Abandoning Ukraine

Justin E. H. Smith in his blog:

ScreenHunter_531 Feb. 22 22.35Over the last few days, a disheartening consensus has emerged among self-styled Western progressives that there is little or nothing in the current Ukrainian revolution that merits solidarity. This mixture of wariness and indifference was already evident in the build-up to the bloody crackdown in Kyiv on February 18, but it has been stoked and heightened considerably since then by the clear and central role played in unfolding events by the Ukrainian extreme right, particularly by members of the so-called Right Sector and by the somewhat less extremist group Svoboda.

It is undeniable that the far right has taken a leading role in the shaping of post-Yanukovych Ukraine. But what international observers have entirely failed to grasp is that the choice between either supporting fascism or disowning the revolution is an entirely false dichotomy. Progressives worthy of the name could instead have taken the role of the far right as yet another challenge within a political situation that presented a complex cluster of challenges, including, most importantly, the removal of an utterly corrupt lackey of a neighboring dictator. The far right has come to own this revolution in part because of the prissiness of the left, the inability to accept that the situation might be intrinsically complex, and might impose common interests on groups that are otherwise entirely at odds.

The one place where the left seems to get this basic fact is in Russia. Now by 'Russian left' I don't mean people who watch Alex Jones or whomever on RT and who meet every criticism of Putin with the subject-changing remark, 'Well, it's no worse than what the US does'. By 'Russian left' I mean the Russians who want to see Putin go the same way as Yanukovych, so that they can really start building a free and egalitarian society.

More here.