Как Путин и его друзья продолбали Россию (English subtitles) / @Максим Кац

Как Путин и его друзья продолбали Россию (English subtitles) / @Максим Кац

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Today I’d like to continue talking about the circle of people who made a decision to intrude into Ukraine together with Putin. Reading analytics in the Western media gives us a detailed but still not an entirely adequate picture of how it happened. The Security Council, all those Patrushevs and Bortnikovs, look like they are completely crazy fanatics disconnected from reality. Because they believe in the craziest conspiracy theories and make decisions which are so suicidal that you can’t explain it other than with a mental condition. However, there is a rational explanation and it might not involve mental health reasons.

The explanation doesn’t involve people, but the atmosphere they created for themselves and live in. NOT THE SAME GENERATION We’ve said it several times that the first after-war generation born from the end of 1940s till the middle of 1950s is quite unusual. It’s the first purely Soviet generation.

First, the war has completely demolished any heritage, any memory of a lifestyle different from the Soviet one. Second, they grew up at times when the USSR was quite fresh and powerful. When the ideology wasn’t one big joke. When the country launched the first satellite, the first man to space, when technological progress and science development became a religion.

When the leading American economists wrote books that in 20 years the USSR will surpass the US in GDP. When the country got rid of Stalin’s horrors and moved towards some happy future, believed in building communism by the 1980s and didn’t spend life in the queues for anything that looked like food. By the middle of the 70s stagnation gradually transformed into decay, and in people’s minds the Soviet power became a character of extremely unkind jokes.

At that time the owners of half of the world could move their faces just because of the skills of the Kremlin doctors. And in that time people of Putin’s generation were adults. Their childhood and youth were the best 20 out of 70 years of Soviet power. They met the USSR collapse in the unfortunate age.

When you are 20 it’s easy to change your life – to move on, get new education, get one of the professions capitalism brought us, emigrate. You’re not bound by anything, all the roads are open to you, you’ve got plenty of health and strength. When you are well beyond 50, you have an option to give up on everything – your kids are grown-ups, retirement is soon, and after that you don’t care about anything. Let the world worry that it has changed forever. I’ll go fishing and read books to my grandchildren. Vladimir Putin’s generation met the new world at 40. It’s neither here nor there.

The best years are behind you, your recently young body reminds you of itself, you’ve got a lot of obligations, your kids are still small. Your whole life and career were canceled. It’s almost impossible to start everything from scratch, and you can’t just give up and wait for death – you’ve got a lot of time ahead of you. It looks like the problem is in this – in the generation gap,

in a very specific mindset of this generation, but in reality it’s not. The problem is that very similar people were allowed to stay on their own. NOT THE RIGHT CIRCLE? I think all of us met people who adore clean and ordered spaces. Their apartments look like they are from the IKEA catalog. They can’t stand if someone forgets a candy wrapper on the table, there is nothing bad about such people. But if you put them together, give them unlimited power and cut off the channels of communication with the world, in 10 years the hygienic commissions will start raids in people’s apartments, and you’ll face a criminal case for a dirty car.

For example, there are people, even the whole generations, who experienced hunger, and they are sensitive about food till the end of their lives. Many people who survived the blockade of Leningrad couldn’t throw away pieces of molded bread even decades after the war. And it’s understandable – they survived this horrible situation, and for them bread is something between life and death. And again, if you assemble government just from them and let them stew in their own juices, you’ll get policemen near every garbage bin, or you will be able to get another loaf of bread if you prove that you’ve finished the last one. No one is perfect. Every person has its own issues – illusions, mania, fears, traumas.

We haven’t come from another planet – we had a childhood, upbringing, we’ve matured in our own way. All of us are carrying a suitcase of personal experience and we can’t just get rid of it. It becomes a problem when similar people with similar issues come together, cut themselves from the world and get unlimited power, then their issues which seemed quite harmless become big fat problems. Yes, the reality was cruel to Putin’s generation. They found themselves in an unfortunate situation, they were in the wrong time and in the wrong place and in the unfortunate age.

In a normal political model it would be a personal problem of some people, a gradually passing trauma. But they – people of one age and similar careers who agree with each other – were allowed to sit in one room and disturb the healed wound for years until necrosis began. One might think I’ll say a strange thing – it’s not that bad that the head of a nuclear state believes in “Dulles’ Plan”, in overhearing Madeleine Albright’s thoughts, in creation of genetic weapons against Slavic people or the USSR collapse because of the CIA. Of course, it would be better if it wasn't this way, it's better to elect adeqate people as a head of the country. There is nothing bad that he will believe passionately in the Soviet variant of orthodoxy, or if he thinks he is a historian. There is a problem if he collects the same people around him and discusses the same problems with them.

When the same people discuss the same problems all the time in isolation, the statement that “CIA made the USSR collapse” becomes a confidence that Ukraine is a CIA project to create Anti-Russia. And what about a long-time forgotten statement of late Soviet propaganda that Israel and the US develop germ weapons which kill only the Arabs? This nonsense mutates into a conspiracy theory that Ukraine and the US create plague for the genocide of Russian people. No rational arguments that the USSR collapse was a surprise for the CIA; that fortunately, bacteria and viruses can’t read people’s passports; no reasonable arguments work here.

Because every day they go to work where they are surrounded by people who share those views completely. Yes, the generation of the 50s is very peculiar, and intelligence service trainees are even more peculiar. But that’s not what brought us to this disaster. The disaster came when peculiar people got together and usurped power cutting themselves off from different opinions. Now, there will be an ad. Later we’ll discuss the result of the informational isolation.

ADS Let’s continue. It’s clear that if we have a tea conversation with Donald Trump, or Joe Biden, or Nancy Pelosi, we can hear astonishing things too. They grew up in the America which had racial segregation and black people didn’t have de-facto voting rights, and gays were criminally prosecuted almost in all the states, and everything that we now call sexual harassment was a normal thing at work, and there were physical punishments at schools.

The discussion that bothers the American society today – inequality, racial diversity, quotas for recruiting, environment protection – this discussion would not just be ignored in the years when Trump, Biden and Pelosi were 20-25 years old. People wouldn’t even understand what this is about. All in all, healthcare is not bad in the US. So, there are a lot of active politicians who were born in the end of the 30s and 40s.

Taking into consideration the habits of that-time America where those people grew up, we can say for sure that there are a lot of interesting things in the depths of their minds. Let’s imagine that ten people like this will form a Security Council without any feedback from other people and with unlimited power. They will sit there for a couple of years talking just to each other, they will remember America of their youth where the Hayes Code prohibited to show interracial relationship in movies, and any transgender would get an electroshock therapy in the asylum.

They will tell each other that it would be nice to get back to the time when black people and women knew their place. The next step is obvious – the result would be disastrous for the Americans, and knowing the economic and military potential of the US, it might have been disastrous for the whole of humankind. IS THERE SOMEONE TO SAY OBVIOUS THINGS OUT LOUD Let’s imagine that the Russian political regime is the same as it is now, but the circle of people who make decisions is a bit more diverse and doesn’t include just 70-years-old security officers. In this case it’s possible that someone would say an obvious thing: “What are you talking about, dear colleagues? We had those rapid military campaigns a quarter of a century ago. Isn’t the New Year’s Eve assault on Grozny enough? Isn’t it enough to drown in a horrible war for years to come? Chechnya is 40 times smaller than Ukraine, by the way.

All right, we haven’t studied our history lessons well – we forgot the Crimean war, then the Russo-Japanese war, then WWI. But we’ve seen Chechnya with our own eyes. How much time has passed since bold promises to take Chechnya with 2 airborne troops to ragged soldiers who ate better in the Chechen captivity than in their own barracks? Or they could say this during that session. Let’s imagine that all the intelligence reports are correct.

Imagine that everything will go according to the best scenario – we will take Kyiv in 3 days, a week or a month. Then what? The Americans took the whole Iraq in 3 weeks with minimal losses – the Hussein army just collapsed. And then they were stuck in the partisan war for 8 years sending hundreds of killed and wounded soldiers home. In Afghanistan Bush took Kabul without any fight. He didn’t lose any single American soldier when he took Kunduz and Kandahar. And after 20 years of diversions and partisan fights the American army gave the country to the Taliban.

What will we get under the best scenario? We will get 40 million people who hate us. And we will have to provide for them completely because any business bigger than a car service will be impossible there. There will be terror acts and diversions every day, and Russian soldiers, bureaucrats and force agents will die every day. No one will ever recognize the annexation of Ukraine or the puppet government supported by Russian bayonets.

It would be an illegitimate and constantly burning territory. The whole country would have to work to provide for this boiling pot. And all that will happen if Russia wins triumphantly and FSB tells us the truth and nothing but the truth, if the Ukrainian army crumbles and doesn’t resist. There can be no victory in this war, no positive outcome. Any outcome will be a catastrophe. So, let’s get rid of the idea to start it at all?" To say that, you don’t have to be Putin’s opponent or to be with opposition.

To say that, you just have to be a person who is in touch with reality and who can look out of the window and say that the sky is blue. There is no need to be a big expert or know some insides. I told you the same things before the war or on the first day of the war. But there was no one to say something like this among 70- years-old men from governmental structures and voiceless sidekicks around Putin who are eager to agree with anything their superior says. And no one could prevent the catastrophe. THE INFLUENCE OF CLOSED ENVIRONMENT If Putin came to power in a country with established democratic institutions, no one would really give him the chance to lose touch with reality, independent media would unmask his lies.

The Parliament opposition would criticize his decisions based on conspiracy theories. And fellow party members would be scared of losing people’s support and try to dissuade him. We’ve seen that public criticism can make Putin come back to reality. It happened in 2007.

Then Patrushev reported to the President that several institutions in the collective West are gathering tissue samples of ethnic Russians. What for? To create an artificial epidemic targeting just the Russians. And instantly the federal customs prohibited the shipment of any biological samples abroad, including hair and blood, however, this order existed for just 10 days.

The media and the Internet were bursting with stories about patients who needed unrelated marrow transplantation. For them the order prohibiting the shipment of genetic materials to foreign laboratories meant no chances to recover. And all that because two elderly secret service officers liked conspiracy theories. The prohibition was canceled the next month, and for the next 15 years Putin said almost nothing about biological weapons created to kill the Russians. I don’t want today’s explanations to sound like an excuse. The thing is that if we decide that Putin and his circle are mental, we will assess their current actions and predict their future actions inadequately, we will ignore the reality ourselves. Current situation becomes worse and worse every day. The government makes one suicidal decision after another.

But it happens not because a man of a certain generation and of a certain past is the head of the country, but because the system he created allows him to surround himself with people like him. The problem is not that a person has a past. He has surrounded himself with the past. He has built the late Soviet KGB around him where everyone discusses threats usual for the late Soviet KGB, makes jokes the KGB agents used to like and creates a conspiracy atmosphere usual for this establishment. There was no Ukraine as an independent state in 1978.

There were Soviet people, at least according to propaganda. And of course, it’s impossible to imagine that the union republic could resist properly on returning to its natural habitat. A man is a highly adaptive creature. If they find themselves in a new atmosphere, they will try to adapt, change their habits and behavior.

But not if they are managing the system. It’s the 20s of the 21st century for everyone and it’s the 1970s for me – topics from the 70s, notions of the world order from the 70s. No one will be able to argue with that because everyone around me is from the 70s too. Putin has deliberately created the atmosphere like this. As a result, he became its prisoner.

He became a prisoner of the atmosphere where you have to make the 1970s decisions in the 2020s world. Of course, those decisions can’t be adequate. And the lesson for the future is not to look for the leaders of a specific generation or the leaders without trauma.

There are no such people. The lesson for us is that we mustn’t allow one man to hold all the power. Any person who receives such power will build this comfortable and completely inadequate world around him soon enough. The world where every person you talk to will just agree and support your illusions just because he has got the same illusions. We need to remember that people living in the 70s can’t rule the country adequately in a crisis like this. They’ve made too many mistakes and will make even more.

Their notions of reality don’t allow them to stop the most horrible crisis they put Russia in. So, we’ll need to implement the idea that one man can’t have all the power into life very soon. We need to remember those lessons written with blood and we need to make our fellow citizens remember it too. Till tomorrow!

2022-11-09 13:38

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