[Marxism] Fwd: FABIO BELAFATTI: ORIENTALISM REANIMATED | Zbigniew Marcin Kowalewski

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Jan 7 08:11:21 MST 2015

Practically all those who defend Russia in this debate fell into this 
trap. Reading many of the articles that accuse the West of “causing” the 
Ukrainian chaos by “provoking” Russia in its strategic interests and 
wounding its pride of great power, it’s clear how the authors write from 
a distorted, hierarchical and, ultimately, orientalist (if not outright 
racist) perspective on the small countries of Eastern Europe.

When a commentator claims that Russia feels threatened by the advance of 
NATO in Eastern Europe or Ukraine’s approach to the EU, he’s basically 
implying that Russia does indeed have an inalienable right to claim 
rights in the region, as if Eastern Europe was nothing but a tool to 
compensate Russia’s unresolved inferiority complexes. Pro-Russian 
commentators implicitly deny Ukraine the very dignity of active subject 
in the whole issue, thus even denying its relevance as an independent 
state. [1]

The idea that Russian actions are legitimate reactions to the 
interference of “outsiders” in a region seen as “Russian” is nothing but 
a 2.0 expression of the same imperialist mentality with which Europeans 
empires split the Middle East. This is all the more surprising as it 
often comes from people who embrace ostensibly anti-imperialist 
positions in any other context. In their writings, Eastern Europe is a 
passive object on which Moscow is the only one actor (in the Latin sense 
of “doer”) entitled to operate, with no concern for smaller, local figures.

full: http://zmkowalewski.pl/?page_id=413

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