Okay, people. Its time to get serious and talk about Putin’s philosophy. Since I am aiming for short, digestible pieces, this is the first piece. Since the basis of his philosophy is based on the work of Alexander Dugin, we are inevitably going to have to discuss Dugin.
This will make your head hurt; its certainly giving me a severe migraine, because I don’t do abstraction well – like most of you. But see, we can’t excuse ourselves from thinking about philosophy. My youngster started reading philosophy at age 8; when he started college at 18, he found there no philosophy courses worth taking because they were too simple, even the 400 level.
Me, on the other hand, am a plodder who learns facts by repeatedly memorizing them. My gift is to take tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of disparate facts and connect them into a coherent narrative. Philosophy is really, really hard for me.
But you see, neither you or I can excuse ourselves by saying “This is too hard. We have to make the effort if we are to have informed opinions on the world.
Today, I will ease you into Putin’s thought with a short article, very quickly read. https://www.newyorker.com/…/what-is-putin-thinking…
What you need to know about Putin:
- Putin is totally sane. Don’t brush him off as crazy because then you’ll miss the whole point of why he’s attacking Ukraine.
(2) Putin, and a large number of Russian thinkers including in the military feel there is an existential struggle between the west, i.e., America, and Russia.
(3) America, and by association liberal democracy and capitalism, is a dead end and is failing.
(4) Russia will replace America and the west.
(5) “Russia” means Europe/Asia from Dublin to Vladivostok.
(6) Dugin, Putin’s philosopher, is strongly influenced by a number of thinkers, but the one we should focus on is the German Martin Heidegger.
(7) Heidegger provided the foundation of Nazism. If you read Nazi philosophy, it is fascist, totalitarian, pitiless, and absolutist.
(9) It is German man’s destiny to destroy the decadent world, and remake it in the imagine of the perfect German man and woman.
(10) Germans must rule the world; merciless war is the only way.
Interjection: Obviously Putin is not a German, but a Russian, so we don’t want to overdo the comparison; we’re just trying to lay out the basis for Dugin’s philosophy because it influences Putin.
(11) Putin believes concepts such as the rule of law at home and abroad is sissy, western decadent stuff. Real men don’t do the American rule of law.
(12) Attacking Ukraine and other countries is, according to Putin, not a violation of international law, nor is the obliteration of civilians. It is a necessity to build a new world order, the ends justify the means.
I’m going to stop here for now.
Doubtless you’re scratching your head and saying: “Ravi, you’re saying Putin is not crazy. By the same token Hitler was not crazy?”
Yes. We cannot make the mistake of thinking of thinking Putin (and Hitler) were crazy. They thought differently. And western liberal ideas were not what they believed to be right. Incidentally, notice we don’t say Stalin and Mao were crazy. We lock up crazy people, but remember those who hold the power define who is crazy. Of course I am not justifying Hitler or Putin. Nor am I saying fascism is as legitimate as humanism, because I’d rather live in a humanist world; I believe it is right to celebrate the rights of all humans.
What I am doing is saying dismissing Putin as crazy is a lazy way of dealing with him.
Wanting regime change in Russia is solving nothing, because the Russian ruling class -including its generals- think like Putin. You will get Putin version 2.
“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”