Vucic won’t give the city of Nis „our“ money, while he generously sends „our“ money over the border to the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. But who are the “we” here? Vucic’s answers to this question have nothing to do with politics. What he’s been saying is pure idiotism – in the original meaning of the word. In ancient Greece, idiots were ignorants and persons not interested in politics and public affairs, i.e. the persons who hold their private interest above the public. According to this, and based on what he’s been saying, Vucic is a complete – idiot.
This is what Vucic has been saying to the citizens of Nis regarding the airport: „We’ve given Nis everything we can, we’ll give even more. If they don’t want our money, congratulations – thank you, you’ve taken the burden off our back“. Are the citizens of Nis citizens of Serbia? As far as I’m aware – they are. As citizens of Serbia, do they pay taxes? As far as I’m aware – they do. Then whose is „our“ money the citizens of Nis have taken off Vucic’s back by saying, as he understood it, that they don’t want it? As far as my knowledge of the state and politics goes – this money actually belongs to the citizens of Nis.
Then what is the president actually saying to the citizens of Nis? He told them that they don’t want their own money and thanked them for, as he said, freeing him from some burden. And what have they freed him from? It turns out that they’ve freed him from their own money. What is Vucic to do with that money, which now, apparently, belongs to him and not them? He will give it to the citizens of the country next door – Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Do the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina pay taxes to Serbia? They don’t. They pay taxes to their own country – Bosnia and Herzegovina. And still: „Vucic pointed out that Serbia will allocate additional financial aid of 5 million euro to several municipalities in Srpska.” The „Srpska” from the previous sentence means a part of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Is Vucic president of Bosnia and Herzegovina? As far as I’m aware – he’s not. But that doesn’t prevent him from acting as if he were their president – at our expense.
What is the meaning of all this? As citizens of Serbia, the citizens of Nis have a right to influence decisions on how public property and funds are used. However, Vucic sees this completely differently – according to him, by making this claim, they have actually given up on their property and their money. What else did we learn from Vucic? He thinks that when citizens pay their taxes, they give up their money and transfer all the rights over it to him – Vucic. The reason I say “Vucic” and not, for example, “the (illegitimate) president of the state” is because not even a legitimate president of the state has the right to dispose of the public money as he sees fit.
But Vucic, as an illegitimate president of the state, doesn’t understand this. And when citizens rebel, like the citizens of Nis did, and tell him that the airport is their property which they won’t give up, he won’t understand them, or, better yet, he’ll understand what he wants and say that they’ve somehow given up the property by simply asking to govern it, and that their property is now, and forever, his to do with as he will. He can even share it with whomever he wants, although he’s not, say, the prime minister (even if he were, this wouldn’t be possible), but an illegitimate president of the republic, who has absolutely nothing to do with public money and property (even if he were a legitimate president, this would still be the case).
And here we come to the final conclusion: as the president, outside the law and institutions, Vucic has been privatizing public resources and disposing of them like an ancient idiot who knows nothing about public affairs and politics. Translated into modern language – Vucic has been turning the state into a mafia and us – into idiots.
Translated by Marijana Simic
Dejan Ilić (1965, Zemun), urednik izdavačke kuće FABRIKA KNJIGA i časopisa REČ. Diplomirao je na Filološkom fakultetu u Beogradu, magistrirao na Programu za studije roda i kulture na Centralnoevropskom univerzitetu u Budimpešti i doktorirao na istom univerzitetu na Odseku za rodne studije. Objavio je zbirke eseja „Osam i po ogleda iz razumevanja“ (2008), „Tranziciona pravda i tumačenje književnosti: srpski primer“ (2011), „Škola za 'petparačke' priče: predlozi za drugačiji kurikulum“ (2016) i „Dva lica patriotizma“ (2016).