posted on Aug, 14 2014 @ 05:45 PM
Putin does look good for many Russians, no doubt.
In the information age nobody oppressing on a large scale will prevail for long, as long as they have a decent standard of living.
Which they do not, since Russia was largely neglected by the West when the Soviets collapsed. A few oligarchs were allowed to seize control of a lot
of assets nationalized during Soviet times (which lasted for almost three generations, longer than in the rest of Eastern Europe) and no checks and
controls were developed, no real free market in many things during the catastrophic nineties.
Oligarchic capitalism and consumer society came and conquered before and instead of democracy and free markets. Socialism - not the Stalinist kind -
could have managed Russian developments (think Gorbachev, not Stalin), welfare capitalism could have just as well. They are still in the top as
regards scientific research, and not bad at technology either.
But the kind of Wild Western, Dickensian retro stage they witnessed in the 90's was doomed to a giant disappointment. Russia went through a veritable
national catastrophe, not unlike what Germany went through after WW1. Very few people in the West are aware how traumatic the change was to the
ordinary Russian folks. Millions died for reasons of restrictions and a sudden transition to a capitalistic but not really free market state. Plus now
we have prostitution, the worst drugs of Planet Earth (check out Krokodyl), famines, mafiosi ruling, ethnic murders and neofascist gangs terrorizing
the colored guest workers and the gay.
Russians who grew up partly in the old times probably remember the good things and the stable social order, and that is why they put their hopes in
Putin. They want some reasonable authority that is theirs. While I understand their collective motivation, I think the solution lies precisely the
other way to popular sentiment. The expectations of ordinary people are usually Social Democratic (moderate left wing) on the political scale, but
their conscious views are right to neo-liberal - a total discrepancy. Whic could result in - add the terms together - National Socialism. (Rings a
bell?) You could say that historically part of what the French and American revolutions and similar transitions accomplished in the West, plus with
the Industrial Revolution, was partly accomplished by Russia by the Soviet state, and in China by Maoism. This is a sweeping historical statement, and
you could say it is Hegelian, but I think there is some truth to it. The Bolsheviks had an almost manic urge to develop the modern: Lenin's slogan
was "Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country."
Part of it was never accomplished. I mean, not the electrification, but the revolutionary part. Plus you could rightly say in a geopolitical sense
that welfare society was kept up in the West partly as a response to a permanent challenge of Communism (the more accurate historical term would be
actually Bolshevism). By the time of Gorbachev, welfare society was designed to be over by the ruling elite of the West - there was a deal with China
in the making. A global relaxation of all the trade barriers formerly kept up by the largely Rooseveltian principles, and outsourcing production to
the third world.
As a result the common Russians arrived not into a gradualy expanding freedom of the West, but into a backwards, neo-liberal world order, stricken by
fundamentalism, into almost a third-world status. (The numbers then providing grounds for Russia's non-treatment were exaggerated, because exchange
rates were tied to Western money markets - so it is unrealistic to say that they had a bad GDP.)
The EU and NATO never wanted to include a modern Russia, so many Russians feel collectively and politically excluded and some even betrayed. As are
basically most smaller Eastern European nations, though admittedly some fare better than others. As far as prosperity and democracy go, Czechs and
Slovenes do far better than others, the Baltics are not bad, neither is Poland. Hungary and Bulgaria seems to go the opposite way in both, lining up
with the Milosevic-Putin model now.
The cultural part is that these peoples are all white and mostly Christian and considered themselves part of Europe for hundreds of years. So these
Eastern nations are partly like a hidden mirror of our identity. And, the highest immigration as far as I know into Israel has been from Russia and
Can you see the writing on the wall?
Yugoslavia was only a prelude.