May 12, 2005

Wanted: A New Russian Civic Mythology

John Cole whines about Yalta and really steps in it when he thinks that it's all about the US. The problem of condemning Yalta isn't that it dirties up FDR and Churchill but rather that condemnation is designed to dirty up Stalin.

Putin is fighting to reestablish Russia. For this he needs to have a suitable civic mythos. Liberal Democracy isn't cutting it in Russia so he has three alternatives.

1. Stalinism - A modified limited restoration of communist heroes, Stalin in the forefront is in order to rally the nation.
2. Monarchy - This is mostly a non-starter since the USSR made sure the world ran out of available Romanovs though the house technically still exists.
3. Orthodoxy - Russia has raised the banner of christendom before when it is in deep trouble.
4. Peasant Mythos - You see some of this in the current national anthem.

Out of the four options, Putin seems to have tossed out option 2 entirely, looked at option 4 and is seriously working on option 1. I cannot begin to tell you how bad it will be for world stability if Russia starts turning out high school students that are neo-stalinists. All of E. Europe would become a danger zone for nuclear proliferation. The long-term dream of pulling Russia fully into the Core would be dead for as long as that nonsense continued. Stalin is a very powerful force for disrupting connectivity.

President Bush is absolutely correct to condemn Yalta. It was not absolutely necessary to win the war against Hitler and Tojo and made the second half of the campaign to rid the world of 20th century totalitarianism unnecessarily long and costly. We did not have to go to war against Stalin. We just had to not stand in the way of the many, many people who wanted out from under his yoke.

Stalin admiration is as dangerous to the world today as Hitler admiration is. We should be ware.

Posted by TMLutas at May 12, 2005 10:55 PM