Arrogance is a bad character trait

Don’t let their arrogance discourage you

Recently I had a conversation with a colleague in my office about government debt and the deficit. We are both fiscally conservative and I wondered aloud in my musings about why this idea that “debt and deficits don’t matter” has taken hold among many elected politicians, some economists, academics and others. Specifically, the idea of so-called “Modern Monetary Theory” (MMT) which basically states that a government that controls its own currency — the ability to literally print its own money — can continue to do so without any real negative consequences. It is a theory which has a growing number of adherents — this idea that a government can literally print — or, in the days of old — mint — it’s way to prosperity.

And yet history proves the exact opposite. No government — be it a nation-state, an empire, a city-state, a kingdom — can simply keep creating money ex nihilo, without disastrous consequences for that polity and its people.

I asked my colleague why there is this growing body of supporters and he came back with the simplest, yet most correct answer: arrogance.

That’s it. Arrogance. Hubris. Pride. Conceit. Use whatever word you like. Those who state we can print our way to prosperity often claim that, this time, it will be different. They claim that all those in the past who tried — and failed — didn’t do it correctly and that they actually have the knowledge on how to do it right.

Arrogance.

This leads me to Macedonia (you knew I’d get there eventually).

After the formation of the “new” Macedonian government, we heard Artan Grubi, Ali Ahmeti’s personal assistant who will now assume the position of a type of “co-prime minister” (though it is not called that) boast that, with the addition of Bujar Osmani from the DUI party as the new foreign minister, that “Albanians will now have three foreign ministries,” that of Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania. This is nothing but prideful boasting and pure arrogance.

For his part, Zoran Zaev always loves talking with an international “celebrity” especially one that calls him on the phone. He thinks that the fact that they will call upon him, makes him a particularly important person. And for the second time during his career as prime minister, Zaev, because he is arrogant, fell for a simply prank phone call from the supposed Swedish child-activist Greta Thunberg. In a call with “Greta,” Zaev crowed “Thank you, Greta, lately we change even our name, because we intend official name of the country because we intend to build friendship to be modern country and now we became republic of North Macedonia…” Zaev goes on to tell “Greta” about how they are growing marijuana and how “our young people open the procedure for liberalization of that for recreative use..” and finishes by telling her “Count on me and North Macedonia to be very helpful.” This is called sucking up. And yet he didn’t even realize that it was all fake, such is his arrogance.

And we see this with the Western elites time and time again. Earlier this year US Ambassador Kate Byrnes was interviewed by Stepeni 360 in which she again threatened Macedonians on overturning the so-called “Prespa agreement” stating any attempt to undo the agreement could “potentially cause frictions in NATO” which is laughable when you sit down and seriously consider it: NATO currently has “no frictions” between various member states? Of course it does and always will. And yet it functions quite well. If Macedonians reclaiming their rightful name causes “frictions in NATO” then NATO has some profoundly serious problems. And yet it is because of her arrogance as the US Ambassador to Macedonia that Byrnes thinks she can get away with these threats.

Looking back into my files, I found an old column from Saturday, November 15, 1997, written by Branko Geroski, then editor-in-chief of the now-defunct newspaper Dnevnik, writing about the upcoming 1998 parliamentary elections. In a meeting of party leaders with then-president Kiro Gligorov, Branko Crvenkovski, then the leader of SDSM and prime minister of the country, told the then-leader of VMRO-DPMNE, Ljupco Georgievski, “We are going to squash you like a semi-trailer squashes a frog”. Geroski writes “according to the eyewitnesses of this event, the leader of SDSM told Georgievski that Crvenkovski will still be Prime Minister after the next elections, and Macedonia would definitely enter the European Union before Romania and Bulgaria,” and continues writing “Prime Minister Crvenkovski is a man who, without question, has the most political power in the country. That is why it is important to detect his arrogance. Indeed, in this regard we are not stating anything new — the arrogant behavior and manifestation of raw power have become the trade mark and image of the young Prime Minister, whom we remember as being much better, more modest and somehow more decent.” Some 23 years later and the leader of SDSM and once and future prime minister is still arrogant.

The arrogant always fall. Always. The story of the arrogant falling is as old as mankind, the Old Testament story of the Tower of Babel being one of the first and best, where men said they would build a tower to the heavens, only to be thwarted. The same will happen to those arrogant individuals running Macedonia now, or the arrogant individuals interfering and intervening in Macedonia amongst the Western elites. Count on it and don’t let their arrogance discourage you.

Proud American & Arizonan w/Hungarian ethnicity & passion for Macedonia, Hungary & Estonia. Traveler, PR man, history buff & wine, craft beer & cigar enthusiast