Thursday, November 8, 2018

How to Think About Putin’s Russia” - Christopher Caldwell

I was fascinated by this talk given about Putin by Christopher Caldwell. It's starts off bad with Caldwell saying that Putin doesn't have a lot of respect for the democratic processes and that a number of his opponents have been murdered, but, he adds, there is no evidence that Putin is behind them although that doesn't mean it's not significant.

Caldwell then says how progressives around the world tend to dislike Putin as he's not the sort of person who would head a pro feminist NGO, nor do we see him showing slides at the United Nations warning about global warming, and nor is he an avid campaigner for gay rights, but it is for these reasons that many conservatives, especially in the US, like him.

After this, though, Caldwell's analysis of Putin gets quite interesting as he is very fair to him saying that he has not done anything much wrong, really.

Crimea?  But that has always been part of Russia and the Crimeans wanted to be part of Russia.

Pussy Riot? That was a load of nonsense as any country would have locked them up for their antisocial antics.

And Putin's government passed a law saying that teachers can't promote a gay lifestyle to school children, but Caldwell, adds, this is what the Russian people want, and what right do we have to tell them otherwise?

Then he says that when Russia experimented with western style democracy, the Russians got looted and were driven into poverty while western banks made off with the money, and so the Russians now don't want anything more to do with Western democracy.

[This is what Western democracy and free markets is all about, I might add, that the West can influence elections while their companies can buy up all the resources and infrastructure when countries are made to privatise].

But if Putin has not done much wrong, then why does the West dislike him so much? Well, it's because he won't bow down to the West and he pursues Russia's self interest. Caldwell then adds, that it is for this reason that there are many progressives around the world who really do admire Putin, even though they couldn't care much for his conservative views, but they like the way he stands up to the Western ruling elite. In this way, Caldwell says, he is like Castro, a hero of the third world fighting the imperialists.

A good  lecture!



2 comments:

Konrad said...

“But if Putin has not done much anything wrong, then why does the West dislike him so much?”

Because the Empire and its peasants need enemies and super-villains, so they can see the world in terms of “our side” versus the super-villain’s side. Anyone who questions this idiocy is a “conspiracy theorist.”

“Caldwell then says how progressives around the world tend to dislike Putin …nor is he an avid campaigner for gay rights…”

Same-sex marriage became legal in Russia ten years before it became legal in the USA. Homosexual men and women serve in the Russian military. Nonetheless, homosexuals need super-villains just like most other people. Hence they are furious that the Russian government (and local Russian governments) decline to fund “gay pride parades,” and do not allow homosexuality and pedophilia to be promoted in the presence of Russian minors under the age of 16.

Whenever people need super-villains, the more rights and privileges they are granted, the more they demand. The more they are surrendered to, the more they become militant. The more they dominate society, the more they claim to be victims of society.

People who need super-villains don’t want equal rights. They want special rights. They are social black holes that can never be filled to their satisfaction. Jews, feminists, homosexuals, LGBTXYZ mutants – they’re all the same.

Hitler, Putin, Trump, straight white males, non-Jews: all are super-villains.

Kaivey said...

You're right, Konrad, and there was an interview that the BBC did with Putin a few years ago where he said he defended gay rights and added that it was illegal in Russia to discriminate against gay people.

I saw this video about a year back where this pretty young Russian women was saying what was great about Russia. She said that Russians are okay about gay people but they were a very Christian society and they didn't like to see gay people holding hands or kissing on the streets. Well, I live in London and I've never seen that either, so what's the big deal?