The Ukraine

If you don’t know what’s happening in the Ukraine this link should fill u in.

This link will explain what’s going on in Crimea.

The Ukrainian people and members of their parliament want a connection with the European Union for economic growth. However, the president decides to instead look east towards Russia for economic stability. The people then protest because they desire a change in the constitution that will give the president less power over parliament.

For Rousseau, the general will here would likely lie with the people and thus a change in the constitution is justified and should be allowed. A conservative view may be that the people don’t know what’s best for them and thus no change in the constitution should come from protests. Obviously, democracy surely is not shinning through in this instance as the people are in no way ruling.

In Crimea, a portion of Ukraine on the Black Sea and adjacent to Russia, another problem is occurring. The people in this slightly independent region (they have their own parliament) of Ukraine feel a great tie to Russia (many of them are of Russian background as this was once a part of Russia only a few decades ago) and now are seceding Ukraine. There was a vote in Crimea for this move.

Some claim that this move was unconstitutional and highly manipulated by Russia. Others state it was the region’s right to govern itself. While Ukrainian national parliament feels robbed of a region of their nation, people in Crimea rejoice as they return to the motherland as Russia now is annexing.

Whether or not a territory can justly secede from a nation as they please according to international law I don’t know. We learned that democracy is all about identifying who the people are. On one hand, the people are the entirety of Ukraine and thus this move is surely unjust. On the other hand, the people are those in Crimea and thus they have the right to secede if they collectively will that move.

While they may cause way more problems than solutions, what happened here reminds me of my own thoughts of democracy. The majority’s will will always win in a democracy. But if the minority differs on very critical issues, perhaps the fairest move would be to form their own state, region, or even nation. Therefore, the moral loss of holding people against their will would disappear as they now are living out the will that they desired – and they may still have excellent relations and even still share the same national title with the majority (not what happened in Crimea exactly).

Of course that is entirely idealist and theoretical. The powers within a nation surely would never want such separations however the forming only of a new state may be acceptable. While this would not end the friction within democracies it may end the sparking of violent protests if sensitive issues could be resolved by formations of new regions ext…. May the Ukrainian conflict end peacefully and Democratic Theory live on!

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2 Responses to The Ukraine

  1. Andy Maskiell says:

    I think you raise a good point: there is a giant gray area here for determining legitimacy. Both perspectives seem to have valid claims and the evidence for both is so unquantifiable that it seems impossible to determine which decision is the “better” one.

    There also seems to be an element of the foreign-founder, or at least the issue of foreigness and how it is addressed, in this conflict. From both of the articles, I get the impression that the whole conflict is due to foreign support from mainly two sources (the “Westerners” and the Russians), and a conflict has developed within the country over which of these is more preferable. One could almost claim that the whole conflict itself is because of these two outside sources and that if their involvement in Ukraine was less prominent, then there perhaps would be no issue at all, or perhaps they would be focused on a different issue within their own country altogether.

  2. scter117 says:

    I like the point you raise involving foreignness. We never spoke about the possibility of 2 foreign founders or one and then another. I can only imagine the confusion that would bring to a society just as we see in the Ukraine. I completely agree that if no outside nations were involved perhaps the problem would have solved itself easily and peacefully (in relation to the seceding portion). Actually, the Crimea problem was in a solved perfectly fine by the people of Crimea however Russia’s ambition and the UN’s criticism brought about dismay.

    The first problem of the Ukrainian people desiring trade with the European Union is different on one hand. The people not getting what they want is a clear violation of democracy it seems however “do they know whats best for them” etc. One the other hand, what an interesting thought of the people desiring foreign connections (could also be imagined to be the foreign founder) but the rulers put in charge by the people disagree. In this predicament, legitimacy would have to be handed either to the foreign founder and the people or the current rulers of this people.

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