It was a long time ago – God, it was almost half a century ago – we were students. And what we were discussing was even older – dating back to the turn of the XIII century. At the Sorbonne in Paris, professors held seminars for days discussing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. And could it be proven by speculation alone that a ram has got a liver. Quotations, Latin texts and dispute.
We were young, we wanted to confuse the professor with our wisdom: how those people, who used to read Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle, could have been so naïve. They could see ram liver in the butcher store on the corner. We got two answers. The first one is – they knew it but the point was to prove it speculatively, using mind-gymnastics, not empirically. Students were thought to think and they were thought the possibilities of thinking. The second answer was even more precise – there were not only angels dancing on the head of the pin, on some scale pointer, but devils too. Truthfully, neither the professors nor the students were doing a futile job.
We recall all of this because of Tadic’s latest scholastically-political trick.
B.Tadic will form a government with the SPS, which is the pointer on the scale which Serbia is rocking on after the elections. Tadic remembered the political dogma of a national reconciliation. The government must be formed with someone. That is what the EU is telling us – you must have a government, how else could we sign the most important thing for Serbia. Those around Kostunica and Seselj will not go with Europe at any price. And so I. Dacic – that is Milosevic’s party – became a pointer on the scale. But we still do not know who is dancing on the tip of that pointer, whether those are noble heavenly Intelligences – angels, or evil spirits – the devils of Milosevic’s death squads.
That is where Tadic’s political scholasticism goes wrong. If there are angels in the SPS, let us hear from them, let them draw the line and wash up. There is a possibility that there are angels in the SPS too, but once again we are facing the simple dilemma – the murderer and the victim are not easily reconciled, after all it was Milosevic’s killers that murdered Djindjic. Not the other way around.
That depiction of reconciliation from the Bible is beautiful – a lion and a yearling lying down together. In history and in life, and in Serbia too, that is not the case. Amfilohije read the services next to Zoran Djindjic’s casket, and bishop Filaret made spiritual efforts under a linden tree in Pozarevac.The dogma of a national reconciliation, if someone wants to accept it, must be founded on the maxim: reconciliation is possible if it is true and based on truth. The rest is a deceitful game, empty scholasticism and political mythology.
In front of destiny’s balance scale, with its pointer trembling, all of them are standing. The Socialists and Tadic. It will not do without that Copernican turn. But Dacic is not N. S. Khrushchev, nor is some Amfilohije Good Pope John XXIII who called the Second Vatican Council. While these reformers who marked the changes in society and the Church and who tore down the old to build up the new, the Balkan leaders are small-time chiselers. They are place their own weights on the scales and trade. Day and night.
I. Dacic will not break Milosevic’s icon or bury the Leader for the second time. N. S. Khrushchev broke Stalin’s icon and literally dug him up from his grave in the mausoleum and took the body somewhere else. It final resting point remains unknown. Not many bishops from the Serbian Orthodox Church can be measured with Pope John XXIII, who tore down the old medieval church. And built a new one.
However, it is appropriate to look back in anger and face reality.
If the Serbian government is formed with Dacic, and if that government ratifies the agreement with the EU, the head of the SPS will save his soul after all. That would be a big step up for Serbia. It would also be a big step up for the SPS, but at this time no one is certain that they are capable of it. And if Reverend Filaret by some miracle should stop kissing Milosevic’s grave – just as he used to publicly kiss his hand in The Hague – he will be closer to the promised Kingdom of Heaven.
As for now, everything is possible and very little is impossible. If V. Kostunica drops out of this crazy game, certainly not everyone in the DSS will be sorry, and especially not everyone in Serbia. Because Kostunica should not only go away, he shouldn’t have come in the first place. But we are where we are.
And angels and demons are not empty symbols or a metaphor. Someone from that circle of church potentates will one day have to show his respects to the innocent victims of Srebrenica. Therein lies the secret of reconciliation, because Jesus stands there and warns – You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
While Serbia is being weighed on the balance scale, one more remark is necessary: the victim’s and the executioner’s truth is not the same. Tadic’s statement that the DS and the DSS are sharing a common pain is nonsense, because the victim leaves pain with its followers and killers deserve only condemnation. This is the delimitation point that Tadic overlooked in his politically- scholastic exercises. We cannot hope for good results there.
Translated by Ivica Pavlovic