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View Diary: Meet the Teabaggers NEWEST Hero: VLADIMIR PUTIN (yes, really) (30 comments)

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  •  You nailed it. (1+ / 0-)
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    Just want to add that Putin wants to be Tsar, and more Russians than just the ultra-right would like it if he were Tsar. He's cozied up to the Church because he needs the Church to establish his legitimacy to reign. He can't become Tsar if the Patriarch doesn't crown him. Plus I'm convinced he wants to be canonized and secure a spot in heaven next to his namesake, St. Vladimir, rather than spend eternity in Hell where he belongs.

    "Some folks rob you with a six-gun, some rob you with a fountain pen." - Woody Guthrie

    by Involuntary Exile on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 07:15:00 PM PDT

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    •  he's smart enough to use all that (2+ / 0-)
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      murasaki, slothlax

      But I find it hard to believe that he's actually looking to become a literal Tsar.  IMO he's far too cynical for that.

      It's important to remember that Russia has precisely zero historical experience of a stable, successful liberal democratic republican government: they've gone from Mongol rule, to centuries of ruthlessly absolute monarchy and "Third Rome" triumphalism under the Tsars, to the blood-soaked chaos of civil war, to Stalinism and central planning, to the chaos of the "cowboy capitalist" feeding frenzy of the Nineties when the country's assets were basically looted and the Soviet welfare state was systematically dismantled.  Russians have a saying: "Everything we were told about communism was a lie, but everything we were told about capitalism was true."

      The Russians are not idealistic people who think that diversity and tolerance are magically going to keep the shitty apartment warm and some food on the table, never mind build a strong Russia driven by a sense of singular worth and destiny - Russians seem to go from extreme idealism to extreme cynicism with nothing in between - or worse, that the liberals pushing diversity and tolerance don't even care about food or heat, never mind a "Russian-ness" that's seen as having been under Western attack since Peter the Great.  I'd even go so far as to say they're people who unconsciously believe that the only choices are a strongman or chaos, and they'll pick a strongman every time.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 07:34:34 PM PDT

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      •  I agree with your assessment of Russia & Russians. (1+ / 0-)
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        But I am convinced, as are the Russians I know, that Putin wants to be ruler for life. If he could be president/premier for life that would be acceptable, but being made a monarch would be even better. He wants his name to go down in the history books next to Peter the Great. And I'm also convinced he relishes his role as Defender of the Faith. He wants to be canonized, and he almost certainly will be. What a coup that would be, to become the equal of Constantine the Great. You think he's too cynical to want that? I think he's cynical enough to want precisely that.

        "Some folks rob you with a six-gun, some rob you with a fountain pen." - Woody Guthrie

        by Involuntary Exile on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 08:09:38 PM PDT

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        •  I can't disagree (1+ / 0-)
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          President/premier for life, or at least the power behind the throne.  Possibly.  Putin's one of the richest men in Russia and as a pillar of the siloviki de facto aristocracy could conceivably "retire" as some kind of Mafia-like godfather that future presidents will no doubt be sensitive to.  Canonized?  Yes, some Russians are no doubt superstitious enough to attribute miracles to him, and the Russian Orthodox Church feels threatened enough to glom onto anyone who won't suppress them Soviet-style or sign on with "godless" Western liberalism, but that at least won't be his doing.

          But crowned Tsar by the Patriarch of Moscow in the Cathedral of the Dormition according to the old ceremony?  Not a chance.  Even if Putin believed, he's smart enough not to confirm everyone's worst fears about him so openly.  I suspect he sees himself more in the mold of Singapore's recently retired Lee Kwan Yew: a technocratic type of patriarch whose right to rule comes not from the grace of God (but which is welcome nonetheless) or by subordinating himself to the will of the people, but simply by virtue of being strong and an effective steward of the nation, which the Russian people will recognize and respect and keep on voting him, his party, and any Medvedev-style proxies into power.

          He definitely doesn't want to see Russia fall under the spell of some brainless Pamyat demagogue anymore than he wants to see a repeat of the Nineties with Western "advisers" tearing the country apart from the top down, either of which may yet come when Putin himself - the cool Machiavellian apex predator - is no longer in the picture.

          Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

          by Visceral on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 08:56:10 PM PDT

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          •  Have you seen video of Putin at Kiev celebration? (1+ / 0-)
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            The celebration the 1025th anniversary of Christianization of Kievan Rus, the one with all the Orthodox hierarchs, the hundreds of bishops and priests, hundreds of nuns, Putin, Lukashenko, Yanukovych, and heads of state from other Orthodox countries?  Have you watched Putin at liturgy, venerating the icons, venerating St Andrew's cross that travelled from city to city drawing hundreds of thousands, at lunch with His Holiness, Kyril and the other Patriarchs? I watched and I saw a guy who wants to be Constantine the Great. That dude wants to rule for life and be canonized when he dies. It's not about the money for him. It's about being venerated, prayed to, and remembered forever, to the Ages of Ages, as we Orthodox say.

            "Some folks rob you with a six-gun, some rob you with a fountain pen." - Woody Guthrie

            by Involuntary Exile on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 09:36:41 PM PDT

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