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On March 16, the three main political forces of Ukrainian nationalism – the political party Svoboda, Right Sector, and the National Corpus (i.e. the Azov batallion’s political wing) – signed a National Manifesto that declared the ideological unity of the three structures, and conveniently summarized the 20 key theses of Ukrainian nationalism.
Given the increasingly evident political bankruptcy of the Poroshenko government, its increasing readiness to capitulate before nationalist demands, and the even greater influence Ukrainian nationalism looks set to wield over the regime that comes next, it would be germane to give a brief translation and analysis of the main points of this National Manifesto.
We, Ukrainian nationalists, understanding the catastrophic state of our country and with the goal of acquiring and developing a great national state, capable of securing the prosperous existence of Ukrainians and a future for Ukrainian children, are uniting our efforts on the basis of fundamental, unambiguous, and unchanging principles and goals, and thereby offer a concrete plan of action that we can embark upon straight away for the achievement of these goals.
Not bad, though the pilfering from David Lane is a bit too obvious.
1. Define as a priority of state policy the realization of Ukraine’s national interests.
As the Russian nationalist website Sputnik i Pogrom notes, there is no division between Ukraine the state and Ukrainians the people.
This is typical for semi-fictional national projects, in which there is no people without a state.
2. New vector of Ukrainian geopolitics – orientation not to the West or the East, but the creation of a new European unity – that of the Balto-Black Sea Union.
So basically a resurrection of the Intermarium, a geopolitical vision promoted by interwar Polish leader Józef Piłsudski to unite the countries from the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean.
Today, it has mainly become a Ukrainian nationalist obsession.
It also happens to be even more demented and schizophrenic than Eurasianism (which is at least theoretically realizable, even if its end result will be to turn Russia into Greater Turkestan due to demographic factors).
Ukraine, with a nominal GDP per capita below that of Nigeria, will be economically dominated by Poland in any such arrangement. Furthermore, the Poles have no love for Ukrainian nationalists; there are numerous human interest stories of Ukrainian Gastarbeiters in Poland getting beaten up by Polish skinheads for expressing their love for Bandera. Speaking of Polish nationalists, they outright want Lwow back.
As such, it is unclear how such a neo-Rzeczpospolita union would even be set up in the first place, unless the Ukrainians decide to keep it real authentic and also return to their old socio-economic status under the old union, i.e. as serfs under the Polish szlachta.
3. Recognize the Russian Federation as an aggressor state… break diplomatic relations, blockade the occupied territories, end Russian business activities in Ukraine, sanction Russian capital, goods, and services.
This is an excellent idea (to sideline the Western politicians and Kremlin “geniuses” who threw Ukraine a lifeline in the form of Minsk II, and allowed Russian businesses to continue investing in Ukraine to the tune of billions of dollars since 2014).
Some of these actions – namely, the blockade of the Donbass, and the shuttering down of Russian banks – have already been embarked on and post-facto legitimized by the state in recent weeks, which has resulted in the Kremlin’s apparent loss of interest in shoving Donbass back into Ukraine.
May they continue wracking up more and more peremogas along these lines!
4. Recognize [the LDNR] as occupied territories and develop a real plan to liberate Crimea and Donbass. Immediately embark upon economic, informational, and reconaissance-sabotage actions in furtherance of these goals.
Even better idea.
Though they should beware that the frontline can move backwards as well as forwards.
5. Return the right to recreate a nuclear weapons capability as a foundation of national security in light of the violation of the Budapest Memorandum.
Ukraine does have the technical capacity and human capital to do this.
Of course, the types of people who rule the West, such as Merkel or Juncker, will absolutely love the idea of nuclearization in a state full of groups of armed extremists roving around. By “absolutely love” I mean so shell-shocked they’d be begging Putin to put that rabid animal down.
6. Create a high-tech professional contract army, and a reserve army, based on the territorial principle.
This is very doable on a $90 billion GDP, by which I mean it’s completely bonkers (even if Ukraine does now spend 6% of that measly figure on its military).
7. Legalize the right to armed defense and gun ownership.
Incidentally, this right has existed in the “sovok” DNR since 2015, which has caused no end of butthurt amongst Right Sector.
8. Eliminate hostile propaganda from the Ukrainian information space. Cultivate traditional values, strengthen national consciousness. The Ukrainian language should be the only state language.
Russian culture is already aggressively marginalized – the list of banned Russian TV shows, films, and books is so long it’s hard to keep track. There are hundreds of political prisoners, almost none of them, of course, recognized by Western human rights organizations.
But if Ukrainian culture is indeed so powerful, attractive, and natural to the denizens of the western Pontic steppes, why does it need to be imposed through such repressive and illiberal methods?
9. Carry out a real lustration… strengthen criminal punishments for corruption.
So they do at least recognize that the Euromaidan has done nothing to improve corruption in the past three years, regardless of all the (invariably inconsequential) public workers that its activists shoved into rubbish bins.
Solution: Something along the lines of “Only mass shootings with save Ukraine!,” aka the convergence of UkSSR patriots with retrograde Russian Stalinists (as is oddly appropriate).
10. Introduce a workable procedure for impeaching the President and make a law about the recall of deputies of all levels and judges.
Presumably to be forgotten about as soon as Poroshenko gets removed and their own people are in power.
Because the alternative in Ukraine would be anarchy.
11. Introduce elections for judges and certain categories of local bureaucrats.
Not a bad idea, since along with (17), it will result in the effective breakup of the Ukrainian project.
12. Liquidate the oligarchic system: Return subsoil ownership to the state, as well as strategic objects and enterprises, illegally privatized after 1991; liquidate private monopolities, end capital flight to offshore havens.
This is not bad.
As in Russia, privatization in the 1990s was code word for mass looting, and the oligarchs borne of that period have since proven to be exceptionally bad stewards of their ill-gotten gains.
However, liberal economists will not approve (neither will the countries in thrall to them, i.e. the West).
So goodbye IMF funds. Enjoy the default.
13. Guarantee the labor rights of Ukrainians and create conditions for an effective labor union movement.
As is much of the rest of this program, it boils down to two options:
Either they will institute what it says on the tin, allowing real labor unions that stymie productivity and cancel out even the competitive advantages of Ukraine’s absurdly low wages; or the labor unions they have in mind would be utterly subservient to the state, as in Nazi Germany.
14. Create a new socially just tax code, which will encourage the development of small and medium businesses.
Nice sentiment – no details.
15. Encourage the development of national atomic and alternative energy as a foundation of energy independence.
Many alternative energy schemes are bondoogles even in developed Western countries.
In Poroshenko’s Ukraine, front companies were paid to import coal from South Africa as part of widely propagandized schemes to achieve energy independence from Russia, while in reality those funds were used to buy cheaper coal from Donbass. The difference went to predictable places.
This is a country which can’t even build a proper wall on the border with Russia. Nobody knows where the funds went.
Now try to imagine how Ukraine’s experiments with alternative energy will go.
16. Ban the trade of Ukrainian strategic resources, such as agricultural lands.
17. Introduce real self-government by creating self-sufficient territorial units with a large degree of authority.
Agreed – federalization has been consistently touted even as a solid solution to Ukraine’s many… existential problems.
18. Rationalize immigration law, including effective provisions against illegal immigration and the creation of conditions for the return of Ukrainians to the motherland.
Ukraine isn’t facing an immigration problem; it is facing an emigration and brain drain problem, which will become even more catastrophic should it ever achieve the Maidan’s holy grail of bezviz (visa free travel with Europe).
Moreover, in light of the fact that migrants to the EU don’t even bother stopping over in Romania on their way to Germany and Sweden, this has a decidedly comical ring to it.
19. Restore positive dynamics in the national demographics; strengthen the traditional family, strengthen national-patriotic education, and place our bets on the young generation.
Births in all regions of Ukraine were lower in 2016 than in 2014.
Only in Crimea did they improve. What did they do right?
In conjunction with the rest of these proposals, the demographic situation will only plummet further as Ukraine falls into a new depression and perhaps finally falls apart.
20. Encourage the creation of a single local church based in Kiev.
This implies the final removal of the Russian Orthodox Church from Ukraine, including the confiscation of its remaining properties.
Considering ROC’s neutral, at best, and sometimes hostile, attitude to the Russian Spring -it has gone so far as to excommunicate priests who blessed warriors setting off for Donbass – this will perhaps be no more than what it deserves.
In the process, though, it will play a martyr’s role that will be far more useful than its groveling before Our Ukrainian Partners these past three years.
Consequently this blog will also be a leading torch-bearer of Ukrainian nationalism on the Internet, just as it is already Erdogan’s No.1 on the Internet.