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Individual Freedom finally knocks at the door of every Romanian

Don Lothrop iulie 26, 2012 Economie, Idei si solutii, Opinie, Politica & Doctrine
22 comentarii 2,762 Vizualizari

The month of July 2012 will go down as a landmark in Romanian History.   For this is the moment, when the light of individual freedom finally broke through the clouds, onto the nation.

While leaders from Western Europe and America bitterly reacted to the Governments hijacking of the constitution and newspapers around the world wrote headlines that “Freedom is threatened in Romania”, the average Romanian passively wondered “What is the big deal?”

The big deal is that individual freedom, which came to much of Europe after World War 1, is knocking at the door of every Romanian.

The word Democracy is meaningless.  For centuries people have voted for government representatives, but still lived in fear, harassment and bondage to political corruption.    The concept of individual freedom is all powerful.   Individual freedom means average citizens no longer are subject to Mayors that can deny citizens legal building permits, access to jobs, or city records just because they vote for someone else or won’t pay a bribe.   It means politicians cannot offer concessions, illegal logging rights, or special pensions to people that offer them gifts.   He means that no politician can steal from the state and rob the nation of the money to pay decent salaries to our teachers, doctors, and police.

Individual power corrupts.   Parliamentary power corrupts.   It corrupts the same way in Romania, as is does in Germany, America and everywhere else.  This is why it is essential that individual rights be protected by laws enforced by a judicial system free from political influence and manipulation.   This is why the world is appalled and demanding the right of liberty for the Romanian people.

All of us in Romania know that the USL political interference in the Constitutional Court is no different than what happens every day in local courts across the country.   The difference is that thanks to the European Union Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification (CVM) and good work of some Romanian leaders, Romanian judges are gaining the confidence to act independently from political influence.   They are acting courageously to bring justice to the people that have stolen billions of dollars from the state.   And they are paving the way for the dream of every Romanian; to live in a country where the court system gives the each citizen freedom from the harassment and manipulation of all powerful politicians.  We have a long way to go, but we are at the beginning of the end to the disease of massive corruption in Romania.

What came to western Europeans less than century ago is now breaking forth in Romania.    Do not believe in the propaganda on television and newspapers controlled by men that want to profit by keeping Romanians in bondage.   Believe that the same individual freedom that came to Germans in the 1950’s is now at your Romania’s doorstep.   Demand an independent judicial system that protects your individual rights.

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Currently there are "22 comments" on this Article:

  1. Hedge Fund spune:

    Cool!

  2. Hedge Fund spune:

    Wait a second, Don!

    What do you mean by “Believe that the same individual freedom that came to Germans in the 1950’s is now at your Romania’s doorstep.” What’s the analogy here? Can you be more specific?

  3. TB spune:

    What you wrote makes perfect sense and I do appreciate your understanding of Romania. Unfortunately, and without trying to criticize your text in any way, anybody who would be able to understand your message (basically, any Romanian who’s able to read and understand a somewhat complex text written in English) is already aware of and agrees with everything you wrote. We are a very small minority.

  4. G. C. spune:

    Couldn’t agree more with the author! The problem here is that “individual freedom” has two meanings in this country: 1. the above cited one; 2. the freedom of managing the life, based mainly on the instinct of survival.

    The reason why Romanians don’t really believe in democracy is because economic crises went on since the late ’70-early ’80 and through the ’90 and the since 2008, so they don’t feel secure by any form of regime, either democratic, technocratic, authoritarian or totalitarian. Now, with the crisis going on and the President suspended, but with a background containing a serie of political blunders, Romanians want someone with the image of a undestanding character, more in place than out in place, but this on a visual/auditive basis, rather than a factual one.

    So, while Băsescu promotes the independent justice, he has to face his political past in the same time; on the other side, we have the nice-speaking politician that stab the people in the back with false messages and promises, that want to gain total power, using the electorate’s votes and emotions. Emotions and a fair justice don’t belong in the same sentence.

  5. Adrian Muresan Adrian spune:

    Indeed, not the existence or corruption is the real issue, but its impunity. Governor Ryan is in jail (it took about seven years to build a case against him!) so is Rod Blagojevich. The Economist has some statistics on convictions in the USA: http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2012/03/daily-chart-10
    I bet the Romanian numbers are much lower per capita unfortunately…
    The advantage in the US is that there is an FBI, that is a structure above the links and connections at the states level. Maybe we suggest the EU to build such a pan-european investigation force.

    • MadameDuRecamier spune:

      Europe has it: OLAF. It needs just an european mandate of law, that´s all. I want them in Romania investigating corruption. But, I would also wish german judges and all these are just wishfull thinking. :)

  6. victor L spune:

    Inca un politruc dupa Barroso care nu apreciaza cel mai cinstit guvern ;)
    Don Lothrop,
    dvoastra stiti ce inseamna neamestecul in treburili interne?
    Libertatea individuala nu e buna, si-o ia lumea in cap si nu mai respecta plagiatul.

  7. Hantzy spune:

    Lothrop: “Individual power corrupts. Parliamentary power corrupts. It corrupts the same way in Romania, as is does in Germany, America and everywhere else”

    That’s all correct! But not complete. The parliamentary power corrupts not so much as the executive power. Due to a simple fact: the parlamentary power is not absolute and is splited in so many parts as the number of the representatives. They are eledged, not nomined. That’s why they have not the same opinions and goals.
    On the other side, the executive power has no etherogene structure. The advantage will conssist in a faster adaptivity on the circumstances, but the other side of the coin is the stubbornness in their mentality and a weak internal control.

  8. Lupul Monarhist spune:

    “And they are paving the way for the dream of every Romanian; to live in a country where the court system gives the each citizen freedom from the harassment and manipulation of all powerful politicians. ”

    Nicely said Mr. Lothrop but I do not think that statement “…they are paving the way for the dream of every Romanian” is quite accurate. Not even “most Romanians” presently. “Some Romanians” would’ve reflected in a better way the reality. Believe it or not, there is a significant part of the society that prefers the old way of life. They live in the past, they feel comfortable with corruption, they regret Ceausescu as supreme leader, they fear the rule of law. They are overwhelmed by individual responsibilities they should assume as free citizens living in a free society controlled by law and free markets. I agree that a westerner has a hard time digesting the specifics of present Romania but those are real facts that you would probably get accustomed to as you will spend more time in that corner of Europe. Over time things will change (they have already started to change as some judges have started to act courageously and independently – as you pointed out correctly) but there is still a long way to go, probably a few more generations until Romania will reach normalcy. All the best.

    • dusu spune:

      d nul Lothrop,probabil shtie,dar vrea sa fie politicaly correct:intzelegerea cuvintului libertate ptr rumini nu e identica cu ceea ce intzeleg vesticii.si nici macar in romanica,in Ardeal libertatea are,sau mai bine avea,alte valentze ptr locuitori decit in regat.chestie de istorie,nu,nu aia comunista!

  9. demetrescu spune:

    Mr Lothrop,

    The idea that Mr Basescu was behind the independence of justice in Romania is a false one, albeit wide spread. There are numerous counts of justice being perverted by the political party in power.
    Also, the current outbrake of USL it;s not against the Justice, but against one man, an autocrate, Mr Basescu, who by violeting his constitutional prerogatives extended his personal power beyond any control. Lord Acton said that “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men”. That seems to be the case with Traian Basescu who put himself above all other republican powers. He lost the people’s support and a large majority of Romanians wants him out. I don’t know if USL will be better then Traian Basescu but i do know that Traian Basescu, once a great man is now a bad man.
    It’s sad, because in 2004 he rode a huge wave of popular support. But later he gave in to political marasm and helped the PDL corrupt members rob the State. These are facts.
    The brutal forcing of Constitution by USL is alsa a fact. Personally I was hoping that Mr Traian Basescu will have the decency to step down when faced with a cohabitation that he recognised that he cannot handle, at the expense of the country’s economy and stability. But he didn’t. He is in part responsible for the current mess. By no means is he a victim as his supporters, as few as they still are, pretend.

    • Lupul Monarhist spune:

      “Also, the current outbrake of USL it;s not against the Justice, but against one man, an autocrate, Mr Basescu, who by violeting his constitutional prerogatives extended his personal power beyond any control.”

      On the contrary, it is very much against the Justice…They fear an independent justice system because their own existence as corrupt politicians and underground business men is on the line. Simply following Voiculescu’s silly public statements (we do not control everything until we’ll control the justice system) indicates clearly the political agenda of the USL coalition. Ponta and Antonescu are the perfect Manchurian Candidates. In fact, anybody with a decent degree of education realizes that. Fortunately, their political careers will end soon. Btw, I am not a supporter of President Basescu…just a Romanian like may others that is disgusted with the politicians’ practices.

    • cititor spune:

      The question is not whether Basescu is a good man, or a bad man, the main question we are asked to answer is whether he is the better man, at this moment.

    • Marius Ghica MAG spune:

      Se pare ca toata lumea este de acord ca puterea corupe si niciun politician din Romania, de pe intreg spectrul, nu a ramas cu reputatia nepatata din acest motiv. Este la fel de adevarat ca dl Basescu a pierdut masiv capital politic, din motive binecunoscute. Nu vreau sa fac o analiza a bunelor si relelor pe care le-a facut. A fost mai vizibil inclinat catre partidul care l-a sustinut? Da, la fel cum a fost si dl Iliescu, la fel cum sunt toti presedintii americani. Neutralitatea pe care o asteptam de la un presedinte al Romania este jumatate “wishful thinking”: este neutru/echilibrat in raport cu cetatenii, dar sa nu ne facem iluzii ca e la fel in raport cu partidele si pot intelege acest lucru.

      Problema este alta. Romanii au marota conducatorului providential, mesianic, care sa rezolve toate marile probleme ale tarii. Este un reflex pavlovian creat de istoria noastra care este marcata de regimuri autoritare sau dictatoriale. Pe de alta parte, asteptarile mesianice sunt contrazise de faptul ca presedintele nu are puteri executive, el nu da ordonante sau hotarari cu aplicare in societate, asa cum fac guvernul sau parlamentul.

      Parlamentul roaman este, prin sistemul de vot si prin practica post-decembrista, mai mult in teorie reprezentativ, atata timp cat (i) s-au votat mai mult liste si mai putin oameni si (ii) prezenta la vot a fost foarte redusa. Demonstratia: ii cunoasteti pe senatorii si deputatii din colegiul dvs electoral? Parlamentul este teatrul de lupta al unor grupuri de interese si foarte putin unul de lupte de idei sau un forum de filosofie politica aplicata, iar guvernul este expresia structurii de putere in parlament.

      Cred ca alegatorul roman mediu are o intelegere limitata, sa nu spun nula, a acestor aspecte, pentru ca, din motive istorice, are un exercitiu redus al libertatii individuala si al democratiei. Ce faceam noi in 1215, cand in Anglia se semna Magna Carta sau in 1608, cand la Amsterdam se infiinta bursa? Acele institutii aveau la baza un concept de libertate individuala, evident diferit si mai restrictiv fata de cel de azi, dar fara el acele institutii si multe altele civilizatia occidentala nu ar fi avut evolutia pe care o stim. In egala masura, celalalt fundament al acestei evolutii este respectul fata de cuvantul dat si fata de contract.
      Fara a intelege si a asimila aceste lucruri in textura societatii romanesti nu vom ajunge nicaieri. De aceea, balada Miorita trebuie scoasa din manuale, este impotriva libertatii.

      In acest context, trebuie sa intelegem ca in 2009 dl Basescu a fost ales, prin vot direct, pentru un mandat de 5 ani. Votul este un contract o manifestare a libertatii individuale si trebuie sa-l respectam, chiar daca rezultatele nu au fost cele asteptate, atentie, si pentru ca asteptarile nu se suprapun pe realitatea cadrului institutional.

      Ce facem peste 2-3 ani, cand popularitatea urmatorului presedinte va scadea sub, sa zicem, 50%? Mai facem un nou referendum? Unde este respectul fata de cadrul institutional, adica fata de contract?

      A manipula cadrul institutional, care reprezinta pana la urma un contract intre clasa politica si electorat, pentru atingerea unor obiective politice de grup si pe termen scurt este la fel incalcarea acestui contract. Ce va urma dupa aceasta? Si Hitler a actionat similar in 1933.

      De aceea, tot ce s-a intamplat in ultimele doua luni la noi este antidemocratic si de aceea avem reactia dura a Europei.

      • Sergiu Simion spune:

        ” Parlamentul roaman este, prin sistemul de vot si prin practica post-decembrista, mai mult in teorie reprezentativ, atata timp cat (i) s-au votat mai mult liste si mai putin oameni si (ii) prezenta la vot a fost foarte redusa. Demonstratia: ii cunoasteti pe senatorii si deputatii din colegiul dvs electoral? Parlamentul este teatrul de lupta al unor grupuri de interese si foarte putin unul de lupte de idei sau un forum de filosofie politica aplicata, iar guvernul este expresia structurii de putere in parlament.

        Cred ca alegatorul roman mediu are o intelegere limitata, sa nu spun nula, a acestor aspecte, pentru ca, din motive istorice, are un exercitiu redus al libertatii individuale si al democratiei. ”

        Teza cu ” romanii au o intelegere limita/nula ” este extrem de asemanatoare cu una frecvent promovata intr-o forma sau alta la Facultatea de Filozofie din Bucuresti prin anii `70-`80 ( unde un Radu Florian vorbea cu dispret despre “simtul comun ” al omului de pe strada “neinstruit” si incapabil sa inteleaga subtilitatile materialismului dialectic si istoric ) si in mod special la Academia “Stefan Gheorghiu” unde unii din cei care astazi dau lectii de democratie prin diverse reviste invatau la cursul de psihologia maselor cum sa se adreseze diverselor claselor sociale ( muncitori, tarani, intelectuali ) in raport cu nivelul lor de “instruire”.

        A arunca totul in seama “cetateanului turmentat” este o forma de cinism politic si social. Sa presupunem totusi ca am reusi sa aducem un cetatean occidental cu un larg exercitiu al libertatii individuale si al democratiei , il invatam limba romana , ii oferim sansa sa devina cetatean roman, il aruncam in mediul nostru politic si social si dupa ce se confrunta suficient cu fauna noastra politica si mlastina birocratiei de stat de la noi, i-am fi oferit sansa sa voteze la acest referendum .

        Incercati sa va imaginati raspunsul la doua intrebari :

        1) Ce ar fi reusit sa inteleaga cetateanul occidental si beneficiar al exercitiul libertatii individuale si al democratiei , din toata tevatura de la noi care a reusit sa ingrozeasca Uniunea Europeana ?

        2) Cum ar fi perceput cele doua tabere si ce ar fi facut la vot ?

        Abia dupa aceea putem discuta eventual si despre intelegerea, limitata sau nu, a cetatenului roman asupra unor aspecte ale democratiei .

  10. Josan spune:

    Dear Demetrescu,

    you learn a poem by Antena 3. You can’t speak otherwise than reciting poems that you receive from the command center? In fact, very enlightening text about your lack of respect individual liberty. Of course, not what you intended, but it is quite clear. This is the message of Mr Voiculescu, not personally yours.

  11. Grammaticus spune:

    Thank you! I was looking for something to send to my former students, something objective, generous in spirit. And here it is!

  12. emi spune:

    Who are you talking to, mister Lothrop? All you said makes perfect sense, but I’m afraid everybody’s mind was already made up! I feel as though the voters are watching a football match, cheering along for their favourite! I myself found in deep sorrow that I cannot speak with my own grandmother any more. A great part of the Romanians are already “poisoned” by the so called socialist media, but actually the corrupt media… Therefore I do think our fate is sealed. Please don’t be a stranger after we leave the UE. It was great while it lasted.

  13. Zev spune:

    the court system gives THE each citizen,
    The CONCEPTof individual freedom is all powerful. [,,,]   IT means politicians cannot offer concessions, illegal logging rights, or special pensions [...] HEmeans
    the beginning of the end to the disease, western Europeans,

    ///

  14. Ralu spune:

    Eh Domnilor si daca in sfarsit ar fi sa fie libertatea asta, tot nu ar fi bine, romanii nu stiu sa o inteleaga. Si-o iau in cap, nu ar fi pregatiti, masele inca sunt chiaunite. Sedeaza oile si da-le drumul in libertate, eventual fa asta si cu lupii de la stana, vezi ce iese. Mai e mult pana departe..



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Don Lothrop


Don Lothrop

Om de afaceri si investitor american, a absolvit in 1989 Harvard Business School. In 2006 a fondat New Vista Partner, un fond de investitii axat exclusiv pe Romania. Citeste mai departe


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