Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Risto Stefov and Slav-Macedonism

November 10, 2008

With great surprise I read the article [1] by the Slav-Macedonian Risto Stefov (Chris Stefou) which attacked my response to a previous article of his, particularly in regards to the Carnegie Commission Report [2]. The Slav-Macedonian writer calls me as "anti-Macedonian internet warrior propagandist" and then attempts to justify this accusation by once again making use of historical revisionism [3]. Disregarding some of the tangents gone off on by Mr. Stefov, I will attempt here to respond to some of the relevant claims.

I will begin my analysis with the term "Macedonian" and its meaning: A Macedonian according to several sources[4][5] is a native or inhabitant of the (Ancient or Modern) Macedonian region. I was born in Thessaloniki and my family's origin can be traced from that city, as well as Eastern Macedonia 150 years ago.

So am I Macedonian according Risto Stefov's historical revisionism process?

According to the known English dictionaries I am. How can I then be accused of being "anti-Macedonian"?

I'll try to explain to you why Mr. Stefov has denied the fact that a Macedonian in our modern era is also a Greek, a Bulgarian, an Albanian and anyone that lived in the region known as Macedonia.

Also, Mr. Stefov said that he knows "exactly what the Carnegie Commission report said and can show us a dozen more reports that say: 'No ethnic Macedonians existed anywhere in geographic Macedonia'". Yet, he avoids answering the question completely. Why didn't the Carnegie Commission report make any remark or in any way mention the so-called "Macedonian" nation, ethnicity or language? Why does this same report describe the Slavic population of Macedonia as Bulgarians, rather than "ethnic Macedonians"?

Of course I do not deny that the Slav-Macedonian national identity begins in the nineteenth century. However, why did most Slav-Macedonians describe themselves as Bulgarians from 1870 to 1943?

Why do many still today identify as Bulgarians, having resisted being transformed into "Macedonians" by the dictatorial powers of a communist state for 75 years?

A.D. Smith wrote that "ethnic communities or 'ethnies' are constituted, not by lines of physical descent, but by the sense of continuity, shared memory and collective destiny, i.e. by lines of cultural affinity embodied in myths, memories, symbols and values retained by a given cultural unit of population."Stefov attempts to establish a link between the Slavonic nation FYROM with the famous ancient Greek tribe, the Macedonians. Many writers mention that the modern FYROM Macedonians are Slavs[7][8] and have no connection whatsoever with the ancient Macedonians, who were Greeks and became world-famous in the fourth century BC under Alexander The Great whose conquests of the East began the Hellenistic Age.

Historian and Professor Eugene Borza who is credited as "Macedonian specialist" by the American Philological Association, and who has completed extensive studies regarding the ethnicity of the Ancient Macedonians, had also presented in-depth analysis that the Ancient Macedonians were not Slavs (or mixture of Slav)s or Romans as some Slav-Macedonists claim. In his article Macedonia Redux [9] Borza explains:"Modern Slavs, both Bulgarians and Macedonians, cannot establish a link with antiquity, as the Slavs entered the Balkans centuries after the demise of the ancient Macedonian kingdom".

Finally, the term "Slav-Macedonism" must be defined.

Slav-Macedonism is the political idea prevailing in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) which utilises historical revisionism to establish links between an ethnic group that formed in the 20th century - ethnic 'Macedonians' - and historical events and figures of the 19th century and Middle Ages. For example, Bulgarian Tsar Samuil, despite the overwhelming evidence, is portrayed as a "Macedonian" king. Further attempts are made to deny the Hellenic nature of the ancient kingdom of Macedon and to seek connections between present day ethnic Macedonians and the Ancient Macedonians. Unfortunately for extremist Macedonists like Stefov, history bears witness to the fact that in the early 1940s the Bulgarian inhabitants of Vardar Macedonia were transformed into "Macedonians" for political reasons by communist dictators (Tito, Stalin, and Dimitrov) and infamous communist organizations (Comintern and the Balkan Communist Federation )[10,11].

[1]- Modern Greeks like to Bend the truth to suit their Agenda, American chronicle (http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/78874)
[2]- Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, report of the international commission, to inquire into the causes and conduct of the Balkan wars, 1914[3]- http://www.macedoniaontheweb.com/for...-his-lies.html
[4]- http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Macedonian
[5]- http://www.thefreedictionary.com/macedonian6]-
[6]-A.D.Smith 1991, National Identity, pages 21 and 29.
[7]- Igor Diakonoff, The Paths of History, page 229
[8]- Elisabeth Barker, "Macedonia, its place in Balkan power politics, page 10
[9]- The Eye Expanded Life and the Arts in Greco-Roman Antiquity, page 255[
10]-Palmer and King, Yugolsav Communism and the Macedonian Question, page 199.
[11]-Loring Danforth,The Macedonian Conflict, page 66.

I could never completed this article without the extence help and support of the macedoniaontheweb members.

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