Five years ago, on the first of May, the country was supposed to be celebrating. Public transport was free that day, and there was a free concert in the old town. I was going to this concert with some friends, we were on one of the free buses running from Baltupiai to the old town. Suddenly a fight broke out among several people, and one of them hit another's head with a bottle of beer. It could have been the "Euro" beer - a popular cheap brand at the time.
Remembering this, I was thinking that this scene depicts what the EU has become in the mainstream Lithuanian imagination today. We ride somewhere on a bus, available to us because of the EU (which has repaired roads, schools, public transport and other infrastructure across the country), yet use its symbolics to hit each other on the head. Five years after the enthusiastic EU entry, public intellectuals are mumbling about the dictate of political correctness, threat to national sovereignty, and, most of all, the perceived attack against the "real values" by euro-homosexuals. The EU is now called not "Europe" (the heartland of individual freedom and refuge from the "Eastern neighbour"), but "Brussels" (the ivory tower of "rootless cosmopolitan" bureaucracy).
I was there on the joyous 1st of May, I came back specially from Greece where I was working to celebrate the day with the Lithuanians.
Hmmm. On the one hand, enthusiasm for the EU was never going to stay at the same level. A dose of healthy Euroscepticism is normal, and some disillusionment would be expected. And all member states direct their complaints at Brussels, while reaffirming their support for Europe.
But what is this "rootless cosmopolitan" bureacracy? And why is Wonderland using this term? I was shocked to see it returning again.
I quote from Wikipedia:
Rootless cosmopolitan (Russian language: безродный космополит, "bezrodniy kosmopolit") was a Soviet euphemism introduced during Joseph Stalin's antisemitic campaign of 1949–1953, which culminated in the "exposure" of the alleged Doctors' plot. The term "rootless cosmopolitan" referred mostly (but not only) to Jewish intellectuals, as an accusation in their lack of patriotism, i.e., lack of full allegiance to the Soviet Union.
So Lithuanian antisemitism now blames Jews in Brussels for their problems? Time for Lithuanians to get real and solve their own 21st century problems without looking for scapegoats from the past.