ukraine question

Poland’s founder, Roman Dmowski, predicted the present war in Ukraine, even predicting that Donietsk would be the focal point of that war. Reading his words, written in 1930, we read the words of a prophet, and we understand why President Woodrow Wilson saw fit to trust Roman Dmowski’s assessment of European affairs. It is impossible for an honest person to read this essay and not feel a wave of shock. If it is true that Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf was a blue print for the Second World War, then it is all the more true that Roman Dmowski’s work was a prophetic warning to the entire world and an exact blueprint for the present war in Ukraine. If America is to survive, President Barack Obama must follow in the footsteps of President Woodrow Wilson and take to heart what Roman Dmowski has to say. To do so, President Obama—and all Americans—might have to reassess the American commitment to Israel. If ever there was a time to do so, it is now, when America has suffered the collapse of its economy and the death and maiming of tens of thousands of American soldiers in the war that Roman Dmowski predicted and warned against: a war which is now in its key phase. Roman Dmowski’s teachings can no longer be ignored simply because they are anti-Zionist, and any American who raises Dmowski’s anti-Zionism as an excuse to ignore the prophetic truth of this work is guilty of putting a narrow and partisan view of Israeli interests above the welfare of his own country.  -Peter Strzelecki Reith

IV. Ukraine in World Politics

Following the Russian revolution, the Ukraine question entered a new phase. Under the federalist system of the Soviet state, that part of its territory where the majority of people used the Low Russian language became the Ukrainian republic, with a rather large sphere of autonomy and with Ukrainian as its official language. At the same time, following the reconstruction of Poland due to the World War, a portion of the territories of the old Republic, where the people spoke Russian, amongst those territories—the old Eastern Galicia—being an important area of Ukrainian activity—became part of our state.

Under this status quo the Ukrainian question is considered unsolved by the Ukrainians, nor by those elements who—for a variety of reasons—were Ukraine’s patrons. The area continues to ferment, and efforts to break off lands from both Poland and from Russia have not ceased. These efforts even caused the infamous Polish invasion of Kiev in 1920, the political causes and aims of which have yet to be fully understood. The invasion changed little in the matter of Ukraine; only that the Peace of Riga, which followed the invasion, moved the Soviet border to the West, and compelled Poland to relinquish much of the territory it had formerly held through coercion.

In those first years following the World War and the Russian revolution, no one predicted that the Ukrainian question would soon become a world question. As everyone now knows, the Great War from 1914-1918, which led to great political tumult in eastern Europe, caused great economic tumult in the rest of the world; particularly in Western Europe. This tumult was not merely the result of the war having destroyed the wealth of nations and disorganized the economic interdependencies between nations, but above all, World War I accelerated the pre-existing process of de-centralization of production in the world. This process of global economic de-centralization is bringing catastrophe to those states which were once the focal point of world economic centralization.

These causes of World War I, which were not initially appreciated (because many believed the economic consequences of the war would be only temporary) have been felt more acutely, the farther we are from the time of the war. It is becoming more and more obvious that the governments of these states are incapable of dealing with these economic problems, and those with direct interests in the matter, namely the representatives of big Capital, exhibit greater energy and ingenuity in seeking for a remedy.

The favorite idea upon which many dexterous minds are now working, not only political or financial, is the distribution—via a peace agreement—of the production capacity of the states of the world, leading to a situation in which some will remain producers, while others will remain consumers of this or that product. Those who might wish to advance from consumer to producer would be considered an enemy of this world order. The goal is for the more advanced political economies of our age, where production is becoming more expensive, to protect themselves from competition against other states, which might be able to produce things at lower cost, and which have begun to develop their industry recently.

League of Nations

League of Nations

The realization of this unpopular idea, despite the existence of the League of Nations and many other means, is not at all easy. One of the greatest foes of this New World Order is Soviet Russia. Soviet Russia clearly ridicules the efforts of Capitalist Europe and America at rescuing the existing world economic order. One can see this if one reads Stalin’s last speech in Moscow. This ridicule might have just remained mere rhetoric with no concrete forms, if Russia were deprived of its coal and steel, all of which Russia possesses in its Ukrainian territories. To rip Ukraine from Russia would be to de-fang Russia, to secure oneself from Russian competition and to destine Russia to the roll of an eternal consumer of foreign products.

In light of this, the principle matter in the business of world affairs is a second big idea. The meaning that the automobile and airplane have come to have in our world, both in war and peace, as well as the wide use of the combustion engine, particularly on seafaring vessels, has meant that oil—until recently a humble product—has now become the most important of resources to be taken from our Earth. If the states which have hitherto ruled the World Order could manage to consolidate in their hands all—or almost all of the world’s oil, their domination would be secured for a long time to come, so long as some new technological revolution does not reduce the present status of oil.

Thus the idea of dividing the world into a variety of interdependent oil oligopolies which are the privileged class, and the rest—who can only consume this oil from the oligopolies or, who—in the event of war—would be deprived of this oil. Even the small amount of oil that is to be found in our Podkarpatia region, was the principle cause of disagreement during the peace negotiations over Eastern Galicia.

The vast majority of oil is to be found in the United States of America. The United States of America produce over 69% of the New World’s oil. Venezuela is the second largest producer. Mexico is the fourth largest. Columbia, Peru and Argentina also produce large amounts of oil. America either already lays claim or intends on laying claim to this oil. In our Old World, Europe possesses a small amount of oil (above all, Romania and Poland) and then there is oil to be found in Asia. Persia (exploited primarily by the English) is the fifth largest oil producer in the world. The Dutch Indies—the seventh. Smaller amounts of oil are to be had in British India, in Japan and China. In recent times, the English have discovered oil in Iraq and have undertaken its exploitation.

5  - oil fieldThe richest sources of oil in the Old World, making up about half of the production of all of Europe and Asia, with the potential of becoming a larger proportion of this overall production, are to be found in the Caucas region (Baku). Thanks to these regions, Russia is now the third largest world oil producer. And thus, the second big idea of the new world order is the destruction of Soviet Russia. Ukraine has no oil—it may have a small amount if the Polish lands of Drohobych and Boryslav were attached to Ukraine, but we if we think of Ukraine’s scope, reaching as it does to the Caspian sea, as many are wont now to think of it, then the separation of Ukraine from Russia means the separation of Russia from the Caucas and the liberation of the oil reserves of the Caucas from Russian rule. All of this ties the Ukraine question to the most pressing question of our age: oil.

V. Prospects for the Ukrainian state

The Ukrainian question cannot be treated in the same manner as one treats the first run of the mill nation, awoken to life in the XIX century. The meaning of the Ukraine question is more important than all other questions due to the size of the population there which speaks in Low Russian, as well as due to the role that the territory of Ukraine and its natural resources play in world politics.

Already by the end of the XIX century, Ukraine became a focal point in German politics, and Ukraine came under the mass patronage of Germany. Rebuilding the Polish state did not lessen the German patronage over Ukraine, but increased its importance to German politics. The goal of altering Polish-Ukranian borders is the aim of German politics as well as the reduction of Poland to a territory which would be a meaningless little country, totally dependent upon Germany. The economic aspect of this issue, which is at the forefront of the views of the Hohenzollern power, for contemporary Germany, given their massive economic difficulties, is all the more pressing. No doubt the leader of the German government was thinking of this economic aspect when, in his recent speech, he noted the vital role of domestic economic and financial troubles with regard to Germany’s eastern policies.

In recent years, thanks to its steel and its coal in Donietsk, as well as its Caucasian oil, Ukraine has become the subject of great interest on the part of European and American Capital and has taken a principle place in their economic plans and their political ambitions to create a New World Order in the near future. It must also be added to this—and this is not a small matter—that Ukraine plays a key role, next to Poland, in Jewish politics.

Thanks to this, and thanks to many other smaller causes, like the interests of Russia’s former creditors, as well as those whose industrial and farming interests remain now on the territory of Soviet Ukraine, and finally thanks to the hopes of certain Roman Catholics who intend on creating an ecclesiastical Union of Churches in Ukraine, it cannot be said that the Ukrainian question is wanting for attention in the world.

Certainly, if Ukraine were ripped away from Russia, powerful interests would use all of their influence and all of their means to make sure that the revolution would not end in the creation of some minor state. Only a Ukraine which was huge could move forward on all of the aspects that have such great meaning in the Ukraine question. A Ukrainian state, torn from Russia, would have quite an international career—but would the average Ukrainian?

Donetsk demonstratorsThe young nation, awakening towards its historical destiny, stands face to face with hardships on account of a lack of traditions, concepts, feelings, instincts all of which make a nation out of a mere combination of people, not to mention that Ukraine also lacks political experience and experience in self-government, experience in authentically coming into its own as an independent state entity. It is unable to deal with all of these hardships. Even we Poles, who have never ceased to be a great nation in human history have, on account of a relatively short time in our statehood, demonstrated a lack of experience and a grand incapacity in dealing with our own problems. Thankfully, these problems are usually relatively few and take up a small space; they become encompassed in smaller political associations which deal with their own small problems.

Ukraine is certainly not some Lithuania with but two and a half million residents, in which the problems of the greatest urgency are financial and are now being solved by Lithuania by cutting down its forests and selling its wood. An independent Ukraine would, from the very beginning of its existence, stand before the greatest and highest of global problems. Above all—the greatest of these problems would be its relations with Russia. Russia would have to be the most incompetent nation in the world to easily let go of such a vast territory as Ukraine, where Russia’s finest farm land lies, where its coal and steel lie, where the key to their oil reserves and their access to the Black Sea lies. Where the capacity to use all of these resources for the good of their nation lies. Of great concern is the Black Sea coast, which is ethnically not Ukrainian, the matter of the Donietsk region, and the matter of the non-Ukrainian Crimea. Even the Caucas. The Russian nation, with all of its historical traditions, with its exquisite instinct for statecraft, is gradually dealing with all of these problems and, in its own way, solving them. A new independent Ukrainian nation would have to immediately find a solution to all of these problems and would immediately learn that it is impossible for Ukraine to do. However—there would be others—who would take up the mantle of overlord and do the work for Ukraine: therein lies the tragedy.

There is no human power capable of stopping an independent Ukraine, torn from Russia, from becoming a playground for the criminal classes of the entire world, for whom there is very little room left in their own countries; capitalists in search of capital, industrialists, technicians, dealers, speculators, men of intrigue, and the initiators of every possible form of prostitution: Germans, French, Belgians, Italians, the English, the Americans—they would all find favor amongst the local Russians, Poles, Armenians, Greeks and, above all, amongst the most important of groups in Ukraine: the Jews. An independent Ukraine would pull in all of the powers of the world and rival the League of Nations for the amount of international interests that would swarm over the country. All of these dynamics, with help from the more clever and self-interested of the Ukrainians, would become the elite of the new nation-state. It would be a unique elite, because no other country on Earth except for an independent Ukraine could claim for itself such an international motley crew of knaves.

ukraineUkraine would become a cancer on all of Europe; those who would dream of creating a cultured, healthy and strong Ukrainian nation, able to mature within its own state, would soon find that instead of their own state, they actually live in an international corporation, and instead of healthy progress, they will be the victims of destruction and rotting.

He who believes that given Ukraine’s geography and its scope, and the state in which the Ukrainian element finds itself, with its spiritual and material resources, and above all given the role that the Ukrainian question plays in the global politics of the world—he who believes that things in Ukraine would develop otherwise than what I predict—does not have one single ounce of imagination.

The Ukrainian Question has many advocates, both in Ukraine itself and beyond its borders. Amongst the latter there are many who know very well what it is that an independent Ukraine will lead to. There are also those who regard the issue with excess casualness. These naïve people would do better if they kept their hands off Ukraine.

Books on the topic of this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore. This is part two of a three-part series written by Roman Dmowski and translated from Polish by Peter Strzelecki Rieth. Part one may be found here.

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