Find 10 Similarities

In politics, there’s rhetoric, and there’s reality. Let’s leave aside the former for the moment and concentrate on the latter. Forget what Putin says and look at what he actually does.

1. An enormous point of contention between him and the nationalists has always been his concerted and relentless effort to erode the border between Russia and its Eastern neighbors. He brought in an enormous number of easily exploitable workers from places like Tajikistan*. He’s refusing to institute visa requirements for them, which drives the nationalists up a wall in rage. He instituted jail sentences for “hate speech” that questions this arrangement.

2. Putin’s only real, actual, effectively protesting opposition aside from the nationalists has been organized labor. Putin is very actively repressing organized labor to serve the interests of the fluid financial elites.

3. In foreign policy, he’s extremely hawkish, believing that it’s Russia’s role to control – by military means if necessary – the state-building initiatives of other countries.

4. His best friends are members of the supranational financial elites who often are not even citizens of Russia and don’t reside in Russia.

5. Another thing that nationalists detest him for is his constant effort to eradicate the word “Russian” (русский) in favor of “citizen of the Russian Federation” (россиянин).

6. Yet another complaint of the nationalists is that because of his immigration policies half of the children coming to the first grade of public schools in Moscow don’t speak Russian. There is no attempt to address the ethnic enclaves that are growing in Moscow and that are linguistically and culturally walled off from everybody else.

I’ll let you figure out on your own what or who all this reminds you of.

* Hence the reference to Tajikistan in the previous post that describes a game invented by Russian-speakers.

8 thoughts on “Find 10 Similarities”

  1. Is Trump “extremely hawkish” in foreign policy?

    Many of those policies reminded me of Merkel and other EU leaders, not American ones, especially 6 .


  2. Trudeau? Macron? Merkel?

    Maybe that’s the problem. I have no idea who you’re hinting at since I’ve stopped following the news.


    1. They are all the same, so yes to all.

      Closer to home, it’s Hillary. Which is why he detests Merkel, Macron and Hillary so much. They are all competing for the same big prize.


  3. Honestly,
    #2, #3, #4 apply to Trump.

    #1 would seem like it doesn’t really with his policies. However he has not separated himself from his business and his business definitely relies on easily exploitable workers to the exclusion of local workers.
    TRUMP GETS VISAS FOR 70 FOREIGN WORKERS AT MAR-A-LAGO DESPITE ‘HIRE AMERICAN’ PLEDGE It is not that difficult to get reliable locals in tourist season to work in a hotel.

    #6 would seem like it doesn’t apply. However, if you look at his appointments to his cabinet, the end result of these policies will be to strengthen ethnic enclaves not weaken them. Betsy DeVos wants to weaken public education which is essential for educating people in English and for a common knowledge base. Ben Carson depises HUD and one of HUD’s responsibilities is to enforce the Fair Housing Act.
    And Jeff Sessions et al. despise the Civil Rights Act and public accommodation laws and would love to throw them out of the window and go back to a time when Green Books were a necessity.

    He, his father and his organization did a great deal to keep people in ethnic enclaves. And I repeat, he has not divested himself one bit from these businesses.


    1. If that is hawkish in foreign policy, then Obama was a fire-spewing dragon. 🙂

      As for Trump’s place among the transnational financial elite, it’s an interesting question that I honestly don’t know the answer to. If he’s really not that successful in business proper, like people say, then what’s left is his branding through reality TV and related activities. And that doesn’t give you a place among these elites.

      But I don’t have enough information to know. We still haven’t seen those tax returns, so we don’t know where the money is coming from.


    1. “Liberal” is based on the belief in the supremacy of an individual’s free choice to do whatever s/he wants that stands above everything else. Everything else, of course, includes maximizing one’s financial opportunities by any means necessary. So a free marketeer comes out of the exact same intellectual place as the believer in freedom of naming one’s identity at will.

      The problem with the idea of “freedom above all” is that the kind of world that is constituted as a result offers only the freedom to shop, shop, shop. There is no freedom from the freedom to shop. 🙂


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