The scandal surrounding the intervention of special services of Russia in the elections in the US acquires momentum. It is the first time in history we are talking about the manipulation of the American political system. This is manipulation from the authoritarian regime of Putin.
Look at Europe – France and now Germany and other countries are being drowned by torrents of refugees. But they are not drowning from the refugees themselves but from these “torrents”. From the fact that the refugees who have not been brought up in the spirit of Christian ethical principles, these refugees are ignoring European standards and rules and are becoming a threat to the Europeans. The Europeans themselves are also “reacting” by supporting so called nationalist-populist politicians who as it turns out a financially supported by the Kremlin and by Russian media propaganda which is also financed by the Kremlin.
In fact it seems that the established classical system of representative democracy institutionally cannot counteract the negative manipulation from abroad and from brute force and disrespect from within.
The situation is worse in Ukraine where through the use of refined methods of manipulation added to classic political corruption including bribing politicians and voter alike. In fact Ukraine has become the frontline of the battle between the two worldviews of the fundamental aspect of social organization.
The first one can be simple named feudal. It comes from the idea that political authority comes from God. In fact this is authority through brute force, when a person or group of people, in one form or another, grab power and use it for their own personal exploitative interests and dress it up with fancy rhetoric.
The second can be call civic or republican. It comes from the thesis that political authority comes from the people. It supposes the existence of a social contract, through which certain powers are delegated to selected representative who protect and realize the people’s interests. So when it comes to state power it is for the protection and realization of its citizenry. The Revolution of Dignity, which took place in Ukraine, was in fact a revolution of an informed citizenry against the kleptocratic gang of oligarchs who tried to usurp political power and give up sovereignty to a stronger feudal lord to the east – Putin.
Beside the informed citizenry, The Revolution of Dignity was supported by a certain number of the oligarchs who were not part of the regime in power; they were in danger of losing their assets and businesses as well. Only a part of these oligarchs wanted to live a new life of transparency in business free of corruption and manipulation. The larger part wanted to protect their assets and later return to privileged access to governmental power and resources for self enrichment.
In each country there is a section of the population which does not take an active role in civil society and who do not clearly define themselves as citizens (not by status in their passports but as consciously feeling themselves as part of a national society with common interests). In Ukraine as in other post Soviet states this group is quite large. Both Maidans were victorious because in the confrontation between civil society and the kleptocrats, the passive paternalistic part of the population did not participate. Although in general elections the paternalistic population is easily manipulated and plays its negative role. This is the very group which is most susceptible to manipulative technologies especially populism. If the US, has started to raise societal awareness and a realization by the political elite of this real Russian threat of interference, in Ukraine unfortunately these manipulative technologies still are successful. The oligarchs, corruptioneers and Kremlin agents of influence are still using them with success.
But the roots of these technologies are one, and the counter measures are one. The main instrument is the guarantee of an informed and responsible citizenry as the basis of the social contract.
The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia created the United States on the basis of the social contract and this continues to guarantee, even with a populist challenge and manipulation, a stable political system. Ukraine unfortunately has not gone down this path even though a republican form of government was innate for the Slavic people first of all the Ukrainians, starting from traditional councils to the traditions of the Zaporigian Cossacks.
In general the histories of the founding of the United States and the founding of the Ukrainian state have much in common. First of all in the way society is governed. This is different from most of the countries of “old” Europe; to this day some of them remain monarchies (at root feudal) although they have taken on democratic attributes and Christian ethics but, as was stated earlier, are unable to deal with current challenges.
Against the countries of Eastern Europe, such as Poland, Slovakia and the Baltic states, on the contrary are more adopted to the current challenges. Estonia is another example, they called a constitutional assembly for the ratification of a new constitution and they used certain civic formulas to create a very successful system of government.
This is one more reason that underscores the correctness of the geopolitical theory of Mackinder about the necessity for cooperation between the ocean states and the middle states against the continental empires.
I do feel the Ukraine to will be able to go down this path. Back is 2007 the Civic Assembly of Ukraine voiced the requirement for the ratification of a new constitution and a new social contract. In these past years this demand from civil society has gained strength and has manifested itself as a draft law in the Ukrainian Parliament which is gradually gaining support.
But today this is not enough. The Revolution of Dignity and the threat of creating on the border of the Russian Empire (which Putin is trying to establish) a civic republic, which is Slavic, has moved Putin to aggression against Ukraine. The success of Ukraine will definitely bring about the collapse of the feudal-oligarchic régime in Russia. This is why a hybrid war is still being waged in eastern Ukraine and within Ukraine itself. It has now also spread to Europe and the US.
One of the main fronts in this war is “the wining of hearts and minds”. A person who is conscious of his citizenship and is conscious of this commonality with other citizens and their responsibilities will not fall prey to manipulation. They use the technical achievement of society for more effective governance and they don’t allow themselves to be deceived. With consciousness come dignity and responsibility.
The securing of the dominance of consciousness and responsibility in the socio-political structure is adequate to answer the next attempt at manipulation from the kleptocratic manipulators.
The Baltic countries at one time used language as one of the keys to citizenship. At the moment more effective keys need to be used as facilitators. They need to be deployed so as to curtail financial, media, administrative and other resources used on the citizenry and on the other had they need to guarantee conscious and responsible decision making only for those who identify themselves as an informed and responsible citizenry for whom the creation and development of their country is a common cause, a social cause – a Republic. The rebuilding of true Republics is a powerful countermeasure against manipulation and is a dignified answer to the attempts at usurpation by the feudal-kleptocratic gangs to gain power over “uninformed hearts and minds”. These counter measures can be for example mandatory citizenship classes and knowledge of statecraft to participate in elections a symbolic citizenship tax, a more regimented control of the activities of political parties, which would guarantee their transparency, absolute transparency in the accountability of government to the citizenry , the regulation of political advertizing and so one. These measures should be the theme of a general nationwide discussion.
A Republican order, as a form of conscious cooperation of an informed citizenry will not only facilitate the more effective decision making regarding countering Russian or other feudal aggressors and is able to become the basis for effective self development of society and world order. I belive that the US and Ukraine will become leaders of the societal reordering.