Cristian Manolachi: We must discern in avalanche of political messages. 2024 is a complicated election year

Many parties and political actors use elements of political mythology in an attempt to get as many votes as possible, and this is observed in Romania and other European states, Romanian historian Cristian Manolachi stated in a public debate hosted by IPN News Agency. According to the doctor of history, 2024 is a complicated election year for Romania and the Republic of Moldova, but also for the entire Europe, and the citizens must discern between the myths promoted by politicians and the truth.

According to the PhD in History, political mythology contains a number of propaganda elements that are intensely promoted by politicians and are meant to imbed in minds, in particular, the idea of a savior leader, who will offer society a bright future.

“There is the myth of the savior. It is a myth through which the people put their hope in that man and believe that he will save them. There is also the myth of the golden age. Which means that people, and leaders, profit from this, idealize the past, falsify history. The people consider themselves a chosen people, have an exceptional history, the present is dull, but the future will be as exceptional as the past. That’s what the “saviors” promise. These populist saviors build a bridge between a falsified past and an idealized future. History has shown that ideal projections of the future society are nothing but dystopias, that is the opposite of utopia. In this regard, we have totalitarian examples. Both communism and fascism failed to deliver what they promised to the people,” said Cristian Manolachi, PhD in History at Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca.

According to him, the myth of unity is intensely used in Romania by parties that promise “the union of all Romanians”. The historian warns that populism is on the rise in Europe, especially the far-right parties. 2024 is an extremely important election year for Romania and the Republic of Moldova, and the political messages must be carefully analyzed so as not to allow populists to come to power.

“The Romanians also fall prey to populism. We have that alliance that pleads for the unification of Romanians. They use the myth of Romanian unity. It is a very exploited myth. In the 1990s, we also had the Greater Romania Party, with the same idea of Romanian unity. After the fall of that party another party claiming the same thing came. We must be able to discern in this avalanche of political messages, especially since 2024 is a very complicated year. There are four rounds of elections in Romania. There are elections in the Republic of Moldova as well. These messages must also be seen in a European context. And in Europe there is that rise of populists and the extreme right,” said historian Cristian Manolachi.

The public debate entitled “Political mythologies in history and in actuality” was the 35th installment of the series “Impact of the past on confidence and peace building processes”. IPN Agency carries out this project with the support of the German “Hanns Seidel” Foundation.

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