Pavel Kazarin: Ukraine. The recipe of victory
The negative side of the era of changes is the temptation of black-and-white terms. This drug is too strong to abandon it. Half of Facebook writes about the fact that black avatars (which were placed as a sign of mourning for the people, who died on Maidan) reek of rottenness. The other half outrages at the procedure of gathering the humanitarian aid for the soldiers of the compulsory military service, who were thrown by the command to protect the state institutions.
With each passing day the degree of disbelief in one another only increases. We already do not look at the situation widely; intuitive markers became more important for us. We captiously analyze the reposts on the web pages of out acquaintances. We open and inspect our list of friends, deleting from it those, who do not meet our expectations. We speak aloud that we will not tolerate «fascism» in the fried tape (herewith, everyone has his/her own understanding of this notion) and from time to time we use the tone to paint something over. We clean up the dissent, leaving in the tape only the information that we want and the information that we are willing to read. As if the opinion of those who do not agree with you, is no longer important.
This is a feature of any confrontation; it requires from its participants a clear polarization. The phrase about the fact, that the most hot corners of the hell are prepared for those, who in the days of the greatest perturbation remained neutral, pop in any social network. And here we already perceive ourselves through the lens of the epic as heroes, who are fighting the evil. The evil has no form, it is inhuman and all-embracing, and the victory over it is worth each candle. There are no people on the opposite side of the barricade; they are just the snouts of a pig. I don’t know what about you, but I am tired of these black-and-white terms.
The collective hatred is a very convenient consciousness drug. It allows you to see no logs in your own eyes, forcing you to captiously look for the specks in other people’s eyes. It immerses you into an intoxicating sense of your own eschatological rightness; you are right and the stranger is not. Therefore, your actions are justified, but your opponent does not have the right for mercy.
Have you noticed how much information appears in the social networks about the fact that «the Russian riot police arrived in Ukraine,» or about the fact that there are the «hawks» from Washington and Brussels behind the protesters? It think that it is a kind of a mental placebo — an attempt to convince yourself that there is an external enemy, who is responsible for what is happening in the country. Because it is a test to admit that next to you there may be people, dissenting with you. As well as for both parties at the same time.
When a country is trapped in the confrontation, it unwittingly feels the tip of the civilization fight. It is something like a bifurcation point, when the pendulum stops at the highest point and any vibration is able to detect the side, in which it will swing: the European or Customs union, the person or the state, the liberal freedoms or the traditional values. We find ourselves locked in the dichotomy between simple alternatives, there is no shading, and each choice is final, historical and steadfast. We argue ourselves hoarse about the scenarios of division and the break-up of the country. We cross swords in the battle around the idea of replacement and non-replacement of the authorities. We draw historical parallels and get irritated at those who do not want to agree.
The only thing that can bring back to earth at this moment is the understanding of a simple fact: there are much more models in the world than we are accustomed to think.
South-east Asia. The Kingdom of Thailand. A citizen of Ukraine could hear about it from the tourist booklets (the kingdom of the never ending summer) and in the news (Ukraine delivered there a large batch of armored troop carriers). Deep down, there no more reasons for us to inquire about this country. In the meantime, the Thailand Maidan is going on for a few months there already.
Bangkok is boiling up — the streets of the capital are overwhelmed with people, protesting against the current prime minister of the country. If to summarize to the level of macro motivation, we may come to the conclusion that «old money» protest against the omnipresent at power holders of «new money» in the streets of the country. Herewith, the protesters have practically no chance to win at the elections, as the populist policies of the authorities, which provides them with voices of the poor agricultural province, is too strong. In the past years in a similar situation the protesters succeeded to achieve victory in the protest (the Prime Minister of that time, in fact, the brother of the current head of the Cabinet of Ministers Yinglak Chinnavat, fled the country), but very soon the elective cycles again returned the original state of affairs. A wing side spectator may risk and draw an analogy with the Ukrainian reality; however, Thailand is not on the edge of «a division» or «a split». The protests have nothing to do about the territories, which are outside the capital; the tourist regions have not the slightest echo of the developments in the country.
It should be mentioned that Thailand has its own moderator of the domestic political issues — the king Pkhumipon Aduliadet. His authority is not questioned, probably, because the sovereign does not interfere in the trifles that are happening in the country. At the same time, the capital of the royal family is quite large — many projects of social importance or infrastructure projects (such as construction of roads) were financed from the budget of the monarch family. As a result, it is very likely that we may see the festively decorated portrait of the monarch in any, even in the poorest house. Thais will not allow to abuse and neglect to their king, he is one of the main moral authorities in the country for them. His word may be deciding in the current conflict. If he supports the protesters, they will win. If he condemns them, they will lose. He is not the king for decoration, who, at the same time, does not strive for being the master of the country.
In general South-East Asia is a great way to restart. Because there you find yourself in the country, the agenda of which is not mated with the so familiar to us «European» or «Eurasian» choice. There is no discussion of the restoration of the empire or expanding Europe. Here people know about Russia only that it exists, and about Ukraine they may know nothing. And when you are going along the streets of this country, you understand, that people may exist beyond that paradigm of the choice, which is the only one important in this world for us.
The puzzle about the «traditional relations», which we are often represented as a guarantor of the country’s survival, here is broken into dust. And it is not about prostitution, which is available and diversified in Thailand. It is, including, about the fact that Thailand exists perfectly well, while remaining, may be, the only country in the world with the highest number of public transsexual people. It is difficult to say, what was the reason for the fact that here the number of people, whose psychological sex is different from biological, is large enough. Probably, it is about the fact, that Thailand had never been a colony, and, therefore, no one burned by the «red-hot iron of morals» the local sexual traditions. Perhaps, the reason is the hidden matriarchy, which makes the sons look for their niche in the «female» roles. I don’t know. But the number of kathoeys the men, who changed their sex with the help of surgical intervention, and hormone therapy, is quite high. And the street does not throw them with stones, does not make them pariahs, there is no depopulation, and that is why a foreigner cannot get the citizenship of this country. Someone will say that the reason is in the Buddhist perception of the world, but what about the fact that even in the Muslim regions one can meet women with disproportionately large feet and Adam’s apple?
Thailand is not at all a mold of Ukraine. It is not an example, not the goal and more over not a model to be followed. Simply because it is extremely far from our reality. And, may be, its main virtue is in this difference…
Our trouble is that we are too egocentric. We are accustomed to thinking that the sun is spinning around our agenda, that Obama and Putin wake up thinking about us, and go to sleep thinking about us as well. Each barricade is convinced that it has the recipe of the only correct strategy, capable of leading the country to a better future. But a country is not a distant object, with which one can and should make experiments. The country is you and me.
It is every soldier of internal troops, who does not know, for what exactly they are offered to lose their health. It is the protesters, who are tired of living in the country of the collective Vradiivka, in which the class belonging determines the level of your impunity. It is a police officer, who is tired of living in the system of the negative selection, when an attempt to «serve the country» is substituted by the system «to live for his boss», and who, at the same time, may be fettered by the reluctance to violate once sworn oath. Yes, today all of us exist in the closed system, created for the small group of individuals. The system will be broken sooner or later. The question is only, who will be beneficiary of a new order of things.
And in order to participate in the process of change one should be the «participant». It is necessary to be able to see in those people, sitting on the other side of the table, first of all, people, with their own fears and hopes. It is necessary to understand that we’re not playing with the puzzle, but with the Lego, and there are more than one options of construction. There is no single recipe of success and prosperity.
No one will benefit, if we will not become better and will benefit ourselves. It is time to understand that single may be only a recipe of loss. We will lose, if we stop to see halftones. We are different, it is true. But who told that we have no common interests?