Voices from Russia

Thursday, 25 January 2018

The West Doesn’t Realise How Moderate Vladimir Putin Really Is


Putin is a Moderate. The Western portrayal of President Putin as a dangerous extremist is a lie; this narrative can only persist so long as people aren’t educated about the real Russia, and it results from profound hypocrisy. Hypocrisy distinguishes the politics of our age. Wherever you look, the hypocrisy of Western politics is far-reaching. The West supports wars in the Middle East that kill millions, yet they call themselves “humanitarian superpowers”… Russia allowed the Crimean people to reunite with their ancestral homeland, with less than ten deaths, but somehow Russia is rebuilding the “axis of evil”.

To understand how one can falsely portray a truly moderate statesman like Putin as a radical, we must first understand how hypocrisy and split personality distorts one’s view of Russia. Hypocrisy created madness in the West, an almost schizophrenic split personality took root within the western soul. The Western split personality complex engendered the two heads of the Western Establishment… Neoconservatives and Neoliberals. Together they form a Diarchy (rule of two) present in Western governments… perhaps, the Latin synonym Duumvirate better describes it. This split personality influences how they view reality.

Take for example their portrayal of Russia. The West misrepresents Russia in two primary ways. The first is as a toothless bear, a weak anaemic regional power nostalgic for old glory, incapable of letting go. Overall, a nation not unlike a destitute widow after the death of a great and powerful man, as Gogol described in Taras Bulba the Cossack lands of what we call the Ukraine. This simply isn’t reality. The second is as a dangerous bear, an Empire terrible and strong, ready to subject the world beneath the boot of an Imperialist, Fascist, Totalitarian, Communist, Soviet, and Russian Orthodox Tsar. If the West doesn’t “do something” (the most terrifying words any Third World country can hear), there wouldn’t be a free power in the world that couldn’t kneel to the Tsar of Moscow. That statement is contradictory, primarily with the first image, but also with itself. You can’t be a Communist, or a Fascist, or an Orthodox Tsarist for that matter, all at once.

Whilst the above examples are mutable to a degree, those are the prevailing stereotypes about Russia. They serve two primary purposes:

  • The portrayal of Russia as a declining power reduces panic when undesirable, for example, when the Deep State feels comfortable with their position in society, and wish to promote their leadership as strong and stabilising. It also reinforces overall pride and morale in the West. Neoliberals favour this.
  • The portrayal of Russia as a resurgent terrifying Eastern horde on the verge of world dominance empowers the Military Industrial Complex, allows for increased military spending, and justifies both sabre-rattling and adventurism, satisfying the warmongers. Neocons favour this.

How does this split personality view Putin? Primarily, Western pundits view Putin in a similar light, though the dichotomy between two extreme portrayals isn’t so clear… it’s fuzzier… but to them, he’s simply an Extremist. They can’t place him firmly on any end of the spectrum. Typically, you’re a Moderate if you don’t conform to the extremes. At one moment, they call him a neo-Communist, nostalgic for Soviet power one moment, then, immediately compare him to the Russian tsars, saying that he practically wants to create a Russian Orthodox Theocracy and rebuild the Russian Empire. Then, they compare him to Hitler, which is perhaps the most despicable and deplorable thing you can call a Russian. To Russians, “Nazi” is the worst pejorative. His young brother died when the Nazis laid siege to Leningrad, one of the MILLLIONS killed in that city. You should show some humanity before you make such an insult to the entire Russian nation.

All of those ideologies are incompatible… you can’t be a Russian Orthodox Fascist Communist Statist Tsarist Bolshevik all at once. Such ignorance, a true lack of knowledge, to throw these terms around so easily in the same sentence proves those who do so fail to understand Russia and Putin. It also reveals the West is more interested in name-calling than in serious dialogue. I dare you to point up one instance where Putin insulted a Western leader in the same way as he is, to call them the most abhorrent of things… a Nazi. Now that we’ve explored the falsehoods and hypocrisy, what is Putin?

The Truth:

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a devout Orthodox Christian and the President of the Russian Federation. That’s all. Truly, no one has the right to apply a label to him that he didn’t ask for. We’d all do well to stop viewing people as Conservatives, Liberals, Monarchists, Socialists, Easterners, and Westerners, and simply see each other as Humans. Russian Orthodoxy, Putin’s religion, teaches that God created all of us in His image and likeness; as a result, we must respect every person’s dignity, even our worst enemy. By longstanding Cossack tradition, we must first respect others as free men, before we can have any dealings with them. This lack of mutual respect and understanding is a major roadblock in Russian relations with the West. Do note that Russia doesn’t show such disrespect. In conclusion, I’d like to offer a perspective. Given how Putin has portrayed himself by his actions and words, perhaps, the best label to apply (if such a thing is necessary) is that Putin is a Moderate.

Putin the Moderate

What is a Moderate? Simply put, someone who exists between two extremes. Various groups place Putin at either radical end, both to criticise him and even to praise him. For example, American socialists, liberals, and progressives view him as authoritarian, possibly a misogynistic Far Right dictator. It’d surprise them to realise he leads a country FAR more socialist than America is. Russia has government-funded universal healthcare for all citizens, free education even at university level for those accepted, and a strong heritage of women’s rights (first woman in space, long paid maternity leave, etc.) He shows no signs of wanting to end any of that; actually, he’s quite proud of those things.

Western conservatives stuck in the Cold War view him as a “Commie”, a socialist KGB agent trying to restore the USSR and destroy the “moral” West. If only they knew, Russia is PROFOUNDLY more religious than the West is… beyond compare. Russia is a country of millions of martyrs, and Putin prays sincerely in the Russian Orthodox way, a faith far more ancient than the Western Protestant sects are, with a direct line of succession to the first-century church described in the Acts of the Apostles. Putin is aware of this; he met with the leader of Syrian Christians, the Patriarch of Antioch, and took a keen interest in defending Syria particularly because of a shared Orthodox faith.

A good instance of Western misunderstanding is when they jumped on Putin’s recent comment about Lenin’s body and Orthodox relics. The implication was that Putin implied that Lenin’s body on Red Square is just as holy as the relics of an Orthodox Saint. It isn’t my right to speak for Putin, but it’s clear to me this was a misunderstanding, perhaps due to poor understanding of the Russian language by non-native speakers. Having heard it myself, I can say his comment’s connotation was more like, “What the communists did with Lenin’s body isn’t an unheard of concept, we Orthodox venerate saints. They just stole an ancient Russian tradition and hoped no one noticed”. That’s a paraphrase, but I believe it better explains what he said than the English translation.

Putin was right to make such a comparison. I don’t say that Lenin’s body is equal to that of the Saints, certainly not! However, the Bolsheviks copied what the Church did. They were jealous of the Church; they wanted to be the new Church. That’s entirely true. The way they treated Lenin’s body was, indeed, a form of mimicking and mockery of holy relics. The Bolsheviks took the approach, “If you can’t beat them, join them”. They even studied Orthodoxy to uncover means of self-promotion. Rather than destroying its role in Russia, they merely usurped it as a central ideology. Whereas before we had cross processions, now we marched with Lenin pictures. Before, we said, “God Save the Tsar!” Now, we said, “Lenin lived, Lenin Lives, Lenin will live!”

They understood that no people could be without religion or a central ideology. Rather than destroying something that everyone needed, they just replaced Orthodoxy with communism. However, of course, they failed. Orthodoxy is the organic ideology of the Russian people, the Faith that founded Russia; you can never replace it with a pale imitation. That’s why Putin compared communism to Orthodoxy. The communists coveted the fervour Russians have for their faith. They mimicked Orthodoxy because it was familiar to the people, and, in many ways, if it wasn’t for Orthodoxy teaching Russians how to be so loyal to a belief, Communism wouldn’t have been successful.

In many ways, Russian communism and the USSR was more influenced by Orthodoxy than Marxism; the religious zeal with which they received it, the marching and the imperial loyalty to their leaders was all something they learned from Tsarist Russia, not from Marx. It also doesn’t make you a communist or a bad Christian to note, as Putin did, that Orthodoxy and Communist economic theory share some basic common concerns… care for the poor and support for all the peoples of the world. The difference was that communism was materialist whereas Orthodoxy is spiritual.

Contrary to the McCarthyites calling him a communist, the Alt-Right and certain conservative factions are fascinated with Putin as an ultra-macho strongman, what they wish their Western leaders were like. They look to him riding shirtless or shooting guns, his judo skills, they enviously lust for his strength, wishing they had it within them. These people look to the “anti-gay law” in Russia as proof that Putin is a “tough white heterosexual man” putting the world back in its place and women back in the kitchen.

Obviously, Putin is white and heterosexual, you’d have to be crazy to say he isn’t tough, but he doesn’t support their extremist borderline fascist view of the world. Putin is Orthodox both in the sense of his religion and his very conservative non-alternative lifestyle; he’s a traditional Russian man, not an edgy Alt-Righter living in his mother’s basement who can’t get a girlfriend. He exudes the philosophy “Talk softly but carry a big stick”. He doesn’t feel the need to remind people he’s tough… everyone knows that. He’d MUCH prefer solving issues with dialogue than with fighting, even though he is capable of the latter if need be, much like his country.

When Russians think of him, they picture him well-dressed (not riding a bear shirtless), leading the country in a responsible, ethical, and diplomatic manner. Putin is an old-school statesman… a modern Caesar, Peter the Great, or even Churchill (with regards to his iconic association with leading his homeland). He respects the past, takes what was good, rejects what was bad, and tries to make Russia strong in a responsible way. He’s the definition of diplomatic. As much as many of us hate Political Correctness, he IS Politically Correct inasmuch as he does his best not to offend any foreign leaders. Putin’s a statesman, he puts Russia first, above his personal feelings and ambitions; everything that he does, he does selflessly for the nation. The so-called “anti-gay laws” simply prevent homosexuals from soliciting minors either directly or indirectly. Putin doesn’t support violence against gay people.

Putin is strong in the fight against terror. He helped Syrians save their country, raining down fire and destruction upon terrorists, and he led the Russian forces when they flattened Grozny (the Chechen capital). He also led the country that REBUILT Grozny into one of Russia’s most beautiful newest cities. He doesn’t oppose all Muslims, only violent extremists. Muslims fight in the Russian armed services and Putin has allowed children from Syria to return to Russia freely. He won’t tolerate cynics who claim infants and toddlers are terrorists just as he won’t tolerate any terrorist stupid enough to attack Russia.

He’s a practising Orthodox Christian of good faith, he speaks of the Church’s crucial role in Russia, but he doesn’t support a theocracy. For that matter, neither does the Church. Putin also meets leaders of other religions. He’s a devout Orthodox Christian, so he honours the leading role of Orthodoxy in Russian history and culture, but that’s it. The West constantly portrays him as an ultra-conservative that wants to become tsar, but that isn’t reality. The reality is that Russia has far more extreme political views to the left and right of Putin. You have people who think he isn’t conservative enough, then, of course, we have the leftists… I don’t mean the mythical liberal unicorns; I mean the communists, the primary leftist party in Russia. The West doesn’t realise how moderate Putin really is.

He’s criticised the Bolsheviks, he isn’t a communist by any means, but at the same time, he doesn’t label communists evil people. Some Communists were evil, some were good, some were in-between; from a religious point of view, capitalism is also a satanic ideology, it promotes the worship of money just as Communism seeks utopia without God. Both are materialistic, and Putin neither loves nor hates either system.

Putin once told Oliver Stone that judo taught him to be flexible… this is one of his defining characteristics. For better or worse, Russia is a country of extremes, and Putin is a flexible moderate at heart, bringing people together, doing his best not to alienate any large group, trying to help build “Sobornaya Rossiya”, a united Russia. Russia had so many extremes come and go in the last century; Putin tries to be a stabilising constant to help the nation stand firm in trying times. Putin actually sits in the middle of a spectrum of extremes, a peacemaker with the rare gift of calling all to order for the greater good of Russia. Those that wish for him to lose the election should be careful what they wish for, the result they get may be more than they bargained for.

Russian Westernising liberals are largely unicorns, they don’t exist, and when they do, they aren’t popular. An alternative to Putin wouldn’t likely be Pro-Western… the West would actually get to see a real Russian Communist, tsar, or authoritarian. For instance, Zhirinovsky describes himself as the “drum” to Putin’s “cello”. He represents those who actually think Putin is too restrained, that he isn’t tough enough. That may surprise you, but it’s true. Some Russians believe Russia should’ve actively intervened with its military in the Ukraine. Let’s face it, Ukrainians aren’t friends… they’re family. Russia’s family is being slaughtered in the Ukraine… yes… primarily by other Ukrainians, but this wouldn’t have happened if Western-backed fascists hadn’t taken power.

Zhirinovsky advocated intervention and occupation to restore legitimate Ukrainian rule before the fascist Kiev regime took power in what the first East Slavic Chronicles call “The Mother of Russian Cities”… Kiev. Likewise, some Russians wanted to see Russia’s military take the fight to the enemy on the ground in Syria, which could’ve potentially risked conflict with US forces occupying territory there. The Communist party also wanted Russia to do more to save Russian-Ukrainian people from fascist occupation. If Zhirinovsky or a communist candidate was President, Russia could’ve occupied all the Ukraine or be fighting a war in the heart of Europe. Russia and the Ukraine are twins, as a result, they both have a tendency to be a land of extremes. The difference is Putin, who kept the extreme ends of Russia from tearing each other apart, like what’s happening in the Ukraine.

Putin’s Russia is an incredibly diverse country. Unlike the West, were the only real variety approved by the Deep State is Neoconservatism or Neoliberalism, where the Right and Left are all the same on core issues where it counts, Russia truly offers diversity. Many diverse ideologies coexist in Russia, unlike in the West, which claims to be the capital of diversity. Russia truly offers divergent and profoundly different worldviews. For those who believe the Russian media is all the same, look at Tsargrad, Komsmopolskaya Pravda, Pravoslavie.ru, RIA Novosti, Radio Mayak, Vesti, Sputnik, and RT, not to mention the plethora of openly anti-Kremlin websites which exist like Radio Svoboda [the CIA propaganda mouthpiece where Victor Potapov treacherously laboured against the Rodina for many years: editor]. If people only knew how many anti-patriotic and anti-Russian Fifth Columns the state allows to operate freely. This doesn’t include pro-Russian and anti-Russian news from the Ukraine. Putin’s Russia is ideologically and politically far more diverse than most places; it’s run by a Moderate who welcomes dialogue, not an extremist who wishes to silence all dissenting voices.

Putin’s a Moderate… he saved Syria from destruction, got the legitimate government back on its feet, then, handed over the reins, and said, “Take it from here”. He’s a Moderate… he reunited the Crimea with Russia, but left the Donbass to fight for itself, providing only humanitarian aid and fully supporting the Minsk agreements. Whether or not it’s right or wrong, his actions may have prevented a greater war. Putin’s a moderate… he’s miraculously and flexibly reconciled almost all aspects of Russian society, getting them to work together. Under Putin, for the first time, Communist leaders said, “Christ is Risen” on Easter. Under Putin, the Crimea reunited with Russia and he saved Syria without provoking a dangerous war with another great power. Putin’s a Moderate… he encouraged all ideologies in Russia to collaborate patriotically for the common good, setting aside their profound differences. Putin’s work was to stabilise Russia after centuries of storms, to help lead her into the future, so future generations of Russians will be safe and strong. Then, Russians will choose whether to pursue for Russia a Monarchist, Communist, Traditionalist, Leftist, or whatever future. Because of Putin, they may build something entirely new. Therefore, we should call Putin a Moderate… it seems to fit.

Above all, Putin is a statesman who stands for the country’s stability. He knows Orthodoxy’s importance as Russian culture’s foundation, as a faith that suffered along with the people since the beginning. He’s an Orthodox Christian of genuine faith and the lawful president with the people’s support.

24 January 2018

Nick Ivanov

Russia Feed      


Blog at WordPress.com.

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