[Marxism] [SUSPICIOUS MESSAGE] Ukraine reality today

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Apr 6 16:06:27 MDT 2015

On 4/6/15 5:41 PM, Roger Annis wrote:
> Wrong, wrong re the language law reversal in Feb. 2014. The measure
> passed the Rada, it was then overturned by the newly-appointed 'interim'
> speaker of the Rada, Turchynov. The new rulers of the Rada got a little
> too ambitious for their own good. Their language law reversal was an
> embarassment  for the international backers of the new regime, and the
> regime itself worried the Rada decision would stir up unforeseen
> consequences in the east. Prescient!

Yes, this is what happened.

And since you neglected (or evaded) the more important question, let me 

>     Russians in Ukraine do not represent such a distinctive national
>     group as other large minorities in other countries. The thing is
>     that both contemporary Russians and Ukrainians (at least,
>     inhabitants of the lands of the former Russian Empire, that is the
>     majority of contemporary Ukraine) originate from the people of
>     common (All-Russian, ‘Orthodox’) identity, where the differences
>     between Great Russians (‘Russians’) and Little Russians
>     (‘Ukrainians’) were rather of regional or sub-ethnic nature.

Roger Annis and his tin ear. To speak of "Little Russians" today is 
really quite shocking.


Modern context
Although originally "Little Russia" (Rus' Minor) was merely a 
geographic, linguistic and ethnological term, it is now archaic and its 
usage in the modern context to refer to the country Ukraine and the 
modern Ukrainian nation, its language, culture, etc., is considered an 
improper anachronism. Such usage is typically perceived as an 
imperialist view that the Ukrainian territory and people ("Little 
Russians") belong to "one, indivisible Russia."[16] Regardless of 
whether they are aware or not of its origin, today many Ukrainian 
nationalists consider the term to be disparaging, indicative of an 
"older brother" attitude,[citation needed] and of imperial Russian (and 
Soviet) suppression of the Ukrainian national idea. In particular, it 
has continued to be used in Russian national discourse, where modern 
Ukrainians are presented as a single people in a united Russian 
nation.[17] This added new hostility and disapproval of the term by some 

"Little Russianness"
Some Ukrainian authors define "Little Russianness" (Ukrainian: 
малоросійство, malorosiystvo) as a provincial complex they see in parts 
of the Ukrainian community due to its lengthy existence within the 
Russian Empire and describe it as an "indifferent, and sometimes a 
negative stance towards Ukrainian national-statehood traditions and 
aspirations, and often as active support of Russian culture and of 
Russian imperial policies".[18] Mykhailo Drahomanov, who used the terms 
Little Russia and Little Russian in his historical works,[14] applied 
the term Little Russianness to Russified Ukrainians, whose national 
character was formed under "alien pressure and influence", and who 
consequently adopted predominantly the "worse qualities of other 
nationalities and lost the better ones of their own".[18] Ukrainian 
conservative ideologue and politician Vyacheslav Lypynsky defined the 
term as "the malaise of statelessness".[19] The same inferiority complex 
applied to the Ukrainians of Galicia with respect to Poland ("gente 
ruthenus, natione polonus"). The related term Magyarony applied to 
Magyarized Rusyns in Carpathian Ruthenia who advocated for the union of 
that region with Hungary.[18]

Another criticized aspect labeled as "Little Russianness" is a 
stereotypical image of uneducated, rustic Ukrainians exhibiting little 
or no self-esteem. Examples of such characterization are popular 
Ukrainian singer and performer Andriy Danylko whose uncouth stage 
persona is an embodiment of this perception; Surzhyk-speaking Verka 
Serduchka has also been seen as perpetuating this demeaning 
image.[20][21] Danylko himself usually laughs off such criticism of his 
work and many art critics point instead towards the fact that his 
success with the Ukrainian public is rooted in an unquestionable 
authenticity of Danylko's artistic image.[22]

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