Plutocracy is cancer of civilization. It affects societies at all ages: Napoleon’s plutocracy blossomed within a decade of the proclamation of the Rights of Men, and the collapse of the massive, humiliating, but less lethal, plutocracy of the Ancient Regime.
In the 1930s, a coalition of Stalinists, Nazis, and hard core Western plutocrats collaborated to grab whatever they could. The Nazis lost in 1945, the plutocrats have never been stronger, and Putin wants to re-establish “the big country” (aka Stalinism).
The present invasion of Ukraine is a demonstration of the blossoming of the most diabolical urges around the Kremlin, amplified by the power of advancing technology. Those urges are also self-amplifying: they are in all nasty, expanding, empires. The Duchy of Moscow has been the single most ground colonizing power in the world, in the last five centuries.
This is all the more remarkable as quite a bit of the expansion was by destroying old, well established military powers (not just a few Neolithic Indians as in the Americas).
Unsurprisingly, if one wants to fight for Human Rights right now, one is accused to be a “Neo-Con”. Real “Neo-Cons” invaded Iraq, wanted to do the same to Iran, and loved Putin’s and Qaddafi’s “souls”.
Interestingly, Napoleon’s plutocracy was way worse, at least in term of the number of people killed: Under Louis XVI, over twenty years of his reign, pretty much no one got killed. Even if one considers the dead of the Revolution as caused by Louis XVI (which is not fair), and add the dead of the war in Vendee, one gets to around 100,000 dead. Napoleon killed two million in France, and more millions throughout the world.
So one can say that Napoleon was orders of magnitude worse than Louis XVI.
A simpler way to look at it is that Louis XVI, from the time he became king, to the Revolution he contributed to instigate, was trying to dismantle the plutocracy he headed (making Louis similar to Gorbatchev!), whereas Napoleone, like Putin, tried to bring plutocracy back (an illustration of that is their manipulation of justice, gon to cold blooded assassination, Corsican style, in the case of Napoleone)
However, Napoleon is much admired, worldwide. Putin helps to understand why: many on the pseudo-left admire Putin’s domination and virility, The truth is that the weak want to surrender to the strong, and so, in their simplicity, they look for someone who looks strong, even when he is just a parody.
Plutocracy, like any cancer, tends to happen more in older bodies, and, like cancer, varies its genetics constantly.
The cancer of plutocracy needs to be extirpated always. In very old societies, and some societies lasted several millennia, it has been extirpated in countless revolutions. Polybius’ theory of the cycles of history can be explained that way.
Naïve ones from pseudo-left’s do-nothing attitude is GUARANTEED to bring a World War. Punching the unpredictable Putin back, hard and early, is the only hope to bring peace back.
Apparently Chris Snuggs could agree more: “The suffering in Syria is the fault of yet another dictator and the free world could have immensely reduced it. The failure to punish Assad for his crimes against humanity is sickening, and Labour’s stance pathetic, cowardly and shameful. We learn NOTHING from history. Hitler could have been stopped in 1936, possibly saving over 20,000,000 lives. The free world is morally sick as well as stupid. We have to watch the grotesque spectacle of the soppy, over-privileged cow Michelle Obama sucking up to a Chinese leadership that SENDS BACK DESPERATE FLEEING REFUGEES to North Korea, where they and their families then face torture and often death. China supplies and supports what is by far the world’s most brutal and inhuman regime, which is the strong ally of China, our great friend and trading partner. You could not make it up.”
I agree on all points except the “cow label” where I have to piously record my official, hypocritical dissension.
The over-privileged nature of “leadership” is an intrinsic part of the problem. In France you have one guy deciding everything, in the USA you have one guy deciding supposedly everything, and being treated a thousand times more divinely as a pharaoh (although his presidency was characterized by despondency. which is perfect for the plutocrats in power).
To over privilege a few individuals (apparently) elected by the people is all the excuse plutocrats need for their own privileges (such as making money out of thin air, through the fractional reserve system).
In August 1939, Hitler had gone too far into viciousness to stop: his neurohormonal system had been firmly built that way by then. If Hitler had not been stopped in 1939, he would have gone on the attack in 1945, when his military was ready, as he had planned, 12 years after he acquired power. (Notice that Putin has been in power for 15 years, much of which have been spent with a quadrupled military budget.)
In the 1950s, 1960s, the USSR viciously dominated more than 400 million people, then about 15% of humanity. The system built by Stalin was vicious just as the Southern USA was vicious under slavery.
Some will disagree. That’s because they don’t know the details. Stalin killed at least ten million slaves, whom he used for great works, like a giant canal system (that allows to cruise from the Baltic to Moscow).
Stalin also built a second, secret military subway system in Moscow. (The present leadership denies its existence.) To do this, Stalin used slaves. Survivors were executed.
And so on. The craftiest of pseudo-leftists will say: “OK, maybe they are bad, but it’s their country, leave them alone.”
Truth: 1) it’s not “their” country (there were only 100 million or so genuine ethnic Orthodox Russians).
2) Stalin was a Georgian; something like two-third of the initial Soviet leadership was NOT genuine ethnic Orthodox Russian. What happened is that the viciousness of the dictatorial (= plutocratic) system captured all on its way, including the communist and democratic ideals.
3) When a major plutocratic, or dictatorial power dominates, there is a danger, at any moment, that the immense power a few unchecked individuals have at their command slips into madness.
The best example of this is the attack on the world in August 1914 of the Kaiser and his henchmen. But the invasion of Russia by Napoleon also comes to mind (although the Czar was bad, a defensive posture would have been preferable rather than the adventure Napoleone plunged into.
The megalomaniac madness autocrats tend to fall into has long been in evidence: witness the incredible butcher, Saint Louis, who went on distant, useless and immensely costly (in lives and treasure) crusades. When all he had to do, if breaking the nasty aspects of Islam was what he was really after, was being less of a racist, and pursue the alliance between Mongol and Franks that already existed!
In the 1950s and 1960s, the nasty confrontation with the plutocrats in the Kremlin was all the excuse plutocrats in Washington and Wall Street needed to grow their power. Initially said power was subdued by the so called “populist” policies pursued by FDR to solve the crisis of the 1930s, WWII, and the subsequent reintegration of ten million soldiers (then about 7% of the population) into a civilian society that had to be made for them.
The nasty confrontation of viciousness with viciousness brought the world close to a particularly nasty thermonuclear war, more than once (the bomb delivery systems and the bombs themselves were crude at the time, and that was compensated by making the bombs enormous and numerous, guaranteeing an apocalypse).
It’s important not to fall into the same madness again. The Plutos around Putin are used to get away with anything, hence the present invasion. The earlier they are stopped, the sooner they get back to reason.