William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

The Future Of Russia. Guest Post by Vladimir Putin

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Editor’s note: In 2013, Vladimir Putin visited the Valdai International Discussion Club and gave a rousing speech about Russia’s place in the world. Intead of summarizing it, here are excerpts relevant to our on-going cultural war. A small portion of the speech is given in the video linked.

…We have left behind Soviet ideology, and there will be no return. Proponents of fundamental conservatism who idealise pre-1917 Russia seem to be similarly far from reality, as are supporters of an extreme, western-style liberalism.

It is evident that it is impossible to move forward without spiritual, cultural and national self-determination…The world is becoming more rigid, and sometimes forgoes not merely international law, but also basic decency.

[Every country] has to have military, technological and economic strength, but nevertheless the main thing that will determine success is the quality of citizens, the quality of society: their intellectual, spiritual and moral strength. After all, in the end economic growth, prosperity and geopolitical influence are all derived from societal conditions. They depend on whether the citizens of a given country consider themselves a nation, to what extent they identify with their own history, values ??and traditions, and whether they are united by common goals and responsibilities. In this sense, the question of finding and strengthening national identity really is fundamental for Russia…

Practice has shown that a new national idea does not simply appear, nor does it develop according to market rules. A spontaneously constructed state and society does not work, and neither does mechanically copying other countries’ experiences. Such primitive borrowing and attempts to civilize Russia from abroad were not accepted by an absolute majority of our people. This is because the desire for independence and sovereignty in spiritual, ideological and foreign policy spheres is an integral part of our national character. Incidentally, such approaches have often failed in other nations too. The time when ready-made lifestyle models could be installed in foreign states like computer programmes has passed…

We must be proud of our history, and we have things to be proud of. Our entire, uncensored history must be a part of Russian identity. Without recognising this it is impossible to establish mutual trust and allow society to move forward.

Another serious challenge to Russia’s identity is linked to events taking place in the world. Here there are both foreign policy and moral aspects. We can see how many of the Euro-Atlantic countries are actually rejecting their roots, including the Christian values that constitute the basis of Western civilisation. They are denying moral principles and all traditional identities: national, cultural, religious and even sexual. They are implementing policies that equate large families with same-sex partnerships, belief in God with the belief in Satan.

The excesses of political correctness have reached the point where people are seriously talking about registering political parties whose aim is to promote paedophilia. People in many European countries are embarrassed or afraid to talk about their religious affiliations. Holidays are abolished or even called something different; their essence is hidden away, as is their moral foundation. And people are aggressively trying to export this model all over the world. I am convinced that this opens a direct path to degradation and primitivism, resulting in a profound demographic and moral crisis.

What else but the loss of the ability to self-reproduce could act as the greatest testimony of the moral crisis facing a human society? Today almost all developed nations are no longer able to reproduce themselves, even with the help of migration. Without the values ??embedded in Christianity and other world religions, without the standards of morality that have taken shape over millennia, people will inevitably lose their human dignity. We consider it natural and right to defend these values??. One must respect every minority’s right to be different, but the rights of the majority must not be put into question.

At the same time we see attempts to somehow revive a standardised model of a unipolar world and to blur the institutions of international law and national sovereignty. Such a unipolar, standardised world does not require sovereign states; it requires vassals. In a historical sense this amounts to a rejection of one’s own identity, of the God-given diversity of the world…

There is one more fundamental aspect to which I want to draw your attention. In Europe and some other countries so-called multiculturalism is in many respects a transplanted, artificial model that is now being questioned, for understandable reasons. This is because it is based on paying for the colonial past. It is no accident that today European politicians and public figures are increasingly talking about the failures of multiculturalism, and that they are not able to integrate foreign languages or foreign cultural elements into their societies.

——————————————————————————-

Editor’s note: go here to read the entire thing, and don’t miss the the extensive Q&A session. The question before us today is: how serious is Mr Putin? Is his faith genuine? Cynical? It is a slow weekend day, so discuss.

45 Comments

  1. da, On Teddi Ruzvel’t vozrozhdayetsya

    (That’s google’s translation; not mine.)

  2. Hopefully he is sincere.
    He’s right that we are rejecting out roots. Just saw a court case where the plaintiff wants the national motto to be removed from the dollar bill. We are becoming a culture of morons. Then there’s Hillary and Bernie and O. Well, at least it’s been mostly a good 200+ years.

  3. Putin may not truly understand America if he’s giving the article to the New York Times. Of course, McCain apparently did not understand Russia either.

    Putin appears to understand far more about international affairs that Obama does, though Obama may actually understand and be achieving his goal. Putin does seem to recognize how phony and impotent Obama is and how little Obama cares about anything but himself. Putin may be the same way, but at least he appears to understand that alienating your own people is a stupid way to run a country that claims to be a democracy.

    It’s a bit scary when the Russian leader sounds more rational than half the democracies of the democracies on the planet, but one supposes that it is just the ebb and flow of politics, in and out of rational discourse and back and forth between democracy and dictatorship. People are just not ready to actually take care of themselves long term and deal with the real world. Fanatasy is always so much more appealing.

  4. The irony is the rump of the former Soviet Union is now, in many ways, less Stalinist than the West. So, who won the supposed Cold War? Seems all sides lost, with warring ideologies having flipped sides in a very Orwellian way.

  5. Like I said, know your enemy.
    Peter Hitchens spoke at length about Russia and Putin to some students in a very interesting lecture.
    He explains what it was like living in Moscow at the end of the cold war. The people, their culture and mindset. Since then many other political commentators have attempted to indicate Putin’s perspective and warned against old attitudes towards Russia. I think they are right. “Don’t poke the Russian bear”.
    It’s no surprise that old communist states recognise all the symptoms of communism when they see it looming. Modern leaders need a better grasp of politics and history and if they don’t possess it they must surround themselves with people who do and who can be trusted to tell the truth. This requires good judgement of character. Obama never learned to do this.

    If Putin were making everything up and bearing false witness it would soon become apparent. The right thing to do is to accept what he says on it’s face and keep any scepticism very private. That ought to be clear enough. Play a straight bat.

  6. As the Church Lady might say, “now isn’t that special!”

  7. One other point: it strikes to the point that the Orthodox Church, after 70 years of repression, rose like a phoenix from the fire of Stalinism.

  8. The Romans had a tough time in their 3rd century, too.

  9. – You may the following interview with Viktor Orban interesting: bit.ly/1PhlXFH

  10. I’m amazed that I agree with Putin’s words (except that he did not say that Russia had things to be ashamed of, too.)

    I wonder if Russia can ever recover from the damage Marxism did to the Russian people, but he’s right about religious and moral values being the key to her recovery.

  11. I love the way you cons just adore Putin. Really shows where you’re coming from. Ted Cruz or Donald Trump would probably have said the same things.

    JMJ

  12. Ye Olde Statistician

    January 16, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Hey, Jersey, it’s better than the way the progs adored Stalin.

  13. JMJ,
    Was there any point in particular of Putin’s that you disagree with?

  14. In a sense, JMJ has a point (much as I hate to say that). If Putin’s actions matched his words, then he might be considered a culture hero. However, if one considers his lies about the Ukraine, the bellicose posture to Baltic countries, etc., the political enemies that have been conveniently assassinated, then it’s hard to put much stock in what he says, even if it has elements of truth. And he was head of the Russian Intelligence Agency, NKVD? OGPU?? whatever…

  15. Briggs

    January 16, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Bob,

    On the other hand, perhaps Putin’s reaction to our State department helping overthrow Ukraine’s government with an eye to putting missiles on his front door, an expansion of NATO when there is no threat to us, has something to do with his attitude. Or maybe our punishing sanctions which we imposed for Russia objecting to this, which are badly stinging Russia’s economy, is a factor.

    And, of course, George Bush I was head of our own spy agency. And remind me: didn’t that fellow start a war which we are still suffering the consequences for? About assassinations, well…

    I’m wondering what ideas of conquest Putin might have. Not with Crimea, which doesn’t count, but with, say, Turkey.

  16. Bob,

    Wait!

    Xi Jinping could also make claims that I would state show China is moving toward a free market (on the hypothetical continuum) just as the US is moving away from it. My post Cold War sense of irony and my link to Orwell would remain.

    But …

    Would you then justify the corresponding claim (following JMJ’s logic) that I am also a progressive?

  17. Coast Ranger: He did say Russia have very low regard for individual rights and human lives. I guess that’s something.

    JMJ: What makes you think cons adore Putin? Agreeing with something someone says, because looking at the facts says it’s true, is not adoring someone. It’s acknowledging reality. Cons can still dislike Putin’s tactics in many areas while agreeing with him in other areas. Cons actually think for themselves and don’t have their leaders emailing them talking points to put on Twitter (as Obama does, among other talking points he sends out). I know you probably cannot fathom that and it would frighten you if you did, but I had to point it out.

  18. Fr. John Rickert

    January 16, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    “One other point: it strikes to the point that the Orthodox Church, after 70 years of repression, rose like a phoenix from the fire of Stalinism.”

    My best-informed friends say it is no surprise at all. The relation between the Church and the State in Russia continues along even when the form of the State appears to change.

    Read “The Barbarian Bible” in which the Russian question is treated with great acumen, even if the style of writing is, as the author himself admits, “barbarian.”

    Also don’t forget to watch Yuri Bezmenov’s talk on the planned subversion of the West. In my opinion, Russia now fears the backwash from what they were promoting so successfully in the West.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZnkULuWFDg

  19. ” Just saw a court case where the plaintiff wants the national motto to be removed from the dollar bill. We are becoming a culture of morons.”

    The problem is not that he ask the Court, which probably refused the case for lack of standing. If he succeeded that would be another problem.

    I like how Ted Cruz claims that the fact that is mother is American is enough for him to be eligible for the presidency, while he was caught on tape claiming the opposite for Obama. Another hypocrisy from the right.

  20. berserker “– You may the following interview with Viktor Orban interesting: bit.ly/1PhlXFH”

    Thank you! That was a fascinating read.

  21. “This is because it is based on paying for the colonial past. It is no accident that today European politicians and public figures are increasingly talking about the failures of multiculturalism, and that they are not able to integrate foreign languages or foreign cultural elements into their societies.”

    Multiculturalism is misunderstood or misrepresented. It really means individualism. Freedom and liberties are endowed to each individual, not group, race, religion, sex, ideology or political affiliation.

    Assimilation occurs within 2 generations, it cannot be immediate. What delays it, is when you differentiate the population between us and them. The “Them” (a minority) becomes the reason why “us” (a majority) is failing. This is what the Jews were fore the German. This is what the blacks, Hispanics and Muslim are becoming now in the US. People need someone to blame for their failure and it is easier to blame “them”, than trying to understand or see the reality that the West destroyed is manufacturing capacity to the profit of the few.

    It is clear now that cheaper gas does not equal economic growth.

  22. Urge readers to peruse archives of Al Fin Next Level. At that web site Al Fin dissects the future of Russia: he gives it little hope as it shows Russia is bleeding its seed corn–its intellectual capital and intelligent youth. Al Fin site here: https://alfinnextlevel.wordpress.com
    https://alfinnextlevel[DOT]wordpress[DOT]com

    Dan Kurt

  23. Along with this the different cultures in Russia have the unique experience of mutual influence, mutual enrichment and mutual respect. This multiculturalism and multi-ethnicity lives in our historical consciousness, in our spirit and in our historical makeup. Our state was built in the course of a millennium on this organic model.

    Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and other religions are an integral part of Russia’s identity, its historical heritage and the present-day lives of its citizens. The main task of the state, as enshrined in the Constitution, is to ensure equal rights for members of traditional religions and atheists, and the right to freedom of conscience for all citizens.

    However, it is clearly impossible to identify oneself only through one’s ethnicity or religion in such a large nation with a multi-ethnic population. In order to maintain the nation’s unity, people must develop a civic identity on the basis of shared values, a patriotic consciousness, civic responsibility and solidarity, respect for the law, and a sense of responsibility for their homeland’s fate, without losing touch with their ethnic or religious roots.

    Putin just convinced me that Russia is a great country, and it shall have my vote as the best country in the world. No need to make Russia great again.

  24. Sylvain, indeed, multicultural individualism, And the singleness of identity is impossible.

  25. Oh, My Dear Mr. Briggs, does this mean Saturday’s “this week in doon” or “doomsday” will be discontinued? I am not complaining. The opposite, in fact. Saturday is the best, free-est day of the week, imo.

  26. Dav “He’s right that we are rejecting out roots. Just saw a court case where the plaintiff wants the national motto to be removed from the dollar bill. …”

    Some thoughts below on that specific case, but I must first point out that as ridiculous as the suit is, the fact that any American can file a suit is a very good part of our culture.

    I once, unknowingly, many years ago was in the presence of a person involved in this suit. I had walked into a small bank in a nice area, and instantly sensed danger. Being a cop’s daughter, I quickly surveyed the space and stayed near the door. There was only one customer, at a teller’s window, and the other few employees seemed to be going about their normal business–nothing seemed amiss.

    Yet my sense of imminent danger increased, skin crawling, and I realized, perhaps for the first time in my life, that I was in the presence of something truly evil. I started to leave, and I heard the teller say “have a nice day Mr. ____.” As it turns out, I had heard this person’s name on the news the night before, reporting that he had filed a suit to ban “under God” (or maybe the entire Pledge, I do not remember) from his child’s classroom. He was in the middle of an ugly custody battle, and as an atheist he objected to his child having to recite it. (FWIW the Mom was okay with her child reciting it. I just felt awful that a father would do that to a young child, she was certain to be “bullied” because of it.) There was no way I knew whom he was by looks, so that did not account for the feeling of being in the presence of evil. (And I was not a Christian nor Catholic at the time, yet I knew it was evil–as in Satan–not just some potentially dangerous person.

    Anyhow, this (IMHO awful) father has an M.D. and a J.D., and is obsessed with removing any reference to God in the public square. Having the education and apparently the resources to do so, he has spent a good part of his life literally consumed by this objective.

    Many years later, I came to the conclusion that, whether people like him realize it or not, deep down the need to purge God from the public square is not some flunky exercise in separation of church and state, rather it is due to their fear of the very real existence of God–in that if they had never heard of God–especially the part about once you’ve heard, then rejected, you might go to hell–then they never would have been faced with such a dilemma, however, most importantly, (but yet contradictory) if one has never heard of God nor the word of God and therefore did not have the opportunity to accept nor reject him, well then there is a good chance they’ll be just dandy if there is a God. So maybe a part of their motivation (or rationalization?) is to ultimately “save” people, I don’t know.

    All I do know is he must have struggled immensely with the thought of God, but he chose to be used by Satan. Whom else would care if “In God We Trust” is on our currency? A genuine atheist, as I was (and am still 100% capable of looking at things from that perspective) would not care one way or the other if “God” or anything related to him, or Christ, or Church, etc. was on something, as it means nothing negative nor positive–it’s just there.

    Wow, I apologize for the length of this post, I have only told the story to just few people, I’ve never written it out, and now I’m too tired to edit it down and to clarify a few things, sorry. One last thing, while I should have done this myself before but haven’t thought of that incident in a long time, for those that pray the Rosary, to please include him–he must still struggle greatly and Our Lady can lead him to the truth!

  27. Sander van der Wal

    January 17, 2016 at 5:49 am

    @Silvain Allard

    Blacks have been in the USA for a lot more than 2 generations. Jews had been living for hunderds of years in Germany.

    Your examples are flawed.

  28. Briggs

    January 17, 2016 at 6:42 am

    All,

    Putin said recently, “NATO Expansion – ‘not an inch east'”. Bild interview.

  29. Yes we must all agree with V.P. (or else!) Russia is an exceptional God fearing, morality loving, tolerant, christian country (not counting the near complete lack of morality in the government, and business culture, the assassinations of government opposition leaders, over a century of continious antisemitism, institutional Russian Orthodox Church corruption, the disregard of the sovereignty of neighboring countries Ukraine, Turkey and Georgia)Remember the enemies of Mother Russia are everywhere, of course this has always been the case in Russia. Now that the value of the ruble is plunging, economic crisis is looming since the value of oil is plunging and over 80% of Russians believe their economy is in crisis, it is good to know how lucky Russia is to have such a leader with a moral backbone in charge. Indeed even the people must take immense comfort knowing how they alone are superior even over western civilization.
    But take caution. Remember Vlad’s own words in his NYT article ” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation.” Almost 80 years ago another national leader facing economic crisis relied on the same nationalist formula to wrest his country from depression, and the world went to war.

  30. Ye Olde Statistician

    January 17, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Almost 80 years ago another national leader facing economic crisis relied on the same nationalist formula to wrest his country from depression, and the world went to war.

    FDR?

  31. “Why I like Vladimir Putin at the university of Bristol” P Hitchens. tube

    With respect to subversion, the proactive brother of propaganda, Russia didn’t write the book, nor do they have the monopoly. The “European union” proponents have been using it since world war II. International organisations that have time for this have nothing good in mind.
    When power is sucked outwards from the Eu eccentrically, if it lasts that long, is when the fireworks will start.
    Britain needs no part of Europe’s machinations. Nor do it’s member states as most of them as individuals don’t want in whatever Allard or Angela insist. The silent majority are irrelevant unless they are left with no alternative but to make themselves so, which would be the worst of scenarios.
    “Utopia is an island reached across a sea of blood.”

  32. Rosey: I don’t think that actively trying to ban God would count as anything other than personal animosity. Keeping people from hearing about God might save them, but deliberately pushing people into ignorance seems very evil. The motivation does not appear to be altruistic.

    You make a good point about people who want to strip God from society. It does seem like they are trying to remove their own doubts and the idea that God might be real.

    Bert Walker: You do not seem to understand that a person can be right about something but not be a person you would want to copy or back on everything. It’s like everything about Russia has to be evil so you can reassure yourself that Putin is bad and we are good. The post was not to win fans for Putin, it was to point out how blind Americans can be to their own shortcomings, one of which is insisting everyone else is evil and only America is good.

  33. Briggs

    January 17, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    All,

    Apropos: Was Litvinenko poisoned after linking a Russian MP to cocaine trade? Putin’s regime is ‘set to be linked to his death’ in report out this week.

    Fascinating thing about this is how little was done to disguise or hide this. Unlike our government which doesn’t boast (often) about its wet work, it’s as if Russia wanted this to be known. Don’t get involved in the drug trade. Message sent.

  34. YOS,

    FDR wasn’t that nationalist in is economic plan. Hitler was very nationalist on the other hand.

  35. Have I been banned from this site? My post in response to YOS’s (utterly insane) claim that FDR was responsible for World War 2 didn’t appear.

  36. Something weird is going on here. Whenever I post a message that is critical of V. Putin, it disappears. I wonder if this one will work.

  37. I think those folks at “Yandex” are censoring my comments. It is, after all, a Russian email company, and we all know how sensitive Russians are when it comes to their non-existent achievements in humanity’s progress.

  38. Briggs

    January 18, 2016 at 2:29 am

    Peter A,

    None of your comments have been removed.

  39. Peter A: Why does one seem to assume the problem is on the end of the receiving blog and not the part of the sender?

    Russians are too busy with other activities to care about bloggers in the US. Be serious.

  40. Yes, I remember this speech quite well. It served to confirm all of my suspicions and validated all of my conclusions in ‘The Barbarian Bible‘. The key thing to note here is the order in which Vlad list the priorities (and not the values themselves). The ranking tells us everything. Vlad is not an idiot, and he is telling us exactly what he thinks. He is a very structured man.

    First of all he speaks of ‘moving forward (through) spiritual, cultural and national self-determination’. There you have it. Spiritual Self-determination. As in autocephaly. Self-thinking. As in Orthodoxy. In other words, Russia will decide who is God, and no one else, either from the past, the present or the future. For a better examination of this question, one needs to read another Vladimir, but this one’s name is Solovyev. The pre-eminent philosopher of Russia, who died in 1900. In fact, Putin himself is supposedly a follower of Solovyev, but not really. Putin will never make the same final choice as Solovyev. For he is a true nationalist. To the max. To understand this, read the just-translated work of Solovyev (from which all of his other great works grew) entitled ‘The Russian Idea‘. It’s only 50 pages (on Amazon) and it drills into the heart of the question of who Russia really is. Here’s a hint; autocephaly is not the answer to Russia’s quest. Unless you like war.

    In any event, look closely at Putin’s speech, where he says that ‘the main thing that will determine success is …..intellectual, spiritual and moral strength’. Got that? Look at the order. Work it backwards. Morality proceeds from spirituality, and spirituality flows from intellect. In other words, autocephaly. Self-thinking. Ignore the wisdom of the ages as developed by all other nations, except as they are held correctly by Holy Mother Russia. And she will decide what is the correct reading of history and her players. No outside interference will be allowed, especially from the decadent West. But he makes the classic Russian mistake of thinking Imperial Rome and Holy Rome can be one and the same. In other words, Romulus can be Remus. Never mind the real history. Sure. And Cain can be Abel, right?

    I know, I sound harsh, especially as Vlad has put his finger on all of the moral rot in the West. But even an idiot can do that, as the stench is so thick so as to waken the dead. Except, most of us aren’t waking up. And Vlad knows this. And so, he has brilliantly co-opted the moral high ground and he will use this to emplace his artillery as he proceeds to take what he considers his stolen patrimony. And that means taking The Second Rome (Constantinople). After all, who can take seriously the concept of The Third Rome (Moscow) unless they first subsume their predecessor? And by implication then, so also must the First Rome be taken. Into protective custody, of course. Only then will the world finally recognize the righteous glory of the Slavic race (instead of transforming Slavs into Slaves, as Caesar’s men did), and to finally submit to her Holy guidance. Here’s a hint; it won’t be pretty. Read Solovyev and see.

  41. John Watkins: “But even an idiot can do that, as the stench is so thick so as to waken the dead. Except, most of us aren’t waking up.” I don’t believe even an idiot can do that. There are millions of idiots who fully believe and live by the moral decline. Just look at the presidential campaigns, littered with middle fingers and constant insults. Our elected officials seem to have the maturity level of a twelve-year-old and we just keep voting them in. Putin is indeed taking advantage of this fact. As far as I can see, Americans just don’t care about that. They want their immorality and nasty behaviours and don’t mind where that leads. I guess it’s hard to blame Putin for taking advantage of the fools Americans have become.

  42. Watkins,
    Not that Putin’s surprised you or anything.

    There is a continent wide crisis going on right now in Europe with Afghanistan’s Bangladeshi, Africans; Somalians, Eritreans and many more nations making their way into Europe in what has to be the largest movement of people in history.
    There is still war in the Middle East, involving a now precariously balanced group of military air forces, all of which are fighting tactically differently.
    There is an economic crisis looking imminent for 2016.
    …and Putin speaks sense. He has to.
    Just don’t drink his tea if he makes one for you he’ll probably forget to warm the pot.

  43. Putin and his garniture are atheists, Communists who have lost the faith of their youth, old and jaded Soviets, cynical and pragmatic. They want to stay in power, but in order to have something to rule over, they need to halt the demographic crisis in Russia. The end.

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