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Romania: Who is Trying to Shut whose Mouth and with What?

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Von Modeste Schwartz.

Romania – Pro-migration, globalist and with a full of understanding of the LGBT agenda, the Romanian “Right”, to reinvent itself after its historic defeat in December 2016, would have a hard time resorting to this “leap forward in identity politics” so harshly blamed by the lecturing Western press on the Hungarian and Polish right-wing parties. The Romanian “Right”’s nationalism, in all and for all, boils down to a warmed-over anti-Hungarian resentment, of which it had tried (on the West’s injunctions) to heal in the course of 1990-2010, before a very convenient relapse which occurred just when Viktor Orbán happened to be passing – from the Western point of view – to the “dark side of the Force”, and while its victorious Romanian competitor (Liviu Dragnea’s PSD) was beginning a rapprochement with Budapest and the local party of the Hungarian minority.

Yet the anti-Hungarian aphrodisiac, even in the sizeable doses he has been taking lately, does not seem to succeed to re-erect the popularity curve of the the highly multicultural Klaus Johannis. The “American who fell in love with Romania” Don Lothrop, who became a Romanian press “tycoon” after a flash enrichment in the United States (through various companies, some of which are registered near Langley) may well repeat, conference after conference , that “Putin and Orbán want to take Transylvania away from you”, many Romanians are more worried about the rumours about the presence (more-or-less secret) of nuclear warheads on Romanian NATO bases than against the non-existent Hungarian army and the insidious nursery school construction programs which constitute the bulk of the “Hungarian interference” in Transylvania. Thus, in his objections recently submitted to the Supreme Court against a new law on public administration, which proposed to slightly extend the use of Hungarian in the institutions of bilingual areas, the Romanian president went so far as to challenge the very principle – applied for decades – of granting official recognition to the languages of the historic minorities present on Romanian territory; deepening the chiasm that already separates him from the Hungarian party (UDMR / RMDSZ), this provocation does not seem to have reached its putative objective: to sow discord within the PSD, exploiting the chauvinistic idiosyncrasies of some of its local bosses.

As for the fate of the law itself, it seems unlikely that this new and unlikely Saxon conducător of Grand Romanian exclusivism will be able to cause much more than a small procedural delay. Indeed, forced on July 9, under pain of suspension, to promulgate the decree of dismissal of his dear Laura Codruţa Kövesi, who had, under the guise of “fight against corruption”, so effectively transformed the Romanian justice into an instrument of political blackmail in the service of his clique, Johannis by signing this decree, already looked like a chess player having first lost most of his pieces, then his queen, and thinking powerfully of the means of getting his opponent to concede him an honourable pat.

Such is the impasse in which the “Johannis camp” seemed, a month ago, to be sinking, apparently with no hope of return. And then suddenly, the flash of genius: a colourful agglomerate of activists of the Open Society, Romanian Transylvanian separatists (plus some stray Hungarians, of whom one would like to think of as naïve people) and some debris of extreme right-wing groups, the #rezist movement, for nearly two years, has been a major organizer of “anti-corruption” demonstrations, in which Klaus Johannis readily takes the lead; now, they believe they have finally found the fatal weapon against Liviu Dragnea’s “dictatorship” (a dictatorship based, however, on the largest parliamentary majority in Romania’s democratic history). To respond, after exactly two months, to the White March of the PSD, they called for yet another “mass” event, the mother of all protests, for August 10, putting much hope in the exceptional (though usual in this summer period) presence on the Romanian soil of a large part of the millions of Romanians (around 25% of the active population) working abroad (mainly in the Western EU), most of whom are absolute fans of the Romanian “Right”.

Above all, while still lacking a political program, and even a clearly identifiable leader (other than the already worn-out Johannis or the former “technocratic” – i.e.: totally unelected – prime minister Dacian Cioloş, dismissed in 2017 at the end of a disastrous mandate), the #rezistants have found themselves a slogan. First seen on the signs of the proto-rezist movements that had extorted the resignation of Victor Ponta in favour of Cioloş, this foul-mouthed slogan (which, in addition, also seemed to contain indecent allusions to the rumours of homosexuality surrounding Victor Ponta) did not seem destined to become an epochal syntagma of the political life of any EU member state.

Yet, against all odds, this is what it has become. Now regarded as the official slogan of the great gathering of intra-European migrants convened on August 10 to “save democracy” against the choices of the majority, gone viral on social networks, two words also appear on countless T-shirts, placards, flags and other roadside signs stuck on land belonging to sympathizers of the movement: MUIE PSD.

The second of these words refers of course to Liviu Dragnea’s Social-Democratic Party, currently in power in coalition with the right-wing sovereignists of the ALDE party, and who, like FIDESZ in Hungary, provides local worshipers of the West with a convenient embodiment of absolute evil (usually referred to as “corruption” in the sect-specific jargon). As for the first … borrowed from Romani (i.e. the language of the Gypsies, in which it simply refers to the “mouth”), it designates, in Romanian slang, oral intercourse. In spite of a certain syntactic ambiguity due to its laconism (an ambiguity which some evil minds did not fail to notice), the slogan, in the interpretation of its users, is not intended to invite the PSD to ejaculate in their throats, but, on the contrary, to threaten PSD with a more or less forced blowjob, according to a verbal habit of convicts which, through honky-tonks next to province railway stations and the picturesque discussions between pimps and sex workers, has finally found its way into the public discourse of the semi-official “philosopher” of the #rezist movement, the very academically respected Gabriel Liiceanu.

This translator of Heidegger, under the title “The insult that unites us“, undertook, on a Romanian neo-conservative blog, to provide this new political philosophy with a beginning of doctrinal basis. Indeed, to the question “what can possibly unite gay-rights activists and skinheads, Transylvanian separatists and chauvinists living in the phobia of “Hungarian irredentism”, the lovers of multiculturalism and the last pseudo-Jacobins of the Balkans?”, Liiceanu, in assuming this slogan worthy of a Tony Soprano “campaign”, gives us an unequivocal and realistic answer: the hatred of their own people, the arrogant vulgarity of the self-righteous parvenu, the progressivists’ unshakable certainty of being on the right side of history, and a growing inclination towards the apology of political violence. Unlike the Hungarian liberals, who strive at least verbally to give an ideological motivation to their refusal to admit those democratic choices of their nation that do not please them (talking about “Orbanistan”, “Viktature”, “democrature” etc.), the Romanian #rezistants no longer seek to camouflage their real nature of a comprador elite in a Third World country: intra-European Romanian migrant workers (renamed “diaspora”, as if they had had to flee some war), by virtue of their salaries paid in euros and of their prolonged stays in countries legalizing gay marriage, are declared culturally superior to their brothers at home, and their sacred right to “save” said country from the darkness of “corruption” will not tolerate the hindrance of constitutional rules or of universal suffrage more than the interests of the US-based United Fruit company did in Latin America at the height of the golden age of military coups.

Some, of course, soon started to find a bit exotic, in the middle of a #metoo age, this noisy apology of villainous rape. They were called to order, without regard. The writer Mircea Cărtărescu, for example, an icon of the #rezist movement and author – among others – of a bestseller entitled Why We Love Women, seems, at first, to have feared that the new slogan might bring a too brutal response to this (probably rhetorical) question, protesting on his blog against this antediluvian parlance, much too insensitive to the enjoyable consensuality of modern and progressive oral sex. Subjected, as soon he published that post, to the avalanche of insults and threats that is now the normal speech of anti-PSD terrorism, he quickly showed all the extent of his civic courage, erasing the incriminated text from his blog – a quite realistic prefiguration, in my opinion, of what freedom of speech could become in Romania in the case of an (electorally improbable) victory of this new oral culture.

On Friday 10th, this rhetoric of radicalization has “paid off”. As expected, the protest (between a quarter and half a million people in Bucharest), although massive, did not even, despite the summer period, gather the entire pool of the anti-PSD movement: among the tertiary employees in gentrified city centres that make up the bulk of indigenous troops of #rezistants, many have probably had trouble identifying with a protest whose slogan sounded more like a title of some underground hit by the turbo-folk singer Romeo Fantastik. On the other hand, those who decided to still take to the streets showed a level of violence that, in this highly peaceful country that is Romania, was unprecedented since the Mineriads of the 1990s: insulting the police and throwing various projectiles (including bags of faeces) at them, even stealing weapons from them (a methodology reminiscent of that of the Kiev Maidan), they finally managed to trigger a reaction from the gendarmerie, which tried to disperse the crowd with tear gas canisters. In the fray, an isolated female gendarme was brutally beaten by a small group of “protesters”; currently hospitalized, she suffers spine injuries and might remain paralyzed.

Whether this tragic episode was premeditated or not by more or less professional provocateurs, it is obvious that the organizers of the protest, by assuming a rhetoric of extremism, had from the outset accepted – maybe even wished for – the occurrence of such tragedies, probably deemed to be “good for the cause”. And lo and behold, the pro-Johannis press immediately described the event as … a police blunder! Yet, faced with the evidence of very clear images, and of a no less unequivocal body count, one wonders how many Romanians will be willing to believe in this version – a priori, not enough to change the game through electoral channels. But in this case, what are the real intentions of the #rezist brain-trust (if there still is any)? Whether the actual project turns out to be a veritable putsch, or more simply to maintain under pressure the rather timid governments to which the huge PSD-ALDE parliamentary majority gives birth every six months, the question is the same: do the “services” (i.e., the political police inherited from the Băsescu era) still have the means for such ambitions, or do they only seek to sell their skin dearly?

In favor of the second hypothesis, there are signs that the ongoing divorce in the Euro-Atlantic world has already produced some cracks in the Westernist bloc in Romania. While the SRI (the main outlet of Romania’s “intelligence community”), under the leadership of Soros-boy Eduard Hellvig, seems more aligned than ever with Berlin and Brussels, former champions of “Euro-Atlantic values” are now switching sides. For example: after growing up in the same “civil society” incubator as Hellvig, Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, who has long been connected to various transatlantic networks such as Freedom House, has not only been less timorous than poor Cărtărescu in her rejection of #rezist’s libidinal drift, but also much sharper: describingRomanian migrant workers who have come to Bucharest to “save” a country they have long since abandoned as a sordid and manipulated Lumpenproletariat (which, moreover, corresponds quite well to their de facto status in various host societies), she seemed to imitate the accents that had once cost his position to Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi, when he criticized in similar terms the anti-Băsescu protesters of 2012. Gradually, class contempt and the coolness-deficit seem to change sides. Between the unskilled jobs that expect most Romanian migrant workers in Western Europe and Romanian wages that have tripled since the end of the Băsescu era, the gap is no longer as huge as in the past. By trumpeting that the “diaspora” sends home $ 5 billion a year, the Westernist press in Romania and Western Europe admits at the same time – for any financially literate reader, who knows that this represents 3% of current Romanian GDP (only 10 times more, for example, than what the Raiffeisen bank extracts from the country in net profits), for a migrant population between 3 and 5 million – that the average Romanian migrant sends to his family and/or spends in Romania each year between $ 1,000 and $ 2,000, which is, in any case, less than $ 200 / month – less, for example, than renting a studio apartment in Cluj. This average obviously covers a wide variety of cases, including real and dazzling individual success stories, but also many cases of unemployed Romanians, sinking into mass poverty in Western Europe and occasionally begging for some money and food from … their family back home.

And while many Romanians left, many also came back, with or without savings, but often with a changed vision of the world: a much less idyllic vision of the once mythicized West, which they have discovered to be economically fragile, socially more and more unfair, morally decadent, threatened by mass immigration, ravaged by criminality and paralyzed by political correctness. Culturally, the window of action for those who hope to “manage” the sovereignist insurgency of emerging Romania by means of South American methods may be closing rapidly. Is this what the leaders of the Bucharest “Maidan” also feel, and which leads them to try and play double or nothing? The near future may tell us: further protests are being organized at the time of this writing… and those stolen guns remain at large.