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<nettime> The Balkans to the Balkanians
Melentie Pandilovski on Sat, 3 Apr 1999 22:21:00 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> The Balkans to the Balkanians


The Balkans to the Balkanians

Let's create peace. Let's rebuild our own region. It coincides with the
boundaries of the Balkans.
This time on safe ground. Openly face and overpass all hardships. Get
acquainted to each other. Maybe for the first time properly. A creative
explosion will come from this. Let us conduct a thoughtful reorganization of
the Balkans where cultures interact one with another constructing thus a new
socio-economic system that will make good use of the existing cultures on our
peninsula. Expand the conscience for spiritually and materially prosperous
Balkans. Have us use in a good direction the historical conscience of our
people. Let us reject the untruth and hatred.  Praise the joy of people, praise
their peace. Allow for reconciliation of the Balkanian people and settling of
their disagreements. Negotiate how to demilitarize, transform. Preserve the
cultural heritage of the Balkans. The Balkans are flexible enough to adjust to
sociological, economical, and political changes accepting all religious
beliefs. Holy places are holy for all. It only makes them more holy if more
people regard them as such. Let us surpass the destroyed economy, the end of
millennium catasBalkantrophy.  In accomplishing this let us try not to harm
anyone. Do not work on splitting the region but work on its unity.  It's so
easy to split and so difficult to unite. But so much worthier. We need wisdom
more than courage.  We need a constant revolution of the heart. We need a
concept of togetherness. We need creative minds with love for the people. We do
not need leaders with hunger for power. Nor do we need stubbornness but rather
adaptable, power sharing people. Nobody is alien on the Balkans so nobody
should be discriminated on issues of nation or faith. Religion is a private
affair of the individual.  Fear no one and nothing. Let the people of the
Balkans determine the faith of the Balkans.  If we don't someone else will.

What are the Balkans now and what are the most urgent issues, which the Balkans are facing?

Primary Issues
In analyzing the posterior situation on the Balkans we can observe that it
provides a certain mutation which has followed a set of particular complex
routes in some case resulting in bloodshed.  The era of state regulated society
has been retreating occasionally with higher or lower rates in the past decade
in the Balkan part of the European continent. There has been a complete change
of the appreciated values, following the change of the economic framework which
has of course on its side influenced gravely the social structures. A
fragmentisation of the whole region has occurred. The political governments on
the Balkans find them selves today in a complete confusion unable to redefine
their societies and solve the problems derived from the shift of systems such
as low rates of production, high rates of unemployment, emigration of
intellectuals. To make it more serious the Balkan leaders suffer of inferiority
complex with a high interest in their own position and power. Therefore leaders
are lying to their people and getting much of it. Corruption enters all cells
of society and easily maneuvers through the new regulations. The creative
people are massively leaving the region. The non-tampered zone of environmental
issues continues in the same direction despite or because of the dictating
economic situation. The rate of pollution has many times increased. Dirty
technology has been brought from the West. Greatest part of the countries
income go into military machines. Nobody wants to invest into the region. The
education policy is highly problematic.  The freedom of the press is attacked.
War is constantly appearing as a means of primitive solution of problems in the
region. Refugees are flooding the Balkans. The Balkans are almost dying. The
generations following will think that Dark ages on the Balkans in Europe
happened on the dawn of 21st century.


Remedies
Life should be joy and pleasure. We need freedom for this.   We need to free
the Balkans from the leg irons. Our history is our biggest imprisonment. The
chains are our biggest enemy. Break through it. Let go of it. If we cannot then
we may look at it differently and more sanely.  The holy places are holy for
all. For Serbs, Macedons, Albanians. One such holy place is Kosovo. It is a
very holy place for the Serbs, with its monasteries and perhaps even more
sacred because of the epic resistance of the last Serbian Tsar Lazar and his
Christian army. Lazar in heroic resistance in 1389 against the Ottoman Turks
was himself captured and executed together with the Serbian nobility.  But it
is also very important for the Turks because they (Ottoman Turks) had won
perhaps the most triumphal of their numerous victories in Europe on the Kosovo
field. It is also very signifying for their history because even Sultan Murat I
had been killed there. So, it is sacred for them as well. Hagia Sofia is holy
for the Greeks and all Orthodox Christians being the main place of worship of
the city of Constantine under the Byzantine Empire but it is also holy for the
Turks and all Mohammedans because it was converted into a mosque, and was
appreciated by the Ottomans up to a point that virtually every mosque in Turkey
has been modeled on the design of this one.  If a place is regarded as holy it
is such for all. There is no need for disputes or killing to go on regarding
the issue of holiness. On the contrary love should prevail over it. For holy is
holy, and holy is for all.  It is absolutely clear that the Balkan region is
with a huge growth potential, about 150 million people live on the Balkans.
Many of the people are young and in some countries the birth rate is extremely
high. Being so large and complex we need to devise a strategy of common
mechanisms that will function in reality. A wide approach towards processes
must be paved and implementation of a variety of methodology models should be
set that benefit the educational, civil, cultural, media, medical, and
development systems.  Precisely the shift in the political and economic systems
has to be re-directed towards the finding of a concordant common social,
political and economic structure. In order for the new emerging Balkan
societies to accept this direction a link will have to be produced which will
connect to the more traditional values since a certain tribute must be paid by
the new culture to the cumulative cultural achievements of the past. I am
therefore proposing a system where the whole region should be regarded as a
cultural facility, which in its frameworks contains the economic and social
platform opposed to separating these platforms into individual non-linked value
systems. In order to avoid accumulation of the same value and to spare
substantial portions of money and energy the Balkan societies will have to give
advantage to substantially higher synergistic systems.  The Balkan countries
should create an association and name it "Balkan Commonwealth", or "Balkan
Union" or something similar. Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Yugoslavia, Macedonia,
Bulgaria, Albania, Romania, Greece and Turkey should form it. Any of the
bordering countries to the region may join it if they wish. It would have quite
many advantages. More than that it can be a Commonwealth spreading freedom and
friendship between the people. This synergy will be accomplished by formal and
informal kind of linkings of cultural agencies or institutions through
different computerized systems e.g.Internet systems, common databases,
protocols, etc.  More developed countries should be aware that the dream of
creating a unified Europe in which people are still exploring the possibilities
of a community that transcends national borders, can to a relatively high point
be supported by means of developing the Balkans. In this respect the interested
Balkanian bureaucracy and business should be engaged with the launching of such
All-Balkanian systems which will on its side become a medium attracting
multinational business. The essential challenge of the developers of the New
Balkans is to investigate deeply, reaching the higher European standards, and
surpassing them. The new educational and cultural system should be based on the
individual and his natural potentialities, free of all chains. This will only
result in people enjoying life, and freedom. If everyone would find his or her
potential this would be a flourishing region. Things are interactive after all.
The viewpoint of society should be focused into understanding complexities. If
we succeed in this then we will succeed into creating a balance between the
different peoples on the Balkans, the different religions in which prevailing
are the Christianity (Eastern and Western) and the Islam.


How will we do it?
Identify common Balkan concerns and strengthen the ties among the countries.
Promote different approaches and dialog. Raise public awareness of shared
issues in the social, political, economic and cultural transition in society by
providing a creative space for discussion and debate in a regional context.
Promote a Balkanian network, that facilitates exchange of information,
resources, and institutional cooperation. Promote cooperation among individuals
sharing their diverse experiences in responding to the complex challenges.
Ecology has to have a highest priority. People are suffocating in our cities.
We must create an environment  of tolerance and overcome stereotypes. We should
demilitarize and money should go to culture, education, tourism, clean
industries, healthy food. Create possibilities and give guarantees to foreign
financiers that they will not lose their capital on the Balkans. Use creative
energy and support innovative thinking. Promote cultural diversity, information
exchange. We must quickly define our vision regarding the future of
communications an upgrade the infocommunications infrastructure and other use
of networks capabilities in order to achieve large economic and social
benefits. Benefits of an improved info-communications infrastructure in
overcoming these problems and building are enormous. Even more than that the
Balkanian countries need to establish very close ties with the international
info-communications networks in order to open up both ways to the rest of the
world. A building of a Balkanian fiber-optic network enabling broadband will
expand interactive communications and create large positive economic effects.
The widespread application of info-communications functions will lead to a more
open economic system and an accomplishment of economic growth. This will
trigger the essential shift. A high-performing info-communications
infrastructure will encourage international business to invest on the Balkans
and will expand opportunities for employment. A more sophisticated
infrastructure could substantially add to the value of intellectual creativity
in the economic structure.  We must be engaged into the development of new
industries such as the electronics but the trend has to be followed and such
industries should be supported in the field of info-communications, multimedia
industries, and the of cutting-edge technology, nano technology and
bio-technology. Even more than that we must create our own research centers.
However, in order to succeed do not forget to always call for expert
governments in your countries. Presidents and Prime ministers do not want to
have them in principle because in this case they find them as competitors and
it is a position for them where they can hardly practice their ego trips.
Finally urge the Balkanian diaspora to invest into the Balkans. We could have
seen these days that this works in times of danger. 

We can do it!

Melentie Pandilovski

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