The "Frontier" And Frontier Guards in Banat - a Socio- Historical Approach
forgetting the past
boycott of history
suspicion in relation to any form of authority
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AbstractThe researchers preoccupied with the regional identity potential of Ţara Almăjului and the Eastern area of the Banat mountain region, Romania, cannot avoid the particular historical evolution, in the last three centuries, of these regions. This is true precisely when the starting point is represented by the Wealth Community (Comunitatea de Avere) - a form of collective ownership of a large part of the forests in the abovementioned regions and of certain buildings - a direct remnant of the Austrian frontier past, which was abolished during the Communist period. At that time (the second half of the 18th century), this form of collective ownership generated deep and irreversible social, administrative, architectural, legal and economic transformations which are visible to this day. Apart from an elite preoccupied with historical studies, in relation to which we notice the open affirmation of identity valences which we look for, and apart from another elite which is interested in reinstating and managing the Wealth Community, the locals seem detached both from the past and the frontier, as well as from the attempts to reinstate the Wealth Community. The only truly relevant form of ownership is individual ownership. We consider that this attitude is a variant of what Lucian Blaga called a "boycott of history". Therefore, the identity looked for seems to be constituted not so much by opposing, than by ignoring the past and the disinterest towards collective ownership, to which we can add the suspicion with respect to the intentions of people holding positions within the local administration and state authorities generally.