I’ve been waffling because I think whether “he” or “she”, it’s Putin who may pick up a round in the “re-medievalizing” of the west’s portion of global politics. He has helped damage political NATO through Hungary (Orban) and Turkey (Erdogan) and, of course, has manipulated terrorism
— and by the way, look up “Moscow, PFLP —
to goad westerner toward a rightly defensive nationalist response, but in the process we lose both a part of our democratic, modern, and tolerant soul.
Despite the Trump-Manafort-Yanukovych experience, Trump, who seems to be trying to figure these politics out from a cold start — and he knows he’s a beginner as politician, but he’s a fast learner too — may well stand up for American constitutional arrangements and values and temper the demagoguery with our culturally INCLUSIVE ethos, related ideals, and extensive development of law and policy across years.
Hillary might wind up in the same place — there is an “American Way”.
Missing from public popular perception: the Cold War — check out BackChannels for that (https://conflict-backchannels.com/…/ftac-interpreting…/) and how business and politics among the world’s most powerful and wealthiest people, Putin and the oligarchs among them, hew themselves to feudal models. Perhaps we are doing that now — and Hillary, by way of the necessity of delivering a Constitutional American experience to the American people, will also have to confront Putin (and the Phantoms of the Soviet in the Middle East and around the world).
Muslims – this from an American of Jewish descent who has tired of religious cant: no one “wins” anything with either a supremacist or totalitarian outlook and permit for barbarism.
The medieval worldview, fully on display in Syria, promotes political absolute power.
Whether Putin, Assad, or Khamenei or Baghdadi — “Different Talks — Same Walk!” applies.
Also, Center-of-the-Universe Christian, Jewish, or Muslim self-concept seems to me a remnant of medieval history.
The enemies of the west — extremists Red-Black, Brown, and Green / old comrades, new nationalists, and Islamists — need that worldview sustained, but the democratic open societies of the west, also secular in governance and humanist in ideals, simply don’t need that anymore.
We have all to make this choice about which world we would prefer to live: the medieval world (let it go, please) or the modern one (where we investigate issues and address problems every day in the interest of greater peace and prosperity plus human dignity and freedom).
I’ve edited some between the “Awesome Conversation” and this post, but in essence feel we need greater distinction in time between medieval worldviews and related governance and the same under the umbrella of the modern worldview.
The argument between Russia — a revanchist neo-imperial state — and its allies and clients and NATO, God bless that old alliance — may be distilled as “Medieval Absolute Power” vs “Modern Democratic Distribution”.
We may have a long way to go with that “argument”, but at least we should see it for what it is.