Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ukraine: In Russia's Shadow

Ukraine is home to almost 8 million ethnic Russians who live mostly in the eastern coal and iron ore rich part of the country and in the Crimea. Their ancestors were settled there to replace the 10 million Ukrainians that Stalin killed off in the 1930s. This is why their sense of Ukrainian nationalism is so weak.
Read full article:

Why do Russians see Ukraine as theirs?
"It’s partly because both nations trace their roots back to the first East Slavic state, Kievan Rus, which stretched from the Baltic to the Black Sea from the 9th century to the mid-13th century. This medieval empire was founded, oddly enough, by Vikings—“Rus” is the Slavic word given to the red-haired Scandinavians—who swept down from the north in the 9th century, conquered the local Slavic tribes, and established their capital at Kiev. The kingdom converted to Eastern Orthodox Christianity in 988, laying the foundation of the modern Russian church. A French bishop sent to Ukraine reported, “This land is more unified, happier, stronger, and more civilized than France herself.” But in the 13th century Kiev was devastated by Mongol invaders, and power shifted north to a small Rus trading outpost called Moscow....."

Corruption and Degrees of Kleptocracy

Kleptocracy is a form of government where a country is ruled by thieves and thugs. To the degree that corruptness rules, then to that degree a government is a kleptocracy regardless of the style of government. A democratic republic, a communist government, an autocracy or theocracy are all kleptocracies to the degree of their corruptness. And thus, to the degree that the rule of the law is subjugated to human greed, then to that degree law and justice fails its peoples' human rights.

The only known antidote to kleptocracy is a free press with integrity and high journalistic standards. Pravda and the National Enquirer are just two examples of yellow tabloid journalism that foster untruths that mislead and distort.

It is true that power corrupts. And all governments are corrupt to varying degrees.

"In philosophical, theological, or moral discussions, corruption is the abuse of bestowed power or position to acquire a personal benefit. Corruption may include many activities including bribery and embezzlement. Government, or 'political', corruption occurs when an office-holder or other governmental employee acts in an official capacity for personal gain."

Another way to look at it is to see it as a form dysfunctionality. The more corrupt a social system is, the more dysfunctional it is. Accepting things the way they are does not change them for the better.

Note: This includes dysfunctionality in families, classrooms, clubs, etcetera.

International Levels of Corruption


Power Can Corrupt Even the Honest