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Author Topic: Just a few words from a Serbian far away...  (Read 4561 times)

s.stefan

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Just a few words from a Serbian far away...
« on: October 01, 2013, 02:53:05 pm »

Hi everyone,

First off I would like to apologise for my English, I know it's far from perfect and I hope that any spelling/grammar mistakes I make won't take away from what I want to say.

My name is Stefan, I was born in 1985 in Serbia (ex Yugoslavia), spent most of my life there and two years ago managed to immigrate to Australia, where I live now.

I don't know how familiar any of you are with the history of my country but, in short, after WW II we became a communist country and by the end of 1980's nationalism exploded on the scene when communism fell and civil war broke out between Serbs/Croats/Bosnian, after that in war in Kosovo started that ended with you guys bombing the shit out of us.

Between all that mess, I was growing up and I was lucky enough to have parents who for some strange reason always used to teach me to trust myself, to be self reliant, to question authority instead of obeying it blindly and not let anyone force me to do things I don't feel like doing. I say "for some strange reason" because that is an extremely unorthodox thing to do in Serbia, to teach your child to be like that.

Remnants of 40 years under communism are still extremely clear in the Serbian society. Although we have a democracy now (which doesn't mean a lot when it come to liberty, two wolfs and a sheep voting on whats to eat for dinner is a democracy) no one in Serbia looks at The Government as an entity that should work for the people, obey the people, listen to the people and in general have people as a Boss of sorts. Everyone looks at The Government as this tough, big, all powerful parent that we should all obey because at the end of the day, surely, he must know best.

When my grand mother talks about the secret police that was active during the communism she still leans towards me and starts whispering about it, out of habit. They have been gone for 20+ years and the fear is still there.

40 years of no one really trying or doing their best has killed our initiative, sense of work, motivations which in turn has destroyed our economy. My grandfather was able to retire when he was 40 years old, I'm serious, he was 40 years old, he got full pension and his family of 4 lived from that pension relatively nicely. Any society that would allow stuff like that would destroy it's economy.

The Government is given all the power in the world, people are exactly like a small child with a tough, violent parent, not even imagining there's a possibility to change things, just accepting how that's the way life works. And, as it usually goes, because the people gave all the power to the government, they expect the government to be the sole provider for their needs. Protection, education, jobs, money in need.

I was young when Milosevic fell in the revolution in 2000 but if I was a bit older I would have probably been hopeful, I would have figured that people changed, but they didn't. People were being led by one to destroy and replace the other, it was all the same after he was gone.

And in between all that, there was me.

I have to admit, when I was 15-16-17, I was a bit a nationalist as well. I believed the lies that both the government and the people served me. How nothing that happened was our fault. How we, Serbs, never did anything wrong. How everything they say we did is western propaganda and a lie. How the US betrayed their WW II ally. And I believed that, it felt good to believe it. It felt good to be a part of something, to take away from something that you didn't have anything to do with and take credit, tap yourself on the back. We, Serbs, the noble warriors, fighting the good fight, against the world. It felt good but it was, so, so wrong.

What saved me was the internet. I was lucky enough to get a grasp of English language early on in my life, watching Hollywood movies with english subtitles beneath all day long and when I got broadband internet, I started reading, both fiction and non fiction as well as news articles in general and I saw just how much of what I believed were lies. My first reaction was anger, incredible anger but soon I accepted the truth and once and for all broke off from any kind of nationalism or collectivism at all.

A lot of libertarian ideas were forming in my head before I even knew those were "libertarian" ideas. Although almost every household has a gun in Serbia, using or carrying one is illegal. I argued with my friends hundreds of times how it's completely wrong to have a rule in society where, if someone knocks at your door this very second with the intention to hurt you or your loved ones you are supposed to call someone, the big ol government service and beg and wait for the almighty police to come help you - clean up the blood and pick up your corpse, instead of being able to defend yourself.

I also always had a problem with people or institutions telling me how I "must" do something when it has no effect at all on anyone if I don't. I never understood why I must do that and I always wondered why doesn't anyone else see it like that. Others in my surrounding saw all that stuff as, almost, laws of nature. When the government tells you to do something, you just must do it. It's like throwing a brick in the pool, it just must sink, simple as that. Only one who understood me was my mother and to a degree my father. Which was helpful since because of me not wanting to do what I "must" i was arrested, beaten up, almost kicked out of school etc, understanding from my parents was useful.

And now, I'll finally get to the point.

I always loved The United States. I grew up watching American movies, I've read all Hemingways and Faulkners books and to compare I have seen maybe five Serbian movies and read 2 books by Serbian writers. When I was a little kid I used to spend days with my grandmother while my parents were working and we watched old Western movies. And that lone hero, going up against the corrupt town, against the establishment resonated deeply with me. That whole idea of a strong individual, believing in what's right and doing it was exactly the opposite of what the society I lived in was like.

And, since United States are not that popular in Serbia, especially since the 1999 bombing I got in to a lot of arguments defending it. And I always asked the same question to the person attacking the US "Would you prefer to live in a world where China is the so called world policemen".... Silence was always the reply.

Even though you guys do a lot of things wrong... NSA, Guantanamo Bay the recent and trendier examples you are still the beacon of liberty in this world and I truly believe that imperfect as you are, you are the best defender of liberty that we have and that the world in general is a better place with United States in it.



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s.stefan

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Re: Just a few words from a Serbian far away...
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2013, 02:53:16 pm »

It sounds funny now but I was already around 20 years old when I discovered libertarianism as a concept and to see the theories behind it, the support people give it, the history that movement has, it was the happiest night of my life when I stumbled upon it online. I was really afraid that I was alone. I knew that America for example was a place with much more freedom than Serbia but I didn't know that there is this movement, political theory that represents everything what I believe in. That there are all this writers, all this books about it etc etc etc It might sound funny, but remember I was living in a country where asking a policemen if he has a right to search you or to come inside your property was a laughably stupid and pointless idea.

Later on I found out about New Hampshire (I was researching, trying to find out which state has the best, least restrictive gun laws) fell in love with it's motto, climate, laws, philosophy...it seemed like a dream to thing that such place exists. And a bit after that I found you guys. Just remembered you an hour ago again and decided to join and write this.

I wrote a longer post but I wanted you to understand who I am before I say this:

Thank you.

As a liberty loving person on the far side of the world, what you are doing, what you believe in means a lot. I managed to get out of Serbia, I'm in Australia right now but it's not that much better, it's more comfortable but it's even more restrictive society when it comes to some things than Serbia. And just knowing that there are people like you somewhere, places like New Hampshire. Knowing that I'm not alone, means a lot, it really does.

And it's perfectly reasonable that you guys are in the US. I always imagined that the original settlers were people like me, who were fed up with their lords, kings, dictators, governments, said "f*ck it", jumped on a boat and came to America to make their fortune.

So, keep up the good fight. I wish you all the luck with your project. it's nearly impossible to immigrate legally to United States (and legally is the only way I would immigrate) but if I somehow manage in the years to come to do it, I will surely join you, if you would have me.



p.s. As you are all liberty loving people I think it's important to know of all the dangers to liberty. My grandmother's example is one. Her father was killed right in front of her by muslim bosnians in WW II. They came in to their house, dragged him in the yard and shot him. Later, when communists came they offered an iron hand and an iron rule and my grandmother and millions of others like her excepted it straight away. In their minds, that iron rule was much, much better than the chaos that took their loved ones. I'm just saying that to point out what many of you I'm sure already know. Liberty mostly dies in good, simple, you might even say understandable conditions. It never comes as an enemy, it comes as a saviour. You can see the pattern in history and in the US after 9/11 or mass shootings.


Anyway, I hope I didn't bore you to death with my long post, It's just incredible to be able to talk to fellow liberty loving people. I have never meet one in my life, I feel like I would hug you all right now.
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Bazil

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Re: Just a few words from a Serbian far away...
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2013, 04:05:20 pm »

Welcome! Amazing story.  It was long but worth the read.  

If you want to work towards getting here there are two main routes:  Marriage and work.  The former is usually surprisingly easier than the latter if you're an unattached person.  You can meet woman online so where and how to do that isn't a big issue.  If you choose the work route it's best to have a degree.  The US likes immigration, but only if they are educated.  I'm and American and work in the US, but most of the people I work with are from outside the US who came here on work visas.  So if you have a college education you could try working for a company you know has a location in or near NH, and then try and get a transfer.  While here you could work on citizenship or permanent residency, so you won't need a visa.  I know at least two people from eastern Europe who did that.  Another, slightly more temporary route, but would work if you have no education is get accepted to a university, maybe UNH or Dartmouth.  Although some place in MA near by may also suffice.  Since you'll already be here getting work here right out of college would be easier.
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"If it ain't broke, fix it till it is!"- The government | "Politicians are like diapers, they need to be changed often, and for the same reasons!" -  a friend

Connectisuck

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Re: Just a few words from a Serbian far away...
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2013, 06:43:17 pm »

Really? America makes the world a better place? Come on, guy. Square that life away.
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d.j.smith

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Re: Just a few words from a Serbian far away...
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2013, 04:34:19 pm »

Thank you, s. stefan, for the kind words, and for sharing your perspective. It made me realize (remember?) that no matter how I feel about the success or otherwise of our struggle to maintain liberty, that struggle in itself has value. Obviously, it's much easier to see that value from the outside than from the inside -- like, say, from Serbia.

We have something in common, you and I, in that we've both put the Internet to its best use: as a resource from which to learn things to which we would never be exposed otherwise. No wonder the establishment hates and fears it more than anything else, eh? By its very design, it resists centralization and control. And it can get someone out of his mental box without him having to get out of his armchair. Now that's magic, if you ask me.

Another thing I really love about the Internet is the relationships it has made possible with persons in other countries. I've learned a lot from interacting with people who have different points of view based on different experiences of the world. In fact, I will forever be grateful to a woman in Indonesia with whom I used to chat for being the one to get me out of the "poor little me" mindset and habit of whining about my life. One sentence she spoke changed my life, made me realize that no matter what my circumstances are here in America, I'm one of the fortunate minority on this planet that will never know real poverty. I haven't been able to feel sorry for myself since.

So -- since you didn't mention it at all, which I found a bit odd -- do you have any desire or plans to emigrate?
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"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."

s.stefan

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Re: Just a few words from a Serbian far away...
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2013, 08:55:39 pm »

Hey djsmith,

Thank you for the kind words.

And yes, I plan to emigrate. I moved from Serbia to Australia because I've fallen in love but now that relationship is over (her choice) and I'm trying to take a positive POV at the situation that I'm in, which is, now I'm free to achieve my dream, eventually live in the US.

I'll try to get a University Degree here in Sydney (I have a degree in Journalism from an University in Serbia but that's not really worth a lot in the world) and in the mean time I'll start networking with different people/companies in the US so I could migrate on a work visa for a start.

I will also apply for that green card lottery.

That's the plan for now.

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KBCraig

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Re: Just a few words from a Serbian far away...
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2013, 04:11:23 am »

(I have a degree in Journalism from an University in Serbia but that's not really worth a lot in the world)

Trust me, the same is true of a degree in Journalism from a university in the U.S.!  ;D
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Luck

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Re: Just a few words from a Serbian far away...
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2013, 05:15:30 pm »

Nice to meet you, Stefan. If you need to apologize for your English mistakes, most Americans would need to apologize even more. But I don't think most of us care much about anyone's grammar and spelling etc, although they sometimes make understanding harder.

The U.S. was a good place for most white people until the late 1800s, when the European (largely British) ruling class began to gain control and then, under Teddy Roosevelt, made us an imperialisit nation. From FDR to JFK the tide turned back toward freedom again, in my view, but with JFK's murder, the ruling class has continued to gain power, until now, when they seem poised to install martial law and take away our freedom permanently. So, although the U.S. was a rather good place for many people, especially white ones, for a long time, it's been more abusive than almost any other govt in recent decades, esp. since 9/11/01.

The same ruling class that put Hitler and Mussolini in power in the 1920s and recruited Muslims to join the Muslim Brotherhood, which I think must be the group who did some of the terrorism in Serbia during WW2, also brought fascists from Nazi Germany to the U.S. after WW2, which helped them in their plot to impose dictatorship here. Their primary method, I think, of gaining power here so far, though, has been via campaign financing, by which they essentially buy our politicians. And since they own the major new and entertainment media, they've been able to shape public opinion rather easily. Our education system is also responsible for a large part of dumbing us down.

The world's imperialist power bloc now seems to be the U.S., Britain, Israel and Saudi Arabia. I'm not sure that China right now would be much worse a world power than is the U.S. That's because China is the devil we know, but the U.S. has a reputation for being an angel, but now is the devil no one knew before, so to speak. The U.S. seems to be still the best hope for all of humanity, only because the tradition of freedom has a fairly strong influence.

The U.S. was a free "country" before white people came here, so that probably helped too. Most of us are descendants of immigrants. I'm mostly fifth generation American, but on my French and English sides the number is many more generations. And my native American ancestors were here for hundreds of generations, I think.

Speaking of immigration, the U.S. was a much better place when it had few or no restrictions on immigration. A couple of other ideas on immigration for you and others could be, one, going to Canada first. I think it's easier for Australians and others to go to Canada than to the U.S. now. Or, two, a legal expert in Colorado told me a couple years ago that a foreigner could start a Nevada corporation, costing 200 dollars or so, and then get a visa to come to run the corporation.

If you need any help immigrating etc, let us know here, and maybe we can help out. It seems you have pretty good internet access, so you could look up Nevada corporations, if interested in that idea. I could also tell you how to contact the guy who told me about it, if you like. He has a yahoogroup forum. I assume he still has it. It was still popular last year or so. If you come here, you could be an English teacher.
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