Diaspora, Don't Come Back!

By 14 June 2018

In the good ol' days you'd go to war with the Ottomans, half of your friends died, but you'd just keep on trucking.

A plague would rampage trough, half of your friends died, you'd pick up their remains and prevail.

Totalitarian regimes using their violent apparatus, executing, imprisoning or banishing half of your friends, you'd fight back. You would always understand that tragedy, violence and pain would decimate or even halve your community.

And yet, half of my friends are also gone. Alive, but gone from Croatia. Gone to other countries.I would dare to say more than half, or more than half of my close friends. There was no Mongolian invasion, no deadly epidemics, no eruption of any volcano. There was no famine, our water is drinkable and we're a very safe country. Every year, millions of tourist come pouring into Croatia, for its beauty and culture, we're part of the EU, and yet, more than half of my friends are gone, they've emigrated like so many of our citizens.

Is this tragic? The president thinks this is a disaster, media is yelling ''Calamity!''.

We have dropped under 4 million according to German statistics, and all the experts claim this is the beginning of our downfall. A demographic Armaggedon! Soon, we know, we'll all disappear. What a millennia of warfare couldn't do, emigration will. But, is it tragic? It is for me. I feel like something is always missing, and it's hard to be optimistic when every year feels like a new chapter of ''Ten Little Indians'', where you're wondering, who will go next? Will it be the ''professor'' heading off to Ireland or an ''engineer'' to Sweden? Or will it be the classic ''manual worker'' to Germany cliche? Whatever it is, it's another farewell party where everyone is happy that you are going to have a better future, but are sad that you will have it without them. Every year. Another departure.

Half of my elementary school friends – gone.
Half of my high school friends – gone.
Half of my college friends – gone.

So is it tragic? F*ck yes, it's tragic for me!

In the latest polls, over half of the country's current students are planning to leave Croatia. They don't see a future filled with hope here. 52% of them! Kids don't separate themselves into jocks, goths, nerds, skaters, loners or posers anymore. Now it's the stayers and leavers.

Everybody is alarmed now. The president is calling for the national security council to deal with it. Who is to blame? Is it the EU and its open borders? Or maybe bad parents? Greed and lack of patriotism? Poverty and lack of jobs? And if we don't stop it, will this destroy us?

The answer is no. To all of the above.

People have a choice now they didn't have before. Let's not forget that just 170 years ago, the majority of the population werte serfs. It was a condition of bondage. We were bound to the land. It was inhumane. Human condition needs free movement. And that freedom that we have today in the modern world is something to be proud of. That choice makes us better people, not just giving hope to those who feel trapped, but the responsibility to those ready to claim it. My friends that left, were not running away from things. They were running towards them. It's not greed for money. But greed for a future. Greed for knowledge. Greed for solutions. Greed for respect. Greed for honesty. Greed for more choices. Greed for more freedom. All the things we don't have here. Here corruption rules. Destroying all it touches, from education, to justice, to health, to food, to sports, and to culture. It is a slap in the face of every free person.

Blatant criminals enjoying life in high government positions. Stealing daily from all of us. Taking from the sick and the poor. Economic euthanasia. Spit in all of our faces. We used to have peasant revolts, national uprisings and worker's revolutions for those situations, but now we have the choice to leave, so people leave, and rightfully so.

If the future is denied to them here, then they will go off and build it somewhere else. They will build it for us too. A Croatian future outside of Croatia. It's happened before. Tesla didn't bring light to the world in Lika and the necktie became famous in Paris. Nothing can really stop our future. Nothing can stop our ingenuity or our culture. Nothing can stop our people, not even our kakistocracy.

Until Croatia can provide this generation with the means to prepare us for the new millennia, don't bother coming back. You may be our only hope. What you do in the world will echo here. It will not destroy us. It will save us.

Is it tragic? No. It's heroic.