Kiril Temkov
Faculty of Philosophy,
University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius”, Skopje

The Logical and Ethnical Suppositions for our European Way

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IN A SERIES OF ARTICLES on the meaning of our new time in which, I refer to as a spirit and an engagement, a new beginning. The question that I consider as being the most important for us in this new beginning is the following: Is there another way for us except the European way?

The answer to this question greatly depends on the position from which we ask it, as well as, on the amount of seriousness present when asking this particular question.

Seriousness is not a quality of the Balkan people. // I am speaking about those who live in the Balkans-from a broader perspective- and not only of Macedonians in order for one to realize that we do not live in a vacuum, that we are not the only ones and that the answers to such questions do not only refer to us //. We, the Balkan people, take everything tragically and our main reaction is frowning, however, seriousness is not our strong side. Seriousness is a characteristic of the one who approaches life and the people around him/her responsibly; who examines situations carefully; who perceives problems deeply and in broad manner; who assesses the consequences from previous circumstances and deeds consistently and impartially, assessing the role and responsibility of every one who tries to carefully predict what is going to happen, objectively as possible (especially what is going to happen with him/her) etc.

However, none of these psychological, cultural, or spiritual aspects have influenced the Balkan people of the modern era. They do not corresponded with the complex of complete answers, nor in order to achieve or accomplish them, because they have taken actions to address such broad and important issues. Nor do they generally reflect upon the doctrine of seriousness and the responsibility within its own national policy.

The spirit of their civilization inspires the position from which the Balkan people approach life and political problems; and this civilization is Levantine.

IN THE WORLD there are several civilizations, meaning that I categorize this civilizations according to their experience of the world; i.e. their specific way of life, specific properties and appropriate list of priorities, specific opinions, reactions, characteristic direction of life, peculiar planning of life and deeds and accomplishments tied to their aspirations, authentic attitude towards oneself and other people, special ethics in life. What we are talking about here is the parts of manhood that comprise similar people, who mutually share a similar destiny and in the bigger epochs, in a similar way develop and succeed i.e. fail.

There are several such global human groups, however, determined by the space in which they exist: European (West European), American (or American-Australian), South-American, African, Indian (sub-tropic), Far East and Levantine. //This however excludes large and highly important human cultural agglomerations in same spaces- Russian, Persian, Arabian, and Ethiopian. They belong in certain border between the more determined, or are parts of a similar world or behavior, or it just may be that I have not perceived their characteristics well enough//

We belong to Levantism. Sometimes it even seems or more specifically, as it seems to us, we are its authentic and most eminent representatives, although its center is East Mediterranean. This civilization can be also called Turkish, but it would not be correct to tie this term with the Turkish predominance in the recent periods. We may only refer to the influence of the Turkish potentials and forms of today, when these characteristics had been present long before this world became Turkish. So, I want to point out that we belong here, in the Levantine (or Turkish) world, which geographically and spiritually encompasses the space from Banja Luka and Belgrade to Samarakand and Buchara and from Crimea and Caucus to Crete (or to lower Egypt).

All of us in this area sleep in the same way, on similar beds, we use similar bedspreads and pillows and we wake up at the same time and in the same manner, we have breakfast at the same time and we eat the same, as well as we eat the same courses and dishes, we plan and pass the day (and the year, and the century) in the same way, we talk in the same way, with the same speed, with the same phrases and expressions, with the same attention, with the same type of conclusions and we act towards the words of the others in the same way, especially towards the words addressed to us, we nourish the same type of responsibility towards our own things and general things, in the same manner we behave towards providing the means for life, towards the earning of money and opulence, we spend the money in the same way with the same easiness and rate and most probably for the same aims, we laugh at the same jokes, we criticize the same flaws, we wish the same qualities /( or stupid qualities) we perceive the persons form the opposite sex (and from the same sex) in the same way, we get married in the same way, with the same aims and in the same way we make, bear and raise children, we have the same vision for them, we wish them the similar future and we prepare the faith in the same way, we give and we accept pieces of advice in the same way, we love the culture (words, music, dances, colors, buildings) in the same way and we consume it in the same quantity - in total and in separate genres, and in the same life stages the priorities from this field are the same to us, we have the same kitsch (we usually receive the schund from the West) and we criticize it in the same way (and we support it in the public or secretly) and (we) inform, drink, eat (with the same flavors and calories and in the same order) in the same way, we look the same, we wish and use the same values, we prefer the same political values and we adore the same political manners and therefore, we have similar political destinies, we are happy or sad in the same way and we include other people in it in the same way, we memorize the same things and we remember and remind ourselves of the same things and in the same distance etc etc- everything we experience is the same and we work and live in the same way. In one word: we from one civilization are the same. The small differences just highlight the fact that we are the same.

Since we, Macedonians are somewhere at the edge of that world // To which we give and give important contributions for its development and for cohabitation, as well as to enjoy its benefits and to criticize it and crash it//. In this new beginning, I thought (and not only me some others as well) that the time has come to get rid of the Levantine and to head toward the European world, where we are not now - our place is where we are now!- but where it can be better for the nation and for ourselves individually. After all, I am/ we are fed up with the Turkish (Levantine) way and methods of living (as are many of the Turks).

If the historical chance for this is here, we should not discard it- as we have discarded two or three times, or we have shaken it when we had it. Therefore, we look with fear at the danger to remain in our unenviable place or to return again where we started to exit, i.e. to see Europe so far, far away (and yet it is in our sight). What kind of experiences and fears are we talking about? For example, if we had been independent since 1945, I am afraid we would have been the same country as Enver's Albania or similar to autocratic Bulgaria. With the small influence of Slovenia, as Europe, we were different. Now again, the danger of leveling with Bosnia and Albania, with Liban and Cyprus threatens. We analyze, without seriousness i.e. most of the time we do not analyze at all. But if we do not know why and what has happened to us (and to our close ones, to all people, to all from our circle of life-from our civilization) we will not know what threatens us or what is going to happen to us. After a small and good (West) European experience and percipience of the European benefits, the passion of my present civilization have abandoned me and I wished to be, to become another civilization, not its part- but itself. // I imagine Europe-although in one of my texts many years ago, jokingly, I said that the real existing passion towards Europe lowers our criteria, since when I was young, to some of us, America was the ideal model. //

OF COURSE, Europe is a high and distant aim. I can realize it only in two ways-I, myself to start living as an European (in European way) which is not the most important, most successful or most influencing thing, or as a professor to plead for the European manner, to propagate Europe and to teach the European way. I wrote a text on how to become part of Europe (of course not on "the small things" in order to understand that the pleading refers to the civilizations) for a modern newspaper, in which the aforementioned column The New Beginningstarted to be published, however, nobody noticed it. I also suggested that a TV station should talk about the important European books and ideas- they did not want to. I insisted obstinately and decided to present my culture, the basic logical and ethical ideas of the western world, some time ago I completed that task too: I myself translated and published the books "Pragmatism" by William James, "Criticism of the practical mind" by Emanuel Kant, "The Scientific dispute on the method" by Rene Decart and " On the Freedom" by John Stuart Mill// These books were published within the maximum philosophic series "Ex libirs" of the cultural agency "Metaforum-Epoha": William James, Pragmatism, translation and preface by Ph.D. K. Temkov, Metaforum, Skopje, 1992; Emanuel Kant, Critics of the Practical Mind, translation and notes by Ph.D. Kiril Temkov, Metaforum, Skopje, 1993; Rene Dekart, Scientific Dispute on the Method how to Direct Our Mind Correctly and to Search for the Truth in the Sciencetranslation, preface and appendixes Ph.D. K. Temkov, Epoha, Skopje, 1996; John Stuart Mill ,On the Freedom, translation, preface and appendixes Ph.D. K. Temkov, Epoha, Skopje 19996.//- as an example and didactic for the psychological characteristics, ideal tendencies, ethical direction and civilization orientation of the most successful nations in the world - American, German, French and British.

I clearly declared and I want to show that bad things are waiting for us out of Europe, because only there, with Europe with it's life in its own way, new, thrilling, and promising undertakings wait us. In the other context, nothing is waiting us, except continuing of the lethargy or falling into degradation.

Shall I say, and say it once again, that I believe that the European way of Macedonia is the only needed, necessary and important thing and I hope legal way of my nation and for our life.

Why am I so sure that this is so, and I do not try to be philosophically cautious and humanly wise because of my years and my experiences, and not to rush to making and assessment of life and political visions. The wisdom of my country nevertheless is interpreted as the postponing of solutions, not talking about the solutions and not assessing the dilemmas, as waiting for life to show it, finally-and as acceptance of what blind destiny has determined for us// After the bombing started in Yugoslavia, in the spring of 1999, in the Macedonian issue of "Zaman," in which for several months I was writing an ethical column called, "Brojnici," I published several texts in which I point out, stressing even more, that we cannot change our destiny, because our world is such- it would not give us a chance to fight, i.e. the individual engagement in it does not have a role in its change, but only in the performing of the duty or in finding a way in its frameworks and trammels: Vojna-bezdna, (War-abyss) No. 144, 31 March 1999; Dve vrednosti, (Two values) No. 146, 16 April; Zagledani, (Staring) No.147, 21 Apirl;Iznenaduvanja (Surprises) No.148, 5 May; Ugursuzlak, (Escapade)No.149, 12 May.// And exactly against this Levantine, agape destiny my spirit rebels- against the belief that my life depends only on a certain dimmed force.

This does not suite my European hope that the engagement will result always in good, and at least usable deeds.

WHY DO I BELIEVE that the European way is the only suitable way for Macedonia? I answer decidedly: because Macedonia's position is such that there is no other chance for a good life, for an advancing, or even for survival, without connecting to the European way and without merging with Europe.

It is not only about the triviality of the Balkans, which includes and is a source of lots of our trivialities and hopelessness. However, everyone has his own of life - the way he has imagined it, if you are in Europe, or the way it happens to you, as someone else wants it, if you are in the Levantine world.

The evaluation of the desperate position of Macedonia does not come out of my intuitive considerations of the processes, nor of adhering to that which is predicted as a negative option, that evaluation is a result of the unbiased, cold analysis of the facts, according to the basic principles of the strategy, as a science for testing the truth for one political position and tendency, with a prime and triple obligation- truth, truth and only truth!

In this respect, the geo-strategic, political, economic, moral position of Macedonia arises the greatest alarm.

It is historically broken, although peaceful living in the last few years and a little stable (however hard) life motivates its citizens to have an illusion of their good situation. Macedonia did not have great victories in the last century or two, even in that period its natural being was torn apart, some aspirations and hopes failed, and sometimes it lost its friends or those that understood it from the Balkans. This is the source of the empty ideas in its national acknowledgement. As an example for that is the desire for revival of a second Yugoslavia that still exists in it, which in the near future cannot be renewed. The justification for this stupid idolatry comes from the fact that Macedonia, for the first time in the modern era, had a state or half-state in that Yugoslavia, which resulted also in the lamentations for it and its real and imaginary high achievements, without a real comprehension of the problems which were present there and which resulted in a fast disintegration of that "ideal" system and a break away of a so called "perfect" federation.

In a geo-strategic sense, Macedonia is in a very difficult position. In spite of some points of view inspired from the old conception of the geo-strategic meaning as a placement in the center- it does not mean much any more.// At least half of the countries in the world are in some center, and the strategic directions of the forces (whose armies do not walk on the Earth today), and because of the economic or other concentrated directions of acting today they jump over geographic toponyms, they outrange them, act internally through a nice financial, technological or other contemporarily powerful world action, and not directly as a geometric spreading on the map.// Due to such a central geo-strategic position in the Balkans, Macedonia faces with many problems- it is in the center of the Balkans which is full (and it will stay full for many years) with tensions, unsolved political problems which refer to national ambitions and hopeful spreading- and the one and only area where it could happen is its area, which besides that, it is also a very important potential space for army actions // Because I do not have a political position and I do not interfere into actual political appearances, only in the academic circles I have been pointing out the specific strategic position of Macedonia, from which arises its particular political task, i.e. obligation. Because the borders between the countries in the Balkans Albania-Greece, Greece-Bulgaria, Albania-Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia-Bulgaria are going along the mountains and there are only few passes, the specific position of the Republic of Macedonia in the middle of the Balkans and as a possible paths for pass of the armies towards other countries, which are not easily reachable- brings us to specific strategic problems, so in today's arranging of the relations in the Balkans, which includes the sanctions of the territories, borders and similar state elements, we have to pledge ourselves not to allow any of the neighboring countries to use our territory for its army to pass towards other countries. Because of the position of Macedonia there is the natural restrain and redundancy to allow our territory to be used for offensive actions towards SR Yugoslavia, when such an obligation is our strategic obligation//, so, if any of its neighbors have some political, which also means military aspirations, it will automatically be included in the diopter of its head-quarters. Countries, which, if not its enemies, are not its admirers, also surround Macedonia or imaginary desired defenders.

It does not have an exit to sea, and does not have direct communication with the world. Due to many reasons, and especially because of this it is subject to blackmail. Besides this, what sometimes happens to Macedonia is to be put in geo-strategic brackets, although it is in the center of the Balkans. Because Macedonia itself and the countries that surround it are not developed, they mainly lean themselves on the mutual transport (but, at least all of them have an exit to sea), and in the visions as if they develop mutual communications, as an idea and as a plan or as a present or future reality, they evade it- it is almost sure that the Adriatic Highway will be built from Trieste to Athens as well as the Thessaloniki- Sofia-Belgarde and/or Temisvar (highway, and a rail for TGeV). We pleaded for the East-West main road in the Balkans to pass through Macedonia, but that road (as a highway and rail) is not in the priorities, or not as much as the road from the Greek western ports (which are extended line from Italy, and also from the main Europe) to Istanbul or from Thessaloniki towards the Black Sea or, after the situation calms down, there are going to be directions from the Adriatic Sea through Bosnia and Serbia towards Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine and Russia, i.e. Turkey and Caucasian countries. However, though Macedonia does not or do not have to pass any geographic links between the biggest centers in the Balkans: Thessaloniki, Istanbul, Sofia and Belgrade (except the transversal Sofia-Tirana). The fact that Macedonia does not have a sea hurts it strategically and directly.// Albania was in argue with the world for forty years and demonstrated an extreme isolation, which regressed it, but did not break it, because it had a sea, through which you can reach something for which the others who are not on the water can suffer.//

That from this ("proud") geo-strategic position may arise other problems, as can easily seen from the fact that its neighbors, through the history, agreed among themselves much easier and they had at least some confederative (federative) ideas, for which Macedonia, even when it had them, did not have someone to talk to.

Besides that, Macedonia is materially irrelevant. Its national gross product is small, and it constantly decreases, as well as its national income per capita.// It normally happens during every change of the system, but it lasts too long for us.// And the mutual directions of the economic reconstruction stay undeveloped, unclear and dysfunctional in reference to the construction of the new system.// It is necessary for this system to happen (it must happen) because capitalism and the USA have not won this historic battle to leave the clever and ironic hidden socialists to defeat them on time evading historic obligations.// The way our directions are, they are not in favor of the development of all our strengths, as well as of the Macedonia's strength in general. Objectively, we have lost our chances to use our current comparative advantages and some more important economic potentials. Also, our so called strategic orientation towards agriculture is clumsy, because we do not have water, the soil parcels are small, there are no educated village people, the organization of the banks and education is not good for agriculture, and the already existing unarticulated orientation of crops, besides many technical and technological problems are clumsy, because there is no market for it- some of the neighboring countries have much lower price of social work, so we cannot sell them, and the others have the same products so they can be our competition. Besides that, although our country has been independent and autonomous for many years in deciding, it has not done anything concerning the modern production of the industrial crops, food processing, does not open serious and big advantages for development of industrial capitalism, which is the one and only chance in today's world, and it does not prepare itself for the exploitation of mineral wealth, which is probably its economic chance in the future.

Macedonia is politically irrelevant. It counts on the significance of the breakthrough echo of the negative tendencies in the neighboring countries, but that does not mean much in an intersection with the economic weakness and the political factuality and interest. It would not easily break the illusions about its own importance. In Yugoslavia it was a province, literally and politically. And it is also now. It has done a little to develop in something more than just a good old Yugoslav country. Its plans, ambitions, ideas, directions, all of them are realization of what Yugoslavia gave to Macedonia. It has old Yugoslav methods, a position undertaken from the political position and political opinion of the second Yugoslavia. It is not out of the political devil's circle of the second Yugoslavia. It is also characterized by a political ignorance and inertness, typical for longer, and particularly for the last period of its existence. If we extract provincialism, it is very slow, not aggressive, the habits (the second nature) likes them more than life, spites are more important than the creativity, referring to the past is more important than the possible vision.

Besides that, in a political sense Macedonia does not have power. It does not have enough people, does not have enough sources for political energy, does not have a good national orientation, except for the short-time and partial aims, it does not have a national vision of what to do. Its voice is not important. Actually, the real process of state constitution is very slow, because first of all being small and weak it has real problems with its placement on the European political map. According to the size of its territory it is as big as the Netherlands or Slovenia, and according to the strength, historical, national, geo-strategic it is similar to Luxembourg. But, it is far from Netherlands, which is the most developed country in the world because of the energy and work of its people, we should not talk about the differences between Macedonia and Slovenia (because we all know them) so, although it is bigger than Luxembourg, it would be the best to compare and to learn from this country, which is the richest country in the world, and also has a very big and important historical experience. That this dukedom is intuitively considered as a comparison also shows the resurrection of ideas for a prince in it. Actually, Macedonia is a princedom.

FROM HERE, WE CAN SEE what really happened in 1912. Although it was liberated from the involvement for centuries into the teetering Ottoman Empire sentenced to death and leaving from Europe, Macedonia was divided - it is not terrifying that a close ethnicity is separated and at least half of the national capacities are destroyed, so it is impossible for Macedonia to exist as a healthy country. The strategic interests of time, through other countries grabbing parts of Macedonia, regressed the processes and disturbed the national development also of the direct usurpers (also of that, which after strong convulsions, today is a member of Europe), and which for Macedonia they nullified the performances of a modern country. That is why we have to start to think as a country, and not as a nation. To do what still can be done - for the national development, if such priorities can be compared, to become a consequence from the development of the country, and not to expect the unclear principles of the national development to solve the difficult and contemporary state questions. That is what makes us different from Europe.

So, what we have to do or what is left over to be done. We should stick to the European option, to turn seriously towards Europe, to become a European country. For us, it means, that we should go along the European way, i.e. to do those things, which will lead us to Europe.

How-With the awareness of size and power? With a real comprehension of historic brevity, and not with lamentations of what could be, but what is going to be if this and this happens. With strict orientation towards the economic progress, at any price, without exceptions, because in this epoch in this world live only people who go on, and the postponement of progress leads not towards stagnation, but towards a rapid degradation (here, of course, there is a full range of changed orientations- from change of education, ways of behaving, checking of ideas, modernization of consciousness in actions). With a consciousness for political limitation and with building chances and from that position, encouraging its own people and improving the relations with the neighbors every day, step by step, without going back one step for possible realization of tomorrow's two. With a refined international policy of fitting into the modern world community. With awaking and using all resources that has, first of all the human resources. With a new ethic. And in all that, as a base, with a new general strategy- national orientation towards Europe.

WE CAN SURVIVE only as refined producers, rational people, decisive and tolerant citizens, rich individuals and inhabitants of a good organized country, present, even in the edge, in the company of the leading nations, economies and leaders in the world, with a passion for progress and with a strict limiting moral codex for every negative tendency that disturbs the others. We have to leave the world of despotism, tradition and circumstances and to become the messengers of the new liberalism. We have to become contemporaries.

It has to be clear to us and to support our consciousness that the Eastern question became again, or it will become something that Europe takes care of. It really spreads slowly, but it spreads. For now, it is a successful and winning civilization.

As a small country, with low potentials, we are not in a position to choose the ways. We have a historic chance for only one way. But as a country which has smelled the European breath and which probably has inside instinct for survival and progress, we should probably be able to find that narrow, difficult to walk on, but not hidden path.

I see that way towards Europe, but not from this some kind of real and idealized Balkan and Levantine Macedonia, but from an idealized Europeanized and European Macedonia.

That is why I speak about logic and ethic that manner.