Friday, December 14, 2007

What Should've Happened in 2005, Among the Gizzillions of Other Missed Opportunities

From RFE/RL newsline:
The December 11 "events in the Verkhovna Rada revealed the obvious lack of viability of a [BYUT/NUNS] coalition of 227 lawmakers," Yanukovych said. "Society should receive an answer to the question of whether a coalition of 227 is capable of taking responsibility for the country," he continued. "Either they take responsibility and realize their promises to voters...or they must admit that a coalition of 227 cannot work," he added.
Yanukovych shouldn't even be in politics in Ukraine anymore; he should have been permanently lustrated from politics by presidential decree on Jan. 24, 2005, the day after Yushchenko's inauguration.

Bandits will go to jail? It was all election-campaign BULLSHIT!

PS--For those concerned about so-called "democracy" in Ukraine--i.e., who would have considered such a decree to be grossly undemocratic--such a matter could have been brought up for consideration in the courts. That is, its legality could have been debated in court. Oh, but wait--the high courts needed to be screened and lustrated, too. Hmm. The revolutionary judgment of the multitude of Ukrainians (who stood in the streets and demanded not just a new election but a process of lustration/social justice) could have provided the legitimacy for the move. The majority of Ukrainians agreed at the time: Bandits should go to jail (i.e., be made accountable in some way).

Instead, the most corrupt players in Ukrainian politics (and top-level organizers of the fraud) either were allowed to escape prosecution and/or still sit in parliament; and many are reinstated in their former positions of power, in and out of parliament. There was a political will that was utterly squandered. In his constant hammering of this point, I really do appreciate Taras Kuzio's writing. And I noticed just before adding this post-script that he has written a similarly-minded piece here.

Such a process of lustration (social justice) would have gone far in consolidating the grassroots unity that emerged in the course of the OR. Ukraine, I do believe, would have become a much more united country than it has become, or remained, had the Yushchenko government moved forward in any of its election-campaign promises to be tough on "bandits." It also would have potentially led to a much stronger pro-democracy/anti-corruption camp in the parliament. That potential was also squandered. The yearly anniversary of the OR is becoming for me in part a pokhoron for what was squandered.

It is to my mind ridiculous that Yanukovych is in a place of power and is able to pull such shenanigans at the very time of the third annivesary of the OR! This for me is the ultimate symbol of the utter failure that is Yushchenko!!

No perfect society or political system would have come of a post-OR period of lustration/social justice, but would it not have been a far more superior start down the road of a so-called democracy than what one witnesses in Ukraine now?

But of course what the last few years since the OR have demonstrated is that Ukraine lacks the necessary number of politicians of high enough caliber in the highest offices of power to have pulled any of this off. The OR was a farcical tragedy (to reverse the Marxo-Hegelian observation I once made; for it was a farce from the start) organized on the highest levels, mostly by opportunists who connived to manipulate people's power, all with huge levels of foreign assistance. The tragedy of the OR of course is that so many people--myself included!-- were led to believe that something beyond an elite-power play was intended by those they championed into power.

But one will say: but the Ukrainian people discovered their power and rediscovered that their voice counts (i.e., for the liberal detractors of what I have written, this means that it is their vote that mostly counts as political power)! Oh really? In the era of virtual politics and manufactured (i.e., purchased and/or coerced) consensus, what a triumph!

The best way for that supposedly rediscovered, politically and socially constituent power by the Ukrainian multitude to be tested is not solely nor primarily at the polls but in the ability of people to organize locally. It is back to the grassroots again in Ukraine! That is, in the villages/countryside, how about people getting organized to fight for better prices at local beet and dairy and wheat processing plants? What about organizing among miners for better working conditions? What about working to channel all that rage into something productive and sustainable? What about trying to rebuild an umbrella organization for grassroots organizing for real change, devoid of the delusions of the OR period of activism (admittedly, this is a notion that needs to be spelled out more fully--PORA was great on activist method, but too vague when it came to an ideology of what should replace Kuchmism; and I found that PORA! activists, taken as a group, promoted very contradictory notions: many spoke of social justice and social programs on the one hand and of radical development of a free market/neoliberalization on the other, all in one radical and contradictory swoop. . .)? Etc.

Foreign interventionists could help fund such efforts, instead of focusing solely on election campaigns and instruction in the techniques of manipulating people's power (with the purpose of orchestrating a "soft-power coup" in order to usher in a pro-Western, but still elitist and decidedly non-populist, government)!