Monday, March 31, 2014

Imperialism by another name . . .

I have been critical of the notion that any people seeking to govern themselves are required to meet an external moral standard in order to merit the opportunity.  Likewise, I reject the notion as applied to Crimea:

In addition, Walker ignores the other two crucial distinctions I drew between the Kosovo and Crimea cases. First, the Putin regime is likely to adopt the same repressive policies in Crimea as it has in Russia itself: persecution of political dissenters, repression of gays and lesbians, and others.  The present Ukrainian government, while far from ideal, is has not engaged in comparable human rights violations.

I do not dispute that Russia’s armed imposition of a secessionist referendum on Crimea is a troubling precedent at best from an international law perspective, as Putin likely knows.  But a generalized right of secession, properly implemented, is a formula for peace:  whatever “repression” Russia has in store for Crimea, it is a repression that the Crimeans have apparently chosen for themselves, while Somin’s hedges are just another formula for Leftist imperialism.

Similarly, Somin’s concern about “repression” is a reflection of contemporary American obsession with homosexuals.  On the other hand, if you are a member of Right Sector murdered by police, eh, not so much.

4 comments:

newrebeluniv said...

It's not only a repression that the Crimeans chose for themselves. It is also a repression that the Russians happily live under and enforce in their own lands. Thus, it is perfectly fair.

Dr. Φ said...

Quite right, and Steve has done a lot of work showing how Russia's Harvard-guided mismanagement during the Yeltsin era poisoned the "Democracy" brand.

newrebeluniv said...

If you hire a PHD in physics from MIT you can be assured you get someone who knows how to build a laser from parts he can find at Walmart.

But what real value are all those guys with Ivy league degrees running the state department? If their gold plated credentials mean anything at all, shouldn't the rest of the world be dancing like puppets on our diplomatic strings? Or is the only real point of Ivy League schools to act as a gate keeper to ensure only the kids of the rich and connected get in the door to executive levels of government?

Dr. Φ said...

Again, well said. And for that matter, I found the idea that the Harvard mafia ought to control our own financial system to be a lot more credible before they drove the economy off the cliff in 2008.