Reverse Cargo Cult
When the sociopolitical order of Easter Island disappeared in a wave of violence and depravity after deforestation led to the collapse of its ecological basis of existence, as described in Jared Diamond’s book Collapse, the most visible symbol of its passing was the mass toppling of the moai statues that had represented the power and prestige of the old order.
But this cargo cult in reverse didn’t do anything for the Easter Islanders’ level of civilization or living standards, which regressed into outright barbarism, up to and including cannibalism. This lasted until contact with Europeans put the new culture out of its misery to be replaced with pestilence and slavery.
Just in case one was to think this can only happen in primitive societies, let us now turn to Northern Gabon – or perhaps we should now call it New Liberia, in deference to Condoleezza Rice – which has recently pulled down the largest remaining statue of Lenin in yet another ringing accomplishment for the Euromaidan.
Namely, nobody cares.
Nobody of any significance, at any rate. Considering that opinion polls indicate that at least as many if not more Ukrainians miss the Soviet Union as Russians, it’s a safe bet that the vast majority of people actively hurt by this are elderly Ukrainians who are going to die away in ten to twenty years anyway. In between living out their twilight years in the crushing poverty brought about a “European Choice” they didn’t ask for, their life’s legacy and values spat upon, and beaten up by Azov thugs in those rare cases when they dare protest against a regime purportedly established to guarantee basic liberties such as freedom of assembly, it’s fair to say their generation is to be the sacrificial victim upon whose bones Ukraine’s European future is to be built.
But which European future to be precise?
Increasingly, it’s not the one that even the Euromaidan’s vanguard had asked for two years ago.
The Education of a Svidomy Fanatic
One of the most striking individual cracks in the facade has to do with one of the most curious and remarkably political turnarounds I have ever encountered.
There was this hardcore Azov supporter, who I will abbreviate here as “E.V.”, who used to comment/troll on my posts 1-2 years back. He had all the stereotypical accoutrements of your typical Maidanist fanatic: Uncritical praise and support for the Revolution of Dignity, claims Ukrainians would now live in freedom and dignity unlike Russians under Putin’s kleptocracy, uncompromising support for the ATO, welcoming of the toppling of Lenin statues, etc.
But you’d be shocked by perusing his profile in more recent months. It is now full of “vatnik” talking points condemning the current government not just for the economic collapse but for destroying Soviet monuments, rewriting history, pursuing Russophobia, and even praising the LDNR and calling for Russia and Ukraine to unite into one state.
I don’t actually know that person apart from his comments on my updates during that period, but that is quite the stunning ideological reversal if there ever was one.
What makes it all the more curious is that he is still a dedicated White Nationalist who also posts in support of Trump, rails against #RefugeesWelcome, and even retains his approval of Azov (many of whom appear to share his disgruntlement with the Poroshenko regime, if presumably not his unexpected Russophilia… at least for the time being).
Rather ironic how it was more than anything that ultimate gesture of “Europeanness” in the form of #RefugeesWelcome that soured this onetime devotee of Ukraine’s “European Choice” on the whole project – refugees that are now beginning to get diverted to Ukraine itself, as core Europe buckles under the strain and Merkel seeks to unload the burden anywhere she can, including the cargo cultists who rule in Kiev and are only too happy to oblige the whims of their Western superiors.
When the victims are ordinary people, at any rate. No amount of Western lectures and imprecations have done anything to stem the runaway corruption of the Maidanist regime. Here is just the latest headline that says it all: “General Prosecutor of Ukraine to investigate the theft of EU and US grants for the reform of the General Prosecutor of Ukraine.”
The End of the UkSSR
To be sure, a single anecdote doesn’t say all that much, but it makes sense in the context of Gallup’s December 2015 finding that Poroshenko now has a lower approval rating than Yanukovych at the time of the coup. Such turnarounds might still be a rarity, but as the legitimacy of the regime and its foreign sponsors continues to unravel, Ukrainians will be searching for another ideological and spiritual anchor.
That anchor could potentially – ironically – have been the Soviet Union itself, for it was the Soviets personified by the grim apparatchiks starting with Lenin himself whose statues have been getting toppled throughout the last 2 years who more than anyone else created what we know as Ukraine. The Soviet legacy is what holds the Ukraine together. It might be a dark force, in many respects, but it has a certain majesty and gravitas to it, whereas the parochial Banderism of the Maidanist thugs, apart from being nasty and evil, is just more pathetic than anything else.
It’s like the difference between Ghengis Khan and the neighborhood furry-obsessed creep who is discovered with half a dozen corpses in his freezer.
One of those is sustainable, at least for a few generations; the other is not.
Moreover, Banderism is an ideology that actual Europeans are not rushing to embrace, if increasingly evident European and even American fatigue on the Ukraine question and Dutch voting intentions on the forthcoming EU-Ukraine Association referendum are anything to go by. Without foreign infusions to keep it afloat, it will increasingly be running on empty, a walking corpse that has yet to realize it is dead.
But what was there before the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which is even now croaking out its final death throes?
Before the UkSSR, before Bandera, there was Novorossiya, Malorossiya, and the Taurida Guberniya, and Kiev was one of the intellectual centers of Russian nationalism.
Before you can rebuild, you have to clear away the rubble.
It is therefore ultimately for the best that Ukrainians have been the ones to take the initiative in returning to their historic roots.
And since the Ukraine has been so conveniently de-Sovietizing itself, the logical endpoint of that search now leads back to the USSR’s predecessor, the Russian Empire:
“I cannot say what kind of soul I have, Ukrainian or Russian. I know only that I would not give preference to the Ukrainian over the Russian, nor to the Russian over the Ukrainian. Both natures are too greatly gifted by God, as if by some purpose each contains within itself that which the other does not–a clear sign that they are meant to complete each other. To this end their past histories were made distinct; so that their diverse strengths of character, developing separately, might later merge together and form something more complete in human kind.” – Nikolai V. Gogol, Complete Works, volume 13, pp. 418-419.
As more and more Ukrainians “awaken,” we will soon have to start thinking about E.V.’s question on “how to achieve this deep integration” – and where to go from there.
“For what is dead may never die, but rises again, harder and stronger!’