Friday, January 27, 2012

Love the Croats, Hate the Croats: A Crazy Gene Perspective


Amid the uproar over the incidents involving Croat and Serb sports fans in and around Novi Sad in recent days, one development stuck out more than others.
A little background first… Fights between these fans, in this case related to the European Championships in team handball, held in Serbia, are a common thing and historically, the Croat fans have been way more hostile and aggressive towards Serb fans than the other way around. This time, the incidents happened in Serbia and the Croat hooligans were on the receiving end of the aggression that they provoked. After the reception Serbian fans are met with regularly in Croatia, this outburst of violence didn’t surprise me one bit, especially in lieu of the incitement to violence these Croat fans charged the already strained relationship with. Singing Thompson’s songs in Serbia, especially at a sports event, is not advised, to say the least, and it calls for either for legal repercussions or a beating. To be clear, I’m not talking about American baseball fans that come to the games for hot dogs and coke. European sports fans, especially in the Balkans, are an entirely different animal and violence among them is widespread, inside and outside stadiums. I wouldn’t make the trip to see Serbia play Croatia in Croatia, not only because I don’t particularly care about being in Croatia, but because for a Serb, it is still very dangerous and I’m not the type of person who invites danger for no good reason. In Serbia, on the contrary, Serbs haven’t given Croat fans much of a reason to feel threatened, unless, of course, they made offensive remarks and sang Thompson’s neo-Nazi songs. It does, however, takes a special kind of a Serb to travel to cheer for his team in Zagreb and it takes a special kind of a Croat to sing neo-Nazi songs in Novi Sad. That kind looks for danger and welcomes danger, unfortunately. Anyway, my point was that incidents of this nature and with these participants are nothing unusual, just less usual in Serbia than in Croatia.
The thing that stang me the most, though, was the controversy over a graphic montage circulating on social networks, showing Serbian and Croatian flags blended into one, apparently symbolizing some form of unity between our two nations. Ivan Ivanovic, a talk show host on Prva Srpska TV station took offense to this, as did many other Serbs expressing their views on social networks, and called out the author, on Twitter, to come to his show and eat shit on live TV. Something along those lines... the author, a columnist evidently associated with Kurir newspaper, whose pseudonym is Milan Strongman, responded by accepting the challenge, promising to come to the show and eat the “proverbial” Serbian shit on camera. I am not in a habit of saying a condescending “Wow…” but this absurdity warrants it. Ivanovic was against the connecting of the flags, even as a sign of sports fan solidarity, because he thought it to be offensive to the Serbian flag, a national and state symbol. He also likes to bring attention to his very popular talk show, modeled after Leno’s and Letterman’s late night charades, in controversial ways. I guess Strongman felt the same way about bringing the attention to himself, but to accept the challenge to eat shit on the most watched late night talk show is beyond comprehension. This lunacy is just an example of sickness saturating the Serbian society. Imagine Jay Leno calling out Sean Penn like that and Sean Penn taking the bait.
At the same time, the Croatian government is ordering RTL TV station to subtitle Serbian movies it shows. While Croatian public overwhelmingly supported this ludicrous move, the Serbs are tying their flag to the Croatian flag in solidarity with Croat sports hooligans. If this is not a manifestation of “the crazy gene,” I don’t know what is. And this “Serbian crazy gene” is present in both the Croats, who subtitle the language they speak, and in the Serbs, who have a sick tendency to admire these Croats, extending the reconciliation hand time and time again. If you’d believe Croatian news media, there was a letter written by an anonymous lady from Novi Sad, who apologized to everybody and their mother for the attack by Serb hooligans against the Croat hooligans. As if anybody cared, this lady listed all the Croats she wanted to apologize to, apparently all her Croat friends, certainly afraid they will start looking at her as a Gypsy barbarian after the incidents. I wonder if they have ever apologized to her for Jasenovac and Jadovno, Korita and Prebilovci, or Maslenica and Lora, most recently, not to mention the expulsion of 250,000 Krajina Serbs.
No matter how hard I try, I can’t understand this need in some Serbs to be friends with their enemies. Croats, since Starcevic and Pavelic, have never shown an inkling of brotherly sentiment towards Serbs. Far from it, all the Serbs ever received from the Croat nation was aggression, pain and suffering – if the Croats where in a dominant position, that is. Croats, many of which descend directly from Serbs, have not done anything in their history as an independent nation that could downgrade their relationship towards the Serbs to anything but extremely hostile. Every chance they’ve got, they tried to exterminate us, plain and simple. What Serb, in his or her right mind, can ever warm up towards the Croat nation?
I’m not calling for any kind of violence against Croats, I’m calling for common sense. Suffice to say, individuals are individuals; people can be friends on an individual level, regardless of the ethnic background. Some Serbs have Croat family members. We speak the same language (at least Serbs say so), we’ve lived in the same countries for centuries, we are of one ethnic ancestry, after all (again, according to Serbs). But it was the Croatian national policy that killed over a million Serbs in the last century alone, on several occasions, in the most gruesome way. It’s the Croatian public that doesn’t want to have anything to do with the Serbs, their pathetic brotherly feelings and their nostalgia. It’s the Croats that still use every opportunity to show hostility towards us. And it’s the Serbs that always find ways to forget this, to sweep it under a rug, to turn a blind eye or the other cheek. It’s the philosophy of the slaughtered and we do get slaughtered at every turn following this philosophy of forgiveness and unawareness of our own interests.  
Have your Croat friends. Have your Croat family. But don’t confuse that allegiance with the allegiance to the Serbian organic national interests. Don’t equate your Croat cousin with a Croat hooligan singing neo-Nazi songs in Serbia. Your Croat cousin and your Croat friend may be good people, good to you or good in general, but that doesn’t make them friends to all the Serbs, nor does that require other Serbs to be friendly to them. Don’t be embarrassed of the actions of other Serbs towards Croat hooligans and neo-Nazis and if you want to apologize, be my guest, but out of self-respect, wait for your Croat friend’s apologies for Lora and Maslenica, at least, since they most likely haven’t consented to Jasenovac.
When it comes to the incidents in Novi Sad, I’ll just say this: whoever sang neo-Nazi songs in the arena and made other expressions offensive to the host country should have been arrested on the spot for neo-fascism, anti-Serb speech and inciting ethnic hatred. Then the police should have arrested those Serb hooligans that attacked the rest of the Croat fans, who left the arena without committing any crimes. If Serbia was a self-respecting nation, there would be laws against fascist manifestations and those laws would have been enforced in the SPENS Arena. Since there were no laws that protect Serbian human and cultural sensitivities in Serbia, or they weren’t enforced, the offended had to take the matter into their own hands against the offenders. 


Meezer said...

What ever happened to all the brotherly love preached by the Savez komunista Jugoslavije & the Komunistička partija Hrvatske???

Igor said...

well said, completely agree with you :)

Anonymous said...

I must admit that this is a very interesting view... I wonder, have you ever heard of places like Bleiburg, Škabrnja, Vukovar? Shelling of Dubrovnik, Zadar? Missile attack on Zagreb during rush hour, when streets were full of civilians? That, I suspect was Serbian way of "turning a blind eye or the other cheek to Croats".

Croats are not as innocent as they proclaim for themselves to be, but Serbs are definitely no lambs either. In last 25 years you instigated armed conflicts in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo... More than Iraq, North Korea and Afghanistan put together. So, please, don't preach about poor Serbs being molested by the vicious Croats, because you're at least as guilty as them, if not more...

Anonymous said...

Why are Thompson's songs being described as neo-nazi songs? Do you know what that actually means? You are really an ignorant fool if you think like that.

You Serbs have a distorted view of reality, all you talk about is Jasenovac and Maslenica, but did you have the balls to mention Vukovar, Borovo Selo, Knin, Dubrovnik, Srebrenica, Škabrnja, Dalj, Ovčara? Rebel Serbs and chetniks slaughtered thousands of innocent civilians, in those places and that list goes on and on without end.

And after all that, you have the right to call us aggressors?

The Hero of Crappy Town said...

What song was sung?

Srbo said...

You completely missed my points.
Are you saying that Serbs should welcome Croat hooligans as their brothers in Serbia? If you are not, and if you are reiterating that we've done bad things to one another, I agree with you.
If you want to get into those bad things, then, for the sake of objectivity and being taken seriously, you have to start at least with Jasenovac and other death camps, and continue with the last war and name Vocin, Lora, Divoselo, Citluk, Pocitelj etc. Bleiburg was a place where Communist partisans executed a bunch of Croat fascists. If you are equating that with Skabrnja, your view on history is seriously distorted.

When it comes to starting wars, you should seriously, seriously, revisit the events surrounding Slovenian, Croatian and Bosnian secession from Yugoslavia.

Srbo said...

I'll leave this post up, so other visitor can be reminded of Croat civility, but I won't honor it with a response, as I would have to stoop down to your level to properly respond to your insults.

Srbo said...

Jasenovac i Gradiska stara.

Meezer said...

E moj druze "Anonymous", it is quite clear that you have no understanding of the Croatian language nor of Croat history during the WW2.

So you ask "Why are Thompson's songs being described as neo-nazi songs?"

Let's use his song "Jasenovac/Stara Gradiska"

THE LYRICS of the song leave little to the imagination:

Jasenovac and Stara Gradiska That's the house of Maks'butchers...

O Neretva flow downhill And carry the Serbs into the blue Adriatic [Sea]....

I am Ustashe and so was my father Father left the craft to his son....

Lady Sinjska, if you can, take away Stipe and bring back our Franjo....

Send our greetings to Ante Pavelic.

Now imagine for second a German singer writing a song called "Auschwitz-Birkenau"

Imagine some of the lyrics saying:

Auschwitz-Birkenau That's the house of Himmler, Heydrich & Eichman butchers...

I am a Nazi and so was my father Father left the craft to his son....

Send our greetings to Adolf Hitler

Then imagine the German Singer like Marco Perkovic denying that his song has anything to do with Fascism......

Gray Falcon said...

Imagine Germans singing a song glorifying Auschwitz at a game against an Israeli team, and what would happen as a result.
Better yet, imagine a German song glorifying Auschwitz actually existing!
Glorifying Jasenovac is out-Nazi-ing the Nazis.

The Hero of Crappy Town said...

I see. Yes, that is an abhorrent song. A normal person would not think of singing it, even 'spitefully' if he felt himself provoked, first of all because of himself.

The Hero of Crappy Town said...

Personally, I thought the whole fan violence episode was as predictable as it was overblown. The only interesting thing about it was the speed and the intensity with which parts of Serbia's chattering classes took to playing it up, albeit this too was entirely predictable.

Where in most places an attempt would be made to downplay, ignore, or conceal such incidents, in Serbia hordes of intellectuals jumped at the chance to be horrified and the chance to be ashamed of what they are. This are people who delight in telling themselves and the world just how horrible and barbaric their kind is, and they milked this episode for all it was worth.

I think the Russians are the only other people who posses the same type of intellectuals — the kind that loves trying to prove their people are absolutely the most horrible kind of humans ever. I don't think it has anything to do with genes though, since this is an activity only a tiny minority engages in.

Rather I think it ultimately all comes from the fact that all too many educated people in East Europe at some level subscribe the East-West dichtonomy where the East stands for barbarism and savagery and the West stands for sophistication and advancement. The difference is that such people in say Poland, Croatia or even Romania are able to tell themselves that their homeland in this division falls to the West of this dividing line, but the venue for this sort of acrobatic is closed off to the Serbs and the Russians (in our age the most 'authentic' of Balkanites/East Europeans) who therefore have to "admit" to their "Easternes". So then when something bad occurs in Serbia's neighborhood it can be shrugged off by the local chatterers as an aberration, as a momentary lapse from otherwise characteristic civilized behavior, but when the same occurs in Serbia it is on the contrary the manifestation of its innermost nature, the revelation of its true Oriental self, so instead of being shrugged off it is cause for totally disproportionate shame and despair, or alternatively a call to arms to de-barbarize Serbia which since barbarism is its inherent characteristic ends up meaning to de-Serbify Serbia.

Rather than gene therapy I propose the solution is a sort of "East is beautiful" campaign. Enough with the self-loathing, which goes for Russians and Serbs as well as those trying to pass themselves off as "Western".

Anonymous said...

First and foremost, I don't approve of hooliganism in any form.

But you're the one who has to revisit the events surrounding Croatian secession from Yugoslavia. Croatia had the right to do so under the Yugoslavian Constitution, which was revised in 1971. Croatia and Slovenia held parliamentary elections in which they decided to secede from former SFRJ. It was their constitutional right, right which Serbian minority in Croatia as well as Serbian extremist whit grand ideas of Great Serbia decided to revoke. Croats, just like Slovenians, didn't have any teritorial claims beyond those that were defined in AVNOJ borders of Yugoslavian Republics in 1940s. Serbs were those who had to "liberate" their countryman in other Yugoslavian Republics. Perhaps, they should have tried to liberate their countryman in some other states too, and give the Great Serbia idea a true meaning: Srbija - od Tokija do Milovkija.

And it is very interesting that you don't want to "get into those bad things", but you were quite content with yourself while accusing Croats with all of their wrongdoings in your, supposedly, hooliganism related review.

Also, I am well aware who were the people executed at Bleiburg. Among that bunch of Croat fascist, as you call them, there wer also civilians. Also, most of the soldiers there wern't Ustaše, but Croatian Home-guard. According to some independent historians over 50000 soldiers and more than 30000 refugees (mostly women, children and elderly people) were executed there over a 5 day period. Reports were later falsified to cover the true numbers, even some of the officers in British Army who were present during the surrender later admitted to this fact.

Nevertheless, you have the nerves to write how Serbs were always trying to embrace their Croatian brothers?! And how did you try to do that? By bombing hopsitals during the war? Attacking cities with rockets filled with shrapnel during rush hour? By killing medical staff of Vukovar hospital, who treated both Croat and Serb wounded during the Vukovar siege? I suppose, you tried to embrace your Bosnian brothers as well during the Goražde and Srebrenica massacres...

Without a doubt, events of Jasenovac and Gradiška were in their way equally terrible. There is no other event as shameful as the event that took place in those camps in the entire Croatian history. And every man who approves of those events or Ustašas in general is not in his right mind.

There are many examples of wrongdoings between peoples of different nationality who used to make Yugoslavia. But what I can't possibly understand is that you're using a song by Thomson (whose lyrics about Jasenovac I found shameful) to give an excuse to Serbian hooligans who used axes to attack Croatian fans on their way back from a sport event. And, by the way, that song wasn't even sung. The only song by Thomson that was sung during the match was "Lijepa li si", which has nothing to do with war, ustašas or neo-Nazism.

And, at the end, you're not only judging the Croatian hooligans who were in Serbia, you're labeling all Croats as enemies of the Serbs. That is what stirs me up the most. On one hand, you're trying to pass yourself as impartial, objective and humane, while on the other you say that you can't understand need of some Serbs to be friends with their enemies, the Croats.

Srbo said...

I appreciate your taking time to argue your points. However, I disagree with your interpretation of the events surrounding the secession. For every point you made, I can make three, but you won't be convinced, like I'm far from convinced by the points you argued. I'd like to stick to the subject of my article.
My article was not about rehashing the historical facts and notions regarding the past wars between Serbs and Croats. I wasn't trying to argue for or against the right of Croatia to secede. I merely insisted on the fact that Serbs have serious reasons to reject reconciliation with the Croats, let alone to initiate it. I also stand firmly behind the attitude that it is pathetic of some Serbs to apologize on behalf of a bunch of Serb roughnecks that responded to insults of a bunch of neo-Nazi Croat thugs. Singing Thompson's songs in Novi Sad absolutely warranted arrests as the songs sung were absolutely offensive to Serbian ears. Fans that sang them had to expect a retribution of sorts. If the arrests of Croat neo-Nazi fans were made inside the Arena, there wouldn't be any retribution.
I have no interest in debating historical faults with you. I'm glad we agree there are faults and divides that are insurmountable, at least for now. If you think they are surmountable, I advise you request Ivo Josipovic and Zoran Milanovic to apologize for the genocide Croats committed against Serbs in WW2. That would be a nice start. We could then talk about further steps.
I'm not trying to pass myself as impartial, I'm a Serb and if my tone is not conciliatory, it is because Croats haven't given me one bit of a reason to want to reconcile. But I do deal with facts.
The Croat nation is an enemy to the Serb nation - which doesn't make every Croat an enemy to every Serb - until proven otherwise. I haven't seen one sign coming from Croatia that points to its willingness to reconcile. On the contrary... We shouldn't be friends just because I like Argeta - I can buy it without forgiving Croats for the genocide against my people. And the fact that Severina returned to her Srpske Moravice roots and married a Serb doesn't make up for Jasenovac either.

Srbo said...

Great metaphore!

Srbo said...

Very accurate assessment. Well worth expanding. I like the "East is beautiful" idea. Where do we start?

The Hero of Crappy Town said...

I expanded it so much it now exceeds the character limit. I'll see if splitting it up won't work:

I should say that in the immediate I am the most concerned about the aspects of the West/civilization - East/barbarism dichotomy that have direct and immediate real-life consequences.

Sure there is much about this idea that is scandalous. A determined 250 year long attempt to try to appropriate all the accomplishments of Christian civilization exclusively for the West is indeed such. Likewise that many in East Europe would elect to, in whole or in part, see themselves as they are seen by Western Europeans, rather than simply open their eyes and see for themselves. But at the end of the day, why should any of us care about the worldview of this or that educated moron? Probably we have better things to do than wage pointless culture wars.

There is exactly one tangible and immediate problem with this idea and that is that it has all too often served as justification for aggression, intervention, invasion and belligerency of the West against the east of Europe. The guise of opposing Eastern barbarism helped make possible the Crimean War, the Western threats against Russia in the Great Eastern Crisis, the opposition to emancipation of Balkan Christians from under the Ottomans, it helped justify Germanization in Polish lands annexed to Prussia, and the hold of Germans against Slavs in the Habsburg monarchy, it helped cause belligerency of the United States and NATO against the USSR and cause the Cold War and made possible the war of Nazi Germany in the east, and the American intervention in the 1990s Balkans... Albeit there were geopolitical rationales for all of these, it is the feeling of own superiority against the hordes of Russian barbarians, Slavo-Tartars, Asiatic hordes, illiterate Serb degenerates or Poles sunk in ignorance and stupidity that helped rationalize these adventures and make them fact.

The guise of opposing Eastern European (or Balkan) primitivism is also what makes possible extreme and fanatical self-righteousness of local pro-Western modernizers. In turn making it easy for them to rationalize bringing misery to their people and using great force against them. Classical examples would be the efforts of Serbian quislings in power in Belgrade now, and the assault on Russian society by Peter 'the Great'.

Obviously this concept of West as civilization and Eastern Europe as its semi-barbarian counterpart is then actually a big problem. More than just an intellectual exercise it ends up leading Westerners (and Westernizers) to believe being more advanced and knowing better, they are justified in subjugating and remodeling the East as they see fit. Then it should be combated, but it can not be combated without being understood for what it is.

The Hero of Crappy Town said...

Russians will sometimes talk about Russophobia, Poles about anti-Polonism, Serbs about Serbophobia, etc. In fact there are no such things. Beyond any doubt there were numerous people who thought of and spoke of these and many other nations in Eastern Europe in terms that can only be called chauvinistic. But really, do you think Al Gore hates the Serbs because they are Serbs? He doesn't even know who are what the Serbs are. In the 1990s Americans indicated they could not even tell Serbs apart from the Russians, but we should think they are capable of telling them apart from the Bulgarians or the Croats? These are people who still talk about 'Czechoslovakia', and to whom Borduria is as real as Macedonia. In reality most of chauvinism against any people in Eastern Europe comes from one and the same source. It comes from ideas in the West about East Europe and the Balkans in general.

No people in East Europe is held in contempt as such, in its national name. Rather there is chauvinism against the region as a whole which manifests also in disparaging of specific nations. Any Westerner (or local Westernizer) who has a negative view of the Serbs, has also a highly negative (and stereotypical) view of Balkans and/or Eastern Europe which is the source of his imagined understanding of the Serbs. There is no Serbophobia or Russophobia as such, the source for them are contempt for the Western-made construct of Scythian Eastern Europe. If this manifests itself in contempt for the Serbs and the Russians more often than for others it is only because presently they are thought of as the most authentic example of what it means to be a Balkan/East European barbarian.

Nor is the fact that at the same time as some East Europeans are being disparaged others can be praised an anomaly. It is true for example, that as Serbs were being demonized Bosnian Muslims, who are obviously as Balkan as the Serbs, were held to be without blemish and placed on a pedestal. However, this took place in the context where the West convinced itself it was seeing a conflict between two kinds of East Europeans/Balkanites; one kind which wanted to leave the East Europe behind and cease to be Balkan, which was willing to rid itself of its true nature, or had already succeeded in doing so, and another that on the contrary clung to all that was Eastern with all its will and had launched an orgy of destruction to celebrate all that was fanatical, primitive, wild and Balkan-like. The West has no problem with East Europeans who it has convinced itself wish they could become Western.

(In fact that they managed to see in an Islamist and radical anti-Westernizer Izetbegović someone who wished to flatter the West by imitating it is absolutely pathetic and goes to show just how desperate the West is for its idea of West(civilization)-East Europe(semi-barbarism) to be reinforced by Eastern Europeans electing to simply imitate them rather to develop in their own (rogue and barbaric) fashion. Which in turn shows how unstable this concept, being an obvious fantasy is. The only way it can have life is if East Europe signs under it and gives a false confession of its inherent barbarism, which unfortunately Serbian quislings desiring to de-Serbify Serbia, as well as Slovene/Croat/Czech, etc intellectuals protesting against their countries being thought of as part of East Europe/Balkans (which is exactly where the West will always place them) are only too willing to provide.)

The Hero of Crappy Town said...

The way to be immediately effective is to deprive the West of the moral heights it has appropriated for itself. Why should it be able to pick and choose what defines it? If it will for itself insist that its lately generally higher level of liberty and prosperity point to its enlightenment, then it must be pointed out its unrivaled record in depriving non-Westerners of their freedom and prosperity naturally points to its predatory savagery. If it will be insisted the line from the Baltic and the Adriatic separates civilized men from barbarians it should be pointed out only those on the civilized side have been the would-be conquerors of those on the other (and ultimately failed every time). If it is insisted Michelangelo, Watt or Ford tell a story unique to the West it must be pointed out so do Hitler, Himmler and Eichmann.

Ironically rehabilitating East Europe means writing about the West (to take it down a notch), because in reality East Europe is not a concept that is locally defined or that anyone local takes to heart. It would be awkward to celebrate an imported category we don't really think in terms of. But we don't need to. It is enough to say 'I do not know what the hell this East Europe stands for, but I can't see how it could be worse than the West, and if it is indeed its opposite it must be pretty good.'.

The goal isn't to build a political union, or even advance understanding between Eastern Europeans. The goal is to disarm the West so that we can be rid of its self-righteous belligerency and that of its local Westernizers. The point is to say that albeit we do not care for the West-East dichotomy, we are not going to try run away from it, because unlike what the West thinks, it is a comparison that can only make us look better for it.

In practical terms it means avoiding writing that invites Western audiences to stand in judgment of any nation in the Balkans/Eastern Europe, but standing in judgment of the West yourself instead. It may make one feel better to put down a long list of ways in which one's nation was aggrieved by a neighboring Balkan/East European nation and present it to Western audiences, but what is that going to do other than deepen their preconceived notions of ill-willed Balkan tribes? Do not reinforce their idea they have the right to be an arbiter between endlessly bickering Balkan factions by taking their grievances about your neighbors to them.

It is not as if they can tell you apart from your neighbors anyway. And ultimately they're happy to bomb either of you. Instead expose the villainy of Western policies as such and assert the West has no right to interfere against anyone in the Balkans, period. It doesn't hurt them to say they bombed the wrong Balkan faction (which being Balkan are all one type of scum anyway), it hurts them to say they're the scum.

Meezer said...

The chattering classes need to be defeated in the arena of facing reality.

Reality is the the EU is like the Titanic that just hit the iceberg. It's going down big time. Yet, idiots like Tadic (& Croatia) think it's a good idea to get on board even with the Titanic listing heavily & about to go under!

Srbo said...

The fifth column, always a problem...
The conclusion of your analysis, which I have to say is great, although it is incomplete without raising the question of how Orthodoxy factors into the dichotomy, kind of fits into the subject matter I brushed up against in one my previous posts: the need to switch the reference point of our orientation back onto the home turf. When I say "our," I mean Serbian, and the very fact that you single out the Serbs and the Russians from the fifth column of Eastern Europe, identifying the fifth column within these two on top of that, makes me wonder if it's a dichotomy at all. Or, is it an East-West dichotomy.
Culturally, I see the divide and the perception.
But overlapping is too significant. Poles are Catholic Slavs, and although they Eastnern-ness is recognized, they are less Eastern than Russians, because they rightfully belong into one of the important spheres of Western-ness, the Catholicism and its outgrowths. When you strip both ends of your perceived dichotomy to their naked selves (eliminate the overlaps, including Catholics, imitators and Greeks - openly easternizing Greeks would mean pulling the rug from underneath own feet) you end up with Serbs and Russians, the true and unwavering Easterners.
But it is very difficult to lump together the overlaps, having a range that includes Hungarians and Slovenians on one end, and Bulgarians on the other, not to mention the temporary geopolitical conveniences of Albanians and Bosnian Muslims.
Am I just disoriented or is my questioning of the existence of a simple dichotomy legitimate? Could there be more lines drawn for a greater accuracy?
Regardless, I agree that there is a need to intellectually attack the pedestal Western philosophy has placed itself on. The question is, do we start on the Una river or in Trieste, in Lvov or in Prague.

Srbo said...

@Meezer: The reality to them is where the paycheck comes from. The EU is sinking, the Fourth Reich is surfacing in its stead. If the Fourth Reich keeps paying, there is your reality. That takes us back to your Konuzin reference. Too bad I don't know the guy :)

Gray Falcon said...

As I was reading Hero, I was thinking of what Jim Jatras dubbed "Pravoslavophobia." It does seem to me that Orthodoxy is this defining component by which the West excludes and judges the East as "backwards" (but certainly different).

Srbo said...

Yeah, I think it's important to identify the components that go into this aversion/depreciation/hostility paradigm, especially as stemming from the historical components and pillars of the Western civilization. The Catholicism and the Roman Catholic Church are some of the most important of these components and we'd be wrong to define the relationship between Rome and the Eastern Churches as anything but hostile, only the transparency of that hostility varying. Hero negated the existence of "phobias," but at least in this one respect, the "phobia" has been manifested as such throughout the past.

The Hero of Crappy Town said...

Some certainly do, take Huntington for one, but in general I would say defining the East around Orthodoxy requires more knowledge and interest than the West is capable of mustering. Recall the allegedly Serbian fictional characters running around with weird Croatian-esque names (Niko Bellic, Victor Drazen) or ostensibly Hungarian/Romanian characters in American series who always speak with a Slavic accent. Mostly it is all just a giant blur.

Anonymous said...

One should differentiate between "western public perception" and "western informed perception". With respect to the former, you (Hero) are correct - are are all one and the same. With respect to the latter, however, the line is not so blurred and the informed westerner (i chose informed as opposed to "intellectual" or "elite" because I don't think either effectively describe the individual) is generally aware of the closeness of the Poles and Hungarians to themselves on the one hand and the distance between themselves and the Serbs, Russians and Bulgarians on the other. This is in no small part due to religion. The Greeks (notwithstanding their current difficulties), though Orthodox, only benefited and managed to pull out from the Eastern stereotype because of the legacy of Classical Greece and the democratic mythology built around it and adopted (stolen) by the West. Without Socrates and Plato, they would be viewed as nothing more than orthodox sheepherders selling gyros to make a buck.

The Hero of Crappy Town said...

You wrongly counterpoise public and informed perceptions. Actually elite perception is the more willfully ignorant of the two.

You wrongly assume in Western imagination distance condemns and proximity redeems. Actually for Eastern Europe that is not the case.

You're wrong in your main point too. The boundary between Catholicism and Orthodoxy is irrelevant to the invention of Eastern Europe. Its importance compared to the tectonic rift that in Western mind separates German and Polish lands, the crossing of which makes one believe "they have left Europe entirely", is minimal. In any case pick up Inventing Eastern Europe and make up your mind for yourself.

Anonymous said...

East-West dichtonomy? pull your head out of your a** and open your eyes to fanatical nationalism and fascism, which is all too alive and well in Serbia. barbaric? yah, i'd say so! understandably so in Krajina and other parts of ex-Yugoslavia, where politicians and church honored extreme ethnocentrism on all 3 sides. what's the excuse of those in Serbia for their xenophobia? it's so ignorant that it's sickening! if i was Croatian i'd be ashamed of Croatia and the state they are in - just the same. a nationalist is a nobody, a weak paranoid soul, an apathetic parasite of society.. that is an intellectual's problem with Serbian society today. it has nothing to do with the Eastern stigma and fear of cultural regression, although that's the only thing that would come to a mind of a nationalist - fear of others. surprised, not.

Srbo said...

Please don't use empty phrases and cliches you don't understand...
You obviously do not live in Serbia nor anywhere where reality directs your worldview. Fascism? Fascism is the rule of a totalitarian state dominated by one political, ethnic or religious group, in its simplest definition. If you see that in Serbia, you have a serious perception problem or you don't know anything about political systems and state organizations. Even if Tadic's regime is totalitarian and fascist, which it's not, it is not nationalist. Quite contrary...
Xenophobia in Serbia? Are you kidding me? Sonja Biserko, Sonja Liht, Ivan Vejvoda and such anti-Serbs would never be allowed to operate in Serbia if it was xenophobic. Hell, they would be thrown out for sedition if Serbia had any self-respect, irrespective of xenophobia.
The "extreme ethnocentrism" you "justified" in Western Serb lands was a defensive reflex manifested in siding with one's own to prevent a genocide against the Serbs, bound to repeat itself, if history teaches us anything. Serbs in Serbia should have not only shared that feeling of mutuality and solidarity with Krajina Serbs and Bosnian Serbs, but should have more actively participated in their defense, for Serbia's own sake.
How do you propose a nation to defend its interest and secure its survival? By being meek and sheepish? Enemies would love that. No, barbaric and alive is way better, especially in the face of a genocidal enemy.

kapetan Mile said...

the Depth of Croatian endoctrination never ceases to amaze me even today especially when i read these peoples stupid denial of what happend during WW2 and even in the 90's.

I remember in the early 70's my father had croatian "friends" with whom he used to go hunting (here canada). One day one of the croatians joined a local croatian hunting club. One of the clubs rule was that no croatian was allowed being friends with serbs even less go hunting with him.

i found out at very young age that these people were no friends of serbs. today all that is even more crystal clear.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, you're all promoting hatred and it's not helping anyone. What is most concerning is those of you that are living in countries other than Serbia or Croatia are inciting this behaviour. You don't live there - by all accounts you are Canadian, American and so on. Leave it alone and move on! Get that hatred out of your heart and mind - yes that goes for you too, Srbo. You may spin your blog as a caring, sensitive and 'rational' analysis of the relationship between Serbs and Croats, but it's not fooling anyone! Let it go! Then and only then is there a chance to move on.

Srbo said...

Hatred is a cliche used to easily disqualify people's views. The only people who hate, in this story, were those who sang the Ustasha songs in Serbia. Then there were those that responded.
Stating those facts and qualifying them is not hatred.
It matters not where we live - that's another generally used method of disqualifying opponents without a real argument.
The perceived historical wrongs do not have to be righted, but they should not be forgotten as the past teaches us lessons about who we are, what we are capable of and what we should expect of ourselves as groups and communities. That is a fact of life.
Serbs and Croats could and should be good neighbors if they decide so. If they decide against it, oh well. As long as there is no spilled blood between us, it is all cool. We can get into historical reasons of why I as a Serb feel like that, but I doubt a Croat cares about them.
I'm spinning nothing - I do believe that good neighborly relations have to be earned and that despite the fact that not all Croats are enemies of Serbs, the Croatian nation as a whole has never shown an inkling of desire to make an honest peace with the Serbian nation. Prove me wrong.
Moving on without understanding and admitting faults is a road to history repeated.

State Briga said...

But didn't Croats already "out-Nazi-ing the Nazis" during WW2, in their horrible sadic slaughter of the Serbs?!
BTW German's don't have "glorifying Auschwitz song", yet they don't mind their satraps Croats singing many times in public their NAZI songs and still Germans are considering Croatia to be a "democratic and tolerant society" (so much unlike (in German oppinion)"evil ultranationalist" Serbs)!
Even now, Germans are just as scum as their Croat servants. They only know, that they must behave.They are too big as country, to sing NAZI songs and hope that will pass un-noticed by others...
Croat's as incarnation of servants will always try to please their Master, pushing their sadic envelope to impress him...

State Briga said...

"Enough with the self-loathing, which goes for Russians and Serbs"
This is too much exagerated!
Serbs do not "loath" themselves.
But still, they do not have enough self-respect and they don't love themselves!
Serbs biggest quality is that humility, modesty, meekness, which made them survive centuries of Turk opression and preserve their own identity in the same time.
True Serb atitude is, to never think high of themselves.
Yet on the other hand, they don't have lack of character either, to say that "their homeland in this division falls to the West of this dividing line".
Serbs unlike Croats, Slovenians and such, are true nation so they don't care.
They accept what they are and they do not have complexes about the "West" like eternally subservient , yearning Croats, who are so full of hot air(very high opinion about themselves by being part of the West) and fear (full of complexes, by knowing that they are primitive "Balkanci" underneath ) in the same time.

State Briga said...

Sometimes it "matters where we live".
Serbs and Croats should be good neighbors,... but they could not be and they will NEVER be good neighbors.
"Croatian nation as a whole has never shown an inkling of desire to make an honest peace with the Serbian nation" and they NEVER will!
Thake that oppinion from the Serb who lives in Croatia.

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHAHHA This is the biggest bullshit ever, get your head out of your ass. EVERY person from the balkans knows Serbia starts shit with everyone. They lose every war they get into hahahaha.

And seriously, why are serbs the most hated people? Because of what they did to Sebrenica and Vukovar, they started the aggretion and now cant back it up.
Serbia wanted a Greater Serbia, after Tito died. That's bullshit, why did you have to want everything for yourselves? You self-inflicted the war. Everyone knows that. Why do people hate cetniks and other things? Because of you. You're the most hated ex-yugoslav nation.

Seems like your parents told you too much lies.. tsk tsk typical.

Ismar Sarajlic said...

there was million serb victims in last century ? how about croatians ? im not even a croat but wasnt there a million croat victims from serb nationalism in last century ? is it so convenient to not mention them ?
serb nationalism namely caused agression and conflicts in 4 countries now in last 25 years, without any pity by majority of populace and you call for some excuses for world war 2, even though we lived 50 next years as the same state ?
what more, turks should say their sorry or were gonna invade them and try to exterminate them (like you allready did in srebrenica, funny enough, with "turks")
yeah, revenge is dish best served cold ? what should bosnians do, say their sorry for their existence ? how could they dare to live, after all 500 years ago turks commited crimes against serbs. we best go and make another srebrenica, its what they deserve, they are our enemy.

your fascism is despicable, as are you, and you are what is wrong with serbs and serb society in general. jingoism and nationalism mixed with false sense of historic pride based on propaganda and also propagandized mythology of serbian suffering. even though main culprites for suffering in last half of century were you, the nation with most populace in the region with all of ex yu military machinery left in your hands after fall of yugoslavia.

washed. brain.

Anonymous said...

This is well written revisionist Serbian propaganda.

Anonymous said...

Thats ur choice

Anonymous said...

You are full of shit my friend...this page needs to be removed. Its a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

No such thing as Yugoslav Secessionists. Only National fights for independence.

Also Pavelic was an extremely bad man. Any Croat who denies this does his own people a disservice.

But lets not forget Stjepan Radic and were extremist Croatian ism was born, in the seemingly on going attempt to build a greater Serbia at someone else expense.

This website should be taken down, its dumb people making more dumb people.

Anonymous said...

Well It not true we Serbians hate Croatians . And anyway whole that catholic and orthodox thing is against christianity . I don't understand the people who hate each other because being catholic or ortodox , nationality and other religions . To me they should be ashamed of themselves and how can they call themselves christians ? When they are going against teaching of Jesus Christ ?It true SOME Croatians and Serbians have done alot of bad things to each other and you can't say Croatians or Serbians are guilty or innocent you can say some or part of them , because there is absolutly no way that every person in nation acts and think same . For the fact I don't hate croatians , my cousin is both croatian and serbian and she is realy nice person and so is my ucle who is croatian and I suport him because aunt is like snake and nationality isn't something you should judge someone by , it important who they rally are!!! AND YOU PEOPLE ARE INSANE IF YOU JUGDE SOMENE BECAUSE OF NATIONALITY! You can't choise where you are born and for that greater Serbia idea do you relly think that every Serbian liked thet idea ??!!NO! Most of them though it is stupid we just want normal goverment and life. And how to I know well my father was already adult at that time and if it wasnt for that whole war in nineties my brother would be alive he was just a child an 3 years old and was killed .

Dejan Markic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.