Oligarchic Substance of the “Socialist” Maidan

Maidan technologies have been analysed many times and will be analysed many times, each time finding something new in them. For example, for many years there was a saying that there can be no Maidan in the US because there is no US Embassy there. I never considered it correct (since the US has a State Department that manages all embassies), however, it accurately recorded one of the important components of Maidan technologies – external interference.

But a Maidan took place in the USA. Without any external interference. There were enough internal contradictions. This fact refutes the claims of many experts that there is no Maidan without external intervention. I have always pointed out the priority of decisions made by national politicians (that is why some Maidans are suppressed and others win), without denying the importance of external support for the mutineers. But in the US we see that without any external support, only on the basis of the internal division, the Maidan (and this is a Maidan, and not a revolution, because there is no revolutionary party or revolutionary class in the US and the mutineers do not strive to change the system) is more prolonged, large-scale, and violent than anything we know so far.

The American Maidan made me remember the collapse of the USSR. These events were also quite Maidan in nature, only they were more extended in time. It cannot be said that during the collapse of the USSR, external intervention was completely absent, but it was extremely contradictory and did not play a key role. It is enough to recall how, speaking in Kiev on August 1st 1991 (three weeks before the State Committee on the State of Emergency), then US President George H. W. Bush wildly disappointed local nationalists, calling on them not to destroy the USSR and to support Gorbachev. It is safe to say that the American administration of that time was not happy with the Białowieża decisions, but simply accepted them as a given. But if Gorbachev had put Yeltsin, Kravchuk, and Shushkevich in prison, or even shot them at the Kremlin wall, Bush would not have been very upset either (I suspect he would have been happy). I.e., the collapse of the USSR is entirely on the conscience of the internal forces that acted in accordance with quite Maidan methods, not even knowing that in a decade and a half the technologies they intuitively used would be called Maidan.

There is another point that makes me strongly negative about the exaggeration of the importance of external interference in the organisation of a Maidan. I remember well how during the Georgian Maidan, which took place a year before the first Ukrainian one, many quite enlightened Kievans made a contemptuous face and declared: “It is impossible for us, we are not passionate mountaineers”. Less than a year later, most of those who declared this enthusiastically rode on the first Kiev Maidan. Six months later, these same people, without hiding their disappointment with the results, said that they would never go to a Maidan again. Ten years passed and, having conscientiously put pans on their heads, they all went to a second Kiev Maidan in a crowd. Now they are disappointed again, but if there is a third Maidan, they will go to a third one.

Similarly, until recently, Belarusians cheerfully declared that they could not have Maidan, because they are not Ukrainians. Now they say that they have a completely different Maidan and the results will be different.

No external propaganda can explain this doomed fatalistic movement behind the “Hamelin pipe”. External influence plays an important, essential role only in cases when the Maidan is not able to paralyse the will of the authorities to resist. But at the same time, the authorities must be ready to succumb to this external pressure. In the example of recent events in Belarus, we can see that the rather frail Belarusian Maidan, only due to the effect of surprise between the third and seventh-eighth days of the confrontation, almost broke the will of the authorities to resist. But when this will was restored with the help of Russia, no external influence plays a role, because Lukashenko, unlike Yanukovych, simply ignores the west’s interference attempts, sometimes even successfully snapping (as in the case of the promise to redirect Belarusian transit past Lithuanian ports and close the Belarusian “window to Russia” for Polish goods under sanctions).

We can also note another common feature of all Maidans: Milosevic, Shevardnadze, Yanukovych, and Lukashenko were opposed by pro-western forces created with their own participation, with their support, in order to balance (reduce) Russian influence in their countries and thus reduce their own dependence on Russia. By the way, the Maidan forces in the US are also raised by American politicians themselves, who bred infantile marginality (hordes of freeloaders-idlers) in the fat years, so that the American public does not interfere with the American oligarchy to conduct a hegemonic foreign policy that required insane financial costs and destroyed the US economy.

So where do Maidan ideas come from? Why is it that a significant part of the elite and population of various states suddenly, with the tenacity of lemmings, begins to strive for suicidal (destroying not only the state, society, and economy, but also the entire habitat of a particular people) solutions?

I think that for an explanation we need to remember Marx. He argued that capitalism aspires to monopoly and that it is at the highest stage of monopolisation that the moment comes when the foundations of socialist society are born in the bowels of capitalist society. In the end, it remains, as in the bourgeois revolution, simply to change power in a society that is already ripe for a new formation (both ideologically and economically). Much like in France at the end of the 18th century, where the “old order” had virtually no support and fell almost without resistance, since the bourgeoisie was already the dominant economic class and it remained only to bring the political superstructure in line with the economic base. In the same way, according to Marx, quasi-socialist relations already established in society in the form of ideal monopolisation (which seeks to concentrate economic power in the hands of a single master) should lead to the transfer of control over this property to the state. I.e., to the emergence of a system of state capitalism, which in the course of its further development will turn into communism.

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In terms of methods of turning into communism, Marx ends with a relatively coherent theory and starts to make assumptions about the death of the state (why?), the disappearance of money (for what purpose?), etc., but he was absolutely right about the fact that capitalism in the course of competition seeks to create an ideal, unique monopoly. Just as he was right that this monopoly somehow turns out to be state-owned. There are two options: either the state nationalises the monopoly, because too much economic power makes it a political competitor of the state bureaucracy, or the monopoly privatises the state. But in both cases, with some minor nuances, political and economic power, as it should be, merge. In the end, the competition of “ideal” (transnational) monopolies should lead to the creation of a single global state that combines total economic control over the population with total political control.

There is no reason to believe that this state will weaken and “die”. On the contrary, due to the disappearance of the external function (diplomacy, defence, foreign trade), it can completely focus on adjusting and regulating internal relations. It should be borne in mind that since this will not be the state of the “victorious people”, but the state of the victorious monopoly (both in the case of the nationalisation of the monopoly, and in the case of the privatisation of the state, the line between the state bureaucracy and company employees is simply erased), then it will defend the interests not of the people, but of the monopoly. I.e., it will strive to maximise profits and minimise costs. There are many options, from introducing a caste system to artificially reducing the population and removing all social functions from the state. Some of these options, if desired, can even be called communism. Only I’m afraid that they are unlikely to please today’s “builders of a bright future” if they have to live in such a system.

Now let’s turn to Maidan. Where do they occur? In which countries? They occur where and when political and economic power is ready to be fully concentrated in one hand or is already practically concentrated in one. At the time of the Maidan in Georgia, the president was the one who decided who should be an oligarch and who should be a minister. And he could turn an oligarch into a beggar, or force them to leave the country. At the time of the Maidan in Ukraine, the “young team” of Aleksandr Yanukovych concentrated in their hands control over most of the profitable oligarchic businesses, while Viktor Yanukovych had essentially unlimited political power (the parliament and government were completely under his control). I think there is no point in talking about the extent of Lukashenko’s power. He himself claims that he has unlimited powers, because, apparently, he is afraid to transfer them to someone else who may not be as “worthy” as he is.

And in the US, the top Democrats (or rather the bipartisan consensus of left-liberal globalists) have concentrated such power in their hands that the elected-by-chance alternative Trump for four years failed to fully establish control not even over the country, but at least over the bureaucratic apparatus.

Wherever a Maidan took place, we are dealing with a conflict between an established total power, a fusing state and economic monopoly, and an attempt by groups losing power to stop this process and not to reverse it, but to use the situation in their favour — to change the person or group at the top of the political and economic pyramid, leaving the main components of the system intact.

Of course, every case of economic monopoly and political power merging has its own peculiarities, just as Maidans are not similar to each other — they are not stamped under a carbon copy, but each time “creatively rethink” the idea of a coup masquerading as a popular revolution. Hence, the crowds of “sincere protesters”, “people with kind faces”, all those who don’t go out for money and create a cover for real militants and the necessary image for the media supporting the putschists. Hence why traitors come to power. Not everyone is bribed, some, even many, act quite sincerely, and you can only bribe someone who is already morally ready to betray.

Society is facing a real contradiction. Oligarchic capitalism, which is reaching its apogee, is entering the stage of merging with state power and concentrating power in the hands of one family or one financial and political group. Monopolisation is a blow to small and medium-sized businesses, as well as to the interests of competing oligarchic families. Maidan is possible in a narrow period of time, when monopolisation has not yet struck a blow to the broad strata of society, while the state, which has become the office of the company, has not started to discard social welfare and other responsibilities, and while completely alternative oligarchic families have not yet been crushed, as long as they are able to resist.

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Under these conditions, most of society remains passive. Even while generally supporting the government, society is already so detached from making political and economic decisions that it prefers to watch on TV or read on the Internet how the government deals with the putschists (or how the putschists deal with the government). Nevertheless, oligarchic structures that oppose a successful group (which has obtained a monopoly on political and economic power) are able to bring to the streets a fairly large support group consisting of representatives of small and medium-sized businesses and their service personnel who have already felt the icy breath of the super monopoly. All these people are already losing out from the emerging super monopoly.

Since one of the oligarchic groups is trying to monopolise power in the country, it is natural that the crowd takes to the streets under anti-oligarchic slogans. In this case, it does not matter whether they shout: “Yanukovych, leave!” or “Lukashenko, leave!”, it does not matter whether they refer to the refusal to sign an EU Association Agreement or to the fact that “my neighbours and all my friends did not vote for him, how could he have won?” A real protest, often even unconscious, is formed against the absolute monopoly of power, against the very last stage of the development of capitalism, after which socialism is supposed to arise.

Practice and experience show: so far, both on a global scale and on the scale of individual countries, both oligarchic capitalism and the state bureaucracy (Russia, China) have managed to prevent the formation of a super monopoly.

In successful cases of the formation of a bureaucratic republic, the state bureaucracy still manages to artificially maintain the necessary level of political and economic decentralisation, despite the persistent desire of natural capitalism for monopoly. In this case, we have a classical unity and struggle of opposites. On the one hand, capitalism is impossible without competition, and on the other hand, the natural result of all competition is the formation of a monopoly. As long as the state bureaucracy manages to prevent absolute monopolisation of politics and the economy and maintain a competitive environment (albeit artificially), capitalism retains the potential for development, and the state pursues a strong social policy (in order to be able to rely on the people in the fight against the constantly trying to regenerate oligarchy). However, this balance is extremely fragile and, as the sad experience of the same USSR shows, the state bureaucracy at a certain stage loses its balance and instead of preserving a competitive environment, moves to total control, creating in fact the same monopoly political and economic structure that totally controls all spheres of life. It is extremely unviable, although it looks insanely strong (because it has everything under total control) because a person (any person, even the main owner) is considered by this monopoly structure as an excess item of expenditure.

The structure naturally tends to minimise humanity. But it cannot exist without people, because it is a product and natural extension of structures created to serve humanity. Therefore, totalitarian systems do not live long. They are initially dehumanised. When they claim to strive for the public good and contrast it with the personal good, they formulate the public good as the good of the state, but in reality the public good is the sum of the personal good of millions. An abstract state is a structure that does not require the mandatory presence of a person. Therefore, the interests of the state are not identical to the interests of the individual and society, but only form one of the sides of the balance of interests (for example, the state is always interested in minimising expenses and increasing income, society is interested in controlling its members, and the individual is interested in maximum freedom and maximum social protection). Focusing on the interests of the state, interpreted as the interests of society, the system comes into conflict with the interests of everyone, and then crumbles.

Theoretically, an ideal bureaucracy in an ideal state, created by an ideal society made up of ideal people, can maintain a balance of interests forever, but this does not happen, because man is imperfect, and he is at the heart of everything. Therefore, at some point a fatal mistake is made, and the state falls into decline, from which, however, it can be quickly withdrawn by the same bureaucracy (capable of correcting mistakes, again, I will give the example of Russia and China).

The second option to counteract the emergence of a super monopoly is the classic Maidan. The opposition oligarchy, in order to successfully resist the group that is seizing monopoly power, brings people to the streets under anti-oligarchic and even socialist slogans (in some cases, the slogans may be national-socialist, but the idea of social justice and anti-oligarchic struggle is necessarily present; in the USSR of the perestroika era it was transformed in the idea of ​​combating the “privileges of the partyocracy”, and in Belarus the local pseudo-oligarchy, dreaming of becoming an oligarchy, shouts at Lukashenko via the mouth of the street crowd “I’m fed up of you! Go away!”).

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In general, it is no coincidence that the shock force of any Maidan is made up of both ultra-left and ultra-right activists. Their specific ratio may be different (a particular Maidan may be left, right, or nationalist), but radicals from both sides are always present at a Maidan. The extreme left and extreme right are the “new political forces” that correspond to the ideal monopoly. Having reached its apogee and merged into a single super monopoly, oligarchic capitalism needs total control over society, so it is quite natural that totalitarian forces start to claim power. The paradox of Maidan is that totalitarian radicals are on the side of the oligarchic republic fighting the super-monopoly, while ideologically and according to the laws of social development, they should act as allies and legal successors of the super-monopoly. This contradiction is explained by the fact that Maidan is organised at an early stage of the emergence of a super-monopoly, when political forces have not yet had time to realise their place and their interests in the new world. As a result, totalitarian parties, instead of completing the formation of a totalitarian system, force the state to take a step back and dismantle the super-monopoly in favour of a competition between several oligarchic families.

This competition, however, again leads to the formation of a super-monopoly, and they are again trying to dismantle it with the help of Maidan technologies. For example, to dismantle the super-monopoly that Poroshenko almost created on the ruins of the super-monopoly of Yanukovych, it was not even necessary to bring the people out to the streets. The right-wing radicals (who monopolised the Ukrainian street, ousting the left-wing radicals from it) ensured Poroshenko’s “peaceful” departure, framed as an election, only by the threat of a Maidan.

To strengthen its position, the opposition oligarchy can also turn to foreign support. In recent years, the geopolitical situation has developed in such a way that this support has been provided to the opposition oligarchy. But according to the situation in Belarus, we see that the leading western countries are no longer interested in the local Maidan (it’s even harmful). They cannot renounce it, but they make it clear that they will not invest in this Polish adventure. Nevertheless, the Belarusian Maidan will not go anywhere, even if it has to go underground. It will gain strength again and again to oppose Lukashenko (if the promised reforms are not carried out).

Since any Maidan is organised by the forces of the local oligarchy (or, as in the USSR or Belarus, half-oligarchs who want to be legalised as such), the result is predictable. After the “bloody tyrant” is overthrown by the forces of the “outraged people” (this can happen in two days, two weeks, two months, or two or more years, but this happens almost always, except when the regime is transformed into a compromise and intercepts the anti-oligarchic agenda from the oligarchy), everything returns to normal. The “new power”, “young reformers”, “people from the people” turn out to be nothing more than the team of a new candidate for the head of a political and economic monopoly. After that, the oligarchy starts a new Maidan, with the same slogans. And the same people take to the streets in the hope that this time it will work.

This would go on indefinitely, but each subsequent Maidan destroys the state, economy, and society. As the experience of Ukraine shows, two Maidans are enough for a fatal outcome. But in principle, it is impossible to exclude that someone will need both three and four. But for the US, it seems, one is enough.

In general, Maidan can be described as a grandiose total deception. Society and political forces, through simple manipulation, force them to oppose the laws of social development and their own interests. Maidan is not a counter-revolution, because it does not try to go back to the past. Maidan is not a revolution, it does not dismantle the model of an oligarchic state. Maidan is Groundhog Day. It forces society to continuously experience the same stage of its development — the eve of the rebirth of the oligarchic republic into a super-monopoly. At the moment of the latter’s formation, Maidan returns society “to the morning of the same day”, when the winning forces start to form a super-monopoly at the expense of the losers.

That is precisely why Russia, possessing simple Maidan technologies, can rarely use them. The bureaucratic republic created here is the antipode, the complete opposite, of the oligarchic one. Cooperation with an oligarchic republic is almost impossible for Russia — the former will always be against it (for ideological reasons). On the contrary, Moscow is objectively interested in completing the process of an oligarchic republic (quite stable due to its balancing competition between oligarchic families) transforming into an unstable super-monopoly that loses the external support of the oligarchic republics of the west and is vulnerable to its own right and/or left-wing radicals rushing to power. In these circumstances, the Kremlin can offer and guarantee what it offers Belarus – the peaceful transformation of a super-monopoly into a bureaucratic republic in the manner of that created in Russia.

Moscow is interested in moving forward into an unknown future, while Maidan leaves society forever in the known present, quickly causing the decay and disintegration of all state and public structures.

Rostislav Ishchenko

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