I have made it very clear that I am a big critic of western foreign policy in Ukraine. While, I don’t approve of what Russia is doing, I do believe that the west wanted this war and is doing everything to prolong it. As far as I can tell, the west is run by truly evil people. Worse, it is run by evil people who are not nearly as clever as they think they are. Our elites seem to have completely lost touch with reality.
Unfortunately, humans have a tendency to think in good vs. evil dimensions. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. This way of thinking makes critics of the west look like Putin supporters. And to be fair, this is not just a problem on the pro NATO side, but also a problem among the critics of the alliance. I come across a lot of smart critics who appear to be literally thinking that Putin will safe western civilisation. In my view, this is a very odd view, and it merits a detailed responds.
First of all, I agree that western civilisation is in decline. Actually, decline is too soft a word, western civilisation is outright collapsing. By the west I mean Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. These are countries shaped by liberal democracies, who, as far as I can tell, are the only cultures that ever established a system of individual liberty.
We are, however, rapidly moving away from individual liberty. Liberty is being replaced with a cult of science, in which, instead of having an open debate and plurality of opinions, randomly selected experts are increasingly dictating decision making. Anthony Fauci recently summed this mentality up by saying that those who criticise him and his plandemic policies, are really criticising science. He was therefore suggesting that there cannot be any legitimate criticism of a scientific expert like him.
Far from being scientific, this is of course the abolition of science, which lives from open debate. But it is this authoritarian mentality that is destroying liberalism in the west. It aims for a centrally planned society which is run by scientific experts. Covid was just a nasty side show though. The real authoritarian religion of the cult of science is climate change. I have written about this in detail a few years ago.
The experts that are ruling us aren’t even particularly smart. Instead, western leadership is not much more than a kindergarten clown show. Most of our leaders never worked an honest day in their life. They know nothing about the real world, are miseducated, cannot formulate a coherent argument, and their ignorance is only surpassed by their arrogance. The “leader of the free world”, Joe Biden, is so senile that he cannot even make it through a dinner party without constant supervision.
Everyone who is paying attention, however, knows that Biden, Scholz, Sunak and co are not really the people in charge. All western countries seem to implement many of the dumb policies simultaneously, suggesting that there is clearly some coordination behind the scenes going on. In particularly, the Brexit process should have opened the eyes of everyone as to who is in charge. There was a coordinated sabotage going on in the entire British state, from courts, to the civil service to the organisation of parliament.
There are elites behind the scenes who are really making all the decisions. Who are they? They seem to organise around Klaus Schwab and the WEF. Many therefore call them the Davos crowd, and I will do so here as well. Davos vision of where the west should go seems to be a North Korea style centrally planned economy in which most people would be little more than slaves. Davos are truly wicked, evil people and need to be defeated. The good news is that I think that they will be defeated, as neither normal people nor even everyone in the elite will go along with their plan. It is doomed to fail. However, in the meantime, they can create a lot of damage. They already have caused untold suffering with their green and covid agenda. The damage caused in society goes deep, maybe too deep to be repaired.
Putin seems to be opposed to Davos, which is why many people who do not want western civilisation to fail have some sympathy for him. I don’t think this is wise. Putin does not try to safe liberalism, far from it. His political philosophy is deeply illiberal.
I must admit that before the Ukraine war started, I did not pay too much attention to Russia. To me, Russia seemed to be a rather unimpressive country. While huge, almost the whole country has a too cold climate for me, or most people, to live in, the only exception being a small area at the Black Sea. More importantly, I see no signs that Russia is a particularly liberal place. Sure, there are even less liberal places, but Russia does not seem particularly attractive on that front either..
Because it is not very liberal, the economy is tiny compared to its size. Russia looks like it has a lot of potential. However, most of that potential seems to lie dormant, which has a lot to do with how the country is run. Most of their GDP comes from selling their vast treasure of natural resources. The main reason why western sanctions have not hurt Russia very much is, because there is not much of an economy that can be hurt. Besides resources, there are no world class companies in Russia who have to rely on access to the global market.
The fact that Russia is not very strong does not fit well with the never ending anti-Russian propaganda we are exposed to in the west. According to that propaganda, Russia is a giant superpower that is just waiting for an opportunity to conquer eastern Europe.
This perception is of course not without a history. The history of eastern European nations and Russia is problematic, to say the least. One can therefore understand that people there are worried about Russia. On the other hand one can also understand that Russia is worried about being invaded from the west, which has happened multiple times.
Angela Merkel just openly admitted that the aim of the Minsk agreement was not peace, but gaining time for Ukraine to build up a bigger army. Merkel therefore openly admitted that Ukraine and NATO really were a security threat to Russia. This is supported by the fact that peace deals are rejected by London and Washington with the argument that the job is not done yet. They openly admit that the goal of this war is to regime change Russia and split it up into multiple pieces.
This should put the debate to rest of whether the attack on Ukraine was unprovoked. It was definitely provoked, and Russia is not just paranoid about her security. Still, provoked or unprovoked, the invasion is a crime and also a mistake.
Considering this, both sides seem to have legitimate security concerns. This is not a fight of good vs evil. The only sensible outcome of this conflict therefore has to be negotiations and the willingness to compromise.
When Putin attacked Ukraine, I too thought that the propaganda was correct after all. For a brief moment, I bought into the narrative that Putin really is a madman who wants to conquer Eastern Europe. Very quickly, however, the facts emerging proofed this narrative to be false. Putin’s army was way too small to conquer Ukraine, let alone Eastern Europe. His stated goal was to secure the eastern, ethnic Russia dominated, regions of Ukraine as well as to make sure that Ukraine does not join NATO. I cannot see any evidence that he was lying about this.
From early on, he repeatedly made peace proposals along those lines that always failed because Ukraine refused to negotiate. It looks like in April 2022 a peace deal that both sides could have lived with was in place. What prevented peace was Boris Johnson flying to Kiev and demanding that Ukraine keeps fighting until the job is done, meaning until Putin is gone and Russia split up.
Last summer Putin must have realised that he is really fighting all of NATO and that the west categorically will not negotiate with him. From a Russian point of view, there is now only two possible outcomes. Either the Ukrainian state is destroyed or Russia is.
As a libertarian, I would not mind seeing Russia being split up into multiple states. However, no one can be dumb enough to believe that this is a realistic option from the perspective of the Russia government. Russia, therefore, has now build up a much bigger army that will attempt to finish the job in Ukraine. It is, however, questionable whether they will conquer and hold western Ukraine, as ruling a hostile population that large in itself would jeopardise the existence of Russia. But at the very least Putin will have to totally destroy the Ukrainian army so that it does not come back. This will be difficult and certain will stretch Russia’s conventional resources. So much for their ability to conquer the whole of Eastern Europe.
The problem with Russia is that, while they do have limited resources to fight a war of conquest, they do have enough fire power to end life on this planet. Therefore, no sane person can wish for Russia to be pushed to the point where she is at risk of loosing the war. If Russia’s existence is in danger that would mean a very serious risk of a nuclear war, which would mean we are all f…ed. Whether one likes Putin or not, it is in everyone’s interest that Putin wins the military battle, which he will one way or another. So let’s hope it is the one way and not the other.
I think this is a fairly impartial analysis of the war. My only bias is towards peace and ending the killing. I am not taking sides who is right and who is wrong. Both sides are right and wrong in some way. And both sides are ruled by very ruthless and power hungry politicians. But there is only one side who has an interest in keeping the war going for as long as possible, the one that is not negotiating, Davos.
I cannot see how it is in Putin’s interest to prolong the war. From that, some people conclude that Putin is the good guy who will safe us from Davos. That, however, is a dangerous conclusion. First of all, I don’t think we need Putin to safe us from Davos. The whole green/woke agenda will fail on its own. It is too detached from reality, and too unattractive for too many people.
In addition, I cannot see how the war in Ukraine helps anyone in any way. I am generally very sceptical of the morality of such collective violence. But leaving ethics aside, I do think Putin made a mistake invading Ukraine. He miscalculated the situation.
Every good military strategist knows that war plans do not survive once the shooting starts. Wars are unpredictable. Starting one is therefore always risky. Putin thought he could demonstrate strength and get the Ukrainians quickly to a negotiated settlement. But that did not happen. Now he has to win this war in another way. He cannot back down. This escalation is at serious risk of turning nuclear. And if that happens, Russia of course also looses.
If he really was worried about a NATO invasion, he should have waited and prepared for that. That way, he would have been in a morally better position and would have had full support of everyone in Russia, and even many in the west. It is always smart to postpone a war as long as possible. He should have known that NATO is very weak and that the west is falling apart on its own. But he probably did know, and that is why he thought he can attack. Now he has given the west an excuse to blame their misery on him. That is not helpful to anyone.
I am all in favour of a multipolar world. Competition is the only thing that can limit power. However, building an economic counterpart to the west could be done without firing any shots. The Chinese are much smarter in that way. For example, he does not need Ukraine to establish a gold backed currency to sell his resources. The problem with that, however, is that he would then have a very hard currency that he cannot manipulate. And he is not really a free market kind of guy.
This is the biggest fantasy about the idea that Putin is saving western civilisation. There is no indication that Putin believes in liberalism. He is an ex-KGB guy who is on record saying that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a disaster. That is of course where he made his reputation. His supporters claim that he saved Russia from destruction after the horrors of the 1990th.
The myth is that after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia was plundered by evil oligarchs in alliance with foreign corporations. These oligarchs made themselves very rich to the demise of the rest of the Russian population. Then Putin came in and stopped the plunder. He returned Russia to the path of stability and wealth.
I find this story not very believable. How exactly where the oligarchs impoverishing Russia? It seems to me that they were just business men who took advantage of the crises. Sure, they might have acquired those resources very cheaply from the Russian state and then sold it for a large profit. But that is exactly what entrepreneurs do? They take advantage of these kind of situations, nothing wrong with that. How else can anything be privatised? The most important thing was that these resources where available on the market so that people who needed them could bit for them. The profits can then be invested in the free economy, creating even more wealth for everyone.
I don’t see the harm. How exactly did this impoverish society? In order for a society to become prosperous, it is essential that there is a private capital market. The reason why Russia was poor is because of 70 years of communism. Communism destroys every society. The damage was done, it just became apparent after the fall of the Soviet Union. Other former communist countries suffered a similar fate. That is not to say that there weren’t any mistakes made after the fall. That is entirely possible and likely. But privatising resources seems unlikely to have been a mistake.
What is the alternative? The government owning those resources and selling them? That is not a better option. If the government gets that money, it will use it to make people dependant on it. That creates a state centred and corrupt economy. Sure it might create stability, but not a long term prosperous and free society.
There are a number of these type of oil states. The gulf states of course come to mind. Many of these states are authoritarian hellholes who finance some shiny modern luxuries with oil money. Saudi Arabia is the best example. Few are smart enough to see that the oil welfare model does not work in the long run.
Dubai is a good alternative model. There, the money is being used to finance infrastructure aimed at creating a productive society that can then be prosperous without oil. That model requires freedom. While Dubai does have some deficits in freedom, it has almost no taxes and invites every entrepreneur to come and create businesses. The government protects property rights. The place is well organised and thriving. The only thing holding Dubai back is a lack of personal and political freedoms and Sharia law. Still, Dubai is a success story.
That is not what Russia did. If the case for bringing resources under political control in Russia was to use it to create a thriving society, then where is the Dubai in Russia under Putin? It does not exist. In fact, by going against the oligarchs, Putin has shown everyone that investments are not safe in Russia. In Russia, the state always has the last say. Forget about no taxes, easy immigration and a rule of law. Instead, that resource money was used to finance a system of authoritarian corruption in Russia. As a consequence, there are no world class companies being created in Russia and the country has the GDP of Italy.
That is not how to safe western civilisation. That is the opposite. Yes, I know, Russia is not woke. That is certainly good. But it is not like wokeism is a grass roots movement in the west. To the contrary, it is a small elite of intellectuals who are trying to push this shit on everyone. And the reason for pushing wokeism is to distract people from the real problems. But the wokeist revolution is not working. The average Joe is not, and will not become, woke. The woke movement is annoying but dead on arrival.
It is a misconception that western imperialism is uniquely evil. Sure, it is evil, I am not defending it. However, to think that a Russian empire under Putin would look any nicer in the long run, or even short run, is very naive. There is no nice way to create an empire, and Russia isn’t even particularly liberal at home. Putin also does not have more liberal friends than the US. His good buddy Lukashenko runs the most brutal dictatorship in Europe, which is still a centrally planned economy. Other friends like the Mullahs in Iran, Assad in Syria or North Korea also do not indicate that Putin is building a nice alternative to western imperialism.
Western civilisation, liberalism that is, needs to be saved in the west. It certainly cannot be saved by an authoritarian government from the top. Russia has done no one a favour by invading Ukraine. It has caused nothing but misery, and it is a huge problem for Russia herself. The only reason why I want Russia to win the military battle is, because at this point that seems to be the only way to stop the killing. Actually what I would really like to see is for the west to start negotiating and make a peace deal.
The latter, however, is not going to happen, quite to the contrary. The neocons are already plotting how they can keep this war going after Ukraine is destroyed. They are trying to seduce Romania and Poland to become the next Ukraine. I hope those governments realise that they are being played by their “friends”, just like Ukraine was. But they excessive hatred for Russia might cloud their vision.
The truth is, Putin is not the only bastard out there. As I said, our governments are also run by truly evil people. We need to defeat them. They are currently running the same script as they did in WW1 &2. They are trying to plunge Europe into a giant war to safe their crumbling empires and financial systems. They must not succeed.
In the end, a liberal free society will only be achieved by peaceful means. In particular, the constant aggressive foreign policy of the US has destroyed the country from within. The solution is that people need to stop going along with western authoritarianism. And that also means, we need to stop cheering on and arming the corrupt Ukrainian government and make peace a priority. Unfortunately, it looks like to some degree we got the leaders that our society deserves, after all, enough people voted for them. The problem goes deep, is home made and it will certainly not be solved by Putin.