Amazing scientific finding of the day: the periphery of Europe does not have a monopoly on communal violence! Secret: we already knew that. So getting over the urge to pretend to be shocked that there is a fairly long and diverse history of riots west of the Danube as well, how is it being perceived in The Region? Well, let’s have a look at everybody’s favourite source of the vox kafanskus, remarks that people with funny pseudonyms make on news articles. How about a small sample of two? This one from Pink92, and this one from Index. Some themes that jump out of a quick perusal:
The “false democracy” key. The first set of themes is probably the most obvious and least interesting: the people who have observed that democracy does not appear to function perfectly well, from the ones saying “well, what’s with that democracy?” or dismissing democracy as “just a phrase that is pulled over people’s eyes”, on down the line to the point that “something like this could never happen in Russia or China”. There might be something to say about this approach, but all that comes to me is, okay, if that makes you happy … it makes me happy to move on.
The „ja tebi, ti meni” (JTTM) key. There is always pleasure to be had in the suffering of others, right? But what kind of pleasure? I think I have identified three kinds.
JTTM-1: Intervention for me, intervention for you. This one is usually expressed through sarcastic remarks.
“Send EULEX over, until the opposing sides reach a compromise”.
“What is NATO waiting for? They have bombarded Tripoli enough, now it is London’s turn. First the hospitals, then the bridges, then the headquarters of the television stations BBC, SKY and CNN. Civilians must be protected! Human rights before all!”
“Gaddafi has recognised the London hooligans as the legitimate government of theUK. NATO has begun to hit Cameron’s residence. The EU has given him a 48-hour ultimatum to leave the country with one suitcase”.
JTTM-2: How nice that you are as bad as we are. Bad conditions somewhere else make conditions at home seem a little bit better.
“It makes things a little bit easier for me to hear about this, not that I am pleased, but it is easier for me because Serbia is not the only country that has thugs and hooligans”.
“The English government should offer its citizens a solution for their unemployment and ever increasing poverty, especially among the minority communities. They should eliminate racial discrimination in all parts of the society. And finally, they should refrain from excessive use of force against the legitimate demands of their citizens. If they do not do that, then NOTHING WILL HAPPEN. After all, it’s not Serbia”.
“I think that Croatia should delay its entry into the European Union until those savages in Britain are set right. Either they should be sorted out or Croatia will not enter the EU until Britain is expelled!”
JTTM-3: Svidja mi se da vam ne bude prijatno. The bad stuff is not a reflection on us, just on you.
“Really, in the European Union, and in Great Britain, it is not all milk and honey?”
“Peckham is burning! I hope that Del Boy is all right. He is one of the few good qualities of the former empire that still fantasises about medieval princes and princesses”.
“England is getting it back for the negative policy they have carried out toward Croatia”.
The “svi smo mi pomalo Oswald Spengler” key. Street violence is just another sign that Europe is declining, and no hope should be placed in it.
“Without any bad intentions, the way things are going we will be glad that we do not live in the West in the coming days”.
“The whole EU is slowly sinking into chaos and crisis. The way of life imposed by Western civilisation, which can be described by the words ‘spolja gladac a iznutra jadac’ is breaking down, and all of the artificially suppressed frustrations, nationalism and existential crises are coming to the surface”.
“This all happened already between 1929 and 1932. Greedy capitalists reduced wages so that they could enrich themselves more and more quickly, but they forgot that then poor people would not have the money to buy their nice expensive products. Eighty years has passed since that crisis and now everybody who survived it has passed on, and again there has appeared a caste of ‘managers’ who think that they are the smartest people in the world, but they have forgotten that history repeats itself”.
“What kinds of revolutionaries and avengers for 400 years of oppression are these? These guys smash the window of the Bang & Olufsen shop and steal high-tech products. What kind of just revolutionaries are these? They are ordinary chicken thieves. This kind of generation brings this kind of revolution”.
The „svi smo mi pomalo Breivik” key. Like Spengler, only more racist and anti-immigrant.
“Criminals and hooligans are the same everywhere. Some domestic media describe them as ‘young demonstrators’. In fact we are talking about people who do not want to work, who live off benefits. Britain and all the other EU countries are getting the boomerang from the policy of liberal entry into the country”.
“The English once claimed they were the “Empire on which the sun never sets”. Well, now they have got coming to them from all sides the people they colonised by force and fire, and they are destroying Britain from the inside. Well, let them”.
“Name me one other time when Western civilisation was a) so far in debts that it was sinking, 2) so full of corruption, 3) so full of immigrants, 4) without an external enemy that would unite people in those societies”.
“What is happening is controlled violence that will be used as a pretext for a battle against immigrants and the multicultural society. The English people are not so foolish like us that they do all these things as improvisation and without calculating”.
There are hundreds of comments, of course, and many more articles and sources than I have used for this very brief discussion. So think of these as a few themes that became clearly visible after one reading.
Is it possible to draw any conclusions from this very small sample? I can suggest a couple. One is that the experience of international tutelage produces a situation in which the patronised folks enjoy seeing the patronisers suffer. Another is that there is an obvious sensitivity to the fact that some states are seen as appropriate intervenors and others as appropriate objects of intervention. And maybe the last two would be that 1) those obligatory courses in cod-Marxism were not ignored by everyone, regardless of what they tell you, and 2) one thing the West still exports very successfully is its dumbass racist ideas.