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Would Rather Rule over Rubble Than Not Rule at All

Essay by   •  December 6, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  3,819 Words (16 Pages)  •  1,459 Views

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Slobodan Milosevic

There were not many political leaders who really deserved to be called 'heroes' and even less of them can be called 'tragic heroes'. Slobodan Milosevic was an outstanding person and political leader. He is blamed for having an idea to create 'Greater Serbia', accused of mass murders, bombings of Yugoslavia in 1999, Kosovo conflict and final dissolution of a great country. The question is what can help us to understand his power policies? On the West he was (and still is) considered to be a war criminal and on his own land people saw in Slobodan (Slobo, as they called him) the last hope and stronghold of a country. Generally, it is believed that with Milosevic the tragedy of the Balkans started. Was he really interested in establishing 'Greater Serbia' or is it misinterpreted by Western governments? If yes, then how did he try to achieve his political goals? Probably, political realism can give some answers on this question.

To begin with, political realism as a theory dates back to the 5th century BC and finds reflection in the account of Peloponnesian War (Ancient military conflict between Athens and Sparta) described by Greek scholar Thucydides. Later on this theory was also reflected in Niccolo Machiavelli's political treatise 'The Prince' and in the 20th century German lawyer Hans Morgenthau paid also his attention to political realism and framed it to what can be called theory (Dunne, . Almost all these scholars viewed the politics as a struggle for power. Political realism is quiet tragic in its views and lacks optimism, but is viable even now and is appealing because it tries to present the world as it really is. Main positions of political realism include the balance of power; states are considered to be supreme actors; national interest (such as protection of territory, residents/citizens and political institutions from external threat) is seen as a driving force. Also political realism includes developing of economy and growth of investments; relationship between allies and choice of foreign/external politics. Thucydides observed in his accounts that when the community breaks down the order also does the same (Dunne, 55). This is what happened in Balkans in the end 80s and the beginning of 90s. The concept of power includes geographical position, natural resources, industrial potential, military capability (including technology, military leaders, and number of troops), attitude of residents to war and attitude of residents to political course. It also includes a quality of diplomacy. Political realism is appealing for practical people, because in this theory the political figure that is intelligent, wise and good diplomat gets certain significance. He still remains moral but immoral measures taken to preserve national interests are acceptable.

The important person to mention is Niccolo Machiavelli, who was an outstanding Italian philosopher, writer and politician of the 15th - 16th century. His philosophical treatises are about political power and states. In his famous 'The Prince' Niccolo argued who deserves to rule the country and which form of government would be the best to keep peace and prosperity of people. Machiavelli's ideal ruler is a strong personality, cold-blooded and self-seeking. For Niccolo such a leader was Italian politician Cesare Borgia, who really impressed Machiavelli, although, historical figure of Borgia is without morals.

Slobodan Milošević (srp. Slobodan Milošević, срп. Слободан Милошевић) was born in 1941 in a small Serbian city of Pozarevac (srb.http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A1%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B1%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B9_%D1%8F%D0%B7%D1%8B%D0%BA Пожаревац, cro. Požarevac). His father was Serb and mother was Montenegrin. Slobodan has an older brother Borislav, who considers himself Montenegrin, while Slobodan insisted in his later years that he himself was Serb. In 1964 he graduated from the Faculty of Law in the University of Belgrade (LeBor, 31). He worked in the economic and banking sectors during his life and started his political career as a leader of a communist party organization in the outskirts of Belgrade. His life can probably be traced through the simple line: he was communist -> transformed into nationalist -> finished as socialist that tried to revoke the unity of countries. The Yugoslav problem of that period is that, just like in the Soviet Union, this country was for a long time under the firm, iron hand of a wise 'fox' Marshal Joseph Broz Tito, who knew how to balance between the East and the West for his own virtue. So there was natural lack of the true leaders at that time (mostly as a result of Tito's policy). As a result of these circumstances was that in 1986 Slobodan Milosevic was chosen a Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Union in Serbia. Just after a year and a half he became a head of the state. This happened after he dismissed Ivan Stambolic from power. What actually happened was typical: on the plenary session Stambolic was criticized for his power policy and dismissed. Interesting fact was that Milosevic was a close friend of Ivan Stambolic and like Cesare Borgia in Medieval Italy, who liquidated even his close relatives in his desire to get power; Slobodan betrayed his friend and got the chair of the President. Slobodan never rejected an idea about united Yugoslavia during his political career. The problem is that the Yugoslavia in his visions did not correspond to the idea of Yugoslavia of other leaders. He was accused of creating a pro-Serbian and unitary country. Other potential leaders and opposition wanted to see Yugoslavia as a federative country where each state can itself define the degree of relation to others.

1981 was a crucial year for Yugoslavia, as Albanian population in Kosovo rose in rebellion. This found a deep response in Serbs. This response reflected itself in a rise of nationalistic mood. Why Kosovo is important: For centuries this land was a symbol of Serbian resistance to Ottoman oppression. This dates back to 1389 to the Battle of Kosovo Polje, where Serbs were defeated. In 1986 one important document was published - a Memorandum where was expressed a concern with the 'oppression of Serbian population by Croats and Kosovars' and expressed the idea of, in simple words, 'Serbia for the Serbs'. Some political figures blamed this document for being too nationalistic but Milosevic did not express his opinion. As an intelligent politician he, probably, understood that the idea of brotherhood among people and socialism did not play a significant role anymore and so he turned his face to Serbian nationalism. This choice can be seen in his famous speech in Gazimestan, Kosovo, 28th of April 1987. One day prior he arrived to Kosovo where a demonstration

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