>>> Doug Henwood <dhenwood at panix.com> 04/09/99 10:13PM >>>
[today's quote on the editpage of the Wall Street Journal!!! you read it here first]
Notable & Quotable
Zlavoj Zizek in the London Review of Books, March 18:
Even racism is now reflexive. Consider the Balkans. They are portrayed in the liberal Western media as a vortex of ethnic passion--a multiculturalist dream turned into a nightmare. The standard reaction of a Slovene (I am one myself) is to say: "yes, this is how it is in the Balkans, but Slovenia is not part of the Balkans; it is part of Mitteleuropa; the Balkans begin in Croatia or in Bosnia; we Slovenes are the last bulwark of European civilisation against the Balkan madness." If you ask, "Where do the Balkans begin?" you will always be told that they begin down there, towards the south-east. For Serbs, they begin in Kosovo or in Bosnia where Serbia is trying to defend civilised Christian Europe against the encroachments of this Other. For the Croats, the Balkans begin in Orthodox, despotic and Byzantine Serbia, against which Croatia safeguards Western democratic values. . . . Many arrogant Frenchmen associate Germany with Eastern Balkan brutality--it lacks French finesse. Finally, to some British opponents of the European Union, Continental Europe is a new version of the Turkish Empire with Brussels as the new Istanbul--a voracious despotism threatening British freedom and sovereignty.