Answer to Bob Djukic (see Communication Page)

FREEDOM OR SELECTIVE FREEDOM? ALLIES OR SELECTIVE ALLIES?

By William Markiewicz

If, as you say, the Serbs suffered the consequences of Communism more than others, it's because to start with the Serbian soul was more vulnerable (See "City vs. Country in Serbia" Vagabond, April 97).

Alliances with no strings attached are not a matter for selection. The journal, 'Living Marxism', is in big trouble, sued for an article that helps the Serbian cause. Would you reject their help? Would you refuse to help them now if you could? In Greece, the Communists were very active against NATO intervention. All over Europe and beyond, elements from the extreme left and extreme right took the Serbs' side. Would you question their motives and qualifications before accepting their help?

One Croat told me that to fight Tito's Yugoslavia all the Croatian political parties united, from Ustasha to Communist. Yes, there was such a thing as Croatian nationalistic Communists. The right wingers acted, of course, in the West while the task of the Communists was to co-opt the Soviets. I got a good definition of strategical thinking from an Argentinian veteran of the International Brigade in Spain. When I asked him, "Why did you write for Peronist newspapers?" He answered by quoting one of his companions-in-arms, perhaps the anarchist Urutti himself: "If you want to cross the river, don't ask who built the bridge."

You say that you want to fight only for one kind of Serbia. Does that mean that in future Serbia there should be no freedom for all political parties? In Russia, as in the West, the Communist party and the Right wingers are allowed to coexist. If you don't let people choose, the country always becomes a nest for oppression, corruption and hypocrisy because it's always the 'smartest' who profit from coercion. You may think that the people are wrong in making their decisions, electing the wrong people. Try to convince them but don't coerce them. They are adults and, rightly, they wont accept being controlled. If you have a Serb Communist for a neighbour, you are not obliged to invite him to your parties but he will be a safer neighbour and co-citizen for you than an anti-Communist Croat or Muslim.

In our times ideologies express themselves mostly in ethnic phobias. Look at the recent pogrom against the Copts in Egypt after 1.500 years of coexistence, turmoil in Spain, in Lebanon, in Turkey... How much more of it do the politically correct ones need before realising that multiethnicity is dangerous? NATO wantss a multiethnic Utopia in the Balkans, one of the worst places for it, while slowly, in their respective countries, the silent majority prepares the coming of their own Haiders. Big world metropolises lure us with apparently successful multiculturalisms, but it shouldn't be forgotten that practically all revolutions have started in cities. When the economy collapses, multiethnic harmony is the first to fall apart.

It has been a long time since ideologies impressed me. The character of an ideology undergoes constant change and the protagonists sooner or later lose control over the difference between soul searching and temporary strategies. Communism went through bloody conflict between its left wing (Trotskyism) and right nationalist wing (Stalin). How much of Communism remains in China? How about Tito who was supported by the U.S., versus Stalin? How about Khruschev's clash with the Albanian Communists? And the Hitler-Stalin pact? I'm just enumerating off the top of my head without chronological considerations. And Nazism? Haider's advances and steps back are like a boxer's footwork in the ring. Tom Svobodny, on Vagabond's Communication Page (August 99), says: "I don't think that a true "Nazi" today would get anywhere by passing himself off as a mean, tough, nationalist, racist, etc. Rather, he would disguise himself as the opposite: caring, empathetic, globalist, multicultural, feminist." Sarcasm? Yes, with a point. Years ago Romain Gary wrote something similar.

Ultra pacifistic Buddhism accommodated with Japan's militarist spirit. The Japanese found an acceptable formula for the fierce Samurais: "The Samurai keeps his heart at peace." In Islam, in Christianity, the interpretations confronted each other, most often in a bloody way.

One might say that democracy is not as free as it pretends to be; is the law forbidding the falsification of History democratic? Well, to defend History in the courts is probably the worst option. The accused get an opportunity to claim martyrdom because their freedom of expression is suppressed and they attract the younger generation because the young always distrust the fist of justice. It has the scent of the Holy Inquisition with its monopoly on Truth. Coercion always produces an effect opposite to what was intended. The legal defense of History became necessary or not because the Jews and other Nazi victims woke up too late to fight back, making it easy for revisionism to grow. Is Demianjuk guilty or innocent? We will never know; the anti-Nazis let Demianjuk age, let the potential witnesses die, gave time for countless escaping Nazis to live leisurely in Latin America. And so on and so on.

Falsification of History is going on right now, at the infamous Serb-bashing "Court" of the Hague. There, evidence is hardly required and the witnesses are predictable. Yes, there are many dirty things going on in democracy, but better dirty democracy than clean coercion because in democracy you don't automatically go to prison for being weaker and rebellious.

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