UPDATE: Macedonia was in the past regarded by its own inhabitants as a wide geographic region, inhabited by many ethnic groups. In the middle of the 19th Century, the Slavs of Macedonia thought of themselves as «Macedonian Bulgarians«. This is well known, of course: The «Macedonian» ethnic identity of their modern descendants did not exist at the time.This fact is evident e.g. in the front cover of a 19th century book, «Folk songs of the Macedonian Bulgars» by Stefan Verkovic (1860)
However, many Greeks and (most) Slavs of today’s (wider) Macedonia are unwilling to accept anyone else being «Macedonian», than themselves. They both seem to forget that Madeconia has been (for a very long time) a geographic region, rather than an ethnic identity, or a nationality, or an ancient State. E.g.
Mrs. Olga G. Yeritsidou is a Greek psychologist (and a blogger) who declared (in response to rather moderate views I had expressed, in blog-conversation with her ) that… «in Psychology, satire is a manifestation of covert hostility and impotence (or powerlessness)».
(in Greek, “η σάτιρα… στην ψυχολογία υποδεικνύει κεκαλυμμένη επιθετικότητα και ανημποριά από το άτομο που την εξαπολύει.”)
Well, an ENGLISH post follows, as a critique of the above quote (which is also the post-title in Greek):
Mrs. Yeretsidou is an extremely militant advocate of the well known «Macedonia is (only) Greek» hard-line doctrine, which is advocated today only by the Extreme Right in Greek poltiics, even though she does not appear to have any right-wing views (in any other issue than Macedonia).
In a recent on-line conversation with her, she accused me of being evasive, but she never answered some important questions, such as «WHICH country ever succeeded to dictate the name of another sovereign country?» (in response to her own claim that such cases did exist in History).
She also remarked that «there is no point to talk anymore» (with me) since she thinks I was evasive in (that) conversation; not to mention the… psycho-pathological nature of… satire in general (an undisputed fact in Clinical Psychology, according to her, which she also blamed chastised me for… not acknowledging). (wow…)
Well, well, well…
- Personally, I already explained that I am NOT a nationalist: Personally, I don’t feel particularly offended by the official name ANY other country chooses to call itself….
However, I do feel it’s very unjust for Greek Macedonians, to be eventually forced to lose the very term «Macedonia», which should NOT be the «copyright» of anyone, anymore (I think) within the geographic region of Macedonia: Greek Macedonia, Bulgarian Macedonia, as well as the small part of (wider Geographic) Macedonia that belongs to today’s FYROM.
So, this post is the fulfillment of a promise I made to Mrs. Yeretsidou: -That I will discuss her point of view in more detail. Here is my answer to her 10-point list, as posted in her own blog:
1. Macedonia and her name at this moment stand established in theory as well as in action as part/grounds of the country of Hellas (Greece).
No. I am afraid that the term «Macedonia» is now seriously in danger of becoming another country’s copyright, unless we can achieve a compromise about it.
2. UNLESS ONE BECOMES AN INVADING FORCE THROUGH AN IMPERIALISTIC WAR, nobody can usurp the name, the lands and the history of Macedonia within the law.
No. Nobody would start an imperialistic war (against Greece) for the sake of the word «Macedonia», although some extremists would like such a war, in BOTH countries (Greece and FYROM).
3. This legality to usurp can be given ONLY DELIBERATELY AND ONLY BY HELLAS (GREECE) HERSELF.
No. That’s nonsense (or delusions of grandeur and childish omnipotence). Our problem is completely different: That the other side refuses to bargain.
CONSEQUENTLY IT IS BEING ENFORCED ON GREEKS THREATENING (of the type: ‘we made wrong moves/ we are bound by political agreements/ we will be isolated/ there will be war’) AND MANIPULATION OF DIFFERENT MANNER (of the type: ‘you are fanatics/nationalists/ cruel/ hard/ historically uneducated/ etc’) SO THAT WE WILL WILLINGLY AND ON OUR OWN GIVE THIS LEGALITY WHICH IS LACKING FROM THE CLAIMS OF THE STATE OF SKOPJE.
Nope. I’m afraid that sounds like paranoid bulshit. It also doesn’t make much sense (in English)…
IF WE ACCEPT ANY KIND OF NAME CONTAINING THE TERM ‘MACEDONIA’ (that is, if we compromise as we are being pressured to do) :
1. WE WILLINGLY LEGALIZE THE STATE OF SKOPJE IN ALL ITS CLAIMS AND DEMANDS.
No. If we can achieve an agreement safeguarding the rights of Greek Macedonians, then no claims and demands can ever again be justified. If -on the other hand- we stubbornly insist on a name that does not even contain the word «Macedonia», then the other side will never agree to this! So, emotionally (and otherwise) we will then acquire an eternal enemy, thereby legalising the other side’s claims and demands, ever worsening, as time passes.
2. WE DENOUNCE MACEDONIA (in terms of the land, the people, the history and culture)
IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS WE NAME OURSELVES AS CAPTORS, TRESSPASSERS AND EVERYTHING ELSE THEY ARE ACCUSING US OF.
No. It is our historic obligation to achieve a peaceful compromise with those Slavic people whose presence in our own country (as well as other regions of the Balkans) was just as valid as our own, once upon a time. But we do have to give up psychological denial: Denial of the fact that they were just as native within the wider geographic region of Macedonia just as our own (native) Greek Macedonians.
WHAT WE MUST DO:
WE STAND FAST TO NOT RECOGNISING OR ADMITTING THE CLAIMS OF THE SKOPJANS AND THEIR ALLIES AND NOT EVER ACCEPT THE TERM ‘MACEDONIA’ IN THEIR STATE’S NAME OR ANY COMPROMISE AS THEY ARE PRESSURING US. SUCH COMPROMISE WILL LEAD TO ETHNIC DECOMPOSITION AND DESTABILIZATION OF THE PEACE IN THE BALKANS.
No. This extremist attitude is advocated ONLY by the Extreme Right (in Greece), today. ALL other political parties have agreed on a moderate stance (of a composite name containing the word «Macedonia») instead.
ATTENTION! THE ONLY WAR WHICH CAN BE WAGED IF WE DO NOT COMPROMISE IS AGGRESSIVE / IMPERIALISTIC AGAINST US, WHICH IS VERY HARD TO ACHIEVE BY THE STATE OF SKOJE ALONE, WHICH WILL BE FORCED TO TAKE ON THE ROLE THAT IS BEING ATTEMPTED TO BE PINNED ON US: CONDOTTIERES AND TRESPASSERS.
No. Such war (although at the moment unlikely) can happen anyway, regardless of how the other side is called officially. As a matter of fact, war-like sentiments are likely to increase on both sides, if an agreement is not reached that saves the dignity of both.
IF WE COMPROMISE THE ROLE OF THE TRESPASSERS WILL HAVE BEEN ATTRIBUTED TO US WITH OUR OWN CONSENT AND THE WAR THAT WILL BE WAGED WILL BE LIBERATING, JUST AS IT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE IN THE CASES OF IRAQ AND YUGOSLAVIA.
No. There is nobody to liberate (unless the tiny minority of Macedonian Slavs in Greece is overestimated by our own… paranoid national imagination).
IF WE DO NOT COMPROMISE, THERE IS A CHANCE TO UPHOLD AND KEEP THE PEACE IN OUR REGION AND OUR NATION INTACT.
No. Only if a reasonable compromise is not mutually accepted, hostile feelings can get the chance of being cultivated in both countries, against each other; certainly not helpful for Peace.
IF WE DO COMPROMISE, THIS OPPORTUNITY WILL BE GONE FOR EVER.
No, Absolutely Not True: We have ALREADY compromised. It’s now the OTHER side’s obligation, to respect this compromise, and respond to it…
UPDATE (further notes, written on the next day)
I am now seriously thinking of writing a satirical post titled (e.g.) «Logic is THE big loser in the Balkans». (I’ve already written a… collectively self-sarcastic satirical post, «Exposing Big Alex, the Ancient Greek Psychopath, the Avatar of F.Y.R.O.M’s Virtual Reality History!».
The whole dispute,between Greek Macedonia and Slavic-Albanian Macedonia seems to me preposterously irrational.
Let’s start with a statement made by this reputable Greek psychologist, who… if set loose to roam around History using a… time-machine(!) she would have almost certainly locked up… Aristophanes in a psychiatric hospital, since (according to her) «satire is a manifestation of covert hostility and powerlessness». Here is an elegant political statement of hers, summing-up the situation about (Greek) Macedonia, according to hard-liners in Greece:
IF WE DO NOT COMPROMISE, THERE IS A CHANCE TO UPHOLD AND KEEP THE PEACE IN OUR REGION AND OUR NATION INTACT.
So, an uncompromising attitude, that depends on the highly arrogant, irrational premise that we can dictate to another independent nation how to call themselves, is justified and sanctified as an absolute logical prerequisite for Peace in our region; Not only peace, but for the very integrity of Greece (keeping our nation «intact»). (wow…)
I.e. Mrs. Yeretsidou imagines that as soon as a certain small neighbouring country is officially recognised internationally as «Macedonia» (without any adjective or any geographic qualification) then the path towards instability, war and the destruction of the Greek nation will follow, as an inescapable logical consequence!
-How paranoid! Well, 120 countries have already accepted FYROM as «Republic of Macedonia» and there have been no such evil consequences!
The real problem is different:
We are on the verge of losing the right of indulging in our own… national fantasy (of being the sole heirs and descendants of Ancient Macedonia) by virtue of the fact that another nation’s totally irrational Collective Imagination ™ has decided to seize this national fantasy, re-writing history, presenting a non-existent Glorious Imperial Past in Antiquity as a part of their own historical heritage: Nowadays, they even teach this «Virtual Reality» in their schools, while (as a side-effect) denying themselves, i.e. denying their own Slavic culture, language and genes; indulging in an impressively shameless symbolic act of Collective… Ethnic Masturbation: Impregnating their venom-fed neo-nationalist minds with delusions of NON-EXISTENT historical grandeur and collective childish omnipotence (e.g. to… «recapture» Aegean Macedonia).
- Well, I just happen to believe that Satire ( ™ -Rome/Greece) is in order here, given such hopeless… mental debilitation (on behalf of our newbie-neighbour nation).
- WHY should we allow ANYONE to indulge in fundamentally destructive, nationalistic and hostile Feats of the Collective Imagination (watch out: I said «ANYONE», including -especially- ourselves)?
- WHY can’t we recognize the obvious need for a conscious, healthier, saner «Imaginary Construction of Society» (tm- Castoriadis); ANY society and ANY nation, NOT just our own?
- WHY can’t we rid ourselves of our own nationalist deliriums, while expecting others to do it?
- WHY can’t we agree on PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE through a composite name which will safeguard both their right and our own right to exist (in… Collective Fantasy)?
To sum-up my position, It is also very important that we, the moderate Greeks, mobilize now to resist the (seductively peace-loving) temptation of allowing or encouraging (because of our open-mindedness) the Newly born Fanatic Virtual Nationalism of Slavo-Albanian Macedonia (pretending to be Ancient Macedonia) to dominate their Collective Imagination, passing around as respectable throughout the world. THIS is why we insist on a composite name for (Slavic Albanian) Macedonia, a name that respects both Slavs and Greeks (both of them deluded in their nationalist deliriums, nevertheless, more-or-less)…
- However, if (by any chance) we fail to achieve a compromise in the «name-issue», nothing much will happen; except that… after a few years we will be forced to use a qualifier for our own Greek (Hellenic) Macedonia:
- The world will then -perhaps- gradually learn a lot more about Greek history, respecting and recognising Greek Macedonia and Greek Macedonians, as being completely different (ethnically and historically) than the Slavs (by the same name) on the North of our border, who (once upon a time) tried to pretend something which they were not, confusing their own small independent region with the much larger geographic region (and historical region) of Macedonia…