jueves, 13 de abril de 2017

The state of losers and traitors

I am the kind of person that believes in the relation between the level of development and cultural values. In fact I am crazy enough to think development is related to everything. In this occasion, I would like to discuss what lessons should we take from each country's culture to use to get better when talking about development. 
That is, because in development there is a lot of talking and wishing well. 
Strongly believe that a cultures should provide us with the knowledge that will help us to boost not just our material wealth but also our mental well-being. "States are as the men, they grow out of human characters." (Plato) and they need to be the best version of themselves.
In the era of globalisation and cross-cultural exchange of information we know more, a lot more that our culture could offer us.
But, there is a problem. What to do with all the knowledge about other cultures? 
You can be Orthodox Christian and have your regular Yoga classes every week. If that is what it takes to feel better, just go for it. A catholic priests once said that Yoga is part of a different culture and it equals to a "Satanism" and it's "outside of the domain of the Christianity" and those that attend those classes will end up in hell. 
It is said that there is a link between the culture and development but it is difficult to understand. 
What culture does to the development as whole is a question to debate.
When reading different book, no matter what subject they are always try to note down the benefits that are described that other cultures can provide us with.

My love goes to the technocrats

As noted by Bower (2006) there is a big difference between the way big politicians are raised and bread in Europe and USA. He notes well that Arnold Schwarzenegger would not make it as a politician in Europe. According to him, politicians get their first and last job in politics without having any experience on what is like to deal with people, fire and hire them. They are parasitic creatures that do politics for leaving, and are members of elitistic clubs that leave in their own pretty little world. 
And I am the first one to say that managing a business is has to be no different than a country. If it wasn't Donald Trump so Trump, I would love to have a narcissist as he is, to run my country as good as he runs his own business. They are results driven and I would hate to have a person that talks well but does shit! 
Not to mention the fact, that I used to see Trump as my inspiration, now that I have a twitter account I realise I might be as crazy as he is, to think he is amazing. We all have past, people 😱😇
What Bower tries to prove is that , in USA, creative, original thinkers are highly valued. No matter your professional background, everybody can contribute. 
And that is true, the american dream consists of giving a chance to everybody. 
In Europe  and especially Balkans are valued most those that show strong loyalty to a political ideology. 
Other sources indicate that technocrats are a short term solution that can fix the economy when needed. (BBC 2011) When there is a political instability politicians with strong diplomatic skills come really handy.
I have pointed out that many of our most talented people go to waste running around as headless chicken because, simply,  we don't know how to engage and get the best out of them. If we are not smart enough to do it ourselves, step back and let the next one try. 
I am thinking that if we can be smart enough to do it ourselves, at least to be able to find somebody else to do it for us instead. 
Managing is about recognising talent abilities and it's best use. Acknowledging other people effort keeps them enthusiastic and motivated.  
The answer to the question who should run our country it might be to ask how are the countries priorities lined up - economic growth, political stability or social cohesion first. Why not all, and why not everybody engage in politics? It is what development is all about. It's about all and everything and it matters to all of us.
This is how cultural values explain different societies. 
It's nothing personal - just business!

The blood thirsty Balkaners!

There is only one nation that have shown to be the most problematic in the last few decades. I am not sure why is that as my sources of information are unreliable. But, there is an interesting story that can explain why some nations are more violent than other. It also means that I am going to further nourish the bias that already exist about the Albanian people. 
There are not many things that relate my two countries Macedonia and Spain. One of them is that Spain was 700 years under muslim rule, while Macedonia was 500 years. As one Macedonian historian would say, the difference is that the Muslims abandon Spain when the Ottomans took over Macedonia. Spaniards gained much more than Macedonia. The last remain into backwardness for centuries.
The Turks were stealing properties, crops and kidnapping around the country. The blood levy, meant taking young healthy children to train them to fight the Ottoman empire interests. It also meant the liberty to take any Macedonian women they fancy for their personal pleasure. The tragedy was than often that "random" woman was married, pregnant or simply terribly missed when gone. Desperate family members would undertake impossible mission to save the loved one with catastrophic consequences. 
I could read that when Turks entered a village to take valuable things they were taking what they wanted and leave. What happen later was that the Albanian tribes would enter the village to slaughter. It was said that they enjoyed so much the massacre that the Turks were fearing them and let them do what they wanted fearing their own life. 
Maybe that is the way to explain why the violent nature and vendetta (Krvna osveta) among them is popular to this day. On-line it is explained that many cultures have nurtured the kind of revenge. Even among Balkaners, the Albanians is said not to be the only one. The Turks didn't brought much advancement, that is for sure. 
When they left Balkans the Albanian were still organised in tribes and Macedonia was a feudal country torn between neighbours. They would all recruit Macedonians to fight their own wars. For the Macedonians it was another brother against brother war. They were fighting among themselves for a foreign interests on the field and intellectually promising independence. 
It has been centuries since Macedonians have won any war, created something for themselves. Those intellectuals fleeing abroad to study and coming back to contribute, ended up working for the Bulgarian, Greek or Serbian cause thinkind that either of them would help Macedonia to have independence.
There is why Gotse Delchev would say (allegedly) that those that work for the Bulgarians, Greeks and Serbians can consider themselves as good Bulgarian, Greeks and Serbian but never a Macedonian. 

"Macedonia has it's own interests and its own political agenda. It belongs to all the Macedonians. Those that want to work in favour of joining Macedonia with Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia, can be considered to be a good Bulgarian, Greek and Serbian, but not a Macedonian" Gotse Delchev

Gotse Delchev organised one of the most important Uprising in the Macedonian history in 1903 - the Ilinden Uprising. It took the Turks totally off guard, that we won not because we were "that good" but because we were so bad in defending our interests as Macedonians that the enemies would never expect us to fight any tirany they imposed. It took them around 10 days to recover themselves from the surprise. The Turkish army was marching toward Macedonia to 
Gotse Delchev never took part in the Ilinden Uprising on 2nd of August 1903. He was ambushed and killed by the Turks in Aegean Macedonia (today northern Greece) on 4th of May 1903. 

Gotse was not a mere soldier, he was a teacher in many regions of Macedonia, trying to educate and impose changes in the society mainly working in spreading the cultural conciseness . An intellectual that fought the Macedonian cause with a pen and paper as well as knife and a gun. 
As true Macedonian he was I can only imagine how proud would have been to see how successful the Ilinden Uprising was. It was not about winning the Turks but the national cause he has been fighting for in his short life.
He would be very disappointed to see that he is considered a Greek or Bulgarian in his Wikipedia page. Ironically, it was exactly what he was fighting against.He could not fight Wikipedia, though. It is funny to read how he organised Macedonian people to fight the Bulgarians but he was considered himself a Bulgarian. Was Gotse a gang leader? Of course not, but that is how mass media creates a confusion and spread propaganda. Nevertheless the Macedonian "actions of liberation" were close to what we know as terrorism. The kidnaping of Miss Stone is an example of that. The Boatmen of Thessaloniki is another example to be considered.

All of them were traced and killed over time. A lot of Macedonian revolutionary fighters and intellectuals as Gotse Delchev after the 1903 Ilinden Uprising went into hideout but they were traced and killed by our neighbours. They all believed that working with the Bulgarian, Serbs and Greeks would help to gain independence. When they became too close  to achieving it, all were killed in a span of 5 years.

Today they are celebrated as Greeks, Bulgarian or Serbs on Wikipedia, same as Gotse. 
On 13 of August 1913 Macedonia cease to exist as it was divided between its neighbours. 
Now it's FYROM. A country of confused losers always backing and lacking in development. 
If this world is confused weather I am or I am not a Macedonian with own language, history and cultural values than we've seriously failed. The sense of inferiority and treason was the prevailing one instead.
The way country see themselves and perceives their ability would determine their success. As Macedonian intellectuals believed little in themselves joined foreign intellectuals that have clear vision of what they wanted - they wanted a piece of Macedonia. 
Many of those Macedonian intellectuals went abroad, including Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, France etc to study. They brought ideas back with them  believing that if other nations have achieved independence and are now able to study in their own language, why that is not the case with Macedonians. 
Gotse might have though that indeed he is a Bulgarian , but he knew his family at home or the regions in Macedonia were speaking different languages/dialects and that they were unique. 
The cultural and language assimilation happens at school. As the education was privilege to very few back than, many were not even aware they were considered other than Macedonians.
When my grandfather went to school (he is around 90 years old now) his name was changed few times and he recalls studding in 2 different languages. At the end he droped school because he didn't felt identified with the language. Nevertheless, my grandfather is inclined toward the Bulgarians because of his experience studding in Serbian and Bulgarian That is my guess, because his name has been changed, at least,  twice.

Live to learn

Knowing the Macedonian history and my own family history, my Macedonian origin is more than clear to me. I respect all cultures and identities as they bear values that we can't risk to lose. 
I am proud to be Spanish today and very happy to add my Spanish values onto my Macedonian heritage. I make this magnificent mix of cultures that makes me this special person. 
Living in UK and learning how to do things differently adds power to my knowledge.
As I respect different cultures seek you to do the same. In a respectful world we can all contribute and our efforts are equally appreciated.
If yoga works well to improve your well-being, just go for it. As I do. Not Yoga, but once when I felt I needed a soothing therapy I went to Naesden temple in London and decided to pray to Ganesh to help me go through my course in Development Studies. I spent a quiet afternoon walking barefoot the marble floor and being among Hindus. I finished my studies because Ganesh helped - at least that is what I like to believe. 
Respecting or inclining to other cultures doesn't make you less your own nationality. Being sure who you are and knowing your history well, doesn't make you a nationalist. 
My views today of this world are a mixture of Alexander III the Macedonian ("commercially" known as Alexander the Great), Gotse Delchev and the Boatman of Thessaloniki. I would love to conquer all other cultures, fight the oppressors and bring out my rebellious nature when necessary. The problem is that you are going to die young, as they all did. 
As some of my Macedonian professors would say that we can fight the foreign propaganda by attacking with arguments. And damn, I have done an incredible amount of reading and unintentional research, that it makes feel "invincible". 
Because all those fighters for the "Macedonian cause" were not by any means some illiterate bandits. I always knew that. They were all intellectuals and understood the thrive and necessity of their own country. They were all aware that foreign occupations used the resources and people for their own interests never considering the Macedonians as part of their culture. 

Another suggested read from my blog related to this subject is China Development Miracle for my presentation in 2015 for my MSc course Development Studies.