July 09, 2006

Putin and Russia

a must read

A Russian businessman once offered me his view of the Russian national character. It went like this: "Russians are like small children. Generally they are sweet and lovable and innocent -- but now and then, without warning, without provocation, without any discernable reason, they bite you on the neck. Don't even ask them to explain why -- they would have no idea themselves; the question would be meaningless." He chuckled. "Yes, they've done this to me," he admitted.

The bottom line theme is that Putin is not moving Russia. He is surfing Russia. Russia is engaged in a slow motion realignment to traditional russian values and Putin, as he detects these movements, rushes to the front of the parade and "leads", gaining enough popularity to continue his work.

But is Putin just a consummate surfer or is he engaging in structural work that will permit Russia to move forward on a sustainable basis past the upcoming crisis as the PRC hits the wall and the oil age ends? I wish I had more confidence that there is something larger behind Putin than a thirst for power.

Posted by TMLutas at July 9, 2006 05:02 PM