Tuesday, March 11, 2014

For Ukraine, What's Wrong With Independence?

Ukraine is not so much a nation as a place with a highly fissile population of Ukrainians, a slavic people speaking a Russian dialect called Ukrainian, Russians speaking Russian, Greeks speaking Greek, Hungarians speaking Hungarian, plus a smattering of many others including Poles, Lithuanians, Tartars and Jews.
Subject for hundreds of years to imperial domination by Russia, Poland, Lithuania or Austria, Ukraine became an independent country in 1992 as an accidental consequence of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Twenty-two years later, Ukrainians apparently have had enough of dictating their own future, and cannot wait to be assimilated by the globalist US/EU/Nato empire, or reabsorbed by the Russians.
The urge to submerge, is driven in part by the desire to rid the country of the corrupt post imperial regime that has kept most Ukrainians in Soviet era poverty, and in part, by the desire to punish the Russians, in the case of those advocating for Ukrainian merger with the West, or to obtain revenge on, and protection from, the stupid Ukrainian bullies now in control of the political machinery in Kiev, in the case of those voting for Union with Russia.
Neither side, apparently gives a damn about democracy except as a term of abuse. But they should. What would serve the interests of Ukrainians best would be a political confederation with highly a devolved form of government, which would respect language rights and cultural traditions of all minorities. That would be truly democratic.
In addition, the Federal authority must be stripped of foreign-controlled puppets such as Arse Yatsenyuk, and freed from manipulation by oligarchs who grabbed state assets at nominal cost following independence. For the puppets and corruptionists, all that's needed is a jail. For the oligarchs, there should be a choice: jail or acceptance of a graduated capital tax, rising from 1% per year on assets exceeding $1 million, to 5% on assets exceeding $100 million. The capital tax would fund significant tax cuts for ordinary Ukrainians and force the redistribution of assets to facilitate the emergence of a competitive free market economy.
In relation to East and West, Ukraine should, as Henry Kissinger argues, serve as a bridge. This it can do simply by trading with both, but without giving up its national sovereignty, which it will use to provide home industries with tariff protection during a period of transition to free trade.

See also:

Canspeccy: Look, No Teleprompter Vladimir Putin Talks To Reporters About Ukraine

Canspeccy: Amerika’s Brown Shirt Friends in Ukraine

Canspeccy: Three Links: Lose-Lose Conflict in Ukraine

Canspeccy: Ukraine Provocation

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