Colonial Mavericks: Croatian Edition
Can we recognize them? Yes We Can! A deep dive into Slavic Greece and an introduction to the "mozemo!"
Under my original post, The Myth of the Colonial Maverick, Croatian reader Borg left two effort comments (and apparently had even more to say, but cut himself short). I’ve been meaning to feature it as post, with some context. I also had to do some research of my own. Here it is, finally!
Recap of the original post
Colonial Mavericks are not benchmarks of a nations progress: they’re symptoms of a people’s desperation.
The Maverick's progressive attitude is mostly for the foreign audience, save for a few cosmopolitan liberals living in the colonial capital who also have the luxury to take such matters seriously.
The Maverick promises a way out of the material trap for the provincial electorate, from the very trap that is maintained by the Mavericks’ handlers who have no interest in letting the colonials free.
The Maverick is not some parochial bum: they enter the domestic spotlight with a well-padded, dazzling CV. They’re the cosmopolitan success story finally coming home, a piece of West you can touch. East Europe’s post-socialist fool’s gold, personalized.
If you need more, just read the original.
Onto Slavic Greece:
The preexisting political landscape
Writing this post was a learning experience for me. Despite being a neighbor, I knew little about Croatia. As one Balkanologist contact of mine put it: “It’s a country whose chief industry is renting out parasols”, which is very cynical, very negative but also somewhat funny. I mean, come on, Croatians, it’s kind of funny, right? Even a war criminal can take a joke!
To get a picture, I chose to investigate Andrej Plenkovic, current prime minister doing his second term and an old party furniture in the nominally nationalist Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ.
For a quick analysis of Plenkovic, a Center-Right politician on paper, I have a very convenient method: check how he was featured in the Hungarian press, especially regarding Orban. I call this Conservative German Newspaper Method, named after encountering one too many Hungarian news items along the lines of “conservative german newspaper calls Orban a far-right autocrat”.
This is what I found, starting from the most recent ones and going back in time:
(NEGATIVE) Annoyed that the Hungarian state oil company (MOL) buying up — more or less — the Coratian one, INA. I would also be upset if the reverse were to happen, so, despite being negative, ultimately no red flags here. ✅
(NEGATIVE) Declares Hungarian price control on gas as unfair (restricted to cars registered in Hungary). It’s not really his business, but the underlying reason that earns him a red flag 🚩 is the colonial cowardice behind his target selection: he’s willing to vocally criticize us regarding the fuel crisis, but remains silent on the broader European war energy policy that hurts Croatians more than Russians. A very cautious form of “bravery”. (see: Operation Hide Behind Orban). Smaller states on the periphery should stand together to face the majors, not kick each other to earn treats from Daddy Brussels. A big no-no!
(NEGATIVE) Pushing to get Croatia into the Eurozone. There was a time when spreading your asscheeks to get qualified for Euros seemed like a smart way to cargo cult progress into your Eastern European backwater, but for many reasons, chiefly Slovakia, it’s not such an unequivocally wise strategy anymore. Croatia also has a massive tourism industry, so why would they want to throw away the sweet margins on money changing? I bet ripping off Germans who wanted kunas for their Deutschmarks built a lot of swimming pools on the Adriatic coast. 🚩
(neutral) COVID-policies: his government ran around like a headless chicken. Just like everybody else’s. Neither “Based ‘Cull the Herd‘ Bolsonaro” nor “Beta Dog full of syringes with facial paralysis“. Middle of the road.
(POSITIVE) Supports EU expansion in the Balkans. The Brusselite fears the Ajvar. ✅
(POSITIVE) Mutual respect for each other’s minorities in our respective countries. (2019) ✅
(NEGATIVE) Praised by Ursula von der Leyen. This is from 2019 to be fair, Orban supported Ursula’s ascendance (pragmatically, as a lesser bad). I should give this a red flag, because our Viktor got no praise from her in return, ever, however it was on the eve of Croatia’s Presidency of the Council (whatever that means, nothing really), so I write this off as common courtesy.
(NEGATIVE) Ratified the Istanbul Convention in 2018. It’s a total farce at best, cancer wrapped in something nice at worst. Either way it’s a shit test, and Plenkovic cucked.
Without taking the time to properly research the Istambul Convention, it seems like it started as a half-assed attempt from Turkey to spearhead something progressive to seem more EU-compatible, then it got to the loonies in the EU who filled it with radioactive crap, and it only ever managed to get some initial grip because signing a petition that on the front says “beating up women = bad” is a no brainer. Once enough AIDS was shoved into the small print, Turkey was the first to say “screw this” and leave.
If you can’t stand up to this, how will you stand up to Eastern European interests, when the majors crank up the heat? Will you throw us under the bus to be a good colony? How will you develop your nerves to withstand the barrage if you scream “don’t shoot” when they threaten you with a firecracker? 🚩
Even the Bulgarians managed to find their balls. Huge lol again at Turkey.
(POSITIVE) Remember general Slobodan Praljak? The Hague courtroom poison suicide meme man of 2017?
mfw my gp tells me to take the 5th booster
Plenkovic stood up for him. He probably didn’t have a choice, it would have been extremely unpopular domestically not to do so, but it earns him a positive mark. ✅ I’m not taking sides in post-Yugoslavia, I had to look up what kind of kebab Praljak removed to become a war criminal. Some kind. Other war criminals on other sides removed other kinds. The PM taking his own side is the right thing to do, judged within its own frame.
(NEGATIVE) His party, HDZ is a member of the EPP, the German-lead cuckservative human centipede. 🚩 Note that Fidesz was
kicked outvoluntarily left the EPP with dignity in 2021.
What do you think of the EPP?
It is a left-wing party family. The problem is that it is not only left-wing, but also left-wing by doctrine. The only way it can imagine any cooperation is to have all its doors open on the Left and closed on the Right.
— Orban and the Germans: Budapester Zeitung interview highlights
My verdict on Plenkovic: not a leader I would like to have when my country is facing a shitstorm, but you can do a lot worse. Neither fish nor fowl. A dying species, just like the rest in the EPP, bound to yield to the European Left under pressure until their party’s existence in the political sphere becomes redundant.
He could be a lot worse, he could the tiny little southern attack dog of the German cuckservatives, but — so far — he’s very restrained. If he started jabbing at Orban’s ankle, we’d know about it.
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There’s also the SDP, the capital Socialists, the old rivals of HDZ, and they seem to be on the way out. I assume the usual smelly amalgamate of working class field operatives, tractor mechanic turned blue collar criminal bosses and prune juice drinking marxist intellectuals. I’m taking a risk there, leave a comment if I got it fundamentally wrong.
Modern Croatian politics so far have been dominated by the HDZ/SDP duopoly (Wikipedia)
From the effort comments by Croatian reader Borg:
HDZ in its first two decades had been nationalist without the quotes. And I mean that in a positive light: the party of the "somewheres", not of the "anywheres". Unfortunately, it had also been corrupt AF: the privatization robbery was arguably worse in Croatia than in Hungary. This was due to the mafiosi types naturally and logically clamping onto HDZ. (what, where were they supposed to clamp onto, the Greens? give us a break, we are not as advanced as the West). Them aside, HDZ did generally act in the interest of Croats.
Long story short, this is no longer the case. Now they are as much acting in the interests of the Global Empire as SDP is, while retaining a fig leaf of traditionalism to retain most of their old constituency. In the last 3 years Croatia has become outright flooded with third-world immigrants. Legally so. Was it SDP whodunnit? Nope. It was the "nationalists".
They are both obediently implementing the Global Empire's agenda, they just aren't busy spreading the Empire's official religion of woke.
So, these were the two classic Croatian parties. We’re done with the pond of the political establishment, moving on to the disrupting pebble:
Of course that we have a proper Colonial Maverick; what kind of Slavistan would we be otherwise?
In their present incarnation, they are called "Mozemo!" ("We Can!", the exclamation mark is an integral part of the name, no I am not kidding), and they rule Zagreb since 2021. Having debuted some two years prior, that is no small feat.
We Can! – Political Platform (Croatian: Možemo!) is a left-wing, green political party in Croatia formed by local green and leftist movements and initiatives in order act on national level for European Parliament and parliament elections.
After the 2021 local elections in Zagreb, they became the largest political party in the Zagreb Assembly, winning 23 seats in total. Their mayoral candidate Tomislav Tomašević won a landslide victory on 31 May.
I looked up the guy, guess what:
A new “Pact of Free Cities” is launching to combat populism, promote transparency, and tackle the climate crisis.
Zagreb joined later, but he was already floated in this Politico piece: Central Europe’s future is in its cities - Across the region, progressive local officials are challenging their conservative national governments.
And what organization is behind this? The European Council on Foreign Relations, the star of last Sunday’s Big Post:
Now I understand why the Western establishment had a retarded moral panic about Steve Bannon moving to a castle in Italy to train fvtvre European Trumps. These people really do astroturf colonial mavericks this way.
It’s so transparent it’s insulting.
Their pitch had been roughly in line with what you wrote. Tired of the smelly HDZ/SDP duopoly? Want some Fresh New Faces who promise to break the cycle of misfortune? Vote for us! We love western values and we will wave a wand to make all this to be like the West! We're the Mavericks who know how! Don't focus on our CVs being razor thin outside of liberal-arts-n-humanities studies -- that is our advantage, actually! Didn't we already mention that we are Mavericks?
The Mozemo! is a notable update from the previous incarnations of Colonial Mavericks, in two respects.
Borg here returns to HDZ, which apparently had its own identity crisis. It is similar to my original article’s Hungarian Socialist party in the mid-00s, where they tried to reinvent themselves by getting some fresh blood by appointing cosmopolitan professional technocrats into visible positions.
Maybe we can call this form Colonial Maverick 1.0.
First, previous [1.0] Colonial Mavericks tended to appear as "star politicians" who joined one of the two duopoly parties, with all the "Croat who was very successful in the West" / "new face!" / "will turn things around" / etc. kind of woo. Ultimately they'd end up doing a few things in the interest of western capital, not doing anything much in the interest of Croats, and peter out after getting bogged into whichever usual disputes or affairs in the political swamp.
Second, the MO had been for them to appeal to the widest possible electorate, boosting nationwide vote for the particular duopoly party which they'd joined, effectively tailoring their promotional messages as a certain nudge in the "desired direction".
Now the 2.0:
Mozemo! has done away with all that. The "wide-electorate-appeal / nudge-of-position" is so passé. They went straight for the urbanites, for the "Londoners" instead of the "Little Englanders" if you will, sliding in about as much of the woke/progressive agendas that the urbanites could digest at this moment.
I got this photo from an anarchist website so I’m not crediting it, as they don’t believe in intellectual property. Alinskied much?
They handsomely won Zagreb's mayoral elections, even though they didn't make much of a dent in the parliament (yet). They were thwarted by a gerrymandering of Zagreb from the 90s, while being not even slightly popular outside of the urbanites. So as much as they may lack MPs, they are just getting started, and controlling Zagreb counts for a lot in this place.
Same for Budapest.
You wouldn't guess in a billion years which particular billionaire is supporting them.
Escape the Hungarian crown, submit to a Hungarian financier: a Croatian story.
Maybe MOL can also buy HDZ and create some balance in your politics. Just kidding, please don’t put me on your death list, totally not war criminal bestest best neighbors. I promise that I’ll never bring my own food and drink to the beach, I will buy everything at the bar, with Euros.
Mozemo! are your "reassuringly typical" catalysts of color revolution. Made from the same cloth as they were made in those other countries. Except that I don't think things here are gearing up for a color revolution. The color revolution presupposes that there is some palpable *resistance* acting out against them. Not even the "nationalist" HDZ will resist when things really get going, let alone the socialdemocrat SDP. It will be more of a color stroll than color revolution.
The Croatian normies wouldn't even understand what I'm talking about, since the lid is pretty much still on, and the local Théâtre de Guignolbetween HDZ and SDP is blocking their view of the West. Give it a few years, and *boy* are they going to find out. (and then grumble some, and then yield. I'm not a man of many illusions).
Help a Croatian normie to awake, share this post to give Borg some hope!
A special kind of baizuo
Baizuos have their own word that wonderfully describes a phenomenon. Eastern Europeans should also have their own political terms, so I’m suggesting turning Mozemo! into a generic trademark that describes the version 2.0 Colonial Mavericks.
mozemo: a Southern/Eastern European colonial maverick political agent (person, party, movement, startup) that is Western/Northern European by aspiration.
The 1.0 wasn’t trying to turn Zagreb into Stockholm, they were only bringing home an aura of Western professionalism, not the revolutionary social engineering spirit. The mozemo is nothing but that.
Thanks, Borg! Hvala, dušo moja!
Budapest, to signal their progress, decided to cancel Christmas lighting this year, saving less than a 80 thousand euros.
According to a semi-celeb restaurant owner, it’s 0.0068% of Budapest’s budget.
Mozemo doomer meme.
I have this Croatian character in my mind. An unremarkable guy, in his mid-50s, selling watermelon to the German tourists by the road. He would make a lot more money if he sold them in slices, but he gets war crime flashbacks any time he has to split a melon, so he just sells them whole. I call him “Twitchy Tomić”.
The Yugo term for such trespassers is “tomato tourists”. See: We’re all tomato tourists
It’s a marionette show, but you already knew that, since you’re not a rube. So did I. So why are we here in the footnotes? *crickets*
The "chief industry: renting parasols" is a fair enough description of post-privatisation-devastation Croatia. No Croatian war criminals will be coming for you for saying that, rest assured, everybody here knows it's so. Rimac has been making some cool cars lately, there's that. But thing is, before the 90s Croats were making a whole lot of things. (not "nostalgia", just observation)
OK, we also make a buttload of guns, although we're about as likely to own one as a Hungarian or Swede is. Tiny us are the fourth biggest supplier of the US, there are way more Croatian guns in the US than there are Croats.
(as for the 90s privatization robberies, ouch no, I won't go back there, there's too many present-day problems as it is)
I wasn't aware we ratified the Istanbul Convention in 2018 until you pointed it out, TBH. The Istanbul Convention sure is a poster boy for "motte and bailey argumentation", but it had not been born as such. It was a motte, originally.
Turkey likes to proclaim itself the bridge between the West and the Middle East, often illustrating it with some scenic picture of the Bosphorus. And in a sense, Turkey *is* that: it is at the same time middle-eastern enough to have "honor killings" and western enough to honestly want to stop them. Whence the Istanbul Convention; its motte is genuine.
But then Europe's doctrinary ghouls had a field day with the woke bailey. Countries must pledge to criminally prosecute catcalling. Article 40. How can you be against that? Means you are obviously in favor of killing women. What do you mean that in Europe beating and killing women befell under criminal law even before 2013? Stop taking apart our motte from our bailey. Yes, we *will* shove our bailey down your throat.
A few countries have called BS on the woke bailey. Politely so, of course, known as "signing but not ratifying." Quite inexplicably *without* seeing the numbers of their female population plummet. On the other hand, it is indicative of Croatia that it ratified the convention in 2018, then started being flooded by legal third-world immigration from 2019, then the newfangled Mozemo! conquering Zagreb in 2021... we are set on our path of ascension to serfs of the Globalist Empire with a speed and expedience that I find astonishing. "Gradually, then suddenly" as Papa had poignantly coined.
P.S. I didn't mean to be obscure with a reference to Guignol. "Punch and Judy" is the Anglo version of that. Anyway, puppets punching each other to the great amusement of the theatregoers. There's no Slavic version of that, that I know of. (if excluding governments)
P.P.S. "EPP vision for a sustainable planet: Cutting the emissions while creating jobs - Resolution adopted at the 2019 EPP Congress in Zagreb, Croatia." I know that your qualification of EPP as a "human centipede" is a bit harsh, but I still can't stop laughing.