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Culture War Roundup for the week of January 2, 2023

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A recent event that I’m sure fully counts as culture war is the official removal in Odessa of the monument to the city’s founders, mainly Catherine the Great. The justification, which is rather easy to predict, is that Catherine was a perpetrator of Moskal imperialism who repressed Ukrainian patriots (supposedly they already existed back then), committed cultural genocide and erased Ukrainian nationhood (which obviously we’re also supposed to believe existed back then). There isn’t much to comment on this, I think (though I’ll again point out that Odessa would never have existed in the first place without Catherine), but an educated redditor was eager to point out* the curious fact that the removed monument is actually a replica erected in 2007, largely as a response to the events of the so-called Orange Revolution, as the original was removed (and supposedly destroyed) by the Soviets in 1920. So yes, it was originally removed as an imperialist relic, by powers that the Ukrainian authorities claim later perpetrated genocide specifically against Ukrainians because they were Ukrainians i.e. it was an incident between opposing factions of Ukraine deniers. This is where we’re at, which actually doesn’t surprise me that much because I believe we’ve been in a clown world for a long time.


I am mildly interested in how the quest for Ukrainian nation building will develop my lifetime. Right now they manage to co-opt two very opposing sets of political and philosophical schools, largely due to wartime mobilisation censorship and patriotism. On the one hand the Ukrainian identity is being based on 19th/early 20th century style blood and soil rhetoric. The defenders of white Christian (even pagan) Europe against eastern orc hordes. Unspoiled real Slavs against the crypto-Tatar Muscovites. Real European Christians unlike those Eastern Orthodox peasants. On the other hand their only hope for national survival in this day and age is to tightly integrate with the “GAE”. So the Ukrainian army puts up EU flags in newly reconquered territories. Their parliament is busy rushing through gay agenda bills. Their politicians are making deals with Blackrock and learning the ropes of the WEF circuit.

But when the war ends these two stories cannot coexist for long. You cannot arm neo-nazi battalions while going through the EU integration process. You cannot outright ban one of the largest churches as well as the linguistic communities in your country and try to enter the Schengen area. It’s not for nothing that half the EU funded ads targeted to my demographic on social media has some visible minorities (ie blacks) posing as proud Europeans. The nationalist Ukrainian state, if it ever stops being such a poor corrupt shithole and enters the EU, will have to cope with millions of African/South Asian/Middle Eastern immigrants as well as the European Court of Human Rights rulings which will not tolerate the blood and soil rhetoric in practice. It’s ridiculous contradictions all over and makes me profoundly sad that so many young brave people are dying for a political project doomed to fail if it ever succeeds.

Something has to give in at some point. I don’t know what but I am not very hopeful about the results.

Ukrainian identity is being based on 19th/early 20th century style blood and soil rhetoric

No. Though some splinters remain (some very obvious nazi groups), the model the diaspora coalesced on by the 50s, which became state policy 8 years ago, is a multi-ethnic national state. Rudnytsky, Hrushevsky, Lypynsky etc. are taught in school... Dontsov and his ilk have no cachet today. But yeah, sure, obsess about a few hundred (surviving) neonazis in Azov.

N.b. Kiev already had quite a lot of Afghan and Iraqi refugees. Already by 2017, most drivers couldn't speak Russian, Ukrainian or English.

Though some splinters remain (some very obvious nazi groups), the model the diaspora coalesced on by the 50s, which became state policy 8 years ago, is a multi-ethnic national state. Rudnytsky, Hrushevsky, Lypynsky etc. are taught in school

Would be happy to know more about the significance of these people and the meaning of "multi-ethnic" in your usage. Which multi ethnicities are we talking about exactly?

Me too. I've heard of multiethnic states and nation/ethnostates, but a "multi-ethnic national state" sounds like an odd concept.