Torn Between Russia and the West
Is There a Third Way for Ukraine?
"Imagine a revolutionary group would spread a message around Maidan Square and over the Internet calling out to the youth and students, workers and activists, "Let's continue fighting on the streets, comrades! But above all, let's move to the countryside and start building the new culture." -- by Martin Winiecki
As the standoff over Crimea threatens to escalate into an open military confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, more and more evidence shows how the popular Maidan uprising has been undermined and hijacked by the West – through supporting openly fascist and racist groups (the "right-wing sector"), by inciting violence, and by hand-picking key figures of the new government. The widespread rebellion that has brought together people from all parts of society in solidarity and the common humane surge for freedom and justice is increasingly threatened and abused by external interests of power. Instead of achieving genuine liberation for the population, Yanukovych’s highly corrupt, pro-Russian puppet regime is merely replaced by another one that is committed to sell out the country on behalf of the United States, the IMF, the EU and of course, the national oligarchs. After Putin wanted to exploit the vast eastern European country in a 'Customs Union' with Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, Ukraine is now directed toward joining a similar free trade zone with the EU. While ridding itself from one catastrophe, the country is directly pushed into a new one. Both deals will actually be similarly disastrous for the Ukrainian population, leading to impoverishment, slave labor, environmental destruction, and the loss of any political sovereignty. The actual opponent of the Ukrainian uprising is colonialist intervention itself – whether it comes from the East or the West is a secondary issue.
How Can the Humane Revolution Succeed?
What are the prospects for the revolutionary movements in Ukraine – and also in Turkey, Egypt, Brazil, Mexico, Portugal or Spain? How can we bring about an actual system change in these times of omnipresent globalization?
A view into the global situation: The popular uprisings for an end of tyranny, injustice and exploitation, and the struggles for a humane future have become a universal characteristic of our time. And yet, what has been happening in the Arab Spring, with the "Indignado" and "Occupy" movements and now in Ukraine and Venezuela may only be harbingers of what soon might break out everywhere.
Our current globalized systems are on the brink of collapse. The propaganda of mass media still disguises the immanent crash of the system. But it is crashing – economically and ecologically! The reckless exploitation of nature, of animals, and our entire biosphere, under the dogma of infinite economic growth, has led us to such existential crises of global desertification, pollution, climate change and "peak oil," that this kind of globalization cannot keep up much longer. It is similar on the human level. The enslavement and colonization of entire continents – along with its suppression, impoverishment and starvation have eroded the human tissue of our societies in a way that social explosion has become inevitable. Behind this political information, however, hides a suffering in human beings and animals, a suffering of children that we can no longer imagine.
The wave of extermination running through our planet needs to be confronted with a wave of planetary renewal and awakening. The survival of many millions, if not billions, of people depends on the victory of this emerging global revolution. Pushing all illusions aside, we must see: As long as popular uprisings are only expressions of anger and outrage against a leader, government, or society, the system will always be able to hijack and redirect or break them. This fact has repeatedly proven itself in history, and especially in the recent years since 2011. In order to succeed the revolutionary movements need to establish a well-founded concept for the system change, which humankind and the Earth urgently need. Vision is the driving power in human evolution, both for good and evil. Grand visions pave the way for grand new developments. As long as uprisings and rebellions are only a matter of collective emotion, while work on global vision is still left to the think-tanks in the Pentagon or Silicon Valley, the global development will continue running toward a totalitarian "New World Order." The outrage against the old system now needs to be joined by a powerful image for the creation of a new global society in which humanity's quest for a humane future finds redemption.
Imagine a World Free of Fear
Let's go back to Ukraine. What if the people there were suddenly filled with an inner perspective for a new life that was mightier than any Russian or Western interference, and more powerful than any fascist undermining and corruption? What if the surge for freedom and dignity was connected with a vision for the future withstanding all claims at domination?
Imagine a revolutionary group would spread a message around Maidan Square and over the Internet calling out to the youth and students, workers and activists, "Let's continue fighting on the streets, comrades! But above all, let's move to the countryside and start building the new culture."
Imagine many of the people protesting would actually start moving from the cities to the rural areas and build self-sufficient communities. They would start re-cultivating the land, restoring the barren landscapes. They would create organic agriculture and build lakes to retain the rainwater. In this way they will make springs re-emerge to assure an abundant independent water supply. On this basis, alimentary biotopes will come into being that grow everything a vital community needs to live. Similar communities arise even in the cities with gardens for self-sufficient food supply on the rooftops and balconies and new cultural life fulfilled with a planetary spirit.
The modern subsistence economies are unlike the old communes of agrarian communism with hardworking farmers. Rather they are developing futurological centers based on cooperation with nature. By building such life systems, people do not only make themselves independent from the centralist supply systems; they also experience a fundamental system-change in their own lives – the shift from the illusion of scarcity to the rediscovered reality of abundance.
Imagine they also develop a new form of communitarian coexistence among themselves. Initial political groups start realizing the meaning of inner emancipation for the sustainable success of the humane revolution on the outer. So long as secret mistrust, competition, jealousy and anger loom in the revolutionary groups, sooner or later they will fail in one way or the other. The solidarity and community spirit that they experienced in times of intense struggles on the streets and barricades become the ideals for their new communitarian existence. The comrades now work with the same fervor that they have previously used to fight against state and police, for working on truth and mutual support among themselves, for the ethical renewal of their lives. Building genuine trust among human beings has become one of the principal goals of revolution. The new communities work on social structures that allow their participants to take down their masks and overcome their subliminal fights. It is an incredible adventure for everybody involved. The meaning of the word "autonomy" now reaches unexpected depth. Laughingly they discover: Who in this world could be able to subjugate a revolution of people who have self-sufficient access to water, energy and food, and truly trust each other?
Imagine the people of Ukraine, torn between Russia and the West, would discover this third way, keeping out both Putin and the West. Imagine what positive shock waves this event would send to the world, to all those fighting and seeking system change!
A baseless fantasy? We shouldn't forget how many past attempts of people regaining autonomy were brutally cracked down on. Offering such a story might even sound cynical, especially in a country where Stalin starved millions of farmers to death on their own land.
Yet today we live in times of tremendous transformation. We face the historic chance to leave these atrocious times behind forever. It is no longer about a single country stepping out of the global empire, nor can a single state save itself alone. As humanity we are stepping beyond the old identities of nationality, culture, religion, and ideology. We are all in this together. If united in a planetary alliance of shared vision for the future of this planet, todays revolutionaries and peace workers will be able to bring about a power stronger than all imperialistic violence.
Human evolution inevitably points in this direction, no matter if it is for Ukraine, Greece, Israel-Palestine, South America or the United States. The "Realistic Utopia" of the Earth is a network of self-sufficient communities. It is the dream of a new society that is already latently contained in the old one. Now it is for us to touch this possibility and bring it into existence. It is unlikely that millions of people will immediately move to the countryside and establish communities. However, initial pioneering models for a post-capitalistic society can become trendsetters for a new direction in human evolution. The first few places that are able to manifest humanity's dream of a life free of violence and oppression, in a profound and comprehensive way, will trigger a wave of new foundations around the world over the coming years and decades.
If all those rising up against the injustice today see and manifest a positive perspective, the fight will be won.
*Martin Winiecki,24, lives in Tamera and is the coordinator of the Terra Nova School.