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The dark sleep of Estonia
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-10-21 08:36:27
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It never stops amazing me and often makes me feel from sad to angry how some states understand democracy. And yes when it comes to Mugabe’s Zimbabwe any reference to democracy makes me laugh but when it comes to a country that is considered a modern state, democratic enough to be a full member of the superior democratic European institution, the European Union I can not avoid being angry.

When the European Union council decided to expand to the east European countries with many of them former members of the Soviet Union I expressed in many ways my disagreement and it was odd later to see that the referendum for the European constitution failed because of the very same reason. My disagreement with the expansion had nothing to do with the idea of an expanding EU in east Europe, on the contrary I totally support the idea in the sense that I believe that the aim should be a greater European Union that should include even Russia or Georgia.

My disagreement stands in the fact of timing. I thought and still believe that the timing was wrong with both sides not ready for such gigantic step and this had little to do with the financial side of it – even though it is serious – but mostly with the understanding of this union and what it represents most of all what it tries to build for the future. In the past countries had to go through long time tests and changes before they become ready to cross the door of the EU something the resent leaders seem to forget and I think there was a good reasoning for that. And remember that here we talk about countries like Spain, Greece and Portugal.

One of the supreme roles of the European Union is to guarantee democracy, equal rights and freedoms to every single citizen of the union. Most of all the European Union is there to guarantee that even the smallest minority has a voice and equal rights and apparently this is one of the basic criteria for every country to become a full member. Were these new countries that joined as full members the union ready? Some were but not all, and that 'not all' is all the danger because they make a bad example and a precedent for other dark politicians.

Estonia seems to hold the sceptre of the bad example after the twins of Poland lost elections and all that regarding the strong Russians minority that lives in the country. The latest incident is the education minister Tonis Lukas who suggested closing all the Russian language schools in the country. Actually I was surprised he stopped there and he didn’t suggest for the Russians to wear a small hammer sewn in the clothes or put them all together in a walled ghetto and tax the air. His suggestion is fascist and the worst way prejudice and unfortunately it is not the first time Estonian politicians or leaders show this attitude towards the Russian minority.

There is no doubt that Estonia suffered under the Soviet regime but blaming that on the Russian people is at least stupid and definitely shows a hidden racism. If Mr. Lukas has issues with the Soviet regime he has nothing else to do than go to Stalin’s grave and start kicking but going after the Russian minority shows a man that his right place is not the seat of an education minister but a psychiatric clinic. Most of all his attitude and in general the attitude of the Estonian government that keeps this man still in position is an embarrassment for the whole European Union and proves that Estonia was definitely not ready for an institution like that.

Since the Estonian government has been proved inefficient to deal with this it is about time for the European Union to do something about it and wake them up, after all they have done it before with Austria proving that there is no room for fascists in Europe.  Because Mr. Tonis Lukas attitude is fascist and no different with Stalin’s attitude, they are just the same and it makes you worry when you hear that this man holds a ministry like the education ministry in Estonia. What the kids of Estonia grow up to and learn? These are very worrying signs and as I said before prove that some countries were not ready to enjoy a membership of the European Union.

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Emanuel Paparella2008-10-21 09:25:28
It would be interesting to also investigate how many people spoke Russian in the former Chekoslovakia after decades of close political association with the former Soviet Union. Not many I suspect, which is no excuse for taking one's frustration on a language or on the people who speak that language. On the other hand, I met once a Jew who had been a Nazi concentration camp inmate who told me that he could not stand even hearing German spoken; it brought back too many bad memories. Perhaps a psychologist ought to write an article on this issue of language as a cultural instrument...

AP2008-10-21 15:25:17
I couldn't agree more. Very often, I heard people excusing all Estonian abuses over the Russian minority because "you know what they went through, poor fellows". By the same standards, all political and social problems in Estonia are excusable because "you know what they went through, poor fellows". Poverty nowadays? Oh, "you know what they went through, poor fellows, so pay a reverence to History and their sufferings - and just shut up!". And who "went through" was the Estonian people in general, not particularly its current leaders!! Why are German tourists then allowed in Estonia, Estonians didn't "went through" anything from 1941-44, or they were "liberated" by Hitler? It makes you think. Has Mr. Ansip considered to dismiss his Education Minister? His wikipedia page finishes like this: "Tõnis Lukas is married [they don't mention if to a russian woman] and a proud father of two daughters." They must be proud of daddy too.

The aversion of the Jew to spoken German hasn't so much to do with language as a cultural instrument Mr. P., but more obviously with PTSD and the trauma he went through. He probably doesn't hate German culture as a whole, he just has strong memories of particular circumstances - are you by chance suggesting that if this fellow was the education minister of the US he would close all German language schools? That's quite a step forward from feeling bad when hearing German, ain't it? Common sense normally prevents power abuses even in the victims, I mean the ability to distinguish between your own experience and normative abusive rules. That's why many more people aren't in favour of death penalty, you see?

kass2008-10-21 15:38:27
"Tonis Lukas who suggested closing all the Russian language schools in the country"

jesus christ, where do you get this bs from? why are you lying?

AP2008-10-21 16:19:50
why are you kassing?

Emanuel Paparella2008-10-21 16:31:48
That is a bad habit that you ought to try to get out from Ms. Pereira, that of mocking people's last names to attack their opinions or reasoning with which you disagree. Being disagreable with those you disagree with doesn't help much your mocking in other areas; in fact descending to the ad hominem is a sure sign that one's attacker has a poor command of the issue at hand and it poisons the atmospher of any forum of opinion.

AP2008-10-21 16:55:26
Mr. P., if the commentator above was any serious about the subject, he would have quoted his alternative, not-lying sources instead of defaming, don't you think? I thought so.

Now that we got to know that I am the one poisoning the atmosphere around here, maybe you'll want to give me even further tips on how to refrain my famous bad habit of mocking people's last names. So that the atmosphere can be clean, I mean.

AP2008-10-21 17:17:08
I'm imagining your tips already, something like:

shut up!! you don't command!!
I'm the commander who commands here!!

I must confess that, although my acquaintances have complained of many things, like that when I sniff the air becomes an opiate, when I yawn little drops of cyanide spinkle and there's a cloud of sulfur floating in the living room after I leave, I never noticed any real reasons for your complaint.

AP2008-10-21 17:45:05
Not to mention the orange poison mushroom torches.

Emanuel Paparella2008-10-21 19:58:54
It was a mere suggestion. Given that you are still young it may still be possible to get out of that habit, which may not be the case with the other person who has used the same reprehensible tactict in this forum, for one cannot teach old dogs new tricks. One ought to imitate virtue not vice. On the other hand, in a magazine of opinion we are all remain free to express our opinions and make fools of ourselves if that is what we tend towards. But even there, the best clowns in a circus or in a Punch and Judy show are not the one who agrily make fun of other clowns but those who are secure enough to graciously make fun of themselves. As Fellini used to say: let in the clowns.

AP2008-10-21 21:30:11
"Given that you are still young it may still be possible to get out of that habit"
I appreciate your concern. I might be saved from Hell still (nothing is lost yet... ufff! that's a relief), if only I can correct sinful and wicked habits. Now this can require great endeavors and the wisest advice - plausibly by the best experts. Worrying habits which regretably submerged my entire young life, like a splendorous palm tree bended by an early monsoon which can still be saved by the first rays of sunshine peeking behind the darkest stormy clouds, like golden rays of glorious hope. I can almost write a moral novel, Mr. P., so thank you. Your pedagogical motivations are touching, I must say. Saint Paparella holding a holy Host and Aristotle on one hand, the Bible and Kant on the other and an aureole above his head is ready for his mission of "saving the girl from imitation" - because the woman has no brains of her own, haven't you noticed? Slightly more considerate than kass's comment.

"One ought to imitate virtue not vice"
I shall remind you of your own words: the Roman empire fell because the virtues became vices from day to night. Beware of your own, and what sort of transformations the full moon might operate in them. Your need for disciples is moving, but I'm afraid that you'll have to put a newspaper add instead: "Retired Philosopher, a sincere fan of Eloise and Abelard, looks for young female disciples who may want to receive instruction and guidance in the holy paths leading to virtue. No torches provided.".

"one cannot teach old dogs new tricks"
That's right.

"in a magazine of opinion we are all remain free to express our opinions"
What I noticed first was your reprehension of the free expression of my opinions. Now, what did I miss?

Punch and Judy shows, ah! Do you know how the puppeteer was called in Victorian times? He was known by the suggestive name of Professor. Although it sounds like a true disrespect towards the venerable tradition of Commedia dell'Arte to use and abuse of such expression.

"but those who are secure enough to graciously make fun of themselves"
Consider that as a suggestion of a new and exotic habit you could adopt.

AP2008-10-21 21:35:37
Also moving that you call God She. It's on the same level as McCain mentioning Palin.

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