And these new team players from the “gray backwaters” of Mongolia, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Albania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Moldavia, Latvia, and Lithuania, these transition mutants will storm European and American universities and finally learn what needs learning. They will form a vibrant young contingent of specialists, organizers, operators and, above all, managers, experts in business management, political management, ecological management, cultural management, disaster management—the management of life. They will be a genus that propagates itself with inhuman rapidity, as if propagation were their sole aim in life. They are the type that always lands on its feet, that has no qualms about living off the misfortunes of the people they help, because even misfortune needs to
be managed: misfortune without management is merely failure. They are the people who will look after the disabled in Bulgaria, Bosnia, Belarus, Moldavia, and Romania; of the orphans in Bosnia, Georgia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Chechnya, Kosovo, Azerbaijan, and Armenia; of the minorities in Europe and the Roma everywhere; of sex professionals and victims of the white, black, and yellow slave trade; of refugees, emigrants, immigrants, and migrants; of the homeless. They are mutants who will be as efficient as laboratory viruses in spreading, spreading their nets and networks, their umbrellas and umbrella organizations, their centers, their links. They will become the heads of audiovisual and telecommunications departments, the net and web people. They will be the self-confident designers of their own careers and of the lives of others. They will be deep thinkers, voracious readers, and consummate stylists. They will have multiple identities: they will be cosmopolitan, global, multicultural, nationalistic, ethnic, and diasporic all in one. They will wear any number of hats and be flexible in the extreme, ever ready to define and refine themselves, reflect and deflect themselves, invent and reinvent themselves, construct and deconstruct themselves. They will be the champions of democracy in these transitional times, and since everything is and has always been in a state of flux the words mobility and fluidity will be like chewing gum in their mouths. They will be progressive and aggressively young, the well-paid commissars of European integration and enlargement, the harbingers of the new world order, the creators of unique postnational political units, of new national and postnational constellations, advocates of globalization as opposed to localization and vice versa, advocates, zealous advocates of whatever happens to be in need of advocating. Born in the Ukrainian hinterland, they will study medieval history in Kiev, English business terminology in Birmingham, and write dissertations on “What Medieval History and Business Terminology Have in Common.” They will flock from Vilnius to Warwick to learn about micro- and macroeconomics, to specialize in good governance and sustainable peace in war-torn societies. They will come from Voronezh, Kaunas, Timişoara and Pécs to work for NGOs, the EU, the UNHCR. They will come from Ulan Bator with MBAs to study modeling policy instruments. They will come from Yerevan, from Alma Ata, from Veliko Tŭrnovo, from Tashkent and Varna and Minsk to become the leaders and future elite in a unified Europe. They will come from Iaşi in Romania and Ruse in Bulgaria and Tetov in Macedonia with doctorates in pastoral Orthodox theology in their pockets, spend a few years in Fribourg studying international relations, join think tanks in Salonika, Boston, and Prague, and hold a series of handsomely remunerated briefing sessions in a Romanian, Bulgarian, or Lithuanian institute on the topic of Euro-Atlantic integration and the politics of defense, flaunting their rampant bastardization. They will be linguistically gifted, speaking several languages and creating a Eurospeak of their own, peppering it with personal coinages. They will always write the word Enlargement with a capital E, because for them it heralds a new era, a new humanism, Renaissance, and Enlightenment rolled into one. Their buzzwords will be management, negotiation technology, income, profit, investment, expenses, hidden communication, and the like. Quick to position themselves, forever with an eye to the main chance, resilient as the proverbial cat with nine lives, they will be hardworking, communicative, loyal, discreet, tolerant, friendly, and skillful in coping with stressful situations. They will show a special interest in diplomatic privileges. They will come from Samara after short stints in Coca-Cola Samara and Samara Light and Power and enroll in the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies. They will spice up their applications with phrases like Challenge is my propeller and Perfection is my ulti
mate goal and jargon like the contemporary self, the bastardization of our age, postcolonialism, marketization, recruiting tactics, sensitivity training, and contacts.
But on their way they will forget that the very flexibility, mobility, and fluidity that catapulted them to the surface leave a nameless mass of slaves down below. All through the gray backwaters people will be eking out precarious livings by manufacturing the goods the West European magnates call for. They will be rummaging in dustbins for food, going on benders, giving birth to homeless children who will give birth to more homeless children. They will sell their sperm, their kidneys; they will sell any organ that will fetch a price on the global black market. They will rent out fresh East European sexual organs to the weary ones of Enlarged Europe. They may also help out their brothers, lay Croatian customers, say, traveling to Bulgaria (where human flesh is cheaper). And some of them will travel all the way to the shores of Western Europe, where the more fortunate will pick asparagus in Germany and tulips in Holland and the less fortunate will scrub toilets."
Ugresic, The Ministry of Fear.
A prodigious rant. Unfortunate that her excellent use of italics hasn’t come across from the ebook…