Ukraine and the Struggle (War) for Civilization

Excerpts from “Anti-Ukrainian or The Will to Fight, Be Defeated or Be Betrayed” by Dr. Oleksandr Savchenko:

It is possible that the victory of the new, pro-Western, progressive forces on the home front is still not a guarantee of the success of Ukraine.  History teaches and both the first and second (Revolution of Dignity) Maidan revolutions especially show that Russia, as the citadel of the “Russian World” or Moscovy Orthodox civilization, always supports reactionary forces and counterrevolution in Ukraine.  And, if this is not enough, Russia always instigates war.  The Revolution of Dignity for the first time in world history brought Ukraine into the main arena in the fight for civilization (for now in the form of a hybrid war from the side of Russia).  I will set forth my view of this process.

We all need to understand the logic of the actions and motives of an empire.  This was best described by the German political scientist Herfried Münkler: “Empires are not only great states; empires expand under their own laws.  Empires are connected by the order which they create jointly with other countries; and this is why they cannot independently change such order.  Empires, however, believe themselves to be the creators and guarantors of order which depends exclusively on them.  This order is created by them as protection from chaos in which they constantly see a threat; and, they are obliged to protect this order.”  This is precisely why Russia believes and, most importantly, Russians themselves widely believe that it/they don’t only have the right but the obligation to wage wars in Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine and even Syria for the defense of democracy and order in these countries.  Without Russia there would be chaos and anarchy…  There is only one problem: does the Russian Empire even exist now?  If yes, then it has the right to take such actions and, if no, then other countries will consider Russia’s actions as inappropriate.  Even more so: Russia should be punished for such actions.

Russia is not an empire, but it is a key country in an even mightier global structure: civilization.  The point is that key countries in civilizations may wage wars on the basis of the same reasons as normal countries or empires, but the main reason for wars in civilizations is assets.  Civilizations compete and wage wars namely for their values and assets – and Russia is not an exception.

Therefore, by slightly revising Huntington and other Western thinkers, I would like to highlight a separate Moscovy Orthodox Civilization with its center in Russia, which differs from Western Christianity through its Byzantine roots, 300-year Tartar-Mongol Yoke, bureaucratic despotism, and limited influence on it of the Renaissance, Reformation and Enlightenment.  Interestingly, these same historical movements even separate Ukraine from Russia.

Civilizational choice is a vital factor in the foreign and national policies of great countries, especially Russia, the United States and China, which are key countries in their respective civilizations.  As I have already remarked, in modern history at first wars were waged between kings and later between countries and empires.  In the 21st centuries wars are being waged between civilizations for their values.  In essence, the President of Russia himself is a slave or hostage of the Moscovy Orthodox Civilization (just like Trump and Merkel are slaves or hostages of Western Civilization) – and this is why he has the right and obligation to protect his civilization from external and internal threats.  I don’t believe this is so, but neither my opinions nor my indignations have any significance for Ukrainians and all Europeans alike.  The logic of the actions of the leaders of key countries of civilizations holds much stronger significance than the opinions of people from other civilizations.  Russia and Vladimir Putin see namely in Ukraine a threat to the Moscovy Orthodox Civilization.  Therefore, there is war.

Where the state border is not in harmony with ethnic, religious and language borders is where the breaking point between civilizations arises.  Wars and conflicts arise around these breaking points.  In contrast to Lviv, Kyiv and Odessa, one could hardly associate the Donbass and the Crimea in their current state with Western Civilization.  Even without Russian interference (and this is difficult to imagine) these regions would need decades, billions in investment and aggressive cultural policies of westernization and “Ukrainization” for their delicate integration into the Ukrainian cultural domain, to say nothing of Western civilization.

This is how Ukraine came to find itself on ground zero in the struggle between Western and the Moscovy Orthodox civilizations.

In Russia, the only successful leaders are those who are capable of the mass murder of their own citizens (what kind of humanism there!).  The citizens of that country probably know this and, moreover, they demand their leader to employ this capability from time to time.  We are not only speaking about Ivan the Terrible, Lenin or Stalin, but also about Yeltsin, who fired upon the Russian Parliament from tanks, and, naturally, Putin, who has “rubbed out” and is ready to further “rub out” all, even “in the outhouse”…  Democracy, humanism and freedom are not only incompatible in Russia, but in the entire Moscovy Orthodox Civilization.  These values will quickly ruin Russia, as it will fall apart into separate newly-formed states and territories.  The damage that basic Western values cause to Russia can be compared to the damage sunlight causes to a vampire.  Therefore, Russia will fight for the values of its civilization.  The leaders of Western Civilization and Ukraine should understand and accept this as a basic premise.

A few words about the values of the Moscovy Orthodox Civilization – there are not many.  The first is eternal faith and obedience to power (which is “from God”) – to the Tsar, the General Secretary of the Communist Party, the President, etc.  The second is belief in the mythological Slavic orthodox brotherhood, in which the Russians are the first among equals.  In fact, this brotherhood has become hell for many of the Slavic peoples, for example Ukrainians, for over 350 years.  Belief in this civilizational myth, in its turn, is based upon the belief of Russians in the one true religion: the archaic Moscovy Orthodoxy.  In Russia there are more orthodox people than believers – there are orthodox atheists and almost all communists and convicted criminals are orthodox…  The third is the aggressive intolerance toward the values of other civilizations, especially Western values, and the fight against them through all Moscovy Orthodox methods…

One cannot avoid the extremely important issue for both the USA and Ukraine of the efficiency of state management in those countries in which the American army directly or indirectly changed (or facilitated the change of) leadership or, as a rule, dictatorships.  There are universally known American military successes in some places: Serbia, Iraq, Libya, etc.  However, defeats in the organization of political, social, economic and cultural life immediately follow military victories in countries where Americans have assisted.  Democratic elections in countries where dictators, corrupt officials and populists have ruled only create new dictators, corrupt officials and populists.  Actions should be taken in another manner.  The American administration over the next 5-10 years should appoint or remove top bureaucratic officials, including ministers, in these countries.  In other words, the American administration itself should become the dictator-reformer.  The people of these countries, a posteriori, of course, will be thankful for this.  In Europe, this function is best delegated to the European Union, which proved its ability over the last 10-15 years to introduce in central and eastern Europe EU standards in state management.

I believe that the people of Israel established a world record when it independently through off the chains of slavery within 40 years (two generations).  Other nations would have needed more time to independently break the chains of dictatorship, corruption and populism.  Alas, Ukraine does not need an arbitrator, it needs a powerful master.

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Frishberg & Partners 2012