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Old 05-23-2010, 10:51 AM   #21
aleksandrov
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavel View Post
...
"i can see that all of you do not know the conditions in macedonia and that's why you should tell everyone, tell them all, not to interfere and leave the internal organisation to organise, to lead, to decide. we thought that from you, from the committee (in sofia) and the emigrants that we would receive brotherly aid. but understand, we are not looking for patrons, and even less, masters." feb 1896 delchev in a letter to general nikolaev....
Delchev was rejecting attempts by Macedonians in Bulgaria (who advocated reliance on the Bulgarian state) to dictate revolutionary activity in Macedonia, and asking them to support an internal Macedonian REVOLUTIONARY organization, which actively fought oppression and tyranny, to organize, to lead, to decide. How do you relate that to currently popular criticisms by Diaspora activists of career politicians and their active or passive followers in the Republic of Macedonia who are willingly inviting or accepting foreign hegemony and facilitating oppression?

How often do you find Macedonian Diaspora activists criticizing Macedonians in Macedonia who actively struggle for human rights and freedoms, such as OMO-Ilinden Pirin, Vinozito, Macedonian activists in Mala Prespa, or Dostoinstvo and the World Macedonian Congress? All of those movements receive more support from the Macedonian Diaspora than they do from those who are the subject of regular criticisms by the Diaspora.

With respect, your analogy is erroneous and could serve to distort Delchev's statements in the eyes of uninitiated readers.
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Old 05-23-2010, 01:29 PM   #22
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"i can see that all of you do not know the conditions in macedonia and that's why you should tell everyone, tell them all, not to interfere and leave the internal organisation to organise, to lead, to decide. we thought that from you, from the committee (in sofia) and the emigrants that we would receive brotherly aid. but understand, we are not looking for patrons, and even less, masters." feb 1896 delchev in a letter to general nikolaev....

Aleksandrov,

you wrote:

"Delchev was rejecting attempts by Macedonians in Bulgaria (who advocated reliance on the Bulgarian state) to dictate revolutionary activity in Macedonia, and asking them to support an internal Macedonian REVOLUTIONARY organization, which actively fought oppression and tyranny, to organize, to lead, to decide."



yes that is true. but anyone reading those words can draw other things from them too. he also implies that the opinions of émigrés are uninformed, that they “do not know the conditions in Macedonia”. to understand what is needed means to be part of the ‘internal’ revolutionary movement, to know the real conditions ‘inside’, to work ‘internally’.

so i reject your respectful claim that my interpretation is “erroneous”.


you asked me:

"how do you relate that to currently popular criticisms by Diaspora activists of career politicians and their active or passive followers in the Republic of Macedonia who are willingly inviting or accepting foreign hegemony and facilitating oppression?"

i already explained that. by drawing on the inside/outside distinction. this is what i wrote:

“i suppose one way of using this today would be for us in the diaspora to measure our comments towards macedonians in macedonia a little better than we sometimes do. keep up the constructive criticism, though perhaps place it in language that is more measured. that way people over there in macedonia are more likely to listen ( whether they are "moral slaves" or not and actually people everywhere are more likely to listen).”

by which i mean that people inside often feel that people outside don’t know what the situation is really like. this is how they often feel whether they are right or wrong and in my opinion they are often wrong. however, keeping in mind how they feel, the thing to do perhaps, i suggested is to keep the constructive criticism but in a measured way. If our aim is to have a moral revolution aiming to change the moral slaves then we want them listening to us. all of them, career politicians and others. now they are more likely to listen to diaspora outsiders if the language used is not ferociously abusive (as it sometimes is). some people respond well to really nasty abuse but in my experience most don’t. in response to abuse they usually go on the defensive and dig their heels in even more.

lastly, having in my mind the comment from delchev about émigrés not being conversant with local conditions, i made the following suggestion in a previous post:

“if somebody wants to contribute to the moral revolution of macedonians, so that they begin looking at options with new eyes, then they need to go and do it inside macedonia. it is from there that they will be taken seriously; it is by living in macedonia that they will truly understand the mindset of the average macedonian and be in a real position to influence it on a day to day basis. this was delchev's point and if it is valid today, then many of us who are concerned, might need to think about relocating....maybe....”

sure the context today is different but extracting the outside/inside/familiarity with local conditions distinction, for discussion today, is reasonable in my opinion. and then i threw open a question for others after already confessing that i would not be prepared to relocate from australia to macedonia:

“though the question still remains, do more of us need to go 'internal' to really understand and make a difference?”

then i made a guess on the basis of the quote from delchev:

“delchev would probably say yes if he were alive....”

Last edited by Pavel; 05-23-2010 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:36 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Pavel View Post
though the question still remains, do more of us need to go 'internal' to really understand and make a difference? delchev would probably say yes if he were alive...
I won't actually answer your question in a satisfying way for you Pavle. I will say that there are many in Macedonia (including politicians) who do not have the mentality often described here as a victim/slave mindset. Unfortunately they are kept out of leadership. When you have a country full of Macedonians that barely line up to vote, you have confirmation of this mindset along with some good old apathy.

I am not sure that going "internal" will help the apathetic Macedonians. I know for a fact that every dominant Macedonian in the Republic of 50 odd years ago was shut down and made to suffer for their "rampant" displays of Macedonism. This in my mind has manifested into a reserved culture that is in danger of aligning itself with anyone willing to lend support.

Perhaps going "internal" is the answer. But it won't be to learn the plight of the Macedonians. They have themselves to blame for that. Equally and hopefully, they have themselves to rely on. Going internal to start a revolution of the mind might work. However, being a patriotic Macedonian is nothing more than a ploy used by politicians that always never seems to pan out as promised.

Given the right media and mindset in Macedonia, I wonder what the reaction might have been to the man who set himself on fire (to his death) in the name of Macedonia a few years ago.

I also must remind you that as old as Macedonia is as a nation. It is still a young nation in a modern context and the Diaspora influence is fundamental to its existence. The Greek State would not have existed had it not been for its Diaspora over 180 years ago. I fear Macedonians in the Republic have ignored the clarity of thought coming from the Diaspora to their great detriment over the last 20 years. If the Diaspora (in a unified voice) was more understanding of the Macedonians plight and were happy to support compromises etc. (sound familiar?) it does not help Macedonia at all. The Diaspora needs to set the benchmark in terms of identity IF AND ONLY IF the Macedonians of the Republic do not have the vigour or mindset to do it themselves.
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:49 PM   #24
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thanks for your answer Risto (and for yours too blackcactus) and i think you make a good point about the importance of the diaspora. and yeah i don't think compromises on key issues are the way to go either. we must maintain the criticism, i just think we need to be a bit more careful about the way we do it sometimes.

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Old 05-23-2010, 07:23 PM   #25
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Pavel,

Even if we were to accept your interpretation that Dechev was suggesting you can only judge the situation in Macedonia if you live there, it could hardly be applicable in the same way today, given the advances in communication technology and increased ease of movement since Delchev's days.

Having said that, I reassert my view that your interpretation and application of Delchev's statements is incompatible with the context in which Delchev made his comments. It is almost like something that politicians from the SDSM school, who demand that the Diaspora just bow and send money while they sell out and destroy the Macedonian people's rights and interests, would say.

Macedonians living abroad have participated in judging the situation in Macedonia and guiding liberation activity since before Delchev's days. Delchev himself was one such Macedonian for a significant period in his life, during which he too condemned treacherous deeds by Macedonians living in Macedonia. Again, I stress the difference between the Diaspora supporting or not criticizing those Macedonians in Macedonia who struggle for freedom and justice, and supporting or not criticizing those who facilitate continued oppression.

The Delchev quote you have used is from a statement he made in a very specific context. He was talking about the strategic matter of judging the right time for the Macedonian Revolutionary Organization to stage an Uprising. He was rejecting attempts by Macedonians in Bulgaria who were loyal to Bulgaria (and led by a Bulgarian General) to DICTATE the timing of an uprising in Macedonia in accordance with Bulgarian state interests. He wasn't objecting to independently oriented Macedonians in the Diaspora criticizing those in Macedonia who served the oppressors. And he wasn't making a general statement that you can't know the conditions in Macedonia unless you live there. He was making a very specifically directed observation that the people he was addressing (those of the "Vrhoven Komitet") did not understand the conditions in Macedonia:

"Gledam deka vie ne gi poznavate uslovite vo Makedonia ...."

Why would he say "I can see that you do not appreciate the conditions in Macedonia" if he meant "you can't know the conditions in Macedonia unless you live there"? He wouldn't need to assess whether the "Vrhoven Komitet" in particular appreciated the conditions in Macedonia if he was harboring a general presumption that you can't appreciate the conditions in Macedonia unless you live there.

The current mainstream Macedonian political parties have much less in common with Delchev than they do with the Vrhovisti he was criticizing in the quote you are misinterpreting. The Vrhovisti, like the current 'ruling' class in the Republic of Macedonia, felt that Macedonians could not get anywhere without foreign patronage, while Delchev was firmly committed to self-reliance of the Macedonian Revolutionary Organization.
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:20 PM   #26
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thanks Aleksandrov, but i don't agree with you. i think that my interpretation is quite legitimate for the purpose of making delchev useful in a discussion today; it certainly is not the only one possible, but it is possible. just to make it clear again this is what i wrote:

"lastly, having in my mind the comment from delchev about émigrés not being conversant with local conditions, i made the following suggestion in a previous post:

“if somebody wants to contribute to the moral revolution of macedonians, so that they begin looking at options with new eyes, then they need to go and do it inside macedonia. it is from there that they will be taken seriously; it is by living in macedonia that they will truly understand the mindset of the average macedonian and be in a real position to influence it on a day to day basis. this was delchev's point and if it is valid today, then many of us who are concerned, might need to think about relocating....maybe....”

sure the context today is different but extracting the outside/inside/familiarity with local conditions distinction, for discussion today, is reasonable in my opinion. and then i threw open a question for others after already confessing that i would not be prepared to relocate from australia to macedonia:

“though the question still remains, do more of us need to go 'internal' to really understand and make a difference?”

then i made a guess on the basis of the quote from delchev:

“delchev would probably say yes if he were alive....”

on modern technology making this not applicable today, maybe you are right. but this does not answer the point that many people inside don’t FEEL that way about it and that maybe more of us need to go ‘internal’ to make an impact. it’s just a question for discussion, risto and blackcactus responded quite reasonably to it.

you wrote: “Again, I stress the difference between the Diaspora supporting or not criticizing those Macedonians in Macedonia who struggle for freedom and justice, and supporting or not criticizing those who facilitate continued oppression.”

And for the second time, i never said that people in the diaspora should not criticise those in Macedonia who are “moral slaves” because they do not live there. i said something quite different! It was about maintaining the criticism but in a more measured way.

and when you write:

"It is almost like something that politicians from the SDSM school, who demand that the Diaspora just bow and send money while they sell out and destroy the Macedonian people's rights and interests, would say."

i have to say you are seriously distorting my position which is not "almost like" what you say. anyone who reads all my previous posts will be able to see that. you have made a real effort to be insulting here. that is the second time you have misrepresented me in this thread. the first time i responded by merely pointing out the error. this time i will tell you straight that i am not going to engage with you any further. you made an invitation at the beginning of this thread for a discussion. however you are not conducting yourself in a civil and respectful manner.

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Old 05-23-2010, 11:55 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavel View Post
thanks Aleksandrov, but i don't agree with you. i think that my interpretation is quite legitimate for the purpose of making delchev useful in a discussion today; it certainly is not the only one possible, but it is possible. just to make it clear again this is what i wrote:

"lastly, having in my mind the comment from delchev about émigrés not being conversant with local conditions, i made the following suggestion in a previous post:

“if somebody wants to contribute to the moral revolution of macedonians, so that they begin looking at options with new eyes, then they need to go and do it inside macedonia. it is from there that they will be taken seriously; it is by living in macedonia that they will truly understand the mindset of the average macedonian and be in a real position to influence it on a day to day basis. this was delchev's point and if it is valid today, then many of us who are concerned, might need to think about relocating....maybe....”
Reading the Delchev quote you are relying on carefully, and especially in its proper context, should make it clear that that was NOT HIS POINT. I could debate with you to what extent the point you are trying to make about needing to be inside Macedonia is valid, and what form such presence could take, in a separate discussion, but that would be a debate about YOUR point and not the point that Delchev was clearly making in what you posted.

There are plenty of examples of liberation movements being guided or co-led by members of the oppressed group working from outside their ancestral homeland, due to various advantages that such physical location can offer in given circumstances. Delchev was well aware of that and it is something that he himself participated in or facilitated, as have numerous other prominent leaders of the Macedonian liberation struggle since Delchev's days. Of course, any struggle against oppression cannot be successful without a presence in the territory in which the majority of the oppressed people in question live, but presence by a movement in the homeland is not quite the same as presence in the homeland by every one of the members or leaders of that movement.

In any case, location is not and should not be a precondition for participating in the MORAL revolution that Delchev was concerned with. Moral slavery and moral liberation don't start or stop at any country border.

P.S. None of my comments were intended to insult you. Unfortunately, I cannot go so far in trying to not hurt any forum member's feelings as to refrain from identifying what I see as a misinterpretation of Delchev's statements, which happens to be consistent with a flawed mindset that is being promoted by SDSM and other mainstream politicians in the Republic of Macedonia.
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Old 05-24-2010, 12:10 AM   #28
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Despite not having contributed to this thread, as a very interested reader, I am loving this thread and it is ranking among my favorite threads of all time on this forum.

If I may, I'd like to make one suggestion, just for organising the thread in such a way that it becomes a permanent future reference point for all things Goce Delchev...

Can the very first post in this thread, be edited to simply and only LIST all of the Goce Delchev quotes that are being presented throughout the thread. Under each quote, have the post number from this thread, where that quote is referenced, explained and discussed (it can be a link to the actual post in the thread where that quote is discussed and referenced).

Or alternatively, make such a page with Goce Delchev quotes on the actual MTO website, with links going to the forum thread and posts.

I think that would be useful to everyone here, but even further to anyone searching for anything on Goce Delchev and stumbling upon it in such an organised way.
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Old 05-24-2010, 12:53 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aleksandrov View Post
Even if we were to accept your interpretation that Dechev was suggesting you can only judge the situation in Macedonia if you live there, it could hardly be applicable in the same way today, given the advances in communication technology and increased ease of movement since Delchev's days.
I'm not making a point in the context of the Delčev quote. I just want to say that unless you have lived some time in RoM under the conditions they have, you will never trully or even come close to understanding the situation and mentality of the people there. You could empathise, but this is not enough. This is why Diaspora rhetoric is always perceived by locals as aggressively critical. We do need to be critical, but offer it in a constructive way. And this is easier said then done. Blame it on the tyranny of distance.
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Old 05-24-2010, 03:25 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sf. View Post
I'm not making a point in the context of the Delčev quote. I just want to say that unless you have lived some time in RoM under the conditions they have, you will never trully or even come close to understanding the situation and mentality of the people there. You could empathise, but this is not enough.
I agree with you and Pavel about this to a degree.

Quote:
This is why Diaspora rhetoric is always perceived by locals as aggressively critical. ...
In my experience, the Macedonian locals who respond with "it's easy for you to talk like that from over there" or "you don't know what it's like here" to every critical observation or suggestion I make are much more ignorant of local Macedonian conditions generally (as distinct from their own yard) than I am. For example, locals of the said ilk in Skopje are much less considerate of the living conditions and views of Macedonians in Ohrid, Tetovo, Gostivar, Debar, Bitola, Strumica, Pirin, Egej, Mala Prespa and other parts of Macedonia than I am. I have encountered similar reactions towards me as an 'outsider' from people with that narrow-minded mentality in Ohrid and Bitola as well. On the other hand, I have encountered greater appreciation of my views and contributions concerning Macedonian affairs from Macedonians who live in relatively harsher conditions, in Pirin, Egej, Mala Prespa, Tetovo, Gostivar ..., but are more inclined to resist oppression than those who dismissively tell us that we don't know what it's like in Macedonia.
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