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Ukraine As A Mirror, The Ugliness Of Globalization VS Historical Ties, & The Ghost Of Nestor Makhno

The war waged between Ukraine and Russia has been going on since Feb. 20, 2014. Putin has chosen to escalate the war effort in 2022 because China has committed itself to supporting the Russian economy in a devoted way that makes clear the two countries exist as a new axis and the new global hegemon. But Ukrainians have lived through the intransigence of peace and corruption and progress and war since the very inklings of their national identity at the splintering of the Kievan Rus’ (a federation from the Middle Ages consisting of East Slavic, Baltic, and Finnic peoples in Eastern and Northern Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century, under the reign of the Rurik dynasty) by the Golden Horde.

Centuries of foreign rule from Lithuania to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to the Cossacks to the Russian Empire to the Republic of Poland to the soviet union have ensured multiple Ukrainian identities compete for geographic destiny. For example, Ukrainians entered World War I on the side of both the Central Powers and the Triple Entente. Bodies as buttress for ideological ends engaging in war.

And in the crucible that is war, change does occur.

In fact, war in Ukraine is the graveyard of ideologies but not for those innovated by Ukrainians; rather, the very power of ideologies believed in by systems of rule hubristic enough to attempt to control Ukraine is dehydrated and used for utility by Ukrainians as a sort of jerky for survival. For example, In World War II like in World War I Ukrainian radicals were divided in allegiance between socialist devotion and fascist devotion. And while that may seem obvious, what is distinct about this divide is how the ideological devotion of fascism in Ukraine emerged. The fascist ideologies of some late modern Ukrainians did not emerge because of brief German nazi rule but they emerged as a defense mechanism to the Republic of Poland’s suppression of Ukrainian national identity years prior.

Ukraine as a graveyard of ideologies is necessarily related to its self defense and its ability to adapt and overcome the vapid simplicity of two competing ideas as the be-all and end-all of all political reality. Multiple Ukrainian identities compete for geographic destiny once again and in turn reflect the ugliness of globalization opposing historical ties (or vice versa). Market forces determining where goods, services, capital and knowledge would flow opposing geographic, cultural and strategic ties.

But there are believers and fighters in Ukraine who at this very moment much like the 20th century Ukrainian anarchist Nestor Makhno, who in his organization of the Free Territory and combat of both the white and red russian armies during Ukraine’s opposition against what would become the soviet union, oppose the paranoid fascism of putin and his dictatorial ilk and the cold judgment of nato and free trade derivatives making the nineties roaring for some horn rimmed glasses wearing Manhattanite and painful for nineties street children in Kiev sniffing glue to beat hunger pangs. These fighters are attempting to define their own destiny.

The Ukrainian serf and the Ukrainian fascist and the Ukrainian street child are reflections of political and economic reality and now a new Ukrainian is added to the historical cauldron: the Ukrainian incinerated by a russian missile.

Well these indignities are physical expressions of moral imperative that exists in the world via physical suffering and oppression. And they are not resolved by an idiot on Twitter tweeting “UkraineisGeorgeFloyd” or 66% of voters who make over 200K documented in a Rasmussen Report survey asking whether the u.s. should get involved in European war efforts by saying "Yes" whereas only 37% of voters who make under $30K said "Yes" (essentially the rich hold “I stand with Ukraine” as a luxury ideology that poor people are desired to maintain). They are resolved via a Ukrainian revolution that establishes non-oppression in the country, which as W. Michael Reisman notes in “Private Armies in a Global War System: Prolouge to Decision,” that “[revolution] may be the last appeal or the first expression of demand of a group or unorganized stratum for some measure of human dignity.” W. Michael Reisman is the Myres S. McDougal Professor of International Law at the Yale Law School. That quote is from an essay in The Virginia Journal of International Law featured in Jordan J. Paust’s "The Human Right To Revolution" in Human Rights in the World Community. Jordan J. Paust is the University of Houston Law Foundation Professor of Law and the Director of the International Law Institute.

Well, Nestor Makhno has a different set of credentials. He experienced human indignity in Ukraine and sought dignity because he was on his last appeal when he fought the bolsheviks and the pretenders to the state, the old guard (white russians) for the sake of the Ukrainian Free Territory and he wrote in "A Few Words on the National Question in the Ukraine" from The Struggle Against the State and Other Essays that, “Ukrainian life is filled with all sorts of possibilities, especially the potential for a mass revolutionary movement. Anarchists have a great chance of influencing that movement, indeed becoming its mentors, provided only that they appreciate the diversity of real life and espouse a position to wage a single-minded, direct and declared fight against those forces hostile to the toilers which might have ensconced themselves there. That is a task that cannot be accomplished without a large and powerful Ukrainian anarchist organization. It is for Ukrainian anarchists to give that some serious thought, starting now.”


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