Bastards of Utopia

A remixable Documentary

Born in the U.S.A.

Dado and Maple visit Hrelic market.  Dado shops for records by Skid Row, Bruce Springsteen, and a Yugoslavian choir. Read More

Dado’s hesitancy to buy Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. album is due to what he perceives as its American nationalist tenor.  Maybe he’s thinking that the Boss is an American version of Croatia’s fascist rocker Thompson.  Nationalism stresses the cultural similarity of its adherents and, by implication, draws boundaries vis-a-vis others, who thereby become outsiders.  The distinguishing mark of nationalism is its relationship to the state.  A nationalist holds that political boundaries should be coterminous with cultural boundaries (Eriksen 2002: 138).

The Croatian right draws on these ethnic distinctions by imagining a political community that is both limited and sovereign.  Benedict Anderson (1983) suggests the nation is imagined because members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion.  The nation has finite boundaries beyond which lie other nations.  It is this idea of the imagined community, conceived of as a deep, horizontal comradeship, that persuades people to not only kill, but to die for the nation.

To see more of Zagreb’s Hrelic market, watch The Antler Salesman.