Friday, 21 February 2014

This is how to do it.

From Reuters:

Opponents of Ukraine's president declared political autonomy in the major western city of Lviv on Wednesday after a night of violence when protesters seized public buildings and forced police to surrender.

Raising the prospect of Ukraine splitting along a historic cultural and linguistic fault line, the regional assembly in Lviv, a bastion of Ukrainian nationalism near the Polish border, issued a statement condemning President Viktor Yanukovich's government for its "open warfare" on demonstrators in Kiev and saying it took executive power locally for itself.


[I accept that it is quite possible that the wicked Western empire-builders, the EU and the USA/CIA have been fomenting these protests in Ukraine in order to get one over the Russians, but frankly, the Russians are far, far worse by any standards. As a landlocked country stuck between these two blocs, there isn't really a middle way for them and faced with the choice I'd rather be in a satellite of the EU/NATO than of Russia.]

There's a lesson here for Scotland.

You don't need to muck about for years bickering about which currency to use, what kind of passports to issue, who gets the embassies and all that minor administrative nonsense, you just sneak off while the central government is busy with some other crisis - whether that's slaughtering protesters or tramping around in Wellington boots is neither here nor.

Best of luck Galicia! The question now is, will the EU follow through and recognise it as a separate country or will they chicken out as per usual? (I do suspect that plenty of top Eurocrats are in the pay of the Russian oligarchs anyway.)

See also: Somaliland.

26 comments:

doej105 said...

The EU doesn't recognise anything as countries, (although it would like to) but until Catalonia comes to a resolution with the rest of Spain, Madrid will veto anything of this sort.

Mark Wadsworth said...

D, depressing but true.

DBC Reed said...

@MW
Destroying Communism and throwing people out of work by the million plus the shit for icing on the cake in the Baltic states of a stupendous burst housing bubble (whereby they sold housing provided for cheap rents by the State at pure rent seeking multiples of capital value) would not lead most people(especially ex members of UKIP)to see the EU as a better bet.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, that was a Faux Libertarian/Home-Owner-Ist thing, not an EU thing.

The transition from Communism/Russian domination is no doubt difficult, but as crap as the EU is, you can't accuse it of being overtly Home-Owner-Ist, not on a par with Ireland or the UK.

The UK used to have a good record with social housing, it was more expensive than on t'other side of the Iron Curtain but probably a lot nicer, and it wasn't the EU which told Thatcher/Blair to sell most of it off.

Bayard said...

DBCR, a return to communism isn't on the cards in Russia, either. If anything, the rent-seeking in Russia is worse than in the EU. AFAICS the main attraction of the EU for Ukrainians is that it isn't Russia.

DBC Reed said...

@B So all those people manufacturing and throwing Molotov cocktails by the dozen and who seem to have no need to work are attracted to the EU because it is less rent seeking?

Bayard said...

DBCR, you baffle me. I make the statement "AFAICS the main attraction of the EU for Ukrainians is that it isn't Russia" and you ask me if I think the protesters are attracted to the EU because it is less rent seeking. I mean, my comment was only three sentences long. Was it that hard to read it to the end before replying?

DBC Reed said...

If there is less rent seeking in the EU (!) and the protestors are keen on the EU ergo they must like the EU because there is less rent seeking there.Why else in the terms you describe?
But enough of this personal tittle tattle. From Serhij Zakharin of the Institute of Economics and Forecasting at the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences: (talking about Kiev)"In the majority of cases people invest their money in apartments being built exclusively for further sale and resale to turn a profit rather than live in them".According to Nuriel Roubini who knows a thing or two, Russia is not experiencing property price inflation.So is some part of the unrest in Ukraine down to people hoping to pump up a western style property bubble? Could be an armed and extremely dangerous offshoot of Homeownerism International??

DBC Reed said...

\in like mode, try "Monopoly's poster children" by Prof Michael Hudson on Net. He is of course one of the few expert land taxers to hold an academic post and has specialised in the property bubbles in ex-Communist countries. This talk does cover a lot of ground but he mentions, almost in passing, that the Americans have had a targeted assassination programme in Ukraine.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, if you want a text book example of how to shift from Communism straight to Home-Owner-Ism, try Cuba.

DBC Reed said...

MW
I dread to think. Do you have a source?Strangely Michael Hudson does n't mention Cuba in his round-up of World Homeownerist repression.He seems to think Latvia is the worst:he did study it on an official basis,I think.
We might have to modify the light joshing approach we use towards Homeownerists;they are into the rough stuff with huge 1940's displacements of population or trapping people in indentured servitude paying inflated mortgages for housing stock provided free (on capital accounts) by the Communists.Hudson is good on this: but he has the kudos to get away with the apocalyptic stuff.

Bayard said...

"If there is less rent seeking in the EU (!) and the protestors are keen on the EU ergo they must like the EU because there is less rent seeking there."

That's like saying "If my new house has a red front door and I bought it, I must have bought it because it had a red front door", which rather discounts the possibility that I might have bought it because it was the right price, in the right location, the right size etc etc,

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, from here:

Cuba's government has given Cubans the right to buy and sell their homes for the first time since the early days of the 1959 revolution in a long-awaited reform that creates a real estate market and promises to put money in people's pockets.

The reform, published on Thursday in the government's Official Gazette, is one of the most substantial undertaken by President Raul Castro to liberalize the island's Soviet-style command economy while maintaining the communist system.

Castro has promised the change for a while and Cubans have looked forward to it as a way of finally being able to cash in on the value of their homes, which for five decades could not be sold but were swapped through a legal subterfuge.

As word of the new rules spread, visions of big money danced in the eyes of Cubans who earn an average salary equivalent to $18 a month.

"I could probably sell my house for $100,000. If I had that kind of money I could do a lot of things, include get out of here if my family wants to go," said teacher Isabela Menendez, who lives in a 19th century apartment in central Havana.

DBC Reed said...

MW Thanks.Later sources indicate a Cuban housing boom in 2013 but since they have banned Cuban ex-pats and foreigners from buying property, it is difficult to see how,on internal wages alone, they can drum up the burst housing bubble that can capture the population in indentured servitude, as no doubt intended.We'll have to see.Next up the Ukraine: I rather suspect that we are way out of our depth with this international aspect.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, there is a long list of reasons why people prefer EU style capitalism to Russian style oligarchism/autocracy.

And "the ability to make unearned gains in land prices at everybody else's expense" is probably on that list somewhere, but so what? I'd rather be oppressed by the building society than by armed secret police.

Kj said...

MW: or the evil banks for that matter. The idea that alignment with Russia is somehow better because it according to DBC has had less of a housing boom is so far left field I don´t even know where to start. A big facepalm will suffice for now.

DBC Reed said...

Clearly you have not read the Michael Hudson article.(KJ does not read articles that might threaten his very small ideas base,though to be fair (why?) he has read up on Resale Price Maintenance which he used to abuse me about in the past when I explained it perfectly adequately.)
Hudson believes i) the Americans have been assassinating people in
the Ukraine(though obviously these do n't count being done by wholly virtuous Americans ii )that there is no need for overt repression in the West because all forms of economic and political dissent have been choked off at the academic/theoretical level (which he should know about more than anybody else even KJ our mighty theoretician).
When you think about it (!!) ,in the 30's there were two alternatives to orthodox economic bollox: Communism and Keynesianism. Now There Is No Alternative ,although Hudson obviously thinks the answer lies in Land Value Tax and bank reform in which I agree with him.

Kj said...

DBC: I've read it, I regularly read what I come over by MH. So what? There are other things than house price inflation that matters. Political freedom is one.

Kj said...

And yes, EU states are more free than Russia and Ukraine currently, don't even try.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, keep up the good work.

Fred Harrison went over to the Russkies twenty years ago and suggested LVT to them, he got sent packing.

So answer Kj's simple question, where would you consider yourself less "free"? In Russia or in an EU Member State?

The fact that the EU is shit, for its own reasons, or that some EU member states and non-EU European countries like Norway are openly Home-Owner-Ist, are separate topics.

Kj said...

MW: ofcourse it´s always been a choice between least-shite. But it still is a fact that the former non-eastern bloc at least have political and civil society freedom, also known as "not overwhelmingly likely being put into some horrible prison, arse-kicked or offed for being slightly annoying against your political leaders/Don´s". Russia and the russian aligned states lacks this, and has organized crime involved in every facet of daily life to boot. The "resistance" are probably fully aware of the crapness of the EU, and still see it a a viable alternative to being a tenancy of Putin.
Also, any idea of "meddling" with regards to the recent developments, is impossible to judge. "Meddling" in that area includes anyone in civil society who has ever had contact with a western likeminded.

DBC Reed said...

@MW
MH's point is that in the Western kind of repressive tolerance, we are free to mouth off about LVT and private FRB but the game's so rigged that nobody will take a blind bit of notice: in Russia the secret service will hang on your every word but make life very difficult for you.In the long run the West will put up house prices so everybody's enslaved to land values and the banks: had the Commies not been under ceaseless pressure they would have eventually got round to building a lot of cheap housing.
Not much in it.Not enough to get yourself killed over

Kj said...

DBC: it´s all nice and well to be concerned about aspects about the economy that have implications we agree is pretty bad. It´s another thing to totally loose perspective. For all the horrid neoliberalism in some of the former USSR, the countries that are currently EU-members and oriented thus (except perhaps Latvia, which interestingly stands out as less free in areas like freedom of the press), do better on almost all economic indicators, and have comparably better economic welfare than Russia and any of the Russian vassal states. And that´s only the economic perspective. In spite of MH´s grandiose perspective of worldwide politics as some kind of game rigged by the bankers, where the US controls everything and shoots everyone they don´t agree with, evidently popular movements in places like the Ukraine seem to hanker for a piece of western neoliberalism, for different reasons. If you want to go there and calm people down and say "not much in it, nothing to get you killed for, house-prices will do you in", please do. Tell them this is all that matters.

DBC Reed said...

Some great quotes here
"There are other things than house price inflation that matter(s).Political freedom is one."

"MH's grandiose political perspective."As compared to KJ's modest perspective.KJ vs MH stop the slaughter!

"..popular movements in places like the Ukraine hanker for a piece of western neoliberalism"
(Do you actually know what the organised and very nasty crowds in Kiev were there for?)
"House prices will" not "do you in"
"I'd rather be oppressed by the building societies" in fact, banks "than by the secret police."
I thought this was a land tax blog
but the message here is that land value inflation and oppression by the banks is a price worth paying for "political freedom",Yeah the freedom not to vote for a party that can intro LVT .And since when did neoliberalism get bracketed with LVT? Mission creep(s)?

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, this is all getting a bit tiresome.

"I thought this was a land tax blog."

It is. But I prefer living in Europe to living in Russia, or else I'd move there. Have you bought your one-way ticket yet?

No, we stay here and rail against the system.

And you can't seriously hold up Russia as a good example. It is the crassest rent skimming of all, whether under the apparatchiks or under the oligarchs.

They don't have Home-Owner-Ism for the simple reason that a few hundred people at the top are already skimming off the rents for themselves, there's nothing left for The Little People.

DBC Reed said...

MW
Yes I find it tiresome too. The issues we have been discussing are: the West has been overrun by inflated property values; once "free" former communist countries get kerpowed with sudden-onset huge-scale property inflation.One system may once have had more potential for freedom than the other but both now are beset with a common enemy.It is no use people who recognise the common enemy going on about how brilliant their now "invaded" countries or systems once were.Popular Front Now!