Treaty of Versailles — from the Times

29 Jun

“Other problems also bedeviled Wilson, including the vexing difficulty of determining who, exactly, deserved self-determination. Despite the precision of his maps, it was difficult to come up with clean new boundaries without stirring a hornet’s nest of ethnic rivalries.”

Other problems?  It was the problem and its consequences are still with us.  “…who, exactly, deserved self-determination…” was the wrong premise from the get-go.  Ensuring states upheld democratic principles for all their ethnically mixed or multiple populations should have been the guiding issue, not coming up with “…clean [skin-crawl…not much of a leap from “clean” to ethnic cleansing] new boundaries…”  “Self-determination” for all, or if not, then for who, sounds so impossibly naive today, only the leader of a nation-state like the U.S. could have possibly thought it was a working, guiding principle.

Seems like a miracle at this point that Yugoslavia held together for as long as it did.

Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

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