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  1. #11
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    That's fascinating.

    But tell me, don't you think that morality is the crux of the matter? Our founding fathers said that our system of government works only for a moral people, namely, a people guided by CHRISTIAN morality. They predicted that in the day that the people lost that morality, the government would fail or become despotic. We see that happening right before our eyes. So I want to ask you what are the moral underpinnings of Bulgaria? We know that Christian morality created American freedom and the Constitution. What morality created the conditions you describe in Bulgaria?



  2. #12
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    To borrow a phrase used by your founding fathers, Bulgaria is a republic of persons, not of laws. Here’re some excerpts of one of the chapters covering the specific concept of morality in Bulgaria:

    “………………………… There lies a major difference between illegality here and in the West. In the West the perpetrators have to hide what they do, in Bulgaria they rationalize what they do.
    All these examples are indicative of what is acceptable in this country. As long as something sounds sensible, normal, human, manly, responsible, moral, and so on, legal formalities have no bearing. I have talked to Bulgarians about this and universally they are not impressed: Come on, it’s not such a big deal! If this is said in front of TV cameras by the highest-ranking officials in this country, imagine what happens behind closed doors and on lower levels!
    In the Hollywood tradition morality is a guiding star or a bedrock of timeless values. When one encounters the word ‘morality,’ his first reaction is to think of universal moral values that are accepted all over the world. In Bulgaria everybody believes he is a good person, presents himself as a victim and his actions as moral ones. Mutually exclusive assertions by opposing parties are substantiated with moral arguments………………………
    Morality in Bulgaria is often little more than what passes for common sense at the moment. If a course of action can be justified with some musings and considerations then it will be accepted as ethical by the participants. So in many places in this book the phrase ‘common sense’ may be substituted, but the word ‘morality’ is used throughout for consistency.
    ………………………. As a lawyer I have repeatedly encountered people who refuse to pay their debt not because they assert they do not owe it, but because the creditor is filthy rich or is considered a bad person……………………….
    The owners in a block of flats have the obligation to share the expenses for maintaining the common parts of the building. One of these common parts is the roof. If, however, some of them could substantiate that the occupant on the top floor has cheated them in something else (say during the replacement of a water pipe), then he deserves bad treatment and should be left alone to mend the leaking roof. As long as this is presented as a kind of moral stand, the obligation to participate in the maintenance can be ignored. This went on in the block where I spent my childhood and this goes on in blocks of flats all over Bulgaria. Thus morality in Bulgaria is not only slippery, but also a kind of propaganda.
    The game in Bulgaria does not consist simply of finding a fellow who will scratch your back if you scratch his. Additionally each player looks for a way to get his back scratched without scratching somebody else’s back. Then he looks for a way to explain this in a favourable light so that the other fellow is the bad one. Objectively this game is easy to describe, subjectively it is unnecessarily complicated because the reality is constantly masked, beautified and powdered by the players. As strange as it may sound, in this country morality is a private ideology because it is a tool to justify putting private interest above common interest……….. “

    Well, like I said, analogies with the western experience are misleading. (There's a whole chapter with examples on this as well.) The qoted text is just an aspect of it and I’ve omitted most examples (or else the quotation will become too long), but does it give a better idea what the book is about than my query letter?

  3. #13
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    That is fascinating...I take it back about your book having a limited market, lol.

    What you describe is the common morality of people without God. Without God, anything goes, and every man's for himself. The reason America is different is because we were founded on principles articulated in the Bible. We still have a morality outside ourselves to which we can appeal. Granted, I see God and the Bible valued less and less each day, but there is still a considerable populace who believe and try to follow His precepts.

  4. #14
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    My thinking exactly. There’s a chapter where I substantiate that Bulgarians are not religious and that this makes their morality oportunistic. (Traditionally they describe themselves as orthodox Christians.)


    However my book is not about how good a thing either Christianity or morality is. The morality-legality dictomy in the book is presented as a manifestation of the fact that Bulgarians as a nation organize themselves on micro rather than on macro level. I'm stuck how to express the essence of all this in a single paragraph in a query.

    Come to think of it, probaly an author is the worst person to describe his own book. Not only he knows it and therefore thinks it's kind of obvious what he is talking about, but he's biased as well.

  5. #15
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    lol...I suppose that's true enough. Hmmm...well, maybe I'll give it another think and another crack.

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