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February 27, 2021

Lucian Boia: ‘Our electorate not yet educated enough’

Acclaimed historian Lucian Boia says the change of mentality in Romania should mean a review of the way in which Romanians relate to laws. Boia states in an interview for ‘Evenimentul Zilei’ daily he didn’t think he would be suitable for Romanian political life. ‘Actual political work doesn’t fit my profile. Even at the university I have always tried to avoid any administrative position. I am not cut out for this type of activity – community work as they would call it in the years of communism. I believe I can fulfil my call by writing. This is my contribution. I say each man should do the wok that best suites him. Let’s not take up room where we are no good. If we do that, we will compromise both ourselves and the ideas that we uphold. Can’t you see how many inappropriate people we have in politics? They are there just because they want to get rich’, the historian said. On the academics’ engagement in politics. Boia does not believe too much in an intellectual’s capacity to play an effective political role. ‘I think the intellectual has another function – the critical one. There has to be someone who can look around and says his opinion without diversions. I don’t think an intellectual is made for having an actual political role. Look at the big intellectuals who gave in and accepted to join politics. Not only in our times, take Nicolae Iorga for instance. But there are also many good examples at present’. The reputed historian also comments on people who enter and remain in politics, noting that ‘the political community perpetuates itself in a certain way’ ‘Those who already have the power pull up other ones who resemble hem. I wouldn’t like to exaggerate it and be unfair, because there are also quite honest politicians. However, most of them only entered politics in order to become rich. And they are also very mediocre persons in the academic and cultural sense of the word, but also politically. Yes, we have a political establishment that isn’t worthy of much praise. And we also have an electorate that is not yet educated and learned enough’. Boia further notes the current political community is below the level of the inter-war one.

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