Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Islam in Slovakia would be an absurdity

I've followed the early consequences of the insane decision on the migrant quota in detail. There are hundreds of arguments why the decision is hugely counterproductive; there have been lots of angry reactions by the Czech and Slovak politicians and a hugely elevated comment activity at the Internet forums. Something like 98% of the population and 98% of politicians agree that the quota vote is a terrible decision that will solve nothing and create huge new problems. The animosity towards the EU has jumped to unprecedented levels.

At any rate, the interior ministers of Slovakia, Czechia, Romania, and Hungary voted against the quota yesterday while Finland abstained. The EU succeeded in breaking the Visegrád Group apart. In the last minutes, the Polish government revised its position and voted in favor of the quota. A Czech European Parliament deputy has claimed that Poland was the main focus of the pressure especially because Donald Tusk, a Pole, is a top European leader of a sort. Poland will probably get a much more anti-immigration government after their October 25th elections.

The Baltic countries were persuaded to support the quotas by some economic promises, we were told.

Romania has replaced Poland in the V4 group. Maybe people should have considered the inclusion of Romania to the V4 group, anyway, due to its historical links to the Hungarian kingdom etc. Hungary itself reacted somewhat calmly to the defeat. After all, the quota are meant to distribute people who are already present in the entrance countries which include Greece, Italy, but also Hungary.

The Czech politicians' opposition to the quota decision is nearly unanimous but the prime minister is a soft-spoken guy who doesn't have any real balls. So if you look at this slightly amusing alliance of ours and eliminate those who don't seem to be a "big fighter", you shouldn't be surprised that the new "actual spiritual leader of the group with balls" is Slovakia.

A comparison of the structure of muscles of two social democratic prime ministers, Robert Fico (Slovakia, left) and George Quimby Paroubek (Czechia, right, former). You may see that the Czech and Slovak nations are very similar but there exist certain recognizable differences, anyway. ;-) In the circle, there is a newer but also former Czech prime minister, center-right plasma physicist Petr Nečas. The image above omits the picture of PM Topolánek in Berlusconi's villa. ;-)

Minutes after the vote, prime minister Robert Fico (Smer/Direction social democracy) announced that he wouldn't allow the quota system to be implemented in Slovakia under his watch. Today, at a press conference, he added more details. Slovakia will sue the decision and the Council of the European Union – or the European Commission (the news reports were a bit confusing about these points) – in the European courts.

He expects that the Council will file a mirror lawsuit against Slovakia and these lawsuits will lead to the so-called infringement. Fico argues that he and his colleagues have been looking for the most pragmatic possible response to these irrational decisions at the EU level. The quota system won't solve anything, he stresses, and the infringement proceedings seem more sensible.

Czechia has one minaret on its territory, a structure built in the Refrigerator Chateau as a prank in the 18th century, to show the serfs that their arguments won't lead anywhere. Slovakia doesn't have any mosque or minaret, only one carpet in Ružinov.

The migrants don't want to stay in Slovakia (or Czechia or elsewhere, for that matter, and not even in Austria because they were not taught that Austria is pretty much the same thing as Germany – they only vaguely understand the concept of Germany). Slovakia agrees. They couldn't feel well because they would find no religious soulmates over there. Slovakia wouldn't be capable of making their spiritual life fulfilling.

I totally agree with that. And you know, I probably know Slovakia more than most Slovaks do, and probably by orders of magnitude more than an average politician in Brussels or Berlin does. 1/5 of my music collection was Slovak at some point – more than 1/3 of the Czechoslovak part (i.e. Slovak music was overrepresented). I can sing dozens of these songs – and sound almost indistinguishable from a native Slovak speaker. Several ex-girlfriends of mine were Slovak. When I entered the college, it was the last federal year (Fall 1992) so I've had lots of (usually very good and friendly) Slovak classmates. And so on.

The country has been unified between 1918 and 1992 – except for the six war years. And even before 1918, we shared most fates within the Habsburg monarchy although there were always some differences between the Austrian and Hungarian parts of that empire of ours. The proximity in the language and history is self-evident. However, once all of us regained the freedom in 1989, Slovaks turned out to be sufficiently different and independent so that the Velvet Divorce since January 1993 was more or less inevitable. Czechs had to discover and understand many Slovaks' overt and covert desires.

Kristina, Upper Hron River Area, a famous Slovak song in Eurovision

And you know, there simply existed such special desires that were unfamiliar to Czechs. The word "Czechoslovak" is constructed "fairly". However, both foreigners and Czechs were often shortening it as "Czech". I can sort of understand why the Slovaks generally didn't like it. They were surely facing lots of signs that their importance is lower than 1/2 and even 1/3 (the population fraction) of Czechoslovakia. They wanted to be more visible. The Slovak State in the war era was better in those respects.

And aside from these idiosyncrasies, they always lived their political lives in a different rhythm. They had their politicians and whether the left-wing or right-wing parties were "hot" at a given moment was totally independent from the analogous question in the Czech lands. In fact, in almost all the years 1993-2005 or so, a left-wing Czech government was meeting a right-wing Slovak government or vice versa.

The first source of differences that many people fail to understand is the much more rural character of Slovakia. Czechia has Prague which has 1.2 million inhabitants. It is a global city, many of the people over there are foreigners. You also find tons of the politically correct "elite" that you encounter in the Western capitals, and so on. The composition is a bit different in the "countryside", if I use the Prague folks' slang for the rest of the country. ;-)

Outside Prague (100-11=89% of the Czech population), the number of foreigners and the adherence to global fads including PC things etc. is significantly lower, even in other big cities (if I use the Pilsner calibration) such as Pilsen.

In Slovakia, the rural character of the population is significantly stronger. After all, before Czechoslovakia was founded, the industrialization was minimal in Slovakia while Bohemia was the most industrialized part of the Habsburg monarchy. If you look at cities, only 2 cities in Slovakia (Bratislava, capital: 460k, Košice in the East: 240k) are above 100k citizens. There are five in Czechia (including the much bigger Prague). Above 90k inhabitants, it's 9 in Czechia and 3 in Slovakia. The ratio, 3, is much larger than the ratio of populations, 2.

3/4 of Slovakia lives in towns and villages below 50,000 people; it's about 2/3 of Czechia. And the nature in Slovakia seems wilder. And the mountains (and not only the High Tatras) are taller.

On the St Catherine Day, a popular Slovak folk song. Will a migrant from the Middle East join this band? The lyrics says that on the St Catherine Sunday, a guy was drafted. The letter was written by the queen herself. Why didn't they wait for Wednesday? And so on. The chorus is based on a Hungarian song Csebogár which – under the childish optimization, "Čobogaj", became hugely popular in Czechoslovakia, not Hungary.

Thousands of exotic migrants sent to Slovakia may end in Bratislava – which is comparable e.g. to Pilsen in the level of its cosmopolitan sentiments and abilities. Or you will have to distribute them in small towns or villages. They're just not ready for such things. They may succeed and expose their great hospitality while hosting a guest for several days. But supporting an exotic guy for his whole life is an entirely different thing.

I think that even other Europeans – and Americans – who have ever left their cities should understand this point. By the composition of the settlements, Slovakia may be analogous to something like Nebraska. You simply won't be able to turn Nebraska into a place where tons of exotic nationalities constantly meet and cooperate. It just doesn't work like that. This kind of political correctness – and the corresponding intense social life involving very diverse nationalities and cultures from the whole world – is confined to certain urban areas. And certain U.S. states but also European countries just don't contain significant areas of this sort. There is some sense in which Slovakia is naturally, understandably, and unavoidably a "red state" when it comes to its attitude to the foreigners.

It's therefore silly to assume that Slovakia is equivalent to 1/2 of New York in this sense. It may have the same population as 1/2 of the New York City but their structure and the character of life and jobs they need to pursue to survive or flourish is completely different than it is in big cities.

Even if this urban-vs-rural difference didn't exist, there would still be huge differences in the political mood. Countries like Slovakia simply haven't been infected by the political correctness at all (again, with some exceptions in Bratislava, and those exceptions are probably even weaker than in Prague). For almost all purposes, the life in Slovakia is isolated from the "social trends" in Western Europe or the U.S. Lots of Americans may have become enthusiastic about a particular fad a few years ago, e.g. gay marriage to mention a particular stupidity of this sort. But there is simply no good reason to think that something like that would be taking place in Slovakia at the same time. And it doesn't!

If you're a Westerner, it's your duty (or at least a precondition for you to be wise) to appreciate and tolerate the differences once you enter the Slovak territory (or want to influence the territory in any way). Slovaks – and Czechs and all the other nations – may be very decent people but their values and the understanding of justice and fairness and good social life etc. may be much closer to your grandparents' or great grandparents' – and, in some cases, to your grandsons'. And there are questions in which they resemble none of your ancestors or descendants.

The only reason why things like gay marriage may become hot or popular in the U.S. of 2015 is group think, the intense interactions between the U.S. citizens combined with their limited ability to think independently of each other. There exists no astronomical or otherwise physical or objective reason why exactly around 2015, after thousands of years of heterosexual marriages, the idea of gay marriage "takes off". All of the reasons are about pure human conventions, accidents in the evolution of the self-interacting nations. That's why majorities in certain nations end up saying the same things about gay marriage and why revolutions like that may suddenly garner significant support. But the Slovaks and others are just not interacting with you to a comparable extent. They are living their own life. They are thinking and talking about things that are different, at least in general. They won't copy your prevailing societal opinions about gay marriage and they won't copy your prevailing opinions about the co-existence with different cultures or races, either.

The Mézga/Smolík/Badluck Family, the Hungarian prototype for the Simpsons and the most well-known Hungarian cartoon.

And be sure that they don't. They haven't been exposed to such constant co-existence and they want things to stay the same way. Even the co-existence with the much more similar Hungarians has often been explosive and they have sensible reasons to be pessimistic about the co-existence with totally different religions. And yes, there are opinions of famous Slovaks that may be called racist, too. Jožo Ráž, the front man of Elán (playlist), perhaps the most successful Slovak rock band of all time, announced in 2012 that he had firearms at home and he plans to shoot lots of Chinese people who have been overgrown. The last three bullets are reserved for himself and his family, we were told. Well, I surely agree that it's nutty and it's racist. But he's still an excellent A1 musician. No one has ever wanted to ban his or their music even though police has probably organized some psychiatric tests for him. ;-)

I think that with the PC mood in the West, people would try to ban him in one way or another. But we are simply not the same. Most of the people in countries like Slovakia or Czechia either despise the political correctness or they are at least completely decoupled from it. In the U.S., some people associate these anti-PC attitudes with far right politics and things like that. But this is just a silly unjustified stereotype. In Czechia and Slovakia, almost all people – and most of them are left-leaning, preferring some welfare and government actions about this and that, and so on – have non-PC opinions about aliens and similar things. Just because there exists a big correlation between 2 characteristics or opinions in your nation doesn't mean that other nations exhibit the same correlation.

In most cases, I think that the opinions of the public in the West that have been adjusted to the rules of the political correctness are signs of a hopeless stupidity, the evaporated ability to think independently, even about some of the most ordinary and simplest social issues. On the other hand, I am writing this particular blog post because I can imagine that in certain situations, even people who are not hopelessly brainwashed or stupid may be thinking totally incorrectly about issues such as "what sort of policies Slovaks may be expected to support".

The reason, as I indicated above, is that at some moment, perhaps up to early 1992, I also believed that Slovaks as a nation may be assumed to be "basically the same" – having the same distributions – as the Czech nation. But as I told you, it simply wasn't the case. The differences result from a slightly different history, different ratio of urban and rural areas, slightly different DNA, independent political lives, different levels of influence that Slovaks had over the shared country, and from many other things. And they influence the people's sentiments and attitudes to most social questions.

One of the most cosmopolitan Slovak songs. By Peter Nagy. (I communicated with the girl who sings it, when she grew up a little bit LOL.) An orange fell in love with a tangerine but they were separated because someone picked the orange and exported it from Greece etc. Details.

The differences between Slovakia and the Netherlands or Luxembourg or California etc. are obviously much larger than the differences between Slovakia and Czechia. I think that you have to be stupid not to understand this point. However, even the relatively moderate Czecho-Slovak differences were important enough so that they led to the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. After the 1992 elections, this resolution of the growing tensions was accepted by the majority to be the wisest one. We had to become sensitive about these differences and understand them. Some degree of this sensitivity and understanding is critical for any peaceful co-existence.

These days, Czechs and Slovaks are surely different, too. In some respects, we have diverged. In other respects, the differences that only resulted from some political polarization or desynchronization around 1992 have faded away and Slovaks have understood that they're almost the same thing as Czechs, after all. Also, most of them have understood that the separate country hasn't made them or their athletes or artists etc. more visible. Now they have 100% of a country which is more than 33% but it is a smaller country and the product is about the same. ;-) Most of the visibility doesn't depend on rearrangements of countries but on objective facts and/or luck. In the 23 years since the Velvet Divorce, many more Slovaks – and Czechs – have surely asked the question why Czechoslovakia was dissolved at all. Isolated proposals to restore the federation have been said millions of times. But the nations may operate within separate countries, too. Everyone knows that the dissolution was no catastrophe and those who predicted a catastrophe (and as I mentioned, I tended to believe such doomsday scenarios up to some point in the early 1990s) have been proven spectacularly wrong.

Ms Michaela Paštěková (SK, now a lawyer) is surely overrepresented in these videos but the C.I.Pig has embedded his favorite songs about drugs, so this is mine. In the song "Never take a drug", she tells you: Every other idiot will tell you that after a drug, you will beautifully fly etc. But... he keeps on falling, falling, falling to the bottom... Be free to possess fast motorbikes, long-haired babes, but never take a drug, and so on. Finally, you may love yourself a little and you may revenge slap in someone's face but never take a drug. Check also her Sprejer Frajer (Graffiti Artist Dandy) about police's harassment of innocent people for details, like the graffiti, while ignoring serious crime. A Czech hip-hop pseudorap, Chaozz: Poliiiice, had exactly the same message. Chaozz also recorded a nice Waterfalls song.

Other nations that want to live peacefully with Slovakia – or others – and perhaps share even some policies simply have to be equally sensitive about the differences as we had to be while negotiating a peaceful future for the Czechs and Slovaks in 1992. It's even more important because the differences are larger.

The decision yesterday is stupid and solves nothing for all the reasons I have repeatedly described. It will invite new migrants because they've heard that "we know how to relocate them" now. And most of them will try to escape, get rid of all the documents and signs of identity, and arrive to Germany as "tabula rasa refugees" which are apparently good enough for Germany (this is the main problem that is not being solved: Germany is still ready to give all the benefits to foreigners who can prove absolutely nothing!). But aside from the content of the decision, what is scary is the method how the decision was reached. In 2008 and 2009, our then president Václav Klaus intensely fought against the Lisbon Treaty which was just a repackaged European Constitution – a document previously rejected in some referendums. He warned that the Lisbon Treaty would mean the loss of the national sovereignty to an extent that was historical and we could eventually see how bad this decision was. Some time after he became the only European leader who opposed the treaty, he surrendered.

For 6 years, we increasingly believed it was mostly fearmongering. The post-Lisbon EU isn't much different from the pre-Lisbon EU, is it? After all, we were led to believe that when it comes to the vital questions such as those that threaten the very core of the nation states' sovereignty, the unanimous vote is needed for any change of the policies. It seemed like the EU has been demanding it.

Suddenly, yesterday, we were reminded that all these beliefs were wrong. The EU folks may have tried to be unanimous for those 6 years. But at every moment, the Lisbon Treaty de facto allowed "QMV", the qualified majority voting on almost all questions, and this "QMV" was used yesterday to defeat the 4.5 opposing Central and Eastern European countries.

Can't you imagine how brutally abused such a "QMV" system may be? Most of the EU countries may decide to punish Hungary for some hypothetical wrongdoing and move all the Muslims to the Hungarian territory, effectively forcing most of the ordinary Hungarians to flee their homeland. Hungary may be reorganized as a pro-EU Islamic Republic. It may be convenient for all the other countries. The scary fact is that the Lisbon Treaty basically allows such things. The sovereignty of the nation states has been destroyed to the absolute extent that allows these "master changes" to the status quo anywhere and everywhere.

Now, you may argue that the majority of the EU wouldn't vote for something truly unacceptable that is rejected by 98% of the population of the nation states and that makes them highly emotional. Except that this has already taken place yesterday. The top-down-organized blanket Islamization of the European territory is unacceptable for virtually all citizens of Czechia, Slovakia, and other countries. These suicidal insanities may be "popular" or politically correct in some Western countries – where the SJWs are intimidating all the real opposition into submission every day and expel them, by despicable methods, from the media and the public life in general – but we're different countries and it is Islam itself that is politically incorrect, OK?

If you are not a Slovak citizen, you just can't decide about demographics of Slovakia and similar things. Just like individuals own villas, cars, and other things, nations – the actual body of current citizens of a country – collectively own the government buildings, police, and the right to enforce laws according to their choice. The right to decide whether someone is allowed to scream "Allah" on the street at 10 pm. A foreigner simply can't decide that some Muslims – who have absolutely no business or right to oxidize on the Slovak territory – should suddenly decide about the Slovak streets, laws, and police along with the Slovaks.

For a foreigner to claim these powers means to violate Slovakia's (and others') absolutely elementary sovereignty of their country. Attempts to detectably change a different nation's demographics against this nation's will is clearly de facto an act of war. If you are trying to impose such things on other nations against their will, you are an attacker, and you shouldn't be surprised if you will be treated in this way.

That the politicians in Western Europe are willing to create this deep rift seems totally crazy to me. Even if Czechia, Slovakia, Romania, and Hungary were the only nations whose overwhelming majority disagrees with the deliberate Islamization of their countries, it's still about 45 million people. Why someone wants to make 45 million – usually innocent, legally OK – citizens of European countries (or at least their significant part that cares) totally upset just in order to help (so far) a million of greedy economic illegal migrants plus a (tiny portion) of refugees who are mostly male cowards who just leave the children, women, and elderly of their nation in the ISIS terror, for example?

They should stay at home and fight against the ISIS. Fight against all the other evils in their homeland. They are escaping from their responsibility, increase the probability that the evil will completely conquer their (former?) homelands, and the Western European group think praises them for that and is compassionate. I don't think they deserve our sympathies or compassion, especially when I see their expensive phones, clothes, and ability to pay for hundreds of miles in yellow cabs. Feel free to disagree but you have no defensible right to impose your sick opinions on us or social-engineer the demographic content of our nations. We – citizens of different EU member states – are clearly not members of the same nation in any useful sense.

It's time for you to start to respect this self-evident fact again. You don't admire us for our values just like we don't admire you for your values. This revelation may have killed your illusions about the paradise in Europe but there has never been any paradise in Europe. The European Union has never been a paradise and couldn't become a paradise. The real question is whether it is an international organization that will actually be helpful for the member countries, or whether it will become a hotbed of controversies that will lead to conflicts (or wars?) and other things that make the lives of many nations more miserable than they could otherwise be.

The answer to this question, the realistic and relevant one, will depend on the (hopefully clever and constructive) rules that the Europeans agree upon, their willingness to obey them, and their understanding for other peoples' desires even if they are not explicitly described in the rules. Sadly, the attitude of many Western European countries to the migration wave was to violate the previously agreed important rules; to codify new, unreasonable rules by the brute force; and not to listen to rational arguments or European nations' concerns and proposals. That is not a way to build a better Europe. On the contrary.

Czech comedian and songmaker Ivan Mládek recorded 200+ songs including this song, "About the Dangers of the Mountains", that is almost entirely in Slovak, except for "She told me:" (twice) which is in Czech. An example of the fact that many Czechs have no problems with the Slovak language at all.
She told me: Listen to me, come to Smokovec (a resort in the High Tatras Mountains), we will take the cog railway and get to the top of the hill. When going to mountains, you really need some good shoes. In the Tatras, many bad things may take place.

Chorus: People are doing idiocies, they are underestimating avalanches. They make some ten beers, and they go to the mountains by foot. They will set on a long journey, with just sandals on their feet. An avalanche suddenly tears itself – WOW – in the sandals, no one can escape it.

She kept on telling me: Who doesn't escape away, will see his legs undermined by this avalanche. It is almost a sure thing, you will die by a death on the slope. You know what? Don't go to the Tatras at all, never leave Prague.

Chorus: People are doing idiocies, they are underestimating avalanches. They make some ten beers, and they go to the mountains by foot. They will set on a long journey, with just sandals on their feet. An avalanche suddenly tears itself – WOW – in the sandals, no one can escape it.

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