Never Underestimate The Power Of Stupid People In Large Groups

Shit is brewing this side of the Alps. Weeks ago pengovsky wrote about a group of neo-Nazi wannabes who wanted to call a referendum on Croatian NATO entry, citing Croatian occupation of sacred Slovene soil. The bid failed spectacularely, but during a particularly daft exchange with Blaž Babič, one of the proponents of the referendum, it emerged that hooded and skin-headed youth were members of Hervardi, a supposedly patriotic organisation with a clear superiority agenda.

20090413 hervardi Never Underestimate The Power Of Stupid People In Large Groups
Skinhead kids attacking a cameraman at the Faculty of Philosophy. (Source: 24ur.com)

Days ago, however, students of Faculty of Philosophy held a round table discussion on rise of hate-speech, nationalism and neo-fascism in Slovenia. Present among the public was also a group of skin-headed kids whose aim obviously was to stir up shit. They claimed that they’re not neo-Nazis but rather a group of patriotic national socialists (imagine!). However, they got really nervous when cameras were turned on and swiftly vacated the premises, but not before attacking the cameraman.

This, however, appears only to have been a prelude to a real outburst of nationalistic, religious and racial hatred which is scheduled for 27 April. Exactly two weeks from now a rally against building a mosque in Ljubljana will apparently be held in downtown Ljubljana. Choice of date is not coincidental. 27 April marks the start of uprising against Nazi occupation of Slovenia during World War II. Hervardi group, whose president is doing time for attempted murder, called the rally on that particular date to point out the “true occupators” and to revive the “true meaning of 27 April”.

Obviously, nothing could be further from the truth. 27 April tells a story about how a group of few good men knew what is right and what is wrong and fought for their ideals of a free nation with a better future against all odds. What Hervardi want to say today is that people of Islamic faith should not be allowed to worship their god, because they are occupators of Slovenia and are somehow inferior. Which basically constitutes a neo-Nazi agenda.

Personally, I expect the protest to fizzle out into a show of impotent rage, making the protesters an object of mockery. After all, as you can see from the linked video above, Slovenian neo-Nazis are a bunch of pussies, worried that their mothers will find out what they’re up to. They are also cowards for trying to hide their dirty deeds under a cloak of a well respected anniversary and even falsely claiming that The President supports them. And while their cowardice will expose them for spineless twats that they are, they will also have to worry about criminal charges which were filed by Ljubljana mayor Zoran Janković for inflammatory speech used on the leaflets announcing the rally. Oh, an there is a counter-rally organised as well, aimed at preventing abuse of the anniversary and (by extention) in support of the mosque.

Pengovsky will always remember the story about how Slovenian Blood&Honour organisation applied for membership in Neo-Nazi International but got turned down on the grounds that Slavs are a lower race. But the real problem is not that Slovenian “patriotic” groups are a bunch of stupid pansies who mistook politics for a psychoanalyst’s couch. The problem is that they are slowly but surely becoming more and more visible with their rhetoric steadily becoming an integral part of mainstream politics.

One must never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.


25 Comments to “Never Underestimate The Power Of Stupid People In Large Groups”

  1. Dr. ARF Says:

    Before I rant, I have to admit this is something of a real sore point to me, having encountered them right wing, racist baldies one too many times, which spoiled something that I hold dear.

    Anyway, cowards or not, spineless or not, I’ve been warning people in Slovenija about this for a couple of years now. The main reply I used ot get was ‘Oh, it doesn’t mean anything; they’re harmless’. My standard reply : ‘For now, maybe, but one day you’ll wake up and realize they’re all but harmless anymore.’ The reasons I gave were along the lines of your last paragraph and sentence, coming from what I’ve experienced over here, then coming to Slovenija and seeing an increasing number of those Boneheads (that’s the name of their subcategory within skinhead culture; never forget skinheads were working class lefties and Jamaican to boot in origin) popping up in the streets of the greater LJ area. It fell on deaf ears and I was told I was seeing ghosts…

  2. alcessa Says:

    It is really unbelievable how persistent the opinion can be that people talking race and dominance are basically harmless… I was shocked a few years ago when visiting Eastern Germany: their local NPD put up posters for the upcoming election and they all showed ugly, fat old women, with the slogan underneath saying something like “Do come shopping to our country/We don’t mind tourists, but afterwards, get out!” The locals told me these posters didn’t mean what I thought. Well.That must be why they voted for NPD in such large numbers.

    In 2009, NPD had to declare bankruptcy and has to pay a huge fine for having butchered their accounts into something illegal.

    That’s the other side of being stupid and trying to rise above the others. You may soon have to pay for your stupidity.

  3. pengovsky Says:

    @dr. Arf: Well, if they’re ghosts, Slovenia is becoming a haunted house. I imagine that with the economic crisis yet to deliver its full blow we will see more and more of this.

    @alcessa: Which is sort of sad, isn’t it? That despite all the proclamations of defending democracy and wows to “never let it happen again” a country has to pull a stunt like that to put right-wing hardliners out of the picture… I know it worked for Al Capone, but still…

  4. Uros Says:

    I do not want to sound paranoid, but this is quite a dangerous point in time. And we have to talk about this issue before it is too late. Today I heard that the Jelinčič party (SNS) is gaining popularity (they are now 3rd!!!). It is really incredible how Jelinčič managed to evolve (not mentally, just in polls) from an obscure political option to the main stream politics. Even if these Boneheads are not taken seriously it makes Jelinčič (and similar morons) look kind of normal compared to them. And this should never happen!

    So thanks pengovsky for writing about this topic, let us hope i am just being paranoid :).

  5. pengovsky Says:

    @Uros: Good point about SNS becoming mainstream. This proves that, unfortunately, you’re not being paranoid.

  6. Camille Says:

    I hope Uroš is just being paranoid but considering the number of “patriotic” slogans and swastikas I’ve been seeing sprayed around town along with menacing shaved head boys clomping down Trubarjeva, I already feel more than a little nervous. While I can handle one little coward with a spray can who is out past his curfew so he can “spread the word” on an empty wall on Aškerčeva, a whole angry drunken gang of them is a whole lotta BAD. I however fear that any sort of huge CLAMP DOWN might have the opposite effect of boosting their numbers. Not sure what is most effective besides education and services for these wayward kids and their (probably even more wayward) parents.

  7. pengovsky Says:

    @camille: There is no need for a huge clampdown, because “patriots” are not swarming around in huge numbers. I don’t know how much you know about their immediate history, but they all but disappeared when after a bloody fight with punks during an anti-Haider rally in downtown Ljubljana some years ago, when they found themselves on the receiving end of some serious asswhooping.

    So – to put it in cynical terms – all there’s needed is some well directed police brutality and they will go into hiding for another ten years.

    But it has to be done now.

  8. g Says:

    I recognize the sentiment in the comments here. I have many times asked people why no one seeks out slo nazis when they have their protests. Hopefully things might change now. I’m of the opinion that it needs to be really hard to be a nazi. The option to become a young bonehead in slovenia is way to easy..
    I have for a while been expecting some sort of violence that would put slovene nazis more in media focus. As a problem, that is. Hopefully this might be enough to start people thinking of them as a problem.

  9. dr. filomena Says:

    qui tacet consentire videtur

    Tolerance of racist behaviour amplifies it by giving it silent support. So speak out, for crying out loud!

    In times of trouble, people are even more keen on finding a suitable scapegoat to slaughter in a bloody ritual.

  10. Dr. ARF Says:

    @ g : I really hope so, because you REALLY don’t want to see this country infected with covert B&H gatherings like we have in Belgium. Politicians and police are powerless and/or ignorant (especially in the case of the politicians), so these boneheads can just go on spreading their hatred. Don’t let it come to this in Slovenija. As dr. fil puts it : speak out against them; the more often, the better. The irony is that tolerant people have to be intolerant to the intolerant to counter this kind of ideology, but it’s the only way…

  11. g Says:

    Arf: I agree. I’m from sweden and I remember when this happened there in the early 90s. We had our little racist-populist party that got into parliament, economic crisis and nazis just started to have protests in public, honouring old dead heros. I also remember that there was a general consensus among political/editorial elite, that if you ignore them, they’ll go away. And that was the wrong attitude. It took some nasty streetclashes, and some quite serious violence on the nazis side before it became what it is today: a general, serious negative attitude towards boneheads and a society that puts effort into knowing where they are and what they are doing.

    But i remember when they were down by Josko waving flags and I asked people (Mainly punks) why no one was there to tell them that they’re wrong and i got the mah-its-just-stupid-farmers answer. It actually shocked me a bit at the time..

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  13. Arbiter_universale Says:

    “But the real problem is not that Slovenian “patriotic” groups are a bunch of stupid pansies who mistook politics for a psychoanalyst’s couch.”

    To pa nisi dobro zadel Pengovsky. Sploh mi ni všeč. Stupidnost in psihoanaliza ne gresta skupaj. Prej politika in stupidnost.
    Je pa napisano tako za pejt u rt, da pravzaprav sploh ne razumem tega stavka in prosim za pojasnilo.

    LP, Arbi

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  18. Layla Says:

    I am more concerned why someone like Jelinčič is one of the very few people in politics who are also concerned with for example Celje becoming a chemically-laden trash business town?
    Are other politicians just environmentally stupid?

  19. pengovsky Says:

    Do you honestly believe Jelinčič is truly concerned about Celje’s environmental future? Or is he just trying to pick up votes by changing his political platform *yet* again?

  20. slovenian c18 Says:

    one day we will rise and hunt all of u antifa until u die like the facking pussies u are

  21. pengovsky Says:

    Of course you will. Especially with that spelling…. :/

  22. Mia Formation Says:

    I don’t know why people do this and say them self patriot.This is ridiculousness, hitting camera man is not good this.People have to use gentle way to communicate there thought.

  23. fuck Says:

    what the fuck is that???

  24. Isabelle Griffin Says:

    I was shocked a few years ago when visiting Eastern Germany: their local NPD put up posters for the upcoming election and they all showed ugly, fat old women, with the slogan underneath saying something like “Do come shopping to our country/We don’t mind tourists, but afterwards, get out!”
    What the ridiculous thing is this?

  25. Mary tiffanylynnx3 Says:

    In the place I live, there are more hoardings than the number of lampposts in a road. Some of them look really ugly and also the road looks ugly. I feel really bad when I see so many hoardings. Also as mentioned in another comment there are gentle ways to communicate thoughts.

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