At the last of the many “ecological uprisings”, the one in front of the presidential office of Aleksandar Vučić, a slogan was born, and maybe even a strategy for overthrowing him in the upcoming April elections. The slogan is clear, it is easy to remember, it has many meanings, the gathered people accepted it, and there is no reason for it not to bring votes. The only flaw is that it is inaccurate and deceitful, that it offers fraud as an election offer, and deception as a political platform. With that, the votes are hard to come by.
People shouted that Vučić was turning Serbia into a colony. “Serbia will not be a colony”, or some similar variant, will be both a slogan and a program and a stake with which the opposition will go forward in the pre-election promotion in the coming months. It is true, Serbia certainly is not, and will not be a colony, but that is not the idea of those who created the message. Their idea should mean that Serbia, with the metro line, the lithium mine, with new roads, railways, factories and various other investments from around the world, is actually becoming someone’s colony, and its children, probably, slaves and servants.
If it was the end of the 19th or the beginning of the 20th century, such creative approach to the upcoming elections would be in the spirit of the times, and would probably be profitable. Just as all those opponents of railway construction and the introduction of electricity benefited from the same campaigns and the same slogans. They also shouted that Serbia would become a colony if it accepted the construction of the railway and that it would be left without its own country and its own wealth if some foreigner dug in our land, built a railway or installed electricity cables.
The fact that we still have such fossils in politics in the third decade of the 21st century does not mean that Serbia has not moved during all this time. It just means that, unfortunately, there are still people, who either don’t know what’s going on in the world around them, or they know it well, but they can’t make money from it. And then they return with the dirty, insidious and fraudulent demagogic slogan “Serbia will not be a colony”. They take it out of the deep political darkness; they take it from the hands of their political ancestors, those dark ones and opponents of every modernization from a century and a half ago.
These are their real political ancestors, their ideological fathers, although they have spent their entire careers presenting themselves as progressive, modern European politicians and activists. Those who have all their teeth.
Anyone who shouts “Serbia will not be a colony” in the coming months should answer a few questions now. For example, where do they think they will get 65-70% of their current salary, or where will they compensate such a large amount in the budget for hospitals, kindergartens and schools, if they already want an anti-colonial regime in Serbia. Whose colony is Serbia? European Union, perhaps, because it sells and buys from it almost everything it produces and offers as a service? Can anti-colonialists imagine Serbia without foreign companies, banks, investors? Do they accept the responsibility to tell hundreds of thousands of people in Serbia in their consistent struggle that they will not have a job starting tomorrow, because, for God’s sake, we will no longer be anyone’s colony?
Secondly, why is only Rio Tinto a colonizer, and not the American NCR in Belgrade, the French Michelin in Pirot, or the German Siemens and Continental in Subotica? Who and by what criteria will decide where is the limit to which Serbia is open and attractive economy for foreign investments, and when it sinks into colonial slavery?
Third, where was that anti-colonial voice when it was really needed? At the time when the entire Serbian oil complex, with its huge resources and market, was sold to foreigners many times below the real price, and for promises that were never fulfilled? And only a few days later, the one who agreed to colonize Serbia was rewarded with hundreds of thousands of votes and remained in the presidential palace. He was rewarded by the same people who today, sort of, do not allow Serbia to be colonized. It is a supreme farce and deception.
Today, only political frauds can talk about colonies and colonialism, in the age of global turbo-interdependence, those who count on the fact that people have completely lost their sanity. If they were right, America would be the largest colony in the world today, because last year alone, foreigners bought “its riches” for more than four thousand billion dollars. Mostly the Japanese, almost 700 billion. Does this huge amount of money invested in the American economy mean that it has become someone’s colony, a Japanese one perhaps? According to that, Slovakia, which is small and close to us, is also a colony of Germany, France, South Korea and Britain, because their auto giants opened their large factories there. Or, Slovakia is, after all, the world’s largest producer of cars per capita, and its people are therefore much richer and happier than they were before those factories were built. The culmination of this insidious story about Serbia as a colony is, however, the invocation of racism, which sooner or later had to surface. And it surfaced immediately, on the first day, on the sidewalk in front of Vučić’s office, when the speaker, to the delight of his supporters, exclaimed that Serbia was not an “African tribe”. Do they, supposedly educated and enlightened people, know that half of the participants in the December Summit for Democracy with Joseph Biden will be former colonies, including dozens of those “African tribes”, as the crowd in the center of Belgrade ridiculed them? Serbia and Vučić will be there, why not, because the president of the USA is talking about how to defend today’s democracy in the world, even from those who do not understand that world or democracy, but are hallucinating about the colonies. Their “genius” slogan, stolen from the national pests of the 19th century and their equally harmful policy, will remain to fight with themselves, far from the modern world where colonies have not existed for a long time, so reasonable people do not even mention them.