There is an easier way to summarize this all.
Whoever the west considers to be a terrorist, murderer, dictator, "abuser", is in 99,9% of the time the complete opposite.
Lukashenko, as arif pointed out, is one of the few who didn't join the "frag the USSR over" train. Remarkable person imo.
COnsidering Lukashenko still kept his sanity after the fall of the USSR & considering the extremes of his regional "cohorts" - yeah I'd have to agree with you on that.
On one end you have people like Toomas Ilves, with a "frag me now oh holy & mighty NATO, EU & WB / IMF oh PLEASE" take and on the other, you have (or should I say "had") Supermurat Niyazov, who'd built revolving statues of himself, rename the months & days after random shit starting from muskamelons to his mother.
Not the easiest of geopolitical / regional environments to tackle and leave you sane- much less try to REPAIR & reconstruct all the infrastructure devastation that was caused thanks to capitalism.
I thought India had a crappy geopolitical / regional setup but Lukashenko's is way...WAY more complicated. Still got to give the man credit for not falling into any pit of insanity (yet).
What worries me about Belarus is how friendly they are with Putin and Russia at the moment, the way they are working towards greater political and economic integration. As Russia is capitalist (in one form or another) it raises doubts as to how socialist Belarus can be, at least in the comming years.
Belarus is not socialist. It simply kept Brezhnevite state-capitalism instead of the more marked based which happened in Russia in 1989. Of course, this is better for the people than what the Russians got, but its still not socialism.
Unfortunately, ever since the age of sail, commerce is an integral part of the economy. Especially for smaller geographies such as Belarus, which also has a congested population to deal with in addition.
Quite frankly, there aren't that many "true" Socialist Republics left in this planet that Belarus can deal with. Trade between SOcialist Republics like VEnezeula & Cuba can't be considered core to Minsk considering the geographic distances involved & the implied logistical costs involved (through such trade).
"Dancing the pole" with Russia is alot more desirable than say- emulating the Baltic states like Estonia, Latvia and selling out to EU & WB / IMF corporate interests.
Although Russia is capitalist, the only major private sector dealing between RUssia & Belarus is Gazprom. Most other commercial & economic dealings w/ Russia is mostly done on a Public sector- public sector level. I'm glad Belarus has chosen to keep distance from Russia's private sector and has concentrated largely on the public sector undertakings (ex: MiG OKB).
'Though Russia's capitalist, they're still been the developing world's best comrade (though FAR less than the USSR). As far as the developing & struggling nations of the world are concerned, Russia is still a champion. For example, Western commercial dealings & even modern Chinese business dealings attempts to subdue the public sector of the local economy. Russia even today attempts to strenghten public sector units in the economies they transact with (if PSUs- public sector undertakings- exist in such economies).
For large countries like India & Brazil- that have a rather vast PSU network in place- commerce with Russia at the moment is the best option.
Though we wish the USSR existed, though we wish Russia was less capitalist, the fact is, we have to work with reality, and as far as that goes- Russia seems to be the best choice not only for Belarus but also for the developing world & the potential Socialist world of the future.
Russian business interests are at least controlled by the government to such an extent that they don't go about demanding FTZs, encroach on local economies etc. I've yet to see an economy subdued & chained to Russian business interests in the developing world to levels comparable to those economies chained & gang raped brutally by Western corporate banditry.
And if a local economy feels threatened by "Russian encroachment"- the matter can be taken up to Putin. Who for the most part intervenes in favour to the local economy. Example:- the BrahMos programme.
Though Russia is capitalist, it uses foreign business & commerce as a medium to secure alliances & bilatral deals with developing economies, which may or may not have SOcialist tendencies and/or aspirations. Western capitalist interests on the other hand, engage in foreign business & commerce to achieve COMPLETE economic & financial dominance over a local economy & to make national revenue into corporate revenue. HUGE difference there. There's no room for either PSUs or Socialism here.
Modern Russian business interests doesn't give a crap on whether or not a local economy is Socialist, whereas Western business interests see to it that any traces of Socialist infrastructure is purged, as a matter of policy.
Russia is probably one of the reasons the Indian public sector continues to function, although it's kind of like a staggering zombie nowadays rather than a Olympic sprinter (during USSR times). Still- somehow..."Chalta" (it runs).
To examplify, the US put a precondition that India remove farmer subsidies & electricity subsidies as a prerequisite to commerce. SO that more income can be freed up for the American corporate class "investing" in India to swindle. Russian business interests puts no such precondition whatsoever, which makes modern Russia FAR more desirable for an aspiring Socialist economy more so than any other major world power around these days.
Call it what nots but a large chunk of income isin't swindled amongst an elite and Belarus has better social services than most SSRs. Even so called "Path to Socialism" ones. The inequality curve in Belarus is 30.4 at the moment, which is clearly indicative of a functioning & an improving public welfare system- which is what Socialism is.
Also, the traditional Socialist economy in the USSR required a great deal of interconnection of commerce / activity within the former SSRs. Of which Belarus is a part of.
And they've initiated restoring the previously interconnected public sector industries & networks. Example- Azerbaijan.
At least he didn't violate that aspect of Socialism. And don't forget he was the ONLY leader in the post perestroika fiasco who voted not to have the USSR dissolved. He's most certainly running a pro proletariat systems considering the regional catastrophes that occured around Belarus in the 90s.
Insipite of all that, he has maintained SOcialist level inequality levels at 30.4. To put things in perspective, Tito's Yugo at its peak was at 27.4. And health services & transport & public housing & interest free financial aid & education are some of the key Socialist variables Belarus leads in.
Also Belarus offers Great Patriotic War Veterans who are still alive priority care & service, in public housing, employment for children & children's stay in a top hostel for FREE, free medical care, & a monthly stripend. Compared to certain neighbours who blatantly stripped them of citizenship rights.
Considering the HUGE rabidly ethno nationalist & cultist (ex: Turkmenbasi) wave was gripping all over the former USSR, ALexander Lukashenko still maintained to preserve a public sector run economy & guarantee his citizens a decent quality of life compared to the region.
Does Lukashenko claim that Belarus is building Socialism, with Communism as its aim?
If you tremble at the slightest indignation done to a fellow human, then you are my comrade-in-arms. Commander E. Guevara de la Serna
Alternative Display:Mobile view