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Old 11-16-2017, 10:20 PM   #1
Tomche Makedonche
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Default Statelessness – A return to the Fourth World?

Statelessness – A return to the Fourth World?

I have been contemplating bringing this topic up for a while and thought what the hell. The notion of Macedonians becoming a stateless nation again is not entirely a new premise and has in fact been mentioned previously on the forum from time to time. With what appears to now be an overwhelming rise in support towards a European identity and future over an ethnic Macedonian one dominating the ideology of the Republic’s citizens; and the now apparent dedicated multilateral pursuit of transforming the nature of the state from that of a nation state representing the Macedonian ethnicity to essentially a multicultural Balkan one; perhaps it may be beneficial to start exploring and discussing the real possibility of returning to statelessness and what that could actually mean for the Macedonian nation.

Some initial thoughts that come to mind are:

- Would a return to this status be regarded as a backwards or forwards progression for our nation?

- Would such an eventuation finally bring about the end, or rather the abandonment of our ethnic identity?

- How would we as a people retain our identity and culture without the security of a state to support us?

- What options could we pursue to secure our culture and identity when our entire nation resides in occupying and foreign states (i.e. Diaspora)?

- Would there be any benefits of such an eventuation?

- Could the relegation to minority status for our entire nation finally bring about greater cross border unity and cooperation amongst our people, particularly within a “Unified European” framework? (the eventual incorporation of all occupying states within the European Union)

- Would a pursuit to regain/recreate a state for our nation once we have been relegated to the Fourth World even be necessary within a “Unified European” Framework?

- Could a distinction be formalised between the two Macedonian factions that make up the Macedonian citizenry within the republic?, i.e the European Slav whose Macedonian identity is based on a geographic standpoint (equivalent to the “Greek” Macedonian); and the Indigenous Macedonian whose identity is derived from an ethnic Macedonian standpoint

- Would there be any desire within the New Republic for such a distinction?, and with it, possibly the pursuit of guaranteed minority status or even autonomous governance for the indigenous Macedonian population?


Of course I’m well aware this topic in general (let alone some of the points I’ve specifically brought up) would naturally be viewed as highly controversial, but taking into account the course each government has pursued, and the eventual support or general apathy amongst the citizenry in respect of that course, I personally think there is some validity for having such a discussion (but I guess we’ll see), and as always, some pro-activeness/forward thinking on our behalf, or rather lets call it “contingency planning”, for such a possible eventuation wouldn’t do any harm.

Interested to know if anyone has any general thoughts on this subject, feel free to share your opinions if you have one, or two, or three, negative or positive. Feel free to tell me I've got the whole premise wrong etc, I really don’t think there can be any wrong answers at this point.
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Old 11-16-2017, 11:01 PM   #2
Liberator of Makedonija
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How many years did Macedonians fight to establish some kind of nation-state for our own, it took until 1944 just for us to have any shred of autonomy and even then it wasn't until 1991 did Macedonians finally have an independent state for our own. The Republic of Macedonia is far far from perfect but unfortunately it is all we have and we must do our upmost to protect it or risk becoming a stateless people once again.
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Old 11-16-2017, 11:37 PM   #3
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Maybe we should get in touch with the Jewish diaspora and compare experiences. If anyone can sympathize with Macedonia's situation it's them. Really a lot of the stuff that applies to dealing with such a situation is relevant to better dealing with the current situation.

We need to keep fighting against that outcome to the very end. We need to document everything Macedonian. Every dialect recorded and accessible to be taught in the diaspora, history lessons to combat the false, anti-Macedonian narratives taught to others, books about all the traditional attire, songs and dances, all our oral history and legends written and told so they'll remain in some form.

Statelessness is a very precarious position to be in but not necessarily irreversible or the end of the Macedonian identity. Jews endured the holocaust and centuries of prejudice wherever they went. We endured the Roman empire, Ottoman empire, the Balkan Wars, WW1, WW2, the Metaxas regime, the Yugoslav regime and countless waves of propaganda with little to no assistance. The indigenous populations of North and South America continue to exist despite having been robbed of their land and enduring genocide and prejudice on their own land. All but 2 Celtic languages went extinct in the 20th century but have been revived due to restoration efforts from their respective ethnic groups. We have endured and we can continue to endure for as long as we have to. So long as we don't give up, there's hope for a better future.

Setting up some Macedonian schools in the diasporic communities would help a lot. We need to ensure there's sufficient infrastructure to maintain the Macedonian identity and culture regardless of where we live. We need to coordinate about things and raise awareness about what we've been subjected to all these years. These days the quickest, most effective way to do that is through social media. The more it becomes common knowledge that things like the name debate are human rights violations, the more support we'll gain against the countries and institutions that are oppressing us. We need to make our voices heard.
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
- Would a return to this status be regarded as a backwards or forwards progression for our nation?
I think both. Backwards because we will have lost the one thing our ancestors fought for and what we've wanted (an independent Macedonia). It could lead to emigration from Macedonia, people accepting another identity, etc. Forwards, perhaps, because it'll motivate a certain faction of Macedonians to "dig in" and become more dedicated and adherent to the Macedonian Cause.

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Would such an eventuation finally bring about the end, or rather the abandonment of our ethnic identity?
Our identity is tied in with the land. I don't know how many generations of ethnic Macedonians -- as we know that term today -- can survive in the Diaspora by losing such a connection to the land. Clearly, the Jews are one example of a Diaspora that has managed, so it's not impossible. But if Macedonians essentially emigrate from Macedonian lands, or are assimilated into other identities, it'll make survival of our identity that much more difficult. I don't think it's the abandonment of our identity, but the Macedonian identity that survives in the Diaspora as we know it could be drastically different than a Macedonian identity that could develop in Macedonia hundreds of years from the start of statelessness. (I'm thinking more of a Greek, Albanian or European flavor). Then again, we don't know what can happen in that period -- the concepts of ethnicity and nationality are fluid. Much of our Macedonian identity is based on the notion that "we belong to Macedonia".

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How would we as a people retain our identity and culture without the security of a state to support us? What options could we pursue to secure our culture and identity when our entire nation resides in occupying and foreign states (i.e. Diaspora)?
We have to do better as individuals in actually practicing Macedonian culture (be it speaking/writing Macedonian, playing Macedonian music, making Macedonian food, etc.). We also have to focus on strengthening the sense of Macedonian community in our local communities. And it is imperative that we teach our children all these things.

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Would there be any benefits of such an eventuation?
Perhaps compared to the state Macedonia finds itself in now, it could produce more Macedonian activism. But I think the negatives would outweigh it.

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Would a pursuit to regain/recreate a state for our nation once we have been relegated to the Fourth World even be necessary within a “Unified European” Framework?
I don't see such a Europe lasting long, if it ever gets there. If not absolutely necessary to regain/recreate a state, it would at least be desirable.

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Could a distinction be formalised between the two Macedonian factions that make up the Macedonian citizenry within the republic?, i.e the European Slav whose Macedonian identity is based on a geographic standpoint (equivalent to the “Greek” Macedonian); and the Indigenous Macedonian whose identity is derived from an ethnic Macedonian standpoint
I don't see that current division amongst Macedonians. I see that emphasis of such a division would only make things that much worse and is solely based on historical understanding or misunderstandings and migration patterns that we know very little about.

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- Would there be any desire within the New Republic for such a distinction?, and with it, possibly the pursuit of guaranteed minority status or even autonomous governance for the indigenous Macedonian population?
No.
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Old 11-17-2017, 04:34 PM   #5
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For all the xenophobia and stupidity involved in the Brexit vote, it may ultimately be the loose thread that unravels the EU and all the imperialism it was built on. Sure it has some enticing benefits but it's also rife with corruption and has far more power over countries it selectively exercises than is conductive to a truly democratic arrangement. Catalonia's secession may be a sign that other states that have retained their own distinct identities will begin to assert themselves more vocally even if they don't necessarily wish to form a separate state. The fascist behaviour in Spain's response is a stark reminder that modern nations are effectively empires whose component provinces didn't necessarily consent to being part of. There's likely to be a upcoming change as people begin to question those institutions, which will make the injustices Macedonians have been subjected to more apparent.
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Old 11-17-2017, 05:57 PM   #6
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There's likely to be a upcoming change as people begin to question those institutions, which will make the injustices Macedonians have been subjected to more apparent.
I think the first half of your statement is certainly true; I wonder, though, "to whom" the injustices faced by Macedonians will become apparent.
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Old 11-17-2017, 06:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by vicsinad
I think the first half of your statement is certainly true; I wonder, though, "to whom" the injustices faced by Macedonians will become apparent.
To clarify I meant that it would become more noticeable to the people who've been blind to them so far. My dad summarized some of the issues regarding the partition and Greek racism but it's not until I finally found Macedonian accounts on Macedonian history that I actually heard about most of the Albanian stuff or EU complications. I actually thought the name debate was over until someone handed me pamphlet of the MHRMI article.

I tried and failed to research Macedonian history before and I keep running into this one propaganda site over and over again. Every other site I've found was full of broken links and didn't seem to have been touched in years. Accessibility of accurate information regarding Macedonia is atrocious and we need to fix that if we expect people to actually know and understand what's going on. From what I see most people are dissuaded from learning about the Balkans because they just see it as a confusing political clusterfuck or the irrelevant half of Europe while the rest are fed propaganda because accurate information is so hard to find. We need to prompt a change there or other countries will continue to control the narrative.

One of the basic steps to addressing problems on the scale of what Macedonia is facing is to raise awareness so more people will actually know a problem exists in the first place. The more people become informed and sympathetic, the more control we'll have over our own situation.
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:17 PM   #8
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Macedonains have far far more in common with the Palestinians than the Jews.
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Old 11-19-2017, 10:45 PM   #9
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Personally, when considering the sacrifices made by our ancestors just to get this far, a return to statelessness would be a complete tragedy in my view, however, as much as I think all must be done to prevent that from happening, we cannot escape the reality of the situation playing out before us.

I think it is evident most (not all) of Macedonians in the Republic deep down see in Zaev their saviour. Arguably, until now, Zaev is the only politician that has the courage to unflinchingly do what most deep down have desired to be done, but couldn’t bring themselves to admit to because of the shame involved in doing it. With him, they finally have their martyr, their scapegoat to unaccountability, their excuse in order to wash their hands clean of it all. I can understand that most are just tired of it all and are screaming for a different path, anything which could lead to the prospect of a better life and opportunities. I am no one to judge and ultimately as a member of the diaspora there is little influence I can have on the matter.

The only thing I have control over is myself, and so I ask myself what will this ultimately mean for me?.

When the not so distant change in identity finally arrives for the people in the republic, and they become whatever they decide to become, will I be able to continue to associate myself with that new identity?.

I’ve deliberated on this for a long time and whilst others seem to conform with these developments as they come (waving the Ventilator around etc), deep down the truth is, a state that finally becomes devoid of the Macedonian nation is something I just could not associate with at all.

I also find it difficult to see the Indigenous Macedonians of Greece, Bulgaria, Albania and Serbia (especially when taking into account the fact that they have been flat out abandoned from the beginning by the people of the Republic) continue to associate themselves with that state and the new identity the people in the republic will adopt. If that is the case, then what’s left of the Macedonian nation will be indeed relegated to a form of statelessness as a result of the decisions made by the Republic.

So then how do we, the ones who continue to comprise the stateless Macedonian nation proactively ensure that our race survives in such a situation?.

Admittedly, I think the change in name and identity is still a while to come. Although the citizens of the Republic have surrendered to this notion and politically have become eager for its resolution, I think the biggest barriers to locking this down still lie with the Greeks and Albanians. Once the flag goes up that the Republic is willing to change, the Albanians will insist that their ethnicity is incorporated in the new entity, and once that hurdle is eventually overcome (and any other imposed by other entities i.e. Bulgaria), it then boils down to whether the Greeks actually feel that resolving the so called name issue serves their best interests.

Nevertheless, the course appears to now have been set by the citizens of the Republic to reach this eventual outcome, however, I am sure that there would be a decent faction who continue to associate themselves with the Macedonian nation within the Republic, that remain resistant to the change, which could potentially grow after the change is made.

So ultimately in terms of ensuring our survival, I personally believe it would serve the Macedonian Nations interests best for all the remaining factions that do not associate themselves with the new identity to be united in cause once statelessness officially eventuates. The only question in my mind is how can we try to make sure that happens?, and whether a more proactive approach should be pursued in this regard?
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Old 11-20-2017, 12:24 AM   #10
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Macedonians have been stateless since FYROM and the Ohrid agreement.
This is just an inevitable path being realised right now.

What does it mean for Macedonians? The same as it always has. Our struggle for our identity remains and is in fact a defining aspect of our people.

The country will remain and nobody will want to admit to the hypocrisy of minority rights in the face of the gross violation of the rights of the silent majority. Macedonia will remain in one form or another, but it cannot be the homeland of Macedonians.

I wish I had the chance to whisper (or shout) in the ear of Ivanov right now. There is always hope, but it's definitely slim pickings.
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