Saturday, May 25, 2024

ECLECTICISM: HISTORICAL FACTS AND PROCESSES!?

Bulgarian arguments and attacks on Macedonian uniqueness sound like this to Macedonians: The Nile horse has pink urine! So they tell us from Sofia. While the Macedonian answer to this fact is as follows: from the moment it was discovered until it was declassified as a planet, Pluto has not made a complete orbit around the sun. The process…

Author: Katerina Topallova

“When we think about the past, it is the beautiful things that we always single out.” We want to believe that all of it was like that.” This opinion of the winner of the Golden Crown of the Strugant Evenings of Poetry for 2016, the writer and poet Margaret Atwood, perhaps most clearly describes our present-day representations and perceptions of historical events and figures, which do not inspire and encourage. Let us look and reflect only on the beautiful and good things of the past, which teach us and lead us to the future…

But does this way of understanding the past give us a complete picture of it? Does rejecting everything we don’t like in our collective memory make us have a distorted perception of it? Of course yes! The more selective we are in choosing between the beautiful and the ugly, the more we distort the true picture of things. This is why we must always ask the questions that concern us correctly and approach the answers seriously.

Therefore, it is legitimate to ask: Is Macedonian historiography eclectic and to what extent? Are other historiographies of the Balkans also eclectic? If the answer is YES, it is time to ask why this is so and what are the reasons for such a selective view of the past? Do we benefit from all this?!

Historically, eclecticism was first observed and practiced by a group of Hellenic and Roman philosophers who did not adhere to any real system, but chose from existing philosophical beliefs those doctrines that seemed most reasonable to them, consciously making a selection of the matter. This perception leads to a problematic reading of the past, which in turn indoctrinates us in terms of meaning, to create problems of the most diverse nature in those frivolous and fragile societies. And the political one, on the other hand, always turns out to be the most dangerous.

Looking at history, I can only conclude that facts are facts and changing them is a forgery. Their interpretation is what distinguishes us – intellectually, territorially, ethnically, etc. Interpretation causes us to have differences in viewpoints, which in turn divide us on different grounds. In mature societies, the different interpretation of historical facts does not create problems, while in weak societies with a colonial or protectorate character, it can affect even that much in the violation of the postulate of citizenship and sovereignty, generating all kinds of problems. I will take the example of the revolutionary Goce Dellchev, a current political topic on the eve of celebrating his birthday on February 4.

Is Goce Dellçevi Macedonian or Bulgarian? A question that in the 21st century should not be a mystery to us, because today’s understanding of historical processes makes it irrelevant… The character and work of the revolutionary should bring people closer, not drive them away! But what is it that essentially keeps us apart? The facts or their interpretation?! And who does it stop?

In mature societies, such topics are reduced to the level of the most sophisticated Dadaism, which even a Marcel Dishan could envy… Simply put, Bulgarian arguments and attacks on Macedonian uniqueness sound like this to Macedonians: The Nile horse has pink urine ! – they tell us from Sofia. While the Macedonian answer to this fact is as follows: from the time it was discovered until it was declassified as a planet, Pluto did not make a complete orbit around the sun. The process… This arrangement of things makes us lost in history! But not only us!

Facts and processes…

“You have your way. I have my way. As for the true, correct and only way, it does not exist” – as Nietzsche would say, “there are no facts, only interpretations.” Or to put it philosophically, even our interpretations are subject to interpretations! From facts and processes, precisely from there, we today derive the full legitimacy of our special existence. Anything beyond this perception is a fight with windmills… What history has failed to materialize today is time wasted in debates or political arguments… That issue into which history has channeled today is the only real issue subject to interpretation. political and social, otherwise our interpretations will be as thin as last year’s snow, unsuccessful and unproductive. And what history has forgotten there somewhere between the centuries, will forever remain buried in it – here lies the challenge of historians to discover the “monsters” with whom they will have to lead a real Maidan in the future. But let’s not forget that all of this cannot destroy the processes that have taken place and are taking place even for a millimeter…

The lesson comes from the philosopher’s pen: “Whoever fights with monsters must be careful not to become a monster in the process. And if you stare long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze into you.”

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