Note: The regular Taki post is up. The subject is related to the post here. There was no Sunday Thoughts due to Easter. There is a post about what is happening with the conduct of the war for those interested.
Word has begun to trickle out of Ukrainian and Russian channels on-line that the Zelensky government has ordered the remaining holdouts in the city of Mariupol to fight to the last man. Many have surrendered but there is a remnant that has refused to give into the reality of their position. On Sunday, the Russians gave them one last chance to walk away alive. The word from both sides of the information war is that the Zelensky government instructed them to die with honor.
The Russians have been slow to take the necessary steps to clear this part of the city of the remaining militants. One reason is pointless slaughter is not something any professional military enjoys. The other reason is they were hoping to minimize damage to the steel works. The slow progress of the war has been due to the Russian desire to minimize infrastructure damage. Given that the Russians will have to rebuild these territories after the war, this makes sense.
The other reason is that the remaining group of fighters is composed of elite Azov soldiers, including some high level leaders. It also has a group of foreign mercenaries trained by NATO. The Russians say they have detected seven European languages in the radio traffic. There is a strong possibility there are high ranking NATO advisors in this group. The Ukrainians have made several attempts to extract people from this site, so the Russians would like that prize if possible.
This is one of those glimpses into the heart of the issue. The Ukrainian government does not care at all about the Ukrainian people. These nationalists, like the civilian population, are just low value pieces on the board. The real issue is the long running proxy war against Russia. Zelensky is just a cat’s paw for the neocons in Washington who are running this war. They back him because he does what he is told and he does what he is told because he will retire an extraordinarily rich man.
Of course, the nationalist who rushed to back the Zelensky regime now find themselves supporting a craven lunatic. This is the trouble with living in the world of abstractions and theoretical concepts. You can easily find yourself on the same side as the people who want you dead. That is where many nationalists now find themselves. They are backing Ukraine against Russia, which means they are supporting the Global America Empire, which would like to exterminate them.
This is part of the greater lesson of Ukraine. A sense of identity that is built around old grievances or opposition to some externality usually leads to disaster. The obvious lesson is Irish nationalism during The Troubles. The IRA and Sinn Féin were defined entirely by their opposition to Britain. That has led Irish nationalists to let Ireland be consumed by the EU and globalism. The Irish are now free to important as many Africans as can make it to their island.
You see the difference between positive and negative identity in the reactions of Poland and Hungary. Polish identity is strongly linked to hatred of Russians. Hungarian identity is about the uniqueness of the Hungarian people. The Polish government is going overboard to support Ukraine against Russia, while the Hungarians have chosen to stay out of the fight. The result is Poland is being used as a flophouse and launching pad by NATO, paying the cost for all of it.
The deadliest example is in Ukraine itself. If the people calling themselves nationalists actually cared about the welfare of the Ukrainian people, their history, language and culture, they would not be acting this way. Their zeal for Russian blood is destroying the things they claim to defend. Tens of thousand of Ukrainian men will die and millions of Ukrainian people will be displaced because the so-called nationalist care more about their hatreds than the Ukrainian people.
The example they should have followed was the Finns. At the start of the Second World War the Finns found themselves invaded by the Soviets. The Finns staged a heroic defense of their homeland in the Winter War. Finnish leaders, however, actually cared about the survival of the Finnish people so they struck a deal with the Soviets that cost them land and some dignity. Finnish nationalists put their people before abstract concepts and arrived at the proper decision.
This is the fundamental problem with modern nationalism. It is nothing more than a bundle of hatreds and complaints tarted up with aspirational language that has no practical application. This is why nationalist parties in Europe do poorly. They are great on the high minded concepts and critiques against globalism, but they are short on a practical agenda that promotes a positive sense of identity. Note that Le Pen has been buoyed by her focus on bread and butter issues in France.
It is why nationalists movements have done so poorly in America. The critiques against global trade and open borders go back to the 1970’s when the paleo-conservatives started making them. The fact that Pat Buchanan was right about everything thirty years ago has made no difference. Cheap consumer goods, on-demand degeneracy and powerful pharmaceuticals are not much of a culture, but they beat the lack of a positive alternative vision of life.
Of course, the main reason for this is nationalism has been defined by the enemies of it and that definition has been accepted by the nationalists. The negative identity is defined by what the enemy opposes. Therefore, nationalism has been defined by the people who oppose it, which means it is a cartoon version of the real thing. Until nationalists start with a clean sheet of paper, put their enemies out of their head and sort out what they offer, they will remain the willing victims of their enemies.
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