In All Seriousness

BrockaBooks, History, PoliticsLeave a Comment

There’s a lot to take in regarding the current war zone of despair racking Ukraine. Let’s recap, out of Quartz

Yanukovych’s days were numbered.  That is when opposition protesters poured into Independence Square in loud defiance of a law pushed through by Yanukovych that effectively outlawed public dissent. An axiom of such situations is that strongmen are in trouble when protesters stop fearing bullets, and so it was for Yanukovych on Jan. 28—shots were fired, but his opponents stayed put and stubbornly demanded his resignation. To defuse the situation, he had parliament reverse itself, and he pushed out his prime minister. But events already were set in motion. Yesterday, Yanukovych agreed to accelerate elections that were scheduled for next February.

And the play is not over. The likelihood is that worse is coming for Yanukovych. Parliament yesterday also voted by a veto-proof margin to free his arch enemy, Yulia Timoshenko, from prison. Yanukovych sent her there on the laughable charge of negotiating a bad natural gas deal with Russia. The poetic irony is that Yanukovych’s main crime, according to his opponents, has been to erode no small part of Ukrainian sovereignty by accepting a $15 billion bailout from president Vladimir Putin in exchange for abandoning a planned economic partnership with Europe. With Timoshenko out of prison, do not be surprised to hear official corruption charges leveled against Yanukovych. His outright resignation is still possible.

This is not an ideal outcome. Ideally Yanukovych would not have pushed through the anti-dissent laws,his government’s corruption would have been prosecuted through an independent judicial system, and the opposition would have geared up to win the next election. Just a year remains in Yanukovych’s elected term and democracy ordinarily means that an opposition waits its turn and tries to win the next election; hence its own candidate stands a better chance of serving out his or her own term. In that sense, Ukrainian democracy is ill-served by the brinksmanship. Now it is up to Yanukovych’s successors to start over. —Steve LeVine

History can also provide foresight. This is an excerpt out of the book Red Fortress: History and Illusion in the Kremlin

What we now know as Russia began when bands of Viking traders known as the Rhos or Rus came to Kiev circa 800 CE and started to intermarry with Slavs. Many soon moved on to the city of Moscow. These Vikings were regarded as such barbarians that they were banned at first from entering the city of Constantinople — which was at that time the dominant influence in the region. However, they were dazzled by Constantinople and ultimately abandoned their paganism to adopt Constantinople’s version of Christianity. Of course Kiev is now the capital of Ukraine, and currently the scene of deadly riots rooted in a dispute over the competing influence of the Russians versus the European Union in that country. This conflict is partly rooted in ethnic differences within the Ukraine.

Over the past week, I’ve become familiar with this blog; and i’ll wager that it’s my new favorite. Can’t recall how i initially happened upon it, but he is a brilliant man, heavy on the economics and politics. His last few post are quite educating enough on the current ordeal, worthy of the nom ‘Streetwise Professor’. Get familiar.

Every Friday, Jonah Goldberg puts out his G-File newsletter. He is a fairly laid back guy with enough charisma to be invited to a leftist dinner party, but sheer intelligence enough to argue their points right under the table. He is a columnist for National Review and consistent panelist on Fox News. I loved his book Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, plus the more recent Tyranny of Clichés. Despite the serious titles, neither are daunting reads; really engaging, fast-paced, and insightful.

There were so many highlightable points made:

The idea that Communism and Nazism are opposites is more of a utilitarian idea than a core conviction for the Left. It is a rationalization that allows the Left to cut around the historical tumor of Nazism and fascism and say, That has nothing to do with us.

Socialism itself is a heresy — a heresy of tribalism. Socialism is simply an attempt to gussy up ancient tribal tendencies in modern garb. Nazism was tribalism of one race. Communism is tribalism of one class. Italian fascism was tribalism of one nation.

…for a couple.

Ok, that’s surely enough to take in. Good day.

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