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Collective Narcissism and Its Leaders: Case of Macedonia (with Nikola Ristevski)

Uploaded 5/11/2021, approx. 56 minute read

Here we go. We are being recorded. Big Brother is watching us.

Yes.

Well, hello, Mr. Weckner.

Just a split second. I will make a backup audio recording for you.

Yes. Hello. Good to be with you. Thank you for having me.

Thank you for this opportunity to be one of the first guests on my new show. I'm doing a podcast. The name of the podcast is Kanda Podcast.

Congratulations and success.

Thank you.

We are both color coordinators. We are both wearing black, which I hope doesn't say anything about the future.

I hope.

With our conversation that we will raise the consensus about the important things, we will provide some meaningful information to the audience, and we will promote your work and my work also.

So researching your work, I haven't read your best-selling book, still haven't read it, but I have read plenty of articles from your website. Watch the movies, which I really liked.

And since my childhood, I remember those writings with you, with one of our politicians from the past.

So if you don't mind, I would like to start with your doctoral thesis because time is something that interests me a lot.

And I'm recently reaching our cultural heritage and gained an understanding that the time is actually not a linear thing. It's more like cycle or spiral thing.

So what can you tell us about your doctoral thesis and how do you understand the time, how you comprehend it?

Well, we are forced to use language because we have no other tool to communicate, but language often falls short. Language is often problematic as any Zen Buddhist would tell you.

And I came across the same problem when I, in the early 80s, in 1982, 1984, was writing my doctoral thesis. At that time, I obtained a dual, a double doctorate in philosophy and in physics.

So I came across a similar problem. You see all the previous physicists, we are talking Einstein, others. They were great innovators, but they did not change the language.

The language of Einstein is exactly the language of Newton, exactly the language of Leibniz. Exactly the language of Poincare.

Einstein was not a revolutionary. He was an innovator.

There is a major distinction between these two things. To be a revolutionary, you need to change language.

And Marx was among the first to observe that language changes consciousness, and consciousness changes language. They are intricately connected.

If you don't change the language, you can say many new things, but you're not going to affect consciousness.

You need to change the language.

In 1982, when I started writing my thesis, my first question was, can we rewrite physics from the ground floor using a minimal language?

Because you see, the problem in physics for the last 400 years, since Newton, is that physics uses too many entities. It has too many entities. It has too many forces. It has too many, it's a multiplication of assumptions. It's too complicated to be true. It's probably not true.

Because reality is simplicity. Simplicity is beauty. Reality is beauty. It cannot be that reality relies on hundreds of elementary particles, hundreds of assumptions, or thousands of assumptions. Half a dozen forces cannot be. It's wrong. Something's wrong.

So I said, let me rewrite physics. And through physics, of course, our interface with reality, let me rewrite it using a minimal language.

Now, I'm not the first to think about it. There is a principle called parsimony. Parsimony in science means you should write theories that contain minimal assumptions and minimal entities.

It's also known as Occam's razor.

So I started to eliminate, started to eliminate.

First, I eliminated mass. Then I eliminated motion. Then I eliminated space.

I eliminated.

Every time I eliminated, I rewrote all of physics without the word that I had eliminated. So I rewrote all of physics without masses. Then I rewrote all of physics without masses and space. Then I rewrote all of physics without masses and space and motion, etc.

Finally, I was left with one word, one single word, without which it was impossible to describe the world.

In other words, without which it was impossible to do physics.

And that word was time.

I was left only with time.

I constructed a theory of physics which describes the universe as a field of potentialities.

Time is the ultimate realization of all these potentialities.

Once all these potentialities are realized, we will have ended time. That will be the end time.

But until such time, there is time.

And because the number of potentialities is essentially infinite, you're not likely to run out of time anytime soon.

I use in my theory of physics a single word, time. When I look at time from the left, it becomes mass. When I look at it from the right, it becomes motion. When I look at it from under, it becomes space.

If you take time and you look at it in different ways mathematically, you derive, you get the old concepts of space, of motion, of momentum, of masses, all of them are manifestations of time.

Because all of them are potentialities of the field. They are potentials of the field.

Because we are very limited creatures, even you and me are limited creatures, believe it or not. Because we are very limited creatures, we tend to see multiplicity where there is actually uniformity. And we tend to give names to different manifestations of the same thing.

Now, it took the physics community well over 30 years to understand what I was saying. But fortunately, in the last six or seven years, there is a group of several dozen scientists from all over the world, some of them very prominent in gravitation and relativity theory and so on, particle physics. There's a group of 40, 50 scientists from all over the world.

And they are working on my original theory. They took it away, they took it way far beyond my original theory.

I mean, their contributions are massive and far, in my opinion, outweigh my contributions.

But it's my work, basically, they are developing my work. They even succeeded to register a patent, technological patent, based on my work.

Because if I'm right, if I'm right, and if actually everything is a manifestation of a single thing, which I call time because I don't have language, I can't call it anything else. But if I'm right, then you can convert anything to anything because it's all manifestations of the same thing.

And they succeeded to register a patent in the United States, converting electricity to gravity and back, which is the first proof that my theory may be right, maybe right, of course, still a long way to go.

This is in a nutshell what I did.

Thank you very much.

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How can we apply this manifestation of one thing of time? How can we apply this to present Republic of Macedonia?

Is our collective consciousness manifesting some memories from the past? And what would you say us about the connection with the ancient Macedonia time and present Republic of Macedonia?

People like scholars like Jung, they came up with the concept of collective unconscious.

In more recently, we have the new branch in biology, known as epigenetics, which is essentially a kind of Lamarckism.

There was a debate in the 19th century between Lamarck and Darwin.

Lamarck said that properties and behaviors that are acquired during the life of the organism are transferred to the offspring of the organism.

So if a giraffe or a chimpanzee learned something new, they will transfer it genetically to the offspring.

And Darwin said this is nonsense.

Each generation starts essentially from zero through a process of natural selection.

Responsive to the environment.

For a very long time until recently, we were all Darwinists and we discarded Lamarckism. We said Lamarckism is nonsense.

But there's a new branch of biology, legitimate branch, not pseudoscience. It's called epigenetics.

And we are discovering that the environment has an impact on genetic material and environmental changes are transferred to next generations.

In the field of psychology, Jung came up with the concept of collective unconscious. He said that we all carry information from previous generations and this information is embedded in our brain. He said that this information is codified via a series of symbols or symbolic representations, which he called archetypes. And the archetypes codified this information and carried it forward from one generation to the next.

It's the way we relate to the world based on previous generations' experience and knowledge and so on and so forth.

Of course, we don't need all this mess. We don't need epigenetics. We don't need collective conscious. We have books, movies, art, is our cultural DNA. It is a message from previous generations.

Michelangelo talks to me directly because he had written letters and I can read his letters. So did Van Gogh. So they all talk to me directly and Van Gogh had been much more influential in my life than most of my neighbors.

So we codify previous generations. We embed them in works of culture and art and we transfer them forward and they have an immense impact on our mind.

You have read my articles. It had some impact on you.

We use language to affect each other across time and across generations.

The concept of nation-state is a very new concept. It's 19th century concept. You didn't exist before.

The concept of ethnicity is a lot older. The concept of race is nonsensical. There's no such thing as race. It's total nonsense, biologically. And it was, of course, invented by racists.

Macedonians are like a lot of people. They have a lot of people.

Macedonians are like every other ethnicity on Earth, an admixture and concoction of multiple biological entities which migrated across great distances, intermarried, intermingled.

Even Neanderthals and chroma neurons mated and had common descendants. And they were very different to each other. They were almost, you know, different families.

The Neanderthals were not fully human. They were humanoid. But still they were mating.

Of course, you cannot pinpoint and say this is a Macedonian. This is a Jew. It's no longer valid. We are intermixed. We are the outcome of a huge cocktail of migrations, intermarriages, births, deaths, inheritances, invasions, collaborations, so occupations.

But to be a Macedonian, I think, is not about biology. It's a mistake to reduce Macedonianism to biology. To be a Macedonian is a state of mind. And a state of mind that carries through the generations, carries through outside the borders of Macedonian because a huge number of Macedonians are living outside Macedonia.

Of course, it's embedded in Macedonia, the Macedonian state and Macedonian institutions, both formal institutions and informal institutions, like the family or the community or the village. All these institutions reflect, of course, this cultural, social heritage. Not biological heritage. That's nonsensical.

But cultural, social heritage.

Macedonians are distinct, absolutely distinct. I can spot a Macedonian from a mile away. They are distinct because they share this cultural, social heritage.

And you would do well to define yourselves by this dimension, not by any invented chauvinistic, nationalistic dimension which has novelty in science or in history.


What was your first contact in Macedonia?

And how did it happen for you to move to Macedonia at the end of the 20th century?

I was advisor to many Serbian, many entities in Serbian, banks, municipalities, MKS, which was at the time a huge metal manufacturing facility. I was advisor to several ministers in the government of Milosevic at the time. And I was in charge of breaking the embargo because the embargo was enforced inhumanly and people were dying in hospitals and there was starting to be hunger. There was enormous inflation. I worked with the central bank of Ramovich, who was the governor of the central bank in Serbia. I was a Jew. I was a Jew. So he called for help. I worked with him and we eliminated inflation. He eliminated inflation based on some of my advice. So we took care of inflation and then I built very complex corporate structures and financial structures to defeat the embargo.

And I'm glad to say that I succeeded. So the embargo was totally ineffective within Serbia based on my work and the work of several ministers, young ministers.

And so through this I came in touch with Macedonian businessmen and Macedonian companies. One of the main lifelines of Serbia during the wars was Macedonia. Goods and services were coming through Macedonia, through Macedonian companies and financial institutions and so on were coming into Serbia.

We're taking advantage of this. I constructed shell companies in Lebanon and many other places who worked with Macedonian companies. Never mind the details. Macedonia was very helpful.

Macedonia in some ways saved Serbia during that period. I would say that about 40 percent of all illicit goods that came into Serbia came through Macedonia and with active Macedonian collaboration. It would not have been possible otherwise, including the state, banks, everyone was working together to help Serbia.

And so when this finished in 1995, I had a partner in Serbia. He used to be the head of the Mossad in the region and he retired. He became a businessman. And he moved from Serbia to Macedonia. And he said to me, Sam, this is a young country. They're very confused. They're disoriented. They're in panic. The foreigners are taking over. They're telling them what to do and they obey blindly.

I mean, this is a bad situation. The country is hostage completely to the IMF, to many other, you know, can you come here and help them the way you helped Serbia? And I did. I came here in 1996. I did my best to try to help. I worked, by the way, with all governments. I worked initially with the same governments. I worked with the minister of finance. At the time, I worked with the agency of privatization. I worked with the stock exchange. I helped to construct the stock exchange. So I was involved essentially with this infrastructure.

But when I witnessed the corruption and problems, I decided to switch sides and I started to work with Vemegor at the time. Vemegor was Jogierzki. Jogierzki was nobody. He was nothing. It was Jogierzki and Trakowski.

So I worked with Jogierzki and Trakowski for a while until they became the government. And I was not in Macedonia anymore. I came to Macedonia for two years just to help.

I helped set up a stock exchange. I helped a little with privatization. I helped a lot with all kinds of issues with IMF and World Bank. And then I left. I left to Russia. I moved to Russia and to the Czech Republic. So I was outside Macedonia. And Jogierzki was appointed minister without portfolio. And he called me to come back. He asked me to come back and be economically and be economic advisor to the government together with the former prime minister of Yugoslavia. So we were two economic advisors. And I returned and I became economic advisor to the government, not actually to Bursi. I was economic advisor to the government.

And within my remit, I also worked with Grobeski in the ministry of financehe was appointed minister of finance, it's my recommendation and other people's recommendation.

So Stonmenov was minister of finance. He was replaced by Greweski. And then for the rest of the time, I worked with Greweski. And I continued to work with Greweski after Remegor lost power. They lost power justifiably because they were even more corrupt than the same if it's possible.

And so I continued to work with him for a while, several years. And it was it. I got married to a Macedonian woman, Lydia. And I made Macedonia my base. My base in the sense that I always had assignments. For example, now I spent four years in Russia, in Hungary and in the United Kingdom. So but Macedonia is my base. I work in other countries. I teach. I'm a professor of psychology. I'm a professor of finance. I teach in several universities around the world, but I always come back to Macedonia.

Of course, when the pandemic started, there was no way I would leave my wife alone in Macedonia. So I returned.

In most part of Macedonian public, you are perceived as the gray eminence behind the rise of Nikola Greweski. And in some of your interviews, I've sketched a statement that you said, correct me if I'm wrong, that the team that Greweski collected wouldn't be the average manager since I am some foreign company.

So what is your memory from that time? And how was our ex prime minister who is now a fugitive over there in Hungary? How was he when he was young? Did he have a potential for management and organizing? Or did he learn that through counseling, through time?

Well, it's a fact that I picked him up. I mean, I was teaching seminars and courses to thousands of Macedonian managers, thousands, literally. Agency of privatization organized seminars that lasted several months. Each seminar was 300 managers. So thousands. I was teacher to thousands of managers here. And I was exposed to old managers and brokers and through the stock exchange and so on.

And of all these thousands of people, I picked him and only him. I offered to him to write a series of dialogues. And these dialogues were published in Nevnik and later another newspaper and were collected in a book. And the book was published.

That was the first book of Greweski.

Yes, it was the first book of Greweski.

I was no longer here. I was living in Czech Republic, but he published a book on his own. And this was his visit card. This book was his visit card.

Now, why did I pick him up? As in many of my seminars, I was organizing simulations. And in these simulations, people were given tasks. They were given roles.

So in many of these simulations, I gave the role of a manager, or the role of a prime minister, or the role of a minister of finance. And I was observing how people behave in the simulations. This is, by the way, a common practice in the West. It's known as Delphi and so on.

So I brought this practice into Macedonia. I was the first to organize simulation games.

And I noticed that of all the people who participated in the simulation games, the only person with initiative, leadership, innovative ideas, extremely good follow-up, and performative or executive capacity. In other words, the capacity to accomplish goals, not only to fantasize.

The only person, literally, was Nikola Greweski. That's how he stood out. He stood out in the simulation games.

While everybody else was treating it as a game, and were fantasizing, meandering, thinking to the right, thinking to the left, arguing, Macedonia's love to argue, and so on and so forth, Nikola came into the scene sometimes late. And within minutes, everyone would be working together in a coherent manner to accomplish goals. I was very impressed. He was a kid. He was a child. He was working as a low-level broker in a tiny bank, Balkan Skabalka, I think. And he didn't have his own desk.

The first time I met him, he was sharing a desk with two other people. And the manager called him and told him, make coffee for Vakni. And he ran to the kitchen and he made coffee for Vakni.

So this was his status in the bank. He was very low-level.

But I realized that he has enormous potential. And I remember once we were traveling in his rickety old car that he finally succeeded to save money and buy. I think it cost $500, if I remember. And we were traveling in his car.

And he said, Sam, what do you think about me? I said, I think in a few years you would be Prime Minister of Macedonia. And I remember how he laughed. He thought I was kidding him. I said, I'm not kidding you. In a few years, you're going to be Prime Minister of Macedonia. And I was not wrong.

Nikola is not a great innovator. But he is wonderful at accepting innovation. He is extremely open-minded. He is daring. He's a daring person. He doesn't. He's courageous. He embarks on long-term huge projects. He is the best organizer and manager I ever came across in Macedonia. And I came across everyone, trust me, from Svetozov Janevsky down. I know them all. I've worked with them all. He is by far the best. It's intuitive. It's, if you wish, collective unconscious. It's something in his genes. He didn't learn anything. He didn't study management anyway.

And he struck me as the person who can take Macedonia forward.

Regrettably, I'm not sure that his level of emotional maturity matched his level of managerial capacity.

And this allowed people around him to take advantage of his vulnerabilities.


Number one, his need to be liked and loved. He needs to be accepted and liked and loved.

He has very thin skin. He gets hurt very, very easily. You can hurt this man very easily.

He's constantly in pain when he's rejected. People knew that. So they took advantage of his need to be loved and liked and accepted. They gave him a fake sense of family, a fake sense of belonging.

And then, essentially, they could do almost anything they wanted with him.

And regrettably, he allowed himself, to some extent, to be manipulated, although he's a very strong man. He has boundaries, but not with his closest, nearest, and dearest. And he let them do this to him.

Nikolai Buevsky is a good man, a truly good man, an extremely talented man, the best manager, organizer, and leader that Macedonia ever had, and ever likely to have.

But these vulnerabilities that I've mentioned led him to worries today, regrettably. It's a huge loss for Macedonia.

I was a witness because I was part in 2012 for working for some close people to Nikolai Buevsky for a year. After that, I saw with what I mean, and I quit.


So you're mentioning something that some of Macedonians know about his emotional vulnerability. We know that he didn't apply the Machiavellian principle, better to be feared than to be loved. He didn't apply that.

And we all witnessed that some of the close people around him weren't presenting the reality truly to him, but they were lying to him.

And now my question is, did that emotional vulnerability of the ex-Prime Minister project it on whole Macedonian nation? My question is, did he emotional vulnerability influenced the happenings in Macedonia and all of the people who lived here?

All leaders in history who have mental health issues, minor or major, don't have to be major, minor, like emotional vulnerability, it's a mental health issue. All leaders with mental health issues create contagion, they infect. They infect in concentric circles, they infect their closest, their closest infect the others, the others infect further.

And finally, the whole nation is infected.

Because of their insecurities, this kind of people tend to gravitate towards a personality cult.

So people with mental health issues like Donald Trump, like Joseph Stalin, you know, these people like Mao, like Hitler, like in big ways and small ways, they create personality cults because they feel secure only within personality cults.

Personality cult is an echo chamber where you don't come across criticism, disagreement, and information that challenges your self-image and self-perception. You don't come across adversity and conflict. You don't develop dissonance.

These leaders are actually very fragile people. They're easily breakable when they are confronted with countervailing data. They need to isolate themselves in order to function.

Now, many of them have been very efficacious leaders. I mentioned all these names, they're all very efficient leaders.

But their downfall is because they can't stand reality. They try to convert reality into fantastic space where they can remain safe and secure and never suffer pain or dissonance.

So when you try to force reality to become a fantasy, you lose both reality and your fantasy.

And this is what had happened to all these people.

Reality is stronger than anyone.

And reality is unpleasant.

90% of reality is unpleasant.

This is what children learn when they grow up. Growing up is a process of loss.

And number one loss is the view of reality as a good place to be in.

Reality is not a good place to be in. It's dystopian.

Reality is abrasive. Reality is hurtful and painful.

Reality is challenging. Reality leads you to mourning and grieving.

Reality is a horrible place to be. It's a horror movie.

But if you try to supplant reality with fantasy, if your solution is fantasy defense mechanism, fantasy is a psychological defense mechanism.

If you supplant reality with fantasy, you can no longer evolve and grow. Natural selection stops.

Evolution, growth, maturation critically depend on unbridled, unlimited, unmitigated access to reality.

The mother who isolates her child from reality is not doing the child a favor. This child will never grow up to be an adult.

You need to expose your children to reality. I keep saying that the main role of a parent is to push the children away. Not to hug them, to push them away. That's the main role of a good parent. The main role of a good leader is to share the bad news.

Leadership is not like the Evangelion. It's not the good news.

Yes, leadership is the bad news. The real test of a leader is when the news are bad and that's where Donald Trump had failed.

For example, when the news became bad, he became delusional because he preferred fantasy to reality.

And the same with Nikola Goersky.

That's how he felt too.

Yes, because when the news became bad and the news did become bad in the last years of his reign, of his leadership, he refused to see it. He continued to occupy his fantastic space.

Thereby, he could not adapt. Only exposure to reality causes you to successfully adapt, become self efficacious and extract favorable outcomes only.

Of course, it's painful process. Adaptation and change are always painful.

But if you are that pain averse, don't be a leader. Don't have children.

There is a saying, if you hate the smells of cooking, don't enter the kitchen.

So, looking 20 years and more years back and all those, since we were very, very young, we remember those articles in the daily newspapers that you published in a book that you mentioned.

And how do you see a Macedonian economy now?

Were those hopes from the beginning of 20th, 21st century, were those hopes and all that working and changing, putting taxes, fiscal economy, all of that stuff? Do you see it as a successful project in the past 20 something years? Or do you see Macedonia as something representation of something else?

Well, as I told you, I've been out of Macedonia way for four years. I can't say that I'm updated.

But from what I see, what I see, you realize, of course, that Macedonia started with enormous, unconquerable disadvantages.

Few countries, to my recollection, few countries in human history, started with such disadvantages as Macedonia did. Anywhere from insurgencies to embargoes to crazy neighbors to, I mean, you name it.

And yet, despite all this, which is indeed the Macedonian character, going back to the beginning of our conversation, your survivors, your survivors, you're very patient, even topi, you are, you are too patient. You're survivors.

And so you had survived.

When you look at the Macedonian, from what I see, this is the caveat, it's only what I see. From you look at the Macedonian economy, it's in much better condition than it was when I came here.

Of course, the financial sector is in much better condition. Manufacturing sector is streamlined. Even agriculture is improving.

Exports, imports are on a good line, in my view.

The dependence on outside flows of income from international multinational institutions, such as I met World Bank, this dependence is gone. It's no longer true.

Remittances are still important. But otherwise, Macedonia is much more self-sufficient than it was in the 90s, and so on.

And thereby, much more independent politically and otherwise. You're integrated in NATO. Probably you will be in the European Union at some point, although I'm not quite sure what's the big deal about this.

So I think you're moving in the right direction. And I think you have gained a lot. You've made big gains in terms of your economy, even unemployment is down, and so on.

The only black cloud is the brain drain, brain drain of Macedonians. Your best minds have left.

No offense. Your best minds, your youngest minds have left. That doesn't bode well for your future.


If I were to make two recommendations, it would be to diversify the economy by introducing much more IT, much more bank office services to emulate India, not as far as COVID, as far as economy.

Emulate India to become a service nation, essentially. To shift emphasis from agriculture and manufacturing to services, especially IT services.

Great location for outsourcing and have potential in people.

Yes.

So I would do this. This is first recommendation, immediate diversification of the economy.

Immediate.

And the second thing I would do, I would place, I would subject all the resources of the state with no exception and without one Macedonian dinner left, all of it, to attracting back young educated people.

Israel is doing this. Israel is doing this.

If you return to Israel after five years, you don't pay taxes for 10 years. You get apartments and all the appliances within the apartment for half price.

So Israel is attracting back young educated people, 190,000 this year alone.

Well, Macedonian needs to attract these people back because it's not only their brains they're bringing back. They're bringing back networks of contacts. They are bringing back exposure to the practices of the world. They are bringing back intimate knowledge with new technologies.

So technological spreading to the genes because they learned it up there.

So they're bringing back a lot. And this is your treasure. This is your treasure.

And yet you're doing nothing to attract them back, which is a great thing.


One of the reasons I think is that your politician...

We have vast land for agriculture. I've worked in several countries, visited plenty of business parks in the States. We have plenty of space to build new business parks to get all of our ITs, engineers, economists that are abroad to come here.

But unfortunately, no one does that. I will give my own example. I studied abroad. I wasn't in Macedonia for 10 years. I am here for 10 years. And I decided not to move again, because as we say, the rock awaits on its own place. And I still hope that there is a... Because hope is something that's natural, even though sometimes it's very dangerous. I still hope that in my... I'm 36, that people that are around my generation and the younger ones have already the consciousness for the new century.


And with...

Now I need to ask this question. As a normal citizens, business owners, researchers, we've witnessed that all those leaders from previous century, end of 20th century, and now all those Macedonian leaders, all of them have something that they need to be glorified. As you said, no one of them wasn't so honest to confront the problems, because the reality is really cruel. And all that fake propaganda with positive, positive, fake, positive information just destructs our hope and then motivates us.

So emotional disbalance, as I read in some of your texts, is one of the baselines for a future narcissism. And that's...

So I will ask you right away, are Macedonian rulers narcissists and are they psychopaths?

I don't know about psychopaths.

I think... Let me retrace a bit. And you know, as you have a saying, hair doesn't grow in my tongue. So I say what I think bluntly. Many people dislike it. Your viewers may dislike it. Your listeners may dislike it.

But still, people who had been suppressed and oppressed, people, I mean, collectives, groups of people, nations, ethnicities, who have been suppressed and oppressed throughout the majority of their common history tend to compensate for their weakness, for their shortcomings, vulnerabilities, by becoming narcissistic and grandiose.

So if you have a collective which had been subjected to humiliation, repeated humiliations, tortures, confiscations of property, disrespect, extreme disrespect, this kind of collective naturally will develop defenses. It's impossible to live with daily humiliation, daily disrespect, daily... It's impossible to look at your child's eyes when you as a father, you're humiliated by an Ottoman officer. It's very...

So it's natural to develop narcissistic defenses, grandiose defenses. It's natural in individuals as well. It's a natural defense to trauma and abuse in early childhood.

I think like the Jews, for example, Macedonians have this embedded grandiose element or grandiose trick. We are special. We're unique. We're not... We're the chosen. We know best. Macedonians have very strong resistance to learning. We know best. Who are you to tell me?

Etc. So these are all grandiose defenses.

Now, of course, the leader, the leader is the amplification and reification and concentration of the collective that he is leading is the blank screen upon which everyone project their own defenses, wishes, hopes, fantasies, and so on.

But all leaders, good leaders, successful leaders, are blank screens, essentially. And so naturally you're seeing the Macedonian grandiose defenses amplified, magnified, and concentrated in the personalities of your leaders. And your leaders are highly narcissistic. I wouldn't say psychopathic, no. Highly narcissistic. They're highly grandiose.

They're divorced from reality. They have impaired reality testing in many cases. They result to fantasy. Narcissism is a fantasy defense. Narcissism is not fantasies of grandeur, fantasies of fantasy defense.

So they result to fantasies a lot. They reject reality very often.

Reality really has been unbearable and intolerable in Macedonian.

So you have this. Of course, you have this because you are like that.

Now, Macedonians have a complication. You're weak and small. You've always been weak and small. You've always been mistreatedsmall. You've always been weak and small. You've always been mistreated and abused by others. You had developed a defense of grandiosity, but you cannot express this grandiosity because if you express this grandiosity openly, you'll be punished.

So you developed something which we call in psychology, passive aggression.

You became passive-aggressive. You are never openly aggressive, but you sabotage. You sabotage.

You never torture anyone, but you make the other person's life hell. You will never slap or beat up anyone like in Serbia, but you will make their lives hell. You will make it very difficult for them to smile.

If you're an official in the government or something, you will insist on the tiniest letter of the law so as to not give the service or harass the citizen.

Your passive aggression manifests in many ways because your grandiosity is suppressed, not allowed to be expressed, and because you're constantly abused and mistreated to this very day, maltreated. I mean, you're constantly maltreated and abused.

You didn't have a break. You didn't have a time where to recover.

I really pity you as a collective. It's very similar to the Jews, but the Jews at least succeeded to establish a state where they are the strongest power in the neighborhood, and anyone who dares to say anything is punished immediately in the most severe way.

So the Jews somehow transcended their collective weakness because the Holocaust was such a trauma that the Jews said, nevermore. That's it. There was a Holocaust.

In some ways, luckily for the Jewish people, there was a Holocaust. Luckily, in some ways, because it woke them up, they woke up.

The Jews also had fantasies. The Jews had fantasies of becoming German, of becoming French, citizens of the world. They said, anti-Semitism is dead. Now we are all citizens of the world.

They had fantasies. They refused to confront reality. Even when the Nazis came to power, the Jews were denying that anything horrible is going to happen. And they woke up. The Holocaust woke them up.

And they said, okay, if that's the case, now we understand, and we are going to be the abusers for now. We have been abused for 2,000 years. Now we are going to be the abusers.

No one is going to abuse us anymore. We're going to abuse everyone.

Of course, it's a sick, sick decision. It's a pathological decision. It's a post-traumatic pathological decision.

The decision to be grandiose, the decision to be an abuser, the decision to depend to blackmail, emotionally blackmail, all these decisions are essentially sick pathological reactions to abuse and trauma, passive aggression.

We react to abuse and trauma in a variety of ways.

The Macedonian way is grandiose passive aggression. The Israeli way is psychopathy in essence. Israel is a psychopathic state completely.

So each one of us reacts differently. The Serbian way is to be victim. The Serbians are great on being victims. They emotionally blackmail the world. They're always victims. Never mind what they do. They're victims.

Each nation, each collective react differently.


Okay. My next question is, can that passive aggression express in big, vast protests or destruction? And in your opinion, what more should happen to wake Macedonians up?

Because everything that you mentioned from the past, I don't want to repeat our history. But if we go from Second World War to present day, there was a genocide in Asia and Macedonia. In the ex-Yugoslavia, plenty of people were tortured, not physically only, but psychologically. Since 91st, we are all bombarded with a special my generation. I was in first grade in 1991.

So when we started in school, the Macedonia became independent. So we're witnessing on all of that torture that we have.

And if we do a little analysis of the 21st century in Macedonia, for me, my opinion as an economist, that the ex-rulership of Gružičić and his team, unfortunately, escaped very much from reality and did a great diversification in the people.

Now we have plenty of poor people and a small amount of extremely rich people. We witnessed that all that free economy thing is not applicable to Macedonia because no one here measured actually how much food do we need, how much do we produce, what can we produce, what should we import, what should we export.

And it's an honest thing to have a suspicion that there is a conspiracy behind.

But as you've said, the leaders are projection from the people and from the collective consciousness.

And if we go back now, that contract, that bad contract with Greece, with Bulgaria, what Albania is doing to us, what Serbia is doing with the church.

So we're pressed from all of our neighbors.

And my question is, what more should happen for Macedonians to wake up?

Because we reached the point of the abyss, the spiral went to his, the spirals rolled into the point and now needs to unwrap again.

And we all hope that something will happen.

But psychologically, we see all this. I have the opportunity and free will to express myself publicly in the media, through the social networks, through my blogs, through my books. And I'm very glad that we are similar in that thing to doing it, don't having a hair on our tongue and saying everything that we mean.

So I hope that we will not need a war to wake us up, even though the war is actually for our souls now.


And as you said, in the previous government, they did all these projects, all those monuments, but neither one of the monuments have the original flag with 16 symbols, they are all with 14, 15.

So learning symbolism and esoteric sciences, hermeticism, and I'm interested very deep in occultism, there's no play with the symbology. Symbols are very strong, they are esoteric and exoteric.

And my opinion is that all those monuments that were made to scope it, instead of making good thing, they created bad thing.

Because as a symbol, they weren't completed. Neither one of the sons had, of the appealing of the son had 16 raised. When they put the Alexander statue, they didn't put Alexander the race name, they put some horse warrior.

So there is no playing with symbols. If, like in those runes, like if the rune is upward, it's good omen. If it's backwards, it's bad omen, like in tarot cards.

So I think that that symbology destructed more, brought more destruction.

And with this government that is now in the past years, with all those contracts with the neighbors, everything that's happening inside the state, things are going really bad in bad way.

So my question is, according to your opinion, as a doctor of psychology, finance, what should happen for more should happen for Macedonians to wake up?

Wasn't this enough till now? Or do we need to suffer more?

I'll try to be a bit more practical. I'm not very strong on esoteric science. I'm a scientist by training.

So first of all, Macedonians are much more assertive now. Even I would say aggressive than they were 25 years ago. That's for sure. 25 years ago, I could do anything I wanted to Macedonian, and he will never ever protest. Today, I'm likely to be slapped for doing the same things.

And I'm happy that this is the way things are. I'm happy that young Macedonians are much more assertive, much more stand up for themselves, have more boundaries and self respect, and will not let anyone mistreat the way many foreigners and others mistreated Macedonians 25 years ago with impunity.

So there's a lot more assertiveness, even aggression in some cases.

I think you're one of the major problems of Macedonia is that you don't have cohesion or coherence of an of a national sense.

The Jews constructed the state of Israel because they were able to rely 100% blindly on the diaspora. The diaspora provided the nascent Jewish state in 1948 with weapons, with money, with access, with contacts, with influence. All the Jews stood united behind Israel. There was no dissent and no heretic. And they continue to stand unified behind Israel until very recently.

Recently there are very worrying fissures among Jews outside Israel because the Jewish state had become psychopathic. And Jews with good conscience cannot support this.

So there's a big problem now.

But until recently, you don't have this. You don't have, you don't have national cohesion which stretches across continents and across across oceans. You don't have unified support. You are very fractured and fragmented even internally within Macedonia.

You still have village or tribal mentality rather than national mentality. You still put local patriotism above patriotism. You still have distinctions and differences which set you apart rather than put you together. And you enhance and encourage and cherish these differences. You celebrate your differences, not your commonalities.

Consequently, you're unable, never mind how hard you try, you're unable to come up with a vision which would be acceptable to everyone.

Because local interests, local affiliations and allegiances, local patronage networks are far stronger than the state and far stronger than any political party and far stronger than any think tank or group of intellectuals.

Which leads me to the next point. You have no intellectuals. There is no future without intelligentsia.

The greatest revolutions in human history, the October revolution in Russia, even bad revolutions like the Nazi revolution, Zionism of course. They started with intellectuals, not with politicians, not politicians, not with intellectuals, not with politicians, not with peasants, not with villagers, not with factory workers, not with the army, that's all nonsense. It started with intellectuals.

And the intellectuals preceded the revolution by decades.

So a process of intellectual fermentation precedes any transformation.

The problem of Macedonia, it has many professors but no intellectuals.

An intellectual is someone with or without an academic degree who has a clear-eyed vision of reality and communicates it fearlessly and selflessly.

Do you know one person in Macedonia who fits this bill?

Because I don't. I'm not talking about you. I'm talking, let's say, those who are considered national level intellectuals.

I don't know one of them who fits the bill of a public intellectual.

They're academics and they're respected for their academic accomplishments, but they're not public intellectuals. They're definitely not what we call thought leaders.

So you're like a herd without a shepherd. They're not shepherds.

Because what were the prophets?

Who is Moses?

Who is Muhammad? Who is Jesus? They were public intellectuals.

And so in the absence of prophets, you cannot have a religion, the religion of your future.

And so this is a third problem that I see.


The fourth problem that I see is globalization, of course. You're young and educated, have options outside Macedonia, which are far more attractive than the options that Macedonia had created for them internally.

And in today's day and age, borders are meaningless and people just move away. That's it. You have one life.

And so people just move away.

There is no economic incentive to stay, but there is also no spiritual incentive to stay. Sometimes people stay. Sometimes people make economic sacrifices because they have a vision, a spiritual calling, because they work for something bigger than themselves.

But you don't have even this. You don't have poetry in public life. Your public life is very dull prose. There's no poetry, no soul, no spirit. It's all about day-to-day grocery lists.

And if you're a bit gifted in any field, information, technology, languages, never mind. If you're a bit gifted, you need a bit more than the daily, the pedestrian, the mundane, the grocery list. You need some poetry.

And so not one of your leaders has this mind, this poetic mind.

The only sad exception was Gogierzki.

But Gogierzki fell into corruption and so on. But he was a poet, at least. And he had this vision, poetic vision. Had he been less corrupt? He would have been a great leader.

No.


But so when you wake up in the morning in Macedonia, you wake up to a reality that is all, as Adam Smith said, brutish, nasty and short. And it's not balanced by any color, by any hope, by any poetry, by any vision.

It's not about vision. It's not fantasy. Vision is based on reality. It's not balanced by anything.

Vision brought more strategy.

Yes, of course. Everything first happens in the mind and then becomes reality.

So people leave. People go away.

Your most important people go away. Brain drain is enormous here. One of the worst in the world, worst in most countries of Africa.

Put these four problems together and you understand, I think, why Macedonia is stuck spinning its wheels in place.

It's like Alice in Wonderland where the Queen says you have to run very fast to stay in place.

So there's a lot of running in Macedonia, a lot of energy, a lot of announcements, a lot of press releases, a lot of interviews, a lot of there's a lot of running.

But essentially...

One of them had the spiritual meaning connected with the practice in reality.

You don't have public intellectuals and you don't have spiritual leaders.

In the absence of these two, you can never become more than what you are.

It's simple. Aren't those lobby groups of rulers of Macedonia from the politicians party in their way of ruling?

My opinion is that it's not my opinion, it's how I perceive the things and understand them.

As a young person who is working in economic research, cultural heritage research, research for our potential, I witnessed that those public authorities are actually not allowing for the young intellectuals to pop out in public.

For example, I'll mention one thing. Seven years ago, I brought this big international scientific team to do a measurement on the geo group here. And those PR from the previous government didn't allow the journalists to interview me, they only interviewed the foreigners.

So that was, again, proof, one of the many, that the people who are deciding about big national things are actually not allowing for young people, open-minded people that are capable, that are doing, that have not only academic knowledge, but knowledge from the field.

Actually, those rulers are not allowing this thing, this, or real Macedonian intellectuals to come on.

They're afraid of competition, simply. It's the same reason they are not allowing foreigners, meaningful Macedonian foreigners to actually come here and do something good.

I have many friends, Macedonians in Canada, in Australia, and so on. They tried many times. They're sabotaged, actively. As a matter of policy, they're sabotaged. You don't have any laws like Israel does for returning citizens or diaspora people. You don't have Israelis, multiple, numerous laws in support of people who come back to the country, in support of people with Jews in the diaspora. You don't have all this, because your politicians are small-minded and not very qualified, to use an understatement.

They are terrified of qualified, skilled, open-minded, cosmopolitan competition, because this competition will eat them alive within one year. And they don't want this. They want this country to remain isolated, small, backward, frightened, mistreated, and so on, because it's good for business.

And politics in Macedonia, that's another comment I should make. There's no politics in Macedonia, of course. There are no political parties. Thank you. There's no politics or political parties.

There are rackets. There are rackets.

Many of these rackets border on criminal. There are rackets of appropriating state resources and reallocating them and redistributing them to loyalists and cronies and so on, family members, of course.

So political parties in Macedonia are combination travel agencies, personal ATMs, and so on. There's nothing resembling political parties in the West. Nothing.

You know what? Political parties in Macedonia don't even resemble political parties in Russia or in China.

The political parties here are much worse.

They resemble, closest I can say, is Mafia. But Mafia was a matinee authoritar.

It was a great organization that these people can't even, we can't even compare it with them.


Can we do a one-minute break? Yes, of course.

One-minute break, that's all.

Don't worry. In small countries where informal networks are more important than formal networks, in such small countries it's very common for political parties to be actually the way I described, not political parties, but networks of patronage, clientele. These are called clientele networks.

This is very common in small countries where informal dealings are much more important than formal dealings. In other words, who you know matters much more than what you know.

I'm not surprised that Macedonia developed this because Israel until the 1970s was exactly like this. So hopefully you will grow up and mature and become adults, political adults, because right now you know.

And once this happens, maybe it will give rise to voices which also have an extra dimension of vision, hope, some ideas and so on.

Right now you don't have leaders, you have managers, and you don't even have managers, not leaders, and you don't even have very good managers. At least okay if you have good managers, you have sixth rate or fourth rate managers pretending to be leaders.

That's the situation.

Everything that we learned, I studied in Vakuf University of Economics. Vakuf, that's one of the oldest economic universities on this part of Europe.

And everything that we learned in school is not applicable to the real situation because if we go by the book, if we take Adam Smith for example, if we go by the book and if we control our agriculture production and all of that, if we control it in the right way, the results are inevitable. They should come sooner or later, but like this, with all that fake politics, political idealism, neither the left are left, neither the right wing is right. Both of them are meeting something in the center.

And I would ask you, what will you tell to me and my friends and to many Macedonian young people who want to stay and to have and that have hopes that Macedonia will be, will have a brighter future?

You need to create a parallel state. You need to opt out of the institutions and to opt out of current politics and to give up. You need to give up on everything that exists because you will not find solace or the ability to express yourself or to realize your dreams within existing power structures. You need to establish your own power structures. You need to establish literally a parallel state and you need to challenge the existing state as a parallel state.

A challenge, I'm not saying God forbid violence or challenge institutionally as a parallel state. When I say parallel state, what's the difference between parallel state and political party, for example? When I say parallel state, I mean that you need to replicate the totality of the state separately from the state.

So you need to provide solutions that are economic. You need to provide a vision. You need to provide goals and planning, programmatic. You need to be programmatic. You need to be realistic, of course, because initially your goals should be very minimal and you should aspire to realism.

But once you realize these goals, you will have acquired self-esteem and self-confidence and self-sufficiency. You can go on to bigger goals.

So it must be incremental and graduated, gradual.

But people like you, people who had been exposed to the world, intellectuals, you have no place now.

You need to create your own ecosystem and maybe even ego system. You need to team up. You need to commune. You need to interact. You need to begin to form networks with structure, even hierarchy. You need to leverage social media to do all this and you need to have clear-eyed goals, starting with small, minimal ones, going further.

And you need to begin to act, even the smallest actions. Just making, just talking, just daydreaming. Daydreaming is an important function.

Then settling on one or two goals, realizing these goals. You need to begin to collaborate with people in the diaspora very closely to uproot the existing order.

Your only hope is to team up with the diaspora. They have a vested interest to do the same because they had been excluded.

So all the outcasts and the misfits and the miscreants and the nerds and the intellectuals, all these people need to work together with the resources of the diaspora, which are not small.

And you need to offer an alternative. Just provide an alternative that people can then choose to select or not.

You need to avoid politics. Because if you were to be politicized, people will consider you as another political party.

You need to avoid politics. You need to offer spirit and soul and vision and poetry and action, coupled with action. You need to prove to people. People are not convinced. They are disillusioned and cynical. You need to prove to people that there is a direct line from poetry to action, to goals, to results.

What people don't know and don't understand, that politics rarely leads to results. Poetry always leads to results. That's what people don't understand.

And you need to get them reacquainted with this indubitable fact of history. Everything important in history started with poetry. The Bible is poetry. The New Testament is poetry. The Communist Manifesto is poetry. Everything started with poetry.

Politics led nowhere. Who remembers politicians? Do you remember politicians from 10 years ago? Who remembers politicians?

But who can forget Lenin?

Who can forget, I don't know, Alexander of Macedon?

Yes, who can forget Jesus? Who can forget? These were poets. These were not commercialists. They were not traders. They were not managers. They were not even leaders. Jesus was not a leader. He succeeded to collect 12 people. Very poor leadership.

But look at his impact, Muhammad. Look at the impact of these people.

You need to reacquaint the public with a basic foundational fact. If you don't dream, you never have reality. If you have only reality, you end up in a nightmare. These are the foundational facts.

And dreaming is about poetry. Poetry of the soul. It's about allowing yourself to imagine better worlds and then converting this into a program with goals and then acting on this program.

It's very simple actually.

But Macedonians have lost the capacity to dream. And they've lost the capacity to dream because they're cynical and they're cynical because they had been maltreated internally and externally.

I would say because of the existential fear, it looks like someone else is controlling the dream of Macedonian and doesn't allow us to dream.

We are controlled in some 4D, 5D. That is external.

But you're also maltreated internally by your own politicians and so on. As individuals, you're mistreated at home and you're mistreated abroad. And you're mistreated everywhere you look. So this invades your interpersonal relationships as well.

I think you froze for some reason. The connection is bad, probably.

I hope we're still recording, though. You're frozen on the screen and I think the connection is gone.

It freeze. Now it's good.

Now it's good. I just hope the recording is not disrupted.

So that's more or less it. If you have any other questions, I'm available.

My friends and the people that are following me would like to, I know that would like me to ask this thing, how would you compare present government and the previous government and are they acting the same?

I've been outside Macedonian for four years. I'm not in position to answer. It's not because I'm afraid or anything. But I don't know. I don't have enough information.

Okay.

I returned to Macedonia recently to be with my wife in the pandemic. And I haven't been following, honestly. I haven't been following Macedonia. I was involved in Russian affairs. And then I moved on to Hungary and to the United Kingdom. So I was divorced from Macedonian affairs. I don't know much. I don't know close to anything, actually.

I heard that Macedonia is, I mean, I've heard about the agreement or the name, of course. I heard that Macedonia is in NATO. I don't know where all this is going or there's COVID and so on.

But I'm not qualified to answer this question. I don't even actually really strong ground.

Sure.

Fair enough. I appreciate that and respect that.

Inspired from this talk, I would be glad to send you an email, my poetry book in English that I collected 10 years ago when I was younger.

I have two poetry books in Macedonian that are not published yet.

And I just would like to mention for the audience to know that when we mentioned revolution and all that stuff, even our revolutionaries from the end of 19th century, beginning of 20th century, were actually researching the language. Even Vomaro started with the Lozars with the secret Macedonian young organization that was trying to change the language in that official Bulgaria in the time. And most of our revolutionaries were actually scientists. They collected legends, fairy tales. They were doing anthropology, geography. They were scientists.

And I hope that in near time Macedonians will help themselves, that will help ourselves. And that we have enough friends in the world that when they'll see that we try and we not only try but work and put action, that we have enough friends that will help us.

Because actually to build Macedonia from a new, because this part of land, doesn't matter how small it looks, it has a great potential that can surpass many of the big countries.

I agree. The first interview I ever gave first ever was to Noga, Macedonia. And I said, and it became the title of the interview.

I said Macedonia has potential that is equal to Switzerland. I see. I mean, Switzerland has nothing. I don't know if you look at Switzerland's data. It's nothing. Not agricultural land. It's a very poor country as far as geographical endowments. It has nothing. And look what it did. Switzerland, the richest country in the world.

If we take our natural resources, our cultural heritage, and the strength of the people and hard-working people that we have here, if all of that is ruled and managed by people who have vision actually and who think 100 years from now on, long-term strategy, I hope that things will be better.

I can tell you one thing. I have never come across a group of people more creative than Macedonians. You're amazing. Every second person is a musician, every third person is a writer.

I mean, there is a lot of explosive creativity here. People are very creative and intelligent. People are intelligent. Level of literacy used to be very low, but literacy is not intelligence. It's not the same.

You're intelligent people, and you are extremely creative people, but you are extremely chaotic. You're not channeled. No one is channeling you. All these energies are like a light bulb, not like a laser.

You need to take all this light and make it a laser, and then you will succeed. No one will defeat you because you are endowed. You're very gifted people. Really, honestly, this is not, you know, I said some very difficult things in this interview. When I think you're negative, I say you're negative. You're passive aggressive. You're grandeur.

And when I think you're positive, I say positive things as well. You're amazing. I have never come across. I lived in 13 countries, and I worked in 52. I have never come across a group of people more talented, creative than this group of people, than Macedonians. Not even Jews, by the way. Jews are more intelligent. Jews are very intelligent.

I mean, there's no group of people more intelligent than the Jews, but not as creative as Macedonians. Not as creative as Macedonians.

Take this alone. Do you know creative industries? They're the biggest industries in the world, the creative industries.

IT, add to this IT. I mean, you're so well positioned. I mean, dump all the nonsense. Just focus on these.

Service industries, IT, outsourcing, this, that. And you will have a brilliant future. You'll become rich people, absolutely rich people.

You can also serve as offshore territory for banking. There are so many things you can do.

And yet for decades, everyone is talking about this, not only somebody, many.

Nothing is done.

Nothing is done.

Because you don't dare to dream. And because you think that dreamers are not doers. I don't know who poisoned your brains.

Only dreamers are doers. Only dreamers are doers. Something the population needs to assimilate.

It's been a pleasure to talk to you. Thank you for having me.

Thank you very much. I hope that this conversation will inspire people.

Thank you.

That will influence more thinking and we will influence not only Macedonians, but friends of Macedonia for a better and brighter future.

Thank you.

Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure, really. It was a pleasure. Thank you, sir. Thank you.

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