This important article was shared by Mr. S.D., and it is important to pass along. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the famous Russian oligarch whose company, Yukos, was seized by the Putin government, which also, fora time, jailed Mr. Khodorkovsky himself, is now predicting an end to the Putin Government in the next ten years, and setting up the apparatus (and apparatchiks presumably), to do it:
This article is, however. so full of buzzwords and agendas, that one scarcely know where to begin. But I suppose the problems are best found concentrated in these two paragraphs:
"Khodorkovsky has resurrected his foundation, Open Russia, which was established in 2001 by shareholders of Yukos, his former company. It was shuttered in 2006, though, when Putin’s government seized its assets following Khodorkovsky’s conviction in two corruption cases, widely considered to have been politically motivated. The group’s mission is to build a civil society and political infrastructure among pro-European Russians to influence the post-Putin political system.
"The website says the group will build projects to support independent media, political education, and advocate on behalf of political prisoners inside Russia. But Khodorkovsky said the goal was to make sure that when the regime falls, especially if it’s bloody or chaotic, that those who support Western values like democracy, a free press, the separation of powers, the rule of law, and human rights will come out on top."
The trouble with Mr. Khodorkovsky's remarks, assuming him for the moment to be well-meaning and sincere, is that modern "Western values like democracy, a free press, the separation of powers, the rule of law, and human rights" are not coming out on top in the West. Corporations get special treatment before corrupted courts, the mainstream Western media is not genuinely free, but merely a mouthpiece for those special corporate interests, human rights and Western culture values are under assault in virtually every Western country in the name of "multiculturalism"(just ask native Spaniards, for example, of what is happening in their country to their Western values), and there is little to no separation of corporate and government power in the west any more, witness the bank bailouts, (and indeed, the policies that led to them!), the GMO issue, and on and on we could go.
If anything, Mr. Khodorkovsky's remarks indicate what the real game is, behind all the flowery rhetoric: Russia's culture is unique; it both is, and is not European in the "western values" sense, since its long history in Eastern Orthodoxy makes it peculiarly unique. And Mr. Putin has played to that sense, among Russians, that there is something deeply, spiritually amiss in modern secular Western culture. Perhaps one might say he is engaged in a grand cultural experiment, trying to create a different type of secular culture, distinct from that of the materialistic atheism that the West helped impose on Russia under the Communists. Others are listening, the President of Hungary, for example, and it is this that infuriates the grand dumbing-down experiment of the Anglosphere, busy, as they have been, to eradicate any sense of the transcendent, of the spiritual, of the moral, and of the individual and of uniqueness in Western culture to the point that it is now anathema to speak, in some circles, in anything but a hushed tone of voice, in the pride of French culture, or Spanish culture, or Italian culture, and so on. And if one does do so, one is almost instantly flooded with all manner of rabid right-wing "white supremacist" nonsense that has, once again, reared its ugly head in Europe and North America.
Mr. Khodorkovsky is, of course, not wrong. Democracy, free speech, freedom of assembly, religion, rule of law... all of these are hard won western "values." But at the center of this system, is something vastly more important: a basically spiritual vision of the uniqueness and value of the individual first and foremost, and not of the grand abstractions of corporate oligarchs and plunderers, few of whom in the West, unlike Mr. Khodorkovsky, have actually gone to jail for their corruption. Let that be a lesson for contemporary Russians to ponder, for Russia's long historical journey is far from over. And we in the west would do well to remember, that of the modern European nation states, only Britain, France, and Russia can claim to have been around as recognizable nations for a millennium. Spain and the Netherlands came later, Germany in the form of the Holy Roman Empire, rose, disappeared, and only rose again, really, in the 19th century. The same with Italy.
So from this author's point of view, it's high time that the West start learning some of the lessons from Russia, rather than always presuming to teach it. Russia survived - barely - two devastating World Wars and nearly a century of an imported Western cosmological materialism and forcefully imposed atheism; Marxism and Communism were imported, not home-grown. And good old Western "democratic capitalistic" values were behind that importation. The Russians know this; Mr. Putin knows it, after all, he was, as we are constantly reminded, a former member of the Komitet Gozvudarstvenoy Byezhopaznosti, the KGB. They knew that story better than anyone else, except the Wall Street and London bankers themselves.
Somewhere between Mr. Putin and Mr. Khodorkovsky, Russia will find its way. It always has. And it has because, even under Stalin, somehow, it never managed to lose its national spirit and soul.
The West, on the other hand,...well, just ponder for a moment, the following list: Barack Obama, G.W. Bush, Tony Blair, David Cameron, Tony Abbot, Nicholas Sarkozy, M. Hollande, Herman van Rompuy, Angela Merkel, Boris Yeltsin, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, not to mention the Brzezinskis, Kissingers, Nulands... Now ponder the following list: Christine Fernandez de Kirchner, Vladimir Putin....uhm... any other nominations?
See you on the flip side...