Admit defeat, live outnumbered

Ukrainian presidential election is over, then the early parliamentary election came – they consolidated the victory of Volodymyr Zelensky and gave an overall majority in parliament to his rough-and-ready party Servant of the People – named after the TV sitcom (by the way, Servant of the People is the term of the Stalin’s times and it has been preserved in numerous Soviet posters). In the history of new Ukraine, not a single party has ever had such a big representation in parliament. Not even Yanukovych’s Party of Regions.

I once wrote that inter-regional contradictions in Ukraine have one positive feature. Contradictions further (I thought so) the political dynamics and are a guarantee against totalitarianism. For totalitarianism, it is necessary to have some political national unity. I just did not take into consideration that Ukraine had had that unity. It is not political unity though. Quite the contrary – it is the unity of a-political people who are tired of the hybrid war. They are not concerned with NATO and the EU. For them Ukraine is a territory, Ukrainian citizens are a population, and Russian language or Surzhik (‘Ukrussian’) is their native and single language. They are the people who stay beyond the church, and the Easter means nothing more than Easter cakes and painted eggs. As for the Patriarchate… Never mind the Patriarchate!

Such was the utter unanimity displayed by our native Ukraine. Among my friends, there has not been a single person with such views. I do not have many friends though… So we are outnumbered. The leading Ukrainian intellectuals are in opposition to the new administration. On the other hand, intellectuals have never represented a majority in any country. It’s statistics, and it is very stubborn, too.

We will have to live five years now in the situation of “a non-alternative power”. The legislative power will be merged with executive power. As regards the courts, they had lied under the executive power even before the latter actually changed.

For the first time in the history of independent Ukraine, we technically have a single-party system, same as United Russia ruling in the Russian Federation or like once communists ruled in “multi-party” countries of the so-called “people’s democracy”.

This lack of alternatives is the major danger of the time. But at least we, the elderly people, have many years of experience in living in a non-alternative society under the heavy look of KGB. We have survived and preserved personality. No opposition in the parliament? The opposition will be in society –intellectual, cultural, professional. A powerful photographer will create new laws? It depends on us how they will function.

Unfortunately, I have to say that the opposition may also be armed, and armed conflict is to be predicated, particularly if the policy has a radical change in direction. To prevent escalation means to preserve the country.

The intellectuals understand it. But they (we) have lost. We will live outnumbered.

Borys Khersonsky

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