Russia Not Uncivilized, Just Inimical
Bill Quick

A 19th-Century Bully | Hoover Institution

Our failure to fathom the threat to our national security of an unrestrained Putin is explained by the fact that we do not understand Putin, his regime, and what makes him and his inner circle tick. We live in the “civilized world” of norms and accepted behavior of the twenty-first century, which we assume others share, at least to some extent. We are unprepared to understand an entire nation that is run as a criminal enterprise by kleptocrats, whose only concern is power and wealth and preserving both.

No. We live in a “progressive” world, where words are much, much more important than deeds, where well-creased pants and a facile way with words is considered a power to be desired, where “soft power” is even more desirable than real power.

Beliefs like these basically misunderstand or ignore reality. They can only hold sway when there is a general consensus that they are true, whether they actually are true or not.

This analyst makes the mistake that so many who live and think in this “consensus” do – that they are the sole arbiters of what is civilization, and what its characteristics are.

Russia is civilized, and has been so for many centuries. I’m quite sure that it views its own actions (Putin is wildly popular in Russia) as being justified by the “uncivilized” attacks carried out against it by the West during the Cold War.

Bottom line: Merely because somewhat alternate views of civilization clash on real-world battlefields does not make one uncivilized. Pretending otherwise may be soothing to a certain progressive mindset, but keep in mind: A civilization that cannot defend itself is doomed. The brute force equations involved in the maxim, “Power abhors a vacuum,” will see to that.

In the halls of American and other western powers the belief seems to be that branding Russia as uncivilized, and hence unfit to sup at their heavily laden tables, is punishment enough. They forget that the uninvited dinner guest sometimes comes through the front door and takes the whole banquet by brute force.

Posted in Russia permalink
Bill Quick

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.

Comments

Russia Not Uncivilized, Just Inimical — 4 Comments

  1. Based on my observations of the Obama regime, we live in a “nation that is run as a criminal enterprise by kleptocrats, whose only concern is power and wealth and preserving both.” I don’t buy the idea that Obama doesn’t understand what Putin is doing. He understands — he just doesn’t care. Both Putin and Obama are enemies of the United States. Why should they interfere with each other?

  2. “We live in the “civilized world” of norms and accepted behavior of the twenty-first century,…”
    What world does the writer live in? Certainly not this one.
    We have the most uncivilized, corrupt administration in American History; the population of these United States doesn’t care about norms of acceptable behavior so long as they receive an ‘acceptable’ amount of pork!

    There must be a better way to run a ‘railroad’ than our current system of obvious graft and vile corruption.