Taruta’s “Osnova” (and Not Only)

They often ask me how I feel about Taruta’s idea of ​​creating a “republican conservative party.” I emphasize: the idea. The headlines “Taruta created the party” are lies or fantasies, because in fact the Donetsk oligarch simply registered the party.

To create a party means to unite millions of citizens with a motive, a task and a system of mutual support to change the country for the better. No oligarch can fundamentally create a real political party. And here is why: it is unprofitable for him and contradicts his personal interest.

The oligarch makes profit off the monopolization of state decisions. It is advantageous for him when people are completely excluded from influencing on such questions as: How much does gas cost? How many mobile operators will there be in the country? How much will the Internet cost? What tariffs will be set for electricity and rail transport and who will set them? Who will refund the VAT? Who will be able to buy the land and who will be banned? Who will be put in jail, and who will get the business of the prison inmate? All these decisions are billions in the pockets of the oligarch, and he does not know how to make money in another way. To ensure such solutions, the oligarch has to create mechanisms to maintain control over the state.

The entire political work of an oligarch is the creation of pseudo-parties, which can also be called party “machines”. I’m quoting here the famous work of Edward Nicolae Luttwak “Coup d’état” to make it crystal-clear:

“Machine” Parties. Where politics is a business like any other, parties take the form of an association whose purpose is the procurement of votes in exchange for specific and material re- wards. The local “boss” secures votes for the party at election time in exchange for cash and/or bureaucratic jobs for himself or his nominees. The deputies in the assembly then deliver their votes to the government in exchange for definite favors, some of which are retained and some of which are passed down to those who secured their election. The “machine” party can flourish in societies as different as early twentieth-century America, Egypt be- tween the wars, and present-day South America.” End quote.

The main features of the machine party are full control by the oligarch; lack of broad middle class representation; relatively low number of party members; loud, expensive and populist agitation campaign; hidden sources of income of the party; the complete absence of inner-party democracy, non-disclosure of mechanisms of decision-making from party members. Yes, all of these features are inherent in almost all parties in Ukraine. Almost all of them are created by the oligarchy, and they are not real parties, they are just machines to maintain control over the commercially viable solutions at the level of the village, city, region, state.

So, Sergey Taruta has registered the next party machine. It can accidentally turn into a party, but only if all the other oligarchs unite around it, and it will start broadcasting their collective will, i. e. will become the Party of Regions. I see no conditions for this. If Sergei Taruta decides to turn this party into a real one, he will be surprised to find on the third day that it does not belong to him or he doesn’t control it, but it is controlled by its members and their collective will, no matter how pathetic it may sound. To discuss the labels “conservative”, “republican” and so on…  I cannot see any point in it.

The advertising volume that Taruta uses while creating his political machine is fascinating. But since there is only external advertising, and there is no foundation of offices at the local level, it must be acknowledged that this is a PR project, not a mechanism for changing the state.