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Dictatorships – “Different Talks – Same Walk” — they have nothing to do with any restricted political vision except to exploit language for the eventual attainment of “unlimited narcissistic supply.”

Truly, they flatter themselves, eventually leaving behind pyramids and billion-dollar mansions.


Many make themselves living hell for others, unfortunately.

Successful states — plenty of cash across the geopolitical space and plenty to do as regards work — seem to me often well put together combines of public commitments and privately realized opportunities. As all things are worked out between actual persons and organizations, the general rule — public-private compacts, from the provision of infrastructure to area-wide tax policy to real estate development through to public regulation of production (environmental and labor legislation) and trade (controls on distribution and tariffs) — dissolves into improved qualities in living x area-sq.

In good societies, “qualities of living” (economic, physical, psychological, social, spiritual) should produce the benchmarks (casually stated: “are you better off today than you were so many years ago? And how so? And why?) to which constituencies and politicians respond.

The despotic evade popular judgment.

I think we focus too much on the “isms” and not enough on leadership and related social practices, but that feature in cultures need the poets out front. Depending on where one lives, the critics of power, especially despotic power, may be made to suffer in situ or in exile a long time.

Re. education — avoidance of indulging too many in the humanities and social sciences, or doing so through too much of a Far Right / Far Left professoriate, may make a political body too easily disinformed and misled. As I have no relevant power in that realm, or elsewhere, reparative action seems way beyond my reach.

I think generalists among writers have at best subtle influence over time.

A good conversation may be mild and yet moving.

The conversational partner had called for the removal of former communists from Russian politics; however, and President Putin included, the whole have transformed from the Soviet outlook and ditched the CPSU worldview, a process well underway but out of sight in the 1980s when the privileged of the Party had begun work on plans for afterward.  The “afterward” — December 26 of this year will mark 25 years of “afterward”) — has returned to Russians a deeply centralized national security state: FSB | Putin | Oligarchs.

Where the same has run the world into disturbing issues: Syria.

Barbarism, Corruption, and Cronyism v Rule of Law and Meritocracy


Medieval Political Absolutism vs Modern Democratic Distribution of Power


State-Based Development and Exploitation of Terrorists (as in the medieval realpolitik theatrical “Assad OR The Terrorists”) v Progressive Humanist Discipline in Military / Paramilitary Assessment and Response (as in modern Israel)

The items presented in “That v This” form need not be black-and-white in reality (or “realpolitik”) as the blend may be more the thing, but what’s on display in Russia- and Iran-enabled Syria is so bad as to make modern invention of the political themes involved very easy.  Stopping at an expanded “Medieval v Modern” three should suffice.

Through President Putin, certain features (like that KGB/FSB thing) of the Soviet Union have enjoyed a period of “Soviet Reunion”.  A number of characteristics associated with the period of dissolve around 1991 have been reversed, and the leader has returned to the people a certain boisterous quality.  However, the ambitious neo-medieval neo-imperial state’s “numbers” — military expenditures, reduced oil revenues, incidence of corruption throughout, capital inflows, reduced reserves — may be keeping internal development comparatively suspended.  That may do Putin’s popularity and reputation some damage over time.

General Reference

. . . the majority of the population sees the Kremlin not as the reason for the current economic recession but as the central power making a relatively successful attempt to consolidate society against external enemies that seek to strangle Russia economically. Somehow, it is not hard for the Kremlin-controlled media to find proof and symptoms—Western sanctions are presented as a major instrument of destruction, causing severe harm to the Russian economy; the oil price decline is declared to be the result of an anti-Russian plot; and even the situation around Ukraine is treated as an attack on Russian foreign trade, on Russia’s ability to cooperate with a neighboring market of 45 million people, and on the traditionally close economic ties between Ukraine and Russia. Over time, economic hardships have become a reason for the increase in public support of the president and his policies, not a reason for protesting.

Movchan, Andrey.  “Avoiding the Blame for Russia’s Economic Woes.”  Carnegie Moscow Center, March 30, 2016.

Oxenstierna, Susanne.  “Russia’s defense spending and the economic decline.”  Journal of Eurasian Studies, January 2016, 7:1, 60-70.