Some articles stand out as propaganda, and some of them are more blatant than others. Such was a recent one on the Strategic Culture Foundation, claiming Russian “supremacy” over the US in the recent economic problems.
All of that in the service of keeping the game alive until you find the perfect moment to punch through and achieve victory. Having watched Putin play this game for the past eight years, I firmly believe there is no one in a position of power today who has a firmer grasp of this than him.
And I do believe this move to break OPEC+ and then watch Mohammed bin Salman break OPEC was Putin’s big judo-style reversal move. And by doing so in less than a week he has completely shut down the U.S. financial system.
Now Trump is facing a market meltdown well beyond his capacity to fathom or respond to. While Russia is in the unique position to drive costs down for so many of the people while riding out the shock to the global system with its savings.
Because money flows to where the best returns on it come, high oil and gas prices stifle development of other industries. Lowering the oil price not only deflates all of the U.S.’s inflated financial weapons it also deflates some of the power of the petroleum industry domestically. This gives Putin the opportunity to continue remaking the Russian economy along less focused lines. Cheap oil and gas means lower return on investment in energy projects which, in turn, opens up available capital to be deployed in other areas of the economy.
Putin just told the world he’s not riding his country’s oil and gas resources like a cash cow but rather as an important part of a different economic strategy for Russia’s development. (source)
There is a scene in the 1974 film Blazing Saddles With Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder in which Little, who has been declared the sheriff of a small western town, assumes his new job but everybody hates him because he is black. After the whole town points their guns at him, Little proceeds to take himself hostage with his own gun (starting at 2:55- “Hold it! The next man makes a move, the nigger gets it.”) and then proceeds to go through a whole act until he makes his escape to a nearby building, where he laughs at the situation (“Oh, baby, you are so talented- and they are so dumb!”).
The essence captured in this piece from Blazing Saddles- not of a sense of superiority, but rather the ridiculous levels of open deception masquerading as fact in spite of public documentation with a noted consistency that reports the contrary -reminds me of my experiences with the article above, but also with many who support/defend online the Russia-Russian Orthodoxy complex, since the two for many cannot be separated.
As I have said before, I rarely read comments because I don’t have time to waste. But after certain comments about my interview with a Russian priest were brought to my attention, I decided to look at them. They were rather interesting, and reflected the general sense of what I would have expected and even more. If you want to, you can read the article and comments here.
I find the assertion fascinating how one thinks that such an interview was just invented, as though I did not take the time to drive out, meet with this person based on his busy schedule, and did not know him well before I did this interview and was able to verify his story. Likewise, I also find it interesting how one assumes this priest just ‘loves American propaganda’ when as noted, he wants to return to Russia to continue his work there. I did not mention this (because it is not relevant as far as questions are concerned), but this same person has refused to pursue American citizenship save for a work visa because of the fact that he does not want to jeopardize his Russian citizenship even in spite of having been given multiple chances to receive it and knowing full well that he could be a target in Russia because his parents, who are American citizens, were anti-communist and as with many people in Russia, were targeted even after the fall of the USSR for opposing communism (something more than a few people have shared I knew throughout the years).
I do not care what people think about my interview or this person, or the fact that his experiences dovetail very well from the lived experiences of many people of diverse backgrounds I have met over the years who immigrated to the US from Russia or other former Soviet Bloc nations as well as people who still live in many places within Russia. ‘
I mention these comments because they fit well with the highly propagandized mindset that one can see among some in Russia, and especially those abroad looking to Russia as a sort of “Christian savior” when, in true to Russian style, it is largely a magnificent bluff, as Russia is only at the current time returning to her former Soviet ways as evidenced by many people and the actions of the Russian government.
Ask yourself, why does Putin need to remain in power for the next sixteen years? Is it because he wants to make Russia a “strong” nation, or because having robbed the country of billions for himself and his criminal friends, he is attempting to seal dictatorial power for himself until he dies and possibly try to pass it on as a sort of new autocracy?
Likewise, why does Putin openly laud Stalin, or do people close to or know about him either love or say that Putin loves Stalin, in spite of the fact that the man was an evil tyrant who murdered millions, including his own friends and colleagues, for his own power? Does one also intend to defend the Holodomor, the Gulag system, the fact that people who were captured by the German army in World War II or who defected from Germany and other nations to the USSR were after the war still arrested and deported to Siberia or executed? What about the fact that Stalin sent millions of Russians not to fight “for the motherland”, but to their deaths by refusing to provide proper food, training, or weapons, yet having weapons placed at the backs of their heads and sent veritably charging into the well-armed, well-trained, well-fed, highly organized Wehrmacht?
But forget about Putin for a minute.
Why is it that when the fact of Russia’s physical and social infrastructure- the decaying train lines, the failing roads, the lack of efficient accessibility in many places in Russia, the one-million-per-year drop in population and 1.5-and-declining fertility rate that comes at a time of unprecedented migration from all of Central Asia and the Caucasus region, the African-level rates of HIV infection in many places, the rampant alcoholism, the non-existent family structure worsened by institutionalized feminism and in many places an open hatred of Russian men and family life in favor of a career, some of the lowest salaries in all of Europe, the rampant poverty among the masses, the fact that (according to the Minzdrav, or the Russian CDC equivalent) that 30% of hospitals do not have running water and 40% do not have centralized air- just to name a few things -do such thing not elicit a discussion about them, but rather a “Well America is [insert response here]” or “that is just a lie from American propaganda.”
Is the Russian CDC lying about their hospital problems? Is Rosbizneskonsulting in a conspiracy with the World Health Organization to lie about HIV rates? Are the giant migrant communities that grow each year in major Russian cities made up almost wholly of Central Asian or Caucasian peoples just illusions?
Are such things really signs of a healthy nation? Or rather, a nation teetering on the edge of collapse that is trying desperately to hold everything together but cannot and if things continue, will rip apart at the seams, possibly into a series of several nations?
Throughout her history, Russia was traditionally a nation located in Europe west of the Urals. Modern Russia did not even begin in Russia, but in Ukraine. The concemporary concept of Russia is not even 500 years old, beginning with Ivan the Terrible’s invasions of Tatarstan and the subsequent push eastward towards Alaska.
Another aspect that I have consistently noted is the seeming inability of many (certainly not all, thought) self-identified “Orthodox”, especially those from the US or anglosphere, to distinguish between “orthodoxy” and the support of the Russian government. This has always been a problem in Russia, and is one of the reasons for the historical toleration of the concept of the “dvoeverie”, or the co-existence of paganism alongside “orthodoxy” in slavic lands, for while paganism has always been a weed in constant need of being uprooted, there has been a known silence among the orthodox about this because of the equivocation between nationalism and religion, something that while it has happened in the Catholic Church, is as aggressively fought against historically as it is anti-Catholic by the nature of the Church being universal itself, and not tied to any concept of nationhood, as the latter has been asserted by Orthodox patriarchs as I have mentioned in previous articles.
There are also the many scandals in the Orthodox Church that, when brought up in the same spirit as I have with the problems in the Catholic Church, the answer is not one of introspection or discussion, but immediately takes an angry to accusatory tone. One can see this taking place right now with the Great Schism 2.0, where the entire Orthodox world is divided over the question of the Ukrainian Patriarchate. One can read more about this in the Shoebat archives, but I have consistently made the point that this is a very serious event because it has effectively isolated the Russian Orthodox Church from a large part of the Orthodox world, and given the size of the church, has taken anywhere from 20 to 35% of here claimed adherents, and possibly more. The state of Rome and the conflicts taking place now in the Catholic Church can be mentioned and one can have a generally civil discussion (even in “trad” cirles), but if the Orthodox are mentioned, the conversation almost immediately takes a hostile tone. This is true with the LGBT in the Church as well, for while the Catholics have long pointed out the problem with sodomites in the Church, there is a seeming denial or unwillingness to admit that such exists in a similar way in the Orthodox Churches, one is attacked even when evidence is presented.
Is the Catholic Church, or even another religion such as Islam or Judaism, both of which I have written about critically here, to be held to a different standard of scrutiny? Are any of them exempt from the same questions or examination? If not, why is there so much seeming anger over asking what are in essence the same critical questions of the Russian Orthodox?
Returning to the original article, the Strategic Culture Foundation, which is a Russian front group, is a delusional piece devoid of fact, going to far as to suggest that Russia was somehow involved in the virus-related panic and is setting herself in opposition to a ‘decadent’ West, while completely fawning over Putin even as he is actively making himself dictator-for-life and is reviving the conditions that existed in the USSR and who idolizes Stalin. Likewise, it suggests that dropping oil prices is “good” and rising ones are “bad”, when the reality is that Russia needs high oil prices because that is her main export (other than cheap mass-produced weapons and prostitutes, both said unironically) she relies on to bolster her economy. Even China, in spite of all of her problems, delusions, and lies, may be more developed in terms of her infrastructure now than what Russia is.
This is not American-style lying, but Russian bluffing at its finest, and yet, so many are genuinely deceived by the bluffing as to ignore measurable fundamentals in favor of meaningless or questionable platitudes that sound good.
I have said before that I do not want Russia to suffer, as I do not want anybody to suffer because one must desire good for all. I have said that Russia is in bad condition, and that it is likely she will break up into a series of warring states if things continues, because they are not getting better. I also want the good will for Christians in Russia, but I cannot help but admit fundamentals about the state of Russian Christianity, be they good or bad, just as how I recently mentioned the ongoing social collapse of American Evangelicalism taking place in the US.
Russia is dying, as she is being strangled to death by the tribalistic cabal that has ruled her since 1917 and continues to rule her under the son of Vladmir Spiridonovich Putin and Maria Shelomova and his posse, and all of the troubles that so few want to attempt to address.
Russia is not going to “save the world from the US”. Rather, it is more likely based on the circumstances that Russia will break up into a series of smaller nations east of the Urals and come under varying levels of influences from European and US interests way unless the fundamentals of her problems are dealt with, and that is something that Putin is not doing.
My criticism of the “Russia defenders” is also the same as that which I have of the “American flag wavers”, since I do not distinguish between the two in terms of essence, as there is an unhealthy overlap of religion and national pride with both that tends to unnaturally color the perception that both have about reality. Sometimes it is uncomfortable to discuss certain topics, but the tendency to simply declare that viewpoints one does not agree with are “lies” or a sort of conspiracy against an individual, nation, or whole religion without providing reasonable proof to show otherwise is just a way of attempting to shut down discussion because one does not like what is being said.
People may talk a strong line about Russia, but one does not negate the facts of the situation with one’s impressions of how one would like things to be. Doing that only serves to allow for further manipulation from actors who, like Cleavon Little’s character, will deceive others with blatant trickery, and once behind the scenes will declare “Oh, baby, you are so talented- and they are so dumb!”.