Brave new world requires a new historiography

Posted on July 28, 2013 by

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There is almost no Serbian family that had not lost a male head in the First World War. Today, however, on the eve of the centenary of the start of the Great War, as it was called, instead of getting ready to pay tribute to our  heroic and martyred ancestors, we are stubbornly forced to question and ask and revision  Gavrilo Princip and Nikola Pasic, the way it suits  the “Europe”

These mythical performances of Serbian collective fantasies – “European Union”, “West”, “Europe” – just like fairies and bogeyman,  object any rational thought and debate within the nation or a community of citizens; instead,  as a product of a confused imagination systematically punishes and humiliates servile crowd. With a peculiar, petty bourgeois discomfort our public is starving to  hear what this new and shocking “truth” about the First World War and the role of Serbs have to impart distinguished historians of the  world.

Princip

Gavrilo Princip, Serbian patriot who assassinated invader Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on Vidovdan 1914.

However,  we have to understand that we shouldn’t  get so much upset because great ‘truth’ that the Western historians  put in their books does not correspond to the truth written in our history books, during  some ancient, bygone times. This, however, doesn’t mean that we’re not facing a fundamental revision and adjusting  of the history of World War I.  Serbs have been only a small part of the story. Brave new world requires a new historiography.

Starting with the unification of Germany and the collapse of the Soviet Union we face annulling  of all key results of the First World War and the final collapse of the Versailles system.  No more Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, a multiethnic country formed to suppressed power of the Germany as well as Soviet Union. Slowly but surely, Germany and the states of then (and present?) Allies take the lead in EU.  During the  the wars of the nineties, the Serbs found themselves on the “wrong side.” defending Yugoslavia ans sovereignty.  Defeated  were not only taken away the sovereignty and territory, but they are stamped and the mark of eternal guilt.

The European historiography, after all,  gradually equalizes  politically correct version of  both sides blame into  pointing the finger to Serbia, but also members of the Antanta as the main drivers of the war. Such is, for example, the conclusions of the latest book by the Cambridge professor Christopher Clark (“Sleepwalker: As Europe went to war in 1914“).

When it comes to  Serbs, that same  Clark –  among other things – is convinced that after the Srebrenica massacre ( the greatest fraud in human history http://www.scribd.com/doc/54284274/Herman-Srebrenica)  the world  must think differently about what he labels as ‘Serbian nationalism’ in 1914; Clark compares Sarajevo assassination  to the attack on the U.S. World Trade Center 11 September 2001, and compares then  Serbian PM Nikola Pasic to  Assad of Syria.

Statesmen must understand the fundamental changes in international relations, but  it’s sober historians  who have to exchange arguments and evidences. Here and now, it seems more important to ask ourselves  about the ideas that led  Serbs to 1914 instead of listing the names and misdeeds of today  NWO “revisionists”  of the First World War.  At least when it comes to leading members of the then Serbian governing elites, the Radical leader Nikola Pasic, also Stojanovic, leader of the Progressive party Stojan Novakovic, or the leading  Liberals, Vojislav Veljkovic and Stojan Ribarac, who traced the history.

Despite all the differences between them, it was a very conscious and mature decision to save their own nausea gained a nation-state, not to allow the large, neighboring empires to treat Serbs as second-class people, as the subject of national assimilation. Aware of the plebeian, insurgent origin of the Serbian state, the resistance to the Hapsburg, Middle age  “sovereignty of God” referred to the revolutionary “people’s sovereignty”, in opposition to the state based on religious affiliation, and the unlimited power of rulers, have claimed to democracy, rule of law, as it was then called, “the rights of humankind.”

They believed that these principles allow every citizen, every member of the nation, regardless of religious or social background, to preserve the dignity and self-awareness. Democracy was finally interpreted as the right of every, even the least numerous nations to preserve their right to exist  freely and independently, without the self-proclaimed, foreign tutors or tyrants of their own, and to decide their own fate.

Therefore, in Serbia, lo and behold, there had been  no major political party willing to accept calls from Franz Ferdinand and the British publicist Robert William Seaton-Watson, who insisted that Serbia should  voluntarily be incorporated into  “more developed”, and “advanced” Catholic Austro-Hungarian Empire.

It is curious that the former leading Serbian intellectuals who were  educated at the most prestigious universities in the West, the socialist-radical and Francophile Jovan Skerlić and to conservative liberal and Anglophile Slobodan Jovanovic, faced with hostility or indifference of the great powers of the West, advocated turning toward  – Russia.

It is time to ask ourselves: would we, as we are today (subordinated to USA;,NATO, NWO) be recognized as these people’s offspring today?

DrMilos Kovic, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, ‘Politika’ daily

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