Putin's Damage to Russia
For twenty years, the Russian autocrat enjoyed a string of good fortune in coming to power and cementing his rule. He had raised Russia’s standing in the world. Then he invaded Ukraine.
In launching his barbaric invasion of Ukraine one year ago, we all know what horrible damage Putin has done to that country, its soldiers, and its citizens. Russians are committing crimes against humanity in Ukraine. Russians are committing war crimes. Russia should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism. But Putin’s war in Ukraine also has done damage to Russia and Russians. Obviously, Putin's complete disregard for human life is on display by the way he sends his soldiers to slaughter, especially right now in Bakhmut. But inside the country, Putin’s war has triggered produced several negative consequences within Russia that will be long-lasting. In my latest article in the Journal of Democracy, I examine these costs in detail. Comments, as always, are most welcome! Here’s the piece: https://www.journalofdemocracy.org/why-vladimir-putins-luck-ran-out/
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Personally, I feel we should thank Putin for making the real challenge we face unambiguously clear. He's defining the threat the modern world faces in such a direct obvious manner that just maybe we can get it.
A year ago Europe was at peace. A single violent man ended that peace, and replaced it with a tidal wave of horror. A single violent man. With nuclear weapons.
The marriage between violent men and an accelerating knowledge explosion is unsustainable. We can have the violent men, or the knowledge explosion, but not both. That's the decision before us.
What's preventing us from facing this very simple fact is that we're burying it under a massive mountain of day to day detail. Everybody wants to be clever, sophisticated, learned, expert, advanced, an elite, a respected commentator, profitable, and these agendas require detail upon detail, complication upon complication.
But the threat the modern world faces is not complicated. It's simple.
We get rid of violent men, or they get rid of us.
That's what we should be learning from Putin.