By Sam Vaknin
This can be a sequence of articles written and released in 1996-2000 in Macedonia, in Russia, in Egypt and within the Czech Republic.
How the West misplaced the East. The economics, the politics, the geopolitics, the conspiracies, the corruption, the previous and the hot, the plough and the net – it's all the following, in prose, as provocative and vitriolic and loving and longing as i may make it.
From "The brain of Darkness":
"'The Balkans' – I say – 'is the subconscious of the world'. humans cease to digest this metaphor after which they nod enthusiastically. it truly is the following that the repressed stories of background, its traumas and fears and pictures live. it truly is right here that the psychodynamics of humanity – the tectonic conflict among Rome and Byzantium, West and East, Judeo-Christianity and Islam – remains to be simply discernible. we're seated at a brand new Year's eating desk, loaded with a roasted pig and unique salads.
I, the Jew, basically part international to this cradle of Slavonics. 4 Serbs, 5 Macedonians. it really is within the Balkans that every one ethnic differences fail and it's right here that they be successful anachronistically and atavistically. Contradiction and alter the one furniture of this tormented region.
The girls of the Balkan – buried lower than provocative mask-like make up, unfashionable hairstyles and too slender attire. the boys, clad in sepia colors, quaint fits and switch of the century moustaches. within the historical past there's the crying video game that's Balkanian song: liturgy and folks and elegy mixed. The smells are heavy with musk-ular perfumes. it truly is like time shuttle. it really is like revisiting one's childhood."
How have been the articles and essays contained herein – a lot of them translated and released in neighborhood languages – obtained via humans everywhere?
My readers from the Balkans reacted to those essays with an admixture of rage and indignation. They erected protecting barricades of self-aggrandizement and of my devaluation. and so they enable their ingrained paranoia run rampant (Jewish conspiracies, Western spies, international plots). I requested a resident of this tortured quarter to write down the foreword to this booklet. humans from different elements, from crucial and japanese Europe, have been extra argumentative and considering, notwithstanding less passionate. And Westerners – particularly people with curiosity in those areas of the area – reacted with nice, cathartic enthusiasm.
In interpreting this booklet, I want upon you the enjoyment and the revulsion, the darkish fascination of this sector and its surrealist desires and nightmares. this can be what I event day-by-day right here and it's my wish that I succeeded to show the siren's tune, the honeyed catch, the trap and the attract of this tortured nook of the earth.
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Extra resources for After the Rain: How the West Lost the East
It seems that academe suffered the most during the numerous shock therapies and transition periods showered upon the impoverished inhabitants of Eastern and Central Europe. The resident of decrepit communist-era buildings, it had to cope with a flood of eager students and a deluge of anachronistic "scholars". But in Russia, the CIS and the Balkans the scenery is nothing short of Dantesque. Unschooled in any major European language, lazily content with their tenured positions, stagnant and formal – the academics and academicians of the Balkans are both failures and a resounding indictment of the rigor mortis that was socialism.
These were all catastrophically wrong assumptions. In all postcommunist countries, with no exception, one criminal association (the communist or socialist party) was simply replaced by another (often comprised of the very same people). Elections were used (more often, abused) simply to queue the looters, organized in political parties. The mass devastation of the state by everyone – the masses included – proceeded apace, financed by generous credits and grants from unsuspecting (or ostrich-like) multilaterals and donor conferences (recall Bosnia).
The courts are slow and inefficient, corrupt and lacking in specialization and education. The legal system is heavily tilted in favour of the state and against the individual. Judges are identified politically and their decisions are often skewed. The executive, in many countries, does not hesitate to undermine the legitimacy of the courts either by being seen to exploit their political predilections, or by attacking them for being amenable to such use by a rival party. This sorry state is only aggravated by the frequent and erratic changes in legislation.