Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Of Quislings and Censorship

An old Serbian folk tale tells of a peasant who served a Turkish judge (qadi) as a cowherd. He had one cow of his own, which he shepherded along with the qadi's herd. One time, the cows got into an altercation, and the peasant's cow gored the qadi's.
So the peasant hastens into town, and tells the qadi: "Effendi, your cow gored mine!"
"Whose fault was it, did someone make them?" asks the qadi.
"No, effendi, they fought among themselves," answers the peasant.
"Well, then. Can't put cattle on trial," says the qadi.
"But effendi, did you hear what I said? My cow gored yours!" the peasant says.
"What? Wait, then, I must look at the law," exclaims the qadi and reaches for the book.
The peasant grabs his arm and says: "By God and God's faith you won't! If you didn't look at the law for mine, you won't look at the law for yours either."

Contrast that to the Roman expression "Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi" - what Jove may, the ox may not. While the Serbian cowherd insists on equality of justice, the Romans enshrine a double standard. One of the greatest accomplishments - perhaps the only one - of the Enlightenment was the notion that "all men are equal" before the law. That is, that a law is the same for rich and poor alike, for both Jove and the ox.

What if the ox is Jove? (source)
A sea of ink would run dry before one could describe all the instances of double standards and gross violations of this principle just in the case of the country that was once Yugoslavia. And this week there was another.

The only actual principle in the who/whom "moral" framework of the West is that they and those who serve them can do no wrong, while the Other [whoever that may be at any given moment] can do no right. But what happens when two groups of their servants get into a row? Such was the case with "Peščanik" (Hourglass), once a radio show and now a website, accustomed to denigrating Serbia and the Serbs on a daily basis,while immune to all responsibility and accountability by the "virtue" of being Imperial sycophants. For years, they have been "experts" on motes in everyone else's eye, and covered for the beams among "their own". Until, that is, they dared criticize the current government.

Empire's major coup in subjugating Serbia was to turn the men who once led the Radical Party into Progressives. They were installed in power in 2012 and confirmed in a mockery of a vote in mid-March this year. The Progs made the ideal quislings, using their "patriotic" credentials to sucker the populace into believing they were really trying to fool the Empire, then - once the deception had served its purpose - revealing themselves as the lowliest of sycophants abroad, and the cruelest of tyrants at home.

Their leader (and current Prime Minister of Serbia) Aleksandar Vučić, is a narcissistic autocrat, trying to mimic the media-created image of Barack Obama as the Messiah, Prophet, God-King and personal Savior of everyone under his rule. He hasn't quite said, "I am Serbia", but everything he does proclaims that he believes it. We're talking someone who goes and plays EMT during snowstorms and floods, making sure to ham for the camera.

(As a side note, when the Ukrainian crisis escalated in early March, I joked that the Progs would show solidarity with the Empire by spelling their names the "Ukrainian" way, and have called the PM "Olyksandr Vuchych" ever since)
Messiah Vuchych parts the snowdrifts (source)
What happens when such a government encounters criticism? Repression and censorship, of course. Last August, a satirist who joked on his Facebook page about ordering a hit on Vucic was "detained for questioning" overnight, and his computer seized. In April, a critic of the government and Empire's "NGO" activists was arrested for "inciting hatred" by posting a list of "foreign agents" in Serbia. Around the same time, a special police unit spokesman was sacked and then jailed, for quipping the soccer hooligans shouldn't beat up each other, but the "Women in Black" (rabid anti-Serb activists) instead. Novi Standard - a major dissident web magazine (they often post my articles, but pro bono, lest you think I have a financial interest in this matter) - has been brought down by denial-of-service attacks three times so far, always after publishing a hard-hitting piece on Ukraine and Imperial meddling.

Have any of these incidents attracted the attention of the Western mainstream media? Of course not. But when the website of "Peščanik" went down, after they accused a government minister of plagiarizing his PhD thesis (something that has become routine in the post-Yellow October Serbia they helped create), outlets like the BBC screamed bloody murder.

Was bringing "Peščanik" down censorship? Of course. But in harping on just that, rather than a veritable train of abuses perpetrated against the genuine critics of the government, is both hypocrisy and malice. By crying "censorship" only when their sacred cow (Serbophobic propagandists) is being gored, the Empire is making sure that whoever comes out on top in its conflict will be a quisling.

Thing is, if the Progs are this sensitive to mere words, that suggests their supposed absolute power and steadfast dedication to irreversible submission of Serbia to "Euro-Atlantic integrations" is actually just smoke and mirrors, bluster and bullying. Worse, they seem to know it, which is why they engage in repression.

The question is, who else knows? And what will they do about it?

1 comment:

Natalie said...

"As a side note, when the Ukrainian crisis escalated in early March, I joked that the Progs would show solidarity with the Empire by spelling their names the "Ukrainian" way, and have called the PM "Olyksandr Vuchych" ever since"

This is too funny. It's probably not a joke many would understand, but I am laughing hysterically right now! :)