Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Loss of Self: A Crazy Gene or An Identity Crisis?


Source: vesti-online.com

A friend of mine claims that Serbs possess “a crazy gene” that makes us impossible to reason with, to generate a rational worldview, to pursue a collectivist engagement with the world for our own benefit… I have heard Dejan Lucic, a well-known Serbian author, say that a Serbian brain does not operate on the same frequency with brains of Western European nations’members – and he didn’t mean it in a derogatory way. Professor Smilja Avramov has used the term “judiciousness” to describe what we lack in our social and political behavior as individual members of the collective, thus as a collective itself.
Indeed, one Serb vis-à-vis another Serb most often turns into a row of missed points, one-sided, hard-to-contextualize information, unnecessary nitpicking, outlandish and far-fetched claims, straying into mystification, historical misinterpretations, misclassifications, disqualifications, unfounded accusations and straight-up smear and malice. No, I didn’t just describe a political argument between two Serbs on opposite ends of a political spectrum; most often, two self-declared Serb nationalists would end up “debating” in this manner. I can’t say I’m not guilty of having been a party to such discussions, but I’ve always tried to stay away from discussions that had the potential to turn into unreasonable.
Now, I’m not going to slam my own people with malevolent mental health diagnoses nor am I going to pretend I have the necessary expertise and intellectual faculties to psycho- or socio-analyze the Serb nation and its various parts, limbs and appendices. However, it is painfully obvious that our past, filled with bloody conflicts and horrible human losses and sacrifices, religious and ideological impositions and brainwashing, alternating and substituting of identities, mutilations, dismemberment, physical and mental traumas of the sort history has inflicted on almost no other nation, created an utter confusion in the Serbian collective mind. This confusion, disorientation,overlapping and flip-flopping of paradigms mostly superimposed by forces foreign to a Serbian organic nature, does not allow the organic nature, suppressed and obliterated, to be recognized as such, let alone accepted by the body of people, even if it manages to sporadically rear its head through the piles of cunning ideologues with their aggressive dogmas that tore the Serb national spirit into distortion. Leaderless and decapitated, because its organic elites fell victim to their superficial aspirations and associated dogmas, Serbdom allowed foreign and cunningly hostile agencies to infiltrate us under the guise of revolutionary dynamics, modernization or globalism and replace our organic, authentic ambition, nurtured and strengthened for centuries. The reference point of Serbian collective navigation and aspiration has been moved outside the realm of Serbdom, to foreign locations, with coordinates foreign in origin and in character. We have been confused by a dotted spectrum of misleading and fleeting foreign ideas that gradually stripped us of identity and ambitions organically our own. Others told us what we were, what we’ve become, what we wanted and what we needed. We began searching for our own course by following stars painted on our sky by others.
The physical and psychological torture Serbdom has endured at various historical points, most significantly throughout the 20thcentury, left us with the lost or uncertain sense of self. Newly imposed identities, like Yugoslavism and Communism, partially or completely replaced Serbdom as the identity realm of the Serbs. Preceding this, forced and voluntary conversions to Islam and Catholicism paved the way for a possibility of alternative identities, based on economic or political convenience, to become a legitimate option. This chipping away at the Serb national identity and the mutating shape of Serbdom made us increasingly vulnerable to furthered and intensified collaborative efforts at confusing and disorienting for the purpose of dismembering. One can’t defend that which one is not aware of as needing protection. The self is the highest individual and collective prerogative and losing the awareness of it and the judiciousness about protecting, nurturing and growing it is a slippery slope in the consciousness of every individual and a collective, bound to end in an own demise.
Repeated blows to the head are bound to leave physical wounds and psychological consequences. With individuals as well as with collectives, such actions cause disorientation and the disoriented grope in the space for any hand that offers itself as a lead. The Serbs are such a collective today. An extended hand can lead them anywhere, forward or astray – their own being the only hand they won’t grasp. Like a modern buyer who doesn’t know what she needs, but buys what’s being sold and packaged in the flashiest commercial.
The Serbs must start looking inwards, re-learn who they are,what they came out of, where they are fit to be. We must identify our belongings, gather them and take them home. The first step towards re-orienting oneself is to become aware of the disorientation and to subsequently stop groping about. We must start filtering, vetting and channeling the myriad ideas and influences thrown at us to disorient us, to divide us, to make us lose the self. Only by being judicious and making rational choices based on the collective sense of self and driven by collective selfishness, instinctive and intuitive, the Serbs can re-orient themselves towards their organic identity and the internal guiding light. It’s a therapy, a rehab we must put ourselves through, a catharsis without which – I’m afraid – the revitalization of the Serb national spirit necessary for the very survival will border on a mission impossible.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good article and good advice.

Meezer said...

A Crazy Gene or An Identity Crisis?

I would say none of the above.

The Serbs in Serbia & abroad are just leaderless.

The Rulers in in Beograd are cowards & sellouts.

The Serb community leaders abroad are cowards & sellouts as well. Many of them are heavily involved with Democrat party here in the US. That's the same Democrat party that bombed our brethren in RS & Serbia. Unlike the Croats, Alija's Islamofascists & shiptars that will hire Ruder Finn, hire lobbist's, etc., our Serb "leaders" keep backing the same war criminals that attacked their own people.

With "leadership" like this, who needs enemies??

Srbo said...

Well, doesn't the fact that we can't produce true nationalist leaders speak to our disorientation? Serbia voted for Boris Tadic & Co. Boris Tadic hasn't changed between 2004 and now. What does that tell you about Serbs being able to recognize their national interests and elect people to lead accordingly? Yes, you need leaders to show you the way, but a people that can't recognize the right way can't generate the right leadership. Leaders rise from the people, not the other way around. The leadership we have now is the reflection of the kind of political nation we've become.

Anonymous said...

Give it time, the dust is still settling. We'll come around just fine.

Meezer said...

Unfortunately, the oldest gag in the book, "divide & conquer" is being run on the Serbs.

So much for "Samo sloga Srbina spasava"

Foreign governments like the US, German, etc., bought the "elections" for Djindjic & Tadic. They will continue to spend a lot of money to "re-elect" Tadic & his ilk. Remember, it doesn't matter who votes, what matters is who "counts the votes & how"

Srbo said...

You can decide to look at things that way. What I see is the constant decline in Serbian national consciousness effected or first manifested in the unification with Austro-Hungarian Southern Slavs in 1918. We haven't come around since, except for short bursts of hope in the Western Serb lands in the early 1990s. Whatever progress may be effected by geopolitical changes is not related to the essence of my text. The hope that the rise of Russia may help the Serbs has nothing to do with Serbian self-consciousness. No one can do it for us, and as long as we are waiting for deliverance, even from a friendly Orthodox power, we are doomed to follow wrong stars.

Srbo said...

I partially agree... Foreign powers back their active agenda with a lot of money. But it was Serbs who agreed to follow that agenda and it was Serbs who burnt their own Parliament. Their own Parliament! And Serbs are allowing that to happen because there is a little of the natural reaction of self-protection. If we had it, we'd know how to act together against damaging influences. If we would realize that, in simple terms, things are done to us as Serbs, we would rally around that one motive and leave bickering and difference for later. As Serbs who naturally react to protect themselves as a group, we would be able to identify and isolate the influences that we could call anti-Serb and fight them. But, in reality, you see a bunch of foreign banners posted all over the playing field, calling to rally around them and all of Serbian politics is focused on which banner we'll haul asses to. None of those banners are ours. We have to post ours and rally around that one. The organic Serbdom has one advantage over the foreign moneyed interests: they have to pay Serbs to be anti-Serb, we don't have to pay ourselves to be us.

Meezer said...

What type of banner is it that the Serbs should rally to??? A monarchy banner?? A socialist/communist banner? A fascist banner?

With the EU on the verge of collapsing, the current route led by the traitor Tadic is doomed.

The only way out is for the Serbs to align themselves with the BRIC's.

Srbo said...

All the banners you listed are what I'm warning against. None of those are Serbian, but foreign, not as an idea, but as an idea presented to us. Monarchy is ok if the Serbs have a need for it and if a monarch deserving of the throne rises. I personally advise against Communism, but while Communism had negative effects on Serbdom, it was so mainly because it wasn't a Serbian Communism, but a Yugoslav Communism that suppressed Serbdom, and it didn't come through a consensus and as an economic need that could be justified, but through a revolution spurred by foreign powers, again. Of course, I advise against a fascist banner because fascism is an ideology completely contrary to Serbian spirit of resistance to oppression.
I'm talking about cleaning our act up, returning the Cyrillic alphabet to prominence it deserves i.e. establishing it as the only Serbian alphabet, cleaning up our education system that will teach Serbian kids real Serbian history in an honest way, cleaning up the Serbian language, eradicating negative influences and laws brought about through Communism and two Yugoslavias, recognizing and gathering the real strength and potentials of Serbian economy by honestly assessing what we have and what's reasonable to select as our economic staples and principles etc. I'm just touching on several of many aspects of the organic principles I've talked about.
National education reform to emphasize Serbdom as an ideal, to promote quality of studies and not a mere accommodation of foreign agenda in education (Bologna etc), the study of Serbian history outside of foreign influences (not really Deretic, but a serious reconsideration of the established historical thought, asking serious questions and asking for evidence before accepting any historical claims we've been presented with) - these are just some of the measures, but we need a realization that we have to abandon what foreigners designed for us and turn to asking ourselves what's really needed to be done by us for us. Aligning with someone is easy, the question is in what exact shape are we entering into alliances. If we disregard the fact that the EU countries have never stopped being our enemy, very openly, and if we neglect to take into account the horrible economic shape the EU is in, we still have to ask ourselves how smart it is to consider getting subjugated and losing our independence de jure and de facto. Not a good choice and if we thought about it logically and selfishly, we would laugh at the proposal, but since we are disoriented, we are allowing our leadership not only to seriously consider such a stupid policy, but to actually posit it as a do-or-die situation.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing different, strange or crazy about the Serbs! All nations/people are the same as long as the people think and have some interest in the world around them. To claim that "only serbs" are one way or another is SO provincial and parochial and reflects the claimant's lack of worldliness! The only difference we have with the Western Europeans (and Americans) is that we neither have a Serbian elite nor a Serbian government that would impose a collective will and vision about our national interest, as they do it in other countries. Americans & EU-ians are equal to Serbs on the level of ordinary people! But, their governments order them to kill and conquer in order to achieve a goal set by their elites. Since we don't have any national goal or interests (or a military, for that matter-thanks to Tadic!), the people are left to express whatever any individual sees as right–which means: as many people, that many visions!

Anonymous said...

Your last paragraph sets out "the path" to cure our ills, but I think getting a simple majority of Serbs on "the path" is too much to ask and probably an impossibility.

With virtually no "nationalistic" elite to speak of, who is to set the agenda of a national single minded consciousness? It clearly isn't our current set of political leaders beholden to the West or other "outsiders", as you say. So who leads this awakening?

I would argue it almost has to come from outside of "Serbia Proper" (as we are reminded of at each turn) in order for it to be authentic because there is such a stench of exclusivity among our kind that who even knows what it means to be a Serb.

Srbo said...

I am concerned only with Serbs as they are my only people, but I do derive my conclusions from comparing the Serbs with other nations.
We do have Serbian elites and Serbian governments. We have Serbia with its government elected by the Serbian people. We have Srpska, a semi-independent, but of Serbian people. We have Montenegro, Serb-populated, but an extreme example of the confusion I'm talking about. With the exception of Srpska, whose leadership seems to grasp the key national interests and is pursuing them, Serbs in their two independent states decided on the leadership that is actively pursuing interests that are not Serbian (Tadic government) or is openly anti-Serb in its policies and national determination (Djukanovic-Vujanovic government). Unless you disagree that Serbia voted for Tadic and that Montenegrins are Serbs.
Americans are as nationalist a people as I've seen and there is little to no real opposition to their government invading places around the world. If there's no opposition to such unnecessary aggression, imagine what would happen if someone attacked American soil or if a piece of the country wanted to secede. I was in Manhattan the morning Twin Towers were destroyed.
We do have elites, but they do not work in the Serbian interest because they don't know what it is. Do you ever ask yourself why? These leaders and these elites have become what they are through the will of people, because they are the reflection of the people. Unless you think that somehow Svetislav Basara is less of a Serb than Matija Beckovic, or that Cedomir Jovanovic is less of a Serb than Vojislav Kostunica.
Serbs are the only people in Europe that refuses to acknowledge its identity (Montenegro) or that agrees to the dismemberment of its territory (Serbia) and strives to join their enemies. You think Boris Tadic was elected by aliens? You think Milo Djukanovic has no support of Montenegrin Serbs?

Srbo said...

You are probably correct if you look at it through the prism of democratic institutions and political movements that have to win the majority to win the domination. Turning inwards means, in general terms, baring one's identity to the basic forms and starting there. I am a Serb because I am. I don't care that I'm Western European vs Eastern European, that I'm a fan of Red Star vs Partizan, that I like turbo folk vs rock'n'roll, that I vote for DS vs DSS, that I like Russia better than Germany and so on. Let me see what makes me a Serb. Let me see how I came to be this Serb and what a Serb is made of. Let me find out what cultural and social elements are entirely Serbian, and let me start building my identity from there. I, personally, like rock'n'roll, but I love gusle too, and I make a clear distinction between the foreign, and great, rock'n'roll, and Serbian traditional gusle that were not a one-stringed instrument some illiterate peasant rubbed a horse hair against and produced a screechy sound, but a testament to our history, the chronicler of it, the amazing show of artistic ability that the greatest European artists marveled about at one time. But gusle are not important because Goethe, a German, loved them, but because a Serb played them as his own. I'm not saying Serbs should just ditch everything we find non-Serbian, but we should identify elements organically Serbian and value them above all else, even if don't enjoy listening to gusle, and we can love the Rolling Stones too.
Grassroots is the word. Look into yourself, then look into your community. Forget what leaders are doing, you be the leader of your flock, even if it's just your immediate family. The real leaders arise from responsibility not from an electoral list. When enough Serbs turn to their responsibility towards their identity and their community, in the broad and narrow sense, the leaders are going to be rising like mushrooms. All you have to do, is do the best you can to strengthen, nourish and spread. And you have to start now, even by a small step, to see effects years from now.
I know I sound like I'm preaching, but preaching is doing.

Meezer said...

There are some good leaders that know what it means to be a Serb. They reside in Kosovo i Metohija. We need to build from there....

Srbo said...

You seem to be right. Anytime Serbs are physically under attack, the reaction separates the men from the boys. That's what happen in RSK, RS and that's now happening in Kosovo. When the attacks are not physical, but "soft," ideological, under a guise, sneaky, then our lack of consciousness reveals itself. The culture of solidarity does strengthen as a result of direct collective actions.

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea. (This might be a long post btw, so I’ll post it in a few pieces)

Why don't the Serb codify Serbdom. Things like our history, culture, traditions, values, and so on.
What I mean by codify, is to put everything into a single book (or even books). It can be like a Serbian Quran. Hear me out...
We can establish an official Serbian historical narrative, that would include all of the major events and times in Serbian history, and since it is written down, it will never be forgotten. The Muslims have a historical religious narrative, and they never forgot it. (whether it is true/false is irrelevant, the point I'm making is that they still remember their narrative even after 1400years, because it is written in the Quran.)
We create a Serbian law code. A Serbian equivalent of Sharia. It can contain everything from personal hygiene and dietary rules, to how relations between Serbs and non-Serbs aught to be conducted, to exactly what the ideal Serbian government system should be and how it should be run. In the law code, things such as traditions and values will also be protected, and things that we find harmful will be rooted out. Muslims have a system of halal/haram. In Islamic law, things that Muslims see as good for them are halal, and things harmful are haram. By having such a law system, not only do Muslims know exactly what it actually means to be a good Muslim, but they also have a practical guide on how to maintain their Islamic society, and maintain Islam itself. Again, these things are not forgotten because they are codified in the Quran. (even if Sharia law is barbaric, the principle of having a codified law system is a good one.)

Anonymous said...

The only catch to all this, is that once Serbdom is codified, it can never ever be changed. Because to change it even once would remove the integrity of the entire system. If we can change one thing, then why not all of it. Under that mindset, discarding the entire thing is only a step away. Its an all or nothing sort of concept.
Serbs are divided over so many things, and I think one major reason is because none of them have a source which they can all refer to. When Muslims have an issue, they all refer back to the Quran. But Serb's don't have an equivalent. A major example would be the Kosovo issue. Kosovo is seen as the heartland of Serbs by some, it is seen as an appendix that should be removed by others, and some Serbs have no opinion at all, as if Kosovo was an island somewhere in the pacific rather than a Serbian province. If the importance of Kosovo was written in a Serbian version of the Quran, perhaps Serbs would be debating HOW to deal with the Kosovo issue, rather than whether it is even worth Serbia's time at all. Can you imagine if Mecca was taken from the Muslims, how they would react to that? Kosovo is to Serbs what Mecca is to Muslims.
A lot of Serb's seem to not know what being a Serb even is. I can't blame them. Its not defined anywhere, but rather is open to interpretation. Muslims on the other hand, are generally able to define what it means to be a Muslim, because they have a comprehensive law code (Sharia), which deals with everything a Muslim or the Islamic nation will ever have to deal with. When the question "What is a Muslim" rises, it isn't a bunch of them sitting around a coffee table voicing their mere opinions, it is always a group if scholars referring directly to Islamic sources and Sharia law.
Islamic identity, has been able to preserve itself very well for over 1400 years because it has been codified and its integrity protected. So whenever something appears that threatens it, Muslims are always able to weed the problem out, or at least identify it and then call for a fight against it.
But Serbian identity is not clear cut. I'd say its the opposite, and when our identity becomes a matter of mere opinion, can it really be a surprise when foreign and anti-Serb ideas invade Serbdom parading themselves as a way for Serbia to move forward. Serbs have no core source to verify whether something is a good idea or not, and I think they need one.

Anonymous said...

One thing I believe is actually harming Serbs, is the Orthodox church. This might seem like an odd thing to say, considering how the Church has been a backbone to the Serbs throughout history, as well as a glue that held the Serb's together, but I think the socio-cultural implications of adopting Orthodoxy as the religion of the Serbs is something that has finally caught up to us. I won't go too much into detail, Ill try and limit it to a few dot points, as to why I think this.
The main point: Orthodoxy, is NOT a Serbian religion.
-It is a desert religion. It has nothing to do with Serbs, or Serbia, or Kosovo. Its only concerns are immaterial religious issues (sin, Jesus, God, Heaven/Hell, morals, crucifixion, etc). If there is any place that you can say is actually part of Orthodox theology, it would probably be Jerusalem/Israel. Not Serbia. When the theological holy land of our religion is not even on Serbian soil...well, what is there to say really.
-The concept of an eternal people in Orthodoxy is not Serbs, but the Church. You see, the Jews see themselves as an eternal people. They believe that the Jewish nation will exist forever, and that they are the chosen people who have a special relationship with God. In Orthodoxy, the 'chosen people' are the members of the Orthodox Church. i.e. the Orthodox Christians. It is not the Serbs. There is nothing special about the Serbs within Orthodoxy. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't or wasn't Greek the original language of the Church? It basically comes down to the belief that without the Church, Serbs would perish, unlike the Jews, who believe in their own inherent eternity, and the Jews have a religion based on their own nationhood, while the Serbs have a nationhood based on a foreign religion.
-The conflict of interest between Serbia vs the Church. Which is more important? For example, is it a better idea to commit a sin which benefits the Serbian people, or is it better to adhere to Orthodoxy, even if it harms the Serbs?
I once read an article that had an interview with a Serbian Orthodox cleric (I don't remember his rank). When the cleric was asked about what Serbs should do over Kosovo, the cleric said that he believed that Serbs should just keep faith, pray to god, avoid sin, because on judgement day God will right all that has been wronged.

Anonymous said...

Whose interest in mind exactly do you think this cleric had? If this is the attitude that is prevalent among Orthodox Serbs, only the blind would be surprised when Kosovo is taken from them. I never understood the mantra of Serb patriots/nationalists who insist on the importance of Orthodoxy to Serbdom. There is nothing inherently Serbian in Orthodoxy. If you think Orthodoxy is more important than the temporal world, then you aren't really interested in Serbdom now are you, but if your highest priority is Serbdom, then you cant really claim to adhere to Orthodoxy. The entire Serbian-Orthodoxy identity link is based on a flaw. On a conflict of interest.
-To claim that Orthodoxy is Serbian, then by that logic one can also claim Islam is Serbian. Serb's weren't always Orthodox. We became Orthodox. The only difference between the Christianization vs the Islamization of Serbs, was that one happened earlier than the other, and one was more or less peaceful while the other violent. But the principle is exactly the same. They are both foreign imports. One just got to us faster.

None of the above can really be good for Serbs. The current disorientation, loss of identity and direction, and so on, that is felt all throughout Serbdom, is if not a result of the above, is probably just made worse by it. The things I wrote about the Serbia-Orthodoxy issue are not political, social or cultural problems. They are philosophical problems. Serbia's entire identity, and entire philosophical worldview, is the result of centuries of Christian rule. Like most of the Western world, Serbdom's very existence rests almost entirely upon a Christian philosophical foundation. I personally don't think that is a good thing, that Serbdom's philosophical foundation is based on something that is inherently non-Serbian, and rooted in the desert and is a direct outgrowth of Judaism and Jewish culture and history.
Of coarse I understand that if someone actually believes in the Orthodox religion, everything I just wrote above would be impossible for them to comprehend, because I look at it through a secular point of view. If Orthodoxy really is the true religion, then the fact it is not inherently Serbian would obviously be irrelevant because it is 'the truth'.

Anonymous said...

On a separate note, in response to some other comments I've read I don't think the reason Serbia is so bad off is because we have crappy leadership. I think the crappy leadership is a result of issues that run much deeper than which regime or which political party happens to have control at any single time. I wrote some of those issue above. Serbia's crappy leadership stem from its deep issues, and not the other way 'round.

Whether you agree with me or not, I hope I've contributed something to this discussion.


-Nikolaj

Srbo said...

In theory, the codification is a great idea. In practice, there is a huge problem with acceptance and execution. It is a motive in the broader search for he organic self, and maybe the end goal. I'll say that I agree with you in principle, and to large degree in methodology, and I'll just comment on the point I have things to add to.
The problem with the acceptance is not limited to how many people would actually buy into it over time, but how to reach any kind of consensus on any one aspect of Serbdom without provoking zealous opposition. Take history. You would have to include and interpret the Serbian history into any kind of a code. But what history? Corovic's or Deretic's? Or a combination?
I'm not trying to sound like I'm looking to shoot your idea down, but in order to do it, we have to hash and rehash a multitude of points, theories, not only related to the content, but to the strategies in pursuing the execution of such a project. It'd be a project for academics, and we all know the Serbian academia is impotent and uninterested.
Generally, even starting on a small scale, such project would be a viable way to drive some piles into the ground for other structure to be built on.
I've thought of this, and more I've thought about it in the light of the nature of a Serb man, more my conclusions pointed towards an outcome in which a religious/social sect is created through such an action. Now, Christianity was a sect at one point. Considering the amount of honesty and barrier-breaking necessary to even launch such a project, the initial opposition from various source within Serbdom would be something you'd have to specially prepare for. To a Serb, everyone in the public life who's not himself or herself is a foreign mercenary. Imagine the curses (obscenities and religious curses) thrown the way of the creator of a pure Serbian dogma/code that excludes/co-opts the Orthodoxy.
Considering the dire situation Serbdom is in, biologically, politically, culturally, socially and yes, philosophically, any constructive conversation is worth having. Tasked with pushing such a project, I'd be more concerned with a consensus than with pure honesty, and that opens a whole another can of worms.

Srbo said...

To sidestep the rigid nature of such a document, you'd simply include less specifics. I believe Talmud was a living document for many centuries. If you substitute "changing" with "adding," you get a living document whose core principles and code remain unchanged, but which leaves space for sensible additions. In that case, you must have an extremely rigid amending mechanism. The content can be changed, but if the amending mechanism is rigid and adherent to the core principles, those changes will always end up being most sensible and most necessary. See, the content is important, but times may affect the content. There's a question about the mechanical principles that preserve the nature and the subtext of the code even if the content has to be modified outside of the core.
Instances of potential disagreements and even fallouts that may arise are all over the place. Kosovo is a good example. Remember, you'd put together this code in the 21st century when Kosovo is inhabited by non-Serbs, when, realistically, the arguments of one hundred years ago and even of 50 years ago just don't hold water. You have to adjust to that and be both realistic and patriotic at the same time. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it takes a lot of hashing and rehashing among a group of like-minded nationalists to come up with the best position that is ready to stand the test of time.

Srbo said...

Looking for the source of organic Serbdom, of course, can't avoid looking at its religious organization, its historical role in Serbdom and its place in the reorientation and redefinition consequential of that role.
Of course, the bare, organic Serbdom, in its atomic identity, if one is possible to define, treats organized religion as its appendix, not as its integral part.
Again, not to derive any conclusions, but all constructive discussions are worth having and no point may remain untouched and unquestioned.
In the end, some form of consensus is necessary and a consensus may require compromises that trample purity and honesty. How much compromising we can afford it another subject to debate.

Djordje said...

I know this sounds trite but the word INAT constantly comes to mind...

Gray Falcon said...

Anon, your idea of a hard codex of Serbdom may sound tempting, but I think it's ultimately misguided. All systems and codices are made for the living; when something is perfect, rigid and frozen in stone - it's dead. I think we've seen enough of Islam's effects on people not to seriously contemplate using it as a guiding light.

As for Orthodoxy, while it was not originally our faith, we *made* it our faith: through St. Sava, through the sacrifice of Lazar and his knights, through the centuries that followed. Those who fell away from Orthodoxy, for whatever reason, soon stopped identifying as Serbs, and began thinking of themselves as Croats, Muslims, Yugoslavs - non-Serbs, or even anti-Serbs.

By all means, let us suggest a Platonic Ideal of a Serb, so long as we understand it is not supposed to be the a box every Serb is supposed to fit into perfectly.

Anonymous said...

Gray Falcon, do you think it is possible for someone to be a Serb, even if they reject Orthodoxy, or do you believe that Orthodoxy is a pillar of Serbdom?

Secondly, do you believe being a Serb based on things that are adopted, such as language, religion, culture, and so on, or is it a matter of blood or genetics?
The idea that you are born Serb, and will stay Serb irrelevant of what they believe or do.

Also, I have a hypothetical. Lets say an Albanian moved to Serbia. They converted to Serbian Orthodoxy, and began to learn the Serbian language, and began to identify with the Serb nation more than the Albanian one. Would this person in your eyes be considered a Serb, an Albanian or something else?

-Nikolaj

Gray Falcon said...

There have been many non-Orthodox Serbs in the past: Catholics all along the Dalmatian coast, for example. It is possible to be a Serb yet be an atheist or agnostic as well. Yet the spiritual values of Serbdom rest on Orthodoxy, so it has to be at least acknowledged. Rejecting it, therefore, would make it very difficult for one to become, or stay, a Serb - hence the conversion of Catholic Serbs to Croats, and Muslim Serbs to "Bosniaks" and Albanians (Arnautash). And today's Smerdyakov-like self-hating Serbs, a.k.a. "liberal democrats".

On the other hand, there have been members of other communities - Tsintsar, Germans, Russians, Czechs, Jews, Greeks, etc. - who lived among the Serbs and came to consider themselves, and be considered, Serbian. So obviously, it's not about blood - it's about culture more than anything else. And if I have to pick the defining facets of that culture, I would say the language, the Orthodox faith, and a history of liberty.

As for your example, I would consider that Albanian a Serb, even without him converting to Orthodoxy.

Srbo said...

"Inat" is a Turkish word - it's actually in the Turkish language, not sure about the etymology - that applies to the Serbs only partially. How can we talk about "inat" when a large chunk of our national body regularly succumbs to external pressures, and some even openly betray the national interests, every time that pressure mounts over a certain point?
At every historical juncture where Serbs were faced with a tribulation, a part of the people crossed to the enemy camp, giving in to the enemy demands. That's not "inat," you have to admit.

Nikolaj said...

So you're saying that if some Serbs outright rejected Orthodoxy, they would have to either adopt another identity, (Croatian, Albanian, Yugoslav, etc), or if they wanted to stay "Serb", they would become a sort of social/cultural sect within the Serb nation itself? (which I guess would mean they're not even Serb then, and might as well call themselves something else.)

I'm just trying to get my head around the idea of how and why Serbdom rests upon Orthodoxy. Because as you said, Serbdom is about culture, and culture is ideas, and ideas exist in the human mind, so as a hypothetical, if you thought it would be a good idea to give Serbdom a re-birth by removing Orthodoxy from it, (something I stated in my original comments), would whats left of Serbdom, minus Orthodoxy, still actually be Serbdom, or would it be something else entirely?

I'm asking because I find it a bit difficult to believe that Serbdom would crumble without Orthodoxy, that it cannot experience some sort of cultural-philosophical rebirth or revolution without being able to continue calling itself Serb.

Djordje said...

Srbo, do you remember when at the height of the NATO bombing, thousands of people in Beograd still went ahead with Beogad marathon? Or the thousands that wore targets on their clothing, thumbing their noses at the bombers. Or the sight of villagers dancing a kola on the shards of a destroyed stelath plane. "Sorry, we did not know it was invisible" read the hand made sign. These days we a given the sight of Serbs defying KFOR and closing traffic in Kosovo. sure, if KFOR decides to open up, they would probably wipe out the pariots. There may well have been times in our history were our prle took the easy path. Ety ology not withstanding, I prefer "our" definition.

Srbo said...

I promise a post on this specific subject in the near future.

Srbo said...

Djordje, the acts of defiance were numerous. To identify ourselves with that defiance is emboldening, but ultimately misleading. I'd say the difference is seen in our response to "hard power" vs. "soft power." When we see the enemy, when we are faced with an open assault, we are quick to fight it and defy it. The soft power is what conquers us. Yes, the Serbs stood on the bridges and laughed in the face of NATO bombs, but Srdja Popovic and Otpor (what an irony) invited the bombs onto his own people. Today, Serbia's leaders are practically begging to be accepted by NATO and EU countries that bombed us and are our attested enemies. Who won, the youth that danced on the bridges or the likes of Srdja Popovic and Boris Tadic? Is that "inat?"

Anonymous said...

Inat or english "innate" as in knowing. It is something which is understood, as in knowlegde; innate knowledge the sense of knowing. Therefore, inat never lets go, it does not subside, it stands firm on its ground. We come with unwavering faith, at least those of us who do. We believe in our "Serbendom" or whatever you want to call it. We will never stop fighting in what we truly believe. The west seeks to exploit, steal and take away our basic right(FREEDOM FROM ENSLAVEMENT), to destroy our sovereignty, so that they can better menace and gain even more power. Therefore, our "religion" which really unifies us as people- who we are, where we have been, we know it all and we will never give up because deep down we know who we are. We will never give up.

So LIVE LONG SERBIA,
LIVE LONG ORTHODOXY(PRAVOSLAVLJE)
FOREVER AND EVER AND NEVER GIVE IN TO THE ENEMY WHO SEEKS TO DESTROY OUR BEAUTIFUL EMPIRE.

PEACE TO ALL MY PEOPLE WHO STRIVE TO PRESERVE THE ROOTS.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha

this article tipifies exactly what your friend was talking about. You're brainwashed into thinking that poor perennially victimised Serbia is constantly suffering for all mankind blah blah blah. Stop focusing on the past (which the Serbs have created into myths and legends based on anything but hystorical evidence) and focus on the future - and what I mean by that is focus on building a good economy, good relations with yourselves and others, and peace.

Srbo said...

Future is always a continuation of the past and if we don't recognize and respect the past, we won't know how to proceed without repeating mistakes. And victimization is a convenient term to ridicule those that pretend to have been victimized. Serbs have. If you can prove that Serbs haven't been victimized to the degree I speak of, we can continue the conversation.

Doot said...

I'm glad I discovered this hilarious site!

Bunch of people with the heart and soul of an autocrat trying to decide what is and isn't Serbian.

Guess what. it's not up to you. It's not up to anyone.

I've always laughed at people who embrace their ethnic heritage as some sort of hobby, but you guys take it to a very refined level, I must admit.