Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Great Debate; Czarism Versus Tsarism

Russia is authoritarian. It has been for a long time. For a little transition period there, when communism failed, regrouped, reinvented itself as "progressivism," and moved its base to the United States, Russia stopped being authoritarian, and turned chaositarian instead, until Napoleon-like, Vlad the Impudent took the place over and restored a little order. Different countries have different options, and Russia's do seem to be either authoritarianism or complete disfunctionalism.

To put it simply, the open, libertarianesque, democracy-ish system we have in the West didn't come about by accident. It took centuries of trial and error, struggle between church and state, and the development of a large, stable middle class before we evolved the social norms and moral systems that made the current system viable. And even then, we falter from time to time and have a little authoritarianism ourselves.

Most of the pundits yammering about the current situation just don't get it. They can't stand the thought that different nations have different histories and different possibilities and potentials. They want to turn Somalia into a New England town meeting, China into Babbitt's Middle West, and Russia, I guess, into some kind of California. No sense of history, no sense of the multiplicity of agendas and ethnic predilections.

Specifically, the pundits show their ignorance by what they emphasize, and the analogies they draw. Many are convinced that Putin is Hitler, Russia is Germany, and Ukraine is Czechoslovakia, while the Crimea is some kind of Sudetenland with a naval base. The Republicans think Obama is Chamberlain, and the Democrats think he's FDR. This analogy is so tortured as to be useless at best, and dangerously misleading at worst. Russia isn't Germany, and Russians aren't Germans. They don't think the same way at all. It's not accidental that Russia is Motherland and Germany is Fatherland.

At any rate, I like pundits who have a sense of history as well as an ability to see patterns in things, and one of the best for that is Steve Sailer, who has a much better grasp of the multitude of agendas manifesting themselves in the current Ukraine situation, in Ukraine, Russia, Crimea, and maybe most importantly here, in the trend-setting and trend-enforcing élite American class. This, from Takimag:

But Is It Good for the Gays?

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