Putin is reportedly terrified of suffering Gaddafi’s kind of death. People keep asking, “he’s so rich, why isn’t it enough? Why couldn’t he enjoy his fabulous wealth, his 14 palaces, his yachts, his planefuls of prostitutes, his notorious orgies? Why get into this whole mess?”
Well, this is why. This tired old weasel doesn’t want to be raped and torn to pieces by his own people. And they’ll do it if he doesn’t give them what they want. Violence, death and horror is what they want. This is what they always want.
Look at Russia’s history. What was happening in Russia on this day a hundred years ago? Ninety years ago? Eighty? And so on. Civil wars, genocide, Stalinism, purges, more genocide, and endless wars. Look at what Russia has been doing throughout the entire twentieth century. The longest, most ferocious totalitarian regime in history. Every attempt at democracy, at building a normal life drowns in rivers of blood, their own or somebody else’s.
This is the narcissistic injury that I keep talking about. This is a wounded civilization that has lost its way and embraced death. It’s happened to other cultures, and I can give examples if people want. But with Russia we are noticing it more because nuclear weapons make it impossible not to pay attention. This is a gigantic planetary problem, and there won’t be a good ending to this story until we all do something about it.
And it’s been done on the past. Germany regaled the world with Nazism as a result of its narcissistic injury (although a much smaller one). And look at them today. Yes, they have problems but they are a normal, civilized country. Nobody is expecting them to freak out and burn up the world all of a sudden. It took work and a bunch of money but it’s all doable.
I want absolutely nothing bad to happen to the Russian people. But Russia cannot exist in its current form. It needs to be broken up into several republics that have to be given new narratives and patiently, kindly rebuilt economically, politically, culturally and spiritually. That’s the only way. There need to be new generations of Russians who will be born outside the narrative of the narcissistic injury. The entirety of the Russian culture has been built to glorify and nourish the woundedness. That all needs to go. We are the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. Russians need a different story but they are clearly unable to create one for themselves. After the USSR fell apart, they had every chance to do so but it didn’t happen. For the peace of us all, we need to help them.
If that isn’t done, if the situation is allowed to keep festering, imagine the fodder for their narcissistic injury that they’ll glean from their current humiliating defeat. Think Germany after WWI on steroids to the power of one million.
But to provide help to a wounded civilization like this, we need to not suffer from our own self-inflicted wounds. The post-WWII America managed to give this help to Germany because it had the joy and the certainty of its own goodness. In order to help somebody who has embraced death to turn around and walk away from the brink, you have to embrace life. The only healthy approach to life is “I’m good and the world is good.” Everything else is a pathology. On an individual level, it makes for a miserable life. On a collective level, the pathology is amplified and everything gets much worse. We can’t combat Russia’s pathological “I’m good but the world is bad” with our current “I’m bad and the world is my good, long-suffering victim.” Both attitudes are unhealthy.
If only the Left were doing its stupid, ahistorical land acknowledgements, it wouldn’t be as bad. But the Right is doing its own version of the same crap. What is the narrative of “we are to blame for Russia’s war either beginning or not ending” if not a form of a land acknowledgement? It’s easy to mock the idiot Libs. And yes, they do a lot of idiotic things. But so do we. We are hacking at our own sense of self, creating our own narcissistic injury. We need a new story, too. It will be easier because we are in the early stages of walking away from a healthy view of ourselves. But it needs to be done. The world needs us. It needs us strong, healthy, confident, and happy.
The world needs us to start telling a better story.