Ethically or ethnically?

More pertinent: the autocratic/democratic line isn’t quite as grey as you suggest. Among Putin’s friends is a single state that has a claim to be democratic. And I’m not sure that they value their friendship a lot since Putin refused to lift a finger when Armenia got run over in the autumn of 2020.

Among the eastern EU Member States, the least democratic seems ready to lend P a hand (or is that a negotiation trick?), the others are the core of the EU’s hard line in favour of Ukraine

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If you are talking about Hungary, their seemingly pro-Russian position can be rather easily explained if you understand what is going on in what is called Szekely Land inside Transylvania, Romania.

Transylvania is host to a large community of Magyars that are mostly, imperfectly, self-segregated in 2-3 counties, in the middle of the country. They have been broken from Hungary by history and war, and their resentment towards their own Great Injustice (Trianon) has never really went away.

As I type this, this minority has written the Romanian PM a letter demanding autonomy and more, yet the Romanian Constitution is stipulating clearly that cannot be possible. Sure, Romania did promise to respect minority rights to enter the EU and NATO, but... this is East Europe, and these states are largely created around ethnic groups, and one of the most insane and rabid rivalries is between Romanians and Hungarians.

Considering the moves from the Szekelys, with the Donbas demands for autonomy, secession and unification with the Russian Motherland, you might understand Hungary's position better.

It's not autocracy vs democracy. Hungary is democratic, yet illiberal(ish). It's still insanely liberal compared to most of the planet. Go visit it sometimes.

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2004 Orange Revolution was under GW, US backed, modeled after OTPOR perhaps.

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Dec 25, 2022·edited Dec 25, 2022

The second theory makes some sense for me as a East European.

All of these debates come from our current year inability to say the truth about nations, states, peoples and what binds a tribe to a land. It's irrelevant the tribe's constructed or purely a biological entity. What matters is how that tribe sees itself, and how intensely.

Most East European states have been built in opposition to multicultural empires and around a perceived tribe or ethnicity. Saying openly they are (imperfect) ethnostates makes you an evil nazi, but in their hearts, the people from the dominant ethnicity, like Hungarians, Romanians, Poles KNOW IT and consider the ethnic state the most legitimate form of statehood and organizing, that can transcend communism, socialism, fascism, liberalism and whatever the favorite ideology of the era might be.

If we were less cowardly and more open about what we are in East Europe, we would have less war, not more, IMHO.

The autocracy vs democracy theory is idiotic and only works for Western libs. Ukraine is not liberal nor democratic, although it might wear the mask at times to please the people that help with weapons.

Sad state of affairs.

PS: part 2 that explains the confluence of nationalism and democracy is great. Democracy does not mean liberalism. It can obviously be illiberal and nationalistic. Liberal Democracy with capital letters is yet another Western myth and refusal to understand East Europe.

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if you want to explain why it rains there are many level of explaining it.

the basic one, is about droplets of water.

on an higher explanation level, clouds are made of water droplets. Within a cloud, water droplets condense onto one another, causing the droplets to grow.

the next step of explanation refers to clouds: why and how they form. i.e analysing all the many factors connected to clouds. wind, temperature, humidity, etc.

same for war: you can basically explain it talking about "aggression". this is like saying it rains because of water drops....

or indicating the "cloud" from where the rain comes from.

if you really want to understand a war, its real causes, you need a larger historical view, the influence of external factors , and much more.

fact is that in the mainstream they often talk about "droplets". how many, fromm which cloud .

sure, this is easier than explaining external factors.

in this way, you can attribute responsabilities to a single bad cloud...

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I would argue the ethno-nationalism could have been contained, but for US hegemonic intervention.

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You cannot contain such a thing, it's essentially a force of nature, i.e. a tribe organizing for self-defense and protection of the resources on the land it inhabits. Tribes are complex constructions, biological (shared genetic heritage) only partially, there is culture, religion, history, education and more.

To destroy a tribe you have to deconstruct all of its important myths, which can be disastrous and is very risky, likely lead to resentment later and so the cycle of vengeance continues.

Best thing to do is leave tribes alone. The same you apply for the Sentinelese and Amazonian tribes, you do for the bigger ones. It's not that hard. Only intervene (in as limited fashion as possible) if tribes become violently expansionistic, threatening other tribes.

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You are conflating ethno-nationalism, a political ideology with origins in the 19th century European political-intellectual sphere, with tribalism, an ancient form of social organization. They are not the same. There is nothing inevitable or natural about ethno-nationalism. Modern European nations (in the sense of Volk, or Narod), are contingent, historically specific, and very new constructions. You don't have to go back very far in history to find Slavic speaking people with zero conception of themselves as "Poles" "Ukrainians" "Russians" "Serbs" "Croats" etc. Linguistically those languages are all very new, not long ago locally distinct proto-Slavic dialects were the norm. Nothing inevitable or "natural" about the process by which those Slavic tribes came to think of themselves as distinct ethnic groups with the necessity of all living in the same state. It took a lot of political, cultural and intellectual work to get people to think of themselves that way, and it's a constant process of reinforcing those ideas. They can slip away surprisingly quickly if the work stops and people begin thinking more broadly and creatively about who "they" are.

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Not really. Organizing around tribal relations will naturally evolve into ethnic nationalism, which is just a description of a naturally occurring phenomenon.

You can deconstruct and diminish any imperfect construction such as nation, race, ethnicity and tribe. Why would you do it? What's your goal? Are you sure that what you have to offer is better, more peaceful and prosperous?

Notions do evolve in time, but people that seek to tear them down without any practical and pragmatic replacement are playing with fire. It should be obvious that any form of idealistic, global organizing is far less possible than the more localized forms.

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Ethnic and communal conflict was a serious problem for the newly independent country of Singapore. Had the government simply took the view that ethno-nationalism cannot be contained, Singapore would not be the peaceful society it is today. Just a thought.

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