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Thursday, December 02, 2004

 

le sabot post-moderne


discoshaman's journal of the "orange revolution" has been enlightening and engrossing all along. he himself (an once-american ukrainian) is a pro-western liberalizer in search of the individualism and democracy of western europe -- a thoughtful orange, in the ukrainian context. much of the orange movement may consist of other, less idealistic people; many must oppose the manipulation of nascent democratic institutions by yanukovich and the pro-russian oligarchs to attempt to steal the recent election from the pro-western yushchenko.

yushchenko isn't perfect, and isn't the orange movement, as discoshaman knows:

You also have to remember that Yushchenko isn't the democracy movement, and the movement isn't Yushchenko. The protesters have been docile so far, but Yushchenko doesn't have carte blanche in negotiating. They could choose to take unilateral action.
so the potential for great disappointment, even in a yushchenko victory, exists.

and it is worrisome always when a mob grows so large. it must be said that, on this point, simon jenkins of the times is absolutely right. the history of mobs (for, leaving aside the distorting negative connotation, that what the masses assembled in kiev are) is one of swift and unpredictable changes in mood, quick factionalization and a willingness to suspend disbelief in favor of extremism. this is a well-studied topic with a long history.

violence could come at any time (even if it ultimately doesn't), and not as the result of a rational response to anything. we humans are, in the end, animals who herd and sometimes stampede.

i have repeated it often, and will again: my wish for the ukrainian people is that they should keep their head and wits about them in this very fluid time. a loss of their heretofore extremely civil character would provide the pretext for suppression that their enemies likely desire.


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