There are no oligarchs
In Ukraine we often hear the words «oligarchs» or «oligarchy». It refers to any bigwigs who have gained power and influence. Oligarchs rule, and even grandmas on the bench know it. Oligarchs make a profit. Oligarchs do evil. The oligarchs can be fat cats (from the Forbes list) or «local» hot shots from the hood. They are related to the authorities and the opposition. Any political event can be explained by a conspiracy or conflict of oligarchs. They are omnipresent and omnipotent, like a god in Abrahamic religions, but angry as hell. A TV viewer with a conspiracy mindset can easily explain the diversity of life through the oligarchs’ machinations.
So what does «oligarchy» mean? Formally, this is the power of small number of people, who are not necessarily rich. Several large owners, bureaucrats or military organise a formal or informal public authorities. It can be a «committee», a «junta», «the Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Central Committee», former ukrainian president Yanukovych’s family council, or Putin’s childhood friends. Actually, most oligarchies are a quite small collectives. The part of the ruling class, but not the whole class. The oligarch is not just a businessman who tries to influence politics. It’s a member of this little politburo. At this point, it is more candid to call comrades Khrushchev, Stalin, Beria, Crassus, Pompey and Caesar the oligarchs than, for example, ukrainian capitalists Firtash or Akhmetov, whose influence is significant, but they do not belong to anyone who takes part in power. So, it’s not rocket science, but journalists, political scientists or politicians have been using the term «oligarchy». What for?
Because the class definition stands for this word. The oligarch is bourgeois. But to recognize that the current system of power has a class dimension is very difficult. The power of those who are called «oligarchs» is natural, but their property is considered a «controversial» acquisition. An attempt to reconcile capitalism and class hatred must engender a term that will cloak the class.
Any wealthy capitalist has political preferences and he is ready to hawk around or to promote «his» people in power. Not because the bourgeois are evil by nature. No. In Ukraine, it is simply impossible to make money without protection from state power. The court and law enforcement system are not adapted to protect private property. As a consequence, the only productive tactics is the active participation of millionaires in the legislative branch and active bribery of executive power.
If the state apparatus is less light-fingered, and the courts are more honest, businessmen won’t spend so much energy in order to participate actively in political life. And people do not really like large owners indeed. According to a Rating group’s study (June 28-July 10, 2014), 36% of Ukrainians just want to take away all the large enterprises from the capitalists, and 45% of Ukrainians want to do it through judicial institute (in case of violations of the privatization procedure).
Billionaire Kolomoisky or billionaire Poroshenko in the role of direct leaders of the region or country are not a good example for the «civilized» world. Although there is nothing new here. The term «oligarch» didn’t catch on when defining American politicians from the Bush or Kennedy clans. And they were definitely wealthy people.
The balance of power in governance is affected by many players. Including spontaneous factors. «People’s mobilizations» show that there is a petty bourgeoisie, hired workers, a lumpenproletariat in the bourgeoisie. And that they are capable of forming their political agenda. Representatives of the «middle» and petty bourgeoisie in voluntary divisions dream of eliminating corruption and limiting the power of the current elite. Everything is not easy, and the power in the country does not lie in the several conspirators’ hands. Actually, Ukraine until 2012 and 2013 hadn’t been ruled by a cohesive oligarchic group, in which both deputies and many empowered officials were only executors of the «family» will.
So, it’s not really correct to say that the oligarchy was replaced by the oligarchy. It’s the same when you call any capitalist an oligarch. «Oligarchs» is not a problem but the preservation of the state and capitalism is. Not Kolomoisky, Poroshenko, Firtash or Akhmetov are to blame. It is also the society itself that is guilty, which allows capitalism to exist. And capitalism has already given power to those who is rich.
What should we do? Self-organize and look at fighters with «oligarchy» or a specific «oligarch» as people who are clearing the place for other «oligarchs». Personalia is not the problem and nationality, that the domestic and foreign Stalinists really like making fun of is not a problem.
First, fuck all those leftists who offer a fight against the oligarchy: from the «communist» Simonenko and the German «left» deputy Gunko to the left-wing Pro-Russian scum from «Borotba». They know that their phraseology protects capitalists from other capitalists for sure. The traitor is worse than a fool.
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