Pre-covid if you were to stroll around any Russian city you would be impressed and feel very much at home. Well dressed citizens, pleasant cafes and coffee-shops, quality shops, amiable people and so on. But deeply embedded in every Russian’s psyche is the historic culture of centuries of tyranny, oppression and arbitrary, often irrational rules. In short, Putin is not an aberration.
The same culture permeates much of Russia’s historic fringe nations empire, particularly in the Caucasians.
To understand it read “The Caucasian Chalk Circle.” This play written by Bertolt Brecht in 1944 while he was an exile in America is a medley of several interconnected stories, all reflecting the Russian Empire’s historic oppression and irrationality and its peoples’ wearying helpless acceptance.
Western liberal culture is the opposite. Characteristic of western democracies is the public’s constant complaining and disdain for its politicians. The low turnout in the Local government elections reflects that. Periodically someone emerges to enjoy an untypical period in the sun of widespread adulation. Think Boris or Bob Hawke or Jacindamania. But without exception, this always ends in a volte-face public backlash of contempt in line with the old boxing adage, “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” Or as Enoch Powell famously correctly observed, all political careers end in failure. That’s certainly the case with the utterly ludicrous and embarrassing Jacindamania fervour that reduced a sizeable percentage of our population to fawning worshippers ascribing to her, mystical powers more common with religious skybayers. Jacindamania is now dead in the water and the many commentators who attributed the Saturday thrashing local body Labour candidates received to copping her pre-election blessing, may well be right.
The very few really clever politicians who have other options, know to pull stumps before the sentiment tide turns, John Key being a classic example.
That’s why a year ago on this site I predicted a 2023 landslide change of government and Jacinda astutely passing over the leadership 9 months or so before hand to avoid the humiliation the government will cop.
Our Western world’s politicians could certainly be forgiven for secretly envying the Russian situation, particularly the day after the election which dumps them back into their former anonymity and irrelevance.
She will certainly pass over leadership before the next election, because her ego won’t cope with losing. Then she will lit off to the UN with her token child and fisherman-partner, and ruin things for the whole world not just NZ.
“The bigger they are,the harder they fall”.The Chinese have a saying,”tall bamboo bends further”.Both philosophies have merit.
“From the day we arrive on the planet
And, blinking, step into the sun
There’s more to see than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done
There’s far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high
Through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round
It’s the circle of life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
‘Til we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle
The circle of life”
Yep ain’t the repitition of history and Karma a bitch but unfortunately this doesn’t seem to save ideologues from themselves .We are yet to endure more grimacing arm waving and blaming from the demented one as the tide goes out and oops the empress has no clothes!
Not sure the Russian blogosphere would agree with you about being oppressed. At the moment they are complaining bitterly about the govt’s passivity and lack of verve regarding the Ukraine situation. and that includes complaining about Putin, in spite of his current high approval ratings( whatever such things are worth anyway, see Hillary’s polls in 2016..) According to MSM there were plenty of people prepared to get out on the streets protesting the new mobilisation. Not difficult to find plenty of whining young Russian women on grizzling about the state of Russia..
For brief moment as you changed from Russia to jacinda I was filled overwhelming hope that she was either heading to Siberia or had a new job heading Putins new youth enrolment wing .
I suggest you also read a wonderful little book called Eastern Approaches. In the 1930’s a young British diplomat, Fitzroy Maclean, requested he be posted to Moscow. Others hated the job but he loved it and got up to all sorts of unapproved travels – this in the days of Stalin and his NKVD. He sat in on Stalin’s show trials and that chapter alone is worth the book. But he also was in the LRDP (early SAS), Yugoslavia, where he got to know Tito quite well, plus doing a host of other things. A brave, intelligent and wrly funny man.
This is the sort of thing that Russians see as they have access to Ukrainian Telegram etc. Think of what sort of system allows this sort of thing to happen, and where people feel such complete invulnerability that they can uupload this..
“Ukrainian Nazi Maksym Zhorin posted on his Telegram channel footage of the Ukronazi massacre of civilians in Kupyansk, who, according to those terrorists, are collaborators, signing that “there will be a reckoning!”.
So the people can see what kind of regime the “West civilised society” political elites are supporting… From the famous “Azov” regiment which the “West civilised society” political elites are supporting in Ukraine”
The longer I live,
the more convinced I am
that this planet is used
by other planets
as a lunatic asylum.
George Bernard Shaw.