Ideology and the Ukraine

When living in Tallinn in the nineties I quite often heard my acquaintancies say that ”just you wait, when Gorbatjov and Jeltsin are gone the old russians will be back”. I was sceptical and saw things a little bit more rosy with a pluralistic democratic development in Russia as the most likely scenario for the future. I was wrong.

GolodomorKharkiv (1)So today what are the components of the cleavage between Russia and the Ukraine? Is it only about geopolitics, sphers of influence, natural gas pipes and money not to mention the catastrophic, by Stalinist policies created, famine in the early thirties in the Urkraine or is there a real ideological core in the conflict that calls for closer examination. Has the Russian state, inheritor of the Soviet system, completely and irrevocably morfed into kleptocracy?

What was the Soviet system? Well on the positive side and something which is not totally lacking of interest in todays world of mass unemployment, is the fact that the Soviet Union was a society of full employment, albeit with manpower allocated very inefficently.

If people had skills and higher education they were expected to contribute to society and if unwilling to work were put under some preasure to do so.

On the negative side you were supposed to shut up when it came to critizing the regime. If one did not adhere to the principle of shutting up, death, imprisonment, ostracization or exile could follow.

The blueprint of the Soviet union can be traced back to Lenins, in 1920, stipulated criteria for allowing socialist organizations to join the Comintern. Among these criteria was the acceptance of Democratic Centralism which meant handing over very farreaching powers to a small communist elite, doing away with what we consider fair democratic procedures, accepting the complete subservience of media to the communist party and abolishing free speach.

Marxism leninism was supposed to be the guiding star. In everyday conversations in our time this concept of Marxism Leninism is often treated as an integral concept. As I remember, the difference between Marxism and Leninism, Marxim being a tool for analyzing capital accumulation and Leninism being a political ideology, was sometimes pointed out by my leftwing inclined fellow students at the Stockholm School of Economics in the early seventies. This ”fine point” was however not something that, at that time, lingered on my mind it probably quickly bounced of , there were other concerns.

So how should one look on Russia today, mainly as a caretaker of Marxist ideas or as a derailed leninist kleptocracy? My gutfeeling says that it is mostly the latter reality that calls the shots but I can also hear a feeble voice wispering that the Marxist legacy is not completely dead. When this feeble voice meets fresh statistics about accelerating and worrysome inequalities in the West, including Sweden ground for some interesting conversations materializes.

Ideology and the Ukraine

When living in Tallinn in the ninties I quite often heard my acquaintancies  say that ”just you wait, when Gorbatjov and Jeltsin are gone the old russians will be back”. I was sceptical and saw things a little bit more rosy with a pluralistic democratic development in Russia as the most likely scenario for the future. I was wrong.

GolodomorKharkiv (1)So today what are the components of the cleavage between Russia and the Ukraine? Is it only about geopolitics, sphers of influence, natural gas pipes and money not to mention the catastrophic,  by Stalinist policies created, famine in the early thirties in the Urkraine or is there a real  ideological core in the conflict that calls for closer examination. Has the Russian state, inheritor of the Soviet system, completely and irrevocably morfed into kleptocracy?

What was the Soviet system? Well on the positive side and something which is not totally lacking of interest in todays world of mass unemployment, is the fact that the Soviet Union was a society of full employment, albeit with manpower  allocated very inefficently.

If people had skills and higher education they were expected to contribute to society and if unwilling to work were put under some preasure to do so.

On the negative side you were supposed to shut up when it came to critizing the regime. If one did not adhere to the principle of shutting up, death, imprisonment, ostracization or exile could follow.

The blueprint of the Soviet union can be traced back to Lenins, in 1920, stipulated criteria for allowing socialist organizations to join the Comintern. Among these criteria was the acceptance of Democratic Centralism which  meant handing over very farreaching powers to a small communist elite, doing away with what we consider fair democratic procedures, accepting the complete subservience of media to the communist party and abolishing free speach.

Marxism leninism was supposed to be the guiding star. In everyday conversations in our time this concept of Marxism Leninism is often treated as an integral concept. As I remember, the difference between Marxism and Leninism, Marxim being a tool for analyzing capital accumulation and Leninism being a political ideology, was sometimes pointed out  by my leftwing inclined fellow students at the Stockholm School of Economics in the early seventies. This ”fine point” was however not something that, at that time, lingered on my mind  it probably quickly bounced of , there were other concerns.

So how should one look on Russia today, mainly as a caretaker of Marxist ideas or as a derailed leninist klepocracy? My gutfeeling says that it is mostly the latter reality that calls the shots but I can also hear a feeble voice wispering that the Marxist legacy is not completely dead. When this feeble voice meets fresh statistics about accelerating and worrysome inequalities in the West, including Sweden ground for some interesting conversations materializes.

Swedish judiciary in trouble

juni 2013Rule of law is one of the linchpins of our western democratic systems. So how is rule of law faring in Sweden of today? Many would answer not so well. Recent scandals bear testimony to the declining health in the Swedish judiciary. The story of Thomas Quick, nowadays Sture Bergvall is revealing.

This man confessed to no less than 39 murders and was found guilty in lower courts of eight murders. The evidence was non-existing or extremely scant. There was absolutely no technical evidence, no dna-samples tying Quick to the numerous crimes. The guilty verdicts were in reality based on manipulated confessions of Quick. The circumstances of these confessions were however astonishing.

Quick was during the murderinvestigations heavily sedated and was lured to confessions by therapists, psychiatrists and police investigators. How could all this go on for years and years? Looking at the court configurations, at least eight lower court judges and something like 30 jurors have put their signatures under the guilty verdicts!

There is obviously a need for medical examinations of the spines of Swedish jurors and judges? Defence lawyers and prosecutors should perhaps also be called in for some thorough health check-ups.

Swedish judiciary in trouble

Christer van der Kwast

 

Rule of law is one of the linchpins of our western democratic systems. So how is rule of law faring in Sweden of today? Many would answer not so well. Recent scandals bear testimony to the declining health in the Swedish judiciary. The story of Thomas Quick, nowadays Sture Bergvall is revealing. This man was charged as a serial killer up to thirty times and found guilty in lower courts of eight murders. The evidence was non-existing or extremely scant. There was absolutely no technical evidence, no dna-samples tying Quick to the numerous crimes. The guilty verdicts were in reality based on manipulated confessions of Quick. The circumstances of these confessions were however astonishing. Quick was during the murderinvestigations heavily sedated and was lured to confessions by therapists, psychiatrists and police investigators. How could all this go on for years and years? Looking at the court configurations, at least eight lower court judges and something like 30 jurors have put their signatures under the guilty verdicts? There is obviously a need for medical examinations of the spines and brains of Swedish jurors and judges? Defence lawyers and prosecutors should perhaps also be called in for some thorough health check-ups.

claes_borgström