Russian Thinkers

The Russian leadership may be tyrants in league with criminals, but at least they're smart?
It’s instructive to view ourselves through a Russian mirror. The term “paranoid Russian” is a pleonasm. “The fact is that all Russian politicians are clever. The stupid ones are all dead. By contrast, America in its complacency promotes dullards. A deadly miscommunication arises from this asymmetry."
There's probably some truth to that.


MikeD said...

On the one hand, I can't find a whole lot to disagree with here. On the other, what's the solution? Embracing a culture of Realpolitik of the most cynical nature? Engendering a political system where the people no longer get to select their leaders, but instead have them culled from a Darwinian nomenklatura of the most ruthless? I'm not willing to accept either outcome, as that would mean losing our soul AND losing our freedom. Sure it may WORK, but would you want to live in such a place?

Grim said...

Well, we could try to explain to the Russians that our leaders are morons.

MikeD said...

Which they'll reject as implausible propaganda. When their entire existence has been a Darwinian scramble to the top, the idea that it's "different in America" sounds like so much bullhockey. We see this all the time in the Middle East. We can tell them till we're blue in the face that no, the President cannot just go have someone arrested for saying mean things about their Prophet, and they (with absolutely NO tradition of Freedom of Speech, or Freedom of the Press, or Freedom of Religion) simply assume he's lying because he doesn't WANT to stop it. And if he claims that the law won't let him, they see that as a pathetic excuse. He's the President, isn't he? That means the laws say what he wants them to. That's how it works in their country, so that must be how it works everywhere.

And this isn't to say Americans are somehow immune to it. I laughed my posterior off when folks used to unironically say that articles in Pravda were a reliable source of information about what life in the Soviet Union was like. After all, no one could tell a newspaper what to print, could they?