On the Death of the Third Republic

December 18, 2017 will be remembered in the history books as the day on which Edi Rama finally made it, when he declared the post-communist transitional Constitution of Albania dead and was proclaimed in Parliament as the undisputed chief of Albania.

After the unstable principality of Prince Wied, and the unstable republics of Fan Noli and Ahmet Zogu, the puppet kingdom of the self-proclaimed King Zog, the imported empire of Victor Emmanuel III, the autochthonous People’s Socialist Republic of Enver Hoxha, now the end has come to the constitutional, democratic republic of the Transition, the third in chronological order, second only in length to the People’s Socialist Republic. Now a new type of state and government is expected to run this sad country.

The correct tittle which the undisputed Edi Rama will have as a ruler over the fates of the country only history will tell, but most probably it will be something like “Aesthetic Sultan, King of Palms, God of Lies, Big Disappointer of the Believers,” or, more simply, “God of Himself, Caliph of Surrel, Pope of the Balkans, Great Patriarch of Illyricum.”

The manner in which he will rule over the country will be clearer from now on: installations instead of infrastructural projects, propaganda instead of jobs, decrees instead of laws, information platforms instead of ministries, sycophants instead of advisers, painting exhibitions instead of diplomacy, concerts instead of Parliament, drugs instead of food.

His guards will be like those of Gaddafi, Valkyries ready to sacrifice themselves, but there will be neither army nor police, because for the first time in the world, his kingdom will not have citizens or subjects, so there will be no need for a police to maintain order. All the women of the country will have the title of the minster, while the men have either emigrated or hang around in coffee shops.

Their place will be filled by a bunch of failed artists, combative former prime ministers, or an angry billionaire.

Something similar happened on September 1, 1928, when President of the Republic Ahmet Zogu proclaimed himself King. Also then history ended up with dwarves and ballerinas, courtiers and foreign funding that was never paid back, courtier clowns and lowly demagogy. This culminated in the Italian intervention on the April 7, 1939 (in reality a huge operation to take back international loans) King Zog was on the run with what was left of the silverware, with Mujo Ulqinaku shooting like a madman against the only possible future.

But in that period the whole of Europe marched under the commands of dictators, and a self-proclaimed king from the highlands embarrassed no one. On the contrary, it fit well with fascist Italy: buying just one was cheaper than convincing them all! And it served them well to invest a bunch of money (Italy invested in only 4 years the equivalent of 10 years of modern production by Albania), while imposing law and order for its own imperial benefits.

A lot of words, war against Greece, Greater Albania, Protector of Christianity – only to end up even worse. Albanians had their share of communism and the myth of Mujo Ulqinaku, while the Italians, as always luckier, had their share of Christian-Democracy and the American myth.

Although today Italy is penniless, it at least no longer dreams of empire. Weak as it is, it chooses restless sleep and to be corrupted within its own house.

Someone needs to tell the Sultan: without fascism in Italy he won’t make it.