The combination of ultra-nationalists and ultra-liberals who have overthrown the Ukrainian government is indicative of a new type of political party in the region: National Liberals, or ‘Nalis’.
They are to be differentiated from ‘Nazis’ – National Socialists – only by the economic ideology of liberalism (otherwise known as free-market capitalism).
It is very unfortunate, due to the heinous barbarity of the German Nazis, that applying the label of ‘Nazi’ today often terminates political discussions and leads to accusations of exaggeration, anti-Semitism or some other nonsense. But because “National Socialism” remains a popular political ideology in 2014, this fear of using the label “Nazi” has left many people unable to identify exactly who is proposing Nazism in 2014.
National Socialism is too-often linked solely with the German variant of Hitler. Correct me if I am wrong, but Hitler did not run on a platform of genocide against the Jews, Roma and others. He actually ran on a twin platform of nationalism (the superiority of German cultures over other cultures) and national socialism (an ardently anti-communist AND anti-capitalist welfare state should exist solely for the benefit of ethnic Germans).
This was the ideology of National Socialists across Europe in the first half of the 20th century, and these views still exist today. They are still just as dangerous because the nationalism component often calls – outright – for ethnic resettlement, ethnic cleansing and forced expulsions of people living in but “not from” the nation.
But it is a mistake to call the protesters in Ukraine “Nazis”. Yes, at Maidan Square there was plenty of footage of taken of neo-Nazis, fascists, violent anarchists and other types who showed up to a political protest in camouflage and armed with a firearm. But they are actually “Nalis” – National Liberals. It’s not a new ideology, but Ukraine could herald the beginning of their dominance in the region.
Firstly, let’s look at what the Nalis – who are winning right now – were fighting against.
What existed previously in Ukraine was Ultra-Liberalism. That’s what best describes the no-holds-barred, capitalist mafia which was the Ukrainian government of Yanukovych. That’s why not all of Ukraine’s protesters should be called Nalis: There are true progressives who were calling for legal, constitutional changes to the corrupt Yanukovych government. Unfortunately, they have been outgunned by the Nalis, who have deposed a president unconstitutionally, voted to ban the Russian language and whose violent tactics have created the real possibility of civil war.
But among the average protester there were many ardent nationalists of Western Ukraine. Many of them are perhaps the grandchildren of those who died in the Holodomor, the Soviet-wide famine in the during Stalin’s disastrous first 5-year plan, which fell upon the Ukrainian people especially terribly. Today, these armed nationalists want to exterminate Russian influence and the Russian language, and violently. Many are these people are true Nalis: economic nationalists who do not even want to join the EU.
But the moneyed set of the Nalis certainly do. They want to work with the US and the EU to institute IMF-led austerity reforms. They want to reduce pensions, reduce government subsidies on things like heat, reduce wages and increase corporate protections to foster a capitalist society. All you need to do is look at their proposals and it’s clear: they want free market liberalism…but of course for the benefit of themselves and the other moneyed Nalis.
If you still are in doubt that Ukraine’s “protesters” aren’t free-market devotees, you have not heard of their plans to ban the Communist Party. That about says it all, regarding their economic point of view.
Now why the citizens of one of the poorest countries in Europe would want to pay more for their heating bills and get less wages…that is a bit of a mystery.
But, despite its anti-democratic and brutally rapacious nature, Nalism is actually quite popular around the world, already, if we look around.
The US: The biggest proponent of Nalism. Let’s remember that fascism was never discredited as a political ideology in the US as it was in Europe. The US simply gave up their apartheid against Blacks. So there isn’t a far-right party in the US – there’s just the Republicans, who are rabidly anti-Socialism, isolationist (have they paid their dues to UNESCO over their acceptance of Palestine yet?) and fascistic, as made clear by their permanent war footing.
Japan –They are included in this group, even though they don’t have any minorities to rail against –the country is 98.5% Japanese, ethnically. Of course, the Abe government is still ultra-nationalist. Their embrace of free market ideologies is near total. Some might say that the state works too hand-in-hand with the capitalists to call them true free-market liberals, but the US bailed out their bankers, didn’t they?
England – They had a National Liberal Party until they merged with the dominant Conservative Party in 1947. This is the birthplace of Nalism.
South Korea – A new economic powerhouse, and one firmly in the Nali camp. They have been led by the US since the Korean War split the peninsula, and some 30,000 troops still call south of the DMZ home. Anti-leftist press bans are enforced and stifle any societal dissent of their capitalist path. The North is demonized by Seoul, even as so very many South Koreans yearn for reunification with their Northern family members and for reunification of the country.
France – Just as the Republicans in the US incorporate the ideas of the Tea Party, the UMP Party in France incorporates the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim nationalism of the National Front. President Francois Hollande’s embrace of austerity measures, and his use of anti-Muslim measures such as the anti-burqa law, show that the Socialists are not very different from their UMP counterparts, in fact.
And the protesters at Maidan Square are leading Ukraine down this same Nali road. Or rather we should now say: the unelected, self-appointed, constitution-violating, Western-backed and Western-approved government is leading Ukraine down this same road.
And Ukrainians can thank the US for aiding this development:
Washington has admitted to spending a staggering $5 billion on “democracy-promoting groups” in Ukraine. They can also thank the EU – which rushed to interfere with sanctions and then immediately voiced unquestioning approval for the new “government” – for helping to put the Nalis in power.
Because, of course, that’s what the West wants: Nalism everywhere, and for the benefit of the international already-moneyed elite. European social safety nets: dismantled. Communism: already destroyed in Russia and permanently embargoed anywhere else. Nalism for all, for the benefit of a few.
Right now, there are only a few scenarios where the Ukrainian Nalis lose:
Recently freed corrupt billionaire Julia Tymoshekno and the new “government” cannot stop the anti-Russian violence of the hard-core Nalis, thus discrediting the Nali movement.
Or, the pro-Russian area of Crimea secedes to join Russia and thus the Nali movement is discredited due to their breaking up of Ukraine. The referendum will be held in Crimea this month…and after the referendum in South Sudan was so heartily approved by the West, it’s hard to see what moral high ground they could take should the people democratically vote to leave Ukraine. Of course, the Western media will portray this as all Russia’s doing, even though it’s well-known that Moscow studiously stayed out of the Ukrainian unrest until after the coup in Kiev. Of course, this restraint earns Putin no points….
Or, Russia somehow arbitrates an effective solution which reigns in the Nalis. And Putin might do this, and he might even do it alongside the US and EU, because is Moscow really concerned about the Ukraine? They’ve certainly responded to the Nali movement with more sense and logic than the rabid West. But even during the days of the USSR – they heyday of Russian imperialism, and not Russian communism – many would doubt that Moscow is really willing to stick its neck out on behalf of Ukraine.
Two things are certain: Western politicians will back the Nalis to the hilt. Of course always putting the best interest of the EU or US or Germany (or many others) well-before the interests of the Ukrainian people. And two: The Western media, passionately pro-Nali and just as passionately anti-Russian and anti-Putin, will also be unquestioningly backing the Nalis until the bitter end. Or rather, until the end has already been so long-decided on the ground and they cannot work their propaganda magic anymore.
In Eastern Europe the last 97 years have witnessed the rise of communism, the fall of communism and then the rise of ultra-liberal oligarchical mafia-ism. We may be witnessing the next chapter being made: the rise of Nalism.
I hope the Ukrainian people are stocking up on winter coats for the charity food lines that are likely to follow.