Monday, November 07, 2005

The anniversary of the revolution

Today is the anniversary of the revolution of 1917, the most famous revolution around these parts prior to this past year.

There are some communists gathering on Maidan downtown right now to celebrate it. They say there are about 30,000 of them there. They apparently started out in Arsenalna, the place where the revolution started in Ukraine (or at least in Kiev.) They fired a few shots off in celebration—not from guns but with some large bore fireworks like they use at all times of the year. The problem is that they had no permission to gather there and do that so the police ran them off.

And I don’t think they have permission to gather in Maidan either so it might be fun to see what comes of that. Of course, for more than 70 years, they didn’t have to have permission to gather anywhere, the communists didn’t. Getting permission now just must seem to them to be a mite disrespectful of the movement. That’s dissing them.

But thirty thousand are a lot of people to just clear off with police, even riot police. So they’ll probably stay and have their rally and talk about the good old days when it all meant something. Then they can dream of their renaissance much like American southerners did. But, I am afraid, that kind of dream is going to end like the dream of those southerners. It ain’t gonna happen, no how, no way.

That is not to say that Ukraine has become immune to authoritarian systems of government. It hasn’t. If Yuschenko and the reformers don’t reform, there is a very real risk of a thug showing up and taking charge, especially if there is an economic downturn.  It’s just to say that it won’t be done in the name of communism. Communism is dead; thuggery as a governing principle is not.

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