All we want is to live in a just society, in which:
- We are less selfish to one another, for example, in the morning, when we are about to go to work or drive our kids to school, let us not waste 20 minutes investigating who stopped their car in front of our garage, while also not parking ours in front of other people’s garrages.
- When we go out for a walk, may the sidewalks be better maintained, may the streets be more orderly, and may the traffic signs and lights be acknowledged by everyone.
- May we have reasons to believe that our taxes have indeed funded institutions that improve our well-being instead of ending up in the pockets of people with strong economic and political influence who have learned to profit off the government.
- If we want our kids to thrive, let us not seek to find places in kindergartens for them with the help of forged documents, while also knowing that others would not resort to such means either; the sense of lawfulness is taught in the family and the judiciary reaches its goals only if society believes in it and those exercising it are led by the law and not expediency.
- When we earn money, may this be thanks to our efforts, and may we know that this is our money and that no one can take it from us through institutional abuse. But also, if we find ourselves a victim in such a scenario, may we know that we would receive the appropriate protection from the police, the prosecution, and the court so that we are sure that no one is benefiting at the expense of the weak and the helpless.
- Let us wish that we elect people that would uphold the civilizational choice of Bulgaria to stay on the flourishing side of the planet, where human life, dignity, and prosperity are not questioned.
For millennia humans have been fighting for all this against the randomness of tyranny, the dominance of strengths, privilege, and discretion over common rules and freedoms, defended by just laws. They have always wanted to live in such a way that it is clear what belongs to them and what belongs to others, contracts are not broken, what is borrowed is later returned, the judge rules truthfully in a case between lord and peasant, and the ruler is punished if he steals, lies or mistreats.
Ever since the Antiquity prosperous societies were these where leaders understood justice as a state following the rules of the society itself: justice is of crucial importance for the existence of a community and therefore it is a good that benefits every member.
Sophocles’ Antigone buries her brother despite Creon’s prohibition because the king’s will be legitimate only if it follows the unwritten natural laws. Saint Ambrose of Milan defied emperor Theodosius, who wanted to take away the city’s cathedral, by arguing that there is no law allowing the stealing of one’s home and that not all the emperor’s whims are justifiable by law.
Three centuries before the Dutch Revolution, which liberated the Lowlands and gave a start to modern capitalism, Emo of Friesland wrote that the people of his region lived so freely that neither the bishop nor the men of the count could unlawfully take away as little as one chicken from them. At the beginning of the 13th century, Magdeburg had laws so fair that people from abroad came to the city to receive justice. In the peak years of the British Empire Richard Cobden won the battle to abolish the Corn Laws, which limited competition and served no one but the big landowners.
However, fighting for justice is not a natural state but rather a common effort. One of the most valuable goods in the past was water. To have water in dry periods people dug wells and everyone participated so that everyone may benefit. A grandfather used to say that to dig a well you need to bore at one specific place.
Let us all join the effort of making Bulgaria a better place to live. Let this country be the place where those born in it also stay and thrive there. And given the desperate need for people in its economy, may Bulgaria also be the place where everyone is welcome to find success through their hard work.
IME’s Alternative Government Budget for 2023