A prescient op-ed in January quotes Crane Brinton’s view that “revolutions replace moderates with radicals, who then fall to authoritarians.”
What is to be done with the to different sides in Ukraine? We can start by trying to understand what is really happening–as well as the limits on American power:
Despite hopes to the contrary, the ability of the US to influence current political developments in Ukraine is considerably less that our diplomats might think. Refusing to play the game the same way while hoping for a different outcome could be a good first step. It may lead politicians across the Ukrainian political spectrum to recognize that they can’t rely on help from the outside, and that they need a new approach to hold the country together. The West should recognize that reality, too. Paradoxically, it may be best able to unite Ukraine under democratic principles by toning down the rhetoric and seeing democracy as a process, not just a victory for one side.