n.37 July 2011

The Serbian Constitutional Court recently ruled that the country’s extreme rightist Nacionalni Stroj, or National Front, was an illegal body.

Balkan states have made little headway in confronting the painful legacy of the 1990s. Though the recent arrest of war criminal Ratko Mladic might help, it fails to address collective responsibility. That’s what REKOM, an association of regional NGOs, was created to focus on. Its goal is to get as much confirmed data on the civil war as possible, hoping to use to create historical memory and help with reconciliation.

Twenty years ago, Croatia and Serbia began fighting for control of Krajina, Lika and Slavonia, regions with mixed populations. Croatia eventually won, but the victory was pyrrhic at best. Despite efforts at repopulation, the war still weighs on these lands, now part of Croatia. Ghost villages are commonplace. Even the surviving cities are stricken by high unemployment.

Slovenian philosopher and cultural theorist Slavoj Zizek believes we’ve reached the end of time. Entitlement and social iniquities are rampant. The environment is a mess. Soon, the planet may have to reckon with shortfalls of food and water. His solution? To acknowledge that the system is bankrupt, and mourn it, and create a new one in which the left slips toward to middle to co-opt the rise of the rampant right.