Putin’s Russia Descending into La-La Land

“Russia is not sleep-walking into disaster; it is marching at high speed while drugged up to the eyeballs.” ___ Russia Spirals into Fantasy

Russian economy slumps further


When reality does not suit one’s emotional needs, it is all too easy to slip into fantasy.

The creation of an alternative universe, a meta-narrative to feed to the public, has long been a cornerstone of Putin’s rule.

… Tightly managed pro-Kremlin youth groups harassed, and state television ridiculed, regime opponents like Garry Kasparov.

The aim of it all was to soothe the masses, foster passive acquiescence among the intelligentsia, and instill hopeless resignation among the diehard opposition.

… “And like all addictions, it has needed higher and higher doses to have the same effect,” he added. “It has become more toxic as the impact of its more prosaic methods has grown blunt.”

Vladislav Inozemtsev, director of the Moscow-based Center for Post-Industrial Studies, wrote recently that “Russian propaganda is incredibly inane and officials’ lie shamelessly and flagrantly” because the ruling elite has laid the groundwork to “first secure the same level of stupidity among the population.”

It’s all a potentially deadly cocktail. The longer you live in a fantasy, the easier it is to believe that fantasy is real. __ http://www.rferl.org/content/russias-deadly-fantasy-politics/27104860.html

One would need to move to Russia and get to know the locals — their thoughts, superstitions, fantasies, etc. — to get a better idea of the substrate that Kremlin Propaganda Inc. has to work with.

Among Russians’ weaknesses is a proclivity for believing in all kinds of strange ideas, a tendency that manifests itself in persecution manias, neo-Eurasianism, and zapadophobia (fear of the West) as well as the exaggerated belief in Russia’s historical destiny.

… Self-criticism has not been in fashion in Russia for a long time: Whenever something goes wrong, it must be the fault of the West. There is the widespread and profound belief in all kinds of conspiracy theories, the more outlandish the better and more popular. This mind-set is not at all funny in the age of weapons of mass destruction.

There is the loathing of the West, and especially of America, and there is the orientation toward a close alliance with China, seen in Moscow as an alliance of equals, as if there could be equality when the population of one partner is ten times as large as the other’s and its GNP five times larger. The Russian leadership has persuaded itself that all Beijing wants is the liberation of Taiwan. Great are the powers of self-deception. __ Russia’s State of Mind

Fantasy builds upon fantasy, and soon nothing is real and anything is possible.

… Through a series of vignettes, Pomerantsev illuminates a society obscured by lies. He finds a world where “everything is PR” and where “effectiveness becomes the raison d’etre for all.” At first glance, this may seem bearable, harmless — at times, even a strength. But, as the author discovers, there is a dark side. __ Nothing is True and Everything is Possible

But like a drug trip, the fantasy always comes to an end.

I recently moved to Moscow, and it’s hard to miss the extent to which Russian society exists in an alternate universe. Even well-educated, sophisticated people who have traveled widely in Europe and North America will frequently voice opinions that, in an American context, would place them alongside people wearing tinfoil hats. Russia is not living in the reality-based community. _Mark Adomanis

The Kremlin is constructing a larger fantasy than the public la-la land that is projected worldwide by RT, Kremlin Trolls Inc., and other propaganda outlets. Despite not having access to crucial engines, electronics, and other vital parts, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister says that Russian shipyards will continue building a massive and expensive fleet of “ghost ships.”

This is likely to be another “vapourware announcement” from Kremlin Propaganda Inc. And yet to the extent that Russia proceeds building naval ships and other weapons systems it cannot fit for modern war, the underlying corruption and inefficiencies of the Russian military are laid bare for all to see.

A groundless grandiosity combines with a suicidally reckless bravado to drive saner international players away from Russia, toward its political and military opponents. To make it worse, Russia is experiencing a rising crime rates as a direct result of Putin’s war in Ukraine.

Plagued by alcoholism, drug addiction, HIV, suicide, brain drain, womb drain, capital flight, general malaise and hopelessness, the depopulation of Siberia, a rapidly shrinking working-age population, etc., Russia may not have a future at all. China is standing by, just in case — ready to salvage whatever is left of the dying bear.

Russia From a Distance

From a distance, we all have enough,
And no one is in need.
And there are big guns, big bombs, and no disease,
No hungry mouths to feed.

From a distance, we are instruments
Marching in a common band.
Playing songs of strength,
Playing songs of war.
They’re the songs of the motherland.

Putin is watching us.
Putin is watching us.
Putin is watching us
From a distance.

Apologies to Bette Midler and Julie Gold

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6 Responses to Putin’s Russia Descending into La-La Land

  1. bob sykes says:

    The range of opinion regarding Russia’s condition is extraordinary. You are on one extreme wing, believing Russia is collapsing before our eyes. However, Robert Kaplan and quite a few others, especially at military blogs, think that Russia’s conventional military is powerful enough to defeat NATO on the ground, at least in central Europe. Others think NATO could eventually grind down the Russian forces. Kaplan actually thinks that Russia is planning an advance along the Black Sea coast through Romania and Bulgaria into Greece. And he thinks Russia can do it. So does Gen. Breedlove, commander of NATO’s forces.

    • alfin2101 says:

      Please provide citations, otherwise I must assume you are reading the minds of Kaplan, Breedlove, etc.

      I am suggesting that Russia is unstable — like all strong-man states are unstable. Lose the strong man who holds things together and the fabric begins to unravel. In other words, I am saying that Russia is walking a tightrope, on the verge of collapse but not quite collapsing. Yet.

      You are suggesting that “being on the verge of collapse” and invading other countries are mutually exclusive. On the contrary, desperate leaders take desperate measures . . . such as invasion and quasi-martial law, etc. etc. Putin is trying to save himself and his power, and will seemingly do anything to that purpose.

      Russia’s elite, on the other hand, are quite likely plotting against him, and — like China — waiting for the best chance to take as much of the prize as they can.

  2. bob sykes says:

    Well here’s one link:

    http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2015/07/01/southern-flank/

    I read a similar analysis somewhere else. I’ll send it to you if I can find it.

    • alfin2101 says:

      Thanks for the link.

      A number of comments from other people have been blocked due to their failure to keep to specifics, and the tendency to attack blindly and emotionally rather than to reason and present documented information..

      Gratuitously insulting comments are blocked out of hand.

      To these and other commenters: Try to limit your comments to “on topic” specifics,, in a rational manner. Present links — like Bob did above — to support any assertions you are trying to advance.

      Blind claims and emotional attacks are worthless to any reasoned discourse.

  3. thebillyc says:

    is it possible to post anything here counter to your “russia crazy and collapsing” views? there seem to be many views positing favorable outlooks for russian future other than RT or whatever. many “dictatorships” were somewhat good for their people; aristocracies were not all bad in all past civilizations-? do you take exception to all opinion polls from russia- are they all lies?

    • alfin2101 says:

      Of course. As long as you support your assertions. Your comment above, for example, suggests that you have not done enough research on Putin’s Russia to be either “pro” or “con.” You need to do your homework, and prove that you are serious.

      One way to prove that you are serious, is for you to move to Moscow with your loved ones, observe everything around you closely, express your honest opinions widely and openly — and try to stay alive.

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