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Thread: Can we define Slavic?

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    Post Can we define Slavic?

    An intro note:

    I don't believe in essentialism, but rather relationism (a better name for 'relativism'). This outlook basically says that something is defined in relation to differences with something else, in short, identity hinges on decision about what a thing is by priveliging some elements over others (which are ignored) and in this sense forming a concept of a thing. This concept can then be further refined by contrasting itself with what it isn't. The highest possibility of contrast is when one thing conflicts with the existence of another. In human terms this means the declaration of war, when the friend is distinguished from the enemy.

    No one will deny that the Slavs have had (continue to have?) conflicts with Germanics and Turks, and that for a relatively long period of time Slavic power has been centered in Russia, an Eastern Slavic nation (Poland being a Western Slavic nation, in contrast). However, Prussia, for example, was a nation formed out of two elements: its aristocracy descended from the Teutonic Knights (correct me if I'm wrong, but they were definetly Germanic) and its Slavic populace. The Slavic base for that State were later Germanicised (we can define this once we've reconceptualised what 'Slavic' is) and were expelled from Prussia by the Red Army after World War 2. Why were these originally Slavic Prussians expelled and considered Germans, when compared to the fairly Westernised Catholic Poles (I don't want to get into a Pole-slandering contest here) who remained? Can we defined the ethos or style, so to speak, of the Slavic culture (both east and west) as a whole? What are the core values which enable one to discriminate between a Slavic and a Germanic nation? Or is the idea of 'Slavic' simply a historical construct built out of fairly consistent political alliegences during wars?

    I have a feeling this will be a good topic

    - Jack
    All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream at night, in the dusky recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams, with open eyes, to make it possible.

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    Post Re: Can we define Slavic?

    The original Prussians were a Baltic people, not Slavic. Similar to Lithuanians. Balts and Slavs have a lot in common, and are sometimes confused as being one in the same (Balto-Slavic).

    Back to the Prussians...they were mostly exterminated by the Germanic Teutonic Knights. The rest were Germanized.

    Those areas were also inhabited by Slavs, and the Catholic Poles were also partly responsible for what happened to the Pagan Prussians.

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    Post Re: Can we define Slavic?

    We now know that the Slavs have more of the Eu19 genetic haplogroup type than any other European people. Eu19 has been identified as the marker of the ancient nomadic steppe peoples. We can draw this conclusion because Eu19 is found in Central and Southern Asia as well. The Slavs could be described as the modern descendents of the historical Scytho-Sarmatian peoples.

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    Post Re: Can we define Slavic?

    IMO if we define meta-ethnicity such as Slavic, Germanic or Celtic by their 'original' DNA only, then there is no such thing as Slavic, Germanic or Celtic.

    On the other hand, if the primary definition is by language, there are hundreds of millions of people who speak Germanic, Slavic and Romance languages who are not at all related to the 'original' meta-ethnicity.

    I doubt that the modern Celts are closely related to the 'original' Celts... and most of the modern Celts don't even speak a Celtic language.

    So, Meta-Ethnicity is very arbitrary.

    I think that Macedonians from FYROM are the least genetically Slavic people, but they do speak Slavic, while the genetically Slavic Sorbs or largely 'Balto-Slavic' Prussians
    speak only, or predominantly German language.

    Draw your own conclusions.

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    Post Re: Can we define Slavic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Awar
    IMO if we define meta-ethnicity such as Slavic, Germanic or Celtic by their 'original' DNA only, then there is no such thing as Slavic, Germanic or Celtic.

    On the other hand, if the primary definition is by language, there are hundreds of millions of people who speak Germanic, Slavic and Romance languages who are not at all related to the 'original' meta-ethnicity.

    I doubt that the modern Celts are closely related to the 'original' Celts... and most of the modern Celts don't even speak a Celtic language.

    So, Meta-Ethnicity is very arbitrary.

    I think that Macedonians from FYROM are the least genetically Slavic people, but they do speak Slavic, while the genetically Slavic Sorbs or largely 'Balto-Slavic' Prussians
    speak only, or predominantly German language.

    Draw your own conclusions.
    I would argue that Meta-Ethnicity is not arbitrary - you can't 'pick and choose' - but depends on the power that forms these identities: the power of human interrelationships. Language is used to produce these identities. I don't think one should underestimate the power of education - to teach someone is to create them. If Foucault was right - and I certainly believe he was - what you know defines who you are. Taking a one year old Russian child and raising him/her in a German or Celtic community, putting him through a Germanic/Celtic education system, with all its historical leanings evident throughout, teaching him the Germanic or Celtic language of that community, raising him/her with its mores and customs does for all intents and purposes turn that Russian child into a German or a Celt. For a Government to assert power and render its control acceptable to a community it must inform the community of what it finds acceptable. Through education, religion, history, language, the State - an organisation with the capacity to impose violence over a section of territory - brings a population into line with its laws and in relatively short order can transform that population. It takes roughly three generations for a State to totally convert a population - the first, to indocrtinate the young and control the adults and elders. The second, for the young to educate, with the guidance of State education systems, to educate a fresh generation. Finally the last of the old generations dies out and the population may be considered converted. This is the optimal situation. The reality is that the State is also transformed because its funcationaries are drawn from the ranks of the community it dominates, the elders play an important the education given to their children, and over time - certainly a longer amount of time than the optimal three generations - with the aid of the community from which the State was derived, the population may be considered one with the interests of the State that dominates it. This can quite easily be accelerated when the State calls itself the 'Government of X' where X is the dominated population and both are faced with war, and the State makes the interests of the dominated population and itself identical and then fights. An example of this is Stalin's USSR.
    All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream at night, in the dusky recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams, with open eyes, to make it possible.

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    Post Re: Can we define Slavic?

    IMO the vast majority of people speaking Slavic languages share a hell of a lot in terms of DNA (that includes the whole genome, as well as paternal and maternal ancestry markers) and anthropology.

    Slavs share similar features no matter where they come from.

    I guess the least Slavic are the Macedonians and the Bulgarians, although they still do have a lot of Slavic blood.

    Most of the differences between Slavs have arisen recently, and have been imposed by other cultures (for example, Catholicism in western Slavs by Rome, and Orthodoxy in Russia and Serbia by Byzantium).

    So Slavic unity, and the Slavic ethnic group, is not an illusion by any means.

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    Post Re: Can we define Slavic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Polak
    I guess the least Slavic are the Macedonians and the Bulgarians, although they still do have a lot of Slavic blood.
    Hmmm... Bulgarians have Slavic tongue but I think they do not have a lot of slavic blood 'cause they are proto-slavic and they were on the Balkans long before the Slavs came. They are the descendats of some asian tribe as I can recollect. It doesn't mean that today they are not white/aryan. I'm just guessing. I will dig for sam lit. on the net.

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    Post Re: Can we define Slavic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Katera
    Hmmm... Bulgarians have Slavic tongue but I think they do not have a lot of slavic blood 'cause they are proto-slavic and they were on the Balkans long before the Slavs came. They are the descendats of some asian tribe as I can recollect. It doesn't mean that today they are not white/aryan. I'm just guessing. I will dig for sam lit. on the net.
    Actually Slavs were living there long beore Bulgarians came. Although Bulgarian origins are not slavic they assimilated Slavs and their language and they are definately Slavic.

    If we would look at it the way you propose then most of the South Slavic nations wouldn't be slavic...in fact Bulgarians would probably be the most slavic of them all.

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    Post Re: Can we define Slavic?

    Erm... I think you're wrong mate. Bulgarians were here first as I can recollect the text I was reading.
    And they didn't assimilate the Slavs but Slavs asimillated the Bulgarians.

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    Post Re: Can we define Slavic?

    You are talking nonsense. Slavs were already in Balkans and in the Panonian basin long before Bulgarians started migrating from Volga Bulgaria to today Bulgaria. Also we can talk about two way assimilation, but since their name is "Bulgarians" it is clear who was dominant.

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