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Rootin' tootin' Putin

By Owen Paine on Saturday December 8, 2007 02:00 PM

After this past Sunday's twin votes, moving your eyes back and forth between Hugo's halt in the road and Putin's slippery-slope landslide, I gotta say, Clio in her wondrous way must be trying to tell us something important here. But er, I gotta confess as of the moment I haven't much confidence I'll figure it out by myself. The rock face between me down here, and the high ground above where all is clear to see... looks gripless.

Not that it paints the big picture I'm after, but still:


I must notice Mike Whitney at the C-punch has taken the measure of the Putin triumph at least. Looked at narrowly on its own terms, i.e. the great game board that is the Eurasian massif centrale, it boils down to this from Vlad to Uncle Poach: Fuck you, Uncle, you Tartuffian slimefuck, you and your encircling snake, the human-rights liberty-league somewhere-over-the-rainbow gimmick! Wanna know why the Russian people support me, and not your weeping rodeo clown legion? It's simple! My govenment has taken Mother Russia off the western booze binge your flunkies put her on in the 90's.

Ma Russia is back, baby, back on her feet and ready to rumble. But here's the clincher, Samuel: your dreams of running pipe up the ass of the Caspian oil basin and sucking all that black gold away right from under Ma's nose -- well, as of today, take notice: that dream's for shit, dickhead!

Comments (7)

tim d:

i agree with you, owen, about the meaning of the last russian election for uncle, but mike w's analysis was ridiculous. it was so fawning. putin is no ally of the left. actually his construction of the state as such so far resembles the third reich and fascism. what's more, as someone who has lived in russia for two years now, i can say that putin has done very little for normal people. the gap between poor and rich is still enormous and the only reason people have higher wages is because of the world price of oil and other resources that they have in abundance. it certainly wasn't state intervention in the economy, that's for damn sure. also there is absolutely NO investment in the country's infrastructure and mike w's assertion that putin has cracked down on corruption is completely laughable - at the beginning of this year the attorney general (an appointee of Putin!!!) published a report showing that bribes taken by state officials comprise more money than the total of government income from taxes!!! i doubt that situation has changed in the last ten months. lastly the government is frighteningly christian-nationalist (of the great russian chauvinist type that lenin so hated) and it has done little to stem the tide of attacks on non-ethnic russians and foreigners.

bring back the bolsheviks...*sigh*


i like mike w
always have
but who can argue with this line

"putin is no ally of the left"

as to what blend of nationalism and "authority"
vlad's brewed
i'll not presume to see
though i'll admit i use the f word sparingly

as to the russe econ con :

"the gap between poor and rich is still enormous "

i'd say the prosperity gap
is in fact growing
not " still "


Uncle Sam's greasy Orange Rev tactics notwithstanding, Tim D's political dissection seems slightly overblown but more or less on the mark. See Boris Kagarlitsky's sometimes blinkered but usually insightful ramblings...

I wonder though, now that the United Russia dedazo is pointing toward Mevdevev, does this signify that the Kremlin faction endorsing "great Russian national chauvinism _with social democratic characteristics_" has won out over the most retrograde corporate state capitalists?

Tim D:

gluelicker - i read kagarlitskii on vzlyad.ru all the time and have read most of his books (he actually wrote an incredible economic history of russia from the left perspective that i wish would be translated into English). much of my own analysis of russian politics is informed by him (and the guys at 1917.com and communist.ru), although living in russia - as i am now - also helps me get a sense of things. to be honest, i sometimes lose sight of how bad things are myself when i am living in petersburg, but then when i go visit other cities outside the economic center, i am thoroughly depressed.


Tim D

Well, what you describe is inexorable capital logic at work, starve the hinterlands to fatten the metropoles... even here in Japan the vaunted countryside charm is belied by extreme demographic imbalance, incipient epidemic alcoholism, and grotty rural hamlets positively West Virginian in their surface appearance.

Thanks for the excellent website references, to which I would probably refer tout suite were I not so anaesthetized by Hokkaido booze myself... lacking said motivation, perhaps you could offer your insight: do Mevdevev's
"national projects" extend the germ of a promise of anything, perhaps 1/5 of that of Chavez' lateral and downward redistribution schemes?

Tokohu Glue

Tim D:

gl - as the russians say, let's survive till monday and see what happens...

for the sake of the russians, i hope they do something...????

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