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Skepticism > Political Skeptic > Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization > Color revolutions

News Color revolutions Recommended Links Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Neoconservatism as a stage of development of Neoliberalism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism
The Far Right Forces in Ukraine Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine Ukraine's oligarchs Galicia -- Ukrainian Benghazi, Lvov declares autonomy from Ukraine on February 19 Russian Ukrainian Gas wars Ukrainian orange revolution
Events of November 30 and aftermath SBU raid on Kiev Batkivshchina office Revolt of diplomats Nulandgate EU-brokered agreement on ending crisis To whom EuroMaidan Sharp-shooters belong?
Forming Provisional government Accession of Crimea to Russia Odessa Massacre of May 2, 2014  Mariupol, May 9 events Presidential Elections of May 25. 2014 Poroshenko presidency
Compradors Fifth column NGOs as braintrust of color revolutions Resurgence of ideology of neo-fascism Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair
Delegitimization of Ruling Party Neoliberal Propaganda Opposition as a way to get rid of feeling of inferiority Human right activists or globalism fifth column Exploiting "Revolutionary Romantics" as polit-technology The art of manufacturing of prisoners of consciousness
Two Party System as polyarchy The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Fighting Russophobia Foreign Agents Registration Act Russian Fifth column Humor Etc

NOTE: Due to size EuroMaidan101 was moved to a separate page.

  1. Sometimes events can be understood better by humorists:
    1. (in German)
    2. Пародія на Тягнибока (Ukranian)
    3. Вечерний квартал. Заседание Львовского облсовета (Ukranian)
  2. Politics - it's not just a battle of ideas, it still involve physical fighting of the forces behind these ideas. And if particular party members are willing to fight to the death for the cause, they make even small party a huge factor of political life. In this sense Ukrainian nationalists are definitely the most powerful political force in Ukrainian political landscape. And they are the major proponents, central driving force of the idea of Ukrainian unitary state. They are adamantly against federalization of Ukraine. And I think only federalization of Ukraine can break their grip without splitting the country in two.
  3. It is bad the Yanukovich behaved like a "despicable coward". But it is important to understand that this happened the second time: first time he folded during Orange Revolution, despite winning elections. This character along with his dependence on West where members of his family stashed money from they shady business deals made him an easy victim of coup. Although I don't understand the reasoning of those forces who financed the coup: IMHO he was just another neoliberal dictator not that different from Yushchenko. Timoshenko, Klichko or Turchinov and definitely less divisive. In any case politically he was a ripe fruit to pick up. Western support and of nationalists just speeded up his fall as he lost any real power base what forced to rely only on inertia and the support of a part of Donetsky clan of oligarchs. And he fell as soon as he lost support of "Donetsky" oligarchs, which decided to sacrifice this pawn and forced him to sign a suicidal agreement with EU ambassadors. The real coup d'état followed shortly and he is now on a run (see an interesting analysis from opposition controlled Економічна правда Опозиція пиляє портфелі. Регіони готуються отримати своє)
  4. If we compare economic statistics Yanukovich regime was not worse and might have been even slightly better neoliberal (aka oligarchic) regime then previous regime of Timoshenko-Yushchenko (Orange Revolution installed tandem), which it replaced. To me Prime Minister Azarov looked like a competent technocrat.

    At the same time opposition despite its victory is not an all-Ukrainian force, but a regional force politically by-and-large representing three or four Western oblast of Ukraine and (outside oligarchs who sides with this coup d'état such as Igor Kolomoisky) having rather insignificant representation in East and South of Ukraine. Actually Party of Regions does not represent those provinces too. That makes Eastern regions more like a colonial part of Ukraine under the rule of Western Ukrainian nationalists and Eastern Ukraine oligarchs

    And the power of Yulia Timoshenko Batkivshchina Party which probably mostly represents the moderate wing of nationalists is strengthened by the fact that most population does not consider the Party of Region representing their interests iether. Again, politically East and South of Ukraine have semi-colonial status and they do not have any real political representation in Parliament. Only oligarchs and nationalists are two political forces well represented.

  5. There were at least four different social groups within Ukrainian populace that participated in Maidan (with first two representing major parts of population and standing on the different sides of barricades):
  6. There are very strong neoliberal groups in Ukraine. That make an overthrow of government "a cake walk". In this sense Ukraine is very similar to other post-Soviet republics including Russia:

    And of course there is a large politically ambivalent part of the country who can't decide or don't care which way the country should move -- to EU or to Russia. They just want stability and are against any abrupt changes.

    So any description of EuroMaidan probably would suffer from "confirmation basis" depending which of three forces is closer to the author heart. An this page in no exception.

  7. But without any doubt the driving force of EuroMaidan were and still are ultra-nationalists, mainly from Western Ukraine. Like Bolsheviks in the past they consists of "above the ground" and "underground" wings. Underground wing is represented by several paramilitary organizations. Legal "above the ground" wing is represented by Svoboda Party and some elements within Udar (Klitchko pro-German party) and Batkivshchina (former Yulia Timoshenko party now headed by Yatsenuyk).

    This role of ultra-nationalists as pro-EU Party is pretty unique as this is probably the only case when European nationalists are the driving force behind EU integration efforts. At the same the current conditions of Association Agreement are appalling is we take into account economic interests of the country: they are one way street concessions -- EU imposes strict conditions on Ukraine but it opens neither labor market nor regular goods market to Ukrainians in return.

    So it looks like Azarov government also consisted completely of pro-West fifth column as in retrospect it is clear that only traitors of their own country can negotiate such an unfavorable conditions (aka "sell the country"). The same is true for Yanukovich who the first three year of his Presidency was the "Euro integrator in chief" and squashed any dissent in Party of Region as to eurointegration benefits. So abrupt 180 degree turn by Yanukovich definitely destabilized the political situation ion the country and Yanukovich is 100% guilty of this. Russian pressure here was only secondary factor and any same politicians should take into account the reaction of the major trading partner in advance. But it looks like Yanukovich never ever even read the agreement (which was prepared in English) and got translation from Russians when Putin's government realized the damage it will make to Russia-Ukraine economic ties. But this level of incompetence is beyond any imagination so real reasons for abrupt turn are still the mystery.

  8. The most interesting part of EuroMaidan history is that those EU association negotiation were the direct product of Yanukovich own policy (along with strong foreign meddling -- Ukraine is saturated with various NGOs). And Yanukovich government does suffer from widespread and mostly legitimate anger as representatives of neoliberals. It was (like all previous Ukrainian neoliberal regimes starting from Kravchuk's disastrous rule), the typical "regime of fat cats". Yanukovich himself was preoccupied with the idea of self enrichment and during those three years his son became a prominent Ukrainian oligarch.
  9. Economically Ukraine is de-facto bankrupt. It's another Greece. So the Putin's loan was a life-saver for the country which was really close (two months or so) to defaulting on its obligations. And default might well be a part of EU plan (disaster capitalism). In no way EU was ready to offer Ukraine something like Marshall plan which would put the country back on strong footing. All the EU offered within its association agreement was 600 Million euros. And that was a really shortsighted position: they just wanted to buy Ukraine cheap and got a kick in a chin from Putin for their greed, who sensed an opening and used it. But in the current economic situation EU just want Ukrainian market (represented for them by top 20% of population or so) and nothing else. No social obligation or some viable economic program. Lower 80% of the Ukranian population can go to hell.

    The tragedy of Ukrainian situation while the Yanukovich regime is bad, partially criminal (as was previous regime of Yushchenko) and (as any neoliberal regime) is legitimately hated by large swats of population, the next regime probably will be worse. Especially if it come after civil war. Yanukovich definitely proved to be unapt: when Medvedev calls you a 'doormat' you know you're a loser.

    But generally nationalists are less competent then technocratic elite which Yanukovich regime partially represented. Azarov actually produced an impression of a competent prime minister who operated in a very difficult, desperate economic circumstances but still managed to make the crisis less pronounced (although his SNAFU with EU association agreement is unexplainable). You need to listen to couple of his interviews and debates with opposition (for example, owner of 5th TV channel, chocolate magnate Poroshenko) to understand his. His replacement can well be much worse.

    While the conclusion of those who are following what is happening in Ukraine is that the West has won the proxy war with Russia, it seems the time has come to analyze what they really ended up winning...

  10. Unravelling a country is much easier than stitching it together again to make a coherent whole. In this sense it looks like the US & EU overplayed their hand - instead of gently easing Mr Yanukovych aside or to irrelevancy, they're now in danger of fomenting deep split between the Russian speaking & ethnic Russian South East with the Nationalists of Ukrainian speaking west. Far from the idea of gaining US & NATO bases in a prosperous (whole) Ukraine (that the US & EU banks could plunder at leisure), they'll inherit a wasteland & potentially another source of mass migration. And so far they got some really undesirable externalities (for example, Ukrainian Jews are scared of pogroms.) Where is the outrage from Nuland? OK her religion is Trotskyism rather than Judaism. But still.
  11. The role of Western NGO in current protest is tremendous and was never covered in Western press. This role alone qualify current protest as an another instance of foreign sponsored neoliberal "color revolution", although there are elements that are close to Arab spring scenario of violent uprising replaying in some form Syria events (including the reuse of materials prepared by Western NGO for Arab population; that made them a source of constant jokes in Russian press). For its role in the "revolution" the US embassy is commonly called in Russian press "Washington obcom" (obcom is the abbreviation of the Regional Communist Party Committee - governing body of Communist Party in provinces of the USSR). And as the embassy was an important party in negotiation of the withdrawal of armed rebels (aka "peaceful protesters") from captured by them Ministry of Justine. "Nulandgate" is another example of Washington Obcom in action. See Leaked audio reveals embarrassing U.S. exchange on Ukraine, EU Reuters
  12. My attitude to the USA meddling in Ukrainian affairs is by-and-large negative from purely philosophical standpoint. It is self-evident that, if there is one dominant center of power and authority "preponderant and unchallenged" as Niebuhr put it, such a sole superpower will certainly violate basic standards of justice as by its mere existence it defeats international system of check and balances. See also The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity US ‘Elephant in the Room’ at Russia-EU Summit

    We should probably view color revolutions as a new type of warfare which was developed mainly by USA and GB. In essence it is a scheme of replacing the government in the country with neoliberal regime friendly to Western interests (neocolonialism) instead of occupying it with foreign troops as with regular colonialism. The key instrument is "bombing country with dollars" -- large scale support of fifth column (aka "emerging civil society") and subservient fed by grant "independent press". Those elements proved to be very effective tools for implementing neoliberal, globalist coup d'état against many weak post Soviet national state (which BTW can be a neoliberal one, like Yanukovich government was -- it is a typical crony capitalism government; for some reason somebody decided that it's not enough pro-Western). The key goal is always opening markets for Western transnational corporations and banks.

  13. The idea of color revolution is conceptually similar to neo-Trotskyism notion of Permanent Revolution, especially "Deflected Permanent Revolution" ideas in which the critical factor in revolution became intelligencia (aka "creative class" and first of all students) which with powerful external support can depose the government in the capital first and then extent this coupe d'état to provinces. So at the initial stage the critical mass of protesters is required only the capital:

    The importance of the intelligentsia in a revolutionary movement is in direct proportion to the general backwardness-economic, social and cultural-of the masses from whose midst it arises.

    ... ... ...

    The revolutionary intelligentsia has proved itself a much more cohesive factor in the emergent nations of today than in Tsarist Russia. ...As the only non-specialized section of society, the intelligentsia is the obvious source of a “professional revolutionary elite” which appears to represent the interests of the “nation” as against conflicting sectional and class interests. In addition, it is the section of society most imbued with the national culture, the peasants and workers having neither the leisure nor education for it.

    The intelligentsia is also sensitive to their countries’ technical lag. Participating as it does in the scientific and technical world of the twentieth century, it is stifled by the backwardness of its own nation. This feeling is accentuated by the “intellectual unemployment” endemic in these countries. Given the general economic backwardness, the only hope for most students is a government job, but there are not nearly enough of these to go round. [45]

    The spiritual life of the intellectuals is also in a crisis. In a crumbling order where the traditional pattern is disintegrating, they feel insecure, rootless, lacking in firm values. Dissolving cultures give rise to a powerful urge for a new integration that must be total and dynamic if it is to fill the social and spiritual vacuum, that must combine religious fervor with militant nationalism.

    ...the big changes since have introduced new elements in their attitude – a feeling of guilt, of “debt” towards the “dark” masses, and at the same time a feeling of divorcement from, and superiority to them. The intelligentsia are anxious to belong without being assimilated, without ceasing to remain apart and above. They are in search of a dynamic movement which will unify the nation, and open up broad new vistas for it, but at the same time will give themselves power.

    They are great believers in efficiency, including efficiency in social engineering. They hope for reform from above and would dearly love to hand the new world over to a grateful people, rather than see the liberating struggle of a self-conscious and freely associated people result in a new world for themselves. They care a lot for measures to drag their nation out of stagnation...

  14. One critical additional insight that creator of "color revolution" theory made is that the intelligencia can be bought and then thrown on barricades for neoliberal revolution. Color revolution is usually carried out with the help of the following troika:
    1. Comprador elite and "Comprador bourgeoisie" aka fifth column. Along with oligarchs who are globalist by definition and keep capitals and often families in the West, MSM and intelligencia are two major part of this fifth column and its support is carefully cultivated and financed, especially in media.

      Dominance of neoliberal agenda and viewpoints in national media and "ability to form a narrative" of events for color revolution is like air superiority in conventional war.

    2. Major Western states, primarily the United States represented by embassies, NGOs and subservient grant supported MSM network ("grant-eater network). Large grant-eater network is of critical importance: this is where the idea of corrupted and bought intelligencia is coming into play.
    3. Gladiators of nonviolent struggle: Extremists and statists on the streets. Color revolution needs crowds in the street, in which different people participate with many of them rightly outraged by the current authorities. There are a lot of unemployed youth in those countries and for a small fee they became a perfect cheap protest extras for MSM to report. Clashes using extremist elements are also easy to stage. Those elements can be well financed for their zeal (hourly rate is low in most countries where color revolutions took place).
  15. Each color revolution gets "primary" color, that's why the name. But the general scheme of those revolutions is well established and and follow certain well developed scenario coming from Trotsky "Permanent revolution" roots which was further developed by Gene Sharp probably now without help of three letter agencies.

    The Orange Revolution was definitely one of the classic instances of color revolutions. But when we are discussing similarities of it with EuroMaidan several questions arise:

    To answer to these questions it makes sense to analyze and compare Orange revolution with EuroMaidan.



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