Elites serve their self-interests


Elites serve their self-interests

The political elite differs from other elites in the country as they lack experience and connection to the Albanian lifestyle and economy. Its members have in their experience the only profession governing the country in every way and form. Based on this mindset they tend to develop no specific knowledge of any sector of the economy, society or deeper understanding of the way the people live outside of their areas of residence. 

This mentality of the political elite, which is strengthened year after year, has already widened the gap between them and the people by not maintaining direct links with them. It is this new situation created between the political elite and the people, that is instilling in communication between parties’ double standards. 

On the one side, when politicians speak in public among themselves, they have become less understandable to the people. This communication is very difficult to be absorbed and perceived by people as a way of conveying their needs and demands and in the interest of the economy. On the other side, direct communication between members of the political elite is out of the public interest and the agreements they make between them are given to the people through the media channels communication as a ready formula, which does not need to go through the transparency process. The second pattern of communication has been prevalent in recent years in Albanian social and economic life. 

It is understandable that this system of communication and transparency reflects the links that have taken root between the political and economic elites, as the personal interests of the political elite are links to the economic elite. 

Members of the Albanian economic elite, who have established their power over the last two decades, are striving for political power with direct participation in parliament, in the cabinets of politicians, and at various levels of government. 

By a simple calculation, about 1/3 of the political and government cabinets are owned by representatives of the economic elite, regardless of the political wing. 

Of course, beyond this symbiosis of the political and economic elite there is also a growing elite of the younger generation of postgraduates who are trying to be an elite motivated by technical ability but who have not yet established any power in economy and society.    

It is a very heated discussion among the people that the criticism is addressed to the two elites currently prevailing in Albania. The economic elites not only control a large part of the political system directly and indirectly supported by the political elite. But what stands out as its distinctive feature is the fact that these elites do not have a vision for market and economic development other than their own short-term interests. 

Their approach is practice-oriented and aims to channel money towards themselves. Whereas, the political elite is oriented towards an approach to support that part of the economic elite that supports their interests. Economic leaders are co-participants in important decision-making by public institutions to serve the interests of their economic empowerment. The involvement of the economic elites has continued to increase its power in important decision-making, despite the fact that in many situations they did not have the financial power and capacity needed to retain the economic power it is in possession of. 

In fact, in countries with a tradition and well-balanced balance of powers, visionary politicians or charismatic leaders maintain a clear distance from a system that does not conform to society’s moral norms even though they are dictated to coexist in a system where political elites and the economic and powers that they hold no longer have a dividing line between them. 

Whereas, in Albania, but not only, there is another moral norm applied by the elites, which refers to the idea that form (appearance) should justify the deficiencies of content (system essence) expressed by moral and social norms (equality, justice and freedom). In fact, these values ​​should be the basis on which the vision of the political and economic elites should be unified, emphasizing the rule of law and consolidating economic power not only based on the interests of the elite for themselves. 

Meanwhile, people are outside this closed system of communication and interaction between elites. Of course, the future for them is transformed into a system that they do not understand and feel are part of, and that feeling gives them no security. 

It is the consolidation of the power of the people against the power of the elites that defies corruption and power in favor of the self-interest of the elites. While indifference and corruption of moral and social norms supports and favors the empowerment and interests of the elites to the detriment of the public interest. 

If the political elite will continue to be dominated by the economic elite using the most of taxpayers’ money, with no new vision and ways to make money, then there will come a time when the reflection of this process of elite absorption will produce a value and social crisis leaving fewer opportunities for participation and for people.   

A system where there is no clear and divided line between the elites, which implies different powers, can move towards the decadence of the existing system. 

In fact, a question that had to be asked from the beginning and still cannot be answered is:

– Do we really have an elite in Albania?

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