Monday, May 12, 2014

You Say Legitimate While I Say "Legitimate"...

If there anything that produces more crap than the mouths of politicians and their journalist running dog lackies I don't know what it is. The Western powers that be talking heads have been uttering a word from Kiev to Berlin to Washington DC over the last several days, that word is “illegitimate”. According to politicians and journalists all across the Western world, politicians like Britain’s Conservative Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague and journalists like NPR’s Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, the elections in the eastern part of the ethnically and culturally divided Ukraine, are “illegitimate”.

“Legitimacy”, of course, and this appears for whatever reason not cross the minds of politicians like Hague and journalists like Nelson, is not some transcendental or universal phenomenon that was given by god to humankind from some distant mountain in some distant past. “Legitimacy”, as Max Weber made clear some years ago, is cultural and ideological. Governments, people, institutions, votes, whatever, are ascribed legitimacy because people, for whatever reason, usually ideological, believe they are “legitimate”. Usually, individuals or institutions are considered legitimate because leaders or the institutions they lead are ascribed legitimate charismatic, traditional, or bureaucratic authority.

It is during times of crisis with "legitimacy" thrown into confusion that those with the eyes to see and the ears to hear can and may see that notions of "legitimacy" are really situational and relative. A recent example of how situational or relative "legitimacy" is, is clear in the differential Western responses to the interim government in the Ukraine and the referendums that took place in the eastern part of the country over the weekend. The powers that be in the West maintain that the unelected government of the Ukraine which came to power in a coup is "legitimate" while the referenda held in the largely Russian eastern parts of the Ukraine are "illegitimate". How such referendums that were held in the Donbas are any more or less “legitimate” than the unelected government in Kiev is, empirically speaking, unclear. What is clear is that the West, the US and the EU, wants and has worked its imperial magic to establish a government in Kiev that is friendly toward them so they can box Russia in and make it impotent in the great power struggles of the early twenty-first century. A sign of how far the West is willing to go is its mad support for presidential elections in the Ukraine in late May while the country is in a state of chaos. This itself tells you something about the what America’s powers that be and its EU lackies are up to.

How many people will buy the ideological and imperial crap coming out of the mouths of the Western powers that be remains unclear. One poll found that the less people in the US know about where the Ukraine is the more they want to intervene on the side of the "Ukrainians". Needless to say the powers that be prefer their “citizens” to be ignorant because that means it is easier for the powers that be to manipulate the masses through their propaganda arms including the media. A sucker, as they say, is born every minute. And that is what is really trul scary in the modern world, suckers are born every minute, suckers who, unaware, eat up the ideological gruel their leaders feed them on a regular basis.

Finally, a question remains above all of this relativistic ideological fray, why is that the powers that be in our world so afraid of votes on greater local autonomy for regions within national borders in an age of global economic integration?

No comments:

Post a Comment