What is the end game in Ukraine?

See update for May 18, 2022, at end of post.

Every once in a while, a question has to crop up: What’s the end game here?

Julia Ioffe has argued against the possibility of a coup against Vladimir Putin on two grounds: First, she sees an entire Kremlin apparatus, a significant part of larger Russian society that shares Putin’s world view, and an even larger part willing to be complicit with him; replacing him would merely bring other people in who share his perspective and thus fail to solve the problem of the Ukraine invasion. Second, she observes that Russia has produced rulers such as Putin before; there is a pattern here that replacing Putin does not resolve.[1] Mikhail Khodorkovsky offers a bit of insight into the second of these:[2] Read more

  1. [1]Julia Ioffe, “The Death of Putin,” Puck News, March 8, 2022, https://puck.news/the-death-of-putin/
  2. [2]Will Dunn, “‘He has embarked on a war he can’t stop’: Mikhail Khodorkovsky on Putin’s next move,” New Statesman, May 3, 2022, https://www.newstatesman.com/world/europe/ukraine/2022/05/he-has-embarked-on-a-war-he-cant-stop-mikhail-khodorkovsky-on-putins-next-move

The illusory solidarity of the Left

I am remembering today the instructor of my social inequality class, who warned us against only being concerned with the inequality that personally afflicts us. We need to be concerned with all of it, not only as a matter of justice,[1] I say, but because if we address only a single issue of injustice, we risk recreating the very system that now benefits wealthy white men but privileging a different group instead, much as the Russian Revolution simply reshuffled who was in power, who would oppress others.[2] Justice is justice for everyone; partial steps won’t do. Read more

  1. [1]I see from a copy of my unofficial transcript that I took the class in Summer of 2007 at California State University, East Bay, but I do not recall the professor’s name.
  2. [2]Emma Goldman, “There Is No Communism in Russia,” in Red Emma Speaks: An Emma Goldman Reader, ed. Alix Kates Shulman, 3rd ed. (Amherst, NY: Humanity, 1998), 405-420.