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Milos Uzelac

How to deal with increasing of authoritarianism in a country where you live?

4 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I am posing such a question since the cult of personality problem (for example pictures of the current four-year termed president-elect becoming suddenly mandatory as of last year in military barracks and institutions) with the executive branch of the country, increasing authoritarianism, stripping of civil liberties and rights without due process or adequate warrants, propagation, and rebranding by government officials on domestic mainstream media and official statements of potentially dangerous extreme far-right nationalist ideas from the past the lead to ethnic hatred, war, war crimes, genocide, destruction and bloodshed for them to sound more inconspicuous and non-threatening to the public and neighboring countries states (the newest example of rebranding by the current Minister of Defense of the extreme nationalist concept of 'Greater Serbia' into the less threatening sounding and inconspicuous 'Serbian World'), lack of independent media from the state and online censorship by the intelligence services and threatening and arrests of citizens by the police without warrants for posting online videos exposing the hypocrisy of the current government officials, for wanting to organize civil disobedience marches and protests etc.

All this is has happened and is currently happening within my country and has intensified over the past year since Covid struck and has currently reached as one commentator online said a metastasizing cancerous point with effectively a single party controlling all branches of government and possibly free and fair elections, without severe election theft (an imperfect intended copy of the governing style of Putin's Russia) being a thing of the past without an equally strong opposition party (the current ones are boycotting all elections due to the state of corruption and existing election fraud within electoral politics that they can do nothing about currently) existing to provide a counterbalance in the assembly or government for a country not to slip into a years-long personality cult one-party rule authoritarianism in the next upcoming years that keeps itself afloat by using 'the Other' (neighboring countries ethnicities, immigrant minority and different cultural and ethnic background groups in the future, etc.) as main threat, enemy and scapegoat for potential future problems caused by extreme ultranationalism and superpatriotism (a Parenti concept) that is their main ideological tool and narrative for keeping their firm grip on power and to justify to the public already brainwashed by these ideas that take them as an undisputed dogma and truth and for granted to go along with and support their potential disastrous and tragic decision making that might lead to destruction, regression of the country once again and a loss of a lot of human lives. (The grip of ideological dogma is strong in the country, at least the part where I live where I can feel it, that you cant actually feel it in your mind as a rigid structure that just wants and keeps imposing itself through the media and the culture).

So what should one's course of action and decision making be in order for one not be corrupted by this whole state of affairs spreading eventually through most of society (there is of course a liberal opposition, but they are currently boycotting all elections in order to prove to EU that the country has indeed slipped heavily into authoritarianism and they do not enjoy majority public support of populace apart from some cities and provinces with some traditional political ties to them in the country) and what should one research be to through conversation with people counter the misinformation and propaganda now spread by the effective party-controlled media to ordinary people and to not offend them that they are buying into some form of contemporary domestic fascism (as I've read some of Michael Parenti's work and lectures on this subject and by comparing it to the current political, cultural and economic situation within a country have increasingly come to that conclusion unfortunately myself (For example on his lecture on the 'Functions of Fascism')) but are too much embedded and bought by  the ideological dogma for their own economic, cultural, societal and ethnic consciousness reasons to see it.

So what should one effectively do in such a situation in order to remain an independent free-thinker, autonomous, and self-reliant on survival, knowledge, and information and not be pulled by the potential collective mindlessness, delusion, jingoism, and poisonous hateful mentality that might cause severe damage and consequences in the near future if the political trends keep going as they are going here since the country is currently being in effect governed by manufactured tensions with neighboring countries, fear and fear of job loss and intimidation to prevent standing up and resisting the state and unverified claims and data propagated by ruling officials on mainstream media in an uncritical and excessively flattering manner about the governance and about the economy during their governance and by demonizing the opposition and accusing them of being foreign-funded agents and traitors that just want to perform and plan a coup on the government or a violent overthrow through street protests and mobs in order destabilize the country for it to become again an easy prey for and for the gain of foreign powers such as the EU and U.S. continuously as narrative on mainstream media outlets.

Also what videos of Leo should I watch and take notes on to tackle this long procrastinated and repressed issue that I have been thinking about for a while, Conscious Politics all Three Parts, How Authority Works, and How Ideology Functions in order to better grasp how to approach this issue that I feel a lot of time during my day to day life? Also if there are finished transcripts and finished notes take on these episodes I will find them and that would help a lot to speed up my research goal and process in order to better defend myself from this and tackle it strategically.

 

Edited by Milos Uzelac

"Keep your eye on the ball. " - Michael Brooks 

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15 hours ago, Milos Uzelac said:

 (as I've read some of Michael Parenti's work and lectures on this subject and by comparing it to the current political, cultural and economic situation within a country have increasingly come to that conclusion unfortunately myself (For example on his lecture on the 'Functions of Fascism')) but are too much embedded and bought by  the ideological dogma for their own economic, cultural, societal and ethnic consciousness reasons to see it.

Reading 'To Kill a Nation' by Parenti as well as 'The New Military Humanism' by Chomsky completely changed my perception of what happened with Yugoslavia. Living in a NATO country in the 90's we were absolutely deluged with propaganda about Serbia, and it was pretty shocking for me to learn just how far from reality the media portrayal of the conflict actually was. In my opinion It was the NATO countries themselves that created a conflict where there was none, to justify a so called "humanitarian intervention" that ended up destroying the whole region. Whatever political nightmare you are living with today is a direct result of that. If the West had kept their noses out of your business, and let Yugoslavia decide it's own future, we could have had a highly developed independent socialist nation on the borders of the EU. But of course that could never be allowed to happen.

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Posted (edited)

On 7/23/2021 at 1:32 PM, Stomatopod said:

Reading 'To Kill a Nation' by Parenti 

I've also started reading Parenti's book How to Kill a Nation recently and reached chapter 2. I think it gets a lot of things right up to the point I've read it regarding some of the former living standards and atmosphere around other ethnicities within the country since it aligns with the anecdotes my father and grandfather told me when they lived under that system and in that country. 

On 7/23/2021 at 1:32 PM, Stomatopod said:

 Living in a NATO country in the 90's we were absolutely deluged with propaganda about Serbia, and it was pretty shocking for me to learn just how far from reality the media portrayal of the conflict actually was.

Yeah, my parents immigrated and lived in Canada during that time and were exposed to that Western narrative on Canadian Cable TV and they were pretty angered by it since they've heard from different ethnic media sources in Canada and contacts they had in the country itself that it was a gross exaggeration of the atrocities and war crimes carried out only by our nationality while not mentioning the plethora of others carried out by other nationalities and ethnicities against our own or others. They knew from the start that it devolved into a chaotic bloodbath, war crimes carried out on all sides, and utter destruction of the system and country they grew up in. My passed mother decided to after I was born in Canada decided later to return to Serbia with my father later following her. My father, who is still alive later told me that the narrative came down to finding and accusing one side/ethnic group and leadership of being the only culprit and perpetrator of all the atrocities and war crimes in the civil war and demonizing and satanizing an entire ethnic group for allowing their leadership to perpetrate these crimes and being the main culprits behind the war and its continuation. The big boogeyman particularly chosen in this war were the Serbs as the largest ethnic group within the former country.

 

On 7/23/2021 at 1:32 PM, Stomatopod said:

In my opinion, It was the NATO countries themselves that created a conflict where there was non

 

There existed severe ethnic tensions and antagonisms within the country that were kept at bay through the official state policy of 'brotherhood and unity ' with state secret intelligence services at the forefront of enforcing it. This policy by the government was particularly aimed at stopping the rise of nationalist and ethnic separatist movements, organizations, and feelings from gaining any kind of significant power within the country, and it used coercive and sometimes violent means in doing so. For example, this was particularly pronounced in Kosovo where the ethnic tensions, segregation, and antagonisms between Serbs and Albanians were always present since even before the founding of the new state which culminated in either harsh government crackdowns and repressions on the Kosovar Albanians later right before the war erupted in all former republics or Kosovar Albanian separatist organizations trying to carry out terrorist attacks in military army barracks in almost all of the republics of the former Yugoslavia and in the Serbian capital with the stated goal of wanting of first a recognized Kosovo republic in the framework of all of the existing other six republics that compromised the federation of Yugoslavia but then later it turned into demands for an independent Kosovo state and eventual national unification with other Albanians in Albania. Also, it was later revealed that the state's intelligence services had an active assassination program and also used ex-criminals and ex-convicts who were pardoned for their use in this program for hunting down political emigres who emigrated from Yugoslavia after WWII and were accused of collaboration with Nazi and fascist occupiers in the country, of carrying out war crimes and atrocities against civilians and guerilla communist resistance fighters during the WWII and so-called other people's enemies operating as emigres in Western countries after the war and actively advocating secession and separatism of different Yugoslav republics depending on their nationality, even terrorist attacks and the overthrow of the Communist government in Yugoslavia abroad. So the political system and the government used a lot of repressive and violent strategies and tactics in order to ensure its stability and survival as a whole as almost anything was used to keep it as such.

For example from Wiki if it's factually accurate since there is no source: YU secret services: Agencies copied NKVD methods, there were 2 million files of supervised citizens, and one was one agent per 10 inhabitants, which was more than in the USSR.

On 7/23/2021 at 1:32 PM, Stomatopod said:

to justify a so called "humanitarian intervention" that ended up destroying the whole region. Whatever political nightmare you are living with today is a direct result of that.

Yes, the breakaway 'banana republics' did suffer terribly economically and stagnated today beyond recognition in the terms of the heights it once soared, neither of the independent former republics GDP's (of course, not the only economic criterion or measurement), even those currently in the EU, can match Yugoslavia at its height in the 1980s when it was about the 25th economy in the world in terms of GDP and even ahead of China at that time. Yes, the region and a lot of the republics have turned very right-wing indeed after the collapse of the country, even those in the EU have strong right-wing parties in the imported two-party system model in most of the former republics, except Serbia now which has turned to a single right-wing party totalitarian system increasingly.

On 7/23/2021 at 1:32 PM, Stomatopod said:

If the West had kept their noses out of your business, and let Yugoslavia decide it's own future, we could have had a highly developed independent socialist nation on the borders of the EU.

I don't know probably it would have stayed as a whole due to the overall benefits economically it had in its heyday for all of the republics that outweighed the cost of pursuing independence, guaranteed by the 1973 Constitution indeed, and violent ethnic-nationalist separatism and civil war for the ethnic borders to correspond with the political and geographical.

If you are interested in the topic of the Balkans and Yugoslavia in general if would recommend to you this channel Serbia Mapping that goes into detail and has more knowledge about the topic more than me currently how the current state of the Balkans and region can be best understood and about the causes underlying the collapse of the Yugoslavia using a lot of Parenti's work as reference. Here are a couple of interesting 10-minute videos regarding the topics that we opened up in this post:

Btw One more thing I remembered an anecdote I heard to share with you since you are from Denmark that allegedly one of the Yugoslavs secret services ex-criminal agents that carried out assassinations of political emigres in Denmark, and would later become one of the most notorious war criminals under the pseudonym Arkan during the Yugoslav war, once robbed a jewelry shop in Kopenhagen or somewhere to pay his expenses there and was given a green light for it by the Yugoslav secret services since he carried out the assassination job and cynically since it as a Western capitalist country. So you can see there was a lot of shit under the rug of that country and a bit of that karma returning here in this region later during the war since the people keeping the system in power were Machivelean and ruthless in keeping it together and in their methods.

Edited by Milos Uzelac

"Keep your eye on the ball. " - Michael Brooks 

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Posted (edited)

10 hours ago, Stomatopod said:

If the West had kept their noses out of your business, and let Yugoslavia decide it's own future, we could have had a highly developed independent socialist nation on the borders of the EU. But of course that could never be allowed to happen.

I find this quote from 1907. in a Michael Parenti lecture titled Rulers of the World made by later American President and then political science professor at Princeton University Woodrow Wilson enlightening as to why that couldn't be the case since here he noted the role that the capitalist state plays on behalf of private capital :

''Since trade ignores national boundaries and the manufacturer insists on having the world as a market, the flag of his nation must follow him and the doors of nations which are closed against him must be battered down, concessions obtained by financiers must be safeguarded by ministers of state even if the sovereignty of unwilling nations be enraged in the process. Colonies must be obtained or planted in order that no useful corner of the world may be overlooked or left unused.''

or simply put like in the Manifesto 'Capitalism goes into every corner of the world to recreate it in its own image and put it to use for its capital accumulation process'.

'Capitalism not only fights the class war against its own laboring class, but capital formations will also often fight against each other and against other national capital formations'.

 

 

 

Edited by Milos Uzelac

"Keep your eye on the ball. " - Michael Brooks 

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