Sink or Swim (FYROM)

Australian Macedonian Advisory Council
March 23, 2011
In the years of communism in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRJ) the newly formed “Macedonian” state enjoyed privileges that others could not. Although other republics were being encouraged to develop industrial economies, the “Socialist Republic of Macedonia,” was for all practical purposes kept from creating the conditions that would ensure economic growth, and in addition was culturally, linguistically, and ecclesiastically protected. it was as if the omnificent communist government was preparing the young republic to buoyantly grow toward the south and east, i.e. at the expense of Greece and Bulgaria.

It seems as if in the minds of the architects of the new republic the lack of industrial development was designed to encourage wishful thinking among its population. This implicitly implied that the embryonic state would not need the assistance of the federal state, because the new territories that the SFRJ expected to join would be rich enough to provide the means for industrial and consequently economic development.

When Yugoslavia actually claimed Greek Macedonia at the Paris Peace Conference of 1947, the Greek plenipotentiary reminded the Yugoslavian delegation that in 1916 his father had been the Prefect of Corfu, and had been responsible for saving approximately 133,000 Serb soldiers from drowning or captivity. The traditional Serbian song from WWI, “Tamo Daleko,” was still fresh in their minds. The Yugoslavian delegation backed off. Macedonia remained Greek.

But, the government of Yugoslavia fell prey of its own propaganda. They were advertising that the inhabitants of “Aegean Macedonia” were “Macedonians,” i.e. Slavs, and that they would welcome such a union. Such an expectation was apparent in 1991 when upon the declaration of independence of the FYROM hordes of people from Gevgelija walked to the Greek borders with signs urging the people on the Greek side to demand such a union from the Greek government. Not one of them would admit that the great majority of the inhabitants of the Greek province of Macedonia were Greeks, not Slavs. Had such a union taken place, it would have created a congeries of ethnic groups, held together by force.

The amazing thing is that the FYROM seeks membership in two organizations, NATO and the EU, that require democracy, an unknown element in this former communist culture. False pride in these illegitimately based claims has created Macedonism, as it “led to Fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany in the 1920´s” (Kellas, 1994, 32). No one in the government of the FYROM and in their diaspora has thought that if by some miracle they gain membership in the EU, they would have to deal with their Macedonism, or FYROM´s own ethnonationalism. The government of the FYROM would neither be able to regulate historical research, because it would have to obey Article 6 of the Law on Scientific Research Activity, nor would it be able to enforce articles 178 and 179 of its current penal code in their present form; the above would have to be modified so that nothing “Macedonian” could remain sacred. This will test its ability to implement real democracy, a democracy that will include Freedom of Speech, Press, Assembly, and Religion. IN its present form, democracy in the FYROM can only be compared to Stalin´s USSR. They are the ones who have created the conditions which have led to their country´s difficulties by using the mentality of 1885 Bulgaria, the activism of 1933 Germany, and the goals of 1945 Yugoslavia, but technology of 2010. The news travels fast. FYROM´s nameless society attempts to quench its thirst for revenge while they exercise megalomania by allowing charlatans to write their imaginary history of a non-existent past creating a fiction-based society. The people of the FYROM passively vote for leaders who in the name of ambition have erased all memory of their past allegiance for convenience´s sake.

Macedonism provides a basis for a unity among the Slavic speakers of the FYROM. It has been pushed slowly but surely on all walks of life, and the government has strictly controlled research which might lead to any contrary conclusion. Generations of people of Bulgarian, Serbian, Greek, etc. descent have grown up bombarded daily by their government with the message of Macedonism. As the generations who knew the truth fade away the newer generations absolutely believe that they are Macedonians, descendants of the ancient Macedonians; all this without a speck of evidence or proof. The government of Greece through its absolute inactivity has contributed to this Skopjan ethnonationalism, which in a European environment will be defenseless, confronted and academically challenged. Then what? If Macedonism has been created in order to politically unite the Slavic citizens of the FYROM under a common banner, what is going to happen when the catalyst does not exist anymore? Greece´s encouragement of such unity, even compromising her own national interests and security in the name of regional stability on its northern borders, will not continue to exist, and the present stability will turn into an ugly instability deriving from psychologically inferior people with unforeseen consequences. Cajolery does not work in Skopje because the Skopjians take any moderation of attitude as a sign that the Greeks have realized that they are wrong, and are recognizing the Skopjians to be inherently “Macedonians.” Any argument of the opposite case, according to this view, denotes naïveté. If Greece uses the FYROM as an airbag against Kosovo, their assumption is wrong because the airbag turned out to be a claymore mine, a command-detonated and directional deadly device aiming south.

The Biblical passage “[w]here there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18) applies to the people of the FYROM. When the FYROM dissolves due to implosion, its Slav inhabitants should not be looking at their neighboring countries to blame. A mirror will be enough; a special blame should be directed toward their own diaspora. The countdown for the end of FYROM´s existence started in 1945 and the end is near. It started on the wrong foot. They still have time to turn the rudder of their destructive direction to a safer conclusion. But it is their decision to make whether they want to sink or to swim.

By Marcus A. Templar

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