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March 17, 2023

Technocracy of political meritocracy

Any revolt is initiated by discontentment towards an idea, a person, a regime or a situation that has reached a critical point that allows no further tolerance – or a level of tolerance that supposedly approaches zero.
For Romanians, the critical point was reached on October 30, 2015.

Dozens of thousands of people took to the streets during a week and yelled slogans that were all based on the main idea that the political class needed to change, as well as the regime it has practised for over a quarter of a century.

In the heart of political class, presently in full collapse and in an acute crisis of image and managing its own capacity to govern and balance the polls of power, even before October 30, there was an even greater erosion of stability that has led finally to an inertia-determined response related to the civil society that was highly effervescent. A response that only managed to create and develop even more confusion at all social levels of the country.

After the cumulus of pressure coming from the immense force of people rioting on the street, politics finally managed to make an initial move of so-called harmonization with the requests of protesters – the abdication of Prime Minister Victor Ponta.

For people in the midst of general euphoria, the notion of “abdication” was inaccurately received and was not understood according to the intention politicians had placed inside this gesture.
Because, when the Prime Minister abdicates, his gesture does not lead to dismissal or self-dismissal, quasi-inoperable aspects at the level of the Constitution.

Yet, the wave of euphoria overtook and carried away this political theatrical gesture, and crowds yelled their satisfaction while continuing to demand, in a waterfall effect, another series of things that are more or less realistic and possible from the perspective of the logics of a viable and democratic governing act.

After Victor Ponta left the leading position of the Government, proposals started popping up from behalf of parties (obviously) for the position of Prime Minister.
Based on the requests of the street, a few names were circulated, each of them wishing to be compatible and adequate to one of the most frequently yelled and persuasive demands by the crowd – a technocrat Government.

In response, President Klaus Iohannis chose, ultimately, Dacian Ciolos.

But what does this technocracy actually mean, applied in an act of ruling that is predominantly political?
Is there any form of apolitical Government that may exist at the core of a state structure that is fully politicized?

In order to have an argument-supported discussion on this topic, or on any other topic connected to ongoing social and political issues, we must understand, first of all, the real foundation of the requests each of us makes towards the political class and to any other politicized structure of the state.
In itself, the notion of “technocrat” refers to a specialist in a certain field of reference, who – attention! – does not have and is not supposed to have as much as the slightest connection to the sphere of politics.

This person exercises its attributions in terms of expertise for one field or another, without actually attending the fundamental political act – the political decision.
Because, for the majority of people who do not perform or do not accurately understand the notion of political gesture, political class, political party, political structure, etc., things seem to get dangerously confused, causing social anarchy and a complete lack of mature and operational logical orientation in the direction of political and social options of each person.

Therefore, politics is defined by everything represented and derived by political decision as a fundamental tool of exhibiting political power related to social power. Again, political decision.

To explain it in an even easier manner: The entire political class, the notion of politics itself represents the aggregation, agglutination and concentration of power in one direction. From masses to politics. With a reverse effect upon power relation when it comes to decisions in the state, projects, ideas and any other political lucrative form.

The political segment is the one that initiates and proposes ANY idea or project presented afterwards to civil society, that agrees more or less with said proposals.
Any decision reached by politics is outside of immediate ballot, the punctual enforcement by the citizen.
The only moment of (partial) emergency between the citizen and politics is that of electoral ballot which is, in itself, a mere exercise of a quasi-virtual, punctual nature, lacking long-term effects at post-electoral political decision level.

Therefore, as long as a technocrat is positioned outside the entire political structure and is, in consequence, outside any political decision, or any decision that may have a political cause or effect and, therefore, any technocrat Government instantly loses functionality by the sheer impossibility to validate correctly any project or initiative launched by them.

In Romania’s recent history, during similar periods to the one we are experiencing now, there were two more “technocrat Governments”. One was led by Theodor Stolojan, and the other by Mugur Isarescu, both rated as some of the most valuable “technocrats outside of politics”, and great personalities at the respective moments.

Both Governments performed transitions from one political stage to another.
Both “technocrat leaders” of those Governments turned out to be, in the end, one, the political connection and the point of political division from one end of the political scale to the opposite end and the other, an overly rational individual, the architect of Romania’s entire political and economical structure in the last 26 years.

Because every exercise of governing needs political guarantee. And this political guarantee is given, paradoxically, by precisely the human, electoral, social capital of the country.
Therefore, how could a technocrat Government exist outside of an act of governing that means politics in all its aspects?

The criterion of the professional resume created as a tapestry for projecting political power, supported by its mechanisms is not enough and does not represent an exclusive guarantee of an act of governing that would be depoliticized, cleaned up and brought to a pure social form of leading the state.

Actually, imposing political technocracy is a manner of prolonging political bureaucracy by the utopian paradigm of meritocracy induced at the heart of the political system.
It is similar to the following dilemma: is there a profession of politician?

Therefore, we are entitled to ask:
Is a technocrat a politician circumstantially converted to the punctual necessity or request of change and transition from one political stage to the next?!

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