Kroker & Weinstein: Maidan as third force

With their talk of supernovas, black holes, and event-horizons, Arthur Kroker and Michael Weinstein’s “Maidan, Caliphate, and Code: Theorizing Power and Resistance in the 21st Century” is not exactly social science in any recognizable form. Read as poetry, however, its rendition of the state of affairs in and between Ukraine and Russia is provocative and worth reading.

“A perfect way to visualize the conflict in Ukraine, with the European time of the exterior surface — the centrifugal pull of the ascendant market economy of the EU, the powerful spatial weaponry of NATO — contrasting sharply with the centripetal affective memory-time of Novorussia, with its viscous clustering of equally powerful memory fragments — tangible memories of fallen Czars, collapsed empires, lost lands of the Don Cossacks, brutal territorial battles of WW2 in the Donbas region, a series of nineteenth-century Russian wars in Crimea, and, most of all, that resurgent contemporary memory cluster that is represented in all its powerful psychological force by the twin ressentiment of Russian nationalism and Putin’s frustrated will to political absolutism.

[…]

“What is the future? Euro-time, with its bureaucratic normalization of traditionally bitterly contested nationalist sensibilities and positivist celebrations of advanced market capitalism, or what might be called the reanimation of Supernova time, with its powerful mixture of the politics of (nationalist) anger and hybrid warfare? How, in the end, is warfare really waged at the horizon of the liquid event-horizon that is the borderland between Russia and Ukraine? What happens when supposedly collapsed (political) supernovas like the Soviet empire congeal in the form of wounded subjectivity, economic corruption, disciplinary power, and an absolutist government that is contemporary Russia, suddenly having predatory designs on a Ukrainian regime that is trying desperately to accelerate in the direction of Euro-time?

[…]

“And what of the rebellious events in Maidan Square that so inflamed Putin’s Russia? Could it be that what is really contested in this game of the doubled sign is not so much the newly reheated logic of the Cold War, but something very different: namely that what actually is the real objective of Russian intervention in Ukrainian sovereignty is the palpable fear of a future Maidan in Red Square. Not so much a contest, then, over the doubled sign of the New World Order versus Eurasian ideology, but the upsurge at the walls of the Kremlin itself of a fundamentally new idea in Russian history — a democratically inspired social movement based on an ethical vision of global citizenship.

“We can know for sure that the introduction of this missing third term to the game of the doubled sign, neither the New World Order nor Eurasian ideology, but an upsurge of the missing element of humanity itself would quickly bring down on its (vulnerable) head the wrath of the New World Order as well as the angry backlash of Eurasian ideology. In this scenario, what really threatens is that which is fully indeterminate, so emblematic of courage, so full of promise, so deeply feared, namely Maidan as the once and probable future of Red Square. And all this ironically mobilized by the resurgence of a Cold War supernova.”

The entire article can be read here.

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  10. “Maidan, Caliphate, and Code: Theorizing Power and Resistance in the 21st Century”, obscure

  11. “What is the future? Euro-time, with its bureaucratic normalization of traditionally bitterly contested nationalist sensibilities and positivist celebrations of advanced market capitalism, or what might be called the reanimation of Supernova time, with its powerful mixture of the politics of (nationalist) anger and hybrid warfare? !

  12. In this scenario, what really threatens is that which is fully indeterminate, so emblematic of courage, so full of promise, so deeply feared, namely Maidan as the once and probable future of Red Square.

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