On my “blissful ignorance” of Ukrainian politics.

Thanks for the comments, Elmer & Ed. They are good and interesting. Let me defend my reluctance to closely study / follow / participate in politics.

Each of us has only so much time. I’ve decided to spend it on wealth creation, entrepreneurship, and on enjoying life. I do not blog about my nascent entrepreneurship, but it’s been taking much of my time and energy.

Voting with dollars is stronger than voting with ballots. When I buy things I like, they become more available to others as well. The evidence of this impact is overwhelming. For example, I vote for L’viv’s best coffee shops almost daily, and customer service seems to be improving in leaps and bounds. It’s immeasurably better from when I first visited L’viv with my mother in 2008.

Politics is a violent game for thieves and scoundrels. Most Ukrainians are wrong in their belief that rampant corruption and abuse is a distinctly Ukrainian characteristic. Western politicians simply have better masks. They are better con-artists, while Ukrainian politicians are better thugs.

How many times should we witness politicians breaking their promises before giving up? At what point should we acknowledge that we can’t name a single government program anywhere in the world that hasn’t been a failure?

In the words of Thoreau, “government never furthered any enterprise but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way.” Though Thoreau himself may not have realized it, his statement encompasses even the enterprises of security, justice and transportation.

There are people who view the political process even more urgently than you, Ed. They consider it every citizen’s obligation to identify the correct political policy and devote themselves to its advocacy.

I used to think along these lines, but once the illusion of politicians’ legitimacy evaporates, once one recognizes them for the brutal, cowardly, narcissistic criminals they are, this messianic belief in the political process quickly becomes ridiculous.

It becomes a claim that one’s most lofty, noble goal is effective begging. The grandest aspiration for a human life is begging effectively enough, and convincing a sufficient number of fellow tax-slaves to beg effectively enough, that our masters decide to steal less of our money, and smother less of our liberty.

Keep the fucking money, I say. If I have to forfeit ten, twenty, thirty, forty percent of my hard-earned wealth to keep some thug from throwing me in a cage, then that’s what I’ll do — but I won’t legitimize it by begging them to return a portion of what they’ve stolen. That is beneath my dignity. Keep the fucking money. I will give to Cesar what I must, and that is all.

I prefer to vote with my feet — to escape from one tax farm to a more lenient tax farm. (Lately my income is low enough that there’s almost no difference, but I’m preparing for what I expect to be a successful future.) Voting with one’s feet, like voting with one’s money, is stronger than voting with ballots. Tax farmers hate losing their cattle, especially their most productive cattle, and will make concessions — either that, or they’ll erect barbed-wire fences. Escape while you can.

Consider too what you are asking of the common tax slave: to put reason ahead of regular checks from the government, to think (most men would rather die), to emerge from an indoctrination that’s coddled them since their first days of kindergarten when, scarcely capable of reading or the simplest arithmetic, they put their little hands over their little hearts and pledged allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. I’m 36 years old and I still don’t understand what that means. You’re asking them to stand instead of crawl, and that is way, way, way outside of both, their comfort zone and their abilities.

I don’t resent them for it anymore than I resent cows for not being better dancers, or cats for failing to be classical pianists. People are simply incapable of your expectation, and just as we erect fences to keep vermin out of our gardens, we should look to erect fences to keep the votes of the masses off our bodies and out of our wallets.

Democracy is the armed horde. As Hyppolite Taine foresaw in the dusk of the 19th century, as democracy gathered its strength for a final conquest of European monarchy (Americans marched into WWI beneath the banner of “making the world safe for democracy.”): “One puts in the hands of each adult a ballot, but on the back of each a soldier a knapsack: with what promises of massacre and bankruptcy for the Twentieth Century.”

Or John Adams: “. . . democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself.”

If you’re looking for salvation, unfortunately you must look for what may come after the collapse. Salvation, in my opinion, hinges on the ability of small groups of men to isolate themselves from the armed horde, on their ability to defend a system of property rights with guns as well as ideology.

Until such a time, my plan is to enjoy life, create wealth, brace for collapse, and promote an understanding of property rights, so, God-willing, such a group of men may emerge.

13 Comments

  1. elmer

    Not much of a world view, Roman.

    It relieves one of a lot of responsiblity. “A pox on all your houses, fie on you all” does not create or sustain a country.

    And making vapid generalizations about “better masks” is exactly what the sovok mafia in the insane asylum called Zookraine do – they use that as an excuse to keep stealing cookies from the cookie jar.

    They use that as an excuse to keep Ukraine in a sovok mafia state, where thugs smash the tomatoes of old ladies who have come to the flea market to sell their produce, because the thug has not received enough from the old lady – it’s documented on video.

    They don’t think about making Ukraine BETTER than everyone else – Tymoshenko’s challenge was “let create the best government in the world.”

    Instead, the sovok mafia state has gotten worse in Ukraine, despite the current efforts of the opposition.

    In Ukraine, it’s not a choice between corruption and masked corruption, as you claim.

    In Ukraine, the choice is between a thug sovok mafia state, and democracy.

    And you are wrong about democracy – God help you if you really believe your own drivel.

    In the US, there are consequences for corruption, as Pavlo Lazarenko found out.

    In Ukraine, the corruption is rampant and open, it’s all rent-seeking activity, and it is not productive, which you, with you economics background, should know very well.

    You sound exactly like the zombified Zookrainians who live in 2 dimensions – they’ve been taught the sovok way, and they can’t envision something better.

    It’s helpleness and hopelessness – that’s what you are espousing, Roman.

    бідний бо дурний
    дурний бо бідний

    he’s poor because he’s stupid,
    he’s stupid because he’s poor

    A closed circle, right Roman? Damn all governments.

    But —-

    —– voting with one’s feet – to enjoy the fruits of countries where things are indeed better – in democracies, Roman.

    Many millions of Ukrainians have indeed voted with their feet to go live in freedom, and in democracy. My cousin is one of them.

    The point is not to become involved in politics. Noone was asking you to be the political saviour of Zookraine, such as it is.

    Surely you have the intellectual capacity and ability to learn something about the country where you are staying, Roman, other than which are the best coffee shops in Lviv.

    Your attitude is very depressing, Roman.

    I really don’t see how you can enjoy life with such a hugely negative attitude.

    Reply
  2. Ed K

    Elmer,

    Let me express my sincere appreciation to know I
    am not alone in thinking as I do.

    I will not comment at this time on Roman’s reply. Just
    to say that using street vulgarities is not appropriate.
    I have that problem with others doing that, so it is not
    unique with Roman. However, it is an issue which takes
    the user down a level from the highest they are capable of…

    At Roman’s age he may achieve financial sucesses, but
    my observation is that he is not George Soros.

    George Soros never wrote a childs book, rather helped send
    Jews to the camps.

    My purpose is simply to keep shinning a light of things that
    maybe his mother would appreciate? Keep shinning a light
    on things that were historically important to his cultural
    forebearers.

    I believe Roman to be a very able guy. To me no reason why
    he cannot achieve great things on multiple paths at the same
    time. Just doing it alone is a lonely way to go.

    Reply
  3. elmer

    Ed K

    Regarding vulgarity

    There is nothing more vulgar than the “country” of Zookraine.

    There is an asshole named Lozinsky, one of the sovok mafia thugs in Zookraine who declared himself to be “lord of the manor” and a “god” of all his lands – King Kong had nothing on him.

    He – and the local police chief – killed a 55-year old man who was living with his mother.

    The 55-year old guy was cutting across a field to go home, and King Kong Lozinsky didn’t like it.

    So King Kong Lozinsky, a member of Ukraine’s Parliament, went safari hunting and killed the poor guy in cold blood. And tried to cover it up.

    He was convicted – BUT – a Zookrainian “court” just shortened his sentency by 4 years.

    That is what’s vulgar.

    There are many “King Kongs” in Zookraine.

    They have raped and pillaged Zookraine for many, many years.

    And they make excuses about it.

    They even talk about the jus primae noctis, the “right of the first night” – I’ve seen lardbutt sovok mafia thugs joke about it on video.

    In case you don’t know, jus primae noctis was, in the European late medieval context, a widespread popular belief in an ancient privilege of the lord of the manor to share the wedding bed with his peasants’ brides.

    That is what’s vulgar. Not Roman’s language.

    Roman is, of course, entitled to express himself whatever way he wants, as is Chris Rock, who uses vulgarity in his comedy (Chris Rock is not the only one).

    I believe Roman to be a very able guy as well.

    Reply
  4. Ed K

    Elmer,

    So you compare Roman to Lozinsky?

    No using vularities in formal communications is not
    necessary.

    Maybe in a speech to arouse emotions, get blood
    pressure up, but not necessary in scribings to
    persuade, explain, or tell a story.

    Here short clear statements and facts work best.

    As to corrupt politicians there is old fashion group
    with a rope and a tree… or a lamp post in the
    center of town.

    Do they make rope in Ukraine? Maybe they should?

    Reply
  5. elmer

    Ed,

    I get your point about the rope, etc.

    The corrupt politicians, the King Kongs, have bodyguards. The corrupt politicians and the bodyguards have guns.

    The citizens do not.

    The corrupt politicians literally teamed up with gangs – one example is the Kushnir gang in Donbas – in order to acquire and maintain assets.

    The King Kongs also are in cahoots with police and prosecutors.

    In sovok tradition, which the sovok mafia “government” adheres to, the prosecutors are not independent and they do not have a mandate to look for the truth – they are viewed and used as an arm of whoever is in power.

    Thus, citizens have learned to stay under the radar of “government” and its sycophants in Zookraine, as their best chance of survival.

    Thus, Zookraine has an underground economy of well over 50%.

    Citizens try to stay under the radar of the sovok mafia “government” –

    Except for the Orange Revolution, which was betrayed by the politicians who came to power because of the Orange Revolution.

    The justification for forming a sovok mafia “government”, and for raping and robbing and pillaging Zookraine for 20 years, was that Zookraine needed “big and strong beezniss” to compete in world markets.

    Oh, the commie insiders would have stolen everything in sight “fair and square” anyway, but that was one rationale that was used for the brutal rape, robbery and pillage of Zookraine.

    The citizens just stood by – well, not all of them, but most of them.

    Many of them simply voted with their feet – they left Zookraine for Europe, Canada, the US, Australia, and even Africa.

    Some of those that stayed fought on, at great peril to themselves.

    Thus, for example, Ukrainian Pravda suffered mysterious electrical “blackouts,” and “tax inspections,” and worse. Georgiy Gongadze was beheaded – he was a co-founder of that newspaper.

    Massive inertia.

    Now the opposition is doing its best to gain the trust of the people.

    The people know how to play chess – but they don’t know how to think,

    thanks in large measure to being zombified during the sovok union era, and intimidated thereafter by the sovok mafia “government.”

    And they’re currently making an example out of Lutsenko, Tymoshenko, and other people who were officials in the Tymoshenko government.

    They are even going after Tymoshenko’s lawyer.

    The EU is screaming bloody hell on a daily basis, but these psycho sovok mafia thugs don’t care.

    They are brutal, and they aren’t normal people.

    The opposition is trying to get the support of the people to get rid of the psychos, and to change the system.

    But if that doesn’t work –

    Rope is a very good idea.

    Lots of it.

    Reply
    1. Roman

      Take some pride that at least Ukrainian, unlike Russians, are good at ridiculing their government. That’s very important. I do a bit of that regarding US politicians.

      Where we probably disagree is thinking that politicians, especially democratically elected ones, can be much better than they currently are.

      Reply
      1. Ed K

        Well the Pope is really elected?

        That is political, yes?

        Roman forgets he volunteered for the army. Some Americans
        volunteer for poltical office. Unlike Roman I have met honest
        Americans serving in poltical office. Roman paints all with
        broad brush. This is a egregious error.

        Elmer said, “The opposition is trying to get the support
        of the people to get rid of the psychos, and to change
        the system.

        Maybe the opposition needs to know about 3-D printing …
        guns? Do you think a former officer in Rangers knows
        how to train solders to shoot AR-15, etc?

        Maybe Ukraine needs a Zoro? They have a lot of horses…

        “They are brutal, and they aren’t normal people.” The
        Communists were quite brutal. No change there…

        Ask the curator of that museum in Ternopil…

        Guns stop such, that is why the fuss about guns in USA.

        I think that we need an interview of the Mayor of Lviv… find
        us a good man serving in political office in Ukraine. It is an
        exercise that would do Roman good.

        “A gun is like a parachute.
        If you need one, and don’t have one,
        you’ll probably never need one again.”

        Reply
  6. elmer

    Roman, the point is not whether politicians are good or bad.

    The point is whether there is a system in place which will put checks and balances, accountability and mechanism for removal of even the worst ones.

    The point is whether there is a system in place which allows people to have the freedom to reach their full potential.

    “If men were angels, there would be no need of government.”

    The US has a system of checks and balances. Elections make officials accountable – and even responsible. Government auditors do that also. So do independent courts.

    In Zookraine, the corruption is rampant. So is nepotism and cronyism.

    I’m sure you’re heard the phrase теплі місця – warm places – reflective of the rampant nepotism and cronyism.

    Yanusvoloch’s son is in the Parliament – the zRada. So is the Prosecutor General’s son, Pshonka – just 2 examples.

    There are no checks and balances.

    The absolutely maddening thing is that the people know about it, they even have phrases for it.

    But they do nothing about it, except for a few.

    And it shows in the standard of living, the level of freedom, and in everything else.

    As far as Rasha is concerned – how do you think that Putler got his name? That came from Russians way over in Siberia, who were importing cars with steering wheels on the right. Putler decreed that steering wheels should be only on the left – to “protect” the domestic car industry. The importers protested, and the name Putler appeared. Seems that the imported cars were better and more affordable.

    However, in Russia, deriding the government is far more likely to get you arrested than in Ukraine. Ask the girls of Pussy Riot, whose “crime” was singing a song in the Rashan KBG orthodox “church.”

    Reply
    1. Roman

      I think the system is a recognition of property rights. All violations of property rights must be viewed with extreme suspicion, and 99% must be condemned — regardless of whether or not the violation is the legal variety (politicians) or the illegal type (criminals).

      Reply
  7. elmer

    Roman, I forgot to put something in.

    Have you ever heard the phrase:

    “We are a nation of laws, not men”

    After looking at Ukraine for lo these many years, that really hits home.

    That is one basis on which the US was founded.

    That is why it doesn’t matter whether politicians are good or bad.

    The US is a nation of laws, not men, starting with the Constitution.

    Zookraine is a nation of psycho sovok mafia thugs – not laws.

    In the US, the system itself saves everyone from bad politicians.

    In Zookraine – well, it’s just an insane asylum, a дурдом

    Reply
  8. Ed K

    Elmer said, “The US is a nation of laws, not men,
    starting with the Constitution.”

    This was formerly true, but since Obama’s election it is
    no longer accurate. That is why the fuss over guns in USA.

    Evidence to support above statement:

    U. S. had laws and history [method] of dealing with
    bankruptcy thru bankruptcy courts. Obama told bankruptcy
    judge in GM case to do it his way and not follow the way
    it had been done in past.

    Obama clamed urgency and preserving jobs of workers,
    that is, member of union which gave huge contributions
    to Obama.

    He said the rich fat cats would have to yield to workers.

    Who were rich fat cat stockholders and bondholders of GM.

    Yes in both cases the stock was held by large companies
    that managed investments. But those companies managed
    investments for other workers!

    The Indiana state teachers retirement fund lost a billion
    dollars from bonds which Obama made worthless! Yes
    those bonds were managed by professional debt [bond]
    managers. However the real [equitable] owners of the
    bonds were the teachers of Indiana…

    They were not rich fat cats as Obama said and media endorsed.

    Discussion:

    And I have been arguing Obama’s deceit for many years now.
    It is like yelling into an empty barrel when the media is
    controlled by Marxist.

    I would point out that I am person not welcomed and in some
    cases actually banned for speaking out. Poltical correctness is
    a tool used by Marxist to inculcate their ideology.

    For the moment, we still can speak out in USA. That is why we
    will fight to keep our guns.

    Understand that I had relatives who tried to fight in Ukraine for
    their freedoms. Remnants of their families remain, but those
    who fought publically are goners.

    It is obvious that those who believe in and will fight for freedom
    are a small number.

    Thuggery must be dealt with… It cannot be left to propagate.

    What does it take to stop evil?

    Reply
  9. Roman

    NATION OF LAWS

    Bastiat’s essay The Law changed my view of the world more than any other single piece of writing. I recored a video book review.

    Laws were created by men’s voluntary exchanges. Ancient kings merely codified existing laws. Then the law became increasingly co-opted by political leaders.

    There are very, very few laws we need beyond the principles of self-ownership and property rights.

    Reply

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