[Marxism] Boris Kagarlitsky on eastern Ukraine: The logic of a revolt

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu May 1 06:56:49 MDT 2014

On 5/1/14 4:08 AM, glparramatta at greenleft.org.au wrote:
> Boris Kagarlitsky on eastern Ukraine: The logic of a revolt
> http://links.org.au/node/3838

Kagarlitsky is an embarrassment--comparing Donetsk to the Paris Commune 
when peaceful protesters are violently repressed by pro-Russia thugs and 
reporters are abducted and beaten for days on end. If you read his 
prolix article, there is not a single reference to a mass demonstration 
in the east. He draws a parallel between Maidan and the Donetsk People's 
Republic without mentioning this. It is worth reposting this:


In an editorial published on the web site Rabkor.ru, entitled 
“Anti-Maidan and the Future of Protests,” Kagarlitsky (or his alter ego: 
unfortunately, the article has no byline) describes the events in 
Ukraine as follows: “Nothing testifies to the class character of the 
confrontation that has unfolded in Ukraine like the two crowds that 
gathered on April 7 in Kharkov. At one end of the square, the 
well-dressed, well-groomed and prosperous middle class, the 
intelligentsia, and students stood under yellow-and-blue Ukrainian 
national flags. Across the square from them had gathered poorly and 
badly dressed people, workers and youth from the city’s outskirts, 
bearing red banners, Russian tricolors, and St. George’s Ribbons.” 
According to Kagarlitsky, this is nothing more or less than a vision of 
the future of Russia, where only the “state apparatus despised by 
liberal intellectuals defends them from direct confrontation with those 
same masses they dub ‘white trash.’”

The fact that the venerable sociologist has been forced to resort to 
such demagogic methods as assessing the class makeup of protesters by 
reversing the proverb “It’s not the gay coat that makes the gentleman” 
indicates the conjectural nature of his scheme. (I wonder how much time 
Kagarlitsky spent poring over photos from Donetsk with a magnifying 
glass.) When discussing the social aspect of Maidan, most analysts have 
noted the dramatic changes that occurred as the protests were 
radicalized. “At the Euromaidan that existed before November 30–December 
1,” notes political analyst Vasily Stoyakin, “it was Kyivans who 
dominated, and in many ways the ‘face’ of Maidan was made up by young 
people and the intelligentsia, albeit with a slight admixture of 
political activists. Many students, people with higher educations, and 
creative people attended it. […] After November 30, when the clashes 
began, […] a lot of blue-collar workers without higher educations 
arrived, in large part from the western regions.”

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