Fascist scars must not be stultified

On the occasion of publication of author’s text “Three tickets for Hollywood” by Goran Popović in Daily news, on 06/06/2016, Centre for Civic Education (CCE) appeals to all actors of public sphere to act with due diligence in relation to the events from the past and refrain from making parallels with some of the movements which caused irrevocable suffering to millions for the purpose of daily-political observations of Montenegrin political scene.

By describing the leader of Democrats of Montenegro Aleksa Bečić, Popović stated also the following in his column: «By the way, Aleksa launched the model of “uniformed party” on Montenegrin political market. He even forced the veterans of SNP Veljo Kaluđerović and Neven Gošović to wear his uniforms. White shirt and red tie! Political theory and practice on the other hand, show how uniform, especially political uniform is not the expression of freedom and democracy, but of orthodox lack of freedom, which Germans strongly experienced during the 30s of last century. Perhaps, this could serve as a reason to escort Bečić to Hollywood as well.”

By encouraging Popović, or any other journalist in Montenegro, to critically examine the work and behaviour of decision makers, we still believe that by making the comparison with fascist movement and its leader Hitler he went beyond the borders of criticism and that this does not contribute to quality of social discourse.

Past events associated to terrible war crimes require special sensibility, while public actors have the obligation of providing the facts, thus empowering the establishment of culture of remembrance. By rendering such past mundane, we risk causing a counterproductive effect, given that a number of our citizens still bears the scars of fascist past, and that they certainly affect their families. This is not detrimental only for the leader of one party and party itself, it also presents an insult for the victims of fascism.

CCE expresses conviction that it was not the intention of journalist Popović to introduce the understanding of fascism in Montenegrin political discourse in this manner, and that he will therefore make a correction to Bečić, Democrats and to the victims of fascism. We believe that social critique is possible without such harmful constructions, especially in times where we witness the lack of tolerance in contemporary society.

CCE estimates that entire Montenegrin society is ought to remember the terrible crimes which took place during World War II, and that the engagement of every social actor, especially of those who are publically exposed, must be used to shape the framework of values, which upholds the dignity of victims and condemns those crimes. Hence, such careless comparison of political opponents with those who were responsible for immense sufferings during XX century is unacceptable.

Tamara Milaš, programme associate