Last night I was live on The Ochelli Effect at 8:00 PM EST.
You can listen to this MP3 file by clicking here.
After I talked JP Sotille of Newsvandal.com talked about the big picture of all of this in the last 20 minutes of the show. Don’t miss his comments.
I plan on talking about what Putin really wants in his own words.
Some people say he is a dictator, but he isn’t in the mold of Hitler or Stalin, but instead Putin is more of an authoritarian front man for an oligarchy of 96 billionaires. And that’s a lot for a country of Russia’s size:
|585||Jeff Bezos||132.8 (2018)|
|2||476||Ma Huateng||51.1 (2018)|
|3||131||Mukesh Ambani||40.5 (2018)|
|4||114||Beate Heister and Karl Albrecht Jr.||31.1 (2017)|
|5||96||Leonid Mikhelson||18.4 (2017)|
|6||67||Li Ka-shing||37.7 (2018)|
|7||54||Hinduja family||19.8 (2018)|
|8||43||Jorge Paulo Lemann||29.7 (2018)|
|9||42||Maria Franca Fissolo||2.2 (2018)|
At the same time the average Russian has an income of $437 a month and yet Putin is more popular than ever.
We hear about Putin from US media attacks on him and from Putin controlled Russian propaganda such as RT.com, which gives just as distorted a picture of him.
So his own words to his own people provide a different lens to look at him.
After his election in 2012 Putin gave a key speech to the Russian parliament outlining his vision of the world.
You can read the whole thing here.
Here are some key quotes:
I would like all of us to understand clearly that the coming years will be decisive and perhaps even ground-breaking not only for us, but for the entire world as it enters a period of transition and possibly even shocks.
Global development is becoming increasingly unequal. This creates a fertile ground for new economic, geopolitical and ethnic conflicts. Competition for resources is becoming more intense. And I can assure you and want to emphasise that this competition will not be limited only to metals, oil and gas, but above all will focus on human resources and intelligence. Who will take the lead and who will remain outsiders and inevitably lose their independence will depend not only on the economic potential, but primarily on the will of each nation, on its inner energy which Lev Gumilev termed “passionarity”: the ability to move forward and to embrace change.
Gumilez was a Soviet nationalist historian.
Question what is “passionarity”:
Wikipedia: “To describe the genesis and evolution of ethnic groups, Gumilyov introduced the concept of “passionarity”, meaning the level of activity to expand typical for an ethnic group, and especially for their leaders, at the given moment of time. He argued that every ethnic group passes through the same stages of birth, development, climax, inertia, convolution, and memorial. It is during the “acmatic” phases, when the national passionarity reaches its maximum heat, that the great conquests are made. Gumilyov described the current state of Europe as deep inertia, or “introduction to obscuration”, to use his own words.”
Gumilyov regarded Russians as a “super-ethnos” which is kindred to Turkic-Mongol peoples of the Eurasian steppe. Those periods when Russia has been said to conflict with the steppe peoples, Gumilyov reinterpreted as the periods of consolidation of Russian power with that of steppe in order to oppose destructive influences from Catholic Europe, that posed a potential threat to integrity of the Russian ethnic group.
People in countries with developed economies and many countries with developing economies have become used to constant consumption growth, the expansion of life and cultural opportunities. That is good but it is possible to ensure the continuation of such growth in the modern world only through the introduction of a new technological order, and that is a great obstacle in many parts of the world. A country that is unable to secure its place among the developers of new innovative technologies is not just doomed to dependence: the share of the global ”pie“ which will benefit its businesses and citizens will be much smaller than that of the leaders. See how the revenue is distributed today between those who produce intellectual products and the consumers of the end product. The share is 15% and 75–80%.
In the 21st century amid a new balance of economic, civilisational and military forces Russia must be a sovereign and influential country. We should not just develop with confidence, but also preserve our national and spiritual identity, not lose our sense of national unity. We must be and remain Russia.
What will guarantee Russia’s sovereignty in the 21st century? We often talk about this today. First, the country must have a sufficient amount of its own resources. This is not so that we could produce everything at home. Nobody lives like this anymore and I think that no one will ever live like this again. Russia must not only preserve its geopolitical relevance – it must multiply it, it must generate demand among our neighbours and partners. I emphasise that this is in our own interest. This applies to our economy, culture, science and education, as well as our diplomacy, particularly the ability to mobilise collective actions at the international level.
For the first time in our country’s recent history, natural population growth has been posted for five months in a row: the birth rate has finally started to exceed the death rate. In the past four years life expectancy in Russia has grown by almost 2.5 years and has exceeded 70 years.
In order to revive national consciousness, we need to link historical eras and get back to understanding the simple truth that Russia did not begin in 1917, or even in 1991, but rather, that we have a common, continuous history spanning over one thousand years, and we must rely on it to find inner strength and purpose in our national development.
We are nearing the end of 2012, which was declared the Year of Russian History. But this attention to our nation’s history and related educational and scientific projects should not fade away. I am counting on the active work by the recently recreated Russian Historical Society, as well as the Russian Military History Society and the Russian Geographical Society, which has been active now for several years……..
Russia needs new blood. That much is clear. It needs smart, educated, hard-working people who do not just want to make some money here and leave, but want to move to Russia, settle down here and consider this country their homeland. However, the current regulations do not contribute to this goal. Quite the contrary. The process of obtaining citizenship for our compatriots, for those who are culturally and spiritually close to Russia is difficult and outrageously bureaucratic. At the same time it is very simple to import unskilled labour, including illegally…..
….At the same time I consider it reasonable and necessary to toughen penalties against illegal immigration and violations of registration rules. The relevant amendments have already been submitted to the State Duma. I ask the deputies to pass these laws.
Democracy is the only political choice for Russia. I would like to stress that we share the universal democratic principles adopted worldwide. However, Russia’s democracy means the power of the Russian people with their own traditions of self-rule and not the fulfilment of standards imposed on us from the outside. Democracy means compliance with and respect for laws, rules and regulations. The ruling parties, governments and presidents may change but the core of the state and society, the continuity of national development, sovereignty and freedoms of people must remain intact.
Essential changes in the structure of the economy, the launch of new industries and regaining leadership in traditional industrial sectors, as well as the development of small and medium-sized businesses are key targets. I am confident that economic freedom, private property, competition and a modern market economy, rather than state capitalism, must be the core of a new growth model.
As a matter of fact, in many countries around the world and in Russia we always come back to this issue, namely the question of income tax, in one way or another. I have already talked about this, you know my opinion: we must keep the so-called flat tax. Even though a progressive tax might seem at first glance to be promoting social justice, in actual fact it does not. On the contrary, it will act as a burden for millions of citizens with average incomes. If you start to calculate what such a system will lead to, you’ll see that this will be the case.
And on top of this, what else will happen? Tax evasion; both the budget and the treasury will find themselves lacking the funds this tax supposedly generates. This means that we will have budget shortfalls in financing for the army, pensions, and the public sector. So that’s social justice. Therefore any action we take in this regard must be carried out extremely carefully. But here’s what we can do, what I think we must do, and what is also just: to impose additional taxes on so-called prestige, conspicuous consumption.
It is absolutely obvious to everyone that the modern world is becoming increasingly multipolar. This creates both risks and opportunities. Risks will prevail when each player plays their own game, if they are not relieved of the illusion that it is possible to manage chaos (you know there is such a theory). And if people stop sowing such chaos, risks will not prevail.