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President Moroz?

<h2> Prof. James Mace, Consultant to The Day</h2><p>
27 October, 00:00

Former Speaker Oleksandr Moroz, interviewed in this issue, is a good and decent man. He says what he thinks and makes no bones about his socialist convictions, which he stuck to even when they were unpopular. Now that Ukraine’s parody of capitalism has brought socialism back into popular favor, Mr. Moroz is firmly convinced that he will become Ukraine’s next President and acted accordingly at a press conference at Harvard University. President Moroz will be against Ukraine’s joining NATO under any circumstances, against privatization (especially of real estate), for private ownership of small business with the state controlling everything else, and for Ukraine’s integration into the CIS, in a word, back to the yawning heights of mature socialism, this time with a Ukrainian face.

Mr. Moroz is not Communist leader Petro Symonenko. He says he is deeply devoted to Ukrainian culture, language, and history. One is tempted to identify him with the Ukrainian national Communists of the 1920s and early thirties, with figures like Oleksandr Shumsky or Mykola Skrypnyk who were dedicated to Ukraine’s full self-assertion within the framework of the Soviet Union. The trouble is that it did not work then and will not work next year because the social basis for Ukrainian socialism is simply too small. Most of those tempted by the Red “back to the future” program could not care less about things Ukrainian and Mr. Symonenko’s Communists, far larger and better organized than Moroz’s Socialists, will devour Moroz as surely as Lenin absorbed and Stalin later killed off those Ukrainian socialists who thought it possible to have a Ukraine that would be Soviet and still self-consciously and independently Ukrainian. And Mr. Symonenko knows the blueprint by heart. He has read his Lenin.

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