View Full Version : Social Nationalism: The Political Thought of Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus

W. R.
02-14-2012, 05:06 PM
Oreka Bailoak asked me to comment on this:


The article seems very biased.

Indeed, thanks to Łukašenka Belarus didn’t follow the example of the Ukraine and Russia, and there was no large-scale privatization and no oligarchy emerged. The Belarusian economy is still mostly a state economy. Łukašenka is a Soviet conservative: it’s difficult for him to see privatization as something good, for him it is “selling out the wealth of the people”, also he probably believes that the state should be socialist and take care of its citizens in the way the Soviet Union did (no irony).

Until recently the model worked. Some say that it worked mainly because of direct and indirect subsidies from Russia, because Łukašenka has always portrayed himself and Belarus as Russia’s “the only true ally”. At the same time the current crisis was expected by many, and now many opinions are like: “See, we have said all the time that the model was not viable and was going to collapse. We were right”.

Indeed, Łukašenka have had considerable support from the population. But reportedly his popularity is now about 25 %, he is in charge, he is to be blamed for crisis.

At the same time there is no ‘political life’ as in many other countries, Belarus is a dictatorship, not too hardcore though, comparable to the dictatorships of the Middle East. The opposition parties are not represented in parliament (three or four convocations of the parliament have had no opposition at all) and they are marginal, elections are rigged all the time, there is no independent TV, even Russian channels (as very influential) are censored: news are replaced by local news, even Russian sketches that portrait Łukašenka in satirical way are not shown in Belarus. The Belarusian TV is full of low quality propaganda.

Some newspapers are allowed to exist, although there was a certain period when Biełsajuzdruk refused to sell Narodnaja Vola and Naša Niva and Biełpošta (monopoly) refused to distribute them. Probably later they were found not especially dangerous and allowed again.

Unemployment seems low, but this is a specific trait of our “welfare state” (lol): it doesn’t allow its citizens to live on unemployment benefits (they are ridiculously small), people don’t bother to register as unemployed.

Now, when our cozy “market socialism” is falling, it looks like the state is considering getting rid of some subsidized enterprises. Andrej Lachovič points out that surprisingly the elites are reluctant to sell enterprises to Russian firms (everyone in the world is afraid of Russians, lol), and rather hope that the Western business will buy it.

At the same time Łukašenka sends a clear message to the West, that the West must abandon the hopes that the regime can be changed. If you want to do business in Belarus, then do it and we’ll collaborate with you, we, not somebody else.

I grin when someone says that Łukašenka is nationalist. He is Soviet Belarusian. Just like in former Yugoslavia there are people who identify themselves as Yugoslavs. Unfortunately Belarus in this respect is quite unique in the ex-USSR. After the collapse of the USSR Georgians, Lithuanians and others (Russians too to an extent) immediately abandoned the Soviet identity that had been forced down their throats. Belarusians didn’t. Soviet and Lenin streets were never renamed; busts of Lenin were never removed; after a short period 1991-1995 the flag and the emblem of the BSSR became state symbols again. The Russian language dominates everywhere, the Belarusian language is dying. So much about nationalism. Moar liek the BSSR patriotism, amirite? Screw it.

02-14-2012, 05:13 PM
Saw the words Social Nationalism, expected Antun Saadeh, left disappointed.