The media in Bulgaria gets very insulted whenever they are accused of participating in the dumbing down of society. They are very insulted because it is the truth. The media is not busy informing, but instead maintaining stereotypes. Under the guise of “freedom of the press” they release critical commentary but only if their criticisms don’t reach dangerously close to the truth.
Because of this there are many statements on the television, along the lines of “Yes, capitalism has its issues but we can fix it to have a human face” when discussing business in Bulgaria. Is it a conspiracy between the state and media, that the problems will simply be blamed on the “wrong people making the wrong decisions”? Usually, such ‘brave’ speeches are garnished with “we deserve who we voted for”. The media hints that we only needed to vote in the ‘right people’ and all would be milk and honey.
It never happens that a speaker in the media says that the “capitalist state” system is a huge problem. Leaders instantly nudge troublemaker to check themselves – and usually that’s what happens.
Recently, one morning a national television station invited a “model Roma” to repeat the cliché excuses that are given as liberal propaganda. By the way, with the problem of “internal refugees” the media in Bulgaria are swinging like a pendulum: that gypsies are causing ethnic tension, ruining Bulgarian society, and that there should be some resistance to their actions or that the Roma must be integrated into Bulgarian society because “That is democratic and European”. The first shows a support for nationalist interests, while the second supports the same illusion of a ‘just country’ and ‘human capitalism’. The two both veil the social issues of the problem, and lend credibility to the lies that politicians tell, allowing them to play the public with “there is, there isn’t” to patriots and liberals alike in a con game.
The “educated Roma” however, although not involved with radical thought, often puts his finger in the wound and looks to official state statistics which he deviates from and engages the host and other guests in debate. He will probably not be invited again.
Exemplary citizen Ognyan Isaev, represents the educated part of the Roma youth, with his ‘unusual’ calmness and expression, stands in the face of viewers and their well-known and falsified facts.
He reveals the public secrets, that Roma thugs control Roma ghettos in pure obedience, causing them to do anything that which we call ‘petty crime’, that is badness that is not something horrible in of itself. Moreover, a little before this the media reported on the arrest of a group of money lenders (and a few days afterwards about an arrest of another similar group, which was led by a mayor), who for years harassed a Roma neighborhood. What is revealed is that they gave the most attention not to oppression and its consequences but mostly to the participation of the group in “migrant trafficking” – which implies that the media saw this as its biggest crime.
If you hear a crash, it’s the collapse of the cliché of the lack of integration of gypsies in the market economy – infact, they are perfectly integrated into capitalist production, for our shared troubles.
Afterwards, Ognyan challenged the myth that social welfare is parasitic; in Bulgaria, social welfare helps 60,000 people, and not only gypsies. The budget dedicates 60 million to social welfare. In comparison, the state administration costs 2 billion.
He showed with official data, that shared participation of gypsies in light and medium crime is comparable with the percentage of ethnic Bulgarians. It is true, that statistics are only registered cases, but even with this correction, that data from one side is not drastically affected, and is also proven the true, undeclared goals that the police should exist – and they are not “guardians of citizens” at all, but only of the ruling class.
This aside, damage of the whole “Roma criminality” through the last 25 years is not enough to reach even half of damage of the the KTB affair – committed by Bulgarian bankers and politicians. And this is the damage done without us even counting all privatizations, external loans, and such dealings of the state, whose functions are at 95%, according to the words of both pure Bulgarians and passionate patriots.
The myth of irresponsibility and excessive childbearing for state support within the Roma community is also breaking apart. Having many children only stopped being Bulgarian tradition from the middle of the last century, and today only 5% of families have more than two children. However, the Roma are more than 5% and through statistics, the myth makes no sense. But the media prefers to show the exceptions and show them as the rule. But either way, the state allocates 90 million within the budget for child support. How much does the parliament cost?
During talks about Roma, leading opponents of Roma within Bulgaria blur the topic of work within the Roma community, hence the decline in interest towards education (successful businessmen in Bulgaria are not burdened by higher education – again a statistical fact) which creates the self-perpetual cycle that pushes the Roma towards dirty work. Bulgarians, in another conflict with the Roma, aren’t presented with another exit besides to side with their oppressors, because Bulgarians prefer to beat the poor instead of taking the risk in removing their leaders. Explicitly, Roma thugs are business partners with their “white” brothers. Towards the list of Roma problems (which is very similar to the list of Bulgarian problems) Ognyan adds “illegal buildings”. A large part of these became illegal after privatization of land and the removal of regulations. Warning, tomorrow the same might happen to ethnic Bulgarians; will there be riots against those in charge of such acts?
For us affected by Ognyans facts against capitalism and servicing statehood. Ognyan, of course, did not present them like this, but his efforts to debunk media myths received a sharp reaction. This reaction of the media is fully transparent: little remains from these people to make real, radical choices – for example, that Bulgarians, Turks, and Roma should work together to rid themselves of the thugs in charge instead of fighting between themselves. However, it is exactly this that the media wants to prevent by any means possible.
Only through sowing discord between ethnic groups can those in positions of power (nationally and economically) stay in power. Remember this: without ethnic tension, the state would have long ago been in the mud, where it belongs.
Originally written by the Federation of Anarchists in Bulgaria, or Федерация на Анархистите в България.