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Geert Lovink: Yuppies are social cancer

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Date: Sun, 27 Jun 1999 20:32:38 +0200 (CEST)
From: Geert Lovink <>
Subject: Yuppies are social cancer 

From: Ivo Skoric <>
Subject: Yuppies are social cancer

Milosevic as a yuppie, Milosevic as a cancer....

On Maher's and Bryk's theory of Milosevic as a yuppie: right on, guys! 
The name for a yuppie in late Yugoslavia was 'tehnokrat.' The only way how
communist economies survived in the U.S. and E.U. dominated postWWII
world, since they did not allowed privately owned corporations, was that
their government acts as an ultimate corporation, incorporating all
sectors ranging from auto industry, to education, communications and
real-estate. As with our technological progress more sectors were created,
communist economies became increasingly less efficient and they ultimately
failed. Yugoslavs (all of them, under Tito in seventies) came to the
conclusion in seventies that this economy type is doomed. So, the country
was essentially divided into 8 corporations by the Constitution, which is
then a sort of an merchants agreement, akin to the U.S. Constitution. Bill
of Rights was, nevertheless, omitted. Each corporation with its own party
boss at a CEO helm. That’s why Shea more than once jovially referred to
entire Serbian industry as a legit military target since it was a
Milosevic’s asset. When the Yugoslav federal government (which was by
design just a clearinghouse for the 8 corporations) was weakened by the
drop of support from the West, Milosevic, who is a banker by trade and
former C.E.O. of the Serbian oil company (Tehnogas) and of the largest
Serbian bank (Beobanka), he became a politician, and he hired
speech-writers, P.R., television, journalists to promote Serbian
nationalist cause based on alleged abuse of Serbian minority in Kosovo.
But he is devoid of any ideology, since he is a 'tehnokrat', a yuppie. His
son Marko was spotted during the war near the family retreat on a Greek
island racing his speed-boat. His mother swear he wore the uniform all the
time, though. The little corporate war that Milosevic had launched on his
competitors hoping to wreck their bottom line, eventually ended up hurting
his the most. Unfortunately, that did not happen because the other 7
corporations united to fight him back, but because the corporations from
the International Community smelled blood and happily joined in. But, yes,
they are all yuppies. Peter Galbraight (an ex-ambassador to Croatia, a
Vermonter) was scorned when he visited Croatian Television in shorts and
when he jumped on a tractor with a Serb peasant. Belgrade started noticing
the war in Croatia when the favorite holidays destination (Dubrovnik) was
under fire, at the time when the city of Vukovar (in the plains) was
already nearly pulverized. Croatian and Bosnian corporate directors were
in panic about Milosevic so they carefully conditioned the workers
(renamed to citizens) to vote for governments of 'national unity' that
then immediately started building corporate counter- offensive to
Milosevic (trade war, media war, monetary war, intelligence war). I wonder
wouldn’t American or British yuppies in case they have access to the same
array of unchecked power (tanks, air-force, 150,000 strong security force,
hired thugs to hold-up Senate posts, hired thugs to do away with anybody
in your way that you can't deal with your legal security force and still
stay kosher to the world around you, or at least you believe so) do
exactly the same. The irony of post-communist societies is that their
state apparatus was owned by a single corporation that controlled all
sectors of production, distribution and regulation in that given state:
any company with different ownership (owned by John Doe, e.g.) would then
be considered competition and naturally declared counter-revolutionary (I
am waiting for Bill Gates to start calling his competitors
counter-revolutionaries, since he is leading the Windows Revolution).
Nowhere in former Yugoslavia today one may own a large company without
being friendly to the “boss.” The picture of youth driving BMW with a
sunroof in the backdrop of Belgrade well-lit skyline that hit the NY Times
front page on the day the bombing stopped, leaving us gapping, like - so
how can those spoiled yuppie brats parade around in their BMW with 100% of
country’s oil refining capacity out of business? While the Times,
shamelessly, run story after story in attempts to justify its beliefs.
Since they belong to the long list of media that subscribed to promotion
of the humanitarian aspect of the NATO campaign over Yugoslavia, a picture
of the non-destroyed Serbian capital with its lights on and teenagers
raging around in a car model considered in both societies (Yugoslav and
American) as a status symbol, is a picture of Serbia NY Times is eager to
portray. Actually, everybody is so happy. Americans are happy because they
helped, and it became obvious to everybody that this was necessary and
justified, by sheer case that it was done and everybody is so happy,
including Americans. Albanians are happy because they are going back. They
are not happy that their houses are not there any more, but there is not
much talk about that. KLA is happy because they won the war. They are
putting their headquarters (of a disarmed Armed Forces) in the yuppie
Prishtina neighborhood. Serbs are happy because they won the war. 
Milosevic is shaking hands of people, mobilizing masses again for
rebuilding. As if nothing happened. Kosovo stays within borders of Serbia.
Milosevic stays in power as a president of Yugoslavia. Serb refugees from
Kosovo do not fit to print so they have to go back. If there are Serb
refugees from Kosovo, Milosevic has harder time claiming victory. On the
other hand, if there are Serb refugees from Kosovo, NATO has harder time
justifying the war against Yugoslavia under the humanitarian premise.
General consensus of the corporate world is that Serbs from Kosovo should
return to Kosovo and face their Albanian neighbors whom they helped
cleanse out of their possessions, homes and identities. The corporate
downsizing is cruel but efficient way to curtail losses. The other thing
NY Times is very unhappy about is that there are not many reports of rape.
There are many of hungry journalists that missed on the Bosnian rape
gravy-train bandwagon, that hoped they’d score on Kosovo Albanian rape. We
learn that certain Albanian gentleman feels 'like he kisses a dead body'
kissing his wife who was held by Serbs in captivity but denies that she
was raped. Milosevic won:  he proved that merely a possibility of rape is
enough to destabilize the society, particularly an intensely patriarchal
society. The American media won: they proved that there was a rape rampage
on Kosovo, based on a husband who did not believe his wife saying that she
wasn’t raped. And then there is that comparison of Milosevic to a cancer,
which I find more accurate that they probably intended. Like a leukemia,
where the body’s police cells start growing uncontrollably and attacking
surrounding cells, Milosevic spread his power to all corners of society,
and experienced unrestricted growth throughout all interventions that
outside 'doctors' tried on him: and the doctors are the adherents of the
traditional medicine, it looks like, so they treated Serbia with heavy
radiation and high dosage of chemotherapy. Milosevic still grows, while
Serbia lost all hair, a lot of weight, it is so weak it barely walks. The
doctors left after the recent unsuccessful surgery attempt, leaving the
patient with a feeling of victory, to stave of depression that comes with
the knowledge of the certainty of dying. Meanwhile, Vetton Surroi, came
from the dead and uncovered that he spent all 78 days in Prishtina in
hiding with his mother. What's wrong with him? Is he a Czech? He could go
to Albania and Macedonia and pose with riflemen bent on liberation of
Kosovo, or go to Belgrade to talk to Milosevic, and the rest of the war
spend giving speeches in Europe. Instead he spent time on the side of the
victimized and not with the perpetrators of the war. I somehow could not
imagine him telling his wife he would divorce her because she was kept by
Serbs, and therefore 'for 100% sure' raped, but I am not clear if the NY
Times yuppies have the cojones to ask him.