A press release
Down With War Criminals!
"Europe is finished"
"Q", p. 64
We consider the NATO offensive in the Balkans as useless, absurd, criminal and even apocalyptic. Useless, nay, counterproductive: it turned Slobodan Milosevic and his cut-throats into unconvincing heroes and self-styled opponents of the New World Order, leaving Serbian people with no choice but siding with their dictator. Absurd: historical ignorance and lack of strategy stirred up a war with dark prospects, in a geopolitical area that worked as incubator for the bloodiest conflicts in modern history. Criminal: while it is dubious that NATO wants to impede ethnic cleaning, it is certain that they're ratifying and speeding it up. From Dayton onwards the Western powers have promoted, as a "solution" of the Balkan problem, the invention of grotesque mono-ethnic states whose borders can hardly be outlined, kept together only by hatred for their neighbors. Apocalyptic: the abovementioned lack of strategy and the inexistence of clear political purposes are making a ground attack unavoidable, with unimaginable consequences.
In times like these, it is difficult not to sound rhetoric; you hear your own voice and immediately experience a sense of triviality at the bottom of your stomach. Yet every passing day of war and carnage, every bunch of falling bombs brings about certainty that we wrote a book abot what's going on. *Q* is an epic on the origins of so-called Modernity which actually deals with the present, with this epoch, the end of Modernity itself. Q's scenario is XVIth century Europe, a continent swarming with religion wars, characterised by a conflict between old and new powers (both of which wave the flag of Faith to cover quite other interests) and a mercantile integration that crosses borders and overcedes local wars by launching a new, global one, the war of finance. This Europe is constantly reconstructed by political decisions which are determined by German bankers. Faith is "defended" by mercenary gangs that often abandon themselves to rape and looting, to the detriment of entire populations subject to martial law. In consequence, columns of fugees leave their villages aflame, as desperate rebellion encounters the solid response of both old dynasties and emerging merchant powers, the usual shitty response: guns, further war, genocide. In the end, it is a continent over which one man, an emperor whose domain stretches from America to the Balkans, tries to impose one order, his own, with support of the most powerful bank in the world.
Those pages are about the folly of NATO bombings on towns, factories, houses and people, about escalation to global massacre, about gasoline thrown in the fire of ethnic hate, and what's more, about the unbelievable annihilation of intelligence, about this chilling silence. Fear of bombs in Belgrade and Pristina has an equivalent on this side of the sea, in the fear provoked by the deliberate impotence of these miserable European government celebrating themselves as Socialists, not to mention the obtuse faces of intellectuals and opinion leaders, none of which is able to grasp the meaning of what's going on. Indignation is good for nothing. Generic appeals to peace never roused our interest: war, today as four centuries ago, has a very solid raison d'etre, rooted in the criminal decisions of states and supernational powers, the United States as well as Charles V's empire. Ethnic cleanings and retaliations have their reason too, a reason that we reject and oppose, being aware that time won't stop rewarding with victories and defeats those who keep up this struggle, i.e. the only conflict worth enlisting for. These days of bloodbath coincide with our Q promotional tour all over Italy. It would immoral and inconsistent with our long-time political praxis not to seize this opportunity, that's why we're using our paradoxical "fame" to censure both the madness of rulers and the apathy of the ruled ones.
The collective of Q's "authors"
Luther Blissett Project - Bologna
April 1st, 1999