With all the recent Russophobia going on, here are some videos that shed a little light on the matter and provide some insights.
The first is a lecture from several years ago by Stephen Cohen, arguably one of the best academics on Russian history and culture in contemporary times.
The second is a clip from the film adaptation of Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine that provides further insights on what happened in Russia during the first decade after the Soviet Union collapsed.
And here is Cohen again this past summer talking about the Russia-baiting of candidate Trump. His words bear certain merit to consider.
It has been a ping-pong ball in the alternative media discourse for some time now, how to appraise Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation. It seems to me there are two things to be cognizant of when grappling with this question.
In the first place, the man has done a significant amount of work since coming to power to free the country from the stranglehold of the American neocolonial project that his predecessor Boris Yeltsin allowed the country to be put in after the collapse of the USSR a quarter century ago.
In the second, he has done some truly rotten things that cannot be blown off as propaganda or lies from the Western media. Let’s be real, the man is a liberal as opposed to a socialist.
But this brings me to an obvious question that I have yet to hear from those who are in near-paroxysms over the man being praised so much: what comes after Putin?
We Americans witness this now up close and personal with Donald Trump. The man is obviously a scumbag and there is very little good to be said of him.
At the same time, now that he has been elected I want him to be totally safe and secure for the next four years. If the man even gets the sniffles, I could very well begin to have a panic attack and for a very sane reason: who on earth wants President Mike Pence?
And so returning to Putin, I would simply vocalized the sage wisdom of my elders when I say “Well DUH!”
Are there actually people in the English-speaking world who think Vladimir Putin will be replaced with a left-leaning Russian? Did I miss something here? These screaming lunatics are showing a massive lack of maturity when they carry on as they do and say things of this nature.
Putin is a political genius because he has figured out in some fashion how to balance on one hand the class of oligarchs that would stab him in the back instantaneously and an entire Great Russian nationalist movement on the other while continuing to host the multiple nationalities in a landmass with more than double the number of time zones than the continental United States. By contrast the outgoing American president couldn’t figure out how to maintain a parliamentary majority and popular mandate after his predecessor had totally discredited the entirety of the GOP. Think about that for a minute. Barack Obama was such a colossal failure from the beginning that he actually figured out how to flip Teddy Kennedy’s seat in the Senate to a nitwit Tea Partier named Scott Brown within less than a year of taking office. Indeed, the current media narrative, that Brown’s election was the hindrance from the outset that blocked Obama from greatness, is actually a damning indictment of Obama’s stupidity. Brown won a seat that was previously the ultimate pedestal of northeastern social democracy for a generation because Obama’s Kafkaesque Affordable Care Act was going to raise healthcare costs for the unionized Kennedy constituency. That act itself is emblematic of how not brilliant a statesman Obama actually was.
The drunken boob Yeltsin is remembered bitterly by the Russian people. They have little interest in Dmitry Medvedev, the pro-western prime minister, as compared to Putin, who has massive support, based on the memory of Yeltsin. And with the decline of a substantial Left in that part of the world barring a sudden internationalist/Maoist resurgence in China, who has recently invested heavily in Russian infrastructure development, the only obvious group that would follow an ousted Putin would be from the right.
Who wants that?