A Narcissist in Old Age

There’s strong evidence that on the eve of his death in 1953 Stalin was plotting a new war. He knew it wasn’t a good time. The country was still in ruins after WWII. People were hungry. A massive new purge was going to be needed to stamp out the feelings of freedom in the soldiers who had returned from the war. Nationalism in the republics had been allowed to manifest to motivate people to fight the Germans. It was going to be necessary to put the brakes on all that. Stalin also knew that Americans were richer, happier, much better fed, and farther ahead on the nukes. Fighting them was. . . not the best idea ever.

But still he prepared. Because there was a much more important factor than all of this. It was his age.

Stalin was getting old. He knew this was his very last chance to fulfill the dream of a lifetime, his most important goal. Even a bloody dictator is a person. He has dreams and he doesn’t want to face death knowing himself to be a loser.

It was easy to guess what he was planning. His closest collaborators figured it out and were terrified. Not because they cared about the survival of millions (they didn’t) but because they cared about their own. They knew that Stalin liked to precede a war with a massive purge of his inner circle, and they didn’t want to die. I don’t know if they conspired to kill him but what’s undeniable is that when Stalin had a stroke – whether it was natural or drug-induced – they left him lying on the floor for hours and didn’t get him medical help. For a 70-year-old stroke victim, this is a death sentence. Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving fellow, of course.

So when people ask if Putin is really going to start a war, they have to remember that he’s getting on in years. He’s no Stalin but he’s a person without a profound spiritual life, let’s put it that way. This is somebody who has no lower bulb in his hourglass (I had a great post about the hourglass a while ago.) He can’t approach old age philosophically any more than a cricket can.

Recently, Putin started making references in his speeches to death and afterlife. So mortality is on his mind. “If I have to die, then all of you should, too” is not an impossible conclusion to reach. There have been cult leaders who have done just that. It’s a miracle that Stalin died before getting there.

I’d like to say, ha ha, it’s all empty sabre-rattling but. . . I just don’t know. Putin might freak out and go nutso boom-boom in his dotage. Let’s hope the bastard didn’t get a bad diagnosis recently and that his Viagra didn’t misfire in one of his famous orgies.

After Putin croaks, the problem doesn’t disappear. You still have 140 million people armed to the teeth with nukes in a mega-meltdown. Putin is a feature, not a bug. Just like Stalin. If you know what a narcissistic injury is, this is a whole culture with a gigantic narcissistic injury. Rage is inherent to the nature of the injury.

15 thoughts on “A Narcissist in Old Age

  1. Sort of on topic. Yesterday there was this video conference with Biden and NATO and the Polish president was invited.
    Afterward he gave a brief speech… which kind of freaked me out. It wasn’t the content (usual diplomatic blather) but his body language was off the charges in displays of unease and/or fear…. I can’t find the whole thing now but it was… not comforting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is why NATO needs to mobilize. There are Russian troops right on the border with Poland.

      Is Poland mobilizing in any way?

      Like

  2. Very well put Clarissa.

    Putin has been very clear that he wants to reconstruct the Soviet union in some way. Pax Americana is waning and the US is divided and not in any desire for more foreign wars. He is getting old and wants a real legacy.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. My husband came in the room two minutes ago, looking extremely preoccupied and saying that he stumbled across a photo of Biden online and now feels an urgent need to enjoy life while we still can.

          Liked by 3 people

              1. “What is with those eyes? ”

                One…. theory…. I’ve seen (not endorsing it, just FYI) is that the drugs they use to get him to…. perform in public dilate his pupils so much that he needs dark contact lenses….

                Liked by 2 people

            1. IKR? I hope it’s just some weird effect of video– like the way my kids have red eyes in half our photos because of the flash– but I can’t look at the guy onscreen without being creeped the hell out. I have no idea how such a person made it in politics, in the age of mandatory telegenicity.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. He really looks like a demon. His eyes weren’t always this beady and creepy. I think it’s a combination of some eyelid surgery and some stimulant drugs.

                Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve expressed sorrow Ukraine doesn’t get moral support from the West. However, after reading the following public survey, I cannot help wondering whether it is true and whether concentrating on America alone isn’t a sign of adopting imperial American consciousness, as if Poland and other countries are ‘less Western’ and their moral support counts for less.

    Key quotes:

    Survey: Western public backs stronger support for Ukraine against Russia

    The six-country study commissioned by the Yalta European Strategy and the Victor Pinchuk Foundation included 600 interviews per country with representative samples of the general population in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Poland.

    Western public support is based on broadly positive attitudes towards Ukraine, and to the idea of the country joining the EU and NATO.

    Clear majorities or nearly half of all respondents believe that Ukraine and the West share the same values, including 61% in Poland, 57% in the UK, 56% in Canada, 54% in the US, 48% in Germany, and 47% in France. When asked the same question about Russia, the answer is a clear “no.”

    On the question “If the EU/NATO would accept candidates in the next five to ten years, which country should be admitted?” Ukraine ranks top among eleven listed candidate countries.

    Western populations oppose the idea of “sacrificing” Ukraine in order to improve relations with Russia. Only around 15% of respondents feel it is more important to improve relations with Russia than defend Ukraine, with the highest figure being 18% in Germany.

    In terms of the present military crisis, majorities or nearly one-half in all six surveyed countries favor NATO allies making a commitment to defend Ukraine from Russian aggression including 66% in Poland, 61% in the US, 61% in Canada, 57% in France, 49% in Germany, and 47% in the UK.

    At the same time, the Western public want their leaders to be tough not only in defending Ukraine, but also in demanding reforms from Ukraine.

    There is a consistent belief held by 70% in the UK, 67% in Poland, 63% in the US, 60% in Germany, 55% in Canada, and 53% in France that Ukraine must first get its act together before more substantial long-term support can be given. Western populations sees Ukrainian civil society as the main partners in the pursuit of reforms.

    https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/survey-western-public-backs-stronger-support-for-ukraine-against-russia/

    Like

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