Nationalism in Ukraine (and elsewhere)

I am so sick of hearing Ukrainian nationalists being called “nazis” or “fascists” that I was going to write something about it. While researching the subject, I came across an article by Anne Applebaum who says much of what I wanted to say and surely says much better.

Her essay, from May 12 of this year, can be found here: Nationalism Is Exactly What Ukraine Needs: Democracy fails when citizens don’t believe their country is worth fighting for.

Please read it as it may shake some of the horrid stereotypes of Ukrainian “nazis” and “fascists” out of your head.

Here is a short passage from her essay:

Ukrainians need more of this kind of inspiration, not lessmoments like last New Year’s Eve, when more than 100,000 Ukrainians sang the national anthem at midnight on the Maidan. They need more occasions when they can shout, “Slava UkrainiHeroyam Slava“Glory to Ukraine, Glory to its Heroes,” which was, yes, the slogan of the controversial Ukrainian Revolutionary Army in the 1940s, but has been adopted to a new context. And then of course they need to translate that emotion into laws, institutions, a decent court system, and police training academies. If they don’t, then their country will once again cease to exist.

I don’t mind adding that if European multiculturalism keeps going at its present heady pace, more of Europe will find itself in a Ukrainian limbo, controlled by others since all sense of self and tradition have been lost. In the USA I truly fear a continued erosion of fundamental American principles, rule of law, individual rights and responsibilities, individual freedom, etc.

I am not sure how the US can continue with our present form of government since almost none of it works as intended anymore. Most believe, rightly, that there is no point in voting as the will of the people is typically uninformed and, anyway, consistently ignored by those who pretend to represent us.

In Tibet and Taiwan, we see other examples of small nations being consumed by one large one. Check out the history of Inner Mongolia to see where that leads. Or Hong Kong: Hong Kong braces for protests as China rules out full democracy. That should read “any democracy.”

The world today is made up of huge powers (US-EU, Russia, China) that are controlled by small oligarchies. All of us would do well to have a stronger, more active sense of nationalism so we can preserve and further traditions that benefit our nations. If we leave it up to the oligarchs or allow them to continue fooling us, we will before long wake up in a vast, world-wide Ukrainian limbo.

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