Trying to Understand Russia

NY Review – The Real Power of Putin

I enjoy reading something intelligent – I’m strange that way.

Here is a quote:

Americans—the quintessential middle-class nation—cherish the notion that a rising middle class expands political freedom and the rule of law; that commerce among nations reduces the threat of war; and that, in the long run at least, democracy produces the greatest good for the greatest number. The distinguished historian Moshe Lewin argued that Gorbachev, Russia’s leading democratizer to date, was part of a rising tide within the Soviet population, an emerging majority of educated, white-collar urbanites, and that perestroika was the product not just of a handful of Communist Party reformers but of the accumulating modernization of Soviet society itself. Deep currents of Russian social history were flowing in the direction of liberalization, and Gorbachev rode the wave.

Except it didn’t quite work that way. The world has gone to hell almost everywhere – and Americans have gone into shock, and refuse to think about anything.

I have a nephew who served in the Peace Corp in the Ukraine, and I asked him to comment on the latest crisis there – he refused. He has crawled under a rock, and plans on staying there. His father, my brother, is now a ardent supporter of Trump! The whole world has gone crazy.

I think that much of this is due to the networked technologies of Television and the Computer – that in most people’s minds are seen as the same thing. A vast force they cannot understand or control.

To put this in a Christian context – the right place to put it, seems to me – these new forces feel familiar – Christ in his Kingdom on Earth – facing the Devil in many places, external and internal – often called terrorists.

This is not the reality of the situation, is is far from it – but it is the perceived reality. And in the era of Television, this is what matters.

I know most people cannot see any connection between technology and politics – they have been taught not to see this – a huge mistake that led to WWI, the Depression, and WWII.

Seeing what these technologies really are is not difficult – any intelligent adolescent can learn them easily.

If they are given the chance.


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