Vladimir the First.

This observation by Ralph Peters is both depressing

[Vladimir] Putin’s genius — and it is nothing less — begins with an insight into governance that eluded the “great” dictators of the last century: You need control only public life, not personal lives. Putin grasped that human beings need to let off steam about the world’s ills, and that letting them do so around the kitchen table, over a bottle of vodka, does no harm to the state. His tacit compact with the Russian people is that they may do or say what they like behind closed doors, as long as they don’t take it into the streets. He saw that an authoritarian state that stops at the front door is not only tolerable but also more efficient.

…and probably accurate (that’s why it’s depressing).

And in some ways it’s our own fault: in retrospect, the last two Presidential administrations probably should have paid a bit more attention to the post-Soviet era in Russia.  It’s hard to blame people for that inattention (after all, we were all first breathing a sigh of relief that the Cold War was over, and then we had the Middle East to worry about)… but it’s a somewhat grim truth that the typical face of capitalism in Russia in the 1990s usually was one of either a gangster, or a former (corrupt) government official, or someone with ties to either.  Or both.  This seems to have soured the Russian people a bit on the basic economic theory; unfortunately, it seems to have also subtly discounted the appeal of a democratic system of government as well.  What the Russians are apparently comfortable with these days would be an autocrat that leaves them alone, keeps the supermarkets stocked, does nothing to hinder the church, and demands that the rest of the planet show Russia the respect due a Great Power (with nuclear weapons)*. In other words: a grown-up, non-disfigured Doctor Doom.

The problem with this (aside from the obvious ones)? Putin has no sons.  That’s the problem with autocracies generally, in fact: I think that it was Poul Anderson who noted that despotism works fine as long as the despot is able, but sooner or later you get a meathead on the throne…

Moe Lane Continue reading Vladimir the First.


Are you shocked?  Because I’m shocked:

Russia’s prime minister Vladimir Putin will return to his post as president next year after he and president Dmitry Medvedev announced they were switching jobs.

The announcement was made on Saturday at the annual conference of United Russia, the hegemonic party that controls two-thirds of Russia’s parliament. It put to rest intrigue over Mr Putin’s next move.

No, really, I’m shocked.  I had it figured that Putin would surely have had the evidence planted by now that absolutely proved that he was the long-lost grandson of Anastasia.  Ever think that old Vladimir wakes up sometimes cursing how thorough the Bolsheviks were* at slaughtering the Romanov dynasty?

Moe Lane

*Admittedly, if there’s anything that you can count on Commies being good at, it’s the mass slaughter of people who can’t fight back.  It’s like they took their skill at everything else (like food production) and dedicated it towards learning how to efficiently kill innocents.

I can’t call this an ‘Obamateurism.’

It’s one heck of a Kinsley Gaffe, to be sure.  But accidentally admitting who really runs Russia?

“I suspect when I speak to President..eh.. Prime Minister Putin tomorrow, he will say the same thing.”

That’s just him saying what we all know. I have yet to grasp why Putin hasn’t just gone ahead and found that evidence that he’s actually the son of the Princess Anastasia, and thus heir to the Romanov Dynasty.  Pravda would eat that up. 

With a spoon.

Crossposted to RedState.