Libertarian Party of Russia: An appeal to western libertarians about the war in Ukraine

Mikhail Svetov at libertarian-party.ru/blog:

u-genghis-khan-monumentI decided to write this after I noticed that western libertarians have unaccountably developed a soft spot for Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The consensus among them seems to be that Putin is in the right in Ukraine. Even Ron Paul, whom I normally admire, has fallen for his charms. But as a Russian libertarian myself, it leaves me disappointed and terribly sad.

The biggest complaint from libertarians about the Ukraine seems to be that the government in Kyiv is somehow “fascist,” which in their eyes warrants Russian military intervention. I would like to start by outlining some facts about Russia and Ukraine, and hopefully dispel some myths about the war in the Donbass region of Ukraine (also known as the Donetsk Basin).

The simplest way is to focus on some of the most notable characteristics of fascism. The defining characteristic of Fascism is that the good of the State comes before the good of the individual, identified by Laurence Britt as being commonly manifested in the following ways:

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 6.17.51 PM.png

1) Cult of Personality
Putin’s cult of personality is central to the people’s attitude toward his regime as a whole. And his approval rating has
soared to an all-time high of 87%
. To put this number into perspective:
Putin is just 3% shy of the support Hitler had in 1939,
just before the start of World War II.

This popularity is because, you see, “Vladimir Putin was sent to Russia by God to help it deal with its troubles.” So great is the
idolatry that Putin T-Shirts fly off the shelves at Moscow megastores; pop songs are written about him, praising his qualities; and the Russian Patriarch calls Putin’s reign a “miracle of God.

There is no cult of personality in Ukraine.

2) Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights

Just last week, Putin in his address to the Russian Parliament said that quitting the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is possible, but not on the agenda at the moment. He also mentioned that Russia is ready to withdraw unilaterally from international treaties, if this step meets domestic interests — as determined by him.

No such sentiment has ever been expressed by Kyev.

3) Identification of Enemies as a Unifying Cause

In Russia “war on traitors” is rampant and spreading to every corner of our society. People are being fired and publicly humiliated just for
voicing their opinions
.

People like me, or Vera Kichanova (and everyone else in the Libertarian Party of Russia) are called “fifth columnist” and “national-traitors.”

You may appreciate the installation above: The words on the banner read: “You’re not welcome here.” Annual Kremlin-sponsored extremist youth camps feature, among other questionable things, mock-ups such as these of heads of Moscow human-rights defenders on pikes. Note that this is not some irrelevant event, Putin and Prime Minister Medvedev visit this particular camp every year.

Homosexuals in Russia are vilified and persecuted, with the explicit approval of the Putin government. A year ago the so-called “LGBT propaganda law” was enacted, which made it illegal both to equate straight and gay relationships and to show public affection, both of which are deemed “gay propaganda.”

Nothing like this exists in Ukraine. There are no “national-traitors,” nobody’s being fired for voicing their opinions, and no heads are put on pikes. Of course, there are some extremists, as in every other country. The difference is that in Ukraine they remain on the fringe of the society, while in Russia they are hosted by the government, and their events are routinely graced by President Putin.

4) Supremacy of the Military

A few days ago
Putin announced that an extra 20 trillion rubles ($570 billion) had been set aside for the army and fleet rearmament until 2020. That will bring the Russian military budget to 6% of the GDP, the second largest in the world. Ukraine’s military budget is just 2.2% of its GDP.

Meanwhile, “Russia diverts [sic] pension savings to plug budget hole.” Just to make it clear, “diverts pension savings” means they blatantly ransacked people’s retirement accounts.

Russia, by the way, still has a conscription army. Russians are subject to a military draft. Ukraine, until four months into the war, had a professional army filled by volunteers.

5) Controlled Mass Media

There is no freedom of the press in Russia. None, not one report from inside the country can be trusted. Every country-wide channel is tightly controlled by the government. Of course, that includes Russia Today, which receives $300 million dollars from the Russian government every year.

One of the most influential TV channels in Russia is the state controlled “Rossiya One,” famous for its news anchor Dmitry Kiselyov who, among other things, said that the Kremlin can turn the US into nuclear dust any time it likes, and suggested the hearts of gays should be burned. Having listened to him, rather than being horrified, Putin was so impressed he personally appointed him the head of Russia Today. How about that?

On the other hand, and even though Yanukovych tried to control it before he was ousted. Ukraine, has a relatively free press. So much so, for the last 10 years Russian journalists systematically fled to Ukraine because
they were forbidden to do their job in Russia
.

Not just forbidden, unsafe. Journalists are killed and assaulted in Russia every year. 49 have been killed since Putin first came to hold power in 2001, all of them assassinated for political reasons.

No journalists were killed in Ukraine between 2001 and 2014. Not until the Russian invasion. Since then, several journalists were killed by Russian militants in Donbass.

Despite the iron fist on mainstream media, internet in Russia was relatively free. Until recently, that is, when Putin decided to annex Crimea. Since then opposition blogs have been routinely blacklisted, online news outlets censored, and the biggest and most successful independent online newspaper saw its entire staff laid off by the pro-Kremlin oligarch. Twitter too is being censored, and Wikipedia.

Further, Putin blocked the sites of opponents, outlawed anonymous blogging, and ordered all bloggers to ‘register’ with the mass media regulator, i.e., the Kremlin censor.

Nothing like this exists in Ukraine.

6) A single-party state

Even though there are four parties in the Russian parliament, Russia is a de-facto single-party state. The laws on the majority of issues are being passed unanimously. The anti gay law was passed unanimously; so did the ban on foreign adoption; so too the internet censorship law. The Russian parliament also approved the troop deployment in Ukraine unanimously. This is not just because parliamentarians are a bunch of tailors’ dummies: it is done to ensure collective responsibility, so that no one can avoid the blame should any law backfire.

Boris Gryzlov, state duma speaker and a good friend of Vladimir Putin famously
said, that the “parliament is no place for discussions.” This is the man whose job in the parliament is to allow debate. Indeed, in Russia the parliament is the place where every bill supported by the president is passed unanimously.

Ukraine, on the other hand, is a democracy. There are 9 distinct parties in the parliament that hardly agree on anything, even on the issues of defence in time of war. Even when there is a majority, the competition is fierce and controversial. As it
should be in parliament.

7) Rampant Cronyism and Corruption

Both countries are seriously corrupt, so I’ll just leave it at that.

8) Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts

Putin’s Russia has a rich history of persecution of artists and intellectuals under the guise of patriotism and morality.

As many know, the Russian punk band Pussy Riot was famously jailed for two years for an impromptu performance inside a Christ the Saviour church. The Council of Laodicea, the 7th century Quinisext Council and other religious decrees have been used in court as the proof of their undeniable guilt.

The exhibition Ostorojno Religiya! (i.e., Beware Religion!) was trashed by religious extremists. However, no charges or fees were imposed on the vandals — instead, curators were fined a hefty 200,000 rubles for allowing the exhibition to happen! And both were later fired.

Famous Russian gallery-owner and art patron Marat Guelman had to leave
Russia because he was systematically forced to close his projects
in Russia
.

Ukraine does not infringe on the freedom of artistic expression.

9) Obsession with National Security

Ukraine willingly surrendered its entire nuclear arsenal to Russia in 1991 at the break-up of the Soviet Union. Russia promised in exchange that it will never threaten or use force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, a promise now violated.

Post-Soviet Russia under Yeltsin and then Putin started wars in Chechnya, Abkhazia, South-Osetia, Transnistria, and now
Ukraine
. It resumed testing nuclear-capable missiles, in violation of Cold-War treaties. All in the name of “National Security.”

Ukraine on the other hand enjoyed 21 years of continuous peace. It has been a good neighbour. Since 1991 it hasn’t been involved in a single armed conflict. Until now.

10) Religion and Government are Intertwined

Under Putin, the Russian Orthodox Church has become an increasingly influential political force — the immediate reason for Pussy Riot protests. “We must protect holy places from liberals and their satanic ideology,” say the people being called Putin’s God Squad.

Two years ago United Russia (aka The Party of Putin) created a parliamentary group in defence of “Christian values.” The Cossacks were allowed to patrol the streets — and to “patrol the morals.” These are the same Cossacks that form a bulk of pro-Russia militants in
Ukraine by the way.

The construction of 200 (!) new churches in Moscow was sponsored by the Moscow government. Even the Communist Party supports the church nowadays.
Indeed, there is a blurred line between the Russian Church and state. Says Putin: “The voice of the church should be heard loudly everywhere, especially on TV channels. […] The state should ensure adequate expression of citizens’ interests, which binds their world view to the values of Orthodoxy and
other traditional confessions.” (Translation here).

Further, Putin made religious education mandatory in all Russian schools. Putin: “Children should be taught by well-trained people, either by theology teachers or priests.”

The reversal from the Soviet era is profound, echoing the famous totalitarian principle, “what isn’t prohibited will be made compulsory.”

There is no compulsory religious education in Ukraine. Church is separate from the state, and ancient religious decrees are not used in courts as legal documents.

11) Fraudulent Elections

I was an election observer during the Russian presidential election in 2012. You can read my report, alas in Russian, here.

Elections in Russia are neither free nor fair. Opposition parties are universally barred from elections. And opposition candidates are just as routinely put in jail or under house arrest. Some are even abducted abroad and tortured.

Libertarian Party of Russia was also refused registration. Libertarian candidate Vera Kichanova was attacked during her electoral campaign and her petition signatures destroyed.

There are 41 recognised prisoners of conscious in Russia at the moment.

Since the release of Yulia Tymoshenko there are no political prisoners in Ukraine. The elections in Ukraine were genuine and “ in line with international commitments and with a respect for fundamental freedoms in the vast majority of the country.”

Here are some more quick facts, this time about Russian “anti-fascists” in Eastern Ukraine

Oleg Tsarev, the pro-russian oligarkh in Donbass, introduced the new
flag of Novorossiya
. The same flag is heavily used by neo-Nazis in
Russia and is called “imperka,” meaning the imperial flag (check out
the armbands, and balaklavas.)

A majority of
separatists fighting in Ukraine are in fact Russian neo-Nazis with no prior connection to the
region
. Their warlords are Russian nationals, too (Aleksander
Borodai, Igor Strelkov and Babai, to name a few). None of them visited
Donbass before the war.

Donetsk’s guerrilla separatists kidnap the Ukrainian artist who dared to mock them.

Dmitry Rogozin, now the Deputy PM of Russia in charge of the defence
industry
, was elected as a member of the ultra-xenophobic “Rodina”
(motherland) party. Check out his political ad from 2005 (make sure you
enable the captions.)

Scared of the nationalist “Svoboda” party in Ukraine? Sure, they are some
pretty bad guys. But check out Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a leader of the
Russian ultra-nationalist LDPR party and a deputy speaker of Russia’s lower
house of parliament. Just few days ago he promised to “wipe out Poland and the Baltic states.” He
advocated reducing the birth rate among ethnic minorities by imposing
a penalty for the birth of a third child
. And he was also a close friend of Saddam Hussein. In the last
parliamentary election in Russia his party won twice the share of seats
“Svoboda” has in Ukraine.

Just in case you
want to know more, there is a great documentary about him: “Tripping with Zhirinovsky.”

A civil war is by
definition not a foreign attack. In Ukraine, Russian troops fight with Russian weapons under Russian
warlords against Kyiv government
. What happens in Ukraine is not a
civil war, it’s a Russian invasion.

Some quick facts about the
allegedly “fascist” government in Kiev

You
know the bill that everyone is talking about, that supposedly
“revoked Russian language rights” in Ukraine
? It has never been signed into law.

The Law on Education grants Ukrainian families(parents and their children) a
right to choose their native language for schools and studies
.

There are 8,334,141 Russians living peacefully in Ukraine. It is
Ukraine’s largest minority. There are 1,154 schools available to them where
all the instructions are provided in Russian. In most other Ukranian schools Russian is taught as the
second language
.

There are 1,927,888 Ukrainians living in Russia, the
second-largest minority after the Tatars. Do you know how many schools are
available to them in Russia? None. Zero. There are no schools with
instructions on Ukrainian. There are just Sunday schools, all 15 of them.

Furthermore, Russia banned Ukrainian language from schools in
Crimea
. This was literally the first thing they did.

There is no “fascist” government in Ukraine. In the Ukrainian presidential election of 2014,
nationalists generated an embarrassing 1 percent of the vote for Oleh
Tyagnibok of ultra-nationalist Svoboda Party, and less than 1 percent for
Dmitry Yarosh of the new Right Sector party that sprung up during the
protests. Tyagnibok and Yarosh together received fewer votes than Vadim
Rabinovich, a Jewish candidate who captured a little over 2 percent of the
ballots.

Quick facts about the Crimean occupation

Putin admitted that Russian troops took over Crimea, removing any doubt that it was an occupation and not a popular uprising.

The same kind of referendum Putin staged in Crimea is illegal in Russia. Public calls for actions violating the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation are punishable by 4 years in prison. Putin systematically bans Siberian independence marches, and blacklists every news outlet that dares to mention it — making Russia a kind of Hotel California of nations.

Crimean Tatars enjoyed an autonomy within Ukraine. But since Russia annexed Crimea the deportation of Tatars resumed. Leaders of Crimean Tatars are labelled ‘extremists,’ and banned from returning home. More here.

Tatar books are being banned in Crimea; Crimean Tatars are being kidnapped; some of them are found tortured to death.

These are the facts about Putin’s Crimea.

Nothing like this happened when Crimea was part of Ukraine.

What I argue is that if you consider the facts, you will see that Russia fits the description of a fascist state much better than Ukraine.

But what upsets me the most is not that western libertarians are defending Russian aggression, but that they are defending lesser freedom as well. Ukraine may be a weak state, but it’s also less oppressive — something libertarians should sympathise with.

Sure, Ukraine has its problems and it’s far from being a libertarian utopia. But Ukraine has freedom of speech and free elections, something Russia lost a long time ago. People of all creeds and religions are left to their own devices, something banned in Russia. And gays are protected by the anti-discrimination laws, the opposite of things is Russia. It’s not much, but it’s much better than what Russia has to offer, and vastly better than what Putin has been delivering by force in eastern Ukraine.

I hope this post will allow fellow libertarians in the west to see through Russian propaganda a little bit better. Should you be interested in a more in-depth information about the Russian attack on Ukraine, check out this excellent report by Andrei Illarionov.


Mikhail Svetov has been a member of the Libertarian Party of Russia since 2010.

74 thoughts on “Libertarian Party of Russia: An appeal to western libertarians about the war in Ukraine

  1. georgephillies

    Thank you for your excellent and systematic summary. I have been puzzled by the occasional confusion on this issue in some libertarian circles here. The scope of Putin’s turning Russia into a dictatorship is visible if one reads carefully, but is likely not well known to many Americans.

  2. langa

    I think this article misses the point. Yes, Putin is a tyrant. That should be obvious to anyone with a libertarian bone in their body. But the reason that so many libertarians are dismayed by the anti-Russian propaganda emanating from Washington is not because they view Putin as some kind of libertarian hero. It’s because they recognize the propaganda for what it is: the neocons’ latest attempt at providing a pretext to reignite the Cold War. No more, and no less.

    As for the people of Russia, I feel bad for them that they are stuck with a guy like Putin, and I hope they find a way to get rid of him. But that way should definitely not include any sort of U.S. intervention. After all, dictators overthrown by the U.S. are almost invariably replaced by someone even worse. Besides, as the situation in Missouri demonstrates, we’ve got our own tyranny to deal with, right here in the “land of the free” [sic].

  3. Robert Capozzi

    L, I generally agree. However, I’m never sure what is mere “propaganda” and what is poor analysis of facts. We can stipulate that Putin is a harmful character for those around him, but then the question becomes, “What, if anything, is the appropriate response to the expansionist incursions in Ukraine and other Putin-directed aggression?”

    It’s amazing to me that the neocon rhetoric does not seem to be challenged in any meaningful way. When I heard Lindsey Graham say something to the effect that ISIS needs to be stopped because, if unchecked, they will “kill us,” I’m really disappointed that this sort of talk is not laughed out of the Public Square. Let me get this straight: 10,000 zealots with no navy or air force halfway across the globe is going to “kill us”? It seems absurd on its face, more absurd than even the notion of a cult of the omnipotent state!

    At least in the case of Putin, he could give the order and actually kill us. He has the means. Sorry to say, BECA– USE he has the means, the case weakens for intervening in any way in Ukraine. Why provoke a desperate dictator with ICBMs? On it face, it seems deeply contra-indicated.

  4. Bondurant

    No one likes Putin. Paul does not like Putin and no libertarian I know likes Putin or supports him in any way. It’s a matter of not wanting to get involved in the geopolitical b.s. that surrounds Ukraine and supporting the likes of Svoboda (who are, in fact, fascists).

    For the record, I think Putin is a piece of shit.

  5. Jill Pyeatt

    I agree with Capozzi that it’s sometimes hard to know what is real and what is propaganda. My default is, of course, to assume it’s all propaganda, although I know most people are unlike me. I don’t like Putin except to say that he seems more rational or grounded than some of the other leaders of counties, certainly compared to Kim Jong II.

    I DO like the photo accompanying this article, however. It’s classic!

  6. Starchild

    I’m a little surprised that neither the original blog post that is the subject of this thread — which is impressively well-written, especially if Mikhail Svetov is writing in English as a second language — nor the comments have mentioned what seems to me the single most important point in this whole situation.

    That would be the right to secession.

    Before proceeding further, let me say that I fully concur that Putin has taken Russia back down the road to dictatorship, seems keen to rebuild the Soviet Union to the extent he can, and has been a disaster in almost every way. Although some of the charges Svetov levels against him and his regime are new to me, I have no reason to doubt them given what I already know.

    But even if Putin were presiding over the most authoritarian regime on earth, and Ukraine were the freest country in Europe, these facts would not take moral precedence over the right of the majority of people in the Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, or any other region to secede that region from an existing political jurisdiction and form a new, independent jurisdiction or join with a different polity of their choosing.

    This is simply too important a principle for the future of humanity, to be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency in any particular case, regardless of how loathsome some of the players are, or how base their motives.

    As Patri Friedman and the seasteaders have observed, the barriers to entry in the “new country” field are too high, and this is a major obstacle to libertarian progress in the world. There are too few governments in the world, ruling too much territory, and they are extremely reluctant to allow new members into their club. National boundaries must *not* under any circumstances be seen as fixed and inviolable, but rather as plastic and subject to being redrawn as often as it suits those who live within their bounds.

    The view that “territorial integrity” of existing states is vital to preserve is not only a formidable impedance to the creation of new “start-up” countries; it is also a major source of conflict and a boon to state power. The suppression by force and violence of minority ethnicities, cultures, languages, religions, and viewpoints by governments seeking to avoid any loss of power via relinquishing any territory, is a global problem. The presence of volatile ethnic, cultural, and religious mixes within existing states is frequently a cause of war, and often provides a convenient pretext for State repression and consolidation of power.

    Because nationalist sentiments unfortunately remain so strong in so many places, overcoming them will require taking a clear, consistent, moral stand, and sticking to it even when doing so is politically inconvenient and produces bedfellows not to our liking.

    Instead of opposing Putin in the one instance where he is more or less on the right side, albeit for the wrong reasons, why not simply oppose him on the many, many issues where he is clearly and obviously wrong?

    Siberian independence, for instance, would be an excellent subject for an international Libertarian press release. Demanding that Putin allow a referendum such as he allowed in Crimea, and supporting all people seeking to free the areas where they live from under the rule of Moscow, Washington, or any other central authority.

    I note that Svetov does not deny that a majority of people in Crimea, or the regions of Eastern Ukraine that are in revolt, wish to secede from the jurisdiction of the government in Kiev. This seems telling, given his command of detailed arguments on so many other points.

    If the Tatars are being oppressed under the new order in Crimea, the solution is not to force the Crimean peninsula back into Ukraine against the wishes of the majority of those living there, but to seek full protection and legal equality for the Tatars and any other minorities, and to uphold their rights to secede in turn if they form a majority in any smaller region within the region and wish to take the step.

  7. paulie Post author

    Starchild, perhaps you missed it near the end of the article:

    “The same kind of referendum Putin staged in Crimea is illegal in Russia. Public calls for actions violating the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation are punishable by 4 years in prison. Putin systematically bans Siberian independence marches, and blacklists every news outlet that dares to mention it — making Russia a kind of Hotel California of nations. “

  8. paulie Post author

    I don’t like Putin except to say that he seems more rational or grounded than some of the other leaders of counties, certainly compared to Kim Jong II.

    He’s probably also more rational than the leaders of Myanmar and the Sudan. LOL, that’s certainly setting a high standard 🙂

  9. Gene Berkman

    Excellent overview of the fascist tendencies of Comrade Putin. Good that it was published on the75th anniversary of the signing of the Hitler Stalin Pact. Not only did Germany and Russia jointly invade Poland, starting the European part of the Second World War. Another result of the pact was that Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were absorbed into the Soviet Union; they remained part of the Soviet Union even after the war, when Germany and Japan both lost territory.

    I possess a Swiss anarchist magazine that includes the secret protocols of the Hitler Stalin Pact – in German – which provided for the division of Poland.

    Communist throughout the world accepted the pact with the German Reich, and defended Germany’s aggressive moves into the west as well. Some observers saw through this, as made clear in the song My Darling Party Line

  10. paulie Post author

    I think this article misses the point. Yes, Putin is a tyrant. That should be obvious to anyone with a libertarian bone in their body. But the reason that so many libertarians are dismayed by the anti-Russian propaganda emanating from Washington is not because they view Putin as some kind of libertarian hero. It’s because they recognize the propaganda for what it is: the neocons’ latest attempt at providing a pretext to reignite the Cold War. No more, and no less.

    Well, I’m not for US regime involvement in any Russia/Ukraine conflicts, but there is a certain element among the “paleolibertarians” that crosses the line from opposing US regime intervention to openly siding with Putin, or downplaying his negatives. Partially it’s because they like Russia as a counterweight to the US and EU on the world stage, and for at least some of them, it’s due to their friendship with theocons/paleocons who like him for his anti-gay laws and mixing of church and state.

  11. paulie Post author

    It’s amazing to me that the neocon rhetoric does not seem to be challenged in any meaningful way. When I heard Lindsey Graham say something to the effect that ISIS needs to be stopped because, if unchecked, they will “kill us,” I’m really disappointed that this sort of talk is not laughed out of the Public Square. Let me get this straight: 10,000 zealots with no navy or air force halfway across the globe is going to “kill us”? It seems absurd on its face

    Absurdity has never stopped them before, so why should it now?

  12. paulie Post author

    It’s a matter of not wanting to get involved in the geopolitical b.s. that surrounds Ukraine and supporting the likes of Svoboda (who are, in fact, fascists).

    The first part is valid; the second was addressed in the article – it’s a party with very low single digit percent support.

  13. langa

    …there is a certain element among the “paleolibertarians” that crosses the line from opposing US regime intervention to openly siding with Putin, or downplaying his negatives. Partially it’s because they like Russia as a counterweight to the US and EU on the world stage, and for at least some of them, it’s due to their friendship with theocons/paleocons who like him for his anti-gay laws and mixing of church and state.

    Unless you define “libertarian” very broadly, I haven’t really heard any libertarians defending Putin, other than something similar to the damning-with-faint-praise that Jill offered (e.g. “well, at least he’s not as bad as so-and-so…”). I certainly haven’t heard anyone suggesting that Putin is any sort of libertarian, or that he’s someone that libertarians should admire. But that hasn’t stopped people from using this situation to equate support for non-interventionism with support for Putin, or even support for Russian imperialism, particularly with regard to Ron Paul.

    In fact, Svetov himself claims to “admire” Paul, but in the very same sentence, he links to a hit piece written by none other than notorious Paul-basher Jamie Kirchick, of all people! With “admirers” like that…

  14. langa

    It’s amazing to me that the neocon rhetoric does not seem to be challenged in any meaningful way. When I heard Lindsey Graham say something to the effect that ISIS needs to be stopped because, if unchecked, they will “kill us,” I’m really disappointed that this sort of talk is not laughed out of the Public Square. Let me get this straight: 10,000 zealots with no navy or air force halfway across the globe is going to “kill us”? It seems absurd on its face…

    The fact that a man as apparently unhinged as Graham continues to be re-elected is not only amazing, but also very disturbing.

  15. Deran

    As far as secession. I think it could be useful to think of Ukraine like a post-colonial state. Like Nigeria say, where brits in drawing rooms in London drew lines on maps and created a nationstate out of whole cloth. Or rather out of a jumble of competing elements. The same sort of applies to Ukraine. Ukraine as it was at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union was just such a hodgepodge. The Don region and Crimea had been given to Ukraine by Russia ater WW2 I think? So I can see the point of different regions of Ukraine having different ethnic and cultural elements. But I think the Russian’s reannexing Crimea is just a power grab. If we are concerned abt the right of secession, what of the Crimean Tartars? Shouldn’t they be the ones we support the soveirgnity?

    As far as Putin, I am pretty sure he’d go Napoleonic and crown himself Tsar if he thought he could get away with it.

  16. paulie Post author

    But even if Putin were presiding over the most authoritarian regime on earth, and Ukraine were the freest country in Europe, these facts would not take moral precedence over the right of the majority of people in the Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, or any other region to secede that region from an existing political jurisdiction and form a new, independent jurisdiction or join with a different polity of their choosing.

    It’s not clear to what extent it is a choice when referenda are conducted at gunpoint (Crimea) and leaders of a local secessionist movement have no prior connection to the area (eastern Ukraine). It may be a secessionist movement, the early stage of a new Russian imperialist territorial expansionism (that will seek to expand a lot further as time goes on), or some combination.

  17. Jill Pyeatt

    Deran said “As far as Putin, I am pretty sure he’d go Napoleonic and crown himself Tsar if he thought he could get away with it.”

    Well, for starters, he can come over and take lessons from Obama.

  18. Bob Tiernan

    Paulie: “Are you sure he would be the one taking lessons?”
    .
    .
    That’s right — Putin laughs at Obama and knows he has nothing to learn from that pea-brain.
    .
    .
    Obo’s high point re Russia was not too long ago, earlier in the year, when in the days leading up to the Olympics Obo still thought (as most did) that Putin was mostly all talk with a nation in decline, and he thought he’d slap Putin (then being universally criticized for his anti-gay rules re athletes) by sending as pre-game representatives some famous gay athletes. Oh wow. Within a matter of weeks Putin was making his moves to grab the Crimea and screwing with the rest of Ukraine to pissibly grab the eastern portion of at least keep Ukraine from becoming more stable and more pro-Europe. Obo looked clueless, and probably texted Jay-Z again to ask for any ideas (“Call a friend”).
    .
    Quick, send more gay athletes with messages to Putin. That’ll show ‘im.
    .
    .
    BT

  19. Steve Scheetz

    Having read the list of characteristics of Fascism as it related to Germany, the USSR, Russia, The United States…..

    Oh wait, the United States was not in the list…. Never mind the fact that it probably should have. The only thing that we seem to be missing is “cult of personality”

    Both sad and nauseating.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  20. langa

    Actually, Steve, I would say Obama definitely has the “cult of personality” thing going on. Maybe not to quite the same extent as Reagan or JFK, but pretty damn close!

  21. paulie Post author

    Having read the list of characteristics of Fascism as it related to Germany, the USSR, Russia, The United States…..

    Oh wait, the United States was not in the list…. Never mind the fact that it probably should have.

    These characteristics are all more developed in Russia than in the US.

  22. Thomas Knapp

    “What, if anything, is the appropriate response to the expansionist incursions in Ukraine and other Putin-directed aggression?”

    The first appropriate response is to note that Putin’s minor “expansionist incursions” were entirely enabled by a major “expansionist incursion” by the US, which spent ten years and billions of dollars fomenting the coup in Kiev.

    Is Putin a tyrant? Hell, yes. Is Putin an opportunist? Hell, yes. Did the US enable his tyrannical opportunism vis a vis Crimea and the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics? Hell, yes.

  23. paulie Post author

    Ukraine and any groups who wish to secede from it would both be better off without either the US or Russian governments getting involved. At least Russia is nearby, but its involvement muddies the waters as to whether any secessionist movement is genuine or just a front for Russian imperialism.

  24. Steve Scheetz

    Paulie, while I agree with you regarding the level of fascist development in Russia and the others, it does not change certain facts.

    I offer ISIS, the border BS, the militarization of police forces around the nation, the single party system (disguised as a 2 party system with the third parties being ripped apart by the rules that defend the “two” major parties….

    The control of the media which serve the agenda of the parties, etc… We have problems here in the US, and we are becoming more and more like Russia et al….

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  25. paulie Post author

    It isn’t news that we are headed down the same path. I’ve been saying that for years. Russia is further along.

  26. Tom Blanton

    It does seem Mikhail Svetov has no understanding of how libertarians in America view what is happening in Russia or Ukraine. Perhaps he should team up with American neocons whose anti-Putin rhetoric based on fantasy would be more appealing to him.

    It makes me wonder if Svetov himself is on the NED payroll.

  27. Starchild

    Paulie – I’m not clear how the material you suggest (August 23, 2014 at 2:10 pm) that I may have missed at the end of the article is at odds with anything I posted. I did read that paragraph, and have never suggested that Putin is not a tyrant and a hypocrite.

    My position is that we — and by “we” I mean libertarians, not the nationalist “we” that reinforces the power of nation-states — should support secession both for Crimea and at least some regions of eastern Ukraine, and also for places in Russia like Chechnya that give strong indications of having majorities desiring independence.

    Nothing I’ve read about Ukraine has given me reason to doubt the that the referenda on secession in Crimea and eastern Ukraine broadly reflect majority opinion in those regions, even if the manner in which they were conducted leaves something to be desired. If the Ukrainian government objected only on narrow grounds, and was prepared to conduct referenda in a manner it believes would be fairer and less tainted by Putin regime interference, I would support this, but I’ve seen no indication it has any interest in allowing the people to vote on the question of independence, and in the absence of any prospect of a more legitimate poll, I’m inclined to accept the results of the imperfect polls that were held, since they are not at odds with my impressions of where the populace stands.

    Long before the current Ukraine crisis developed, I recall reading numerous pieces noting the division of popular opinion in the country, with the western regions trending more pro-western and the eastern, substantially Russian-speaking regions desiring closer ties with Russia. Russian-leaning former president Viktor Yanukovich, who fled to Moscow after being deposed for refusing to move toward joining the European Union, clearly had a base of support or he would not have been supported by enough of the populace to be elected president in 2010 with a plurality 48.95% of the national vote (according to Wikipedia).

    This map shows his support clearly coming disproportionately from the eastern regions of Ukraine, especially the Donetsk region where the current unrest seems to be centered:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Yanukovich#mediaviewer/File:Ukraine_Presidential_Feb_2010_Vote_(Yanukovych).png

  28. Robert Capozzi

    Thankfully, the LNC’s platform no longer uses the word “secession.” The term is “self determination.”

    Secession associates with the slavers and their apologists, and is to be avoided, optically and substantively.

  29. Starchild

    Maybe the term secession is avoided by people like you Robert who are afraid of saying anything controversial — except among people who are strongly libertarian, whom you never seem concerned about alienating.

    I don’t equivocate in telling it like it is about how the police engage in racist profiling and often get away with murder, and how the prison system in this country right now is warehousing black people and tearing apart families, so I don’t need to worry so much that taking a stand for secession on principle might be misinterpreted with regard to something that happened 150 years ago.

  30. paulie Post author

    Starchild, you wrote Aug. 23:

    I’m a little surprised that neither the original blog post that is the subject of this thread — which is impressively well-written, especially if Mikhail Svetov is writing in English as a second language — nor the comments have mentioned what seems to me the single most important point in this whole situation.

    That would be the right to secession.

    […]

    Siberian independence, for instance, would be an excellent subject for an international Libertarian press release. Demanding that Putin allow a referendum such as he allowed in Crimea, and supporting all people seeking to free the areas where they live from under the rule of Moscow, Washington, or any other central authority.

    I pointed out that Svetov did mention it:

    “The same kind of referendum Putin staged in Crimea is illegal in Russia. Public calls for actions violating the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation are punishable by 4 years in prison. Putin systematically bans Siberian independence marches, and blacklists every news outlet that dares to mention it — making Russia a kind of Hotel California of nations. “

    That’s why I said you may have missed that, as it was near the end of the article and is the very thing that you say he does not address.

  31. paulie Post author

    My position is that we — and by “we” I mean libertarians, not the nationalist “we” that reinforces the power of nation-states — should support secession both for Crimea and at least some regions of eastern Ukraine, and also for places in Russia like Chechnya that give strong indications of having majorities desiring independence.

    I am not opposed to secession for any of those places. However, I am concerned about the way in which secession for parts of Ukraine is being accomplished might make them staging grounds for further Russian imperial expansion. It’s a complicated issue, especially when “independence” movements have leaders with no prior ties to a given area. Nevertheless, you are probably correct that there would be independence movements regardless. I wonder why they would allow themselves to be led by Russian neo-nazis who never lived under Ukrainian rule, assuming that is true (the article provides references in support of this point)?

    Interesting that you mention Chechnya. Ironically, at the same time as Russia is waging war to prevent Chechnya and other secessionist regions of the Caucasus from leaving the Russian Federation and becoming independent nations, there’s a Movement Against Illegal Immigration (Dvezhenya Protiv Nezakonnoy Immigratzii, DPNI) which is focused on immigration from those same Caucasus areas. Imagine if Afghanistan and Iraq were regions of the US that wanted to secede and the immigration we have had from Mexico and Central America was from those regions rather than foreign nations and you might have a rough analogy. It seems that to Russian Chauvinists these folks are foreigners when it comes to wanting to live in other parts of Russia, but Russians when it comes to them wanting to have independent nations.

    Another ironic twist is that white people are known as “Caucasians,” but the actual Caucasians are not considered to be white by many people in Russia, especially the extreme nationalists that want to prevent them from either seceding or living in Russian cities like Moscow. And not just by them.

  32. paulie Post author

    Secession associates with the slavers and their apologists

    Not in Russia, Europe or anywhere but the US that I can think of.

  33. paulie Post author

    One point about secession is that before the slaveowners seceded, northern abolitionists such as the libertarian Lysander Spooner advocated that New England and other free states secede from the union. And when the slaveowners seceded, some areas within their own states seceded or tried to secede from them – West Virginia for example, and at least one county in northern Alabama.

    Of course, one of the big issues in the leadup to the war was individual secession by slaves from slaveowners, and attempts by anti-secessionsists to prevent it through the fugitive slave acts. Had the CSA been allowed to secede, there would have most likely been no more fugitive slave laws in the USA, and the rate of individual secession by slaves would have increased to the point where slavery would have been too economically costly to continue.

    Today, there are secessionist movements all over Europe and the rest of the world. To say that secession is all about maintaining slavery is like saying that fire is always about arson, regardless of whether it is a fire in your fireplace at home, a fire in an industrial smelter, a campfire when you are out camping, a wildfire in the forest caused by lightning, building owners burning down their own business for the insurance money, or an actual arson fire set maliciously by enemies or strangers that may kill people as well as destroy their home or business and may spread uncontrollably. Likewise, secession can have a large variety of circumstances.

  34. paulie Post author

    I don’t equivocate in telling it like it is about how the police engage in racist profiling and often get away with murder, and how the prison system in this country right now is warehousing black people and tearing apart families

    Exactly!

  35. Robert Capozzi

    starchild: Maybe the term secession is avoided by people like you Robert who are afraid of saying anything controversial — except among people who are strongly libertarian, whom you never seem concerned about alienating.

    me: I see the words/terms “secession” and “self determination” as equivalent, how about you? I don’t see being mindful of word choices and what words associate in many people’s minds as equivocation, I see it as wise communications.

    There’s much irony in your post, in that you seem sincerely concerned about racism later on, and yet you and some Ls still use a code word (secession) that my strong sense is inflammatory for African Americans! Why do that? To what end?

    btw, I consider myself “strongly L,” so I’d like to think I don’t alienate myself! It’s true on most issues I don’t advocate extreme positions, if that’s what you mean. Sometimes, simplistic high-banner-holding leads to not such positive outcomes. As a general matter, for example, I support the principle of self determination. However, as PF points out, some of the self-determination movements in Eastern Europe are at least in part fabrications by the Kremlin with the intent of re-assembling the USSR.

    Supporting “secession” as part of a macho-flash impulse could put Ls on the side of creeping imperialism, which, I’d submit, is poor positioning for Ls.

    Re-fighting the US Civil War on the one hand while offering solidarity with African Americans who are unfairly targeted by over-zealous, militarized police on the other has a schizophrenic vibe for me. If it doesn’t for you, that’s cool, but I would encourage you to not be surprised if your approach is met with few adherents beyond those who already share your approach.

  36. ATBAFT

    “more absurd than even the notion of a cult of the omnipotent state!”

    Sure, it’s absurd…until you go to a “town meeting” like I did last week and listen to someone prattling on about “bigger more powerful government will solve everything if we just put the right men in charge” and clamp down on small government types who want to impose “Dilbert”- style greedy and disfunctional megacorporations on struggling poor and middle income citizens. Make no mistake about it, there are millions of our fellow citizens who worship state power and
    see it as the messiah that will end poverty, inequality, injustice, and patriarchy.

  37. Robert Capozzi

    atbaft, no, for me, it’s still absurd. I certainly know of a lot of people who want “bigger government.” I don’t know anyone who wants an “omnipotent (all-powerful) state.”

    There may well be some of the latter; TK says the Baathists do. I don’t know of any Baathists in the US, however, do you?

    I trust you see the difference between “bigger” and “all powerful,” yes?

  38. ATBAFT

    I’ll concede that virtually everyone doesn’t want an all powerful state as it applies to them, only as it applies to other people! I think Rothbard wanted to throw it in the faces of all the trust-baby commies he ran into in grad school.

  39. Gene Berkman

    Self-determination is in reality a stronger concept than secession. Theoretically at least a region can by vote agree to join another region or regions in a federation – this is probably how the Swiss federation developed.

    Also, a region can vote to join a larger country. If Austria had a free vote in the 1920s the most likely result would have a vote in favor of unity with Germany. But the vote in 1938 to approve the Anschluss was clearly done under threat of force, and may not have reflected a free vote. The same might be said if Putin (or ethnic Russians in Crimea) pushes for a vote in the Crimea to join the Russian federation.

    In any case, self-determination is a better principle than secession.

  40. Robert Capozzi

    ATBAFT, also overstated, I hope you agree.

    Yes, MNR was a vindictive person, agreed. But Hospers wrote the CotOS.

  41. paulie Post author

    There seem to be a lot of people who presume anything cops do, no matter how heinous or lacking in legal pretext, must be justified becasue they are “the law.” Government surveillance of all our personal communications doesn’t seem to get much of a rise out of most of these folks and they also tend to believe the US military can and should fix all of the world’s problems. Quite a few of them also believe that government can fix persistent social and economic problems such as poverty and drug abuse, regardless of evidence. How much more omnipotent does it get?

  42. Robert Capozzi

    PF, sounds like a rhetorical question that is easily answered. All powerful means all powerful, not just MORE powerful. It would mean that some believe that government should control absolutely everything our its citizens lives.

    Yes, some confused souls think what you say, but that doesn’t reach total, 1984-style control. You’d have to have no private property, no private decision making about anything. Do you know anyone who advocates for such complete control by the state?

    I don’t.

    More control =/= complete control. There are probably 10s of millions of more-archists. Unless you can habeas corpus two omnipotent state advocates (or does a cult need a larger number, 10 maybe?), CotOS is a false, wild overstatement.

    Ever open minded, though…

  43. Robert Capozzi

    iow, PF, there certainly are CONF– USED people. But just because they are confused doesn’t mean they advocate — or are cult members for — an omnipotent state. The better question is how to alleviate their confusion. Getting in their face accusing them they are cultists and wildly overstating what they desire the state’s scope and scale to be seems like a non-starter.

    How do you feel is someone accuses you of being a member of the cult of Canadian experiments in abolishing traffic signs?

  44. paulie Post author

    sounds like a rhetorical question that is easily answered. All powerful means all powerful, not just MORE powerful. It would mean that some believe that government should control absolutely everything our its citizens lives.

    Yes, some confused souls think what you say, but that doesn’t reach total, 1984-style control.

    Well, what do you call it when

    1) Cops can do literally whatever they want on a whim, and almost never face any consequences to speak of?
    2) None of your information or conversations are private?
    3) Pretty much everywhere you go is on camera and the government has equipment that can see and hear thru walls and carte blanche to use it?
    4) Government can hold you incommunicado in prison indefinitely with no charges and no attorney and torture you or even send you around the world to be tortured?
    5) Government can seize any and all property you “own” on any number of pretexts, and even hand it over to another private party?
    6) There are no effective limits on how much government can tax, borrow, spend or regulate?

    Yes, much of the time government lets most people enjoy the illusion that they actually own some property or have some rights or allowed to make some decisions for themselves, but it reserves the right to take any of that away from anyone at any time, so none of that property is really fully yours and none of your rights are absolute.

    And effectively speaking the burden of proof is on you. Even when you have them flagrantly violating your rights or even murdering defenseless people on camera they usually get away with it.

  45. paulie Post author

    But just because they are confused doesn’t mean they advocate — or are cult members for — an omnipotent state.

    It’s pretty omnipotent now, and getting close to omniscient. Not yet omnipresent but on what looks like a fairly obstacle-free path to get there.

    The better question is how to alleviate their confusion.

    I like a multitude of tactics since different things work better for different people.

    Getting in their face accusing them they are cultists and wildly overstating what they desire the state’s scope and scale to be seems like a non-starter.

    Depends on the person. Some people respond best to being confronted, others to being eased in.

    How do you feel is someone accuses you of being a member of the cult of Canadian experiments in abolishing traffic signs?

    Other than the cult part I would agree, and cult may perhaps be applicable.

  46. paulie Post author

    I call it the wrong direction, toward more-archy, away from less-archy.

    I call it out of control monopoly regimism, a deadly and rapidly metastasizing cancer.

  47. Robert Capozzi

    pf: I call it out of control monopoly regimism, a deadly and rapidly metastasizing cancer.

    me: Yes, but the point is it’s not fully omnipotent now nor is anyone I know of advocating omnipotence for the state.

  48. ATBAFT

    Challenging the “cult of the omnipotent state” sounds a lot more inartful today than it did in 1972. However, it served (serves) as a rhetorical device to bring the typical American reader into far more specific complaints about how governments violate individual rights. Very very few are going to throw up their hands at hearing CofOS because virtually everyone will think “yeah, I’m against an all powerful government too, just like these Libertarians.” The LP goes on to explain in very much detail in the platform what its positions are and that is where the vast majority of those who turn away find their justification for doing so, not in the very first sentence of the SofP.

    Yes, Hospers wrote CofOS and Rothbard wasn’t around at the beginning. But Rothbard, and Williamson Evers, became the fierce chief intellectual proponents of not changing a word of the SofP.

  49. Robert Capozzi

    a: Challenging the “cult of the omnipotent state” sounds a lot more inartful today than it did in 1972. However, it served (serves) as a rhetorical device to bring the typical American reader into far more specific complaints about how governments violate individual rights.

    me: Yes, it sounded artful to ME in 1980. Whether it’s was a useful device then or now is completely subjective. What seems far more true is that the phrase is UNtrue…no cult, no one advocating for Oceania.

    In and of itself, this false statement is not all that damaging to the L brand. I invite you to consider whether it’s emblematic of a thought system (deontological NAPsolutism) that does not work.

    It should be no surprise that false premises lead to false conclusions, and sometimes really loopy conclusions as well.

  50. Bob Tiernan

    :anga: “Actually, Steve, I would say Obama definitely has the “cult of personality” thing going on. Maybe not to quite the same extent as Reagan or JFK, but pretty damn close!”

    .
    .
    Actually, I don’t buy that Obama’s personality is as cult-inducing as many believe. He was helped a great deal by having most of the news journalists helping him along because they wanted him in there more than anything else they’ve ever wanted. Make no mistake — the media can do a good job making anyone’s warts and shallowness shine like beacons, as if they take delight in making all candidates for high office run through their gauntlest. But not this guy.

    .
    I recall one interview in particular, done by one of the big CBS talkers in late 2008. He asked Obo about his leadership skills. Obo replied that he had a unique gift in being able to get a whole buncha people in a room and get them to all agree on something. The CBS guy said gee that’s swell, we could use someone like that, and then moved on to some question about his daughters’ homework or something. A real journalist would have responded: “Oh? What are some examples?”, and then Obo would have stammered and flapped and stuttered because he knew it was bullshit and did not expect to be asked to prove it.
    .
    .Bob T

  51. Starchild

    Paulie (August 26, 2014 at 8:42 am) – Yes, Mikhail Svetov mentions the Crimea referendum in his piece, but he neither uses the word “secession” nor, more importantly, does he address the idea. All he does is note Putin’s hypocrisy on not allowing similar referenda in Russia, which is already a given. He doesn’t argue that the Crimea referendum was invalid, or say what would make such a referendum valid in his opinion.

  52. Starchild

    Robert (August 26, 2014 at 10:50 am) – I don’t see the terms “secession” and “self-determination” as equivalent.

    As Gene Berkman points out (August 26, 2014 at 2:59 pm), self-determination is a stronger term, at least in some senses, because it has broader application. For instance, being able to choose what to put into your own body, or choose where in the world you want to live, are forms of self-determination, i.e. determining for oneself what course of action one will take.

    “Self-determination” is sometimes also used as a synonym for democracy.

    But the very broadness and ambiguity of “self-determination” make it a less effective term to use when one wants to talk specifically about the right of majorities in regions to make those regions politically independent.

    This is not about “re-fighting the Civil War”. In my view that war never should have been fought — or if it was, it should have been fought as a war to end slavery, not a war to prevent secession.

    I think most African-Americans are smart enough not to get worked up about the idea of secession as it applies to places like eastern Ukraine, Siberia, East Timor, Kurdistan, etc. It’s too important a term to allow it to be held hostage to history.

    You found some of my post ironic — for my part, I see a lot of irony in you calling yourself “strongly libertarian” when you can regularly be found on here arguing against strongly libertarian views, attempting to besmirch the legacy of Murray Rothbard, and bemoaning strong language like “cult of the omnipotent State.”

  53. Robert Cold

    And where would I begin..that is the biggest pro-Poroshenko pile of garbage I have ever seen?
    This wannabe Libertarian group in Russia are simply social leftists who even quoted Foreign Policy Magazine which is 100% a globalist production.

    Look……I’ve lived in Russia, in the cities and also along the Russia Ukraine border country and that guy who wrote that is not what I’d call a critical thinker and his article is full of huge holes, half truths and lies.

    You can assume this writer has a homosexual bias, and that’s his big gripe, that’s why he chose to affiliate with libertarians and why he is in the tank for promoting the same policies that have destroyed the Western families and traditions. …including multiculturaism. Russia is a great place because it is NOT like the West! The last thing Russia needs is this guy’s form of political correctness.
    That guy is no Thomas Jefferson!

    Pussy riot was convicted for destroying property, not freedom of speech and Putin let them out of prison anyway!

    Putin has not persecuted Homosexuals. Anyone in Russia that says he is, is simply part of the same agenda that is destroying the fabric of Western society. That is a Globalist agenda promoted by entities within CIA and Western NGOs. (If you’ll remember they did the same thing in the USA in the 60s and 70s, …Gloria Steinen’s magazine was CIA funded. Among other people, Nick Rockefeller admitted this to Aron Russo)

    (If Libertarians are helping Homosexuals adopt kids then they are not Libertarians, they are just plain sick. That is what Putin is against. No one has the right to change the common definition of “marriage” …it means of opposite sex and human. It doesn’t need to be legislated because it means what it means)

    It’s complete BS about the Russians invading Ukraine. The FP quoted journalists that say they saw Russian troop movement couldn’t even provide one cell phone photo?

    And even if Russia is helping their brothers living across this border, (in country that is the heart of Russian civilization and which Catherine the Great defeated the invading Moslem hordes and re-settled with hardy Russian pioneers before the USA was even born) so what…they should be helping them because Poroshenko has SAID OPENLY that he will bomb these people into poverty until they are living in their basements in fear without power, food and water or schools until they submit or flee their homes. Somebody needs to come to their aid!

    The Novorossiya armies are made up of miners and mechanics etc, NOT the Russian Army….and people who have had their homes bombed out by the indiscriminate bombing of the the genocidal maniac Poroshenko in Kiev. Over 4000 little old ladies, young mothers strolling with their babies and harmless working class men have been blown to pieces by Kiev with the help of the US and not one peep out Americans… except for a few people like Ron Paul and Paul Craig Roberts.

    They speak Russian there and many have served in Russian army as everyone over a certain age has, because of the heavy affiliation between Ukraine and Russia and the fact that Russians are basically indigenous to the land there.

    NOTHING is in that article of how the USA HANDPICKED the government which US INSTALLED into Kiev.
    Or the 5 billion dollars spent on regime change in Ukraine. Svboda ARE Nazis and Nazi symbols are worn by the Right Sector battalions who are in Novorossiya killing the people, torturing them and abducting the girls from the villages and gang raping them then killing them and throwing their bound bodies into mass graves. They are BANDERA NAZIS and proud of it!
    The Banderas are the ones who slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Jews Russians and Poles for the German Nazis in WWII.

    Nothing in the article mentions that all the evidence points to KIEV shooting down the airliner MH17 with the help of US/NATO covering for them.

    Nothing in the article mentions that Kiev fabricated tape recordings of supposed confessions from militiamen or that Kiev confiscated the air traffic control records immediately and havent been seen since. Or that the BUK missile truck they accused of being used is one still in Ukrainian service!

    Nothing in the article mentions that Crimea has been Russian for well over 200 years and that the people in Crimea are Russian and want nothing to do with the US backed junta in Kiev. The US/globalist engineered coup was designed to put Russia in a hard place because they knew Putin would be forced to protect the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea. This coming war is being engineered and Americans had better wake up!

    Nothing is in the article about the reason that Putin wants nothing to do with that “human rights” group is because it works for Globalism not human rights.

    There will not be peace in eastern Ukraine until the world accepts that the people of Novorossiya have the Right to secede. Yet the world is insuring that there will be war by not allowing them to return to Russia by threatening Putin if he openly helps them in any way.

    There is more reason for Novorossiya to secede than there was Texas seceded from Mexico.

    The fascists are in the US government not Russia’s. Life for me in Russia is a lot less stressful than life for me in the USA or some other countries I have lived in like Australia which is MORE communist than Russia is and more of a police state than Russia is. The USA is more of a police state too!

    Nothing in the article mentions that the Press in the the USA and West is controlled by Neocons and Globalists or the fact that Ukraine’s Press is TOTALLY CONTROLLED by Kiev and a HUGE public brainwashing system has been instituted there….. yet the writer is keen to criticize Russian Press.

    The reason that Kiev instituted the draft in Ukraine is because the people DON’T WANT to go fight in eastern Ukraine and have demonstrated in the streets burning draft notices!!! Hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers after being sent to fight their brothers in the east have realized that they were lied to by Kiev about their “enemy” and have deserted their posts! So much so that there have been placed units of fascists behind the regular army who shoot any soldiers that won’t fight!

    I can open a bank account in Russia in 10 minutes without having to provide my life’s history to the bank for the government.

    It seems that the writer likes the idea of having a multicultural country that speaks other than English and hates Christians or why else would he bash Russians for wanting Russia to be Russian? Russia is a Christian country just as America once was. Don’t forget that it was Anglo-American bankers that financed Lenin and Trotsky and their communist revolution in the first place that tried to stamp out the Christians from Russia, The Russian people in villages for at least 10 years fought the Bolsheviks to the death to keep their heritage.

    Right by one house in Russia where I lived there are still the ruins of an old church where 20 women of the church where shot or drowned in the pond that sits beside it, by Bolsheviks. Russian is rediscovering Christianity while the USA and the West is discarding it as fast as they can.

    Nothing in the article mentions that the US was instigating Moslem Chechens to blow up Russians on their buses and planes and in their schools and theaters!

    Nothing in the article mentions that the US has been trying to plant missile systems around Russia that are designed to prevent Russia from making a response to a missile attack on Russia!

    Kiev IS torturing prisoners and DOES keep political prisoners, including journalists! And so does the US yet it is Russia that is the “bad guy”? The links provided to Human Rights Watch say more about the abuses by the Kiev government than they do about the anti-Kiev militias.

    People in Russia like Putin despite his flaws because he has thrown out Rothschild connected oligarchs and is standing up to US/NATO aggression instead of caving-in as this phony Russian libertarian would see Russia do.

    I could go on forever about this. I suggest that who ever you are that you start reading about the TRUTH of this situation and speak out BEFORE it becomes treason to do so in the USA.
    Start here:
    https://www.facebook.com/TruthfromUkraine?ref=br_tf

    What really happened in the Odessa Massacre
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4dJRnI-X8Q

    No translation needed. Putin is not doing this. The USA backed Kiev is! And you are too if you don’t speak out.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7Xg-6vMAGU

    Indiscriminate rockets and bombs every day. The Russia speakers will secede whether you like it or not
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOmRDhBT3kg

    Everyday life for the people. I’d secede too!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGyBsr6I9xs&list=UUdnB82ob_V7EXwwcCtB1vUg

    The West is corrupt and we know it
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTcjFtHQ5Uk#t=91

    Poroshenko’s veiled plan of genocide
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DVIDR9JSPFs

    Kiev’s doctored tapes
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T34AB6CImTE

    Abuses by Ukraine
    https://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/EUR50/040/2014/en/bb06b5cb-dcb4-4f69-bb3e-c800987676cc/eur500402014en.html

    Kiev Nazis shooting at people
    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e3a_1410020331

    Ukrainian MP speaks out about the atrocities (I wonder how long she is around for after this)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5veOECY0tKQ

    Novorossiya whips Ukrainian army
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o77lO7KmftI

    Kiev are animals and so are you if you support them
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW6LznHN_Ys#t=52

    Confessions of Ukrainian sergeant
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-RRytkhyIw&index=35&list=UUG2L5r9T5iYCH0Mmgq85jNQ

    What would YOU do if they did this to YOU everyday?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3x7lbZLmd4

    You Russia bashers disgust me. If you had any balls at all perhaps you’d want to go and fight for these people instead of help Kiev!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_cSrSddCxg

    http://rinf.com/alt-news/business-news/handiwork-hidden-us-americas-news-media-audacity-lie-calling-terrorists/

  54. Robert Cold

    (I forgot this in my original post)

    And here is the US State Department’s Vicki Nuland handpicking the new cabinet for Kiev if you don’t believe me.
    The Press only picked up on “F*ck the EU” out of the conversation and totally ignored the fact that she was deciding on who to make president of another supposedly sovereign nation.
    And some still don’t think that Ukrainians have a right to secede and for Russia to help them.

  55. Paulie

    “This wannabe Libertarian group in Russia are simply social leftists”

    Not at all. Since you lived in Russia you should be able to read the main page in the original http://libertarian-party.ru/ as I can, but others here can click the “in English” button on the page.

    “even quoted Foreign Policy Magazine”

    The author quoted numerous sources. Think you can answer all of them? I would love to see an actual point by point rebuttal and debate.

    “You can assume this writer has a homosexual bias”

    Why would I assume that, because he is not an anti-gay bigot? Libertarians in general are not.

    “policies that have destroyed the Western families and traditions. …including multiculturaism”

    That doesn’t sound like the statement of a libertarian, and before you counter that some libertarians personally hold socially reactionary positions, they don’t want to use the full force of the state to force them on others as Putin is doing.

    “The last thing Russia needs is this guy’s form of political correctness.
    That guy is no Thomas Jefferson!”

    You’re right, he probably does not own slaves or impregnate them, for example.

    “Pussy riot was convicted for destroying property, not freedom of speech and Putin let them out of prison anyway!”

    Destroying property by performing a song? How does that merit a year or more in prison?

    “same agenda that is destroying the fabric of Western society.”

    Sounds like you are repeating paranoid far right ravings, Nashist propaganda, or most likely both. You certainly do not sound libertarian in any way.

    “If Libertarians are helping Homosexuals adopt kids then they are not Libertarians,”

    I’m all for legal equal right to adopt and support it on a personal level. Please explain why I am not a libertarian. Before you do, please be aware that many people here know me pretty well.

    ” No one has the right to change the common definition of “marriage” …”

    On the contrary, it has been changed many times throughout history. Traditionally, marriages were arranged, polygamous, involuntary, incestuous, and/or often with girls who would not be considered legally allowed to consent in today’s society, whether in USA or Russia. Often times all of the above. In the USA some states banned so-called interracial marriage as recently as 1967. All of those definitions changed, and whether you like it or not the discrimination against gay and lesbian couples is also changing, and is no longer part of the commonly accepted definition of marriage – something Libertarians have been pushing for decades before it happened.

    “Svboda ARE Nazis and Nazi symbols are worn by the Right Sector battalions who are in Novorossiya”

    It does not appear that you read the whole article, much less all included the links as I did. That points is very thoroughly addressed in the article. Are you a fan of the Imperka too? Is that a libertarian symbol to you?

    “There will not be peace in eastern Ukraine until the world accepts that the people of Novorossiya have the Right to secede.”

    How about people in various regions of Russia itself who want to secede or even to be able to consider the question? That was addressed in the article.

    “There is more reason for Novorossiya to secede than there was Texas seceded from Mexico.”

    Well, unlike Texas, at least it’s not so they can make slavery legal after having sworn to be loyal Mexican citizens.

    “The reason that Kiev instituted the draft in Ukraine is because the people DON’T WANT to go fight in eastern Ukraine and have demonstrated in the streets burning draft notices!”

    And when will Russia get rid of its draft?

    “hates Christians”

    No, just theocracy.

    “Right by one house in Russia where I lived”

    So you don’t live there anymore? Why not?

    “Russian is rediscovering Christianity while the USA and the West is discarding it as fast as they can.”

    This is a ridiculous statement. Christianity, or at least the organized religion calling itself by that name, is all over the US.

    “Nothing in the article mentions that the US was instigating Moslem Chechens to blow up Russians on their buses and planes and in their schools and theaters!”

    Tell me more.

    ” thrown out Rothschild connected oligarchs”

    Interesting choice of language. Maybe you will tell us more about Zhido-masonskaya conspiracy? Well, I guess that would go par for the course with the defense of homophobia, theocracy, nashism, the Imperka flying Novorossyiani and all their other Imperka flying comrades in the new Old Russian Empire, such as those who show up for the Russian Marches on 4 November and your great hero of gay-bashing Tesak (he must be the real libertarian, not us fake libertarians, yes?).

    “I could go on forever about this.”

    Please do. I’d love to hear more.

    Point by point, line by line refutation of the article, quoting each line, would be great!

    “I suggest that who ever you are that you start reading about the TRUTH of this situation and speak out BEFORE it becomes treason to do so in the USA.”

    And people are perfectly free to say anything they want in Russia?

  56. Andy Craig

    “That guy is no Thomas Jefferson!”

    You’re right, he probably does not own slaves or impregnate them, for example.”

    I have a soft spot in my heart for ol’ TJ, but this is a point that needs to be made more often those fawning over the American Pantheon of Holy Sainted Founding Fathers.

  57. Jill Pyeatt

    “If Libertarians are helping Homosexuals adopt kids then they are not Libertarians,”

    This statement is wrong on so many levels. I can’t think of a sentence I’ve read lately that has infuriated me so much.

    It also invalidates everything else the writer of the comment has to say, IMO

  58. Jill Pyeatt

    I’m still fuming about the sentence regarding gays adopting kids. How much would someone have to hate children, to prefer to see them grow up as a orphan as opposed to living in a family with two loving parents?

  59. Jed Ziggler

    “This wannabe Libertarian group in Russia are simply social leftists”

    One “dumbed-down” definition of libertarianism is: fiscally conservative, socially liberal, anti-war. It’s an oversimplification, but in general we are indeed social leftists. Economic socialists, war-mongers, and right-wing culture warriors (such as yourself) are the biggest enemies of liberty.

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