Comments on: In Ukraine, a choice of civilizations http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/2013/10/16/in-ukraine-a-choice-of-civilizations/ Wed, 13 Apr 2016 01:13:45 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: ViatcheslavISo http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/2013/10/16/in-ukraine-a-choice-of-civilizations/#comment-2053 Mon, 21 Oct 2013 07:55:38 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/?p=1081#comment-2053 The direction for Ukraine does not have to be portrayed in very stark choice of zero sum game outcome. Ukrainians are perfectly able to select between two carrots dangled in front of them. The EU can assist Ukrainians in democratic institutions development, infrastructure, reduction of corruption, dynamic economy by moving away from oligarchs dominated arrangement and eventually full membership status without depriving the population of Eastern European, Russian orthodox and Catholics living in that country sense of cultural identity heritage preservation. The fact is that an overwhelming majority of Russians, Ukrainians are either atheists, agnostic or superficially religious. People care about the ability to hire and fire politicians by voting, economy growth, employment prospects, inflation, freedom to travel, education, healthcare, standards of living much more than “traditional legacy, the courtesy of corrupt Orthodox Church and kremlin definition of it to invoke and exploit for control. Unique national attributes can be perfectly preserved intact because culture and traditions are not incompatible in that society with the EU which is already very diverse in cultures existing at national levels. This is why it appears very puzzling to perceive any reorientation away from Russian influence and legacy as the abandonment of heritage results in consequences. Have there been any calls to abolish Ukrainian or Russian languages or prohibit religious practices as the condition of the EU acceptance? No! There you go about Western imperialism. Cultures are the choice to keep or modify as the population see it fit for themselves. No theological dogma based on religion has the right to proclaim arrogantly that the sense of identity belongs to such institutions blindly and unconditionally. It is a self serving agenda to distort culture and religious practices as if by “God” bestowed privilege kind of brain washing monopoly, never dare to question propagation of mentality. Totally incompatible with self determination and liberty concepts. Does Russian orthodox church have the right to equate that institution with an absolute mind control to preserve Ukrainians sense of who they are while kremlin nobilities are laughing at peasants foolishness hysterically? Religion is not synonymous with culture, merely influenced its development in the past by shaping some attributes.

Having said that, Ukrainians do need to be cognizant about the damage to economic and political ties with Russians who are absolutely towering in trade relations relatively to the EU exports from that country. Do Western Europeans genuinely wish to develop Ukraine and into the EU integrate or merely use as the proxy to use for foreign policy new card acquisition in order to “influence” Russians while treating Ukrainians in the same manner as Turkey that has been disillusioned for over a decade and now develops remarkably well in GDP better than any EU member country without obsessing about EU admission.

Russian federation definitely has the stick in addition to carrots and are willing to exercise the hand while bashing Ukraine with the club. That is how they are! No secret about it. Maneuvering for geopolitical influence has always been dirty business. The irony tends to be that had Russians developed an attractive government model to replicate and tackled awful corruption domestically, then Ukrainians would have naturally gravitated toward it. Right now unlike RU as dysfunctional as Ukraine has been politically, the system is very different from Russia because it is no longer revolving around any dominant, tsar kind of leader at the helm. Good tsar, bad tsar hardly inspires the desire to be at the mercy of such partner, neighbor. So the Ukrainians are probably inclined to “flee” from RU sphere of dominance in spite of real risks to endure the wrath of Kremlin, imposing heavy hit on their economy. Should it occur then Ukrainians will look as victimized for practicing sovereign state affairs and Russians as the bullies, harboring delusional propensity to cling toward rotten Soviet Union legacy of imperial boundaries restoration without the existence of an attractive domestic government model in operation to serve as anchor of a stable large ship, free of tyrannical tendencies remnants which could have drawn smaller boats to revolve around it without fears of subordination, degenerating to servitude kind of model integration risk. The EU model absolutely does offer a genuine model of self determination (assuming Ukraine can ever get there). For Russians Ukrainians are brothers in blood and vassals, must be subordinated to kremlin, historical legacy preservation mentality alive and well. How can Ukrainians be expected to cling to RU? Look up the numbers for statistics about under 40s urban dwellers that wish to leave RU by immigrating to the EU or North America.

PS The language is an ultimate mechanism for transmitting any culture. As long as Ukrainians choose to keep it, their vibrant culture remains, obscuring the issue by framing the EU-RU geopolitical maneuvers as an epic struggle between traditional Russian sense of identity preservation that is supposed to be defined by Moscow domination or else Ukrainians become robbed of who those people are as individuals is flimsy and unconvincing intellectually. The author of that article had his BS published and here is mine alternative.-:)

]]>
By: pyanitsa http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/2013/10/16/in-ukraine-a-choice-of-civilizations/#comment-2051 Sun, 20 Oct 2013 18:09:07 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/?p=1081#comment-2051 Clash of civilizations? Hardly! The author conveniently forgets Russia’s long interest in and assimilation of all things Western, starting with Peter the Great in the 17th century. If he bothered to read a few Russian newspapers the author would find that a fourth of the words are derived from German, French and English. It should also be pointed out that Huntington, regardless of his old academic position as a sacred cow in the Harvard School of Government, has been ” accused of misusing mathematics and engaging in pseudo-science, as well as distorting the historical record…. a type of language which gives the illusion of science without any of its substance.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_P._H untington

To use a Harvard don’s shaky theories to give Yanukovych a false “civilizational” choice is a fanciful flight of xenophobia likely stemming from the general disdain Anglo-American writers have for all other social mores except their own which they like to call “Western Civilization”. The French might have a mot or two about that.

]]>
By: pyanitsa http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/2013/10/16/in-ukraine-a-choice-of-civilizations/#comment-2052 Sun, 20 Oct 2013 18:09:07 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/?p=1081#comment-2052 Clash of civilizations? Hardly! The author conveniently forgets Russia’s long interest in and assimilation of all things Western, starting with Peter the Great in the 17th century. If he bothered to read a few Russian newspapers the author would find that a fourth of the words are derived from German, French and English. It should also be pointed out that Huntington, regardless of his old academic position as a sacred cow in the Harvard School of Government, has been ” accused of misusing mathematics and engaging in pseudo-science, as well as distorting the historical record…. a type of language which gives the illusion of science without any of its substance.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_P._H untington

To use a Harvard don’s shaky theories to give Yanukovych a false “civilizational” choice is a fanciful flight of xenophobia likely stemming from the general disdain Anglo-American writers have for all other social mores except their own which they like to call “Western Civilization”. The French might have a mot or two about that.

]]>
By: OUTPOST2012.NET http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/2013/10/16/in-ukraine-a-choice-of-civilizations/#comment-2048 Sat, 19 Oct 2013 09:09:42 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/?p=1081#comment-2048 There are many Russian comments here (including my own,) because while talking about Ukraine, the author’s agenda is Russia.

Again, the majority of Russians and the Russian elites don’t have long-term interests in Ukraine and not particularly involved with the discussion.

Any comments about Russia and our future I read here – are simply preposterous.

]]>
By: 2Borknot2B http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/2013/10/16/in-ukraine-a-choice-of-civilizations/#comment-2046 Sat, 19 Oct 2013 00:15:37 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/?p=1081#comment-2046 The future may just surprise us all.

]]>
By: Wantunbiasednew http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/2013/10/16/in-ukraine-a-choice-of-civilizations/#comment-2045 Fri, 18 Oct 2013 19:20:10 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/?p=1081#comment-2045 Many Russian commenters here. The choice of Ukraine: UE or Russia, only at first glance is anything like a choice.
The problem is that Russia in long term, I mean more than 10 years perspective has nothing to offer Ukraine. At present we still perceive Soviet Union legacy dependence of Ukrainian economy on imported Russian natural gas and reliance of Ukrainian industry on Russian markets. But it gradually changes.
A few words about Russia. Largest mineral deposits of hydrocarbons plus nearly anything you can spot on Mendeleyev table plus a lot of fertile soils. Labour force with skills surpassed by noboby bar a few developed nations. And why Russia is not the richest and most developed country on Earth ? Why life expectancy at birth is on Bangladesh and Nepal level of 69-70 years ?
The answer is simple: Russia is authoritharian some would say even totalitarian military oligarchy. And nothing will change in about 100 years, poor perspective, isn’t it ?
And because there are 140 million Russians there is not enough hydrocarbons in comparison to number of citizens to flood everybody with money and free public goods like in Quatar, Kuwait or Saudi Arabia.
But there are enough hydrocarbons for at least 100 years to finance 10 million people privileged caste (police, army, generally federal and local government etc.) that prevents the rest from gaininig of any civil liberties. And because developing world is really hungry for hydrocarbons its prices will only increase, sorry guys.
In fact there is nothing more to say. Russia is not going to take care of own citizens, never did (I do not known well Russian history before 1750 so a little disclaimer here), why would you expect to take care of Ukrainians ?

]]>
By: Tyshkevich http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/2013/10/16/in-ukraine-a-choice-of-civilizations/#comment-2044 Fri, 18 Oct 2013 16:44:56 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/?p=1081#comment-2044 I tend to believe that the only meaningful reason explaining Ukraine’s current move toward association with Europe is Yanukovich’s desire to legitimize himself in Ukraine, or at the very least buy a place in safe heaven. Since his regime is genuinely hated in Ukraine, he believes this “achievement” may help at the presidential elections in 2015. However, chances are he is going to be defeated in a bitterly contested fight. He and his chums need a safe place to enjoy their ill-gotten riches, and the West is a far better place to do so than Russia, just ask Rinat Akhmetov who happily buys mining companies in USA, regardless of his past (van Zon, Hans; The Rise of Conglomerates in Ukraine: The Donetsk Case. New York: Taylor & Francis. p. 387. ISBN 978-0-415-41268-1).

]]>
By: behave http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/2013/10/16/in-ukraine-a-choice-of-civilizations/#comment-2043 Fri, 18 Oct 2013 08:11:47 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/?p=1081#comment-2043 “It will force Ukraine’s economy to modernize — rapidly —”
“It will force a deep reconstruction of education”

I would never bet on this horse. The history proved many times that it does not work (even in case of Eastern Germany where people still vote for red or by feet).

@bluepanther: Latvia received 3 billion emergency help from the EU with its population of 2Mio. Hungary got 4 billion. Austrian banks invested a lot in Eastern Europe, so the risk is all theirs.

]]>
By: 74LS08 http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/2013/10/16/in-ukraine-a-choice-of-civilizations/#comment-2042 Fri, 18 Oct 2013 07:38:38 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/?p=1081#comment-2042 Analysis in the comments are actually more interesting than an article itself.
Somebody should mention how many times Ukrainian borders have been redrawn just in the last 100 years…

]]>
By: chyron http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/2013/10/16/in-ukraine-a-choice-of-civilizations/#comment-2040 Thu, 17 Oct 2013 17:14:58 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/?p=1081#comment-2040 @bluepanther
In 1917 in old Empire there were almighty elites too…two years later most of ’em were either dead or paupers in west.
So don’t overestimate importance of “elites”.

]]>