Imaginary coup

ulica noću, farovi kola

Photo: Predrag Trokicic

For many who may not have understood the essence of things, a coup is usually a bloody and cruel institution, but also a romantic one. This is how you bring down a hated government and install a new, perhaps even worse one. A coup, of course, is not a revolution, because its leaders come from within the government and, most often, don’t change the system itself, if they manage to change anything at all. They only replace the current ensemble and install a new one in the position of uncontrolled power, at least for a while.

In its history, Serbia has had at least two coups. During the first one, the king’s head was thrown from the courtyard terrace in the name of dynastic change, and the officers, in their inexplicable wrath, butchered the queen as well.  You could say that there are no gentlemen in military coups, unless a monarch or a tyrant manages to escape the insurgents who had served him until that time and reach a previously arranged asylum.

The coup in March of 1941, also known as “Better a war than the pact”, was the second. And the war, which couldn’t have been avoided even with the pact, happened, and the insurgents disappeared or were forgotten, despite their defiant act which caused horrible destruction.

We can’t say for sure that a coup, as a violent method for replacing the government, is outdated in democratic Serbia. Is Serbia a democracy at all, if this vicious reminder of unbearable dictatorships and ways to remove them has become a daily topic of discussion?

Bosko Obradovic, the leader of right-wing Dveri, allegedly called upon the honorable officers to arrest Vucic and his company so that they might be put on trial for treason and other crimes. Such an act of pacifying a rabid leader would be a lighter version of a coup, unless things go south. But the honorable officers are compromising their honor on two levels: first, by agreeing to serve someone who can only be removed by force. And second, by attempting to do just that.

Bosko Obradovic’s call comes more as a manifestation of powerlessness of the opposition, than as a genuine call to action. But it is dramatic, because of the realization that available models for change of government come from the field of mythical analogy and real sterility. Therefore, a military coup that would remove Vucic and his government is unlikely, and that is the only good news in our disaster.

But, it is possible and we are currently witnessing a particular kind of coup implemented by the regime itself by brutal cancelation of basic mechanisms of democratic power.

The fact that the coup has already happened can be seen in many places. In the elimination of the division of power. In the introduction of absolutism, justified by the care for citizens and the state. In the corporate-criminal coalition of the state and the underground, in the disgraceful looting of property and goods of the citizens. In the establishment of editorial censorship in the media. In the reduction or abolishment of rights and freedoms.

In the conspiratorial and arbitrary management of internal and external politics, in the absolute control of the partocratic society. In the complete unleashing of the president from the Constitution, laws, duties, presidential constitutional responsibility, the substance and the form of performing his duties. In the impromptu formation of a loyal plutocratic oligarchy. In the complete suspension of the rule of law.

In the neglect of ethical and aesthetic considerations of the function he performs, in taking over the discretionary right to establish an atmosphere of permanent chaos in the region in the name of his own twisted ideas about national delimitation. The German chancellor, whom he’s admired for years, finally told him that the borders in the Balkans can’t change (anymore), so now he is disappointed in his leader and angry at all of us.

The coup is evident in daily, insulting and underestimating monologues full of a dictator’s contempt for the citizens, in unjustified explications on the state of the country and the society he knows absolutely nothing about. In the utilization of autocratic rhetoric, and in the big lies he considers a permitted tool of manipulation.

All of this, and more, is a creeping, or perhaps already completed, coup aiming to prove the omnipotence of an objectively powerless and incapable ruler. We are witnessing a soft version (at least for now) of a caligulization of our society. And the way to defend ourselves from that is not to initiate a coup, but to revive the system. In a functioning system, Vucic couldn’t have happened. He would be a mere uncomfortably-placed ulcer, part of a destructive metastasis.

But, how can we achieve that, when this coup has already blocked the system, brought it to collapse and destroyed everything which constitutes a state? The only function which has survived: fat, disgustingly transparent, destructive and unbearable lies and propaganda. This is in addition to a fraction of the electoral body in an irrational trance, and the illegal electoral chaos which makes all this possible.

Every anti-system, every radical destruction of society has its logical end. Everything we see today as a grotesque construction, illogical and crooked from all sides, unsustainable and unfit for people, will collapse into the garbage it was made of.

Why, then, would any honorable officer arrest the man who’s already bound with thick chains in a prison he cannot escape!

Translated by Marijana Simic

Peščanik.net, 20.08.2018.