The fascist persecution of member of parliament Marinika Tepic and the spread of ur-fascist and mafia groups in Serbia under the auspices of the authorities is a phenomenon that can’t be categorized under the heading “There’s idiots everywhere, just let them be”. It seems, unfortunately, that’s not the case. We have a problem. This is not a marginal phenomenon, but the very center of the current government which rules our society and state. This atmosphere is its natural environment, which it almost automatically creates. In such an environment, the highest officials feel right at home. Although it feeds their ego, it is very difficult for them to play interlocutors for the EU and other Western politicians. Often they openly complain to their beloved people: “Do you think it’s easy for me?” Domestic and foreign fascists (both old and new) are the most pleasant company for them. Thanks to the government’s helping hand, several groups like that are already officially registered for the upcoming Belgrade elections.
When they say “foreign embassies”, they don’t mean the Russian, Iranian, or Chinese embassy. These are dog whistles signifying the Western embassies as enemies of the Serbian people and Serbia. From one such country that Serbian fascists hate the most, the United States of America, came an unexpected blow. Two high ranking US politicians – Senator Roger Wicker, Chair of the Helsinki Commission, and Eliot Engel, a US Representative and ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs – nominated Natasa Kandic and the Humanitarian Law Center for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018. This was enough to cause a barrage of hellish insults and threats to be directed at this brave and worthy women, whose life mission is to record every victim of the wars of the nineties and punish every perpetrator, and of whom we should be proud. The attacks in the tabloids (“She was supporting the terrorists and now she’s after the Nobel”, “Shiptaria: American congressmen nominate Natasa Kandic for the Nobel prize”) were joined by Seselj, who said that “Kandic should be impaled on a stake and not nominated for the Nobel prize”, and by the far-right group Zavetnici who insulted Natasa and protested in front of the House of Human Rights, believing that her office was there.
If these were only „a couple of idiots“, we wouldn’t have a problem. Serbia wouldn’t be a failed country which refuses to face its bad past, thus preventing itself from becoming a civilized country under the rule of law. Natasha’s case showed that a large part of the local public’s thoughts on the wars of the nineties was poisoned and misguided, both regarding the essence of the politics which led to the wars and the mass and gravity of the crimes committed by the Serbian side. This was intensified over the last five years due to the prevalence of a mental pollution produced by radicals posing as the Serbian Progressive Party. I found one quote on how Zoran Djindjic understood the Serbian Radical Party. Everything he said is also true for its twin sister, the Serbian Progressive Party. Here are his words:
“As far as the Serbian Radical Party is concerned, I really don’t have much to say. I will try to limit myself to three or four sentences, using authority from history and literature, because this is not a political phenomenon. The Serbian Radical Party is a phenomenon of mentality. It is a serious problem for our society. It is not a political phenomenon – least of all is it a political phenomenon.” Referring to the words of Jovan Ducic, Djindjic said that it is not a matter of “them not being afraid of anything, because they are cowards. The problem is they are not ashamed of anything. They lower the level of public and political life to such depths that decent people are fleeing from that kind of politics. And then you will have a politics of the lowest possible level, where the difference, the boundary between honour and dishonour, between truth and lies, between facts and defamation, between what is shameful and what is decent is completely erased. And then, you are throat-deep in the mud, and they say: Come discuss with us. Come discuss in our environment – in the mud. This is the Serbian Radical Party on our political scene, in our history, in our fate. It is not a political opponent for me, or for any decent politician. It is a virus. Just like a virus is not an opponent of the body, the Serbian Radical Party is not our opponent, but a problem, a disease. When they say, and that’s one of their main arguments, that I am working for foreign intelligence services, that I’m a thief, a criminal, that my parents are of another nationality, and I don’t know what else, but it always comes down to foreign flags, foreign intelligence services, treason, to this I say: in a country which has a Serbian Radical Party, it’s pure luxury to have any enemy investing anything in its collapse. As long as the Serbian Radical Party has this kind of power in Serbia, all enemies of Serbia can sleep peacefully. And they do.”
This explanation is important for Serbia today. This mentality’s “party” is a source of ur-fascism, silly Russophilia and hatred towards the West. The fact that we have Zavetnici, the Russian Party, Misa Vacic’s ultra-right party, British fascists-persecutors of Marinika Tepić, all kinds of nationalists who insult Natasa Kandic, Seselj and his impalement fantasies, parallel mafia structures performing assassinations, dozens of false parties, and a huge existential anxiety can all be explained by this radical disease of ours. Djindjic understood that well. And we are left with a big problem, and a task: to fight for decent politics and get rid of the radical patient responsible for this pathological condition.
Translated by Marijana Simic
Vesna Pešić, političarka, borkinja za ljudska prava i antiratna aktivistkinja, sociološkinja. Diplomirala na Filozofskom fakultetu u Beogradu, doktorirala na Pravnom, radila u Institutu za društvene nauke i Institutu za filozofiju i društvenu teoriju, bila profesorka sociologije. Od 70-ih pripada peticionaškom pokretu, 1982. bila zatvarana sa grupom disidenata. 1985. osnivačica Jugoslovenskog helsinškog komiteta. 1989. članica Udruženja za jugoslovensku demokratsku inicijativu. 1991. članica Evropskog pokreta u Jugoslaviji. 1991. osniva Centar za antiratnu akciju, prvu mirovnu organizaciju u Srbiji. 1992-1999. osnivačica i predsednica Građanskog saveza Srbije (GSS), nastalog ujedinjenjem Republikanskog kluba i Reformske stranke, sukcesora Saveza reformskih snaga Jugoslavije Ante Markovića. 1993-1997. jedna od vođa Koalicije Zajedno (sa Zoranom Đinđićem i Vukom Draškovićem). 2001-2005. ambasadorka SR Jugoslavije, pa SCG u Meksiku. Posle gašenja GSS 2007, njegovim prelaskom u Liberalno-demokratsku partiju (LDP), do 2011. predsednica Političkog saveta LDP-a, kada napušta ovu partiju. Narodna poslanica (1993-1997, 2007-2012).