Why the invasion of Ukraine is a symptom of the Kremlin’s powerlessness and concern

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Slavoj Žižek, one of many main thinkers of the West, who has  his origins within the “Communist East”, wrote the opposite day in The Guardian:

‘Sure, the liberal west is hypocritical, making use of its excessive requirements very selectively. However hypocrisy means you violate the requirements you proclaim, and on this approach you open your self as much as inherent criticism – after we criticise the liberal west, we use its personal requirements. What Russia is providing is a world with out hypocrisy – as a result of it’s with out world moral requirements, practising simply pragmatic “respect” for variations. Now we have seen clearly what this implies when, after the Taliban took over in Afghanistan, they immediately made a take care of China. China accepts the brand new Afghanistan whereas the Taliban will ignore what China is doing to Uyghurs – that is, in nuce, the brand new globalisation advocated by Russia. And the one method to defend what’s price saving in our liberal custom is to ruthlessly insist on its universality. The second we apply double requirements, we aren’t any much less “pragmatic” than Russia.’

Russians concern they’re shedding Ukraine for good

One of many nice causes of warfare – the Russians say it out loud – is the concern of shedding Ukraine for good. That’s, Ukraine has entered the section the place will probably be misplaced ceaselessly. And never essentially within the sense of an administrative territorial part, however in a a lot deeper sense.

We’re speaking about Ukraine being reduce off from Russia in an nearly metaphysical sense: of complete alienation, of getting radically totally different values. That, from a standard cultural area, it turns into a international and even enemy area. And it’s the identical with Belarus. Russia fears that it’s shedding its affect and enchantment in an area it considers to be intimately part of itself. And that lack of id is their abyssal concern.


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This concern of a complete lack of Ukraine, out of attain of the “Russian world”, is a horrible Russian dread and anguish. Ukraine is a symptom of their concern of self-destruction. How actual this concern is I can’t inform. However there is a vital trigger right here. The truth is, there’s a couple of.

I’ve had these discussions many occasions with Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian associates. For greater than 15 years. 

Greater than ten years in the past I had espresso in Kiev and Minsk and talked with associates of my technology. The factor that stood out to me was that every one the youth and all of the city hipsterism was related to Warsaw, Berlin, London, Budapest, the Central European College, the USA. 

Moscow and Saint Petersburg, which is simply across the nook from them and is their former outdated capital, was of their creativeness one thing additional away than New York. This distancing occurred in simply 20 years. Their dad and mom and grandparents who have been educated within the two capitals of the empire had grandchildren and youngsters who needed nothing to do with the 2 new centres.

The place is your delicate energy?

I repeat, this occurred in 30 years at most, through the Putin regime, even when it began within the Yeltsin period. The break started radically, with my technology within the perestroika period, after we declared ourselves to be “the final People” – we have been extra American than the People. It is a lengthy story: in my e-book, The Final Dingo Kids, I clarify this phenomenon.

My line is straightforward: rebiata, my expensive ones – you’ve got received the technique all fallacious. Which means you Russians, the Russian state, the 2 capitals, the key city centres, don’t have anything to supply them: “love by pressure is rape” says the Russian proverb. The place is your delicate energy? Vâ je Imperia, sila? as Pelevin says in Era P – aren’t you the Empire, a smashing pressure?

The place is your delicate energy? What do I imply by this? I imply the financial system, the large investments in schooling, engaging universities, know-how, mass tradition, cultural centres, city centres. The place’s all that? Destroyed. 

What’s your elite doing? They’re looting the empire, placing cash into villas and yachts, shopping for up estates in Monaco and London. It has produced a rustic with maybe the best inequality on the earth and an financial system primarily based on sources and plunder. Not even vodka is Russian anymore. And they’re placing cash into tanks. Take a lesson out of your Siamese brother – the USA. You’ve gotten a Pelevin author who explains all this properly – begin with Era P.

Recourse to pressure, the signal of a weak state

Properly. So long as you don’t have anything to supply and individuals are all on their very own, it is all primarily based on looting, oil buying and selling, hoarding and tanks – if that is what you sew, that is what you may reap. The end result? Now we have it now: disaster. Everybody is popping else…

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