It's not Russia, it's Putin

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  • #44519

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    Every time someone blames Russia for the war, I want to say no, Putin’s keeping Russians in the dark while he’s running the show. I was watching a video and saw the following graffiti on a wall in Georgia and screencapped it:

    After I finished watching the video, made by two young Russians who left because of the war, I thought I should recommend it to y’all: “I left so they won’t send me to the war” 🇷🇺 Interview with Zack the Russian

    I wish I could say similarly, “It’s not America, it’s Trump”. But no, Americans have had, and still have choices.

    #44521

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Pope. It’s the Russians. It’s the Americans. It’s homo sapiens. People want a daddy figure. Doesn’t matter what autocrats do as long as the minions feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves.

    #44523

    At the moment the biggest supplier of arms and ammo to the Ukrainian army is Russia!

    #44524

    Autumn
    Participant

    I was tempted to make a perverse joke about that being one way to drum up business, but I feel like the American arms market does pretty much the same thing within its own borders.

    #44527

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    I agree that per human cultural history, flaws that all humans have has led to this point. While Putin’s history since before he even got into politics led him to dominate Russia and Russians. I often wonder how Russians in particular historically succumb to these dominations. I think if Russians could learn more about what Putin is doing to them and the world, Putin could be eliminated from the scene. We can’t yet know for sure, but perhaps they’re already near such a precipice.

    Little mention by pontificators yet how winter is going to affect Ukraine and surrounds, or troop/weapon repositionings to reactivate after winter. Maybe a lot more will happen before then?

    And now for a bit of counter-culture from Rage Against the Machine:

    Transmission, third World War, third round

    […]

    The camera’s eyes on choice disguised

    Was it cast for the mass who burn and toil?

    Or for the vultures who thirst for blood and oil?

    Yes a spectacle, monopolized

    They hold the reins, stole your eyes

    All the Fistagons, the bullets and bombs

    Who stuff the banks, who staff the party ranks

    More for Gore or the son of a drug lord

    None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord!

    […]

    #44528

    A conversation with my friend in Zaporizhzhia last night was interrupted by the bombing of the power grid. This happened across Ukraine in a spiteful retaliation by Russian forces for the recapture of so much of the north east over the last few days. Over the kids screams I could hear the men shouting and swearing. “Fuck Putin” and “Death to all Invaders” was the translation I was given.  They know most of the Russians troops no longer want to be in Ukraine but they still go out night and day hunting them down. From my conversations over the last few months, it is clear that Ukraine will never stop fighting. The official Ukrainian army has the same attitude.

    #44529

    Sign in a Dublin shop

    #44530

    _Robert_
    Participant

    I’m sure Putin’s legions of ‘yes’ men and women assured him that most Ukrainians really want to be Russians.

    #44531

    Autumn
    Participant

    Pope. It’s the Russians. It’s the Americans. It’s homo sapiens. People want a daddy figure. Doesn’t matter what autocrats do as long as the minions feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves.

    I’m inclined to agree. If we get into culpability for the death toll and who needs to hang (figuratively), blame is not going to be distributed evenly. The six-year-old kid and his parents who don’t want to get fucked as political dissidents aren’t on par with the despot barking orders. But what is Putin without the populace propping up the regime? And what is Russia on its own? We sustain a world that is prone to violent conflicts of this nature. If we set aside blame and guilt and punishment for a moment, and just look at us from a zoological perspective, this is part of what we are as a species, and while the Putins amongst us are potentially a special breed of fucked up, how do we account for the fact that people like him will move millions to kill over nothing on a semi-frequent basis?

    #44532

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Somebody once wrote the following: and while the Putins amongst us are potentially a special breed of fucked up, how do we account for the fact that people like him will move millions to kill over nothing on a semi-frequent basis?

    Here is what i make of it. We as a species are mindless and easily led. Out out brief candle of civilization. Our lives and our history is but a poor player strutting and fretting and pretending there is significance where none obtains-the bumptious rapscallions capture the flag and the —tards follow.

    Our lives are cheap. Dirt cheap.

    #44533

    Autumn
    Participant

    I half agree. I don’t know if we’re easily led, but once our momentum moves in a certain direction, it’s extremely difficult to steer us in a new course. The major value of government is that it takes thinking about certain matters off our plates. As long as we can get along in our daily lives, whether we approve or disapprove of government, we’re not likely to take radical action to dismantle it or the systems that regulate it.

    This comes with a lot of tacit acceptance about what governments have the right to do. And when a government or leader goes too far, I think it’s often not out of obedience to that leader that we follow, but due to the momentum of society. If I become a dissident, the government may use force to shut me down. And while that threat of force is significant, the bigger problem is I fully believe the people around me will just watch it happen whether they agree or not with the actions of the government. If they all stood up with me, my risk would be greatly reduced. But I firmly believe social momentum is behind hanging me out to dry.

    #44534

    jakelafort
    Participant

    I suppose it depends on how you define easily led. As a practical matter en masse we are easily led.

    Individually we know of the Millgram experiment (not sure i got name correct) and that experiment demonstrates conclusively/persuasively how the masses submit to authority even when it is against their nature or inclinations. Twain has a beautiful passage in THE MYSTERIOUS STRANGER where a friend of a victim of a stoning (accused of being a witch) goes along with the crowd and stones his friend. The psychology of the mob and the societal conditioning to submit are manifold and envelop the great majority. Sure it differs from culture to culture. If we are examining an Islamic nation then the impetus and insistence and submission to authority is nearly 100 percent. I think Islam means submission. Any highly religious culture the people are led like sheep. The same attains in crazy politically driven cultures like we have seen with communists and currently in North Korea. Witness Nazi Germany. The masses just go along with the crowd.

    If we were not easily led as a species we would not submit to the stupidest, most strident, most oppressive, most anti-human shit. Nor would we put up with a tiny fraction of a percent having the wealth and power. It is utterly fucked the way humans as a civilization live.

    I agree with much of what you’ve written and what i do not i have no inclination to indite as i have thirteen more races to handicap tonight.

    #44535

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Fellow Unbelievers,

    There have been some hopeful and even humorous stories coming out of Ukraine lately. Despite, and even because of the megalomania to rule others, Putin and his Putineer minions have been working against themselves and sufferring defeat after defeat.

    ‘Total Insanity’ Ukraine Regains Hundreds of Miles As Putin Open New Ferris Wheel
    https://nypost.com/2022/09/11/total-insanity-ukraine-regains-hundreds-of-miles-as-putin-opens-new-ferris-wheel/

    Wagner Group Role In Ukraine Wearing Down The Russian Mercenary Force, British Military Reports
    https://www.businessinsider.com/wagner-group-role-in-ukraine-wearing-down-russian-mercenary-force-2022-9

    #44536

    Autumn
    Participant

    I suppose it depends on how you define easily led. As a practical matter en masse we are easily led.

    The reason I only partially agree is that collectively, there are many directions we just can’t move people without putting in a while lot of ground work. When you look at some of the best political manipulators of our day, how often are they directing the public where to go, and how often are they exploiting mass psychology and trying to make what the public wants to do align with what they want to happen?

    Individually we know of the Millgram experiment (not sure i got name correct) and that experiment demonstrates conclusively/persuasively how the masses submit to authority even when it is against their nature or inclinations.

    There are questions on the validity of the Milgram experiment (though it has been replicated with consistent results). But the question has to be asked why people submit in this experiment. It’s worth nothing that in this experiment, the individuals act against their ethical views, but not against their immediate self-interest.

    If you look at the Stanford Prison Experiment, guards aligned with what we’d expect based on Milgram, but prisoners had a more complex response which saw rebellions very early on.

    What I am getting at is while I am more or less on the same page as you, I think there are heavy conditions on human obedience. Putin could do a great many things without triggering upheaval on a scale large enough to destabilize the government, but it’s very conditional. He can’t lead the people just anywhere because it’s less that people are easily led and more that people have easily exploitable tendencies that a good opportunist can manipulate.

    #44537

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Being easily led is a generalization and as with all/nearly all blanket there is nuance and there are exceptions.

    For instance once the die is cast it is not easy at all to lead. Those who have been already manipulated/indoctrinated can be incredibly unbending. Social media, political and religious ideology all do a number on humans so that once the pudding is congealed it is pudding and it won’t transform from tapioca to chocolate. Although i will say that i have heard second-hand that attempts to deprogram through sensory deprivation is most successful on the various stripes of ideology and least successful on atheists. That is probably not really relevant to our discussion though.

    And any population is liable to civil unrest and or revolution under dire circumstances. At some point leaders will fail to manipulate as intended. Certainly Russia is no exception having the bloodiest revolution in history. Actually China might have had greater number of deaths but whatever.

    As to Milgram i have foggy memory of that experiment being duplicated a number of times and getting the same sort of compliance. It really is a sickening thing to contemplate the dispensing of pain for no better reason than fear of disobeying an authority figure. Are you saying ethical interest and self interest diverge because self interest is found in obedience?

    I am quoting you and i agree and like the way you have characterized the issue.
    He can’t lead the people just anywhere because it’s less that people are easily led and more that people have easily exploitable tendencies that a good opportunist can manipulate.

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