Gintaras Visockas. Ideas Are in the Air


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Gintaras Visockas, author of this commentary. Slaptai.lt photo

Unwillingness to talk and unwillingness to bargain are really bad tactics, yet the idea of talking only to talk is even worse. Instead of searching for means to make Lithuania a country where Lithuanians could live a comfortable and meaningful life, we often act selfishly and care more about self-promotion instead of interests of the country.

What do I have in mind? A public campaign was announced to help envision a better future for Lithuania. Sure, it’s cute, andmeaningful. But how do we really use this opportunity for a serious debate over Lithuania’s future? Frankly speaking, I’m amazed of so many superficial and primitive ravings.

For example, producer and musician Stanislovas Stavickis – Stano suggested (delfi.lt) regular dinners of tolerance where deadly opponents would sit at one table. Imagine globalists and nationalists, the rich and the poor, bailiffs and debtors discussing sincerely at such table… It might be a good idea, but where is an explanation on how this idea should be implemented? There is no dictatorship in Lithuania. How to place a wolf and a lamb at the same table under democratic conditions? What will they talk about? Will the predator feel sorry for the pray? Will the lamb admit wolf’s need to eat? Do they want another TV show that leads nowhere as it was with Rūta Janutienė’s show “Nuoga tiesa” (Naked Truth) with so much ruckus and so little rationality?

Sure, musician’s idea is nice. I agree that “inability to hear one another is a painful problem in Lithuania”. However, can the musician explain, how this should be implemented in real life? For example, how to find a common language with writer and poet Sigitas Parulskis, who contemplatedin lrytas.lt that if a magnificent Vytis would be erected in Lukiškės Square, it would remind him of… a soviet tank?

Leader of the Conservative Party Gabrielius Landsbergis, after visiting Lithuanians who live in London, said that “without a broad consensus there will be no reforms”. A correct observation. However, if you don’t know how to reach this “broad consensus”, what is the purpose then of these senseless talks? A common sense suggests, that there will be no consensus at all, neither narrow, nor broad. Neither on foreign, nor internal political matters. Why haven’t you reached an agreement with Greens, Social Democrats or Liberals? As usual, some of them will cry that Russia is a threat to Lithuania, others will not see it as a threat. Some of them will try to prove that it is necessary to allocate 2% of GDP to National Defense, others will say that this is money down the drain. Some of them will shout that Mindaugas Bastys, despite his overfriendliness with Russian representatives, is a true patriot, others will see him as a traitor…

We can console ourselves, that Sweden argued forlong 8 years over pension reform until itfinally reached an agreement – now their pensioners are happy, respectable an have plenty of food. We can console ourselves, that Denmark created its tax system not outright. The system enforces the rich to pay more taxes to the national budget than those that are paid minimum. Lithuania, however, cannot reach an agreement over pension or other important reforms for more than twenty years already and a consensus seems unlikely. As if we are descendants from different galaxies. As if we have no common goals. As if the sole our purpose is to ruin as many lives of our own people as possible.

Gabrielius Landsbergis states that “Lithuania needs a tax systemwhich would encourage people to work and which would help them to earn for living”. I agree. Yet how can this beachievedby current Seimas of Lithuania, where the majority is (as if by purpose) not interested in decreasing social exclusion or introducing more fair taxes. I doubt that Seimas would form a real majority soonwhich would be concerned about Lithuania’s decline. Maybe the leader of the Conservative Party expects to adjust tax system properly during the current term of office? If I was the biggest optimist, I wouldn’t be so sure of it.

Another conservator Žygimantas Pavilionis proposes that only dual citizenship would help to retain Lithuanian emigrants, whereas philosopher Arvydas Juozaitis claims that dual citizenship would encourage emigration even further and would lead Lithuania to decline. The former Lithuanian ambassador in the US is wrong and the philosopher is right – dual citizenship will not stop this decline. It is a known truth that Lithuanians living abroad lose their national pride very quickly. Lithuanians are prone to assimilations. Lithuanians more willingly adapt to foreign rules than make others adapt to Lithuanian order.

When the Constitutional Court of Lithuania explained that dual citizenship is impossible, Lithuanian television showed several videos. Their makers tried to show that Lithuanian emigrants are superior to those staying in Lithuania. Do the makers of such shows not understand that in such way disunited Lithuanians are played off against each othereven further?

One element of this play off is already poisoning our hearts: those who left Lithuania would like to have a dual citizenship, yet what benefits will get those who remained? I don’t want dual citizenship. I don’t need dual citizenship. While writing these remarks I’m trying to show the wish of emigrants to get dual citizenship as an egotistical absurd. If Lithuania would allow dual citizenship on a massive scale, maybe it would also be acceptable to have two wives or two consciences? Let’s face it- if dual things are allowed, soon it will be allowed triple or quadruple notions and moral norms. Do we want more chaos? Dual citizenship will not save Lithuanians from assimilation. Dual citizenship will not decrease losses of Lithuanian nation.

Senior economist of “Luminor” bank Žygimantas Mauricas states that “those who want to live honestly, to pay taxes and create value are backed into a corner and forced to become criminals against their will”. We know that already. Why, though, the economist does not write a treatise on what to do that honest people wouldn’t be backed into a corner?

A number of great ideas are introduced in Lithuania – let’s build a stadium, let’s care for children, let’s put together a new commission that would analyze matters of migrations, let’s create high-principled and honest courts, let’s denounce those who avoid paying taxes, let’s elect members of Seimas that are resistant to corruption, let’s dismiss officials and bureaucrats who cannot do their jobs without instructions, let’s grant a 3-month amnesty to fraudsters and then let’s open a brand new page…

But what is the real value of these suggestions? Without knowledge how to implement them they are useless. Personally, I still haven’t found a single, consistent and smart explanation on how these great ideas are going to be uphold in a country still called Lithuania.

2017.10.10; 04:48