Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2 A Latvian Latvia. Par Latvisku Latviju. For whom?

“But I cannot help feeling many of the people and countries voting for the new agreement (following The British decision to veto the proposed new EU treaty) were only thinking about their financing needs in the short term, and were not fully cognisant of the fact that they were voting for a new beginning, a new type of Europe, where living standards may be lower, but the debt dynamics will be more stable. Personally I can only make sense of this in terms of Europe’s current demographics, and the challenge that is represented by maintaining health and pension systems in the face of low growth and ageing and declining workforces.” --Edward Hugh
As the economist and blogger Edward Hugh  above has it, many are expecting “a new type of Europe, where living standards may be lower….”

Is a Latvian Latvia one of the countries of “a new type of Europe”? The answer is “certainly not” in the sense that it was asked by the chairman of the Editorial Board of the Latvian newspaper “Larvijas Avīze”. See Blog 1 in series. Unfortunately, his vision of a Latvian Latvia leaves Latvia essentially as much “a do nothing” and “know nothing” state, a role it has played for over twenty years.

Latvians are not “a do nothing” and “know nothing” people. However, it is an undeniable that their government has put them into this unenviable position by its ““do nothing” and “know nothing” manner of governing.

The irresponsible government of Latvia pretending to represent the State of Latvia has also for a long time enjoyed the support of such daily publications as “Latvijas Avīze”. While the editors of the publication certainly are “free” to indulge themselves in blowing hot jingoist airs, it and any number of like mindsets, have acted to thwart for the Latvian people their narrative. This thwarted narrative has by now produced for the people an untenable ambivalence whether their language, Latvian, perhaps should give room to Russian as the country’s 2nd language.

Interestingly, the untenable ambivalence was generated by the most jingoistic of political parties, the “Nationalist League”, when to boost its political standing it began a campaign to gather signatures to stop teaching Latvian Russian children in Russian—as has been the country’s tradition since its inception in 1918. The Russians countered with a signature gathering campaign that bested the Nationalist League by a ratio of 19:1. This self-invited disaster, which so obviously is the result of the false pride generated by over two decades of thwarted narrative about the future of Latvia, has, at last, awakened “some” kind of a narrative.

One of the narratives is swirling around the Latvian Russian accusation of Latvian Latvians as being fascists.

Latvians respond to this with a resounding NO WAY! On the other hand if we define fascism by the definition given it by Wikepedia (which has no pro-Russian axe to grind), re: “a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology.[1][2] Fascist ideology exalts the Nation over the individual and favors plans by the few to exclude plans by the many.[3] Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood.[4] To achieve this, fascists purge forces, ideas, people, and systems deemed to be the cause of decadence and degeneration.[4]

That Latvia today should have fallen into the trap of the above definition is one of the results of thwarted narrative creating out of the cobwebs an  “untenable ambivalence” that gathers about Latvia as some “anarchic rubble”. Incidentally, I have borrowed these couplets [“thwarted narrative, “untenable ambivalence”, and “anarchic rubble” from Michael Taussig’s book “Mimesis and Alterity” (Chapters 10 & 11).

The ladder out of the trap is obviously “a visionary ladder”, an object that appeared to Jacob in a dream's_Ladder after Jacob had laid under his head a stone for a pillow, an excellent symbold for a “thwarted narrative”.

A merry Latvian “jandāliņšh” (yandahlins) to everyone. Come the darkest hour of the Sun’s descent, go bang your pots and pans to awaken a new day. May Latvians make Latvia “dimd!”

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