Saturday, October 28, 2006
Crisis in the Making? Macedonia and its Neighbours
D. Perry - Sudosteuropa 1994; 43: 31-58
Unfortunately Duncan Perry's, otherwise well written article is marred by several striking errors in both fact and logic concerning the question of nascent Macedonian nationalism. First, it is preposterous for Perry to imply that either Grigor Purlichev or Raiko Zhinzifov were Macedonists. Both individuals unequivocally declared their Bulgarian national consciousness on numerous occasions and in countless different ways. Is Perry completely ignorant of Purlichev's Autobiography (1885) and the events surrounding his famous poem "The Sirdar" (O Armatolos)? Obviously Perry has never read any of Zhinzifov's poetry, like the "Dove", let alone his numerous short stories. Perry is also incorrect for not revealing to his readers that the so-called "intellectual" Macedonists like Pulevski, and in particular Dimitar Chupovski, were insignificant in number and had negligible public support. Their minor, if not irrelevant, role in the development of the Macedonian Question has been intentionally exaggerated by revisionists seeking to promote political ideologies rather than the objective historic truth.
Second, Perry refers to the participants in the 1903 rebellion as "a small group of mainly Slav revolutionaries". However within his own text "Politics of Terror" (1988) Perry states that the constitution of these very same revolutionaries restricted membership to Bulgarians (p65), and that their most famous leader, Gotse Delchev, not only unequivocally declared himself Bulgarian, but considered all Macedonian Slavs as Bulgarian (p23). A view common to members of the Central Committee (their individual Memoirs are available). How is it then that these revolutionaries, who self- identified as Bulgarians, and are acknowledged as such by Perry, are now characterised by him simply as "Slavs"? The truth is that the Macedonian Liberation Movements were organisations of the Bulgarian-Macedonians and not merely some "Slavic speaking peasantry". Truth is categorical - using the term "Slav" instead of "Bulgarian" represents a wilful attempt to obscure the Bulgarian character and nature of these organisations and thereby advantage Macedonist sophism. Thus we witness an increase of these subtle, but deliberate efforts to deny the past irrefutable Bulgarian character of Macedonia - for example a well known and learned academic recently chose to describe the Schools and Churches closed in Macedonia after the Balkan Wars as "Slavic", instead of what they truly were - Bulgarian. It appears some of today's Balkanologists embrace subjective revisionism, rather than objectivity, as the prevailing norm.