperature, as above (in the winter), so also below (in the summer), and not with 5-10oC, but at once with about 20 degrees, and not for a pair of days, but for 2, and sometimes even 3, weeks. One has always to keep at hand different clothes, neither the summer is summer, nor the winter is winter, because both, the summer may become hotter than normally, and winter colder. As best seasons, at least in Bulgaria, begin to form themselves the spring and the autumn, in spite of this (or exactly because of this), that there are rainfalls and it is cloudy. Still, we have come to no special natural disasters in Bulgaria (maybe only the normal floodings and danger of such because of the artificial water reservoirs).
Putting this in other words can be said that this, what is observed, is strong turbulence of the air masses, heavy winds. The climate begins to become in some extent like in the desert, with this difference that there is very hot in the day but very cold in the night, and wood and stone crack because of these extreme differences, while here these changes happen for a period of 2-3 weeks, but the point is again in the differences, not in the average temperature. Imagine now for a moment that it comes such hurricane wind which instantly reaches from the poles to the equator, and vice versa. What will happen then? Well, there will equalize the temperatures on the poles and on the equator, and we will come to some average temperature, and by this will melt the polar caps entirely and occur all sorts of cataclysms (not counting the hurricanes), but even in this case it wouldn't be properly to speak about global warming — because the temperature has not risen, the average temperature for the entire globe has remained the same. So that I will take now that have succeed to convince you in some degree.
3. Why the weather is mixing?
Well, going out of the analogy with the desert, it has to be clear that the winds blow because, for one thing the air is stirring, and, for another thing, there is nothing to stop the wind. There can be some other moments but they are not so substantial. And now: what stirs the air? Well, how do you think, what can buzz and thump and make wind, ah? It can happen that some volcano erupts, or that somewhere exists artificially made "volcano", i.e. bombing, where all these are shakings and concussions of the air, but they, after all, are in great extent localized, they can't include the whole Earth (people don't fight everywhere, at present the Americans have oriented themselves to the Arabs, they are not enough white, I think, but this is just another story, or as the Russians put it, "from another opera"). The main thing that buzzes, however, are the airplanes! I don't believe, if you have grown as much as to read these lines, to have never been on some airport and to have not heard how are buzzing the taking off planes (and the landing ones, too), and not to know how they are roaring in the air while flying. Now, if I decide to quote you with how much in an year increase the passenger kilometers flown, I will surely make a mistake, but for the last one century they, a priori, have grown, almost certainly, hundred times (!), and each thing that grows (at least within a human life, in order to be noticed) more than twice must make us think.
But we don't want to think, for each cares only about himself and there is still lacking global insight in regard of a heap (of all more important) social problems. We wait, according to one not much decent "hen" expression, till the egg begins to go out from our bottom, and just then begin to think (that, for example, there is nowhere to lay it). Because in its time so were killed all (or almost all) bisons, respectively Indians in United States, almost all whales in the oceans, or almost all elephants, and sundry other examples, because we have widely exceeded the limit of 2-3 times. For this reason, by the way, the Americans are compelled to fight, but really, not like in the cinema, with the Arabs, because the oil consumption increases twice, say, each 10 years (if not less than that), what for half a century makes approximately 30 times — the exact data is something like that. And it is perfectly clear that if for a voyage from Europe to America is, still, convenient to use a plane, than in many other cases of shorter than 1000 km distances, for which there are roads by land, is not at all necessary to do this, but we are doing it because this is possible, and also because this turns to be cheaper for us, right? In the same way as with the killing of whales, about which I have mentioned, or of elephants, and so on.
And the other moment is this, that there is nothing to stop the wind, and these are, also obviously, the trees, or simply greenery, which softens the climate. When I have mentioned the deserts I was not much away from the truth, because in one New York, for example, are hardly more trees than on the corresponding area of Gobi Desert (with exception of Central Park). Id est, our towns, from the viewpoint of greenery, have turned to deserts, there are high-rise buildings there, they stop somehow the wind, but this is not the same what do the trees, there are differences in thermal coefficients, in absorption of moisture, and in other points. And if rising up, in order to save place, we think that we solve the problems, then this is not at all so, because around the building is spent as much and more space for parking lots, and first of all for streets. And what about the suburban roads and highways? Looking from high above the city, town, and for a long time also the suburban regions look like Moon or Martian landscapes, and the highways, they are like the Martian canals, maybe a bit narrower than the latter, but with tendency to "grow fat". And all this because, saying it most succinctly, the people on Earth have become overmuch and we as if wait that something has lessened our population at least hundred times!
In this case, I don't know, but the greenhouse effect, as much as it existed, is maybe even a positive occurrence, because it, not much, but still, restrains the big fluctuations in temperature, i.e. shows some stabilizing influence (there are no greenhouses in the deserts, right?).
4. Why the authorities deceive us?
So that, if I am right — what obviously is so, give it alone a though —, then arises the quite reasonable question: why those, who must be better informed in the things, i.e. the politicians, at least consulted by various scientists, speak to us about Global warming? Well, maybe because it is more profitable in this way, right? More profitable for the politicians, what means for the business that stays behind them (because this is the quintessence of capitalism in economic regard: ruling of some business groups), as well also for us alone (because we want all this: to fly when we like fast and cheap, to live in cities, to drive fast cars, to have jobs, and so on). Unwillingly there again come to my mind the poor whales from the past.
And in addition to the airplanes and cars there is one more direct impact on the business, the production of some goods and services is increasing, because if we not only are heating in winter but also are cooling in summer, then this means that is used more additional energy, respectively the costs for the population are enhanced, and from here the wins for the business are higher; similarly is also with other products, because when the weather often changes and blow strong winds, then we need better isolated homes, and other things. So that the common, average, human is not in position to judge rightly what would have been better for him, even if he alone could have shown direct influence, i.e. it is not like almost not to fly and live in villages. But, still, think a little prognostically, at least a tiny bit forward in the time, and remember the equalizing of temperatures on the poles and the equator, because there is where to we are moving.
Now, the problems, surely, are complicated and mutually related and we can not correct them at once, but we can at least begin to move in the right direction (not in the wrong one), and I will propose here some measures for the purpose. The question with the overpopulation, however, remains, for it is too complicated to be co-opted also here, but let me remind you that according with the official data the population on Earth is doubling for 35 years, what gives quite precisely three times by so much in a century, or 2*2*2 = 8 times, or that after one century, if this tendency remains the same, then we will be 50 milliards or billions on the "globe" (for 6*8 = 48, but we are now above 6 mlrd)! After one more century this will give 400 mlrd, and after one more than this we will be already 3 giga people (not bytes). To me this seems pretty scaring, but don't know how it is to you.
5. What we can do, in order to stop this stirring of the atmosphere?
Well, look, the question is first of all in our view to the world, it is a question of philosophy, of way of live, of moral values, let us not deceive us that it is not so! If we do not hurry so much to live and make career (as if there were no other beings before us for milliards of years, and as if there are not remaining other milliards before the Sun extinguishes), if we do not insist to be present everywhere in person (when we can see on the screen almost everything), if we do not like living in anthills and prefer to abide in normal one- or two- story houses and amidst nature, if we do not like to multiply in such horrifying proportions, and so on, the things will not be so dangerous. Id est, if we are not so vain and do not live only in the current day, and if we don't rush so at the word "new", then everything will be rosy. But this means to a great extent to renounce the Western way of life, the Western values, and return to the old Eastern theosophies. I personally don't see why we should not do so, because in the result of very big haste, somewhere after the times of Karl Marx and till the current days, we are coming only to cataclysms, but I am already in old age, so that the young ones can hurry, when they so much want it. For this reason I will propose also some chiefly palliative measures, but which can lead to some results, and at least will slow down this process of stirring of the atmosphere.
Firstly about the airplanes: but this is elementary (as everything genius) and consist in introducing of excise on the airline kilometers (for people and goods), in order that after about 20 years they became unprofitable, and even after a decade people began to consider the point and decrease the flights. And isn't it so with the cigarettes? One exemplary proposition for the exact percents is the following: by 5% (up to 10% — this can be discussed and corrected during the introduction) an year increasing of airplane tickets and prices of aircraft transport. In such case, if one has to fly somewhere at a distance of 600 km, for example, and if it turns out to be twice more expensive than if he uses bus or train, then he nearly always will refuse to fly. In addition to this is necessary to begin gradual elimination of all short airplane flights, beginning with distance of 300 km (hardly somebody uses plane for such distance), and this length has to grow yearly with 30 km, for example, till we reach 1000 km minimal distance.
In regard of the greening I have also simple proposition: at every new building site has to be required that on each square meter built-up area (i.e. covered earth, but is it building, or road, or something else that performs auxiliary functions, this doesn't matter) allocate just as much green area, where the half of it must be occupied by trees (together with all needed equipment, were it for watering, were is for support of the plants, i.e. the things must begin at once to function and wait only that the trees grow up); yet if it goes about building in city conditions, or where already exist something built, then at 1.0 sq.m. built-up area require 0.5 sq.m. green area and 0.5 sq.m. solar batteries, taking into account that this does not lead to decreasing of the living area even without increasing of the height of building! And how I imagine the latter, the reader may ask, that we will demolish 2 decares (0.2 hectares) apartment building and on its place will raise also 2 decares home plus 1 decare green place and 1 decare solar batteries, ah? Well, quite simple, will be used also the roof and the roads, because solar batteries can be put everywhere (also on walls and windows), not only horizontally, and if they are at an angle of 45o then this gives increase of the area 1.4 times (square root of 2, if we are more precise, what is 1.4142...), and even can be done this and that, i.e. on the roof can be greenhouses, which will be covered at least by half with solar batteries (and they can be in two layers, so that there was possible to move them and in this way to hide the sun, if it is too hot, what will also increase the area of solar batteries, but if it is cloudy then they can leave, say, 50% of the light.
These measures can be applied even right away, but after approximately 10-20 years surely will be no problems with the solar batteries. The latter will not immediately stop the wind, naturally, but they will give electricity, what means that will be burned less — whatever it ware —, and will be, respectively, less smoke. To add also that if the synchronization of produced electric power in voltage with the power grid will turn to be difficult then can be made additional contacts for DC power with voltage, say, 12 V (or 24 V, or how it will be decided), which could be used for powering of computers and heating devices. These ideas can be evolved a little, but we will make this in the next section.
6. What can be expected in the near future?
Solar batteries can be put also along the roads (or on high pillars in the middle of the roads, in the dividing strip of highways), and also on boards of the roads can be required building of strips (with width of 5 to 10 meters) with trees, were they fruit-bearing or not, or vines, palmettos, greenhouses, et cetera. There is also nothing impossible if there begin to build also ... homes, of course, because there is nothing bad in this that people live amidst the nature, and also around the roads, i.e. on the roads. And in this case it turns out that Arabia will really benefit, for they have enough sun there, and if there will be also electricity, then water will flow, too, and roses will blossom, and greenhouses will emerge, and grass will begin to grow (around the roads, little by little), and lambs to bleat, and so on.
I also see nothing bad if will be revived, as far as possible, also the cruise travels, as part of the rest (or as the whole relaxation), in the way as it was for many centuries (for example, I have heard that now can be built quite contemporary ... sailing ships, with computerized navigation, as well as with engines in case of necessity, pretty modern, so that one would be simply glad to undertake one such tour on a boat of this kind, if there was just the money ready). As also to minimize all possible trips with the use of computerized presence (for conferences, business meetings, etc.). A three-dimensional virtual presence would be quite enough at least in 3/4 of the cases, and this means lessening of the travels 4 times.
I also think that it will cause no difficulties to move in many factories and large enterprises (with more than, say, 50 employees) to work 3 days in week by 10 hours, where people stay overnight there — either in dormitories, or in caravans, with all possible amenities —, what will give reducing of the travel from 5 (or, eventually, 4) times in week to a single time, and this is not only economy of fuel, but also of time, and is more comfortable (and, if you want, will allow to become better "acquainted" with the female or male colleagues in today's "no-families" world). The same idea can be applied also in the education, where the children learn chiefly before computer screens, and visit the educational institution more or less 1/5 of the time, i.e. once in a week, if they are in the school, or for a week once in a month (or one and a half), if they are students from universities and colleges.
Add to this also the electric mobiles and you will see how both, the deforestation will decrease, and the winds will weaken. And if the people decrease also their own number (somewhere about 50 - 100 millions — I have considered this question in other places), this will lead to the elimination of wars, too (because: why must people kill one another if there is everything for everybody?) and our problems will almost disappear.
THE FATAL 2013 YEAR IN BULGARIA
Ah, there is not a single year, since the time when the democracy came to us, in which we have lived decently, but that exactly in the fatal year we have lived how it has to be is simply impossible. And it really so happened, just the year has begun and we — let us demonstrate our discontent. And if you ask, with what are we so dissatisfied — well, with everything, in the sense that all prices are not commensurable with our pockets. But it is not possible for them to be for our pockets when we do not want socialism, and don't know also what is it and has it ground in Bulgaria (for foreign readers: this is allusion on the booklet "What is socialism and has it ground in Bulgaria", issued somewhere in 1891, when was built our Socialist party by Dimitar Blagoev). In other words, we are returning with — how much have they become already? — with 23 years back, or more or less with one generation (which is usually taken for 25 years, though in statistical sense it must be more precisely 27). And we are returning back because there has occurred nothing new in the good 2012 year, but we have begun to demonstrate hungry and discontented at the moment when have received the first bills for heating and electricity for this year. Well, it, surely, always can be said that we have little brains and because of this are in the current situation, what, obviously, is true, but let us not call us simpletons, for the reason that, at least up to my judgement, however big profanes we not were, we, still, have never reached such levels as the ... Americans have reached, yet not they life poor but we! So that, as far as it, the silliness, is met between people, let us try to look a bit more seriously (but not too much in order to become bored, right?) at the situation in the winter of 2012 /2013, and why we have gone out to the streets.
Well, for one thing
in order to warm up
gathering together in heaps and crying against the rulers, because this, really, helps, and physiologically one warms up walking for some time through the streets, instead of to sit and be cold in the "cool", for economies, home (I know this from personal experience, only that I am warming up not on the streets but either in the park, or in some supermarket, to look at the tasty things in warmth), but also psychologically, "crying out" his pain one feels better.
Besides, I am
even glad that we have begun at last to "growl",
because otherwise it is just not normal — the whole Europe, and the world, grumbles, the crisis is like this from before the World War II, and we are mute like lambs to the slaughter. At last our voice has been heard, we have begun to moan (only that we don't like to cry "moo" but "uhh").
But, basically, nothing new, the prices on most expensive utility costs (or communal expenses for us), on heating and electricity have grown with some 10 percents, what is more than normal, because earlier, at the dawn of democracy, the prices have risen with about 50% for one year, and we, still, did not strike. So that the "point" is not in the higher prices (which after this have come down a little, with 5-6%, as a result of the strikes). The point isn't even in this, that the communal expenses grown up, because a preschool child, when you say to him (or her)
"communism" and "communal expenses",
can't miss to remark that these are related words, from one root!
And in order to prevent that some of my readers will begin to spit at me that I "communize" the readers, let me tell you something, that surely know not more than one percent of people, this that the city busses were introduced somewhere in Roman time, and the etymologists derive the word "bus" exactly from one case form of omnia, what means "all" (from the phrase "Omnia omnibus!" — everything for everybody!). Well, there surely were horse coaches then, but don't stick to the exact word, because you speak nowadays about "vehicle" as means of transport but — ha, ha, — do you not hear how "bellows" this bull or bovine in French or other Latin languages (well, at least in German "Vieh" is cattle animal with horns, and in Bulgarian, what surely in imitation, "viya" is to howl). Id est, the towns not only impose ... the police (polis - police), of course, but the city transport, too, which — I need to remind you this, because people forget — was, I mean a ticket, was about half ... an egg (in order that nobody could say that then the prices were different), while now (and this after the raising in price of eggs roughly with 30% in 2012) is 4 eggs, what makes 8 times. Similarly also electricity, central heating, water, letters (from 2 stotinki to 65 st. in the moment), and so on. That is why I am saying that to all appearances we have little brains, when forget such more than obvious things, but when we are delighted thinking that may become rich (all the more by honest, or nearly such, labour), instead of to be all equal and that there were no poor — well, it serves us right, as is said.
So that, really, it turns out that we are complaining chiefly because of the fatal year, or then, otherwise,
because there nothing changes.
In the sense that we wait and wait for this damned crisis to finish, but it still does not end. And where only we have had some reserves they all have run out, but the crisis does not want to. Well, I'll tell you when it will finish, only that I will not make you happy, frankly speaking. So now,
watch for the bank interest!
Normally it is about 2-3% (because, I think, people want that each year they receive a bit more, for they, undeniably, also produce a little more, and in this way, under normal circumstances, everything rises with so much in an year). And the banks, for their part, are institutions which work only for the difference in the percent between gives (loans) and takes (such), they just have nothing else from which to live (except also from some mortgage, or because of unclaimed deposits, for the person has died, or because of some similar exceptional event). And in normal situation comes time when people begin to withdraw much money because they need it, or have remained without work (because is produced big quantity of things and there is not more demand for them), and also by those who invest money leaves not much to invest — in short, the influx of money in the banks decreases and for this reason they raise the interest on deposits, for to counteract this process. This means that the new crisis now begins. So has happened in Bulgaria, but also in the world, for the last time about 2007-8 years. But I must tell you that such process had begun in the West also about ... 1990, when the percents of interest have reached 10-12 (at least in England — if you don't believe then search old Western newspapers). But at that time the East has ripped at the seams and this, well, has delayed or shifted the crisis for the West (new markets have been found, also work for their people to teach us what they can, etc.).
By the last crisis the percents reached approximately the number of 8, and now, in 2013, they have fallen till 5 (I mean for yearly deposits), but have not yet become massively 2-3%. When they reach this level only then we will be more or less in the state of equilibrium (on the zero), then they must fall even more (because people only invest and invest and almost nobody takes loans), and when they reach to 1.5 - 2% then we will be at the lowest dead point (these processes are, in broad lines, sinusoids, i.e. wavelike) and the crisis will end. So, but for six years we have not succeeded to reach the zero (roughly 3%) level, so that I can't see how till flowing of another six years we can exit it, what gives 2020, as minimum; taking into account some other problems we can stretch till 2025*. In short, my prognosis is that
the crisis will end in the middle of 2022
(more precisely on the 06.06. or the 6th June, in 6 hours in the morning, but about the hours I can be mistaken a bit). So this is, ladies and gentlemen, the situation. And recall also how it was before the World War II, when the crisis begins in 1928, in 1933 the "hit" Hitler comes to power in Germany, in 1939 the war begins, and it ends in 1945; now add 80 years. So that in the moment we wait the coming of fascists here and there to power, what as if begins to happen, ah? And by this have also in mind that in war conditions the problems are solved faster, because many things are demolished, the population decreases, so that it already begins to be found work, for to restore the destroyed — I hope I an explaining quite popular. On the other hand, however, the world has now become a little wiser, we don't kill us so en masse, at least not in Europe and America — well, by the Arabs this can happen, they are not quite white people —, we take some global measures, so that it can be expected that this illness will pass again for the same time, but faster — I just don't believe it.
Because, what are we to produce, when we throw out good and solid things at the garbage heap (while in that time, around World War II, people have kept even pieces of newspapers, for to roll themselves cigarettes in them)? Do you see what else can revive the production when now literally everything is synthetic (clothes, food, building materials, and even ... birth of children) and is produced robotized and costs very little, but the people are quite many? I personally can't see in what I may be wrong. But if perchance I turn to be wrong (what, otherwise, will make me very glad) and the crisis happens to reach its end, say, in 2017, then — just give up reading this "bad" author! I, for my part, will do exactly so.
But let us return to the current year and look more profound (yet not much, I would say) at this what kind of people have demonstrated then. I have thrown a quick glance at the TV (a quick, I say, because the manipulations in all media are at such level, that if one begins to look and listen to them very soon he will think like the others, but your author is unique and distinctive, he for that reason has studied so long, for to be able to think alone). So, and having thrown the glance, I have seen that
the middle age was missing at the meetings.
In other words, these were youths, roughly till 25, rarely up to 30 years, and then from 60 and higher. Now, it is true that in order that one goes to meetings one must have free time, and if one works then one has not much of it in one's disposition, but this is a question of priorities, this is not insurmountable obstacle, because the meetings were held chiefly in the evenings, outside of working hours.
So, and this observation clarifies many things, because, for one thing, the pensioners are always dissatisfied with their pensions (where the truth is that they are unhappy with their age), and can always support any discontent by economic reasons (I don't say that there are no grounds for this, especially in the poorest country in European Community), and for another thing, you just give the young people to shout "Uhh" and "Down", because these are post-teenagers, they are always discontented, it has been so in all times, and it will be always so, for they make life dynamic. Besides, there are now not wars, and the young, as you know, want to fight, to show their strength, and now with what (else) to show themselves?
But all these protests were absolutely ungrounded approximately half an year before new elections (i.e. our new Government came only with three months earlier than its normal time). If we so much wanted to show discontent then why also on this elections, and in spite of the heap of clearly unfounded fabrications about manipulations of the elections on part of "Duce Boiko", we have again elected him, for he has won the most votes, i.e. the population, as a whole, has supported him most of al? To say nothing about this, that in the last year we have chosen such impersonal President, who is good only for, well, not exactly metre d'hotel, but for headmaster of school or holiday home — for such one whom the Germans (to educate you a bit) call ... Kurdirektor, because they by Latin "habit" call the medication Kur (and the word is also feminine — but the "salt" of it is that in Bulgarian "kur" is quite indecent word which in English is, in a bit more decent form, prick). So that it is clear that this man was chosen only for this reason that he is a man of "Boicho" (as some girls call him lovingly), and otherwise nobody would have paid whatever attention to him.
And there was something more that could have been seen on these rallies, this that
the majority or people were ordinary unqualified workers,
a bit simple in appearance, not used to speak or go to meetings but to work hard, though if someone hires them, i.e. these were unemployed laborers, and chiefly, I thing, building workers. While till now, usually, and especially in the first years of transition, have striked the intellectuals, now these were the unskilled workers. This is an interesting moment and let me tell you something on that issue.
Well, on the one hand this is inevitable consequence (of our insanity) to exterminate (not physically, surely) our intellectuals, as well as to stimulate uneducated with good money, because in Bulgaria, really, the educational qualification fell, the young simply don't want to study and don't see special meaning in this (and entirely justified, till now, when after graduating they receive significantly less). And why? Well, because it is built intensively. My opinion, in broad lines and not falling into details, is such that our housing stock has grown roughly with 30%, and in the same time our population has diminished approximately with 20% (we were nearly 9 mln, with precision somewhere to 50 thousands, and now we are 7.3 mln), what results in one more than with 50% real increasing of living space, what is absolutely unnecessary on the background of our misery. In sense that the homes are very expensive and people just can not afford to buy them, and who can afford it they buy them as capital investment, not to live in person there. ( Specifically in my entrance of the apartment building, from 18 flats, 3 of them are for several years empty, what is 1/6 of all, and in roughly 1/3 of the whole number the persons have significantly decreased, so that in 5 flats there is only by one person, and they are with two rooms — in fact, one bedroom only, but we count them for two rooms —, and in another 3-4 live by two persons, while earlier were on the average by 3-4 in each one. )
I am explaining these things because the building workers in one state are, presumably, about 10 percents in normal conditions, but under active building, how it was till quite recently by us, this number can reach up to 15-20%, and the unemployed among them most probable make 10% of the population. Exactly these people were the not numerous striking ones in the middle age, that have taken part in the meetings.
About the youths there are many things to be said, but about them probably will be another material, about the fascism, for they as if in that direction are moving (our "Duce", no matter that he looks like such, is not typical neo-fascist, he is rather ... "phallucist /phalocist", but I have evolved this in other place). The question, however, is not only in this, that they are young, but that they are
from minority parties,
i.e. they are not from the first 2-3 parties in the Parliament, but of those to whom no one listens, so that they have decided now that exactly this is the suitable moment to raise their voice. And in what extent of minority are they? Well, below the threshold, which in Bulgaria is 4%, but in principle somewhere around 1-2%. But they are acting as if there are no other parties except them, they cry, wave flags, as if are taking part in some Olympiad, grumble, and are ready sometimes even to fight. But let us make more detailed calculations, let us take exactly one percent of the people and see how they can be heard. Well, in a medium-sized (for our scale) town, of hundred thousands, these are thousand people, and if they spread by 3-4 in line and approximately between one meter, especially if they carry our banner, but horizontally, because it is too big to be raised, then they will stretch on somewhere about 300 meters, don't they? And this is not a little. And in one Sofia (which is about 1 mln) they will reach up to 10,000 people. Add now to them also bored pensioners and as much, roughly, accidentally adhered spectators (because: where lives that nation where everybody is satisfied with the rulers, especially within a world-wide economic crisis?), and they have already reached several tens of thousands, which, when the elections come, will make only a bare noise and nothing else. You see now, how a handful of "scoundrels" can "muddy the water" to a whole nation (although in this way they ... justify the salaries of the police, for, otherwise, why we feed them? — one policeman, adding also the necessary for him equipment and the ideal part of machinery, probably gives as much as for three-four scientific workers, or teachers, or common officers).
But there is here also one entirely different moment, which some people as if associate with our current misery, and this is the topic about several cases of self-burning! The things, though, here are quite on the contrary, these people try (and some of them succeeded) to commit suicide, not because the living conditions are so bad, but because they can use these conditions to give a meaning at least to their death (when the life is meaningless for them). These are sick people, they have not normal ideas, they should not be taken as examples. Let us leave them and continue further about the year.
So well, the young and unoriented (or dumbfounded by the ads and the virtual reality) people don't understand the question with the relation of communal costs with socialist ideas simply because they are young and have no basis for comparison with the real socialist society, which has existed in Bulgaria. They have not forgotten but simply don't know, yet there is also nobody to explain this to them. And they also like the strong people, the right-wing ideas. So that these are moral problems, which nobody can solve, except we alone. And the political situation by us is practically hopeless (the democracy of Western type has brought us to a deadlock), yet the bad thing is not this, but the fact that our population does not understand this and searches other causes, for example persons and parties, or criminal groups. And the new elections, up to my mind, have brought no salvation to us, no matter that logically they are justified.
Now, see, the problems are in this, that
the democracy of right-wing type does not contain in itself, in the ruling part, neither moral, nor social body!
Such body or bodies, authorities, must raise (and raises) each nation in specific for it conditions, but not the (wild and barbarian, sorry) Bulgarian nation, due to what — I beg my squeamish readers (if such are still left somewhere) to be excused — ... "our bottoms have to be strong" now. The West tries somehow to help us (not because of some special love to such unique nations like ours, but in order to have reigned calmness in our country, this is the basic requirement for developing of normal business, and in addition to this the Western countries protect themselves from the inflow of immigrants), yet it can't create us also these structures.
For example, having pondered about this question (and I have enough time for thinking, as well also abilities to do this, I suppose), I have come to the conclusion that the main thing that is lacking in our ruling, retaining the Western type of democracy (for nobody wants to change it, right?), and on the background of our basically atheist population (because on the West the church, in one or another extent, is bearer of morality, though it is not so by us), as well also more united, predominantly ... Northern (or at least on the North of us) nations, due to what we have returned in the rough and cruel capitalism of one century (or at least half of it) before, without practically no social benefits (you know quite well that now must be paid to the physician, and to the dentist, and for education, and similar things) is
the lack of Social Ministry by us,
as part of the state apparatus, and present in each Government, as right-wing it happen to be. We have Ministry of Labour and Social Cares, but it develops various programs for social occupation, it does not help the poor (for whatever reason!); there are instances for all kinds of statistics, as also for calculation of consumer basket, but they are not governmental (they are from the trade unions and estimate that, say, the minimal income in Bulgaria, not in Europe or in the world, is 1.5 minimal working salaries, but on a head, what gives practically 2.5 to 3 in one family, or that nearly 90% of the working people live below the poverty threshold, because the average salary is about two and a bit of the minimal, what is true, in principle).
If we have had such Ministry, then it would have studied the property situation in the country, by professions, by age, would have looked about the causes for this and provided assistance, but centralized, not if one goes there and makes application that is in a severe need. In the current day the society (even in Bulgaria) has all possibilities to ensure for everybody decent home, and some food, and education according to his or her abilities, and healthcare, and so on. We have not such instance, and because of this it turns out that in some cases minorities, for example Gypsies, are better benefited than ethnic Bulgarians, because there are programs for them, but for the Bulgarians there are not such! If such Ministry has existed, it could have studied the question about this in what way to help, either via paying of some subsidies, or using some preferential prices for socially necessary services (for example, we have taxes on medicaments and medical services, the same as on, say, furniture, and this is entirely non-social policy).
But together with this, in my view, such Ministry must maintain data base of all citizens of the country with their incomes, for the purpose that the social status of each citizen could have been easily checked (unless, say, someone explicitly declares that does not want his or her income to be monitored — which, anyway, the tax administration must watch). When the monitoring begins we can come also to the helps. I have written recently something similar about the moderate communism in Bulgaria (or wherever it can be), but it is possible that I dedicate special material also to the Social Ministry. The reason why I mention it here is that people did not want, and don't want, such similar body, which can settle the things after 5-10 years, but want something that will better them at once, even, if possible, backdated. But these are all Utopias.
So, and as far as I again become too talkative, it is time to wrap it up. Only let me add something more pleasing in the end. I have said that the crisis will not end until 2020, but by us, I hope,
the situation will improve significantly, already from the beginning of the year 2014,
i.e. in the next year. And why? Well, by various reasons. For one thing the fatal year will end — and don't look so contemptuously at this, in psychological sense this factor is quite significant, it predisposes people. Then, must be raised the barriers for Bulgarians in many Western countries (till now we were taken only in the far North and far South), more specially in England, which country, who knows why, is very irritated by us; and when scatters again who can, then they will send us something from abroad, this is some help. Further, we have changed the Government, and however unsuitable the new one is (it will be necessary to write a paper about this, too), at least two years we will endure it, maybe. Further, the people will try to do something, not that they do this, what has to be done, but, still, they don't "sleep" now so much, they don't like so much the democracy like in the last decade of past century, have recovered from the UDF-ism (or crying "uhh" and "down", what the supporters of UDF, Union of the Democratic Forces, just "died" to do, and as a result have ruined Bulgaria with their incompetence and hastiness). Further more, ... will die more graduates of the old regime (like your author — on the average by one and a half percent per year, what since 1990 gives already 35%), and the youth, if they do not cause some disturbances (fascist, for example), are pleased by everything, for they don't know that it is possible to be better. It might be also that some workers will qualify, I suppose, what means finding of work for some persons at least for the time of education, and for the others later, i.e. it can happen that we will begin again to respect the educated people (when they have died en masse or run away). Or else we will find some other reserve, because I have shortly marked that on some fields outside of Sofia, where in totalitarian times were fields with crops, but for more than 20 years grows only grass, though even it was mown by nobody, now was planted again maize, and it is, as is said, as far as eye can see, i.e. we have already begun to "raise our (democratic) virgin lands".
So that, as I have begun to think in the recent time, everything will be bettered, just ... we will not be alive to see it. But will get better. So that: cheers for the democracy!
- * Now, in the end of 2015, the percents of interest have fallen in Bulgaria almost by all banks up to about 2%, and we are still in the crisis, that is for sure, so that some readers may say that I have made an error. But as far as this is practically impossible — for Myrski to make an error — let me explain in short that this condition about the interest rate is necessary but not sufficient, there are other necessary conditions to be fulfilled. And there is also one psychological moment, on which I have not stressed here, namely that when the situation is very bad people don't want to take loans because are not sure that will succeed to repay the money, in what they surely are right. This means that people keep money in the banks, not much but almost everyone, and don't want to take loans so that the banks have money and the interest is forced to remain low.
And as to other necessary conditions: well, there are many such things. For example I can give you some untraditional conditions for Bulgaria. Say, we can't be out of the crisis when still are sold the so called duck "lanterns". Also the proportion of bad quality goods to alternative decent goods is very important, say, a kilo of smallest river or sea fish, tsatsa in Bulgarian or sprat for you, to the common mackerel must be 1 to 4 or 5, and now by us it is about 1:2; or similar ratio of liver to meat, which was in totalitarian times also about 1:5 if not more, but now is about 1:2; or also a cup of coffee on the street now is about 1.5 eggs, but it must be at least 3, and even better 4-5 eggs; and other proportions, but allow me to keep some "know-hows" in secret.
WHY WE VOTE, WHEN WE ... DON'T VOTE?
Really? Why was it necessary so to push to have early elections, even only with three months but, still, earlier (for it was really unbearable this Government, said some people), when on the elections half of the people again have not voted (voting activity 51%), and on top of everything people have chosen the same Boicho (as some young girls pronounce his name, seeing how highly "endowed" he is)? Quite reasonable question, but it, with common sense reasoning in time of democratic elections, is impossible to reach to anything, so that let us leave this question, but maybe we can, still, look for a while at the situation, and from different angles.
who hates whom, and how strongly,
for we do not vote for somebody because we like him (or her, surely) very much, but because we hate stronger the others, who can come (if we do not vote for his party), i.e. out of pure spite! I have mentioned this in other places, and it isn't a new thing, so that let us not find much faults in this as a model of reasoning of the Bulgarian, but take a look, all the same, at different sized parties. In the first instance at the strong parties, which are between the first 2-3 according to the number of votes — for them this rule is entirely valid, because we just have no reasons to approve the work of any of them, provided that we are the poorest state in European Community, and are still worse, in the whole, as a nation, than the totalitarian times (and we will be at the same level some 10 years more, I'll tell you). For this reason, chiefly, we have chosen at the previous elections the GERB party, in order to avoid coming to power again of the triple coalition (consisting of former communists, tsarist party, and Turkish minority party), and for this reason now BSP (the socialists) have increased their percents nearly with 9 (which GERB has lost), in order to prevent the staying of GERB again at the helm. Then further, for the middle parties, like MRF (DPS in Bulgarian, the Turks, having named themselves "Movement for Rights and Freedom", so that nobody could have guessed that this is an ethnic party) and Ataka (fascist-teenagers) — well, there this rule is not entirely true, people support these parties by other reasons: MRF has a constant contingent of Turkish ethnic minority and for them not to vote for their people is, maybe, like if a Muslim has not performed circumcision, i.e. this is compulsory requirement; and now the Ataka (meaning "attack", of course) is a party of post-teenagers and they like (for they can't still think good) their "hayduk" (Sider — I call him so, because in our history was once some hayduk Sider, and he is Siderov, and probably imagines that he is like him, or wants that the others think so) and they are always the same in number (i.e. he loses a pair of chairs in the Parliament, or, like now, gets them back). By the smaller parties there might be sympathizers, because if they were not liked by their supporters then the latter would not have voted for them, when, in any event, they can't put them in the Parliament, but, after all, they don't count, because these parties are not there. So that the majority of voters give their votes only to spoil the game for others.
Good, but half of the people do not vote at all, and they, in addition to this that are not much "inspired" by hatred, they simply don't like whatever party. So that let us see now, tacking into account the electoral activity (51.33%), which parties are between most hated ones. This is shown in the table below, for which is necessary to explain some columns. Multiplying "% of votes 'pro'" by electoral activity (0.5133) we get "% of all" (eligible to vote, not exactly the whole population, but so is necessary) Now, when we reverse this percent, i.e. take its complement to 100%, we receive what percent hates the corresponding party (because if they have liked it a little bit, or out of hatred against the others, they would have voted for it). Dividing then those who hate to those who like it (relatively, how we have explained), we receive "hate in times", or, walking on the street and meeting only adults with rights to vote, then how many people will hate this party to one who likes it — this is very indicative parameter. The first four lines, by old "habit", enter the Parliament, the next five lines want to enter it but can not do this, and on the last line are gathered all left parties which can not receive even one percent, so that they do not deserve the right to be cited by names (except that they increase the number of mandates of those parties who have entered the Parliament, because, for example, GERB party has not 30% of 240 seats, what makes 72 places, but occupies 98 places).
So, and now let us see what turns to be the situation with the hatred (the table follows a bit later). Well, even for the GERB (the name is some invented abbreviation, but as word it means "coat of arms"), which as if is liked by the people most of all, if you walk on the street and meet only people of age, then to one who likes it you will meet more than five persons who don't like it. A stunning democracy, ah? Later, for the former communists it happens that they are liked only by every sixth, the Turks — just by every 16th, and to the "Atakists" of Hayduk Sider smiles only one out of 25 (!) persons. Well, so stay the things with those who enter the "Talking Shop", ah, I am sorry, the Parliament, where all they make 75% (75.7 to be more precise), what means that one quarter of all voters do this simply "to the wind", as the people say. And this party, which is hated most of all, exactly it will play the most important role this time, because only on it depends will be something approved, i.e. on the fascists — how far we have come!
||% votes "pro"
||% of all
||% of hatred
||hate in times
Table 1. THE WON PERCENTS OF VOTES FOR THE PARTIES IN THE ELECTIONS OF 2013, AS COMPARISON FOR THE HATRED AGAINST THEM
Then somewhere later comes DBG ("Bulgaria for the Citizens", maybe because there have left no more peasants, after they have taken back their land parcels and moved to live in towns, I think; and I will not translate the names of these parties, they do not deserve such honour), of the lady with good "kunki" (hands, if you ask the children in Bulgaria — her name is Kuncheva), the last "large" chunk from the "great" Tsar-Simeon's-party, which lady has used ... a lot of make-up, in order to look out as 25 year old, i.e. as twice younger, just to make the people like her and choose her, but, alas, it turned out that to one person who more or less likes her there are 60 (sixty) persons who directly curse her. Alas for the gunpowder, as we say, or what a pity for her. And some "great Bulgarian-Macedonians", from VMRO, who are bracing for war and reverse our flag with the red colour above, as also some "Ianski" (his name is Iane, what isn't quite Bulgarian name) fighters for justice and law, they are forced to leave to pass by them more than hundred persons until they met someone who will greet them. To say nothing about one party, which has come after all our pop singers and which has had all necessary time, the old SDS (or UDF, Union of the Democratic Forces, right-wing coalition that has disintegrated very fast, and that, really, on their fist placards has shown all our pop singers from that, i.e. totalitarian, time, and which slogan was "The time (now) is ours!"), which has gathered more than the half of the votes 20 years ago, and this by electoral activity higher than 90% — ah, to this poor party now only each 140th person can slightly nod with the head, but can as well pretend that does not recognize it at all.
So that, more or less, it has become clear now why we vote,
for to show that we are bubbleheads,
and to give the other nations the possibility to laugh at us, exactly as it was in the times of our Aleko Konstantinov (before more than a century). The minority parties have "stirred the beehive", but the "sun" has not at all "risen" for them. Well, maybe they will try again — and what else is left to them? But those who have won the election are also out of luck — a fatal year, it's nothing to be done — because it turned out that the two right-wing parties collect exactly 120 votes or the half of all (our National Assembly has 240 representatives or MPs), and the two center-left parties — again exactly the same amount!
We have never till now had such conflict situation in Bulgaria.
And besides, our "Hayduk Sider" was already fed up to listen to what "Duce Boiko" orders him to do, and when so is against him. And GERB, naturally, can not form a Cabinet, no matter that has won the elections. Well, the socialist succeeded to do this, but they have not, and will never have majority! Because, as you know, the little pebbles overturn the cart, and now Ataka really is against each party and hinders all. Both wings only seem to be equally represented, but there is significant difference between them, because the left-wing are united, they have no other choice, even MRF will never agree to be with the "Hayduk" (whose people cry — at least I have heard this once by TV — "The Gypsies to soap!), neither with agree with the "Duce" (for one mandate they have suffered enough from his arrogance). The right wing, however, consists of two separate parties, that have bared their teeth at each other, because there can be just one "Duce", while the "Hayduk" eagerly wants to become such — you see, he has turned himself in a ... revenue stamp, the young carry him on their T-shirts, only to make us "faschings"-carnivals, but some "chubby" general "muddies him the water". So that the "Hayduk" will not support the "Duce", but this is when it is about voting "pro", though in situations "against" something he will automatically join with him (for it is impossible to enter in coalition with the former communists, neither with the Turks, this is obvious).
Yet otherwise Boiko directly, as the expression goes, keeps a finger on the pulse of his electors, plays exactly so as they would have liked him to do, as strong "fist", or as good "bully" who overstrains himself for all, but, you see, those communists don't understand him, and also many other people between the masses. He pretends to be angry, and rightly, and does not want to be counted as opposition, because he is the one who won the elections. If there were not so many people having voted for him then he, surely, would have "curled up in his kennel", but by these electoral results he just can't afford it, right? And for this reason he from the very beginning has voiced that he does not want new elections, while the clever "Having-Become-Boss" (the name Stanishev means, if one gives it a thought and splits it, "Become-Boss") is the one who wants the opposite, so that, if you ask me,
this time the socialists alone have put their head in the bag!
How they will govern by this fierce, of the majority, opposition, I absolutely can not grasp, but we shall wait and see. Naturally that the most correct thing was that they alone wanted new elections, in order that Boiko could have become more unpopular, so that his supporters have fallen to some 7-8% after one mandate, and that he was befallen by the fate of tsarist party, or of the already plucked UDF, and the time of socialist will in any case come sometime (how it was before this elections), for the simple reason that the world plainly moves in this direction already more than a century. Yeah, but this has not happened!
Now, to say that Mr. "Bossing" was to such extent troubled about the poor Bulgarian nation, that suffers under the yoke of our "Duce", well, I personally can't believe it. But apparently the power is a sweet thing and he wants to wield a bit the scepter, to strike the iron now, while it is hot, or else that his electors would have not forgiven him not to form a Government, but he has shouldered this unfeasible task. Well, for the moment this task turned to be affordable for him, and he even has chosen such Prime Minister that one just wonders where he has found such wise man — indisputable sage, his wisdom, so to say, is just springing out. This will be, or at least it looks so, one incredibly reasonable governing, not with boasts but with deeds. So it is true, but I will again say "no"! For two reasons, the second is that with reasonable governing by us is nothing to be achieved! This is the old idea of Platon, in which I don't believe, the common people can not understand the intelligent persons, and because of this they are not chosen as rulers, no matter that they almost always do something in the interest of the whole population (if they are really reasonable, because otherwise they would have simply not been such — i.e. here can't be otherwise, the intelligent governing requires that all, and especially the masses, live good). And the first reason is that
when one party is in power it can not raise its rating,
the latter can slump only down, especially in Bulgaria, and especially in conditions of crisis. So that it can't be that later people will choose the socialists, they will gather about 15%, but will not be able to rule, will come some other right-wing party, maybe even fascist, in any case something new and unexpected (because the expected — I have said this in the previous year — is complete deadlock). And not only this, it is also impossible to expect that the "dear people" will lead their mandate to the end! Two years is possible that they will pull the state's "cart" — more precisely, if they will succeed to pull it approximately to the middle of September (in order that it has become a bit colder, and also that people have become acquainted with them), then it is probable that they will hold their two years, but in the end of June the protests have intensified greatly —, two and a half is also possible somehow, but three and more I personally can't see how, as much as I wished that it happened so, and as much as I was supporter of each (literally) left-wing idea (because in the right-wing there are no ideas, I have spoken about this). Well, I pray to God (where nobody has proved that He exists, but also nobody is able to prove this, or that He does not exist!) that I am wrong, but at least you, my dear readers (not that you are many, but this is exactly why I honour you so much, right? — according to the supply and demand), can advice the following: if this double coalition, BSP and MRF /DPS holds more than three years, and especially till the end of its mandate, then, in protest, simply ... give up reading this author. I, for my part, intend to do exactly this.
But, speaking more moderately, I also don't believe that they will succeed to do something special, because neither our poverty can disappear easily (for, roughly said, some 20 - 30 years this can happen, but for a single mandate — this is absurd), nor are they left-wing (the last left-wing "Mohican" was Zhan, i.e. Videnov — do you see what a good rhyme I have found? —, they are the next opportunists, but at least are more reasonable, and I honour the reason), nor also will care about really poor (for example, will not hold back the tax on bank deposits, from which win only the poor ones, because the rich keep their money on current deposits for better liquidity and there is no tax there; no will lessen the prices of bread an milk, or of eggs, etc.; no will try that the communal expenses will not surpass at least 1/3 of minimal working salary in month for a two-rooms flat — what means one-bedroom —, which now are more than the half of such salary; no will make dental care free of charge, or local physicians, or education, and so on). It, as it turns out, was even so that exactly they were those who have proposed the utterly right-wing flat tax. But maybe by inertia they will be Russophiles, because the right-wing (for it is so) Russophobia only harms us, we are Slavs, and for some Americans, or Germans, or Frenchmen, etc., will always be a kind of "white slaves", I am convinced in this.
And speaking even more moderate:
all parties in the moment are right,
in their own way, GERB, and BSP, and MRF, and even Ataka (when there are people who vote for them), all are right and this is the democracy, yet our population suffers. People, surely, don't understand that they suffer because of democracy, but this changes nothing. In order that people did not suffer so much are necessary serious social measures, something similar to the totalitarian cares of the "Party and Government", only that in some new way (ways can be found, were there a wish and unity among the people, but exactly this is what we have not), which cares have to be the subject of one new Social Ministry, but about it a new paper will be required. When we are worse than all in the United Europe, then we should have also something more different than in the other countries, while by us different is only this, that we are even more unsocial than the others (Germans, English, Frenchmen, and so on). We for that reason so much hate our politicians, because we hate one another. It is true that now we have not such conflicts like of the communists with the fascists, but various neo-fascists begin to raise their heads, and
in the moment we are exactly in ... pre-war situation,
if you compare the crisis of 1928 and the coming of Hitler to power in 1933 (because this crisis has begun approximately in 2008 and now we are in 2013). So that, maybe, something is necessary to be done? Maybe only democracy of the right-wing type is not enough? Otherwise people will continue to strike, and this with right! Because people can not exactly know what they want (and for that reason live so bad), but their politicians have to, in broad lines, not only to dance to their pipe. For it can happen that the people will begin to "dance" according to the pipe of minority parties, but of really minority ones, such that can not get even 5% (not like the socialists, which are such only pro forma). Because, in the end, the people are also right, they now don't vote for ten years (i.e. every second does not vote) and nothing changes, so that there is nothing more left to them except to go on the streets, slow and not in a hurry, and turn down each Government, even the good one. So that my advice is that everybody begins to think: the people about the democracy, and the politicians about the people. Otherwise it will become worse. If you wait until the crisis ends and then begins the "good" capitalism, you have to wait quite a long time.
And you, politicians, make the people to vote, yet not forcing them to, but changing the situation so that you begin to be liked by them, and not as race horses, or as ... bulls for breeding, though like persons who can cogitate better than them. Because — and I will end on this —the common people are rather simple, and in this world there is nothing worse than the human stupidity (when we have long ago overcome, in broad lines, the nature). Only opposing one (of the people) simplicity with another one (of the democracy) will be quite difficult to improve the situation in Bulgaria, especially in fatal year and in conditions of worldwide economic crisis.
ABOUT THE FASCISM FROM COMMON SENSE POSITIONS
Only that, ladies and gentlemen, let me warn you already in the beginning that the common sense is quite treacherous notion, so that this, what I will tell you here, will dislike not only the adversaries of fascism, but also the supporters of it; in addition to this I will give in the end some pretty queer propositions. What is reduced to this, that if you have very little time and can't allow yourself to read empty philosophizing (which, as my experience shows, are necessary exactly for those, who don't want to listen to them), then directly skip this material (or, generally, the author).
the common sense, as a rule, can not accept any extremity,
and that the fascism (as well also the communism, or Catholicism, or Islamic Jihad, or terrorism, and so on) is an extremity, I suppose, is clear to all. And the common sense does not accept extremities because the truth can not be at the ends, for if it could have been there, then, with the existence of a heap of dialectical relations between the things, it would have very soon happened that around this extremity was already built a vicinity, i.e. that it is no more at the end and there is something more aside of it! While in the middle, i.e. somewhere between the ends, the things can stay in dynamic equilibrium and be pulled by the both (for simplicity) ends, like a ball tied to two ... elastic bands (i.e. elastic fibers, lastik in Bulgarian) — and because of this if you call the dialectics dialastics or diaelastics you will not make a big error, for you will be nearer to the ancient idea. But this is a general consideration.
Then the fascism
is a bad thing because it is only a ... fishek, in Bulgarian
(in fact in Turkish), i.e. a firecracker (squib, spitdevil, etc.), raising of big noise, like when a bunch of twigs are burned, which even today in Italian are called fascio ("fashyo"), what is this time linguistic proof (if you give credit to such things, but I think that one must believe in the words and relations between them, because they reveal the model of thinking, the associations in the heads of people, at least in the antiquity, when the languages were made). No matter what the linguistics says I mention this because this idea about the bunch of twigs exists also by us (for the ancient Khan Kubrat, in 7th century), it is written on our National Assembly (our Parliament, there stays "In unity is the power"), but we don't pay attention to it. In other words, the idea, in principle, and in another context, is good, but by the fascists it degenerates in this, that we must unite ourselves and ally, in order to oppose actively some other elements (which are usually among us), and eliminate the others physically or morally or spiritually at cetera. What means that the fascism as a moderate idea together with the others is something good, but when it transforms into fixed idea, in obsession, and becomes too militant — and it is exactly such, look now at our "Atakists", they are chiefly against something, than for something else — then it becomes bad and extreme.
So that, in a certain sense, the fascism is a good thing, but this sense is as part of a whole palette, as element of the unity, not by itself. If there could have been possible to unite the fascists with the communists, for example, in one common but tight, allied, party, then there would have been nothing better in the social area, but this can not be done. This can't happen because each part pulls the blanket to himself, and then, if the "blanket" is more or less firm, it can somehow work, but the bad comes when it tears, or also, in a milder case, only some persons, the weaker ones, remain uncovered. What means that the one extremity generates, or goes together, with the other one, here the communists with the fascists. Id est,
when the extreme right-wing elements strengthen, strengthen also the left-wing, and vice versa,
what in this case is good, in my opinion, for I am defender of the left-wing idea, the more so because the today's left-wing are not at all extremely left-wing (even one can rightly doubt whether they are left-wing at all). And it, really, happens exactly so, because you remind yourself that "Hayduk Sider" has built his party for the elections in 2005, and then he not only has won nearly 9%, but BSP also has become leading party and has won 34%. Besides, there have emerged also other right-wing parties like various "Macedono-Bulgarians", and others. But the most important thing about our open fascists, the Atakists, is that they just can't ever take the power, they are so few, they are supported by less than 10% mainly post-teenagers, who, obviously, at least in my opinion, have little brains, but big desire for actions, desire to make something, no matter that this, what they are doing, is not god, and they even understand this. ( More precisely they are 8%, but from those who vote, and the latter are half of the voters, so that, in fact, their supporters are only 4% of the population, or one out of ... 25 persons! ) I don't want here, too, to elaborate on the question, for I have explained it shortly in other material, but our people are not so united like the Germans or the Japanese or the Italians (they are Catholics), so that they just don't believe that we are the good and the others the bad ones — you look only to this how many Bulgarians have run away in all directions, be it even in Greece of Finland, but not to remain in Bulgaria. So that our fascists are not dangerous, they are youths, and their party is in some extent necessary, in order that such people have vent hole, because otherwise becomes worse.
You see, the "children" want to be commanded, they don't like this, surely, but at the same time they want also that somebody orders them to do something so that to be able to express themselves. And the young are not guilty that they are such (i.e. young), but guilty are the old (i.e. grown up) people, because have taken away from them all means for organizing themselves in some associations! We have long ago neither Tchavdarcheta (these were the youngest, before the pioneers), nor pioneers, nor Komsomol members, but we
have also nothing new on their places.
As if there exist some scout groups somewhere, but this is nothing, this is not only for the very young, but also is quite sporadic, so to say. We have behaved here up to significant extent like with the cultivated land— we have returned it to the people, bur have not forced them to cultivate it (were there only taxes and fines when one does not process it, but there are not such things). And on top of all this we live now in peaceful times (well, maybe sometimes happen not pretty peaceful things, but this is not situation of wars and devastations), and the young ones have just nothing for what to live and to fight. And they search, don't they? And now has emerged this "Hayduk" who cries: follow me and you will not go wrong! We have also no demonstrations or protest rallies, like it was before, which, surely, have painfully bored us, but this was because they were compulsory, yet with nothing at all there is no go. Our people waited and waited, and decided to organize them in 2013, right? And don't think that this is unserious argument, because we have not at all, and really not at all, whatever folk meetings,
not even carnivals or religious processions,
but the other nations have, without such things there is something missing to the people. Only with football matches the things are not going. So that the young want to carry our national banner, there is nothing bad in this, in principle, the bad thing is that they use the difficult economic situation, not only in Bulgaria but in the whole world, to give vent to their subconscious wishes, which we could have quite calmly offered them somehow (I will give in the end some ideas). Look here, so it can't go: without religion, without morality, and without families, with one only wish to get rich fast is not good to live! You should all grasp at the end that all these myths about the democratic panacea and the free market are only ...
hooks on which the wealthy can catch us, in order to force us to work for them!
Generally speaking, the youth, were they communists, or fascists, or also neutral, want some ideas, something for what is worth living; they, naturally, want easy life, want to have pleasure, to be sat, sexually satisfied, and so on, but without ideas is no go. And the capitalism, the overpraised democracy, it just has no ideas, it is another hook or bait — I have explained this in so many places that now I don't remember where —, or at least has not these ideas which it should have had, it is harmful to the people, and similar things. For these reasons the young people sway to this or that direction, especially in hard economic situations. And only with sex without inhibitions (how they put it in the ads of prostitutes) the youth is not sat, if I alone was on their place I also would have been dissatisfied. Because, for it is so, what other choice leaves to them:
either narcotics, or homosexuality, or some form of craziness, and when they pass over 40 than become chronic alcoholics.
The young people want, only that they don't say this, some kind of delusion, invention, ideal, though unattainable (because otherwise this is not ideal but reality, and it is boring). They also the grown up want this (what else are all shows, literature, love, religion, etc., if not fables, virtual reality?), but they, in view of their age, life experience, their children, and so on, don't sway to such extremities like the young ones. So that, if we do not want that the fascism existed, is necessary to engage the young people somehow, find some occupation for them, that is the situation! And in addition is also necessary that the crisis ends, but for this we shall wait quite a long time, some 7-8 years (I have explained this in a previous material).
So, good, but what are we to propose to the young, ah? And with the crisis what to do, ah? Well, I have ideas — one has just to ask about ideas by me! — but they are not fast, though, on the other hand, "the hasty bitch", as they say by us, "gives birth to blind puppies". Like our transition to democracy, which 23rd year now still can't finish (for we are still several times worse in our living standard than in the times of our "Bai Tosho", when the life was not at all bad — and it must be explained that in Bulgarian "Tosho" rhymes with "losho"-bad). Firstly about the easier thing, the crisis.
the only radical way to exit quickly the crisis is to orient ourselves to activities which require much manual labour!
And this means to boycott as much as possible automated and already robotized production, were this industrial goods, were it food, were it entertainment (i.e. that we are to do them alone, not to wait for them to be offered to us). It is clear that in the poorest country of European Community we will hardly begin to look for something that is 3-4 times more expensive only because it is made manually, but this is the most reliable and correct way, because this not only will ensure new jobs, but will also offer to the people something more interesting, not so boring. I mention this only schematically, because on this, that the automation throws people out from the sphere of production are written already many books for more than a century, and this isn't new phenomenon. But we are always forgetting about this and are pleased when there is something ready, easily accessed, something shining, good, directly perfect, while in the same time the inclinations of out organisms are not to perfect things but to personally achieved (no matter that with defects).
And with the youngsters what to do? Well, if you expect that I will do the work of at least hundred of persons, then you are positively wrong, because there must exist some official instance for the purpose. The Ministry of Youth and Sports could have been occupied with these functions (if we do not want to create a separate Ministry), but not as selection of the best (I have already said: less perfection, more vitality!), but as some programs for engaging of all boys and girls: it is possible that they were in different organizations, but that they existed, and that the young people were allowed to participate in them. Here are some ideas about interesting delusions (I especially stress on this word, in order that you become used to it, not to turn away from it, or to spit on the communists who have deluded us about the bright future, the friendship, etc.). One direction are
the religions, yet not as true worshiping but as interesting rituals.
You see, long ago was clear (at least for 25 centuries) that God or the gods are something entirely different from material world, they stay above it, they are neither material nor destroyable, ergo, we can't find them and prove or disprove their existence in whatever way (I have explained this in several places, I can't everywhere speak about everything). What means that everybody has his (or her) right to delude himself with whatever image or ideas about the gods, as long as he likes them, and they also preach to him some morality (for there is no religion without morality; we may not like it, and it can be directly perverse in some cases, but it exists, that is why the religions have been created). So that — the more exotic one religion is, the more it is interesting, such is the truth, and for this reason people for ages like to visit temples, especially as tourists. Id est, this is not some unpleasant obligation for the young, and they will from the very beginning like it (say, to study Zen Buddhism, or Islam, or some religion of the Incas, or the ancient Greek mysteries, etc.); the only thing that is needed it to find sufficiently intelligent and unprejudiced teachers, who would not deny the other religions and would search for meaning in the ritual, not just repeat some proved with nothing fables.
Another idea is the well known for centuries slogan
Retour a la nature,
or "Return to the nature", which I give in French because it rhymes good there. In our century of surrogates for everything — for food, for clothes, for sex, for entertainments, for whatnot —it is more than actual. I can't see what child of adolescent will refuse, say, to breed rabbits or chickens or other domestic livestock, or to learn all sorts of plants, healing herbs, exotic countries, and similar things (in the sense that not everyone will want all this together, but he will find something interesting for him). And this interest can be shown in some training and production units amidst nature.
Then something what is in some extent related with the previous,
returning to boarding form of education
everywhere, where it is possible, i.e. the children are separated from their parents somewhere exactly around teenager age in weekly (or even year-round, in some cases, but not daily) boarding establishments, where they all eat, sleep, and learn their lessons, play games, and learn something interesting for them. Say: folk dances, culinary, producing of vine, breeding of different animals, all kinds of sports, occult sciences, if you want, everything what is not harmful and can bring satisfaction to the children. This is a well tested form of education, which is advantageous for the parents (because lifts a heavy burden from them), but also for the children (because they become independent, not like greenhouse plants); as well also for the whole personnel of these institutions (i.e. there is work for them), so that I can't understand at all why we have abandoned it. Now, there are some legal points in regard of the existence of such organizations, so that they were able also to produce something, to support themselves alone, that are not quite clear to me, but for them, surely, exists easy decision. So that it leaves only to wait that some such lyceums (let us call them so, for this word sounds quite elevated) will begin to sprout on the left and the right, on empty land, in the mountains, in small towns, and in other places.
Then it is worth also to mention
the possibility for exchange of young people with other (exotic) countries,
i.e. our children, in groups somewhere from 10 to 50 persons, travel for at least half an year (and even better for entire one, for to have gone through all climatic particularities of the place) in some interesting corner of the world, and the same amount of children from that place come to us! It is supposed that some similar colleges or lyceums exist in other countries (but if they do not exist that we will pass them the idea). This surely will be related with learning of the language of the place where to they will go, yet this is part of the goal, to learn something more in addition. For example, 30 boys and girls from the lyceum of Bulgarian cuisine travel for an year to Australia in similar lyceum, where for this purpose they learn one year intensively Australian, right? On their part to us travel the same number of Australians (some of them with their domesticated baby kangaroos for company, I suppose).
Well, I switched to a bit frivolous tone, but this is for freshening of the atmosphere, otherwise the ideas are serious. Arises the question: will the Australians want to learn Bulgarian? Actually, I think they will, because for them this will be interesting, this will be Europe, after all, besides, in the last time I defend persistently the thesis that Bulgarian is one extraordinary good and light for learning language, and suitable even as ... world standard! Because, really, it has no cases, grammatical genders are easily established by the endings, we have no complex tenses (for example, the Italians, what is valid in some extent for all Latin languages, have 14 tenses, and in this number only the past ones are whole 5, and this without passive voice or ways for expressing of continuous tenses), we have perfect reflection of our phonetics via our alphabet, and contain all basic phonemes of other languages (due to what, for example, we speak much better English than one Chinese, or Negro, or even Italian). So that if we explain these things (and show them with examples) the Australians (or whoever they were, for they can be Eskimos from Alaska, or also from Peru, Tajikistan, Birobidzhan, if you like, and so on), then the children (as well also their parents) surely will agree with such temporary change. I don't know whether you appraise the significance of this idea, because it can give the tune to various countries, this unites the nations, and so on. But first of all this will be interesting for the children, they will "break their legs" in order to run to come into such lyceum.
At the same time do not think that this will not work because there will be necessary much money for this establishments. As I said, the children have to be in position to earn something themselves, but even if there has to be searched help from aside then I don't think this will turn to be very hard, because if many of us can hardly find money for bread and milk (and instead of the latter buy, for example, soya sausages), then for many countries on the West the problem is in this, on what to spend their money, for nowadays one pizza in United States costs about 50 US$ (for the reason that before 30 years it was approximately 18 dollars). Well, you see very good that for 50 US$ in Bulgaria one can eat hundred pizzas (and even more, if people alone make them and bake). I want to say that if there is a concrete goal, for which the money are given, the West will give them us (as has given, so far as I know, sums for building of various playgrounds for children by us — for the reason that by better social climate in our country less Bulgarians want to immigrate abroad, right?). But even if initially for this lyceums will be necessary that the parents pay, even then a heap of children will succeed to enter them, and all will see the benefit from them, and will be taken measures for building of new such institutions.
So that let me summarize in the end: the fascism is bad when it turns into fix-idea for some people, but as element of life it has its advantages. Especially the neofascism, which emerges in current days, is useful also as warning that, see: give us what we want, or else it will be worse. Id est the precedent of fascism (and up to some extent also of communism) plays significant role for avoiding of it. ( For example, our "hayduk" have begun often to voice: well, you only say that you want this, that we have taken up arms, or something of the kind. In short: people, think, for not to happen that the fascists will cease only to wave flags and organize "happenings" for themselves. ) And if we want that our children will not sway to such crazy ideas, as well also to make their life more interesting, it will be necessary to burden some Ministry with cares about the youth, because if we rely only on the democracy to better the situation as with some magic wand, it will happen as it became with the ideas of our notorious UDF, which only ruined our country. My propositions, as also the approaching to the theme, are not traditional, but I personally can see nothing bad in them. Well, judge for yourself.
ABOUT THE SOCIAL MINISTRY IN BULGARIA
I speak with such confidence about this Ministry because I have spoken not long ago about this my idea, which I will explain here in more details. But it is not entirely new for me, because before one or two years I have launched the idea about moderate communism in Bulgaria, which in some extent contacts with this. The difference is that the communism requires immediate prepayment for people with quite low, significantly before minimal monthly salary (MMS), income, while the Social Ministry has to perform also common planning functions, monitoring of social status of all Bulgarians, as well as searching of ways for targeted, in accordance with the kinds of expenses, support, outlining group of, let us name them so, social necessary products (SNP) and services, the prices of which have to be brought in line with the abilities of the given person, suppressing, as far as possible, the market mechanism from the standpoint of the individual, yet not excluding the free market from the standpoint of manufacturer or supplier. Putting this in other words, the Social Ministry must provide social help for the population, but under the conditions of right-wing capitalism, with its market and paying for everything. And now, more precisely.
But let me firstly say a pair of words about this, why it must exist in Bulgaria, while in the Western countries, as a rule, there is no such Ministry, there are only social programs to the municipalities. It must exist by us for the simple reason that
we are not like the other countries,
we are more savage than them, are not convinced in the necessity of social measures, nor our measures of that kind function good (for example, earlier, in totalitarian time, existed the so called shkembedzhiynitsi where, honestly, was not exactly shkembe — this is swine tripe, and from here their name —, in the 80s of the last century, but was soup from swine heads, fat and nutritious as much as you want, where the hot pepper was free of charge, and all this for 10 stotinki-cents, i.e. less than an egg for then 13 st.; now even a meatless bean soup costs at least one lev, i.e. 4-5 eggs). To say nothing about cheap hotels and holiday homes, or also baths — there are not more such things, end even the central mineral bath in Sofia, since it was privatized, ceased to exist. Also a heap of bus lines were canceled as unprofitable, and at least in Sofia, one can not more clime the Vitosha mountain for one day — more or less like in the times of our Aleko Konstantinov, more than a century back. Or also the central heating in winter for a modest two-room (i.e. one bed-room) flat amounts to 1/3 MMS, but there were periods when it exceeded half of MMS. And many other examples for our anti-people's democracy — when we so strongly did not want it to be people's, right? In addition to this we are the poorest among our European partners, so that it in necessary that we have some special instance which is to fight with the poverty of the poorest, i.e. with the (democratic) misery.
With the initial common things can be engaged also some department of our Ministry of Labour and Social Care, but in my opinion is necessary to have a separate Social Ministry, at least from the moment of common monitoring of all Bulgarians. And this Ministry must be part of all governments, as right-wing or left-wing they can be, be simply part of the Government, not that it turned out that the last establishes that one MMS is X levs, but the Trade unions calculate the social minimum to 1.7 X and this per head, but if in a family works only one person, even if in it are only two persons, because there have left no more "real" families (though for two working grown ups and two children the situation is the same), this means that he /she has to receive at least 3 MMS, what now is widely higher than the average working salary for the country, or that some, so, 90% of the Bulgarians, live on the threshold of poverty. At the same time, however, when it goes about taking from the citizens for social securities is accepted that there is entirely different minimal salary, which can reach up to 2 MMS (this is by us so already 10 years and nobody is impressed by it). Id est, we are full with anachronisms, because there is not one opinion on the question of social care for the citizens (well, for the peasants, too, surely), and each new government introduces new dissonances in this regard.
So that the common things are not so much, but they are important, where in addition to the fulfilling of a heap of statistics for the living standard, which are done now by a number of various instances, it has to be engaged first of all with
developing of common strategy against the poverty,
which has to remain unchanged for at least a decade, and which must be linked with all kinds of payments and taxes (not that: one finance Minister decides one thing, but when comes another one he decides something else), i.e. it is needed unified and consecutive vision, must be clear that poverty in our time is simply a disgrace, and that the state must care about such people even only for the reason that they were born on this world (unfortunately in our ruined, by too many "democrats", country). We must come in the end to the conclusion that must be not only notion of "minimal salary", but also of "minimal income" or "social minimum", which I think quite naturally to be half MMS! ( This is natural because the pensions and scholarships on the West, but also in Bulgaria earlier, are usually 2/3 MMS, but in these cases one, still, does something, goes out on the street, spends money on transport, clothes, breakfasts and lunches, and so on, so that the absolute minimum is logically to be lower, and for round calculations is rightly to accept 0.5 MMS ) And then, if we are on one opinion, that nobody must fall below this minimum — no matter why, no matter whether he is studying, or is ill, or is in some depression, or is just lazy, even if he is drug addict he must have what to eat and dress himself and ride around the town (to say nothing about some domicile, where the question is more difficult and may need, as it really needs, some municipal housing and dormitories) —, so when one drops below this level one must automatically (!) fall under some protection of the state, not that he must go to different instances and beg them.
Putting this otherwise:
one should not feel in unequal position only because one is poor,
as we said, independently of the causes (for he may also be an intellectual, as e.g., your author, but can also ... become part of some new Beatles, or a good footballer, or can be forced to care about ill parent or child, and so on). Id est, the market is market, the democracy is democracy, but the social care must be social care!
So that to the common questions can be considered also determining from what instances must be required assistance in cases of falling below the social minimum, as well as tying of the things with the budget, with the taxes, not like it is in Bulgaria (that the poor ones pay more than the wealthy, as percent of their income and expenses, naturally, in many cases — let me not indulge also here in more explanations). In addition to this we must be clear that even on this common level some goods and services must be considered as included in the necessary social minimum, and they must be controlled and ways are to be searched for regulation of their prices, and to be helped people with earnings lower than the social minimum exactly for these articles (because, for example, it is one thing if one must undergo operation because he /she has a harelip, and it is quite different thing if one wants to bore his /her tongue and put something shiny there; or it is one thing to by some special dry salami, and another thing if it goes about common mincemeat or sausage). Id est,
it must be introduced differentiation of products at least on two categories: socially necessary products (SNP), and other goods,
how it was, in general terms, under the totalitarianism. You see, under conditions of democracy of the right-wing or Western type, this, positively, will be harder (there is no mechanism for central regulation of prices), yet it is not impossible to be done; it is true that now even a system of coupons can not be introduced (by the current potential of copying technology), but there are ways. For example, the West sponsors for a long time in some way the producers of agricultural products (because these are a big number of people, this is their livelihood, they more often produce something natural, i.e. this is not the industry, where a conveyor can be introduced, or even some robot). Or there exists control of various kinds of industry, taxes, excises, list of people to whom things can be sold cheaper (say, medicaments for people with cancer). There are variants, they have to be thought through (as also about the prices on city transport, heating, etc.). Using other words: it must be done everything possible in order to
correct the minuses of market economy,
not only to sing them dithyrambs. The market might have been good in the times before Christ, but nowadays it is not such, the large scale industry just demolishes the small and manual one, yet the last is what creates labour for the people, as well gives them pleasure. So that if we have a view to the point about Social Ministry and SNP, where are supposed also services (say, education, healthcare, transport, heating, an so on), and on the basis of good statistical analysis of their consumption, can be taken right decisions in the concrete cases. ( For example, can be applied some ... colouring of the bread, say, in mouse colour, what would have made it not pretty attractive for the relatively affluent people, but it will be, still, as much nutritious. This is a bit crazy variant, but it can as well be applied for some "people's" bread. Or return to different taxes for cow white cheese and for sheep one. But almost surely must be taken away the taxes on medicines and medical services; it is inadmissible that one dental prosthesis, which is fabricated maximum for one workday, and whose materials cost as a kilo dry salami, to be paid by a price of a whole minimal monthly salary, but it is so by us! )
The next moment, which now, definitely, requires special Ministry, is
monitoring of the social status of all Bulgarians,
and by falling below the social minimum of 0.5 MMS alarming of other instances if necessary, and giving direct help, as far as possible, to the concrete person! Now, on this place some readers can object that: I see it, we are returning back to the communism where was watched about everybody and everything. Well, this is prejudiced statement at least because the income of everybody, at any rate, is watched, or it is necessary that was watched, for this must be known to the tax instances, so that we simply require that the Social Ministry (SM) becomes the first instance which will know this, and it must send the necessary information to other instances, not vice versa. At the worst, and on the first time, can be on the contrary, but this only complicates the things, so that let us speak about what is proper to be done. It is proper the following: SM maintains thorough records for all Bulgarians above the passport age (but even better for all living citizens of the state), with the following fields: EGN (this is our Unique Citizenship Number, for other countries can be used some unique Identification Number, or Taxpayer Number), names, education (of what kind and type), age (which has to be got and actualized from EGN — in Bulgaria it begins with yyyymmdd according to the used abbreviation), average monthly income for one to three previous years, total income and current monthly income for this year (eventually zero if the person is not of age or is without work), relations with other persons with whom he /she makes one household (this as if is better to be used than the word family) including dependent juveniles (in view of what is better to have full data base of all citizens, no matter that there are various exceptions for those not yet of age), expenses for SNP for the previous (one to three) years and for the current till the moment, possibly ethnic affiliation, disability (if there is any), and so on, and some others service fields which may turn to be needed.
Naturally, the expenses for SNP may not be entered for the moment, because we have not yet explained how they will be made, i.e. how they will be separated from the other expenses, but fields for them must be available also in the beginning. The forming of one household is very important, for it is necessary to know how to compute the corresponding ideal part of the income, so that it is needful to explain in more details how this will be established and who will be "head" of the household, for what purpose people are to sign somewhere, but this is to be done only once and will be significant when there will emerge SNP expenses. Then if all employers, plus the institutions for pensions, scholarships, and other incomes, sent information to this Ministry, it can always have a good sight on the social status of Bulgarians, which has to be accessible by everybody, only not as concrete persons (i.e. without our EGN), but as amount for each of the fields. Important are incomes in the limits: below 0.5 MMS, between 0.5 and 1.0 MMS, then up to 1.5 MMS, then to 2 MMS, to 3 MMS, to 5, and above 5 MMS. Now, let is not argue: if we have not exact sight on the income of every citizen in this limits, eventually with adding of other data like: ethnicity, age, profession, of what kind and level, and similar things, can't exist good social policy, especially in our "specific" conditions. And this always from that moment on, by each ruling.
And as to the necessity of paying of some monetary help by this Ministry to different citizens, even on this stage, is necessary the existence of some banking institute, which we will name
Central Social Bank (CSB).
In the ideal case, once we have this Ministry, it is correct exactly via CSB to perform all payments, like pensions, scholarships, et cetera, according to the data from the corresponding instances, what will facilitate the work of the latter on the account of that of the SM, but when it, anyway, will have all the data, and be main control body, then this will not increase especially its functions. So the SM, together with the CSB, will preside over all social payments, as well over personal takings from part of the citizens, i.e. it will help taxing institutes, as well also have decisive vote in forming of the state budget and setting of the taxes (taking into account first of all the social functions of the state).
Now it comes the third moment, or the time of "maturation" of SM, and this is
execution and control of the expenses on SNP,
as well also their compensation for those for whom these things are beyond their strength. Let us take first only such instances where these expenses are at 100% SNP and these institutions offer only such expenses. For example: central heating, city transport, healthcare, including the pharmacies, education, and similar things. Well, there is no need to "discover America", nowadays already everywhere where only is possible are used ... phone cards, right? So then every citizen (as well also peasant, as I have mentioned) receives one such card — social card or SC —, which, that's for sure, costs cents, when is given by many supermarkets, as also by banks, free of charge, so that this will cost nothing. Then is used specific barcode (social code) where for each such product exist its number. Initially these numbers will be not more than hundred, but the capabilities of this code are quite big, when can include all the books in a library. Then is announced the incredible thing that
each SNP product is firstly paid by half price,
and later on SM calculates how much must pay the citizen in addition, and for what part SM will search where from to pay to him /her, if necessary! Why on the half? Well, because this catches the eye, but also because it will turn out, as you will learn now, that 0.5 of the SNP will pay finally each citizen with one MMS on head of the household, and those with less than this will pay also less, while those with more money they will pay more, but only for income higher than 1.5 MMS will turn out that SNP will be paid by its cost price; more than this, for people with income from 3 to 5 MMS is logically that they pay even more for SNP things. More specifically, my proposition is the following: till 0.5 MMS all SNP products (which are included till the moment) are free of charge (so that to the person, the head of the household, are even returned money), from 0.5 to 0.6 MMS will be paid only 10% from these expenses, till 0.7 — 20%, and so on, and till 1 MMS exactly 50%, then in the same way the percents grow, where till 1.1 MMS is paid 60% (i.e. the head of household pays another 10% more), and so on, and till 1.5 MMS, when SNP are paid exactly by their price.
Then further, from 1.5 MMS till 3 MMS we don't do whatever other alignments for the persons, but for those from 3 to 5 MMS, as people with quite affluent earnings, we can allow ourselves to require that they pay a bit more especially for such products, but not too much more, we will heave only with 1% for each 10% of MMS above 3 MMS, i.e. till 3.1 MMS — 1.01 of the price of SNP, till 3.2 — 1.02, and so on, for 4 MMS by 1.1 for SNP, and so on, and for 5 MMS by 1.2 for SNP products, where we stop the further increasing of percentage but it remains. And if somebody from these people with pretty high income wants to refuse to support the others then he must have the right to do this (as it is for healthcare by us), only that if he decides later to pay as the others he will have to wait three years until this begins to be applied also for him, so that a thoughtful person will hardly put himself and the other people from the household in conditions of increased risk (he could rather, if he is wealthy enough, begin spending on some sports, fitness, UV exposure, and similar things, and in this way to spare at least on health care expenses; and as to the communal ones — let him renovate his home, put solar panels, etc.).
Now let us firstly leave aside the most difficult question, i.e. from where will be taken so much money to pay all SNP things for the poverty stricken people with incomes below 0.5 MMS in month (averagely for an year), and inspect the interval from 0.5 to 1.5 MMS. By average monthly salary as a rule, and already also in Bulgaria, of roughly 2.5 MMS and decreasing this nearly twice because of the households (well, not exactly, because some people receive something, say, pensions), we come to 1.5 MMS, so that the middle of the income will correspond to 100 percent payment of SNP products. This means that those from 0.5 to 1 will be compensated in significant extent by the additions of those from 3 to 5 MMS, as well also from various other places (social payments, paying of sick days, etc.). The calculations will be done every quarter (or even half-year, more often maybe will not be necessary, for this will encumber first of all the citizens, about the computers we don't need to bother), but this will be current calculations, which will become final in the end of the year. In any case, there are good reasons to expect that the companies offering SNP products and services will get nearly 90% of the made expenses (without other special measures) for persons with income higher than 0.5 MMS, what can turn out to be even more than this what they receive (let me remind you — well, tell, for the readers abroad — that the heating company in Sofia, "Toplofikatsia", have come to nearly bankrupt situation because of not paid more than 50% of the bills in some apartment buildings, so that in the end the Municipality of Sofia bought part of it to cover the debts). What reduces to this that the offered here measures can even better the collecting of money, in spite of the advertising that half of the services are not paid.
In cases when some of those, who must pay something extra for the current quarter, declare that they can't, or don't want to do this — well, for them simply the "tap" will be closed, via blocking of the social cards (say, after 2 weeks), and when they go to pay something new they will pay it in full and that's it, these expenses will later not be reduced for them. So that such people will think twice before they decide to boycott this good for them system. Besides, nobody has said that everything must start at once and everywhere. The right thing to do is to select in the beginning some not very big town, or city district, with population between 50 and 100 thousands, where this idea is to be applied for first time (I even suppose that there will be necessary to perform drawing of the town, for there will be many willing). After this will be begun with a pair of things only, say, electricity, water, and central heating. Or the tuition fees at universities, or how it will be decided. Having in mind that this, after all, will be a whole Ministry, and it will have in its disposition a lot of analysis, forecasts, and statistics, then it will not be difficult to compute what amount of money will be needed — possibly even more exactly than when a building is to be erected, for example. So that the problem is not there.
The problem will be with those who live in poverty and can't scrape together even 0.5 MMS in month. Well, but
such people should not at all exist, hence, simply must be sought variants for solving of this problem!
I make one proposition in the material about moderate communism, backed up by some approximate calculations. But I think that we should not doubt that when it goes about targeted social assistance the West positively will give us a hand (because the people there want to have something with which to be proud, and also to invest reasonably their money, for this is a kind of investment, this will not only reduce the immigration to these countries, but will also tie us somehow to them, it will be clear who has given and what has given, for them this money will not be thrown to the wind). But surely we alone can also do something — if we don't want that this time, not the communists, but the fascist, for example, come to power (for they wait exactly this, that the situation worsens and that they come to them — our "Hayduk Sider" has begun even to ... nuns to pay electricity bills, if some of you recalls this).
There is one more detail, this about the half price. By one accurate accounting for every citizen will be absolutely well known his (or her) personal coefficient for the previous year, so that he could have paid also according to it, but I don't think that this will be very appropriate, because we not only eliminate one good advertisement (or fraud, trick, how you like it), but introduce also discrimination of customers, and some of these companies can begin to look for loopholes in the orders and not to provide services to people with low coefficient. Although by good work of the system for these companies will exist no difference whether they will receive their money at once, or after 3-4 months; in the sense that the difference will be only in the time and after this period they will get everything regularly, because will receive additional payment for earlier services, and if the new ones will be as much as the old (as it, in principle, happens), then their revenues will be the same. And as to this delay with several months, it is quite natural that also the tax authorities will not require good balance from them for this time, i.e. that the they also waited a little. So that till now everything is fine.
Now let us see what will happen
in the shops where will be normal products and SNP ones,
because bread, milk, and other food products, can be (at least for a long time) considered in Bulgaria for at least on 50% SNP products. Well, if the shop is big, if it is a supermarket, then there are no problems, and we can propose that there was pictured a (blue, for example) umbrella — because this is a kind of social "umbrella" — and next to it was the social barcode, so that it will be entered separately (or the computerized system of the shop will easily find the correspondence of the code of product with the necessary social code). In this situation there are no problems that there was also the percent of SNP for some products and everything was computed with precision to the third digit, if necessary. The customers will have to carry with them one more phone card, but such is our fate nowadays. These cards must have also PIN-code, but it might not be required to be entered for products less than, say, 5 levs (2.5 euros), so that a baton of bread and a package of milk did not detain additionally the people in the queue. But these, by God, are details. If in some inhabited place, in rural area, in the common shop, they have not such sophisticated systems, then could be accepted some Solomonic decision to calculate some average sums for such expenses and to pay only to the poorest by 10 levs in month, something of the kind.
Good, and now let us defeat also some readers who are ready to object that: you see, this is one temporary decision only for our country, it is not applied anywhere in the world, and
while we succeed to introduce it, it will already become obsolete, and, besides, it is utopian.
About the utopias — let us clarify that they are such only until they are not realized (e.g., that people flied in the air, or that there were paper signs as substitutes of precious metals, or democracy, or real socialism, called communism, and other things). And the decision is not temporary, this is decision in the general case, what means that sometime there will be benefit from it, if we have introduced it. Because if there is separating of the goods in two categories (and there can be even 20 such divisions, for that matter, and it may also not be necessary new card for them), then this can be used for whatever. For example, can be paid for medical treatment of cancer patients, or AIDS positive, or alcoholics, and on and on, what are things that as if never will disappear from our life, i.e. this is not like only the prices on central heating or city transport and this only in Bulgaria.
In addition to this, for every person will be kept exact records of all his or her social expenses, and these are exceedingly important data for various statistics and planning. ( And don't bother about the information problem, if occasionally some of you have begun to think about this, i.e. how can be kept all bought products, because such product will hardly be more than hundred in a month per person and long by 10 bytes for the record — only the code and the quantity — or simply 1 KB, what is exactly 1000 times less than one usual ... photo of 1 MB, so that there will be found place also for such data. ) But when each one of these services has its own code, then such codes can be given also to some products which are not necessarily SNP products, but undergo similar processing, at least partially. Id est, I want to say that
it might be that some company decides to propose something on the same conditions,
what will be for it a good advertisement, only that it takes alone the care about this how it will pay extra the expenses of some clients (I bet that taking them from the others, right?). It, though, can declare that in their shops till one loaf of bread is considered as SNP product, if only the client has card for their shop and that he buys, say, at least on 50 levs in month by them, and this product has its code, which code when it comes to SM is taken away and sent back to the company, for some fee to SM for the operation (because, otherwise, for what reason must the Ministry engage itself with this additional work?). Something in that spirit. As also for all specialized social products and services can be sent information to the particular institutions, and so on. As, too, companies or private persons can show a wish to sponsor a certain type of expenses and only it, this is notably valuable division, which will raise the very sponsoring, so that such cards can help also to wealthy countries. In general, a right decision in the common case is always preferable before many different decisions in each special case.
Well, exactly because this is one extremely reasonable decision, for the very reasonability of it, I personally doubt that it will be applied sometime in Bulgaria, but, in the end, my task is to propose reasonable decisions, and their implementation (most often by unreasonable ways) I leave to the politicians. Because: let them also do something, ah?
HOW TO IMPROVE DEMOCRATIC PROTESTS?
Before a pair of months I came to the conclusion that we do not know also how to protest correctly, when are dissatisfied with something. And under the word "we" I mean not only by us, in Bulgaria, but all around the world, where in our country be behave even quite culturally, we just hinder the people, our legitimately elected rulers, to do their work, organizing on the square before our National Assembly (this is our Parliament), like on the lawn before the White House, folk festivities with drums, megaphones, songs and dances, and waving of national flags (for there is nothing else to wave, is there?). And this, naturally, impedes the people to walk on the streets around, and for that reason clad in modern "armors" poliziotti (this is in Italian) stand there and from time to time stop the protesting people in order to let go the accumulated citizens to pass, and later vice versa. Well, there, surely, for such occasions exist the police, to protect the people from themselves, but this isn't the right thing, because in this way neither the protest is protest, nor the people are free to go everywhere, nor also the corresponding institutions can work properly, and also is engaged time of the police for funny activities — the protesting people are not some criminals, they are young people who simply want to have a bit fun and also show serious appearance and pomposity, even "heroism" in collision with the police. So well, what has to be done, how are we to behave, with the result that the wolf will be satiated and the lamb remains alive?
For proper understanding of the problem is necessary to split it in several moments, which are different but they happen together, i.e. we must decompose the problem for to be able to find the right decision. Because:
0. Why the people protest?
You will say: because they are dissatisfied with something. So it is, but not exactly. There are various factors involved. For one thing people want just to make some noise, to disagree, brawl, raise the devil, show themselves in heroic situations — i.e., they decide that if they do not do some obvious foolishness, setting in peril their own or of someone else's life, the situation will not better. Like, for example, on some Tiananmen Square in China, do you remember this? The foolishness of self-sacrificing is obvious, but how else to attract the public opinion? And what if they will not be harmed? And what if they will be glorified as patriots? For that reason by us are waved also national flags, although our people, thank God, are peaceful, they don't "ask for trouble" without necessity
So that this is the one side of the matter, the psychological one, which must not be overlooked. While one is young he wants to change the wold, and to test himself and demonstrate before the others, as well also to leave the accumulated "steam" (and exactly for this reason, I suppose, in Russian exists the word "paren" as young man, because he has much "par"-steam, and it is "pora"-time for him to marry, to build a pair), after what he usually calms down and feels better. The demonstrations and protest rallies are kind of ... electrical fuses, they must not burn out, in theory, in normal circumstances, but when the situations are not very normal then they also burn out sometimes, but save the system (here the democratic ruling). So that this possibility we must retain in all cases, but it has to be channeled, led to the necessary place, in order that the "lamb" remained alive, i.e. not to hinder the work of institutions. Because there are also protests when some people bring tractors and trucks on the street, block traffic arteries, in short create disorder, although the actions are announced in advance and some measures for diverting of traffic are taken. Or protests before headquarters of parties and movements. Or protests of physicians, teachers, transport workers, and so on and so on. The disorders must be banned, but has to be retained the possibility to protest, and as if till now nobody has come to the idea how to realize this. Only the boldly thinking, though a bit swerving to utopias, Chris Myrski has got the enlightenment, right?
But let us continue further. To the people has to be specially given opportunity to express their meaning, and this is the second moment, on which we must dwell here. In this regard also wide away from everything is clear, because the rulers as if know that the voice of people is voice of God, but do not like much to ask them, those people. And why? Well, because the people are immoderate and they will tell you a heap of silly things if you leave them to speak. Yeah, but I think that this is mainly because they are not asked, or are asked not in the proper way. For example, when Bulgaria joined NATO nobody asked the people do they really want this or not, or the European union, or when the flat tax was introduced (we have the maximally right-wing income tax, which dos not depend on the amount of income, the percentage is always the same, and this in the poorest country of European Union!), or about the legalization of prostitution, or of marriages between homosexuals (as if they are allowed, I have shown no interest, this does not affect me), and other similar examples. It is clear that if you ask people how much has to cost the bread, or the milk, or the meat, and so on, and if you ask them at all about such things, because by market economy the prices are not established centralized, then the people will choose the possibly lower price, but there are important things about which people must be asked. Not under condition that their vote will be approved immediately — because, to remind you, maybe for the umpteenth time now, that the fascism in Germany has come to power in its time exactly because the population wanted it, in democratic way — but to ask is necessary, and, when needed, to involve also the international community and governmental instances, for to convince the people that they are wrong and what they want is not reasonable (as, for example, was with Bulgarian medics in Libya, who were taken for guilty by Libyan Government, as well as by the whole population, in absolutely absurd assumption of intentional contamination of innocent children for money). Or to remind you about nearly the first in history democratic decision of Pontius Pilatus who to exculpate, Christ (allegedly) son of God, or the bandit Varavva /Barabba. When people are not asked they in the best case become embittered, but the decisions must be taken by the rulers — that is why they are chosen.
But there is also a third moment: how to take the meaning of people into consideration? Who will ask questions and of what kind? Will this not turn out to be manipulation of the masses? And when? Because the people are asked in normal situations once in four years, on the elections, but many things age quite fast. And then it is not a good decision to conduct always pompous referendums, or to wait until people go out on the streets to protest, it must be found an easy decision, which is obvious nowadays, to what we shall come after a while.
And there is also fourth side of the things: what to do with the trouble-makers by the demonstrations? They, after all, do not do crimes against the people, not rob, not kill, they just hinder the people and society. I mean not only the kinds of penalties, they too, but also the work which they are to fulfill for minor violations, because it is not good to make them drones of society. And there is also no moral, nobody tells us what is good and what is bad, only that the one part thinks that the police is always and everywhere bad, and the other part thinks that the young (mostly) hinder the calmness of society.
So that we don't know how to protest, and even when we want to show support to some party or political figure we don't know how to do this (except to wait till the next elections and then vote for him or her). Well then, let us begin in the right order.
1. Where to protest?
I don't know how simpler to answer this question than with the words: on the specified for that purpose places. Not on the streets and squares, not on the transport arteries, not before the buildings of institutions or organizations or eminent persons, where they, obviously disturb the normal way of life, hinder other people who do not want to protest or who don't give a damn about these protests, but on the approved places. On what places? Well, on special stadiums, because these are the places where it is accepted for large number of people to gather together. Exactly so. In genuine Myrski's way, right?
Now, for the beginning can be used the existing stadiums, i.e. to choose one such object, a bit aged, in order not to be damaged much, but this is only temporary decision due to the lack of something better. The right thing is that this was a separate stadium for protests, where is no need to have many sitting places, only small tribune for, say, a thousand of people, for the official media, because hardly somebody will want to pay entrance fee, but even if it is free here the point is not in seeing of what other people do, the point is in personal participation. There must be broad, about 20 meters, elliptical path (this as if is better than circular one) on the perimeter, with symmetrical entrance and exit somewhere near the focuses of the ellipse but from one part, say, from the part of tribune, with the possibility to go for a next round, or leave for the exit, and in the center must be just an asphalted area, with not very high tribune for potential speakers. All this must be enclosed by high fence, with illumination, with pylons for flags — this is important element, there have to be 3, 5, or 7 such pylons — and equipped with many cameras (about 10 pieces, from various angles). There must be also screens for showing of various slogans, which is more convenient to be placed facing the tribune.
You see, here the people must be separated from the others, but this is not a place for isolation, this is not an exile, which will be unpleasant for the protesters, no, there have to be ensured all necessary means for live transmission from these stadiums in the news, in the same way how is conducted transmission of all debates of the Parliament. So that there have to be acoustic devices and possibility against some payment (or up on request of organizers, because these meetings or demonstrations will be usually organized by some political power) to show different things on the screens in the stadium, listen to music, arrange dances, if you want. More than this, their protests must be shown on several places in the big towns on special screens, in order that the people, those who want this, walking around, were able to watch these events. The protesters, after all, but also all people, nowadays need first of all advertising, publicity, and the other people want most of all to be kept informed about everything! But, dear God, I remember that before twenty or more years I have watched that in Las Vegas was everywhere full with screens, where flash all kinds of images, show animations and such things; in the old days such screens were simply made with big number of light bulbs. And after some 10-20 years will be elementary to have in disposition also movable flat screens, worth about ordinary window frame (together with the frame), to which will be necessary only to connect an accumulator, weighing, say, 2 kilograms; or they could be able to be attached to the facades of buildings with suction cups. There will be no obstacles at all for ensuring of the publicity of events.
In the ideal case, I think, will be better to have, at least in big cities, even two such stadiums — white and black ones, i.e. for the approving and welcoming the politics, and for the protesting and spitting at it. This will offer even bigger distancing of the one people from the other. But in small towns will be enough to have only one stadium for protests, and in villages must simply be established some place somewhere away from the center. In full measure, I think, is necessary to perform also police control (for example, by scanning of personal documents) on the entrance and the exit, for the reason that in many cases such info may turn to be useful, in order to perform various analyzes, as well also for control of protesters; don't be afraid by this, because hardly will pass more than a pair of decades and such measures will be introduced in all usual stadiums. And if with this will be engaged different instances, and because after the event, in any case, will be necessary to be cleaned, I think that will be justified to introduce some democratic fee for entrance — for example such: for unemployed, students, pensioners and disabled, as also for people with less than one minimal monthly salary (MMS) will be free admission, for people with income to 2 MMS to pay, say, 0.5 euros (i.e. half ticket for city transport, and for the others by 1 euro.
So that everything is a matter of habit and customs and if the people will be accustomed that they have every right to go to these stadiums and protest whenever they only want, then they will begin to do it. Now, our protesters, having succeeded at last to change to existing Government, have even decided once to gather every day before the Parliament and ... drink coffee there (I think at five o'clock, at tee time), and what is bad of this place as meetings place for the young, ah? Had I also 25 (instead of 65) years I would have also gone there to have a little chat with the girls. With what I want to say that even unpleasant, but useful, duties can be made attractive with something, if the things are thought through in advance. But protests on the streets and so on, as I said, have to be banned and prosecuted by the law.
2. How to express reasonable opinions?
Here it goes not about such protests where people just want to shout a bit and communicate with their brothers of fate, but about expressing of opinions on various questions, about mass conducting of surveys or referendums. I have mentioned this in other material, but there is nothing simpler than conducting, say, once every month of questionnaire of all citizens of age with five points and with five answers. The points can be more, till ten, but the answers have to be five — the less the better, in order not to confuse the people — and with such, approximately, coding: 1 - strongly approve , 2 - approve, 3 - indifferent to the question, 4 - disapprove, 5 - strongly disapprove; if we want to make difference between not voted and indifferent then to the not voted can be assigned a value of 0.
Now about the questions: there can be new and actual in the moment, as well also permanent, for determining of the rating of leading parties and political figures. If there is some list and has to be chosen one element from it can be joined two such questions in one, but these are details. Can be voted by Internet, or via mobile phones, with the help of password, like it is by withdrawing of money from a bank account, but has to be also possibility in the Municipality (or police stations) to enter new password in case of intervention of people from aside. Filling of all questions in one survey (or referendum, questionnaire) will take about 5 minutes, so that there will be no reasons for the people to refuse to vote (though, naturally, they are free to do this).
Somebody may say that this is not a new element and many media and websites conduct such surveys, yet this is not so. It is one thing when there is one authorized instance, and quite another thing when some company carries its own questionnaires chiefly for advertising purposes, or at least to raise its rating. When this is a private affair then will answer people who watch this broadcasting, and their meanings are already known in outline, because each company has some idea about its circle of audience, and the results of one survey will highly differ from those of another survey on the same questions. Further, if I hate the company "AA", for example, then I will not vote in its survey, I will not want to have whatever in common with it. So that it has to be decided who will conduct this, but in principle every site is good, and they will even compete for to get permission to conduct such surveys. I think the central news agency of the country is the best choice of host for this purpose, but there can be objections, that this is corrupt organization, or that there the people will be deceived, etc., so that I will propose one simple decision that avoids such possibilities.
But in addition to this has to be stressed that the voting has to open, by name, else there will be various speculations, that is why passwords are necessary. But open voting does not mean that it will be accessible for every interested, not. Everybody will be able to check his own answers on different surveys, and for the others receive only summary results, i.e. so many people and percentage have given answer 1, so many 2, and so on. Yet the giver of the vote, together with his password, is needed also because of the possibility to correct the voting, though first of all in order to was possible to apply some not complicated data base of all citizens of the country, where will be includeed such parameters like: age (i.e. the year of birth, and from it to compute the age), education, and not only as tertiary or secondary but also the type of education (out of, say, 10 types), property status, family status, number of children, knowledge of languages, ethnic affiliation, place of residence, an so on. With the help of such data base could be answered exactly questions like, for example: how have voted technical intelligentsia, compared with pensioners, or Gypsies, and so on, on a given question, and this, obviously has big importance for the assessment of results. These are entirely new possibilities, which are absent by the public voting using anonymous bulletins.
So, but the people, you see, are afraid that, for one thing, the agency (site) that processes the results can distort the results on purpose, and for another thing, that the police or somebody up there will find out their meaning and use this information against them. Well, as to the possibility for falsification, then the data can be sent in one central place (say, in the leading news agency of the country), which will multiply them in 3 or 5 exemplars and send to other instances, and via comparison of the common results, but also everybody will be able to check his answers there, will succeed to convince himself (especially if the programs for processing will be the same) that everything is correct. In addition to this is possible somehow to alternate these instances (say, after six months), in order that they did not "forget themselves". As to the fears of using this information to the detriment of the voters, I think that this is just not serious, because when there will be hundreds of questions in an year hardly somebody will decide to draw conclusions based on this about the trustworthiness of the person. And further, the real democracy is unthinkable without the possibility to express in the open one's opinion, so that my advice is to leave the things how they are, i.e. the information open only for authorized instances, that pledge not to use it in improper way.
( Still, in parentheses, I will give just in case one intricate way for untying of the person from his vote with the use of an intermediary site or even intelligence agency — say, CIA, ah, and they know there how to keep secrets — and shuffling of the list of all people. This is done in the following way: when the whole procedure for establishing of the people for the given year is finished (it has to be set somehow an end to the adding of new persons) the central cite sends the list of all people together with their parameters about which we have spoken (age, education, etc.) to this intelligence agency and it performs there the shuffling of all persons, after which to every person is assigned new sequence number but what is the correspondence of this number to the real person can establish only this agency. All further correspondence is maintained with CIA, excuse my, with the chosen intelligence agency, and the latter sends to the central site firstly the attachment of all parameters to these sequence numbers (without other information about identity of the people), and then for each batch of questions gives as code of the person his or her sequence number. Neither the very persons, though, who correspond with this intelligence agency, know this sequence number, nor in the central site, where work with the use of this sequence number, know to whom it refers, neither can be found from where come the answers. That's it. And it is again possible after, say, an year, to change these intelligence or whatever only agencies. But this is unnecessary complicated. )
3. Who will set the questions?
And now let us explain also this, who will compose these questions. Well, in principle this must be done in the Parliament, by some Commission on public opinion surveys, although there can also be variants, can be included representatives of various media, and/or international observers, but the decisive vote has to be that of the Parliament. This is not a difficult procedure, but it is important, and this Commission must be also intermediary, input, for whatever propositions made by the political powers or common citizens. Id est this will be as if pre-protesting instance, and if some political power disagrees with something, and persistently disagrees, then it must firstly approach this instance, and after this think about demonstrations. And this instance must remain in power also when new elections are performed and Government is not yet built, because also in such time can be various questions for regulating. But with this work can be occupied also the Office of the President, in the end. What decision will be accepted. The important thing is that one composes the questions, and the answers come in another place, in order to was disjoining of the instances, because otherwise will always be fears that something is foul.
Here the manner of asking the question is very important, so that to enable understanding of the motives of people, the priorities of values, what is more important for them and what not so much, and after some time to repeat the questions, if they are significant. Also this is not so simple a task in the sense of satisfying of all protests of political powers, which will exist in any case, you can be sure about this. Here is necessary to separate correctly the practical considerations from the political ones, because, at least in Bulgaria, the politics continue to be in the saddle and stay above the economy, in result of what nearly always is taken the wrong decision! For example, there was such issue, what to do with our nuclear power industry and nuclear power plant, to close it gradually, or on the contrary, to increase the production with adding of new blocks, and this question was revised several times and it still, it seems to me, is not definitively solved, because, you see, the power plant is Russian one and from the totalitarian years, and, consequently, for all right-wing, which in Bulgaria are as a rule Russophobes, this means that it, surely, has to be closed, in spite of the opinions of foreign experts, which can be interpreted in different ways. And here is necessary, on one hand, to understand are the fears of people that something may happen with is so high, do the people really think that the Russian technique is so unreliable (when, say, even the Americans work on the Russian Space Station), and, on the other hand, do we think that the production of electricity has to be increased, because there exists market of electrical power and if we have more of it we can sell it, and this can lower the prices of it; the prices of electricity (as well also of all communal expenses) are growing higher all the time and in such poor country like our this is a question of primary importance. Similar with it is now the question about the oil pipeline "South Stream", which obviously is profitable for us, but there are again these Russians, so that it is better not to get involved with them. And other examples.
Id est the decisions, naturally, are taken by the political powers that stay at the rule, this is the essence of party system (to hinder the economy), but if the questions are properly set then they must in maximal measure take away the politics in every situation. By well set questions on principal topics we can try to find common solutions beneficial for the whole nation, not only for certain political powers; this is a way for reaching of Government of national unity, which we never have (and now, as if rejecting the bipolar model BSP - UDF, we again come to similar situation with the successors of UDF). I want to say that in Bulgaria the two poles are really poles — extremely right-wing and extremely left-wing — and this is not good, we must aim at the center (for example, by the well known American system of Democrats against Republicans I don't think that whatever of these parties is extremely left-wing, they have milder division). In this sense it turns out that this Commission must be maximally apolitical, what is quite difficult task, and for this reason it can be also to the Presidency. The things have to be thought through, I give only the ideas, I can't fulfill the work of entire teams of specialists.
4. How to punish the offenders?
Well, first of all, and initially, with fines, this is clear. But they have to correlate with the income of offenders, because it is not right to impose the same fines on an unemployed and owner of a BMW, for example, and in Bulgaria this, sure thing, is not done (and not only by us, for I have not heard about a country where the fines are defined in parts of MMS, how I have proposed in other materials). By repeating of similar offenses the fines have to be doubled, and at most one more time, and later on we have to switch to other measures. But what are these other measures? This is only imprisonment, which is only burden for the state because these are only expenses. And here the question is more broad, because this is how the matters stay also with other minor offenses, like: domestic disturbances, bodily injuries, petty thefts, economic offences, hooligan manifestations, and others, where the important thing is to reeducate the person, make him think, feel ashamed.
And how it was earlier? There were exiles, katorgas or galleys, heavy prison works for non-correctable criminals, in order that they at least worked and in this way atoned to some extent their guilt. In more minor cases were also some works, boring, but giving a little money to the state (say, by Dickens, if I am not mistaken, in the prison they agglutinated envelopes or paper bags for packaging in the shops), but nowadays, on the background of growing unemployment what kind of work is to be allotted to them for to deprive other people of necessary for them earnings, ah? And the unemployment will not lessen with the use not only of automation but also robotization in nearly all industries. And how much unattractive the given work was, say, of hygiene workers, by cleaning of streets, or transport vehicles, et cetera, those who perform it do this diligently (I look at our cleaners), in order not to lose it, and if this will be assigned to prisoners they will intentionally perform it bad (or will be necessary twice as much guards). But in old books one can read about wallowing of somebody in tar and feathers and conducting him so along the city streets, or about branding of criminals and easy women, and other similar variants.
Well, I am not supporter of cruelties, but some not painful and chiefly shaming the person measures can be accepted. Beginning simply with publication of such people in some lists, so that everybody could recognize them (acquaintances, work colleagues, or neighbours, will surely take an interest in this). It is possible also to put on them indelible ink for some time (about a week till a month) and this with controlling that the person does not wash it, requiring from him (or her) to visit each day the nearest police station to sign there and to check him. And where to put it? Well, on the forehead, or on the ... nose, if you like, so that everybody could see him /her, in the transport, on the work place. Further can be applied partial trimming of the hair on one quarter — say, beginning with the back left quarter and clockwise if similar cases repeat (but it is possible also on a half, front - back, or left - right). As far as it is possible that this can enter into fashion among the young, such manner of "haircut" must be officially banned and each such person can be stopped by police and asked to prove the cause for this appearance and if it is not result of penalty then impose on him appropriate punishment, beginning with fine (eventually plus entire trimming of the head).
There can also be implanted some electronic chips — say, on the right shoulder or the right buttock. In this way the person can be recognized when needed, but only by the special bodies, by the police. If there turns to be necessary permanent monitoring of the person can be thought also about special transcevers in the manner of mobile phones, but so that it was possible to conduct exact comparing of the signal and the person (either by the pulse of heart, or by the voice), and this so that one can even bathe with these things (in quite near future this can become possible, and I think that similar gadgets are already used for tracking of migratory birds and other animals).
Another side of the matter is the work for prisoners. As I have said it is difficult to find it, but if with this engage appropriate authorities in the frames of some program (nowadays everything is done by some program) then something can be invented. I will propose a pair of things, sounding a bit utopian, in my style, but which can be easily applied. Say, outlets with the "enticing" name "By the violators", where can be eaten a sandwich or a pizza, or drink a bottle of bear, such things. Who knows whether this will not turn to be an interesting lure for the customers? Because if this will turn so, then they will give something to the state. Or not large manufactures, for earthen cups (with painted there, or embossed, half-shorn head). Or send them by one to willing companies or shops. This will be funny, this will be interesting for the others, even for the very offenders, but they will hardly decide to "make career" as partially shorn personages (and they will also not succeed to do this because will be released soon)
Another possibility is to perform some displeasing, but useful for the person — mark this — work in the prison, which may not give much profit to the state, but will do no harm to anybody. For example, to ... pedal bicycle in his /her room, but with attached to the wheels dynamos! It is not necessary that the produced in this way electrical power be fed to the power grid, this may require complicated synchronization, but for heating devices, in the kitchen, or for cooling of the room (if not otherwise then at least with mechanical linkage with a propeller), it will be useful. ( I have come to this idea having heard that somewhere people have made such additional contraption to the computer, so that it were possible to charge an accumulator for a pair of hours work by pedaling bicycle for half an hour. ) Nobody will like much to do something under coercion, so that this will be a kind of additional punishment, but at the same time this will be useful straining for the person, a care for his /her health.
There is another variant, where will be expenses related with the prisoners, but this will be to their advantage, and for the young people this will not be without significance. It goes about including them in some training classes. I means short ones, of two weeks, or in several such parts, but so that one part was with such duration, what is quite enough in many cases. Say, for giving of first medical aid, or on repairing of electric plates and stoves, or of refrigerators, and so on, or on learning typing with ten fingers (this is boring thing, but useful), or as introduction to plumbing, or on interior decoration of houses, and a lot of other variants. Putting it otherwise, this means that a person, entering for a short time a prison, will not consider the time wasted, will not become angry with the police "pharaohs", yet, still, will hardly try to land again there for another thoughtless childish act. Because, as I have said in the beginning, it is possible to satiate the wolf (with soya minced meat, ah?) and preserve the lamb alive.
So with the use of all these measures can be accomplished several goals, namely: people will be able to protest as much as they want, their voices will be clearly heard, they will be able to help the ineffective democratic machinery to fulfill its functions more successfully, will be done something so that the agencies of law and order can diminish a little their expenses, as well also will be helped to the very prisoners to spend more usefully and pleasantly the time of their not long imprisonment. In my opinion all this is wide away from well understood, either by the common people, or by the appropriate instances.
P.S. May 2015. I think it is necessary to clarify a bit the idea about surveys, to section 2. First of all that open voting with password is in fact secret one, the password is necessary to enter in the system, further on everything is hidden. With the help of CIA or not but will exist central agency where the answers of the people are sent. Let this agency conducts before each survey (usually once in a month, not year, as I have said earlier) adding of new citizens (who may now become of age, or decide to vote), as well also excluding of some deceased (or, say, renounced their citizenship). In this way each time will be formed new file with citizens and new sequence numbers, and once the voting is finished there is no need to correct whatever in the old votings, so that because of this even with password one will not be able (i.e. this has to be forbidden) to find out his (or her) personal answers! This, at one hand, is natural, and at the other hand will be guarantied the anonymity of answers, because, let us imagine this, one can be caught and forced to enter the password and see the results — yeah, but this will not be possible if the voting is finished, and if it is not finished then he can always change later the results.
So, then if each time will be done new sorting of the people (the changes can be quite minor, but somewhere after the hundredth person everything will be new) then also for each voting the tying of people in the list in the central agency will be different, what will make meaningless all tries to guess who under what number is placed in the secondary lists (where is lacking the unique number — EGN in Bulgaria, or social security number or what corresponds to it —, but only the sequence number). And if all these sequence numbers are permutated (or shuffled) each time (in CIA or in neutral agency) then the secrecy will be impenetrable.
Further, I have not explained in details (for I am giving similar ideas in other places) but for this voting can (and as you will now see also need) be had special cards, like for the phones, but they can be also with electronic chips, like for the banks, what costs practically nothing. When there are present well secured banking cards then they can as well be used for banking operations, supported by some bank, by the unique number of the citizen. This gives possibility to conduct the voting also by ATM cash machines (if need be), but the main thing is that can be performed along with this some small money transactions.
What I have in mind is that can be paid something for the voting, in order to stimulate people to answer! Pay not at all much, when this is from the state budget, by one or two euro-cents on a choice, i.e. if the question is for choosing out of five variants, then 5 or 10 cents on a question, but if is necessary to choose from 20, then respectively more. Nonetheless, if there are ten questions then it will come to half or one euro, and there is no reason to lose this money. They can be allowed to be taken, naturally, when will be accumulated for the smallest banknote, but approximately once in an year this will happen, and then one can quietly treat oneself with this amount.
More than this, these cards can be used also for conducting of voting at all, for the Parliament or Municipalities, and in such cases even if it will be necessary to pay a pair of euros, then the state, definitely, will gain saving the electoral expenses, and/or can carry such voting even once in an year (it is not necessary to change the Parliament each year, but to know what kind of majority there could have been and to cause some changes of persons). And there is nothing unlawful in the paying for to make people vote, this is not advertising, because it can't be proved who personally wins (for the reason that there win all, the democracy) — only the electoral activity will increase.
So that I, really, don't see shortcomings in using of this proposition, people are just too inert, otherwise there are no problems for ensuring of secrecy (after all, the banks pay money and do not complain), also for increasing of electoral spectacle, and for bettering of democracy. The main reason, as I see the things, why the very politicians, also on the West, don't begin to advertise something of the kind, is that they rely chiefly on the ... cheating, surely, that they will succeed somehow to mislead the electoral, and if everything is clear and simple then people will begin to think, this will hinder the politicians (by the same reason I can not name even one large company, a supermarket, where they have tried that the advertisements were informative, that it was possible to compare the products, also with other shops, and with similar products — such comparisons are made, but they are kept in secret by the administrations of the shops). Id est everything, again, is reduced to this that the people are quite simple, or childish, they want fables and tales but not the truth. Learn to look in the eyes of the truth and life on Earth (and its surroundings) will just blossom. I try nearly in every my material to force people to ponder a bit. Yeah, and for that reason I am little read!
READ CHRIS MYRSKI
(in the sense of political reviews)
Now, ladies and gentlemen, I have said about an year ago that this Government of former communists will not stay long, but if this happens then just give up reading Myrski anymore. Well, presently, in the end of 2014 I can quietly say that I have turned right and, hence, read Chris Myrski! This is so, yet there is nothing to brag about, this was obvious (for me), so that I don't write this material because of this, but because the situation in Bulgaria has changed, after all, although it can't be said that for the better, we are hoping as before for some extraterrestrial intervention. But it can not change to the better until the world crisis ends, which, according to Myrski, will end in the middle of year 2022 (not that I believe much in this, but if I alone do not believe in my prognoses then how can I require that the others believed me?). In any case, however, the crises does not show signs of ending, so that till the end of the whole mandate of our 43rd National Assembly (the Bulgarian Parliament) it will in any event continue. Hence from here can be inferred that this Government, too, will not stay to the end of its mandate, but let us hope that it will survive at least till the half of it.
So that the most important I as if have already said, the situation in Bulgaria is as before unstable (yet we do not fight, how have done in their time the Serbs of how it happens in Ukraine, the Bulgarians, in this regard, are the "dream" of every nation), but let me ponder a little about what the socialists have (or have not) done, about the new political situation, and about our current Government, as well as about what can be expected in Bulgaria, and, let's hope, I will give you in the end some expert rules, so that you alone will be able to judge like the very Myrski about the politics by us, and maybe by you. Good, and now we will begin with
1. What the socialists have done in 42nd National Assembly?
Ah, they have done something, they have succeeded to constrain the prices on communal expenses and even have lowered them with about 10 percents (for central heating and electricity), what is not at all little, having in mind also that they were going to jump up somewhere with 15 percents. These are successes, no matter how the anti-communists will spit on them, but do you know what is bad with our socialists? I will tell you, that is why I intended to write this material. So the bad thing is that one does not know to believe in them or not, one can not find the answer to the question, what kind of party they are, left (which they must be as successors of communist party), or centrists (as they beat themselves in the chest that have become), or maybe even right-wing (only not Russophobes, thank God), when have introduced the flat income tax, but also, in outline, have changed nothing fundamental in the system of social insurance (it is still anti-popular).
So that they have constrained the increase of main communal scourges for the Bulgarian, but as if have overdone the things, because in relation with the heating have introduced one inconceivable system for bigger distortion of individual readouts, in view of their desire to reduce the big upper peaks. I have explained in my "Survival" that the system of payment for central heating is entirely inconsistent with the devices for individual measuring and that only 1/4 of all consumption can be regulated personally. And now they have decided to introduce some coefficients and conduct the calculations on the basis of the past year, and the averaged consumption for the heating season (but not for the entire year, mark this), what distorts even more the results. So for example, for November, when somewhere till the 20th of the month the leaves have stayed on the trees and when the temperature have not come below 3-4 degrees Celsius above the zero, I have received a bill for 45 levs (1 lv = 0.5 euro), while in the previous year I have had a bill for 29 levs. Yet even a donkey can understand (I beg to be excused by the highly paid experts) that neither two equal years in a row happen, nor is possible to lessen much the consumption in the winter if the averaging is done only for the winter, and in addition to this one simply gets confused in these coefficients and can figure out nothing in advance. In the same time I (having scratched a little my head of a genius) can propose, and this to the whole world, a much better system for averaging modification of readouts, if it comes to distortion of the exact results.
The thing is simple, the cycle begins from September (when even on the North pole, if there exists central heating there — but, say, on the Spitsbergen Island, possibly, it exists —, the summer ends), then for the every user is computed the average monthly consumption, AMC, on the basis of doubled amount of the previous year (i.e. cycle, not the calendar year) and single one of the year before the last, and further is proceeded in the following way: for the months without whatever heating is required payment in the amount of 1/3 AMC, for the months in which was heating less than 16 days (in Bulgaria these are: October and April, as a rule) — in the amount of 1 AMC, and for the other months of actual heating — in the amount of 1 and 2/3 AMC. This is all. Then in the normal case for us will be 5 winter months, 5 summer months, and 2 transitional ones, what gives in sum: 5 * 5/3 + 5 * 1/3 + 2 * 1 = 25/3 + 5/3 + 2 = 30/3 + 2 = 10 + 2 = 12 AMC. So, and when the heating season ends (by us this is in May, in all cases) is conducted alignment of the consumption and then will happen, either small increase, or such decrease, of the bills for the last 2 months of the cycle.
Let us have a look also in concrete numbers, given in euros, where for a two-room (what for the readers on the West has to be put as one-bedroom) flat in Sofia only for the heating, without the hot water, for one year is collected about 144 euros (I am rounding for easier calculations, but in levs this is between 250 and 300), what gives one AMC equal to 12 euros. Then in the summer will be necessary to pay, without whatever reasons, only 1/3 * 12 = 4 euros, what will not make any problems for the people, because even for the hot water each month normally is used 1 cubic meter and by 3 euros and per person, i.e. for 2.5 persons on the average this will make 8 euros, and besides, for the electricity the averaged bills for such flat are somewhere about 12 euros (25 levs). The payment of 12 euros for October and April can seem a bit increased, especially if the heating was on only 4-5 days, but this is, still, a season, so that people will swallow it, and in winter 5/3 * 12 = 60/3 = 20 euros (40 levs) will look laughably low, and particularly the extreme amounts usually come up to 40 - 50 euros (80 - 100 levs; in the last year I have a maximal bill for 70 lv in December, but the winter was relatively warm, about 20 percents less heating, where in the other previous years the maximal bills were usually for 80 and 90 levs). And the most important: no intricate coefficients, and everyone knows in advance how much has to be paid each month, and the alignment will be approximately within the framework of 10% (I have each year aligning bill for about 5-10 euros, and once it was even with the exactness of cents, for the entire year).
So, I have devoted so much time to this issue because it, by itself, is actual, really for the whole world, paying on some basis, and when our specialists have bungled such "miscarriage", then it can freely be so that the situation is similar also in other countries. But if the ex-communists have not tried so beyond their strengths to shine before the others with their cares about the people they would have not "spat out" such pearl. Although they have reduced a bit the taxes on deposits in the banks, from 10%, to 8, and as if promised in the next year to lower them to 7, an so on (because we, as the poorest country in European Union, have taxes on the deposits, what affects mainly the poor, I repeat, not the wealthy clients, who keep their money on current accounts for faster access, and on them, because of the bigger sums, the banks give to the clients on the average 3.5%, while for annual deposits these percents are on the average 4.5). So that I don't belittle their successes. Even if in 2015 some communal price jumps up, it can be taken that it did not jump earlier because of the efforts of the communists, sorry, socialists. And they have succeeded to raise the minimal salary from 310 lv to 340 lv, what nevertheless is only 170 euro in month (or just 1 euro per hour), and for comparison it is, as follows: in Rumania 190 euro, in Czech Republic 308, in Turkey 415, in Spain 750, in Germany will be 8.5 per hour (what has to give, multiplying by 170, 1445), and in France 1430 (with the countries of CIS there is no need to compare because there is not this currency, and in that case comes into force the rule about computing of some consumer basket, taking into account the real buying power, or purchasing power parity — because there, I thing, one egg of size M is not, like by us, 0.11 euro, or one ticket for the city transport has to be less than our 50 euro-cents).
Naturally, there are many other aspects of the work of our former Government, but it has alone resigned in the end of July, so that we will find no more faults with them. This, what I have predicted, that their positions, obviously, will worsen after their standing at the helm of power, has happened, though not at once, but gradually lower and lower during the whole 2014. And also, if one takes another look at the matter, the other parties would have made similar changes, because something what is highly necessary is seen by everybody (say, now the leader of GERB party, Boiko Borisov, said that he also will conduct negotiations with Russia about the pipeline South Stream, while earlier he did not want to).
And do not overlook also another fact, that for the majority of products, at least by assortment, if not by quantity, or in the sense of urgent need of them, exist market mechanisms, they are not formed by the politicians, this is not the old totalitarian time. And the market is very stable system, i.e. with strong negative feedback, for this reason it existed since antediluvian times. This is such "beast", that it is capable to take all your free money not even batting an eye. So that if people have money then the prices raise up (in order to take them from the buyers), but when such are absent then the prices drop down. So for example, in 2014 the sugar has fallen roughly twice (from 2.20 lv to 1.20 in December, but I have bought even for a bit less than 1 lv), the sunflower oil, too (it was around 3 lv and now almost everywhere it goes by 1.90), even the eggs, which somewhere in 2012 jumped up nearly two times, little by little have already decreased and now they are with only about 20 percents higher than the situation in 2012 (then one egg, of size M, middle, was 17 stotinki-cents and now it is 21 st). And the industrial goods are also slowly falling all the time (either because by established production they are falling anyway, and /or because in Bulgaria are sold products of very poor quality, but the fact is fact). So that the situation of the people has not improved (it could have not especially improve, the politics is not economy), and whatever the leading party has not done the people would have again remained dissatisfied; if the politicians could have succeeded to lower all communal expenses, with a magic wand, entire two times, then after a pair of euphoric months would have been set new equilibrium of prices and the people would have again become unsatisfied.
But enough with this, let us see
2. What has happened till September 2014?
Well, it has happened this what could have been expected, the parties acted comparatively reasonable, new blocks of relatively new parties have emerged, or more precisely: already in December 2013 was formed the party RB, Reformist Block, from five, chiefly right-wing parties (which say that they are for immediate reforms — because they must somehow invent reasons for their name), then in January was registered the party BWC or Bulgaria Without Censoring (they also have some slogan, and how else?), headed by one media boss, a bit later emerged another new party, ABC (it isn't exactly so, its name has to be literally translated as Alternative of Bulgarian Renaissance, but in Bulgarian the initials are exactly as our first three letters of the alphabet), headed by the former President Georgi Parvanov (well, the "guy" was accustomed to get good money so that he strained himself a bit and formed his party), and in the middle of May was registered one more party, this time fascist, NFFB, National Front for Free Bulgaria. Also the very BSP, the Bulgarian socialists, changed at last their leader and their Already_Boss (allusion to his family name, Stanishev, and become_boss in Bulgarian is "stani-shef") after the end of July has ceased to be more boss of this party, it emerged a new person, Mihail Mikov.
And what caused all these feverish changes in the political life of Bulgaria? Well, the elections in European Parliament on 25 of May 2014, when BSP, and especially its former boss Stanishev, has received a strong slap in the face, Because then the GERB party (its name is Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria but the point again is that "gerb" in Bulgarian means coat of arms) has won 30.4% (like in the previous National Assembly where they have had 30.5%), BSP has won only 19% (against their previous 26.6), MRF (or DPS in Bulgarian, the Turks) — 17.3 (and earlier was 11.3), and ATAKA (what surely means attack, the fascists) 3% (against 7.3%). In short: GERB continues to lead, BSP has lost roughly 1/3 of the votes, the Turks have won another half, and ATAKA has lost more than the half! And where have gone the other votes? They were taken by the new coalitions: BWC — 10.7%, RB (5 parties) — 6.5%, ABC (the former President) — 4.0%, and NFFB (the new fascists) — 3.05%. Although by number of Euro-Deputies (only 17) the distribution is: GERB — 6, BSP — 4, MRF — 4, BWC — 2, and RB — 1. So. And then in the end of July the Government abdicated.
What other conclusions can be drawn here (in addition to the obvious, that the socialists have ridiculed themselves, and GERB continues to lead and has the same amount of voters)? Well, the one things is that there emerged new fascists and they have taken the half of the votes of the old, in result of what both parties have remained out of the ranking (and it serves them right, when they don't want to coalesce, but it is so between the fascists, they can rarely build coalitions). Another thing is that the media — they are for that purpose media — win, but something remains also for other classical right-wing parties. But the more important thing is that DPS-MRF (the Turks) are nearly aligning with the BSP, and then arises the logical question: from where have come their increase in the votes? I personally think that, in spite of some increase of the voters abroad, the votes to the Turks have come from BSP, i.e. that these are such ethnical Turks who sometimes consider themselves Turks, but sometimes Bulgarians, this is quite natural situation amidst national minorities, and because they can not be between the supporters of the fascists, then this means that earlier they have supported the socialists. But this is not good for the stability in Bulgaria, because it is one thing 7% fascists and 11% Turks and Gypsies (theoretically as percentage of the population there have to be about 20% Turks and 15% Gypsies, but there is nobody who can tell you this exactly), and it is quite another thing when the Turks occupy 1/4 of the places and aim at the second place between parties; it turns out that this confirms the old joke, even since 1991, that "the path to Europe goes through the Bosphorus"!
So, and let us see further
3. What have shown the Parliamentary elections on 5 October 2014?
In two word, not very different picture than for the Euro-Parliament, with this detail that have emerged , PF or Patriotic Front, which unites now two new fascist parties (in addition to the old ATAKA), NFFB and VMRO (the latter this time are Macedonians), what was necessary because otherwise neither of them would have entered the Parliament, and in this way have emerged whole eight parties in it, or twice more as parties (or coalitions). This is entirely new disposition, in comparison with the previous Parliament. More precisely the results are the following (taking into account that in our National Assembly are 240 Deputies): GERB — 32.7%, 84 places (or -13, as percentage they have increased but as number or persons have diminished!), BSP — 15.4%, 39 places (-45, they have remained less than the half), DPS-MRF (the ethnical Turks) — 14.8%, 38 places (only +2, no matter that their percentage has grown with 11.3), further comes RB (new right-wing, coalition) — 8.9%, 23 places, then PF (two new fascist parties) — 7.3%, 19 places, then BWC (new, the media boss) — 5.7%, 15 places, further more are the right-wing atakists (fascists) — 4.5%, 11 places (-12 places, but otherwise nearly -3%), and the last are ABC (the former President) — 4.2%, 11 places. So, and this by electoral activity of 48.7% (against the old 51.3%), i.e. a bit further less.
Well, let us discuss these results. After the emergence of four new political powers in the Parliament the next important moment is this, that nearly all parties having taken part in the elections have succeeded to enter the Parliament (NA), because on all other parties remain 6.6%, and earlier (in the 42nd NA) have left 24.3%. This, surely, is good, this must pacify the political life on the streets, on account of bigger circuses in the very NA. But because of this has become possible that, no matter that GERB have won on two percents more, they have received on 13 places less, or MRF, no matter that have won nearly with one quarter more percents, they have earned only two more places. Nonetheless, this is more equitable situation, and for this, that in the last NA one quarter of the electors have voted for "the one that blows" (as they say in Bulgaria) are to be blamed the parties alone, that they have not taken into account in advance the situation and made the necessary coalitions, as they have done in 2014.
So well, and with whom has our Boiko, general of firefighters, as it turns out, to make a coalition now? Hard question, and because of this he has kept the "ball" a whole month, but at the end made Government. And the question is difficult because with the Turks he can in no way coalesce, as also with the now plucked out socialists, but on the other hand he has experience that to the fascists one can take resort only in the worst case, because they don't agree to listen to him, and not to listen to generals, of course, is not the right thing. So that four parties /coalitions drop out, and there remain: RB (the new, though otherwise old, right-wing), BWC (the media boss), and ABC (of the former communist President). And in the end our Duce Boiko decided to reject also the media boss and formed Cabinet from GERB, RB, and, as strange as it seems, ABC (well, it is ABV in Bulgarian). But in recompense of this he prolonged it as only possible and appointed four Vice Premiers and 16 Ministers, record achievement. But the important thing is that we now have legitimate Government, and the state carriage can move further on the way of democratic flourishing.
How the things will evolve further is not worth to predict, but probably he has fifty-fifty chances to withstand till the middle of his mandate, though to the end of it I don't believe much. But he has chances, because the opposition is too opposed, on one side there are the socialists, who have now curled their tails under them and do not dare to give much voice when have so greatly ridiculed themselves, and they have also only 1/6 of the seats in NA, then come the ethnical Turks (as well Gypsies), who have also 1/6 of the seats, and nobody wants even to greet them, all, especially the fascists, cry out to the heavens that the existing of ethnical party is inadmissible (but of fascist one, according to them, is admissible, and even necessary), then come three fascist parties in two blocks, who greet themselves, but do not respect at all one another, and behind all are trailing the fighters for free media, who want only to increase their capitals at the expense of any contradictions (for them the more disturbances and discontent, the better). And you should not miss also the fact that Boiko Borisov is not so self-confident anymore, and will hardly do big blunders, he will divide the responsibility, i.e. say: "Good, I will agree, but that you do not say later that I have proposed this", and similar words.
In general, my personal opinion to a great extent coincides with that of the West, which states that he is the most capable Bulgarian politician. I have said earlier that I am not much impressed by "endowed" men, neither by generals or military people at all, but after all I have been scientific worker, I have become used to think, and to the masses you just give commanders, in order to dictate them what to do, not that they alone wasted much time for thinking. Even this, that he was firefighter, is also to his plus, because he is used to react fast in complex operating environment, as is said, and rely on the work of his subordinates, so that in such big coalition with other parties, and under such motley opposition, he has all chances to make less errors than before. For earlier he has erred maybe in about 20 percent of the cases, but has erred quickly, and have not lost time to propose at once change of the course, when was put under active pressure.
Then one should not miss to consider also the meaning of marvelous Angela (because Merkel, if you ask me, means something extraordinary, outstanding, a marker, etc.), who, as the people say, writes him such kind of letters: "Main lieber Bojko, Ich freue mich sehr über deinem Sieg in den Wahlen ..." and so on, and in the end adds, that she hopes very much that he will find somehow time to pay them a visit and then to stay for a while at her summer cottage, where they will be able to share a bottle of bubbling or "ruyno", as he says, Rhine wine, on the mat in front of the blazing fireplace, will remind their gone away youth, and, maybe, will surrender a little to inappropriate for heads of states feelings. I mean, when Angela loves him so much then why should I not accept him, too? Paraphrasing it otherwise, if somebody decides to put a knife to my throat and say: "Now, you scum, choose finally somebody for whom to vote!", then I would choose Duce Boiko, in the end (because I will never live to see neither second strong left-wing party, nor centrist-feminist one, nor also with a bit more reasonable and moderate platform, and if not for him then I will be forced to vote for the Turks, and this seems not much inspiring to me).
Well, okay, okay, I was joking about the letter of Frau Professorin (I think) Angela Merkel, I surely can't know what she writes to him, but the various media say that she is in correspondence with him. Yes, and in relation with these last elections I would like to give some peculiar statistical data about them. So for example, it turns out that vote mainly ... women, i.e. they are in the whole 53.4%, and the men are 46.6%, and if you divide the former on the latter then this means that the women are with 14.5% more, and this ratio is in broad lines the same for all parties, only for ATAKA the men are 65% (what is easily explainable), and for ABC the women are 61% (and I have never thought that Georgi Parvanov was such handsome man). Hence, here is the reason why people have long ago allowed to the women to vote — because otherwise there would have been even less voting persons. Further, as Turks in Bulgaria acknowledge 10% of the population, and as Gypsies only 3%, but it has to be clear even to pre-school children that the Gypsies are not less than 15%, and the Turks are the whole 20, because there are areas where the population in predominantly Turkish; then for nearly all parties vote somewhere about 95% Bulgarians, with the exception of the fascist parties, where they are 99%, and MRF, where as Bulgarians declare themselves only 16%, as Turks — 73%, and as Gypsies— 10% . As I said, the ethnic affiliation is entirely fuzzy notion, and, on the other hand, the presence of obviously Turkish names impresses nobody (say, in GERB enters one Vezhdi Rashidov, who is now Minister of Culture.
Interesting is also what is the distribution by age of the voters, taking into account that the beginning is in 18 years, and as end we will take the average life span, which is approximately 74 years for both sexes, i.e. the interval of voting will be 56 years; this, however, is not exactly so, the people are distributed not uniformly, and somewhere after 50, and especially after 60, they begin little by little to die, so that I will shorten further the last but one interval with 1 year, and the last one with 2, what means that the average interval of voting will become 53 years (these are not exact calculations, but one should also not much trust these agencies, they contradict one another, so that you better trust my mathematical intuition that this will give more accurate account of the situation). Then (according to "Galap International") in the interval of 18 to 25 years (8 years, the last year is included, or 15.1%) vote on the average 10%, but in BSP 6, and in MRF 14; further in the interval 26 - 35 (10 years, 18.9%) vote on the average 16.4%, but in BSP they are 8, and in the others like in the average case; then in the interval 36 - 45 (10 years, again roughly 19%) vote on the average 19.3%, but in BSP they are 10, and in the others about 21%; then for 46 - 55 (10 years, again 19%) vote averagely also 19.3%, and in the individual cases nearly so, only for BSP this percent is 16; then for 56 - 65 (10 лет, which I diminish to 9, what gives 17.0%) vote on the average also 17.5%, and in GERB they are 17.1, but in BSP they are 21, and in MRF 15; and the last interval from 66 and to 74 (9 years, but diminished with 2 years gives 7 years, or 13%), and in GERB they are 13.6, but in BSP now are nearly 40, and in MRF 12; and then if we sum all these calculated by me percents (15.1 + 18.9 + ... 17 + 13) we get 101.8, what means that my error is less than 2 percents. So that BSP is supported mainly by decrepit old men and old women, and MRF mainly by young and unemployed (probably), and in addition to this only in the age from 36 and to 56 vote all who can vote, but the young ones either vote for the fascists, or then for nobody.
Or let us take another statistics, in relation to the employment. There fully working are 50%, for GERB vote 58%, for BSP and MRF — 34, the others are around the average, and only for RB are 64%. Then for partially working on the average are 8%, but MRF has 14; further for studying and housewives there are no special dissonances; but for the unemployed the average percent is 10.6, but for MRF they are 24; and lastly the pensioners are on the average 24%, but for BSP they are 46, for GERB — 20, for MRF — 17, and RB has only 14.6 (in order to recompense the increasing for the fully employed). Or, say, by this who where lives. There in Sofia are on the average 13.4%, but for MRF is only one percent, and for RB they are30; then in the big cities they are 41%, for GERB — 48, for BSP — 34, and for MRF — 13; then in the small towns live on the average 25%, and for GERB they are only 18, for BSP — 29, for MRF — whole 70%, and for RB only 11. So that you see how different is the character of the voters for different parties, and for that reason they are needed all, when there is not one good party for all.
Well, it is time to round up because the main things are said: the political situation in Bulgaria is very unstable, but it is a bit better than was during the communist socialists, and general Borisov is the most popular politic in the moment in Bulgaria, who is able to take quick (though not always right) decisions, and who is equally loved by all circles of population. This will hardly continue for a long time, but let us hope that he will stand the main part of his mandate, because the communists will not succeed to recover earlier than after 10 years, on fascists one should never rely, they are braggarts and loudmouths, on the Turks to rely is at least not ethical, in order not to say scandalous, and all other right-wing parties can hardly scrape together 10%, and there simply don't exist other left-wing parties.
So that it is how I have said in the very title, read Chris Myrski, he will not cheat you. Although, on the other hand, also ... do not read him, because he intends to stop writing more political materials, he wants to engage himself with translations in other languages of this, what has already written, but also to evolve some of his ideas, co create a pair of another books. For this reason I in broad lines tell goodbye to you, and in relation with this, for not to leave you entirely homeless and neglected, I will give you in the end some of my basic expert rules, the majority of which I have touched in various other materials, many of them are obvious, even if I have not touched them (in what I doubt, I have rather told more than necessary instead of less), and some of them I will explain in the process of narration (yet some may not explain, will leave to you to figure them out). So that there follow
4. The expert rules of Chris Myrski in politics.
I will order them somehow, but let's not find fault with this order because the most important thing in one expert system are not so much the very rules, as the succession of their putting in action, there is hidden its intellect, and here I rely mainly on my intuition; if you have not such own infallible (and how else?) intuition, like by the (ingenious) Myrski, then the only advice to you is the following: follow the title of this material! When you read all what he has written, and if succeed to assimilate this without special resistance and keep it in your brains, then you will think like him, wouldn't you? So it is, and it is time to begin.
i) The economy determines the politics, not vice versa. Because of this if in the country approximately everything is in order then every government, every party, is good and the people will choose it again and again. But if the things do not go, then no one party will better them! If the situation is very severe then it, anyway, is not for democratic solution, but for some more centralized or authoritative one. In Bulgaria the economy is very weak, and for this reason not a single government can satisfy us.
i) In bad circumstances who stays at the helm always compromises himself, and who sits in opposition and only criticizes raises his rating. While when the situation in the country is good then the staying aside politician only loses his chance. So that here a fine estimation is necessary, this is up to some extent an art.
i) All parties are bad because they think about their own interests (not even about the interests of their people, but most often only about the career of their leaders), not about the other people, and for that reason they work good when there are not big differences between them, or at least between the leading parties, i.e. when there is a stable center. But when the situation is such there is no special need of the existence of parties (and because of this in totalitarian conditions they are not present, then exists only the vanguard of masses). The main reason for their existence is in this, that they raised the necessary questions, were initiators of activities, but not executors, not leaders, yet in democratic conditions this is not possible, so that we are forced to be satisfied with them, what, however does not mean that they are good. As consequence of this usually happens alternating of different parties, so that in this way was reached some averaged value for a longer period of time.
i) When some party leaves the stage usually remain some persons of it, who form new parties. But parties built around persons can not exist for a long time. On the other hand the ideas quite often repeat and with them is speculated, so that parties of personalities have also their advantages.
i) The worse the conditions in the country are, first of all the economic ones, the more the platforms of parties begin to differ, and the political situation sharpens, but this leads chiefly to unrest in the country, not to the right decision, which can be reached in result of many fluctuations between the poles (like the movement of a blind person, who pokes with a stick, now right and then left). Due to this it makes sense to speak about oscillation of a pendulum (what I have observed in one of my earlier materials), where the important thing is to avoid the meaningless tremor in both ends, i.e. to brake the development of the events, to increase the inertness of the system.
i) In conditions of democracy not the parties (i.e. their rulers) influence the popular masses but vice versa, the masses form (in a long run) the character of the parties. This, naturally, is entirely wrong, because it means that the uneducated teaches the learned person (or that the beast teaches the shepherd), but this is an inborn drawback of democracy. Only by the centralized forms of ruling is possible influence on part of the leaders on the population, but then it often happens that the leaders defend mainly their own interests and forget about the people, or that simply the ideas age and the rulers defend old things. Nevertheless this is the right way, and the masses understand this in their own way, so that they try to make idols out of the leading politicians, what, as a rule, worsens the situation (leads to fascism, or to other bloodshed). For this reason it is very important the presence of a third, moralizing, part, which is to show what is good, to teach the people, but not to govern immediately. In the majority of cases (but not always) the democracy functions good in religious countries, but under separated religion from the state, yet nowadays the number of such countries diminishes.
i) The better the different layers of population are represented in the Parliament, the more quietly is on the streets, but in recompense for this is more unquietly in the Parliament, i.e. it works worse! Because of this it happens that the best thing of the democracy are the extra-Parliamentary powers and movements, what reduces to this, that the very parties in the Parliament work badly in conditions of contradictions, and this, too, is an inborn drawback of democracy. But when it works effectively this is similar to the totalitarian model, so that in this respect the democracy delays the development of society. Id est, no matter that by good democracy the development of society is delayed, this is not so bad, because in this way is maintained the status quo, what is the primary goal of every ruling. Due to this it may happen that one bad and ineffective ruling can show good influence over the society; also quite often the democracy seeks (and finds) various ways for lessening of the fast changes, bringing to power dynasty ruling, there are forming families of leading politicians.
i) The democracy is in some measure feminine ruling, i.e. weak, strategic, not tactical, it says what has to be done, not how to do it. For this reason participation of women in the ruling is very modern tendency in our times, and it usually shows positive influence (I have discussed this in several places). But it remains the question with the choice of tacticians, who have to know also how to do the things. Probably in relation with this people often choose also the strong fist, in order to have (at least semblance of) action, i.e. here, too, arises frequent changing of different extremities, on what the democracy also stays, because for it the most important thing is that the persons changed but the system remained the same.
i) The phenomenon of presence of right-wing parties is pretty strange (from the point of view of the reason), because quite big popular masses, who have absolutely no chances to become strong and wealthy, want that some of them were strong or wealthy, i.e. they simply support their oppressors! This phenomenon is explained with this that people, as a rule, have little brains, but in many cases it is justified, because many careerists are hiding behind the guise of unselfish leaders, and if somebody in the open shows that he is a careerist then people believe in him. So that in this aspect, too, all is reduced to the necessary degree of compromise.
i) The democracy in all events is based on delusion, but if this delusion is in the interest of peacefulness, then this is justified from the point of view of logic, for it should not be forgotten that the less one understands something, the more convinced one judges about it. And the management nowadays is necessary at least for coordination of the actions. So that all subtlety is in this, how to make the incompetent person to obey, if not by compulsion.
i) When democratic ruling becomes confused often are formed caretakers Governments, which only govern, do pressing or urgent things that can't be left undone, but forget about the circuses for the people. But, in real fact, this is the genuine government, everything else is just dust in the eyes of the people. Id est here, too, this, what is exception to the rules, is more reasonable, but it can not be otherwise when the democracy (according to Myrski, but not he has discovered "America") contradicts to the common sense. In this regard it would have not been bad to have some instance, than will sometimes choose and appoint such Governments, say, some Commission to the European Union. The only reason why this is not done is that such cases are slaps in the face of Miss Democracy, but earlier the Great Powers have not once gathered and decided some questions for other nations (for example, in its time, after liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman yoke, they have appointed us a King, because for five centuries all our "royal princes" have died, and nobody, I think, has said then that this is bad). So that the caretakers Governments, with which we have begun to become accustomed, are not at all such tragedies, as our politicians try to picture them.
So, my honoured readers — I have many times explained that you are for me so honoured by the simple reason that you are not much, but in case you become, say, millions, then I will not at all continue to esteem you, right? So now, this that I wanted to tell you is that I give up to comment anymore the political situation in Bulgaria, because when more than half of the people definitely don't vote, and this now for about a decade, then the people obviously are dissatisfied with the democracy, whatever the political commentators (or whoever only they can be) can say. I personally have tried all possible variants of voting, as reasonable, as well unreasonable ones, and also various possible (they are described in one of my feuilleton) and now 20 years I think that the most reasonable is not to vote, and, do you know, I am happy, because in this regard I have at last reached unanimity with the masses. Indeed, even now, and for the very first party, have voted 32.7% of the voters, but out of 48.7% possible such, what means that for it, in fact, are only 16% (0.327 * 0.487 = 0.1592), while those who choose not-a-single-party are 51.3% or more than three times more (51.3 / 15.9 = 3.23). I still think that if by us have voted, say, 30% of the people, then the European Union positively would have interfered in some way, maybe with subsidies, who knows? Because if it is not so then it turns out that the democracy is to be changed, but not how think our "reformists", but how thinks Myrski in various places. Not that I believe in this, but I have made my propositions, have done my part of the things, the creative one. When the people don't want, then how they want. All is justified in this world, whatever only happens, the difference is solely in the social price.
continues in the next volume ...
END of this volume