Monday, December 27, 2004

The results

Others have posted on the results (here for instance) and it looks like a landslide for Yuschenko. That is as it should be.

And there has been no violence in Kiev or other places except for an incident in Zaporozhiya last night. That is a very good thing of course.

When everything is over and things settle down here, there will be a feeling that this was all inevitable, the destined course of history arriving at Fuykuyama's default setting for modern societies. (It's a historical dialectic established on a conservative foundation.) But it was not inevitable, none of it. What happened depended on a lot of people standing up when they needed to. The point is that it was the work of individual people that was the underlying reality of this revolution and its result not some impersonal forces of nature or society.

It was, for instance, people coming together down on the square and protesting in the first place, people who don't have a history of doing this sort of thing. It was the people who set up tents near the centers of power here and who prevented the powerful--the systems manipulators who had gone from one unobstructed victory to another over the course of the past decade or more-- from getting access to their sources of power. And this in a country where to get something from government has meant a soft knock on the closed door of a government official and a meek "May I?," before being allowed to enter into the presence. It was the self control of the people on the square and near the military and police that didn't set what was a powder keg alight. It was their essential goodness that came out in dealing with the opposition that won numbers over and prevented any serious provocations.

And among the institutions of government, it was the deputies in the Rada originally condemning the fraudulent election. Though they backpedaled quite a bit days later--it is a hard thing after all to cut oneself off from the source of supply-- this was a victory and set the stage for what later good came from there.

It was the Supreme Court in an impressive display of the power of a judiciary, while laboring under intense pressure, even under threats, that stood up and declared the election fraudulent and created certainty where there had been nothing but uncertainty.

It was people like Yuschenko reaching out to the opposition and making pleas for supplies from the people of Kiev, supplies which came from even the humblest of citizens. That allowed them to stay downtown. Or Tymoshenko staying on board when she had reason to bolt which prevented a split that could have been exploited. Or Litvyn being an honest broker and maintaining the integrity of the Rada. Or Omelchenko, the mayor of Kiev, who backed the opposition and smoothed the way downtown for the people to gather and obstruct. And he did this even though he had been an opponent of Yuschenko in the first election. Even Moroz did what was needed to be done at certain points. And there were others.

It was these people who brought about this election and its result. And the outcome was not certain nor was it preordained when they decided to act. This is their victory.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

”..there will be a feeling that this was all inevitable..”.

Scott, I think that may be a sales pitch that some may use to try to take the steam out of what really brought this about (massive public involvement.)

The onset of the stated feeling that ‘its over’ is, to me, equally misleading and potentially ruinous. Any sense that nothing more needs be done by the people will lead to folly.

What is needed is as great an interest in the coming election of members of the Parliament as was generated in this election (preferably a LOT more.) The mistake voters in every country make is ignoring (by comparison) who gains seats in the lesser offices of government, while only getting excited when the top-of-the-ticket elections come around.