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Bulgaria - Putting the toothpaste back in the tube

Day 1,599, 00:45 Published in China China by mihail.cazacu

If my readers were wondering why I haven't published anything during the last two weeks the explanation is simple: I was forced into 2-clicking status by Real Life.

Most of the PMs I've received during this time were about Bulgaria quitting EDEN. I didn't have the time to answer them back then, but I will do it now because I think the topic is still popular.

I will first cover the reasons why Bulgaria left and then I'll say what I think will happen next.

Why did Bulgaria leave?

In theory there were 2 EDEN countries which could strongly object to Turkey joining the alliance, based on Real Life reasons: Greece and Bulgaria.

It turned out most of the Greeks accepted Turkey as an ally in-game, even though the Greek and the Turkish players might end up shooting real bullets at each other because of the ongoing Real Life dispute over some barren rocks in the Aegean Sea.

By contrast, the Real Life tensions between the states of Bulgaria and Turkey are nonexistent. There's no Real Life risk that the Bulgarian eRepublik players would meet the Turkish eRepublik players on a real battlefield (unless say NATO sends troops to Syria, in which case the Bulgarian and the Turkish soldiers who play eRepublik will be fighting on the same side).

This is why people outside Bulgaria could not understand why there was such a strong anti-Turkish sentiment among the Bulgarians. Even the Turks were unaware about the level of unpopularity in Bulgaria.

The fact is education both in Bulgaria and Turkey is to be blamed for that.

Real Life Germany is a good example of how to exorcise the demons of history. The German education system makes sure the Germans are ashamed about what their grandparents did in WW2 and, to a lesser extent, also in WW1.

In a similar way, though to a lesser extent than what is done in Germany, most of the citizens of the former European Colonial Powers are taught in school that invading somebody else's country and plundering it is bad and that admiring "empire builders" is akin to admiring Al Capone or Lucky Luciano.

The Turkish education system hasn't find yet a way to explain to the nowadays Turks that their ancestors were the Bad Guys of history for the last 800 years. Just a few weeks ago the Turkish public enthusiastically went to see the most recent movie about the famous act of banditry known as the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. Try to imagine the Germans enthusiastically going to a movie about how Hitler overrun Poland in just one month in September 1939 and you get the difference in mentality.

The French and the British (and to a lesser extent the Spaniards and the Portuguese) learn that empire-building is bad (of course it is, just look up in your own country's Penal Code if murder, robbery, rape and theft are legitimate deeds).

They also learn that the main reasons empires crumble is because of internal factors like stupidity and mismanagement (the USA would probably be part of Great Britain even today had not the British politicians of the 1700s been incredibly stupid not to accept that taxation and representation go hand in hand). So when empires die, it is never because of the work of "evil foreign enemies, jealous of our greatness".

While the above is going on in Turkey, where past "glory" is still a motive of pride instead of shame, the Bulgarian education system is itself heavily biased towards two issues:

1) How the ancient Bulgarians, through feats of savagery similar to those of the ancient Turks, came uninvited to the Balkans and built an empire there.

Of course the fact the ancient Bulgarians had no legitimate reason to be in nowadays Bulgaria just like the ancient Turks had no business being in Anatolia or the Balkans is conveniently skipped over in the textbooks.

Unlike in the case of the German textbooks, the purpose of the Bulgarian and Turkish textbooks is to make people proud of the fact their ancestors were rapist, murderers and bandits. The deeds the Germans are educated to be ashamed of are highly praised in some other countries;

2) How the Turks maltreated the Bulgarians for 500 years, till Russia and Romania came in and kicked the Turks out of Bulgaria (sometimes the troops from the Grand Duchy of Finland, coming as part of the Russian army, also get mentioned among the liberators of Bulgaria from under the Turkish yoke).

The way things are presented in the Bulgarian textbooks I've seen (I speak Bulgarian so I can read the originals) gives the impression the Turks were the main obstacle to Bulgaria's former imperial greatness.

As I have already said, the legitimacy of that former imperial greatness of Bulgaria is never questioned, nor it is enough emphasized that the said greatness was gone for about 200 years before the Turks came and screw over what was left of Medieval Bulgaria in the 14th century.

The combination of how the Turks and the Bulgarians learned to view themselves and each other made it possible that in the right circumstances (or better said, in the wrong circumstances) the Turks to perceive the Bulgarian opposition to Tureky's membership in EDEN as absurd ("why the hell do the Bulgarians hate us, we learned in school we made them happy by enslaving them for 500 years?") while the Bulgarians to perceive the same membership as a slap in the face. In-game Bulgaria was beginning to look like an empire, something Bulgaria has ceased to be in Real Life 800 years ago, and suddenly Turkey showed up stopping Bulgaria's in-game expansion just like they had allegedly done so in Real Life.

Those who are quick to dismiss the importance of Real Life rivalries in eRepublik are either living in countries where the baby-booms never happened or do not understand that eRepublik is so structured that it attracts a high percentage of people for whom Real Life rivalries matter.

All the other EDEN countries of course welcomed Turkey's membership because it made in-game strategic sense. Had Greece also been against Turkey, the story would have gone a different way. EDEN would not have risked to alienate two major members. Most likely in case of Greece also rejecting Turkey's membership, another solution would have been worked out. For instance Russia would have been invited to EDEN, so that Turkey could join Terra (where Russia was the only country vetoing them).

But as soon as the Greek players showed they can put the Real Life rivalries aside, everybody else got busy forcing the Bulgarians to do the same, instead of looking for a solution which would at least allow Bulgaria to continue to be an in-game empire.

More to the point: Bulgaria would have avoided an open war with Turkey provided she would have received the surplus Iranian regions.

Each time the Bulgarians organised a RW in those regions, Turkey needed the whole EDEN to be able to keep those regions.

A wiser lot of EDEN presidents and HQ members would have understood those regions are under Turkish control only because EDEN allows Turkey to control them.

A wiser Turkish government would have understood that it is not up to Turkey but up to the rest of EDEN to decide if Bulgaria can or cannot have those regions.

Unfortunately wisdom turned out to be in very short supply on the EDEN-Turkey side. And also in short supply on the Bulgarian side as well.

It was in short supply on the Bulgarian side because the Bulgarian government and a large part of the Bulgarian public opinion came to the conclusion that leaving EDEN and becoming de-facto member of ONE would magically bring Bulgaria the imperial status they seemed unable to get in EDEN.

The key word is seemed because of a simple reason: had Bulgaria continued to RW the Iranian regions, at some point in time the rest of EDEN (and the Turks themselves) would have come to realize the real owner of those regions is EDEN, not Turkey. In which case the regions would have gone to Bulgaria, solving the crisis in a durable way.

When Bulgaria sided with ONE, the end result was Turkey lost those regions, Greece lost her Egyptian colonies, Croatia got almost deleted, Ukraine got deleted, quite likely Romania will get deleted soon.

But Bulgaria won't be getting her empire either, because Bulgaria's neighbors, even defeated, are too strong to be kept permanently under occupation.

Serbia was wiped out and lost her colonial empire at the height of ONE's dominance because Serbia had 3 strong neighbors: Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania. Bulgaria is in exactly the same situation like Serbia was, with Turkey, Romania and Greece at her borders. Which means the Bulgarian empire, in case it happens, will be as short lived and unstable as the Serbian one was.

So what is the obvious solution [and why would not happen for the next 4-5 months]?

While the Real Life rivalries between Bulgaria and Turkey will be there as long as the textbooks in both countries don't change, the players themselves get tired of wars based on Real Life issues. Especially if those wars don't bring the expected results.

It took Bulgaria almost 4 months to quit EDEN. It would take the Bulgarians probably the same amount of time to understand that they cannot have a stable empire as long as they are allied with the likes of Poland, Spain, Serbia, Hungary and Macedonia.

It would also take Greece and Romania, who stupidly attacked Bulgaria, the same amount of time to realize the idiocy of those attacks.

And probably the Turkish players also need 4 more months to understand they cannot have an empire unless they and the Bulgarians agree to divide Iran between themselves without having to feel any sort of love for each other.

Therefore my take on the matter is: let time show to all the parties involved (Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Romania) the error of their ways and then go back to the negotiation table. Any attempt to negotiate another arrangement now is destined to fail.

Luckily for everybody interested in solving the issue, Poland, Spain, Serbia Hungary and Macedonia will continue to behave like they always did.



Dracula_INT Day 1,599, 00:55

good article

baisk Day 1,599, 00:59


mihail.cazacu Day 1,599, 01:00

@baisk: I would be very happy if somebody is kind enough to translate this article into Chinese.

gabila Day 1,599, 01:13

Good morning! We'll see what happends!

Yurikhan Day 1,599, 01:15

Nice article

AnaheimDuck Day 1,599, 01:15

you are right that we wont have alot of resources but with us leaving EDEN we show that without us the allinace is dead, now every where ONE have the uper hand, i haven't watch alot of battles but i highly doubt that the turks are us much as helpers as we were in the last year in EDEN, and where is the turkish help for Ukraine against Poland, they care more for the resources and getting back the regions of Iran and SA instead of helping all EDEN members

The Georgian Knight
The Georgian Knight Day 1,599, 01:21

Mihail: great article as always

ot4eto Day 1,599, 01:21

True story. As a Bulgarian who loves history I can confirm the author words. Great job of understanding what exactly is happening. The only thing that is missing from the article is mentioning that EDEN HQ denies the Bulgarian+Ireland veto and invent terms like "indefinite trial membership" which is by itself conflict in terms.
(Notice that only one country - Russia, was needed to remove Turkey ambitions from TERRA. )

This was violent act of breaking the rules with huge concequences for the EDEN. No country from now on can depend of internal law and order in EDEN. Great harm was made for the union by showing that there is no justice and order, just interes. In the name of justice EDEN countries should at least accept the veto and then look for solution. Not to mention that Bulgaria has history of leaving the previous union exactly for the same reason - denying a veto.

Unfortunately the stupidity went to far and everybody will suffer from this.

mihail.cazacu Day 1,599, 01:24

_Everybody_ involved in the crisis made _the worst_ decisions for their own interests. Now _everybody_ needs to really experience the consequences of those bad decisions.

People learn better from experience than from somebody explaining them in a logical way why those decisions are bad.

As for the fall of Ukraine, _every_ EDEN country will fall now. Just like Bulgaria was wiped out one year ago, repeatedly, until the Non-Aggression Pact with Turkey was signed. Where was the rest of EDEN when Bulgaria was wiped out one year ago?! Nowhere because they were themselves wiped out in the same time.

Therefore what happens now to Ukraine is simply a consequence of the Bulgarians switching sides, not the unwillingness of EDEN to help Ukraine.

AnaheimDuck Day 1,599, 01:33

i dont doubt that EDEN is trying to help Ukraine, but i doubt that Argentina and Turkey(from the 3 way union they formed) are helping as much as they can, and from the map i can see that there is only one country that is in good position atm. and thats Turkey, they involved Greece in war with us and now instead of helping them they are trying to protect Iranian regions.

JyM22 Day 1,599, 01:39

"ancient Bulgarians, through feats of savagery similar to those of the ancient Turks, came uninvited to the Balkans and built an empire there."

You are judging events of the past by today's standards. This is where your argument fails. By your line of reasoning, half of the people you consider your ancestors brutally massacred, raped and pillaged the other half (along with most of the rest of Europe). Then again, the Dacians probably deserved it because we have little/no evidence of the people that lived in present day Romania before them, most likely because they were completely wiped out by them.

We do not really know what happened in the past (heck, we do not really know what's happening in the present) but many people like to manipulate historical events to their own benefit. I think it's fair to say that the events of the past were neither "good" nor "bad", they just were.

GaySpace Day 1,599, 01:45

awwwwwwwwww shit 10/10 articles bro.

ot4eto Day 1,599, 01:47

JyM22, I disagree. The history is great source of stories and we do a moral judgements when we read it. I think is good thing to use our moral standards today to evaluate history. To find real heroes of history, which surpass their time. To see how far we went. To show the bloodshed and stupidity of the despots and weight them against people like Leonardo daVinchi, Galileo Galilei and many others, which are the real heroes of the humanity and history. To accept history without thinkig for it as a moral story is unhuman and void.

DANl1640 Day 1,599, 01:56

you got it almost right.we vetoed turkey in eden cos of ingame issues,not rl.but at some point the whole spotlight was on rl hate or resources,which is not the reason we vetoed them.afterwards both side were so deep in the shit so there was no way fixing relations.the major fail was when we got suspended and disgraced as some kind of trial member.we knew that we cant afford to keep all the resources we need but we were also aware that if we cant have them,none of eden can have them too.its a way to destruction but we are prepared to pay the price for being mocked and betrayed by "our brothers".the next question that pops in my head is,are all eden prepare to pay the price in the long run for this situation?bulgaria didnt invite turkey in eden,we didnt start this situation,but sure as hell we will finish it

JyM22 Day 1,599, 01:58

@ot4eto - absolutely, but be careful. Did you ever discover that a childhood hero of yours was not who you thought he was? Or maybe you never discovered anything more about him, but as you grew older you gained more perspective and now he seems less remarkable than before. The point is, when you do as you suggest, you're using your own (temporary) biases and opinions to pass judgement most likely without knowing the full story. There are always shades of grey and two sides to every coin in my experience.

MirceaDrac Day 1,599, 02:05

And you say this when regions where offered to Bulgaria by the Turks for free. You know the real life history well but you don't know the actual ingame negotiations. Bulgarians would have been allowed to get all Iranian regions if they were willing to admit their mistakes and work for the better of the alliance.

THERE IS NO VETO RULE for stopping a trial membership. There are a lot of other countries as trial members and what Bulgarians wanted to do would have been a dangerous exception for all those members. ANY OTHER FULL MEMBER WOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO KICK THEM OUT!!!! So there is no discussion on this matter.

The final negotiations failed because of Bulgarian stupidity. While the BG CP was not participating in those negotiations because he "can not be online" he was seen fighting in the Iranian RW on the Iranian side and in the same time the official supplies channel of BG was giving supplies for the Iranian side in that RW. When all this was happening the truce was actually almost done, the terms were almost final although even at this point BG never wanted to apologies for their behavior towards a fellow EDEN member.

The eBulgarian politicians decided their faith when in spite of a referendum results decided to leave EDEN and join ONE. They could have always join Terra but they have chosen the enemy side and now are very proud that EDEN "can not survive" without them. Actually EDEN has to survive without BG and TR. So get this to your head and see that if any of you would have left EDEN we would have gotten in the same situation. We just preffered the more mature side in these matters and the Bulgarian side was acting like a spoiled brat...

MirceaDrac Day 1,599, 02:08

Good article anyways (:

ot4eto Day 1,599, 02:08

JyM22, nothing against that. I agree. I'm not talking about idols, I'm talking about heroes. People which elevate humanity on another level. For example sir Isaac Newton wasn't very friendly fellow. He was with terrible temper. To be sceptical is always good advice so I can't say nothing about it. But I can say that drinking wine from somebody skull as our ancestor king Kroum did is not good. It's evil act because is unnecessary evil and I do not see what can change that.

ot4eto Day 1,599, 02:11

MirceaDrac, friend you are terribly confused. "THERE IS NO VETO RULE" - did you ever read the EDEN charter?

"...pologies for their behavior towards a fellow EDEN member" - when Turkey became full EDEN member? I miss that moment.

I stop here, there is no point to argue with you. It seems that you already decide who is guilty and nothing else matters.

lioshi Day 1,599, 02:12

MirceaDrac obviously u play another game m.. anyways, soon eden will join one and then we can make our own brotherhood :>

MirceaDrac Day 1,599, 02:14

@ot4eto you are missing out some things I wrote. There si no VETO for TERMINATING TRIAL MEMBERSHIP and all our TRIAL members ARE EDEN.

DANl1640 Day 1,599, 02:15


lol...i know,we are immature,spoiled,childish,racist..the bad guys.i'm sorry we have been part of such alliance

but as wise and mature person,why did ppl leave eden:spain,poland,sweden now bulgaria?

The Graverobber
The Graverobber Day 1,599, 02:16

good article, but let say hypothetically Bulgaria wishes to get back into the tube - i doubt we would be allowed to, nor we are wanted anymore considering the harsh words said last month

Ivan Shishmanov
Ivan Shishmanov Day 1,599, 02:17

No, they are ProEDEN and not an EDEN MEMBER as you have mentioned earlier ...

DANl1640 Day 1,599, 02:17

"i'm sorry we have been part of such alliance"

in case you didnt get the apologize part to the fellow eden countries ; )

MirceaDrac Day 1,599, 02:21

@All There are ProEDEN countries that are not part of EDEN. The trial members are EDEN and I am sorry to see that even now you continue to not see that and think only about Turkey.

JyM22 Day 1,599, 02:21

@ot4eto - true, it's hard to argue that but grant me one hyperbola, just to demonstrate:

Maybe you call yourself Bulgarian today because Khan Krum drank from the skull cup. Maybe this symbolic act of terror is what kept his allies loyal and his enemies from pressing their attacks further. Maybe if he did not do this, the Bulgar tribes would have scattered and gone the way of the Pechenegs or Kipchaq. Maybe you would simply call yourself a Serb or Romanian or even Turk.

ot4eto Day 1,599, 02:23

MirceaDrac - so, you say that there is no term as "proEDEN"? Just EDEN. Yes there is no text about terminateing the trial membership and there is no need for one. The term trial is selfevident for limited period of time. Show me in real world usage of trial for indefinite time. For example trial products are always limited. Anywhay when you need to bend the rules everything is possible and justifyable. The story actually is very simple. There was a referendum in Bulgaria and the majority didn't want Turkey in EDEN. But majority of EDEN countries wanted Turkey and deny Bulgarian veto and try by force to change Bulgarian policy. When this happends countries with self respect leave.

MirceaDrac Day 1,599, 02:31

@ot4eto Re-read what I said about "ProEDEN" as you might have missed something. Actually the EDEN TRIAL membership is like products that you can use always without have the FULL FEATURES. I know that the usual period for trial is 3 months but that has never been an exact period and for countries that were not ready the period extended.

I repeat that there is no VETO rule for what you wanted and there should NEVER be such a rule.

ot4eto Day 1,599, 02:32

JyM22, aah a what if game 🙂
Everything is possible on this game. So what if I'm not Bulgarian today? Well, I still will be human, member of the same species, right? I never forget that I'm born Bulgarian by sheer accident. Still I love my country. It's love, not hate toward others. With same luck I can be Turk or some native in Papua New Guinea jungles. Preserving a nation in long term seems meaningless for me. Culture with some exceptions, science, technology and human liberties are greatly more important for me. So your example didn't bother me at all.

Sluuby Day 1,599, 02:38

Personally, I think that Bulgaria was forced out of EDEN after most of EDEN countries viollate the terms and accepted Turkey as trial member. Bulgaria and Turkey could not exist in EDEN(The Brotherhood), because this will mean that we should call each other brothers. Nowadays, in the current situation(RL and eLife), this could not happen even if hell freezes. Leaving EDEN doesn't have anything to do with a probable empire greatness, but simply with no other solution of the problem.

JyM22 Day 1,599, 02:43

Yes, my example is kind of out there, but each culture is like an organism. It's prerogative is to preserve itself. Globalization is a fact and apparently you are further along than I am, because I enjoy the many differences that our world still has to offer, and I do not believe in accidents. The loss of this diversity seems a foregone conclusion but I for one think this is kind of tragic.

ot4eto Day 1,599, 02:45

MirceaDrac, there is no VETO rule for what you want?!?!? What did you mean? Btw I vote with yes for accepting Turkey as EDEN member on Bulgarian referendum. If what you say is true than why bother to vote in the end of trial period? What is the point to bring all CP and ask them to vote at the end of the trial period? Why you just don't accept the country?

No country should accept other in his union by force, otherwise this will be mob rule. You can ready the history of ancient Greek democracy and found what mob rule means. It's called dictatorship of majority. Today democracies has constitutions which protects individuals and groups from dictatorship of majority. This is the idea of veto and to deny it is unetical. Imagine what will happend with such allience that has no such rule, imagine the chaos of states entering and leaving.

For me, things are very simple. I repeat, there was referendum. Citizen of eBulgaria vote against eTurkey, our representitve vote (on the EDEN summit for accepting Turkey in EDEN - if this mean anything to you) against. The other countries react by bending rules and denying, as you show us today, Bulgarian and Ireland votes. And this is the end of the story. Then follows maddness and ugly act from both sides. But in fact the member of Bulgaria ended at this moment - 3 months ago.

For me personaly is very sad that the rights of one member country was denied in favor of new unproven non-member country. Not to mention that trial was only 1 month. Not to mention personal promise of Romper and so on and so on. But if you want Bulgaria to be wrong and the bad guy. By all mean. I myself have sense of justice and I can't be so one-way-sided.

mihail.cazacu Day 1,599, 02:49

@The Graverobber: I think what you need to do if you want to fix the things is to talk to Turkey about dividing Iran. Once you and the Turks find a common ground, everything else is easy to solve.

By now it is clear for all the sides that the current situation is damaging for Bulgaria's interests, Turkey's interests, the rest of EDEN's interests.

@JyM22: Actually the things were judged by the same standards back then. We know it because of how the leaders of the various empires tried to justify their aggression.

- The Romans always waited for a provocation, sometimes even engineering one, before invading any of their neighbors;
- Ghengish Khan claimed to protect the Mongolian merchants from the abusive treatment received form the Tanguts, Kwarezmians, Volga Bulgars and Chinese;
- All the Muslim leaders starting with Muhammad claimed their invasions were actually rescue missions for the persecuted Muslims (as in country X had one citizen converting to Islam, that only Muslim citizen was oppressed for being Muslim so the whole foreign Islamic army came to rescue him);
- The Europeans first claimed to protect the free spreading of the Christian faith, then, starting with the 18th century the arguments were "free trade" and "bringing civilization to the natives oppressed by their local tyrants", etc.

All those leaders had to do such propaganda tricks even though they were absolute rulers in most of the cases. Why bother with propaganda when they had absolute power?

Because they knew that without an excuse, they would simply legitimize the acts of rape, plunder and murder within their own communities. And once rape and murder is legitimized, some people would prefer to do it at home instead of in far away lands.

So actually empire-building was considered then exactly how it is viewed now. What changed was the ability of the public opinion to resist empire-building.

MirceaDrac Day 1,599, 03:09

@ot4eto I will not repeat this again:


What actually happens is that VETO is used for the trial membership START and not used at the trial membership END. Using VETO it really isn't the best way to deal in the END as it would offer too much power to one member. If a trial member is bad for the alliance than be sure there would be enough to vote it out. But when the alternative was to get in the same situation we are now because of 1 state I prefer to go with most states supporting it and not just one.

JyM22 Day 1,599, 03:10

I see far less standing in the way of empire building today than in the past, possibly because of what you just said. When you remove physical violence from the equation, it's far easier to sell the idea of the empire it to your future subjects.

Empire building is an evolutionary process, the methods are changing due to greater awareness but it's cultural form is accelerating at an alarming rate.

Captain Smollet
Captain Smollet Day 1,599, 03:13

The article gives a feeling that author is convinced that he has all the answers, while actually the article is full of half-truths and assumtions.

P.S. who are you, sir, to decide where eRussia should join?

MirceaDrac Day 1,599, 03:17

@ot4eto In my opinion you are right . Bulgaraia was out of EDEN for quite some time already and at you first aggression and ONE MPP you should have been relegated to TRAIL status based on the EDEN charter which you broke.

EDEN HQ did what it could for the best of the alliance. But was not harsh enough with all the mistakes they allowed until it was too late.

Khebit Day 1,599, 03:19

What I don't really understand is why you don't talk about eRepublik instead of saying things about the Real Life. Maybe the fact that the Turks are well known worldwide for being cheaters, creating bot-farms, and betraying other countries (Bulgaria knows that from the Phoenix times I guess) had also something to do. Maybe that was why they didn't want Turkey in their same alliance.

Because, do you think in Spain (I'm talking about Real Life) we have any kind of problems with Turkey? No, we don't. However, we showed many times (ingame now) that we were totally against Turkish' ONE membership. And it's because of Turks' reputation, and has nothing to do with real life stuff.

Khebit Day 1,599, 03:21

And I forgot to say that, in Germany, talking about WWII is kind of a taboo. It's not a frequent topic for discussions, they have just "forgotten" what happened then.

ot4eto Day 1,599, 03:25

MirceaDrac - nonsense. If "more harsh" is what I think it is, the current situation would be present 2 months ago. You should learn self criticism if you care fo the truth. It is very useful stuff. 🙂 Otherwise you can always rationalise something that is useful for your internal confort. As I said, if this make you happy - ok bileve it.

MirceaDrac Day 1,599, 03:33

ot4eto - It depends. you might have been more inclined to negotiate than you have been. Just prolonging the situation was one of the solutions that got us where we are now. Getting here now or two months ago would have been the same for me. But i think that Bulgaria would have had more options and it would have been more opened to cooperation. The situation doesn't make me happy but the resolution offers me more comfort that kicking out Turkey would.

mihail.cazacu Day 1,599, 03:39


If people want to be part of a greater structure because they see advantages in that, then we're talking about building a federation.

Empire building is building a greater structure using coercion and violence because the citizens of the empire hate being part of it.

The main point is even during the times those empires were built, their leaders were fully aware they were doing a morally reprehensible thing and they were trying hard to avoid their followers do the same to each other as they were doing to the conquered people.

Let's take an episode familiar to you, since you are Hungarian. In the Middle Ages, even during the Dark Ages, noblemen captured in battle were kept as prisoners for ransom. The behavior was standard practice even when armies of different religions were fighting, for instance in Spain during the fights of the Franks and Moors or in the Middle East, during the fights of the Byzantines against the Arabs and Turks.

However, after the battle of Lechfeld, when the Germans crushed the Hungarian invasion, the Hungarian leaders were all hanged.

The different treatment was due to the fact the Hungarian invasion was considered for exactly what it was: an act of banditry on a massive scale, not a "honorable war" between two neighbors who couldn't sort out their disagreements by other means.

So even in the Dark Ages, when wars were more frequent, some types of waging war were deemed criminal acts, not acts of war.

The issue is never about applying 21st century standards to past events. Such deeds were always considered bad.

Finway Day 1,599, 05:05

"The French and the British (and to a lesser extent the Spaniards and the Portuguese) learn that empire-building is bad (of course it is, just look up in your own country's Penal Code if murder, robbery, rape and theft are legitimate deeds)."

It's sadly false,
Napoleon is a great person for French people
and ironically for you,
He is the one who made the Penal Code xdxd

mihail.cazacu Day 1,599, 05:50

@Finway: The French kids learn about the colonial past of their country in quite unflattering terms.

As for Napoleon's empire, it was more the case of a motley group of countries, some truly French-friendly (like Italy and about half of the German states) and some forced into being allied with France at gunpoint. Napoleon controlled directly pretty much what is France nowadays.

The same was true about the British "empire" of Napoleon's time: after losing America, some 25 years before Napoleon becoming Emperor, the British only controlled directly Canada and some islands in the Caribbeans and Pacific. India, their most important source of wealth was a collection of Indian states run by their local leaders and supervised by a _private business_, the East India Company.

So the French or British "empires" in Napoleon's time were not really empires, especially compared to what the Spaniards, the Portuguese, the Russians, the Austrians and the Ottomans had at that time: large pieces of foreign territories under direct rule.

As for the code which influenced many of the European law systems, it was the Civil Code, not the Penal one.

Besides, what I've explained to JyM22 still stands regarding Napoleon: he always looked for an excuse to go at war. Why would Napoleon himself need an excuse instead of simply jumping on his neighbors as it pleased him?

Precisely because even during his time wars were considered a bad thing, and starting one was especially bad.

von Clausewitz, a famous Prussian general contemporary of Napoleon, even wrote in his military treatise that "War is merely the continuation of policy by other means".

So at least the elites of that time agreed that war is just a means to a _political_ end, not something to be especially proud of. Propaganda about "just cause", "holy war", "motherland", etc was fed to the common soldiers and civilian population so they can be employed to attain those political ends.

Finway Day 1,599, 09:23

"The French kids learn about the colonial past of their country in quite unflattering terms."
False too. : /

French student barely learn about it, and it's not unflattering ; it's just knowledge : no pride, no dishonor ; just as St. Bartholomew's Day massacre...

And further than that, some are proud : for ""example"", Sarkoski is proud of the colonial past of France... = (énal_de_1810

JyM22 Day 1,599, 12:21

I don't think "empire building" in the past can be judged by today`s standards because humanity as a whole is learning and evolving towards a global culture that makes it obvious that violence angainst anyone is wrong. This was not at all obvious in the past, instead humanity was governed by a strong sense of us vs. them. The way people treated their own (family/clan/nation) was very different from how they treated others. This is evident in nature among chimpanzees or even social predators who are often loving and tender with each other but think nothing of killing prey or a rival. I think past justifications for war were necessary partly to justify the risk that your own will face on the battlefield. I think the need to justify the use of violence against so called "others" has been a prominent factor in justifying wars only starting in modern times.

As for Lechfeld, the Germans were simply being pragmatic. Evidence suggests that the defeat was less significant militarily then previously thought. If it was truly a crushing blow, Hungary would have been quickly swept away like the Avars. Instead, the Germans nipped future raids in the bud by making it too risky for the tribal chieftains to undertake them - after all, a 10,000 man raiding party never sets out in the first place if the chief thinks the risk of losing his head is too great. Actually this was an effective solution.

mihail.cazacu Day 1,599, 12:37

@Finway: I'm sure you can back your statements with something more solid because here's a Le Monde piece about how the Algerian War is mentioned in the French and Algerian textbooks from 1973 on:

"Il n'échappera à aucun observateur averti que le régime algérien a positivement censuré, en dépit des rodomontades et des faux procès de la colonisation, tout examen documenté des crimes commis durant la guerre et après, assène Abdelmajid Merdaci. Les camps, l'usage du napalm, la torture, les viols, sont plus facilement exposés à Paris qu'à Alger."

For those who don't speak French the summary is this: the French textbooks are describing _in more detail_ the use of napalm, torture, rapes committed by the French against the Algerians than do the Algerian textbooks.

My assumption is the Algerian version of those events is softer, most likely because the Algerian government wants to avoid strong anti-French sentiments which would be damaging for the business relations between Algeria and France.

The article is here:

I understand you might be pissed off at the French for their Armenian Genocide law (which would be revised in order for the Constitutional Court to accept it the next time) but in terms of taking responsibility for the ugly past, France is light-years ahead of Turkey.

mihail.cazacu Day 1,599, 12:59


Assuming people in the Ancient Times or in the Middle Ages had radically different moral standards than us is false.

For instance you may want to read Polybius's account about the 1st and 2nd wars between Carthage and Rome. Or Livy's history of Rome. Or Herodotus' take on the alleged guilt of the "Asians" who were the first to offend the Greeks when Paris eloped with Helen.

You may want to add also Seneca's opinion about the gladiator fights. Because, after all, most of the gladiators were prisoners of war.

Those are 2000+ years old opinions which were widely shared among the [Roman & Greek] elites of the time (otherwise those works would not have been copied by hand and preserved).

So we know for sure starting a war was considered a bad thing. We also know that at least the elites thought that forcing people to kill each other in the arena was an atrocity. Hey, Livy even wrote that he believed the gods didn't exist and religion was just a tool used by the leaders in order better control the masses!

Still some of the leaders used every trick available to them in order to wage wars with the full backing of their public opinion.

So it is not a matter of 21st century standards applied to events happening hundreds or thousands of years ago. The standards did not evolve. What evolved was the ability of the "masses" to hold the leaders accountable.

The 20th century standards are our standards. But just because those standards exist[ed], they didn't prevent the Nazis to do what they did. Nor did they prevent the things happening during the '90s in the former Yugoslavia and Kosovo.

So would the people living in 4012 be right if they would assume the people of 1940s and 1990s had no problems with genocide because hey, it happened several times?!

Finway Day 1,599, 13:06

It's a lot easier : I'm french = D

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