Thursday, 9 April 2015
Disclaimer: This is an ill researched article on the situation in the former Soviet states. While I’m not completely in the dark regarding the subject, but at the same time, I’m not a connoisseur on the same. This is in no way a serious article and is meant to be taken in a light sense.
So, while I was sitting through yet another one of those countless late nights, I was just imagining the political situation in the former Soviet Union. From Eastern Europe to Caucasus and to as east as Central Asia, the situation is the same. All of them are united by a big brother; in this case a really big one. Everybody needs the big brother, for all fundamental aspects, being survival, growth and development but at the same time, nobody is fully satisfied with the big brother either, and day after day, it is always a war, either live or cold, but the action is always the same.
The view that any naïve foreigner with nothing more than a bird’s eye view about what we know as the former Soviet states is, that all of them (maybe with the exception of the Baltic states) are so dependent on their Big Brother, being Russia, but at the same time, nobody is per se comfortable with the Big Brother, being you lose your sense of independence and may begin to wonder what is the difference between the nostalgic Cold War days and today, barring the flags under whom we’re united. The terms are clearly set by the Big Brother and after setting those terms, there is no question of personal needs, the needs of the Big Brother becomes the priority.
This could be applicable to large corporations too, every time I open a newspaper on a Sunday morning, I find editorials filled with articles criticising the ‘corporate culture’ of the organisation they work for in every possible way and the bitter sweet relationship that they share with them – for they need them for their day to day survival, growth in the society and development as a person, just similar to the case of the former Soviet States.
As I’m ‘blessed’ enough to get those Sunday mornings unlike those who write those articles, with the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and the war against Georgia in 2008 and also the internal division inside Moldova, I could think of only one thing, what they are facing is so similar to the reality in the former Soviet States. They mention about some of the people, and what strikes me immediately is that of Belarus; yet again, what a naïve foreigner can see from afar is, Belarus is hated by many for the reasons that – it is the last remaining dictatorship in Europe, is almost like a black mark in Europe considering they’re the only country in Europe that still practises capital punishment (even their Big Brother has it done away with) and for all practical purposes, is a puppet of the Big Brother, has ingratiated them enough, much to the ire of everyone else around it. But these opinions about them simply don’t matter, for the only priority of Belarus is to please Russia, rise up the ladder and secure their position with the big brother. Evidently, the authors do seem to detest the characters akin to those in the position of Belarus.
But at the same time, the writers do see themselves as Ukraine – their only crime was an attempt to join a stronger and better organisation (the EU, in this case) which was intercepted through the grapevine channels and thereby being given a totally miserable time – a part of yourself is taken away as price, in most cases, your peace of mind (just like the loss of Crimea) and a part of yourself is always in conflict with the Big Brother at the other end (what else is happening at Donbass?) and of course, you still have to carry on with your own work and answerable to your own family (the government at Kiev, ultimately has to do what a normal government does and is answerable to the people and also, has to handle these conflicts). Ukraine might have the sympathy of everyone around and a supposed support but then, it doesn't really matter to the Big Brother, and these supporters aren't really interested in outrightly going against the Big Brother, for, take the case of EU, they love Ukraine, supporting them supports their ideology, but then, with the Big Brother being an important trade partner, they prefer to do nothing more than lip service and merely pretend to share the pain of Ukraine.
Or always, the most common claim is that the Big Brother always practices the divide and rule, if a union is against you, break that union into those who’d sway in your favour and create trouble in the union and then, the union, individually would become so insignificant that it doesn’t matter anymore. Take the case of Moldova – how the Big Brother supported the War of Transnistria and broke the union, with the split being prevalent till date. The even more recent case would be that of the break-up of Georgia were the Big Brother went into war and created two new states that’d always support them – being South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The bottom-line of the whole thing is clear – try to screw around with the big brother, you’re certainly screwed before you even raise a finger.
There are also always the street-smart cases who’d progress, in spite of all their animosity and hatred for the culture in the organisation, owing to their sheer ability, and would eventually drift away, and make it big in a larger organisation, like the case of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Then of course, there are always those insignificant characters in the office who are always shocked, witnessing the plight of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, they would dare not take their path and instead be like the Belarus or at least move towards it. You want a state of the art space launching facility? Please, take it as long as you’d need – so says Kazakhstan to the Big Brother. Turkmenistan would say that its needs are secondary, would offer the Big Brother its oil and natural resources as satisfying Gazprom thereby satisfying the Big Brother is the ultimate priority at the moment.
As I said earlier, I’m in no way a political commentator on this subject, but as I read this, I just attempted relating what I read in the editorials to what I read in the current affairs section. Your criticism and feedback is most welcome.
Have a nice day,