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Under the Holy Lime Tree, The inculcation of Neurotic & Psychotic Syndromes as a Serbian Wartime Strategy, 1986. - 1995.

Sabrina P. Ramet

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 126 Kb

str. 83-97

preuzimanja: 2.261



This article looks at some of the recurrent themes in Serbian propaganda 1986–95, examining their operation in inculcating collective neurotic and psychotic syndromes and noting the relevance of those syndromes for the war against Croatia and Bosnia, 1991–95. Six pivotal themes in Serbian propaganda are examined:
1. Victimization, in which Serbs were constructed as collective victims first of the NDH, then of Tito’s Yugoslavia, and more specifically of Croats, Albanians, Bosniaks, and other non-Serbs. 2. Dehumanization of designated ‘others’, in which Croats were depicted as ‘genocidal’ and as ‘Ustaše’, Bosniaks were portrayed as ‘fanatical fundamentalists’, and Albanians were represented as not fully human. These processes of dehumanization effectively removed these designated ‘others’ from the moral field, sanctifying their murder or expulsion. 3. Belittlement, in which Serbia’s enemies were represented as beneath contempt. 4. Conspiracy, in which Croats, Slovenes, Albanians, the Vatican, Germany, Austria, and sometimes also the Bosniaks as well as the U.S. and other foreign states, were seen as united in a conspiracy to break up the SFRY and hurt Serbia. In this way, the Belgrade regime’s obstinate disregard for the fundamental standards of international law was dressed up as heroic defiance of an anti-Serb conspiracy. 5. Entitlement, in which the Serbs were constructed as ‘entitled’ to create a Greater Serbian state to which parts of Croatia and Bosnia would be attached, under the motto, ‘All Serbs should live in one state'. 6. Superhuman powers and divine sanction. The Serbs were told that they were, in some sense, 'super'. They were the best fighters on the planet, they could stand up to the entire world, they were sanctioned by God himself, be cause of Tsar Lazar and the fact that Lazar had chosen the heavenly kingdom. Moreover, since Lazar had chosen the heavenly kingdom, the Serbs, encouraged to view themselves as Lazar’s heirs, were entitled to the earthly kingdom which Lazar had repudiated, as their patrimony.

Ključne riječi

Victimaization; Dehumanization; Belittlement; Conspiracy; Entitlement; Superhuman Powers; Divine sanction; Libido; Propaganda; War; Serbia

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