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|From: Irish Political Review: Editorials|
|Date: March, 2022|
Russia, Ukraine And Dollar Democracy
|Russia, Ukraine And Dollar Democracy
The Irish contribution to the United Nations Security Council debate on the Russian/Ukrainian conflict was a suggestion that the foundation of the world-order established at the end of the 2nd World War should be broken up—that the Security Council Veto system should be ended.
We assume that the suggestion was authorised by the Foreign Minister, Simon Coveney. We do not assume that Coveney gave any thought to what it would mean, beyond the removal of the ability of Russia to prevent a motion condemning it from being adopted.
If he meant that the United Nations—with its empty pretensions—should be disbanded, and that world affairs should revert to 19th century-type arrangements between states, that would be a worthwhile contribution to discussion of both the Russian/Ukrainian conflict and to a general discussion of what the world should do with itself in its present predicament.
De Valera took the League of Nations—the precursor of the United Nations—in earnest in the 1930s. Though taking it in earnest, and becoming an influential figure within it, he came to the conclusion that it was hindrance rather than a help to the maintenance of peace in the world because it was a source of illusions.
It was a facade, behind which realpolitik operated. But the calculating of realpolitik was not unaffected by the diligently-maintained illusion of the League as an organisation for maintaining world order.
The actual organisation which determined the main events in the world was the British Empire. The Empire was completely independent of the League. It made its own decisions on War and Peace. It enabled Germany to break the conditions imposed on I by the League as the instrument of the Versailles Conference. And then, having built up Germany and directed it eastwards by feeding Czechoslovakia to it, it suddenly, in 1939, decided to make war on Germany again. And it did so without involving the League.
A prominent British Parliamentarian, Tobias Ellwood (Chairman of the Defence Committee), when asked in a radio interview whether Britain could act alone against Russia over the Ukraine, seeing that nobody else was going to do it, replied:
"Of course not. What Britain does best is lead other countries into war" (speaking on Vine Show, 14.2.22).
In other words, Britain creates wars but does not fight them.
It fought its 1914 War. That was not its intention at the outset. Its preparations were for something different—Naval War with a small land force. But things worked out differently, with it raising an army of millions and suffering casualties which were inconceivable to it before the event. It almost bore is share of the human cost. Its casualties were half the size of the French casualties.
It raised up another War in 1939. It led France to war. It did no fighting for eight months—until Germany responded to the declaration of war on it. Then, on suffering a reverse in the first engagement, it brought its Army home and left it to France to continue the War. When France, finding itself occupied, made a settlement with the enemy, Britain cried "Betrayal" and looked for others to do the fighting.
The others turned out to be Russia and the United States. The main fighting that resuled in the defeat of Germany was done by Russia, but the United States—by exerting pressure on Britain—managed to get an Army onto the Continent to meet the Russian Army advance in Germany.
The meeting-point of the Russian and American Armies became the line of division in the world between the two hostile systems.
The Russian and American systems dominated the world. They agreed to the establishment of a new world organisation, but founded on their hostility to each other. It was a condition of existence of the United Nations that it should have no authority to act against either of them. The left each of them supreme in its own half of the world, to do as it pleased.
Peace in any other sense than that of a stand-off was not a possibility of the situation. And the Veto was the means by which each prevented the United Nations Security Council from mischief-making against it.
That order of things lasted for 45 years. The Soviet system dismantled itself in 1990. The various Republics hegemonised by the Bolshevik Party became independent states, and groped their way from socialism to capitalism. It was a very difficult transition because the universal small-business base necessary to capitalist society was lacking.
The capitalists that emerged were not businessmen who had fought their way up in the market. There were mere "oligarchs": politically-astute and well-connected individuals who managed to get large pieces of State property into their possession, and go into alliance with finance capitalist giants of the West.
That was the case with the Ukraine—a "small nation" ten times the size of Ireland—as well as Russia.
The oligarchs were supreme in Russia for about ten years after 1991, when they were popular with the West. That was also a period of wild democracy in the medium of a score of parties which were unable to form a competent Government able to bring order to Oligarchic Capitalism and halt the decline in the general standard of living and the decline in the birth-rate.
When effective State control began to be exerted after 2000 the Oligarchs who submitted to it began to be called Kleptocrats.
They were all Kleptocrats. They were all operating with property seized from the State when it was breaking up—in the Ukraine as well as in Russia.
In the present conflict, the Ukraine is depicted as the City On The Hill, the modern liberal democracy which Putin must destroy, lest its example should undermine his autocracy.
The decisive change of government in Kiev, leading to the present conflict, was enacted eight years ago by a street-based coup d'etat directed against Russia and against the Russian population in the Ukraine.
On the face of it, the Ukraine was better placed than Russia to develop rapidly into a flourishing capitalist nation-state. It had no Kremlin heritage to overcome. It asserted a strong sense of nationality—a thing not evident among Russians. And it was taken into tutelage by the United States thirty years ago—and has even had an American-born President. It has also had numerous changes of government, most of them electorally-based.
The US is above all else a State. It made itself a State covering half a Continent by means of a ferocious Civil War. Having confirmed itself as a Super-State in 1865, it spent the next thirty years conducting a popular genocide of the native populations. And it asserted "sphere of influence" dominance over the entire Continent with the Monroe Doctrine.
How then can it be that under such tutelage the Ukraine has so little substance as a State? What did all its revolutions and elections amount to?
And what was the significance of the 2014 incident in Maidan Square, which is not mentioned any more?
An elected President prepared to make trade deals with the EU for its agricultural sector and with Russia for its industrial sector. The EU demanded an exclusive trade deal with it.
The EU Parliament, led by its Irish President, set about overthrowing that Ukrainian Government by coup d'etat directed against politicians prepared to work with Russia. And, when the EU appeared to be having second thoughts about the destabilisation of Ukraine, Assistant US Secretary of State Victorial Nuland said "Fuck the EU".
Was that the end of the bid by President Viktor Yanukovych to escape from tutelage and establish ground for independence between Brussels and Russia?
The present conflict is a working out of the forceful suppression of that attempt.
Why did Biden encourage the present Russian initiative by predicting it so volubly and seeing that it would not be met by US intervention? Was it for fear of a Trump return?
Trump, in effect, announced the end of America's Manifest Destiny to rule the world. Biden has two years to set it in motion again. China and Russia are the obstacle. Russia was all but invited into the Ukraine so that Washington could insist on draconian Sanctions which would take Russia out of the game.
Von Leyen says that European Sanctions will destroy the industrial base of the Russian economy. What she does not say is that Europe itself will be badly damaged by such sanctions, and particularly by the high cost of energy which they entail. And that their effect will be to make Europe even more dependent on America.
Washington says Russia will be turned back into a Third World country—a term not much used in recent years.
We can only wait and see how far-reaching the destructive power of dollar-democracy is.
This is its moment of truth.