The Birth of a Clone State
By Georgios Gialtouridis
The term clone is derived from κλών (klon), the Greek word for twig or branch, referring to the process whereby a new plant can be created from a twig.
Approximately fifteen miles southeast of Cleveland, Ohio is a city called Macedonia. Upon inquiry over fifteen years ago, a local historian explained to me how the city got its name. In the early 1800’s Native Americans living in the area had made requests for theology students from Western Reserve College in nearby Hudson to come over and preach to them about Christianity. The students, reminiscent of the biblical passage where “…a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us” (Acts 16:9) began calling the area Macedonia. According to the Scriptures, inspired by his dream the Apostle Paul proceeded to Philippi, Thessaloniki, Veroia, Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, etc. In his message, including epistles to the Philippians, Thessalonians, Corinthians, et al. he addressed his audiences in Koine Greek.
Over fifteen centuries after Paul’s mission, Slavophones living in the Ottoman-occupied Macedonia region began changing the names of cities and villages in the area to Slavonic equivalents. They referred to Thessaloniki as Solun, Florina as Lerin, Edessa as Voden, Monastiri as Bitola, and so on. However there was no need to change the term ‘Macedonia’ to a Slavonic equivalent simply because Slavs did not identify with the name either ethnically, culturally or historically. There was no such thing as a Macedonian ethnic identity. But late in the 19th century a Macedonian ethnic identity was conceived by Slavs in anticipation of an Ottoman retreat from the region as part of separate Bulgarian and Serb assimilation processes of the local element. Sealed with the Treaty of Bucharest, Greece was able to liberate approximately 80 per cent of the Macedonian region from the Ottomans in 1912-13. Parts of the northern Macedonian region, specifically Pelagonia and Gevgeli, fell under Serb control.
Today’s self-proclaimed ethnic Macedonians claim that their ‘country’ was partitioned in the Treaty of Bucharest. But following the Treaty there is no documented revolution, rebellion, revolt or insurrection by the so-called ethnic Macedonians of that time or by anyone else for that matter. As this ethnic Macedonian identity was mostly a Serb invention, they obviously could not have revolted against themselves. Even Macedonists such as Krste Misirkov eventually conceded and acknowledged their Bulgarian roots. But as for the Serbs, Macedonism was still on the table. Novakovic’s ‘blueprint’ later inspired Tito to rename the province of Vardarska to the Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Thus the ‘Cloning’ had begun. The conception of an ethnic Macedonian identity was advocated by the now-defunct Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Yet the same unjustified support continues to this day from the Washington establishment.
On October 27, Mr. Daniel Fried, the Department of State Asst. Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, remarked on the ‘Future for Macedonia’ to a group of journalists from FYROM, followed by a Q & A session. In his statements, Mr. Fried advocated an ethnic Macedonian identity developed upon FYROM’s accession into NATO and the European Union: “If Macedonia joins NATO and the European Union and develops its democracy and its economy and its institutions and is a success, your identity will develop from that success…All national identities in the world start off artificial.” That’s six big ‘ifs’ for FYROM’s road to maturity devised on a fallacy.
NATO ACCESSION. In a Wall Street Journal Opinion on March 28, shortly before the NATO Summit in Bucharest, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, another FYROM advocate, claimed that FYROM “…meet(s) the necessary criteria for membership…have shown their commitment to human rights and regional stability by protecting the rights of ethnic minorities.” Perhaps Mr. Rumsfeld should re-evaluate his position by reading up on the U.S State Department’s latest Country Report on Human Rights Practices regarding FYROM: “According to the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators, government corruption was a serious problem…Societal discrimination against ethnic minorities persisted and inadequate protection of women’s rights remained a problem…Approximately half of ethnic minority students did not go on to high school due to lack of classes in minority languages at the secondary level…Trafficked women were forced to work in prostitution, often under the guise of dancers, hostesses, or waitresses in local clubs.”
EUROPEAN UNION. On November 5 Mr. Olli Rehn, EU Commissioner for Enlargement released the latest progress report on FYROM’s accession candidacy. Some excerpts: “…greater priority needs to be given to establishing a public administration which is transparent, professional and free of political interference. In this area the country is at an early stage…further strengthening of the judiciary is required as regards its independence, efficiency, human resources and budgetary framework…corruption remains a particularly serious problem…Little progress can be reported as regards promotion and enforcement of human rights.” And the list goes on. Out of nine accession conditions, none have been met. There will be no EU invitation this year. A veto will not be necessary.
Contrary to Mr. Fried’s theory, national identities do not emerge ex nihilo. The starting point of a new identity is a previous one. A nation-state is a state claiming to be a nation. With the exception of Serbia, the nation-states which succeeded the former Yugoslavia are based on the administrative divisions within it, not on pre-existing proto-nations. A different identity, in this case an ethnic Macedonian identity, can only replace existing ones. Fixated on an illusory ancient identity, the fundamental logic of this identity construction is basically negative and oppositional to the Bulgarian and Serb it replaced based on historically flawed interpretations of past events, all within the irredentist framework of Pan-Slavism. The conception of a ‘Macedonian Church’ by Tito, an atheist communist no less, was an attempt to advance this national identity and legitimize it. As was the conception of a ‘Macedonian language’ out of local Slavonic dialects.
The hegemony of this idealism structures FYROM’s pseudo nationalism on a state-manipulated collective identity. But it is this same state-fostered pseudo nationalism conflicting with the European Union’s political culture adversely affecting FYROM’s EU aspirations. Notwithstanding, this is the whole concept behind Tito’s ‘Macedonia.’ This is the ‘Cloning.’
In the next segment I will reveal the true Macedonians in FYROM, the Vlachs and the Sarakatsans, a.k.a. the Greek minority.
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