Adopting the overarching humanism expressed in Back-Channels may be part of addressing and attenuating the distress — I know: it’s too mild a word but the clinical approach may help in politics — promoted by our acceptance, approval, or fear of political criminals.
I believe my nation-state has engaged appropriately with pirates, raiders, thieves, and despots over centuries and consistently for the better. However, it too has had to compromise with or work with a “realpolitik” in the world, whether as with “detente” in the Cold War days or with dictators conveniently found in the region between American secular humanist pluralist values and the machinery of a large entity that and attempts cultural transformation with gunships and tanks.
Over time, and perhaps because the dictators can be so bad, a more loving and moderate human soul persists and prevails in a little more of the world’s space.
Because we are so bound together today by virtual wires and immense production and shipping systems plus international investment, a form of buy-in, our wars should be smaller despite “advances” in the lethality of the world’s arsenals, and they should become more about how we live with ethnolinguistic cultural survival and co-evolution far beyond ourselves. The fascist nationalist supremacist urge in thought that then develops and drives armies against one another despite the weaving in global communications, economics, and industry seems to me archaic, and it’s on that front, a front in time more than place, that we’re having this conversation.
The enterprise of enterprise and freedom finds its boundaries in the personalities of the despotic and ruthless who command their states through brutality and fear. Crime and corruption complicate matters, but over time, and perhaps a great expanse of it, early Las Vegas, the wild frontier, gives way to law and its enforcement. Still, the conditions that may produce a healthy society anywhere may be fragile x population x area x economy (internal and external trade variables) x education x endemic cultural worldview, and so on. It takes immense courage and fortitude to produce a predominantly civil — lawful — state.
Here I may depart from “Putin bashing” and the constant juxtaposing of Moscow with the horror taking place in Syria and the scare tactics employed by the Ayatollah in Iran. What does it take to turn a multi-tiered “mafia state” that starts out with a big resources grab by free-ranging business guys with rough ways but must become reliable and trustworthy, more or less, partners in the development of capital enterprise and through it the raising of regional economic development?
In that light, strong re-centralization of power and the creating of law that encourages (to say the least) the reinvestment of reserves in Russia’s internal economy makes sense — and as much has come to pass albeit too slowly for the “capital flight” that has already taken place in earlier years.
Still — the future’s the thing.
BackChannels works with everyday news, not a crystal ball. It gets to the intersections in conflict, politics, and psychology and rightly questions the mentality of medieval leadership in an increasingly cross-communicating and trading world. It has also promoted a Maslowian possibility in the region of ethnolinguistic cultural co-evolution as each of the world’s approximately 7,000 living languages represents the invention of a way of life and of seeing others and dealing with environmental challenges in some once more insulated space, i.e., separate enough to keep people together and involved in the creating and using of language as a functioning cultural tool. In essence, but especially with the contents of the sidebar to the left, it has suggested a different vision of a modern future, one that would gently move others in the world away from extremist and supremacist ambitions and into ambitious but distinctive greater cooperation in mutual survival.