One of my statements in my writing about the Transformation is that 'America is headed for a divorce and Europe is not far behind'. Future historians are likely to identify the events unfolding in Crimea as one of the important hallmarks in this process.
The first principle of Information Age political Philosophy is that 'no person should be required to live under a body of laws, policies and programs that they consider to be fundamentally unjust'. In the U.S. this is playing out as a values crisis. In Europe it is currently playing out more as ethnic tensions. However, in both cases it is calling into question the fundamental assumptions about the right to rule.
As I have discussed this with groups and individuals, there has only been one person who has positively asserted that people should be required to live under laws that they consider unjust. Most people agree in theory but cannot imagine a system that could practically allow it.
These issues are about to play out in Ukraine and more specifically Crimea. On March 16, Crimea by referendum will probably declare itself independent of Ukraine and will petition to be annexed by Russia. Ukraine, of course, will not recognize the referendum, however, neither will USEU (United States and European Union) and, out of courtesy, more than conviction, most of the rest of the developed world.
The Crimeans are essentially being told this. Sixty years ago, a man who was not Crimean, undemocratically 'gave' the Crimea to Ukraine. Now, people for whom they would never vote and who, also, are not Crimean, are telling them that they must remain part of Ukraine despite their democratically established desire to sever their political ties to Kiev.
What we are going to learn from this is that, at their core, nation states are coercive. The majority almost invariably subjugates minorities and then makes it unconstitutional for them to sever their ties of that tyranny. In USEU, the tyranny is soft and elsewhere more severe. However, the contrivance that, win or lose, one cannot quit the game is tyrannical by its nature, no matter how it is used.
What is being totally lost in the public discourse, both in the press and in the community of nations, is that this should be about the empowerment of Crimeans, not the machinations in D.C., Brussels, Kiev or Moscow. There does not appear to be any controversy over what Crimeans want. Given the political realities, they don't want to be politically affiliated with Kiev.
It is not difficult to see how this would go down without 'Russian interference'. The vote would go against Kiev and they would deploy forces to assert their claim to sovereignty over Crimea. Quite possibly 'UN peacekeepers' would be deployed to discourage informal objections to yoke of Kiev.
However, Russian interference is probably going to force the world to accept, at least de facto, the referendum results. It will be argued whether this is more a victory for Russia or a defeat of USEU interests. In truth, it will be a victory for Crimea and future self-identified groups who wish to assert self-determination.
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