A former Macedonian parliament member urged Hillsdale students to remember the realities of communism at lectures hosted by the Politics department and the President’s Office on Nov. 11 and 12.
Vladimir Gjorcev served five consecutive terms in the Macedonian Parliament between 2006 and 2020. In his 2008 election, he won with the largest vote margin in Macedonia’s history. He now works with conservative political parties across Europe.
In the first of two lectures, Gjorcev shared the history of Europe from 1989 to the present through his personal experience growing up under a Communist government.
The Republic of Macedonia existed from 1991 – 2019 after the collapse of the League of Communists and Yugoslav Federation. In June of 2018, Greece and Macedonia announced the Prespa Agreement, which changed the Republic of Macedonia’s name to the Republic of North Macedonia after Macedonia’s constitution was amended. North Macedonia was officially created on February 19, 2019. In March 2020, North Macedonia joined NATO, but Bulgaria prevented its admission to the European Union.
Gjorcev told students to remember communism is not “a couple of good lines and free stuff” like students in developed democracies often believe, Gjorcev said.
Gjorcev urged students to keep humor alive as a way to protect freedom.
“Humor is healthy and takes some intelligence for good humor,” Gjorcev said.
Vibrant humor became a state of mind for the people living under humorless communism, he said. It pushes back on governmental policies and fulfills the human need to laugh.
Junior Andrew Davidson said Gjorcev provided insights on the “state of America from a foreign perspective.”
“He had fascinating things to say about domestic American politics and knows a lot about them because his wife’s a Hillsdale graduate,” Davidson said.
In Gjorcev’s second lecture, he discussed the current and future state of the European Union and its effects on European countries.
Freshman Kara Miller said she was interested in Gjorcev’s point about watching European trends return to modern global conflict.
“I liked how he said the Second Cold War is now focused on Asia and the Pacific, while previous wars were fought mainly in Europe,” she said.