by Phil Butler, New Eastern Outlook:
Vladimir Putin saved Russia from the scavengers of the Yeltsin era. What’s more, he’s fundamentally re-forming the world’s biggest country in ways few understand. Unfortunately, most of this select group are bitter enemies of the notion of a Russian led world. While think tanks and “new world” evangelists in the west promise change and progress, Putin and his colleagues are at work, resolutely forging a new Russia.
Many people believe that Russia under Putin is a totalitarian regime. Meanwhile, fanatical followers of the Russian president defend his moves as an effort to hammer out some pseudo-American form of democracy. But of both these ideas of the idealism of Vladimir Putin are false. Many have sought to study Putin, while simply applying their own ideologies either “for or against” what they believe Putin is. The reality is, there is a “third way” of reshaping Russia’s future. Putin, by far the best read leader in the world today, has derived a Russian strategy based in part on the teachings of the Russian religious and political philosopher, Ivan Ilyin.
The Spirit of Law
Most reading this will not be familiar, but Ilyin’s ideas on the “conscience of law” were seeming logic, but utter genius. His belief that the need for people to understand laws in order to validate a legal society, they now reverberate in the civil uneasiness that prevails today, and especially in the so-called “west”. Ultra-liberalism, and the fuel of ultra-capitalistic trends as we see gripping the United States, would for Ilyin signal an apocalypse. There is no arguing that the law of and for any people, has to be understood in order to stand. Without delving deeply into Ilyin’s theories, the philosopher believed that “the people” can never identify with be part of “the system” under rigid democratic forms of government. In contrast, Ilyin believed the right monarchy tends to unite people to identify the state as “family”. Interestingly, Ilyin’s being a monarchist mimics some of the founding fathers of the United States, in that the values he espoused were based on religious piety and the family.
If we look down into the crevasse in between the forward ideals of Vladimir Putin, and America’s President Barack Obama, we can readily see Ilyin’s notions at work. Obama’s America, as liberal as any government in history, is on a collision course with deconstruct. America values today are naïve, irresponsible, and destructive of everything Americans have stood for for generations. Family is only a word, religion is worn like a badge of shame, and a free lunch ticket has been issued for conscience. Laws in America are changed at the whim of a special interest. Conservative people there hold back their fear the United States is becoming a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah, and only the neocons truly believe government is for them. Misunderstanding their law, precedence, and its own governing principles, Americans do not even understand this disintegration. Similarly, Russians do not yet grasp what Putin and his fellows are up to. Somehow, they trust to be led though, and not because they are complacent like Americans.
“I have spent all my life under a Communist regime, and I will tell you that a society without any objective legal scale is a terrible one indeed. But a society with no other scale but the legal one is not quite worthy of man either.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn –
Machiavelli Knew All Along
I don’t want to dig too deeply into Mr. Putin’s passion for the study of Ilyin, or Vladimir Solovyov, or Nikolai Berdyaev, or even Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, but these idealists’ brilliance are integrated into who the Russian president is. More importantly, a “third way” of government is the goal Putin, Medvedev, and even the powerful oligarchs of Russia seem bent on. In order to see this, one has to realize the Russia that Vladimir Putin rescued from dissolution. In his characterization of Putin, the article “Vladimir Putin – The Prince”, Christopher Caldwell frames perfectly Mr. Putin’s Russia today:
“Had Russia been led by someone steelier than Mikhail Gorbachev when falling oil prices drove it into crisis in the 1980s, the collapse of Communism “might have happened only two or three decades later in a world situation quite different from the one in 1991.” Putin’s Russia is a system of “sovereign democracy” moored between Orthodox Christianity and Machiavellian realism.”
Caldwell “nails Putin” in his review of “The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin”, by Steven Lee Myers, and “Putinism: Russia and Its Future with the Wes”t, by Walter Laqueur . Or I should say, Meyers and Laqueur collectively understand Russia’s leader. What we see going on in Russia, in the world, is a metamorphosis. Those who examine Putin or Russia, with a mindset fixed on “what is”, have no understanding of Putin at all. To glean with end game here, researches need to see the transformation as if from a train window, not from the 91st floor office window of study. The “third way” is not something to enact overnight.
I found a reference to the “third way” in the book “Metaphor and Gender in Business Media Discourse: A Critical Cognitive Study”, by V. Koller this morning. While I can assure you it is not light reading, it does shed light on the realm of study Putin and Kremlin officers are engaged in. The author analyses cognitive change within the context of business and societal strategies, and even Sun Tzu’s war arts. My point here is, while western mainstream media parrots simplistic Russophobic chatter, Putin’s administration has set course toward real change. The Hillary Clintons of the world compare Putin to Hitler and Stalin, and try and strike fear into people over a new Soviet Empire. Meanwhile, the real ideologies are far from fascism, totalitarianism, or even formal democracy as the neocons running the show in America define it. So the overriding question; “What is Putin’s third way”, is never asked, it’s never even hinted at. Instead, independent journalists like me are often cajoled into studying the so-called “New World Order”, the George Soros, David Rockefeller, and Jacob Rothschild machinations. When in truth the role of these men is simply part of a mechanism of decaying imperialism. The beliefs of these people are as archaic and juvenile, as those of the Soviet system of things, or of Rome itself. The fact that westerners “believe” in democracy at all, is proof enough that failed systems die hard. Understanding Putin is impossible, for people in the other worldly view. This is evidence in a New York Times piece by David Brooks from 2014. “Putin Can’t Stop” shows us the faces behind western media and hegemony. Brooks mimics the “think tank” view with:
“To enter into the world of Putin’s favorite philosophers is to enter a world full of melodrama, mysticism and grandiose eschatological visions.”
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