A Room of One's Own

26 May 07

To everyone following the Gregorian calendar — happy Youth Day, jokingly said one MP (Nenad Čanak) yesterday.

Each May 25th, on Tito’s birthday, a lot of people in this part of the world get sentimental. This day was once celebrated as Youth Day and brings back nice memories to many people who idealize their life in Yugoslavia. Perhaps the old, tired, Socialist Federal Republic was not perfect, but it offered peace, relative prosperity and shoved nationalism under the carpet.

But then, somebody decided that concrete floor is better than carpet and unleashed nationalism. Everybody decided that it is them, being Serbian, Croat, Albanian… who are being repressed in Yugoslavia, that it is them who have centuries old right to their independent national state…

A story you all know very well…

Then there is the rest of us, who never got nationally awakened.

I have never believed in the “one people, one religion, one country” concept. I find it tremendously hard to define people by their nationality.

Nationalists, chauvinists, homophobes , racists — it’s all the same illness, just different symptoms. If “USAians” have white robes and cone hats, then Serbs have long beards and Slovenes have “free us of Strojans” t-shirts. Croats listen to Thompson, Albanians hate everything Serbian, Macedonians hate Albanians.

It takes a wicked state of mind to look at a person and say: “He is of a certain ethnicity and he belongs to another country.”

Yugoslavia did not fall apart because it had to or because it is a natural state of an ethnic mind to strive for independent national country.

Yugoslavia fell apart because people who can best be described as “national-socialists” got to power and explained to their populus that somebody else is pulling them back, and that once there is only “us” in the country, there will be no obstacles to heavenly welfare.

Enjoy your own room’s solitude!


  1. meeee
    May 27, 05:53 PM #

    But i thought that everybody loveS Serbs?! Life is a nationalistic bitch!

  2. Warchild
    May 27, 07:34 PM #


    You have to agree though that Serbs started it. Once that happened Albanians had to play hard to catch up.

  3. Cvijus (Belgrade 2.0)
    May 28, 03:19 PM #


    yeah I agree, Croatian Maspok during the 70s, Albanian Demaqi and theracist theories of Illyrian heritage and then the “Kosova Republjik” at Tito’s deathbed, the “Islamic Declaration” of Izetbegovic, all this preceded the neo-Serbian nationalism. So yes, definitely Serbs started it.

  4. Dejan
    May 28, 08:19 PM #

    All I have to say about the issue: Serbian state got to Kosovo by war in 1912, and Serbian state left Kosovo after a war in 1999.

    Everything that happened in between was, as John Locke would put it, a war between the ruler and its subjects.

    We already learned that there are no rules in a war.

  5. Cvijus (Belgrade 2.0)
    May 29, 12:53 AM #

    Dejane, every state on this earth got territory through war, why should Serbia be case-specific.
    As to the “there are no rules in a war” I would reffer to Warchild’s “Serbs started”. If we suppose that Serbs realy started the Balkan troubles, it doesn’t however justify the acts of barbarism conducted by the others.

  6. 28481k (aka BlearyBram)
    May 29, 04:40 PM #

    Yeah, like China how got Xinjiang and Tibet, or how the USA got all the territories from one side of the ocean to the other…

    Just ask oneself, whether Serbia got the moral authority to remain in Kosovo, and the historic precedent and public sentiment in Kosovo seem to suggest otherwise. Of course, it would be better if it can be solved amicably, rather than this bickering of events.

    More over, this post yet again proves that Yugoslavia didn’t die, they just need willing cohabitants to make it work again, any suggestions to form a willing coalition?

  7. Dejan
    May 29, 05:20 PM #

    I think that state as a concept is at best a necessary evil, so I’m not all keen of Yugoslavia, as a republic, like I’m not of Serbia.

    When put into a perspective of market, economy and, why not, peace — Yugoslavia was better than any of the new states. Think Ante Marković :)

  8. Warchild
    May 30, 12:21 AM #


    Nationalism didn’t start in the 70’s. I’m talking about romanticm and national awakening here.

    Ok, I’ll chicken out and say that in the Balkans Greeks started it all. But even they were just copying and imitating chimp-like what was transpiring in Europe.

    I’m not saying that nationalism would have been evaded if Serbs would not have started it, but Cvijus has to admit that Serbs were the first to build their national conscience. Violence that followed it until recently was a side effect of the unreasonable expectations in time-space that that nationalism first laid claim to.

    Albanians entered the game very late, finding themselves at a disadvantage compared to their neighbors. I’m not judging here, just saying that confronted with guns and steel, Albanians had to play the game without a viable alternative.


    Ultimately, that’s where we are heading. It has to be on our terms though, not pushed into it.

  9. Alan
    Jun 1, 06:57 PM #

    I think that state as a concept is at best a necessary evil, so I’m not all keen of Yugoslavia, as a republic, like I’m not of Serbia.

    Necessary evil? Ah. So you’re not quite an Anarchist, then? :-))

  10. Dejan
    Jun 1, 09:14 PM #


    I said that it is a necessary evil at best. :)

    Although I do hang out with anarchists, frequent punk-rock concerts, propagate abolition of borders … I still use state’s services too often and I’m too deeply involved with the system to say that I’m an anarchist.

    I’m not happy about it, though…

  11. Michael M.
    Jun 2, 09:56 AM #

    “Yugoslavia didn’t die, they just need willing cohabitants to make it work again”

    It will happen when Yugoslavia unifies under the aegis of the EU. Then the days will return when there are no borders, same currency, same president, etc…

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