2 – Ukraine. “PROJECT UKRAINE”
The independence of the state of Ukraine became reality thanks to mutual efforts of post-Soviet communist nomenclature, which first in a low voice, than louder and louder declared its exclusive demands on the “Ukrainian region”, and to conservative or traditional Ukrainian patriots.
The references to the referendum and its results became one of the present independence banalities. But remembering the methods of counting the votes, which were the same almost everywhere, let us think: what were we really voting for? Nearly everyone voted. But, as it always happens during the revolution, not for what they wanted and what obtained.
One traditionally voted for hyperpopulistic slogans like “Nomenclature, get away from the trough!”, having no positive project except ideology of Bulgakov’s Sharikov, the simplest maxima of which sounds: “Divide everything!”.Well, it was one more attempt to implement “Paradise on the Earth”, but not in the frames of failed USSR project, though in the modest frames of the “territory of Ukraine”.
The others were voting for the same, but in a more archaic or conservative form of “Paradise on the separate land named Ukraine”, where, according to the Deutsches Bank predictions, flourishing had to start at once. In this case they voted for one more utopia suggesting that the paradise on the earth and still during their lives could be achieved by simple voting, without any work or blood.
At the same time a modern “imaginary community” (according to Benedict Andersson) was not formed in Ukraine. Different groups and region did not manage to find a single consolidative and completely acceptable subject.
- “Gosudarstvo ”Ukraine”
Having intercepted national slogans from “patriots” and “democrats” the nomenclature keeps the real power in Ukraine. By this action it got time-out for regrouping forces, transferring capitals, privatization of former state property. It holds the whole economy. There are few of the “old cadres” in the state power structures, mostly they moved to business. But they are difficult to separate: they still remain all of a piece. Administration itself serves as a link, simultaneously controlling everything in the so-called privatized economy sector.
Mostly in some Western Ukrainian regions infantile and weakly developed democratic power was adopted for a short transitional period, which more or less was similar to the absence of power. It was ruled by Ukrainian conservative patriots.
During the first years of independence Kyiv avoided the interference to the regional matters. The main struggle by that time was for the capital and, correspondingly, for the whole state. But after structuring of power, concentration of main capitals and marginalization of regional elites it came to the loss of power by Ukrainian conservative patriots even in Western Ukraine.
- Nearly the whole power nowadays is controlled by state administration directly from Kyiv. It could be eventually considered as a kind of benefit because the situation could be much worse if the authority did not have any over the situation at all, as it recently was in Albania, what caused complete destruction of the society and state in this country.
- The question is how much power has to be delegated to the centre, to the regions and to each branch of power?
- Can the usurpation of the whole plenitude of power by one of its branches, e.g. presidential, lead to autoritarism, or can it be harmful in this case for that very branch and for the state in general? Cannot this power centralization cause amplifying of regionalistic or separatistic tendencies in regions?
Kyiv is not the lonely problem. Usually the capital acts in methodic and pragmatic way, exclusively to its favour. “National patriots” themselves could not manage to hold the power. From the very beginning of the state appearance a silent war began between dissident-patriotic and dissident-democratic wings of a formerly single opposition movement.
Appealing to the urgent needs of maintaining the state in any possible form the dissident-democratic wing, which made emphasis on human rights and general norms of democracy, was removed from the political arena. “National patriots” were ready not only to sacrifice democracy, but started to collaborate with nomenclature. It caused their complete degeneration and, finally, loss of power, in which they started to play mostly decorative role.
Criminalization of almost all spheres of life, material especially, became a general phenomenon on all post-Soviet space. It was a mutual creation of nomenclature, which managed to organize unprecedent and out-of-control distribution of all-national property, and of traditional criminals, used as an instrument by nomenclature. It also declared its own rights for the property redistribution. Pauperization of vast layers of society, left without its part of property, passively supported this process. Certificate privatization became the form of ransom for the people and deprived them of the formal ground for demanding their share during the redistribution of the so-called all-national property. That is why poverized population transformed into the field for recruiting more and more members of the society to the criminal circles.
Reduced control of the state property, especially in traditionally profitable spheres, led to its mass misappropriation all over the post-Soviet space. As a result, we have the situation in Ukraine when nearly “two dozen families (clans) got hold of 4/5 of the so-called all-national property, leaving the rest only 1/5 of that property just for the personal survival fight”. And there is no guarantee, that even this property would not be redistributed again in favour of those two dozen clans. It is a mistake to consider that certificate privatization did not pay its way and brought no results. Vice versa, for the majority of Ukrainian population, who allegedly became “owners”, it deprived of the desire to participate in such actions. In fact, those people practically gave their property certificates for free. The population was paid ransom obtaining nothing, and the time came to distribute the rest undistributed. These were the most attractive branches, e.g. energetics.
But in that fuss of nomenclature robbing the whole branches of Ukrainian economy were destroyed or sold for free. What can be said about cannibalising for ephemeral debts or in fact destroying Black Sea Shipping Company? Hi-tech branches, including military industries no longer exist. It caused practical deindustrialization of the country.
- “Deintellectualization” of Ukraine is directly connected with that process. While the great part of industry was stopped and after decade of robbing and physical and moral destroying it can not be restored no more, engineers and technical staff were either disqualificated or sattled on the wide-spread bazaars. The same happened to the science deprived of finances and orders. Young and perspective scientists have found their job places abroad long time ago.
- Moreover, some friendly states and strategic partners purposefully wash out remaining Ukrainian intellectual potential through different aid and immigration programs (supposedly as a special aid ). There are certainly some achievements, but mostly in humanitarian sphere. In fundamental researches and new technologies Ukraine belongs neither to the number of countries which develop and hold hi-tech, nor to those, which simply introduce them receiving from highly developed states. Ukraine rather belongs to the group of countries which are outside technological progress.
- Social instability causes negative demographic processes. Weakness or simply absence of social support system even on the former Soviet level led to the rapid decrease of life expectancy, birth rate and to mass migration of population. Mostly economic factors were the main reasons for migration, as well as impossibility of self-realization in Ukraine. Some migration flows have distinctive ethnic colours (e.g. Jewish from Ukraine or Crimean Tatars to Crimea), but it is not a result of any xenophobia in the country. The fact that almost 400,000 women of reproductive age left Ukraine looking for their fate somewhere abroad became a frightening summary of the last decade. Depopulation became reality in Ukraine. According to different evaluations the population in Ukraine decreased for at least two million inhabitants.
- In parallel direction, following some inertia (even unnoticed) the process of sovietization goes on, expressed in endless reproduction of homo sovieticus. The process of destroying the Ukrainian and other languages including Russian is clearly seen. We can not only find new terms for description of new spheres of human life (new technologies, new phenomena), – we even manage to loose our incorporation to the old world described in Ukrainian terms.
Right after independence in Ukraine there was no stratification of different kinds of elites. The structure of old soviet economy did not allow to form elite groups and boundaries inside them and among them according to the territorial principle. The industrial principle of elite formation and extra-territorial links among them were rather referred to.
That is why the severe fight on the regional level started just after socialist economics and corresponding super-national boundaries failed. Kyiv was too far and too weak at that time. Several territorial clans appeared – in Dnipropetrovsk, Donbass, Kharkiv, Odessa. Some regions did not manage to create their own clan groups. But this process is finished by now. Some bigger groups remained, but Kyiv controls the situation in general, being occupied by Dnipropetrovsk clan and old Kyivan nomenclature. Today we can talk about certain consolidation of clans and oligarchs under the President’s protectorate. Certainly, it does not exclude permanent conflicts between them for more or less close approach to the President and his administration in general.
The links between administration, bureaucracy and the so-called free business is a very essential moment of elite formation process. But in reality almost each businessman depends firmly on power. The most powerful oligarchs can lose their property with the interference of suppressive mechanism of administration. And P.Lazarenko is not the only example of this dependence. Nearly each more or less attractive and effective enterprise which has no patron in state structures could be repressed by administration. In this way the property and industrial potential are redistributed and further monopolized. Absolutely prospectless model of state capitalism is formed in the country, based on the administrative resource and powerfully inforced monopoly.
Evaluating the oligarchy role in an extremely differentiated Ukrainian society, it can be said, that on this stage it became an effective slow-down mechanism for free-market relations and civil society development in Ukraine and, in general, is dangerous for the state existence. It is an extremely reactionary group which causes slow but constant crawling of Ukrainian society to the state capitalism in conditions of complete economy monopolization. That is why we can name those few oligarchs who are close to the highest power stagnarchs, and the form of their ruling stagnarchy.
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