Sam Vaknin and the history of the Albanians

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Sam Vaknin and the history of the Albanians

Post  ZEUS10 on Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:24 am

The Phd author Sam Vaknin tries to convince the readers of his book:
The Myth of Great Albania
that was no history for Albanian People before Scanderbeg era, he proves with a certain competence that the history of Albanians is mainly mythical, because according him, the true history of Albanians is the history of backward people.
This theory enjoyed so much 'serbiana agriculture cooperative' that they started shouting loudly hurras for Sam Vaknin( in their website), despite the fact that he calls the Serbian people: disdainful

Let's read a fragment from his book and give an opinion then:

Written: October, 1999

From Illyrium to Skanderberg

There is very little dispute among serious (that is, non-Greek, non-Macedonian and non-Serb) scholars that the Albanians are an ancient people, the descendants of the Illyrians or (as a small minority insists) the Thracians. The Albanian language is a rather newer development (less than 1500 years old) - but it is also traced back either to Thracian or to Illyrian. In a region obsessed with history, real and (especially) invented, these 4000 year old facts are of enormous and practical import.

Ironically, the Illyrians were an ethnic mishmash that inhabited all of the former Yugoslavia and parts of Greece (Epirus). There were also major differences between the Illyrians of the highlands (the current Albania) - isolated and backward - and those of the lowland, the worldly and civilized. But these distinctions pale in comparison to the praise heaped on the Illyrians by their contemporaries. They were considered to be brave warriors and generous hosts. They mined their rich land for iron, copper, gold and silver and, despite being pagan, they buried their dead because they believed in the afterlife and its rewards or punishments. In their liburnae - slim lined, very fast galleys - they sailed and developed marine trade. The Romans adopted the design of their vessels and even kept the name Liburnian.

Durres and Vlore were really established by the Greeks 2500 years ago. The former was called Epidamnus, the latter (actually, a settlement a few kilometres away) Apollonia. It was part of a Greek colonization drive that effected lands as far away as Asia Minor in today's Turkey. As was the usual case, the Greeks traded their superior civilization and culture for the superior administrative and economic skills of the natives. It was no coincidence that Illyrian political organization was concurrent with the Greek presence. It started as defence alliances and ended as kingdoms (the Enkalayes, the Taulantes, the Epirotes, the Ardianes). And the enemy - even then - were the Macedonians under Philip the Second and his son Alexander the Great.

But the Macedonian empire was short lived and was superseded by the far superior and self conscious Romans. In 229, the Illyrians (commanded by a woman, Queen Teuta) were almost wiped out by Roman armies advancing to the Adriatic. It was the beginning of the damaging involvement of the superpowers in the area. Exactly 60 years later, Illyrium was no more. Rome prevailed and ruled the land now known as Illyricum.

Those were a good 600 years. Rome - as opposed to Ottoman empire - was a benign, enlightened, laissez faire type of loose assemblage of tax payers and tax collectors. Art and culture and philosophy and even the Illyrian tongue and Illyrian civilization flourished. It was a rich, materially endowed period in which citizens found sufficient leisure to indulge in all manner of Eastern cults, such as Christianity or the cult of Mithra (the Persian god of light). Christianity competed head on with the Illyrian pagan divinities and by 58 AD it was so strong that it was able to establish its own bishopric in Dyrrhachium (formerly Apollonia). This was followed by a few episcopal seats. It was also followed by intolerance, bigotry, hypocrisy and persecution, as all institutional religions go. The Roman and Greek heritage of live and let live, of art, of the aesthetics of the human body, of nature - in short: Hellenism - was strangled by the ever more obscure and dogmatic brand of Christianity that pervaded Byzantium until the Iconoclastic Controversy of 732. The emperor Leo III actually did the Albanian Church a great favour by detaching it from under the authority of the Roman Pope and placing it under the more humane patriarch of Constantinople. Still, the dividing line between north and south in Albania was as much religious as economic. The south maintained its allegiance to Constantinople while the north looked south, to Rome for spiritual guidance. When the church split in 1054 (to East and West) - these affiliations remained intact.

It is very little known but the Illyrians actually ruled the Roman empire in its last decades. There were a few Illyrian emperors (Gaius Decius, Claudius Gothicus, Aurelian, Probus, Diocletian, even Constantine the Great). And most of the officers of the by now fabled though dilapidated Roman army were Illyrians. In 395, in the cataclysmic split of the dying empire to East (later, Byzantium) and West, Albania became finally and firmly a part of the East. The Illyrians continued to exercise great influence of the amputated East, some of them becoming influential and historically significant emperors (Anastasius I, Justin I, Justinian I). As a result, Illyria was the favourite target of all manner of barbarian tribes: the Visigoths, the Huns, the Ostrogoths. When the Slavs appeared on the heels of these invasions, the Illyrians regarded them as just another barbarian tribe.

The interaction between the Illyrians and the Slavs was a love-hate relationship and has remained so ever since. Some Illyrian groups assimilated, intermarried and assumed the culture of the invaders. In 300 years, between the 6th and the 8th centuries AD, all the Illyrians in today's former Yugoslav republics vanished only to re-appear as Slavs. But the Illyrians of the south (Albania, Western Macedonia) resisted this process of dilution bitterly and preserved their identity and culture fiercely. To distinguish themselves from the "assimilated" - they invented Albania. The name itself is much older. Ptolemy of Alexandria mentioned it 600 years before the Illyrians began to apply it to their dwindling polity. And another 300 years were needed - well into the 11th century AD - before the Illyrians were fully accepted their reinvention as Albanians - the successors to the Albanoi tribe which used to occupy today's central Albania (formerly called Arberi). Five centuries later, the Albanians themselves renamed their territory and began to call it Shqiperia. No one really knows why, not even Albanian scholars, though they like to attribute it (on flimsy etymological grounds) to Shqipe, the Albanian word for Eagle. Thus, Albania was transformed to the Land of the Eagle.

It is an irony of history that the Middle (or Dark) Ages were the best period ever in Albania's history. Powerful cities proliferated, inhabited by a class of burghers who engaged in trading. Albanian merchant houses established outposts and branches all over the Mediterranean, from Venice to Thessalonica. Albanians were the epitome of education and cultivated the arts. They conversed only in Greek and Latin, letting the auld language die. The Byzantine empire was divided to military provinces (themes). One thing led to another and military commanders transformed feudal lords administered serfdom to the population. Feudalism co-existed and then supplanted urbanism and the big estates became so autonomous that they ignored the Byzantine court altogether.

But Albania was never peaceful. It was conquered by Bulgarians, Normans, Italians, Venetians and Serbs in 1347. Many Albanians immigrated when the Serbs took over, led by Stefan Dusan. They went to Greece and the Aegean Islands. It was not until 1388 that Albania was invaded by the Turks. By 1430 it was Turkish. By 1443 it was Albanian. To this incredible turn of events, the Albanian had Skanderberg to thank. A military genius (real name Gjergj Kastrioti), he drove the rising superpower of the Balkans out in a series of humiliating defeats administered by a coalition of Albanian princes. From his mountainous hideout in Kruje, he frustrated the Turkish efforts to regain Albania (they were planning to use it as staging ground for the invasion of Italy and, thereafter, Western Europe). The Italians (even the Pope, then the long arm of various shady Italian principates) supported Skanderberg monetarily and militarily - but he did by far the lion's share of the work.

But it was a personality-dependent achievement. Like all great leaders, Skanderberg's fault is that he refused to admit his own mortality and to nurture the right successor. Following his death, the Turks recaptured Albania in 1506. But Skanderberg's heroic fight had two important consequences. One outcome was a considerable weakening of the Turkish drive towards the heart of Europe and its West. They will never regain the momentum again and the war was lost. The second momentous consequence was that his struggle moulded an Albaninan NATION where there was none before.

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Re: Sam Vaknin and the history of the Albanians

Post  Socio on Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:38 pm

ZEUS10 wrote:The Phd author Sam Vaknin tries to convince the readers of his book:
The Myth of Great Albania
that was no history for Albanian People before Scanderbeg era, he proves with a certain competence that the history of Albanians is mainly mythical, because according him, the true history of Albanians is the history of backward people.
This theory enjoyed so much 'serbiana agriculture cooperative' that they started shouting loudly hurras for Sam Vaknin( in their website), despite the fact that he calls the Serbian people: disdainful

Let's read a fragment from his book and give an opinion then:

Written: October, 1999

From Illyrium to Skanderberg

There is very little dispute among serious (that is, non-Greek, non-Macedonian and non-Serb) scholars that the Albanians are an ancient people, the descendants of the Illyrians or (as a small minority insists) the Thracians. The Albanian language is a rather newer development (less than 1500 years old) - but it is also traced back either to Thracian or to Illyrian. In a region obsessed with history, real and (especially) invented, these 4000 year old facts are of enormous and practical import.

Ironically, the Illyrians were an ethnic mishmash that inhabited all of the former Yugoslavia and parts of Greece (Epirus). There were also major differences between the Illyrians of the highlands (the current Albania) - isolated and backward - and those of the lowland, the worldly and civilized. But these distinctions pale in comparison to the praise heaped on the Illyrians by their contemporaries. They were considered to be brave warriors and generous hosts. They mined their rich land for iron, copper, gold and silver and, despite being pagan, they buried their dead because they believed in the afterlife and its rewards or punishments. In their liburnae - slim lined, very fast galleys - they sailed and developed marine trade. The Romans adopted the design of their vessels and even kept the name Liburnian.

Durres and Vlore were really established by the Greeks 2500 years ago. The former was called Epidamnus, the latter (actually, a settlement a few kilometres away) Apollonia. It was part of a Greek colonization drive that effected lands as far away as Asia Minor in today's Turkey. As was the usual case, the Greeks traded their superior civilization and culture for the superior administrative and economic skills of the natives. It was no coincidence that Illyrian political organization was concurrent with the Greek presence. It started as defence alliances and ended as kingdoms (the Enkalayes, the Taulantes, the Epirotes, the Ardianes). And the enemy - even then - were the Macedonians under Philip the Second and his son Alexander the Great.

But the Macedonian empire was short lived and was superseded by the far superior and self conscious Romans. In 229, the Illyrians (commanded by a woman, Queen Teuta) were almost wiped out by Roman armies advancing to the Adriatic. It was the beginning of the damaging involvement of the superpowers in the area. Exactly 60 years later, Illyrium was no more. Rome prevailed and ruled the land now known as Illyricum.

Those were a good 600 years. Rome - as opposed to Ottoman empire - was a benign, enlightened, laissez faire type of loose assemblage of tax payers and tax collectors. Art and culture and philosophy and even the Illyrian tongue and Illyrian civilization flourished. It was a rich, materially endowed period in which citizens found sufficient leisure to indulge in all manner of Eastern cults, such as Christianity or the cult of Mithra (the Persian god of light). Christianity competed head on with the Illyrian pagan divinities and by 58 AD it was so strong that it was able to establish its own bishopric in Dyrrhachium (formerly Apollonia). This was followed by a few episcopal seats. It was also followed by intolerance, bigotry, hypocrisy and persecution, as all institutional religions go. The Roman and Greek heritage of live and let live, of art, of the aesthetics of the human body, of nature - in short: Hellenism - was strangled by the ever more obscure and dogmatic brand of Christianity that pervaded Byzantium until the Iconoclastic Controversy of 732. The emperor Leo III actually did the Albanian Church a great favour by detaching it from under the authority of the Roman Pope and placing it under the more humane patriarch of Constantinople. Still, the dividing line between north and south in Albania was as much religious as economic. The south maintained its allegiance to Constantinople while the north looked south, to Rome for spiritual guidance. When the church split in 1054 (to East and West) - these affiliations remained intact.

It is very little known but the Illyrians actually ruled the Roman empire in its last decades. There were a few Illyrian emperors (Gaius Decius, Claudius Gothicus, Aurelian, Probus, Diocletian, even Constantine the Great). And most of the officers of the by now fabled though dilapidated Roman army were Illyrians. In 395, in the cataclysmic split of the dying empire to East (later, Byzantium) and West, Albania became finally and firmly a part of the East. The Illyrians continued to exercise great influence of the amputated East, some of them becoming influential and historically significant emperors (Anastasius I, Justin I, Justinian I). As a result, Illyria was the favourite target of all manner of barbarian tribes: the Visigoths, the Huns, the Ostrogoths. When the Slavs appeared on the heels of these invasions, the Illyrians regarded them as just another barbarian tribe.

The interaction between the Illyrians and the Slavs was a love-hate relationship and has remained so ever since. Some Illyrian groups assimilated, intermarried and assumed the culture of the invaders. In 300 years, between the 6th and the 8th centuries AD, all the Illyrians in today's former Yugoslav republics vanished only to re-appear as Slavs. But the Illyrians of the south (Albania, Western Macedonia) resisted this process of dilution bitterly and preserved their identity and culture fiercely. To distinguish themselves from the "assimilated" - they invented Albania. The name itself is much older. Ptolemy of Alexandria mentioned it 600 years before the Illyrians began to apply it to their dwindling polity. And another 300 years were needed - well into the 11th century AD - before the Illyrians were fully accepted their reinvention as Albanians - the successors to the Albanoi tribe which used to occupy today's central Albania (formerly called Arberi). Five centuries later, the Albanians themselves renamed their territory and began to call it Shqiperia. No one really knows why, not even Albanian scholars, though they like to attribute it (on flimsy etymological grounds) to Shqipe, the Albanian word for Eagle. Thus, Albania was transformed to the Land of the Eagle.

It is an irony of history that the Middle (or Dark) Ages were the best period ever in Albania's history. Powerful cities proliferated, inhabited by a class of burghers who engaged in trading. Albanian merchant houses established outposts and branches all over the Mediterranean, from Venice to Thessalonica. Albanians were the epitome of education and cultivated the arts. They conversed only in Greek and Latin, letting the auld language die. The Byzantine empire was divided to military provinces (themes). One thing led to another and military commanders transformed feudal lords administered serfdom to the population. Feudalism co-existed and then supplanted urbanism and the big estates became so autonomous that they ignored the Byzantine court altogether.

But Albania was never peaceful. It was conquered by Bulgarians, Normans, Italians, Venetians and Serbs in 1347. Many Albanians immigrated when the Serbs took over, led by Stefan Dusan. They went to Greece and the Aegean Islands. It was not until 1388 that Albania was invaded by the Turks. By 1430 it was Turkish. By 1443 it was Albanian. To this incredible turn of events, the Albanian had Skanderberg to thank. A military genius (real name Gjergj Kastrioti), he drove the rising superpower of the Balkans out in a series of humiliating defeats administered by a coalition of Albanian princes. From his mountainous hideout in Kruje, he frustrated the Turkish efforts to regain Albania (they were planning to use it as staging ground for the invasion of Italy and, thereafter, Western Europe). The Italians (even the Pope, then the long arm of various shady Italian principates) supported Skanderberg monetarily and militarily - but he did by far the lion's share of the work.

But it was a personality-dependent achievement. Like all great leaders, Skanderberg's fault is that he refused to admit his own mortality and to nurture the right successor. Following his death, the Turks recaptured Albania in 1506. But Skanderberg's heroic fight had two important consequences. One outcome was a considerable weakening of the Turkish drive towards the heart of Europe and its West. They will never regain the momentum again and the war was lost. The second momentous consequence was that his struggle moulded an Albaninan NATION where there was none before.


I would like to share my opinion on the above written piece as well as its author - Sam Vaknin:

The text is merely an article (not a book). It is based only on personal opinions of a philosopher (Phd in Philosophy - majored in 'Philosophy of Physics' !!!) and economist, who "coincidentally", at the time of writing of this article, was working as an economic adviser for the "democratic" government of Macedonia. You know, the pre-war (2001) government.
The article is politically motivated. It is an open attack on Albanian values, as usual, hiding behind the phobia of the non Albanian concept of "Greater Albania". The author explicitly shows Slavo-Macedonian fear on partition of the country, but blames it on Albanians !

What if it had happened ?! Wouldn't he have lost personally alot too ?, a brilliant career perhaps:

He was, from,

1996 to 1999

Financial consultant to leading businesses in Macedonia, Russia and the Czech Republic.

Economic commentator in "Nova Makedonija", "Dnevnik", "Makedonija Denes", "Izvestia", "Argumenti i Fakti", "The Middle East Times", "The New Presence", "Central Europe Review", and other periodicals, and in the economic programs on various channels of Macedonian Television.

Chief Lecturer in courses in Macedonia organised by the Agency of Privatization, by the Stock Exchange, and by the Ministry of Trade.

1999 to 2002

Economic Advisor to the Government of the Republic of Macedonia and to the Ministry of Finance.

2008

Columnist and analyst in "Nova Makedonija", "Fokus", and "Kapital" (Macedonian papers and newsweeklies).

Seminars and lectures on economic issues in various forums in Macedonia.

2008-

Advisor to the Minister of Health of Macedonia on healthcare reforms
link: http://samvak.tripod.com/cv.html#business

You can't call him a historian, Zeus, can you ?


On his argument in the article ( http://www.ce-review.org/99/17/vaknin17.html ) I'll post later on.

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Re: Sam Vaknin and the history of the Albanians

Post  ZEUS10 on Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:02 pm

Socio wrote:

I would like to share my opinion on the above written piece as well as its author - Sam Vaknin:

The text is merely an article (not a book). It is based only on personal opinions of a philosopher (Phd in Philosophy - majored in 'Philosophy of Physics' !!!) and economist, who "coincidentally", at the time of writing of this article, was working as an economic adviser for the "democratic" government of Macedonia. You know, the pre-war (2001) government.
The article is politically motivated. It is an open attack on Albanian values, as usual, hiding behind the phobia of the non Albanian concept of "Greater Albania". The author explicitly shows Slavo-Macedonian fear on partition of the country, but blames it on Albanians !

What if it had happened ?! Wouldn't he have lost personally alot too ?, a brilliant career perhaps:

He was, from,

1996 to 1999

Financial consultant to leading businesses in Macedonia, Russia and the Czech Republic.

Economic commentator in "Nova Makedonija", "Dnevnik", "Makedonija Denes", "Izvestia", "Argumenti i Fakti", "The Middle East Times", "The New Presence", "Central Europe Review", and other periodicals, and in the economic programs on various channels of Macedonian Television.

Chief Lecturer in courses in Macedonia organised by the Agency of Privatization, by the Stock Exchange, and by the Ministry of Trade.

1999 to 2002

Economic Advisor to the Government of the Republic of Macedonia and to the Ministry of Finance.

2008

Columnist and analyst in "Nova Makedonija", "Fokus", and "Kapital" (Macedonian papers and newsweeklies).

Seminars and lectures on economic issues in various forums in Macedonia.

2008-

Advisor to the Minister of Health of Macedonia on healthcare reforms
link: http://samvak.tripod.com/cv.html#business

You can't call him a historian, Zeus, can you ?


On his argument in the article (http://www.ce-review.org/99/17/vaknin17.html ) I'll post later on.

He is neither a historian nor a good analyst of the history, you're right. None of the high level Albanian politicans elaborated a thesis of Great Albania, at least not in public, while Samvak comes up with the theory that the only aspiration in Albanian politics is a huge Albanian state. The idea of Great Albania doesn't even exist among the nationalist groups.
We must not confound two concepts Great Albania & Ethnic Albania, these are totally two different things, the former is a chauvinistic idea, that "analysts" like Samvak want to insert diabolically in our agenda, in order that we discredit ourself, and the later is a realistic aspiration which we want to become truth peacefully and naturally.

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Re: Sam Vaknin and the history of the Albanians

Post  Arbon on Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:36 am

What is his nationality by the way?

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Re: Sam Vaknin and the history of the Albanians

Post  Socio on Sat Mar 21, 2009 2:14 pm

ZEUS10 wrote:
... Ethnic Albania ... is a realistic aspiration which we want to become truth peacefully and naturally.

Thank you, Zeus !

Mr Vaknin acknowledges Albanian aspiration, but he argues that it cannot happen because there is no Albanian ethnicity, therefore there cannot be an Ethnic Albania !!.
Albanians are not homogenous, instead they are ETHNIC GROUPS !!!,


I wonder if he's talking about his Jews here ? scratch

Let's read him:
Firstly, there is no such thing as homogeneous "Albanians" and secondly Greater Albania is without historical precedent.

Albanians are comprised of a few ethnic groups of different creeds. There are Catholic Albanians - such Mother Theresa - and Muslim Albanians - such as Hashim Thaci, the self-proclaimed "provisional Prime Minister" of Kosovo. There are Tosks - southern Albanians who speak a (nasal) dialect of Albanian and there are Gegs - northern Albanians (and Kosovars) who speak another dialect which has little in common with Tosk (at least to my ears). Tosks don't like Gegs and Gegs detest Tosks. In a region where tribal and village loyalties predominate, these are pertinent and important facts.
http://www.ce-review.org/99/17/vaknin17.html


Does mr Vaknin know what 'Ethnicity' is ?!!

I'll put up a definition, so people do not get tricked:
Definition:

ethnicity (n) a term which represents social groups with a shared history, sense of identity, geography and cultural roots which may occur despite racial difference

Let's consider Puerto Ricans as an example of an ethnicity. Many Puerto Ricans represent various blends of White, Red and/or Black races and yet they refer to themselves collectively as Boricuas. Despite color difference, Puerto Ricans share an ethnicity. Ethnicity shapes a group's culture - the food, language, music, and customs.
http://racerelations.about.com/od/skillsbuildingresources/g/ethnicityrace.htm

Black, White and Red Puertoricans are an ethnicity but Albanians. according to Vaknin, are ethnic groups, because they are muslims, christians and gueges and tosks, who according to the naive generalized statement detest each other ! And these are determining factors of their different ethnicity !!


Where did you find this guy, Zeus ! No


But, on second thought, Mr Vaknin in this article aims to expose "the myth" on Greater Albania. And how the hell ca he do that without portraying Albanian nation as an imagined community by descrediting its identity and unity, which are as real as the aspiration itself. There is no other way, but to attempt and deconstruct the whole Albanian national identity, and since national identities are historically constructed, he attempts this through history. But his "historical" account is vague, short, fast, always putting Albanians against one another. If it had been lengthy, detailed and based on historical records it would not have backed up his claims on the so-called "myth".

'There is no Albanian nation, prior to Scanderbeg' and there is no Albania prior to 1912 are the most foolish remarks I've read from an intellectual !

The famous sociologist Manuel Castell in his 'Power of identity' 1997 argues, that nations cannot be reduced to a particular period of history. It's like they have always existed in some form or name, and they are independent entities from nation-states.

Albanian nation is not an exception to this

If some one doubts sociological science. I'll put up a quote from a religious book, which argues the same:

"O Mankind, We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is he who is the most righteous of you" (Quran 49:13).

http://www.fwf.ac.at/en/public_relations/press/pv200805-en.html


But, also, in order to counter the claim of Vaknin that there was no Albanian nation prior to Scanderbeg, through historical record. I'll put up a very old text, dated 1000 AD (over 400 years prior to Scanderbegs existence) where Albanians are noted as a NATION:
It can be seen that there are various languages on earth. Of them, there are five Orthodox languages: Bulgarian, Greek, Syrian, Iberian (Georgian) and Russian. Three of these have Orthodox alphabets: Greek, Bulgarian and Iberian. There are twelve languages of half-believers: Alamanians, Franks, Magyars (Hungarians), Indians, Jacobites, Armenians, Saxons, Lechs (Poles), Arbanasi (Albanians), Croatians, Hizi, Germans.
1000 - 1018
Anonymous:
Fragment on the Origins of Nations
http://www.albanianhistory.net/texts15/AH1000.html

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Re: Sam Vaknin and the history of the Albanians

Post  ZEUS10 on Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:30 pm

I have nothing to add to your comment Socio. You have made a thorough scan but I will take a further look on the nation definition:

A people who share common customs, origins, history, and frequently language


or another definition :

large number of people who share the same history, ancestors, culture etc

or another one:

A part, or division, of the people of the earth, distinguished from the rest by common descent, language; a race; a stock.

based on what then Vaknin makes the ""naive"" assumption that Albanians don't share the same nationality among themselves. He attemps to confuse the readers playing on the difficult concept of the ethnicity:


ethnic
Of or relating to a sizable group of people sharing a common and distinctive racial, national, religious, linguistic, or cultural heritage.

Like you said there are certain races in the World where the religious factor in the equation of the ethnicity plays a fondamental role. For example Jewishs, Orthodox Slavics, and Greeks. This is exactly the "land" where Vaknin comes from. Let's return back to the Vaknin quote:

Firstly, there is no such thing as homogeneous "Albanians" and secondly Greater Albania is without historical precedent.

Albanians are comprised of a few ethnic groups of different creeds. There are Catholic Albanians - such Mother Theresa - and Muslim Albanians - such as Hashim Thaci, the self-proclaimed "provisional Prime Minister" of Kosovo. There are Tosks - southern Albanians who speak a (nasal) dialect of Albanian and there are Gegs - northern Albanians (and Kosovars) who speak another dialect which has little in common with Tosk (at least to my ears). Tosks don't like Gegs and Gegs detest Tosks. In a region where tribal and village loyalties predominate, these are pertinent and important facts.

Let's write down what is "few ethnic groups of different creeds" according Vaknin:

1. Catholic Albanians
2. Muslim Albanians
3. Tosks Albanians
4. Gegs Albanians

All these Albanians are not homogeneous(according Vaknan) doesn't matter that they share: the same language, the same history, the same culture and traditions, the same land, the same origin.
One can't hold laughing when he classifies Tosks different from other Albanians because of "nasal dialect"(where in the hell he heard that/), or Gegs being different ethnicity from Tosks because they speak : "another dialect"!!!.

But then he becomes very funny when makes the statement: 'at least to my ears', what ears Mr Vaknin? Have you ever heard about Albanians before being hired as a consultant in the slavic Macedonian Government?

But what must take seriously is the fact that our neighbours aknowledge very well our weaknesses, they know that:

Tosks don't like Gegs and Gegs detest Tosks. In a region where tribal and village loyalties predominate, these are pertinent and important facts


Therefore as a temporary spokeman of Slavic propaganda against Albanians he has been instructed very well where to direct the 'arrows'.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

His article 'The myth of Great Albania' beside being a good lesson for us not to forget that Gegs and Tosks must leave aside the quarrels, has no other intelctual values. So you are right Socio:
Where in the hell did I find this Vaknin?

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