Latest Articles


25.09.2014
Fabrizio Gatti

I was a slave in Puglia

A journey that takes one beyond the limits of human imagination: this is how Fabrizio Gatti describes his experience of a week spent undercover among immigrant labourers in Puglia in order to report on the horrors that these modern slaves endure. [ more ]

19.09.2014
Tatiana Zhurzhenko

From borderlands to bloodlands

17.09.2014
E. Khayyat

How to turn Turk?

17.09.2014
Eurozine Review

Independence in an age of interdependence

17.09.2014
Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Jasper Vervaeke

Entering into dialogue with the world

New Issues


Eurozine Review


17.09.2014
Eurozine Review

Independence in an age of interdependence

"Soundings" is on tenterhooks about the outcome of the referendum in Scotland; "Krytyka" listens to the music and politics of the Maidan; "Osteuropa" debunks both Putin's ratings and western sanctions against Russia; "New Eastern Europe" looks to Moldova to buck the trend in Russian aggression; "Index" marks 25 years since the Wall came down; in "Belgrade Journal", Gil Anidjar asks if the floodings in the Balkans are a natural or political disaster; "Free Speech Debate" questions the West's supply of digital weaponry to repressive regimes; "Dilema veche" seeks to exit the direct route from 9/11 back into the Middle Ages; and "Letras Libres" speaks to Colombian novelist Juan Gabriel Vásquez.

03.09.2014
Eurozine Review

Was Crimea a preliminary exercise?

06.08.2014
Eurozine Review

What are you doing here?

23.07.2014
Eurozine Review

The world's echo system

09.07.2014
Eurozine Review

Courage of thought vs technocracy



http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2011-05-02-newsitem-en.html
http://mitpress.mit.edu/0262025248
http://www.eurozine.com/about/who-we-are/contact.html
http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2009-12-02-newsitem-en.html

My Eurozine


If you want to be kept up to date, you can subscribe to Eurozine's rss-newsfeed or our Newsletter.

Articles
Share |


The Macedonian safety dilemma

How can it be that the primary concern of Macedonian politics is not, as in most other European countries, economic and democratic development, but fear of annihilation? The causes for this "Macedonian safety dilemma" are not primarily external, but internal, writes Denko Maleski. Antagonistic groups ­ some insisting on Macedonia's "Bulgarian history", others (pro-Serbian) stressing the "Macedonian present", and others still concerned with Alexander the Great and the "antique Macedonia" ­ cultivate the fear. There cannot be any real political peace in Macedonia until these groups, through dialogue, decide to put an end to the animosities.

Postwar unification successfully resolved Europe's safety dilemma. Liberated from fear for their own survival, a result of uncertainty about their neighbours' intentions, the primary task of the nations of the European Union today has become economic and democratic development. Why is this not also the primary task of Macedonian politics? I have been seeking the answer to this question for almost fifteen years, and have come to the conclusion that our safety dilemma is not solely external, but above all internal.

The fear of annihilation by the opponent is the reason for the battle, ongoing now for fifteen years, between the group that insists on "the Bulgarian past" and the group that insists on the "Macedonian present". Whether "pro-Bulgarian" or "pro-Serbian", the behaviour of these groups recalls the era of secret Macedonian revolutionary organizations. Uncoordinated, and without feeling that they owe the public any explanation, these adversaries conduct internal and foreign politics according to their doctrine. This behaviour, however, makes the safety dilemma even more acute. It is rooted in the fear of the opponent's intentions, namely: will the opponent take the nation on a course that will signify one's own destruction?

Meanwhile, animosity between Macedonian political fractions will continue to cause a safety dilemma on the part of Albanians living in Macedonia: namely, whether to direct part of their energy towards the unity of the Macedonian state, or all of their energy towards the pan-Albanian unity. So far, the dilemma has been resolved insofar that one Albanian political group speaks in favour of "integration" and the other in favour of "disintegration". Both groups, however, seem to agree that on territories where Albanians live in the Balkans, there should be an identical flag flying on the pole and identical monuments of Skenderbeg.[1]

A third group, for the second time in Macedonia's short history of independence, propels us by force back into antique Macedonia. This is done outside any democratic procedure – though for our own sake, of course. The first time it was with the symbol of Vergina,[2] today, it is with the name of the national airport: Alexander the Great. This group is a product of the worldly experience that states: when a country is being negated, it is because it is not seen as a "real nation". This is either because it is, supposedly, a branch of some foreign power, or because it has not existed long enough.

The answer is to claim that contemporary Macedonian nation has its roots in antique Macedonia. There is some kind of logic in this approach: acting rationally among (nationalistic) madmen is a foolish thing to do. However, in mitigating the conflict between the "Bulgarians" and the "Serbs", the "antique Macedonians" persist in deepening the safety dilemma: by pushing the country into direct conflict with probably the biggest nationalists in the world: the Greeks.

Macedonian politics is caught in this triangle. Yet, there is a fourth group in Macedonian politics that can be named supranational or international. It is composed of wealthy charlatans of a worldly disposition, who, skilfully and with incredible ease, insert themselves into this triangle. To them, the safety dilemma means following the domestic political scene from a secure distance and with a single goal: "successful positioning". With a mixture of paternalism and servility, they initiate new politicians into the secrets of the world politics, encouraging them not to be afraid of the glare of the international arena. These "old boys" of ours, part of the worldwide "network of old boys", teach their protégés that international politics is even more corrupt than domestic politics. While is not easy to survive there, they say, the tricks they have learned during the course of their career are a guarantee for success. Macedonia will become the centre of the world! True, these charlatans will never become the pride and joy of their own people, but that is okay with them – it is not the people they are primarily concerned with. It is sufficient that they become the pride of the government, whatever it may be, because their safety dilemma is a very personal one.

Let's go back to the triangle of Bulgarians, Serbs, and antique Macedonians. One logical conclusion would be that there cannot be true political peace in Macedonia until these groups, through dialogue, decide to put an end to the animosity. The Macedonian safety dilemma would be resolved if they observed the past with eyes full of understanding and forgiveness. Yes, the reconciliation is in their eyes.

Unfortunately, there will be no reconciliation. If there were, the whole point of these politicians' existence would disappear. Should the hatred stop, they would have to become normal representatives of normal people in a democratic setting. That is why hatred, this precious tradition of ours, must be nurtured: hatred towards the "forger from Nebregovo", hatred towards the "killer of Macedonians from Stip", hatred towards the "communists", hatred towards the "Bulgaria lovers", hatred towards the " Arnauts"...

The Macedonian safety dilemma springs from heads. And so must the solution.


 

  • [1] Gyergy Kastrioti Skenderberg: Albanian Christian military leader against the Ottomans in the fifteenth century and Albanian national hero.
  • [2] Vergina: A town in Greek Macedonia. In 1977, what were thought to be the remains of Alexander the Great's father Philip II were found in Vergina. The coffin bore the symbol of a star or sun, which the newly independent Macedonia used on its flag in 1991. Greece saw this as a claim on Greek territories, and the symbol was later dropped.


Published 2007-07-13


Original in Macedonian
First published in Roots 21-22 (2007)

Contributed by Roots
© Denko Maleski/Roots
© Eurozine
 

Support Eurozine     click for more

If you appreciate Eurozine's work and would like to support our contribution to the establishment of a European public sphere, see information about making a donation.

Focal points     click for more

Russia in global dialogue

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/eurocrisis.html
In the two decades after the end of the Cold War, intellectual interaction between Russia and Europe has intensified. It has not, however, prompted a common conversation. The focal point "Russia in global dialogue" seeks to fuel debate on democracy, society and the legacy of empire. [more]

Ukraine in focus

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/publicsphere.html
Ten years after the Orange Revolution, Ukraine is in the throes of yet another major struggle. Eurozine provides commentary on events as they unfold and further articles from the archive providing background to the situation in today's Ukraine. [more]

The ends of democracy

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/democracy.html
At a time when the global pull of democracy has never been stronger, the crisis of democracy has become acute. Eurozine has collected articles that make the problems of democracy so tangible that one starts to wonder if it has a future at all, as well as those that return to the very basis of the principle of democracy. [more]

The EU: Broken or just broke?

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/eurocrisis.html
Brought on by the global economic recession, the eurocrisis has been exacerbated by serious faults built into the monetary union. Contributors discuss whether the EU is not only broke, but also broken -- and if so, whether Europe's leaders are up to the task of fixing it. [more]

Time to Talk     click for more

Time to Talk, a network of European Houses of Debate, has partnered up with Eurozine to launch an online platform. Here you can watch video highlights from all TTT events, anytime, anywhere.
Dessislava Gavrilova, Jo Glanville et al.
The role of literature houses in protecting the space for free expression

http://www.eurozine.com/timetotalk/european-literature-houses-meeting-2014/
This summer, Time to Talk partner Free Word, London hosted a debate on the role that literature houses play in preserving freedom of expression both in Europe and globally. Should everyone get a place on the podium? Also those representing the political extremes? [more]

Eurozine BLOG

On the Eurozine BLOG, editors and Eurozine contributors comment on current affairs and events. What's behind the headlines in the world of European intellectual journals?
Simon Garnett
Britain flouts the European Court of Justice

http://www.eurozine.com/blog/
The UK has passed legislation on data retention that flouts European concerns about privacy. The move demonstrates extraordinary arrogance not only towards the Court of Justice of the European Union but towards the principle of parliamentary deliberation in Britain, writes Simon Garnett. [more]

Vacancies at Eurozine     click for more

There are currently no positions available.

Editor's choice     click for more

William E Scheuerman
Civil disobedience for an age of total surveillance
The case of Edward Snowden

http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2014-04-18-scheuerman-en.html
Earlier civil disobedients hinted at our increasingly global condition. Snowden takes it as a given. But, writes William E. Scheuerman, in lieu of an independent global legal system in which Snowden could defend his legal claims, the Obama administration should treat him with clemency. [more]

Literature     click for more

Olga Tokarczuk
A finger pointing at the moon

http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2014-01-16-tokarczuk-en.html
Our language is our literary destiny, writes Olga Tokarczuk. And "minority" languages provide a special kind of sanctuary too, inaccessible to the rest of the world. But, there again, language is at its most powerful when it reaches beyond itself and starts to create an alternative world. [more]

Piotr Kiezun, Jaroslaw Kuisz
Literary perspectives special: Witold Gombrowicz

http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2013-08-16-kuisz-en.html
The recent publication of the private diary of Witold Gombrowicz provides unparalleled insight into the life of one of Poland's great twentieth-century novelists and dramatists. But this is not literature. Instead: here he is, completely naked. [more]

Literary perspectives
The re-transnationalization of literary criticism

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/literaryperspectives.html
Eurozine's series of essays aims to provide an overview of diverse literary landscapes in Europe. Covered so far: Croatia, Sweden, Austria, Estonia, Ukraine, Northern Ireland, Slovenia, the Netherlands and Hungary. [more]

Debate series     click for more

Europe talks to Europe

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/europetalkstoeurope.html
Nationalism in Belgium might be different from nationalism in Ukraine, but if we want to understand the current European crisis and how to overcome it we need to take both into account. The debate series "Europe talks to Europe" is an attempt to turn European intellectual debate into a two-way street. [more]

Conferences     click for more

Eurozine emerged from an informal network dating back to 1983. Since then, European cultural magazines have met annually in European cities to exchange ideas and experiences. Around 100 journals from almost every European country are now regularly involved in these meetings.
Law and Border. House Search in Fortress Europe
The 26th European Meeting of Cultural Journals
Conversano, 3-6 October 2014

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/conversano2014.html
Taking place in southern Italy, not far from Lampedusa, this year's Eurozine conference will address both EU refugee and immigration policies and intellectual partnerships across the Mediterranean. Confirmed speakers include Italian investigative journalist Fabrizio Gatti and Moroccan feminist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Rita El Khayat. [more]

Multimedia     click for more

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/multimedia.html
Multimedia section including videos of past Eurozine conferences in Vilnius (2009) and Sibiu (2007). [more]


powered by publick.net