Lately in Ukraine and mostly in Kiev , the squares are filled with people . Overcrowded squares by protestors , who clash with the police and require. But who are these people and what prompts the squares ? Before we get there, we want to make it clear that our approach does not focus on a characterization of insurrection or riot as ” right-wing ” or ” left ” terms which appear equally misguided , but to identify their causes and – inevitably – their contradictory characteristics. It is the contradictory and inevitable form that the movements take at the time of crisis
In Ukraine the situation is complex as in any former Soviet republic . Much of the economy of the country participates in the economic circuit of the Russian economy , and many of the investments are Russian . The country is also divided into the level of identity. Approximately 40 % of the population identified themselves as Russians and are Russian speakers mainly . We do not try here to analyze the facts by making a resolution of conflict identities . But the material realities are some how affected by these identities . To a large extent these national ideas and identities always are structured historically and inevitably entwined with the issue of communism – whatever that is. This is a basic peculiarity of the former Soviet or socialist states , especially in Ukraine .
In Ukraine and especially in Kiev , people initially gathered to protest the decision of the pro-Russian government to move towards economic union constituting Russia with participants of the former Soviet republics. But not only that . The Ukrainian debt is pretty high , and the economy of the country in recent years , mired in a low competitiveness is affected by the crisis . The only way to continue running the Ukrainian products on the market is cheap labor power . In this context the Ukraine in recent years tried to decrease all of social benefits , etc while wages took the downhill at levels lower than Russia. Much of the population still nourishes the illusion that these are simply policy issues – and not political economy – and that a possible accession to the EU will ” make everything Europe like ” . Potentially middle class buissnessmen – either smallholders or young students are the people who hope that they deserve for them selves better than crumb – Ukraine hopes that the EU will do them ” what they deserve to be ” . Of course no one says the obvious . Both the EU and Russia want Ukraine not to make it something else , but for what it is . A country with a very low standard of living , with very cheap labor power , low capital composition and nonexistent unionism and left-wing ideas because of historical reflexes of soviet memories. In Ukraine over time – and at larger scale- they are trying to repeat the successful European experiment of Bulgaria .
So who are these people ? The degree of heterogeneity or homogeneity of Ukrainian protesters is not clear. Unlike many texts , both English and Russian, focusing on the very issue of sloganeering or the role played by the pro-Western opposition demonstrations , the question is to look at the social forces behind it. The world descended into the street with purely political criteria . Its purpose is the contrast or support [1 ] of the Government policy believing that one or the other policy serves their class interests . Therefore this conflict , clearly has its roots at the class contradictions of today’s Ukraine but is not itself class conflict and even at the street/protesting level – as violent as it is- mediates itself with politics. The people collides with police protecting government of Yanukovych or protesting in against his policy. Analyzes can be said on ” oligarchs ” of Ukraine and indeed local oligaechs in the country have an enormous power , but Yanukovich is an elected leader like Putin . And it actually seems violence and fraud to be strongly present in Ukraine during the elections , but they can not raise the party’s rate from a 5% to 40 % . In short someone voted them, because there are people who equate their class interests with their policy. Bourgeois democracy as corrupt as it is, even if it is in the ideal form of Sweden or the Ukrainian version of it [2 ] , it is still a distorting mirror – and abstract political union of the whole of bourgeois society – not only fo big buissness men and oligarchs .It represents the fractions and contradictions of the entire bourgeois society , entrepreneurs, owners , smallholders , laborers , unemployed , self-employed etc.
And on 2 sides of the barricades are workers , and on 2 sides of the barricades are entrepreneurs. The old business , and existing workers employed in the antiquated Soviet industry are – roughly – pro government. They think that the Russian factor that sustains them and is the main customer of these industries is the surfboard of their social reproduction. On the other hand young students and younger workers mainly in city centers like in Kiev see their negative future as undervalued workers in a state with no social benefits .They express this opposition with a diffuse and vague pro-europianism .Also joining them by some who see the ” old Soviet ” Capital as an obstacle to their business – large or small – economic activity . Neither they want to live as undervalued , and for that they choose the path of Europe which they believe will give them a competitive edge .
Given the above complicated and historically grown social reflexes , The pro-russianism is understood as pro-communism [3 ] and therefore the support by the demonstrators to the anti-Russian Ukrainian nationalism is not far . Images of virgin Mary , fascists , few radicals leftist , and a vague democratic crowd, holding flags of EU co-exist in a contradictory way inside Maidan . Coexisted and coexist as before within a democracy , only now it is horizontal . The squares of Kiev closely resemble those of Spain and Greece , are even more close with the Orlov most of Sofia . The crowd of Ukraine requests punishment for corrupted businessmen, more democracy , the government’s resignation , some more radical pieces , mostly students placed against all parties , in a familiar – to – us direct democracy way . This is the most radical yet most controversial claim of Kiev . It is controversial mainly because while rejecting all parties within its radicalism ,is remaining faithful to a ” political ” position ,like an opposition from the streets against the whole political scene , reproaching the government (or rather whoever is at the helm of the State) decause the goverment is unable to realize their needs , thus they are creating the conditions for the establishment from the streets of a new political entity “whch will finally listen to the squares .” The escape from this contradiction can be done with the constitution a new political entity or enhancing an-as always sort living- direct democracy , which will put the whole issue about the state, but will leave the class relations between the demonstrators rather intact in great extent. In short bear the contradictions of all ” squares ” .
The uprisings of the new era are the uprisings seeking the dream of the middle class within a democracy . Failure to realize this dream due to the necessities of accumulation, presents its self as an absence of democracy . But this is exactly because democracy mediates and distorts the class contradictions , to such an extent as to transform it into political contradictions. Ukraine is the long list of crisis revolts.
[1 ] In Ukraine , although not transmited by the pro-Western media, there are potests to support the goverment
[2 ] Despite the rumors, the EU itself by international observation of elections in Ukraine said the elections won by Yanukovich was at the “European” standard .
[3 ] It is no coincidence that at the first few days in an effort by demonstrators to express their opposition to the pro-russian goverment they demolisthed a Lenin statue