The “yat reflex” and nuclear bomb


Večernji list, December 15, 1992, p. 4



The “yat reflex” and nuclear bomb

Milan Ivkošić

“Does the P.E.N. president agree with Ivkošić that the most dangerous enemies of Croatia currently are fighters for freedom of speech?” - is the question that an angry Vesna Kesić, a feminist, together with her female and male fellow-sufferers, and who has been frequently mentioned these days in connection with the report from the International P.E.N. Congress in Rio de Janeiro, poses in a debate with Croatian P.E.N. president Slobodan P. Novak. Kesić also remembers that I have accused her of “quisling activities and collaboration with the occupier” in “Večernji list” and how the court rejected her private lawsuit against me and accepted a lawsuit against one of her collaborators.

I recently published a collection of some 40 articles written in the course of the last three years and published in six newspapers, including in Kesić’s “Danas”. There isn’t a single article where I didn’t at least “take a swipe” at the Croatian Government, not to mention those where as some would say, I tried to “overthrow” it and in some as “a fighter for the freedom of speech”. My articles were sometimes - when they were liked - quoted by newspapers very dear to Vesna Kesić. “Slobodna Dalmacija” published an entire article - certainly not to become popular with the Croatian Government and certainly not as evidence of the suppression of the freedom of speech. When “Danas” went out of print, I expressed my regret on an entire page of the “Hercegovački tjednik”, the only newspaper I was writing for at the time. To tell the truth, I didn’t feel sorry for its Yugocommunism but for the newspaper itself. I didn’t keep silent about the accusations against journalists either. I spoke against those accusations on the Croatian National Radio and wrote in newspapers, again in my own way - expressing my disagreement with Yugocommunist journalism.

Unconditional Croatianhood

After all that, what then is wrong with me? The fact that I think that during the last twenty years freedom of speech has never been so freely expressed as in the last three years. Besides that, I am a Croat regardless of the circumstances and she under “certain circumstances” isn’t. No matter what someone does to me as a journalist or citizen in Croatia, I will never seek American, French, British or German protection, but I will use all the means possible in democratic Croatia to say or to write what I think. Why shouldn’t I ask for anyone’s protection? Because no one would offer it to me unconditionally and I do not accept the conditions. Every view of life, every poetics and compassion as related to world politics at a time when the fate of Croatia is being decided and where unconditional Croatianhood is not the starting point is treason to me because with its limited aims it subordinates the limitless value of the homeland. This means that the homeland is a nuisance as a fact and not as an order. The West and its freedoms don’t mean anything to me as long as Croatia isn’t free because the West bases all its freedoms on the existence of its free and protected states. And Croatia has fulfilled the main condition - elections were held. All freedoms, including that of the press, which don’t respect the results of those elections based on which the Parliament was assembled and property laws passed, including ownership terms within the newspapers themselves, are not freedoms but attacks against freedoms. Snitching on Croatia to a world which denies those laws, does not represent the aspiration for legal freedoms but an attempt to portray Croatia as an illegal state. Whoever attempts, with assistance from abroad - and such a person can’t be anything but anational “under certain circumstances” - to impose freedom to Croatia which isn’t based on elections, the Parliament and laws, denies just what the West demands from Croatia so they can accept it as a democratic state.

Hatred filled with empty phrases

Freedom, where V. Kesić can write how I claim that “the most dangerous enemies of Croatia currently are fighters for freedom of speech”, is an abstraction when laws aren’t respected. She interprets my words so freely and it is possible that someone abroad will accept her free interpretation - and many others - as truth. But if that someone, together with Kesić, comes to such a conclusion, it means that they refuse to accept my opinion that such free interpretation suppresses the freedom of speech. And if that someone has a nuclear bomb, I am obviously left without arguments because I do not have a nuclear bomb. For years I have been trying to make Vesna Kesić literate, ever since 1975, and she has been rejecting it instinctively (whoever cannot accept grammar as the first condition of the freedom of press is not much of a journalist but can be a world-wide agent provocateur), and now I have to say that this combination of immense ambition and even greater illiteracy had to seek globally powerful protection. Only the power of a nuclear bomb can protect this inarticulation full of bureaucratic and left-wing clichés (“within its complex”, “requisite for”, “issues should be cleared exactly where they are most complex”, “to make the situation even more nontransparent”, “current Croatian political and cultural practice”, “intellectual corruption of the Croatian public”, “to react promptly”, “persistent, consistent and all-embracing illumination of the public”) - this hatred filled with empty phrases towards Croatian grammar - which disclose themselves as a certain want for power disguised in the love of freedom. 

Does the fact that Vesna Kesić reproaches her opponents for “conforming with the ruling Croatian politics” mean that she seeks protection from abroad that clashes with the ruling politics of those foreign countries? If this isn’t true, it is obvious that she wants to harm the ruling politics of Croatia with the foreign ruling politics but her role in that international malevolence will remain just as marginal as her and her female and male friends’ meaning of the “love of freedom” is marginal to the world of interests. It will stay like that as long as the mentioned marginality doesn’t shift to the centre of attention due to some other interests.

When it gets to the centre of attention, and Croatian feminists are looking forward to that, we have evidence that they are ready, because of the protection of their disorientation in the “yat reflex”, in distinguishing the letters “č” and “ć”, the use of cases..., ready to provoke World War III. The conclusion is logical, the cause is marginal. But both journalists and readers are sometimes forced to attend a party which doesn’t deserve its cause.