Thursday, March 17, 2022

The Gerrymandering of Ukraine

The Pale of Settlement in l905 (Thomas Gun)

The Pale of Settlement referd to lands in which Jews were allowed to reside. Emanating from Czarist times, it included Belarus, Lithuania, Moldavia, much of Ukraine, East Central Poland and a bit of Latvia and Western Russia. It's interesting how the current crisis recapitulates some of the former political demarcations, particularly with regard to the disposition of the Crimea, the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the City of Sevastopol. Germany was divided into East and West in the aftermath of World War II with the so-called Communist Bloc comprising a zone of repression on both an economic and political basis. East Germany still has inherited some of its Cold War identity to the extent that it’s looked at as less vibrant economically than its former counterpart, despite unification. What will the new demarcations, deriving from the current conflict, represent? Ukraine would like to join the EU and ultimately NATO (which is a not a negotiable point for the Russians), but Europe is more a magnetizing force than Russia whose troubled economic state will be exacerbated by sanctions leveled against it during the crisis. Any new geographic divisions will obviously have enormous cultural and economic consequences when considering the New World Order which could emerge. 
Gerrymandering is one of the ways by which Republicans and Democrats seek hegemony on a district level in the United States. Republicans are particularly proficient at it. No one is speaking about what will happen if Trump is reelected and uses his party's old gerrymandering techniques to carve up the spoils.

Read "Why Big German Words like Vergangenbangenheit Carry Weight?" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

and listen to "Borderline" by Madonna

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