NEWSLETTER – 12.10.2012

By Ivan Daraktchiev

On Sept. 8th I have read an article in The Brussels Journal, entitled The Success of Eastern Europe, written by Richard Rahn. The author, one of the Western advisors to the former Soviet Block members’ political leaders, praised the results, as e.g. in

“Per capita incomes still lag somewhat behind those of the richer Western European countries... But economic growth rates on average in the nine new countries, with plenty of ups and downs, have been much higher than the average of the European Union (EU).

The improvement has been much grater than the official numbers indicate because the real level of well-being in the nine countries at the end of the Soviet period was greatly overstated.”

and so on, and so forth…

I couldn’t possibly stand quiet and watch in apathy such writings: a mockery to millions who have endured – and still do – so much suffering throughout a full generation “in transition,” if we assume the writer knows the subject; or otherwise just senseless analysis by someone who so obviously hasn’t got a clue of what he’s writing about. Hence I’ve written what was initially intended as a comment, to become eventually a stand-alone writing labeled “open letter.”

“I do realize my response may be judged as a bit emotionally driven but I'm sure you will appreciate my reaction: reporting that a nation actually in agony is making good progress should not be tolerated, as a honest piece of intellectual work deserves, but rather be castigated. Or so I do believe.” The last quote is from my own writing to a friend, in reference to the open letter, and it is provided here in order to facilitate your assessment of my motivation and my state of mind.

Enjoy the reading (if you can) and judge for yourself!

Open Letter to Richard Rahn

NEWSLETTER - 23.03.2013

By Ivan Daraktchiev

For about a month now a wave of protests is sweeping through various cities, towns and villages of Bulgaria. The establishment is downplaying the scale and the importance of this phenomenon, and does everything in its power to dissipate the momentum and dilute the effect of the nation’s drive for radical change. Yet there has never been a clearer sign of the population’s desire to end the trend of living standards’ deterioration endured for 23 years.

In our opinion reporting of the current events abroad is scant and does not reflect the scale and the gravity of public anger with the Nomenklatura. Five cases of self-immolation later the only publication from Foreign Policy online magazine is suggesting that this is something very regular in Bulgaria - if anything, the implication being it is below the expected average!!! I find this deeply offending my country and my nation. In response to such a scandalous attitude I have written a treatise entitled  “On Reading The Signs Of Vox Populi,”  intended for publication elsewhere. Please click on the title in order to read it.

NEWSLETTER - 15.07.2013

By Ivan Daraktchiev

The patriotic movement ZAEDNO (Bulgarian for TOGETHER) has decided to reach out for alliances with dissident groups abroad that have similar philosophy. We believe internationalizing the effort would accelerate the process of peaceful reforming the establishment that refers to itself as representative democracy into direct democracy. We consider it a must to do our best to avoid the transformation happening by violent means: the events of late in many countries suggest that the intrinsic conditions for change are near the boiling point. Hence we appeal to all individuals with conscience and dignity to join forces in order to prevent the messy alternative. In that regard we are undertaking contact with dissidents professing similar to our ideas. The baseline philosophy underpinning the ZAEDNO doctrine and reflected in our Program for peaceful change to People Power (true direct democracy) is outlined in an essay entitled  “Nomenklaturocracy, or what exactly was Orwell right about”  that we will submit for publication  by the independent media, if such a thing still exists.

NEWSLETTER – 04.08.2013

The revolution in Bulgaria: status update, August 4th, 2013

By Ivan Daraktchiev

Finally some news about the current situation in Bulgaria – about 50 days of continuous wave of mass protest – appeared in the Western media. However, all reports and comments that we have seen, whether due to limited inside knowledge or out of complicity, are misrepresenting the problems. One John O’Brennan, for example, writes in The Guardian that Bulgarians have caught the revolutionary fire from the Brazilians and the Turks. Surely it is so: he does not have the slightest clue about the Bulgarian revolution that has started in February of this year, and of which God only knows when it will be over!

Then in WSJ the former Finance Minister Simeon Dyankov comments that the event precipitating this current wave was the appointment by the current Government of a top oligarch (i.e. a dedicated Mafia member) to the position of Security Services boss, a true statement, but that the real reason for this protest is the impoverished average citizen due to the communist past – a blunt lie by a competent person or a self-implication in total ignorance. Whichever the case, the reason for publishing these accounts by the mainstream media is one: they both are strictly “politically correct.” On the contrary, writings that present the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, have not been published because they describe an ugly reality and as such are deeply, profoundly, entirely “politically incorrect.”

We have been ceaselessly trying to get such material published, and until this time nothing has been allowed. This one is yet another attempt, because we are confident the truth shall come out, sooner or later, whether someone likes it or not. And our record stands straight, always accessible at 

Here is a brief account of the (so far) winter-to-summer of Bulgarians’ discontent:

In mid-February of this year the first wave of spontaneous mass protest started and – after a few initial days of varying demands – the people’s common ultimate wish transpired: change of the system, no more living like in the past 24 years! The shock of the unequivocal collective public expression of dissent was hardly absorbed by the ruling Nomenklatura when a second, even more potent shock came to pass: five cases of self-immolation of which four ended up with deaths have occurred within four weeks! This was unheard of, in Bulgarian history, ever! And, for those who do not know it, this is a nation that has statehood spanning almost 1400 years (formally acknowledged since AD 632, according to Prof. Johann Stritter, 1740-1801), and IS the oldest country in Europe that exists under the same name and on the same territory.

No adequate account of these events has been published outside the country, for obvious reasons: the single heroic gesture by Jan Palach in 1969 was against Soviet Communism while these poor five fellows were protesting the glorious Western Democracy, in a country that should be jubilant about having been admitted to the greatest of the great, the European Union. And, instead of singing perpetual praise, these little Bulgarians have dared to disturb the heavenly comfort of the European Commissars!

We at the dissident movement ZAEDNO have been just about the only organization actively trying to report on these events in the West, to no avail. In one instance, after learning of the mockery of a publication in Foreign Policy Magazine, we have reacted vigorously yet our well researched and factually supported repudiation was not published nonetheless.

We have been trying to draw the attention of the public to the fact that the events in Bulgaria actually constitute the beginning of a revolution – one that the concept underlying the creation of ZAEDNO as a national movement for change has predicted as inevitable in its violent version, unless reform of the system is implemented by democratic, peaceful means. Our philosophy designates the modern phase of the Representative Democracy as Nomenklaturocracy, and postulates that the latter will inevitably have to be replaced by Direct Democracy. The driving force pressing for that change is the economy which each Nomenklatura – national and supranational alike – inevitably undermines. In the case of Bulgaria the economy, in terms of purchasing power for the vast majority of the population, has reached the bottom and our analysis, published several years ago, concludes that revolution is in the cards.

A few weeks of continuous protests throughout the country – disregarding exceptionally cold winter – ended up with resignation of the Government in its fourth year of the regular term, and then gradually the ruling Nomenklatura managed to diffuse the protest by promising reforms and new elections. Enter the new Government and it instantly managed to irritate the nation into the second wave of mass protest. Now in even larger numbers, more angered albeit infiltrated by different parties, here and there sprinkled with new candidates for entry into the Nomenklatura, the protesting nation has proven wrong each and every “analyst,” “think tank member” and similar politically correct mediocracy: the Bulgarians are ready to fight for their future, and the limit of their patience has been reached.

Today, almost 50 days into continuous protest – some talk about a Guinness record, which should have been long since reached given a few people have never stopped their protest since the very beginning of the first wave in February – and still remarkably non-violent, the nation faces a Nomenklatura positioned itself for riding the wave and getting in government again, next time around. In other words, predictably it does not want to hear about the real reform and is planning on cosmetic changes only. Such short-sightedness will only prolong the agony: any next wave will be bringing the prospect of violence and harm higher up; correspondingly, much larger guilt is being accumulated by the perpetrators in charge now, and payback is not going to be pleasant. Those who dream of eternal unaccountability better wake up!