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Tue May 22, 2018, 08:32 AM

"Russia wants us divided!" No... no, it does not. So what does Putin want?

Last edited Tue May 22, 2018, 09:17 AM - Edit history (1)

When we hear that "Russia wants us to be divided", I look at that and see it as something vague and meaningless and I also look at who is saying it, often said by pundits who have spent careers dividing people here in the US; setting up "all lives matter" to be some sort of opposite to the black lives matter movement, dividing the poor white man against the poor black man, dividing private sector employees against public sector employees, dividing heterosexuals against the GLBTQ population, trying to turn "liberal" into a dirty word, and more.

Now I have no doubt in my mind that the Putinist regime is influencing American politics, but to what end? To divide us? To break this country apart? No, I don't think so. I think this whole "division" thing is not only overblown as an issue but is not the real end to Putinist influence.

No, I think the real end is to normalize and make the worldview OK with corruption, state sponsored terror, cronyism, nepotism, unqualified government, and a government that is insular and is itself a state within a state, in other words, government becomes an organ of the few and those with the means to influence it... in other words, a government that occupies your country, but is not YOUR government, and may be even against you.

So what does the Putin regime want for us specifically?

I would imagine...

* It wants us to be OK with what happened in Ryazan in 1999, with Alexander Litvinenko, with Sergei Magnitsky, with it's invasions, with MH17, with Sergei Skripal, etc. Remember that when you see the cheerleaders of the Iraq war back in the government and torture being rationalized as OK.

* It wants us to treat the Trump family, the Flynn family, the Shoebat family, the DeVos family, and other clans as "experts", "gurus", and the government itself

* It wants us to normalize oligarchy and plutocracy, it wants us to see things like the Dow as a fundamental of the economy rather than you being able to put food on your table or pay rent

* It wants us to grudgingly accept gross (But not just in scale, but also disgusting) disparities as "facts of life", just like what the Putinist regime has forced it's own people to accept. It would probably want us to be offended by black people kneeling as a form of protest but we have to be OK with people waving the confederate flag along the American flag. It wants us to be OK with a violent Muslim being a "clash of civilizations" but a violent white person being "mental illness, nothing you can do". It wants us to be OK with "affluenza". It wants "the problem" to not be disparities, but resisting them, or even pointing out that they exist to be seen as "the problem" instead.

* It wants us to have to accept "there's nothing you can do", it would want us to accept the lie that there's nothing you can do to change the landscape, the political culture, inequalities, how you get your healthcare, the system, etc. It wants you to ignore the fact that there are things you can do to change all of these things every single day. Putin wins when you embrace system justification, the status quo, inaction, complacency, and learned helplessness.

So when you see or hear that Russia wants us divided, you should ask if that person means these things above specifically because just saying Russia wants us divided, it doesn't help us, and it doesn't solve what is going on.

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Reply "Russia wants us divided!" No... no, it does not. So what does Putin want? (Original post)
ck4829 May 2018 OP
Sherman A1 May 2018 #1
ollie10 May 2018 #2
dalton99a May 2018 #4
The Velveteen Ocelot May 2018 #3
ck4829 May 2018 #5
RKP5637 May 2018 #6
Chiyo-chichi May 2018 #7
ck4829 May 2018 #9
Orsino May 2018 #8

Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Tue May 22, 2018, 08:35 AM

1. I would say not so much divided as

distracted, so that they can carry on with their goals of mostly grabbing resources and money. China is okay with us being distracted as well as their rebuild the empire which they believe they want in the Pacific.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Tue May 22, 2018, 08:47 AM

2. The Russians want us to lose faith in our institutions

 

Trump campaigned mocking our institutions, and his followers wanted to "shake things up"

Looks like it is working

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Response to ollie10 (Reply #2)

Tue May 22, 2018, 09:02 AM

4. +1. Putin wants Western democracies to fail from within

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Tue May 22, 2018, 08:52 AM

3. They want to weaken NATO.

And they are using Trump to do it.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #3)

Tue May 22, 2018, 09:14 AM

5. Certainly an item on the global agenda

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #3)

Tue May 22, 2018, 09:25 AM

6. Definitely one of their agenda items and the stooge in the WW is more than willing to help. n/t

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Tue May 22, 2018, 09:40 AM

7. I highly recommend Timothy Snyder's new book, The Road to Unfreedom

For anyone who doesn't know, he's a professor of history at Yale and on the Council on Foreign Relations. His short book, On Tyranny, was a best seller last year.

In The Road to Unfreedom, he writes that Russia's goal is for the U.S. to become like Russia.

"The essence of Russia's foreign policy is strategic relativism: Russia cannot become stronger, so it must make others weaker. The simplest way to make others weaker is to make them more like Russia. Rather than addressing its problems, Russia exports them; and one of the basic problems is the absence of a succession principle. Russia opposes European and American democracy to ensure that Russians do not see the democracy might work as a succession principle in their own country. Russians are meant to distrust other systems as much as they distrust their own. If Russia's succession crisis in fact can be exported--if the United States could become authoritarian--then Russia's own problems, although unresolved, would at least seem normal. Pressure on Putin would be relieved. Were America the shining beacon of democracy that its citizens sometimes imagine, its institutions would have been far less vulnerable to Russia's cyberwar. From Moscow's perspective, America's constitutional structure created tempting vulnerabilities. Because of the evident flaws in American democracy and the American rule of law, it was all the easier to intervene in an American election."

Here's another relevant paragraph:

"The temptation Russia offered Trump was the presidency. The temptation Trump offered Republicans was that of a one-party state, government by rigged elections rather than by political competition, a racial oligarchy in which the task of leaders was to bring pain rather than prosperity, to emote for a tribe rather than perform for all. If all the federal government did was maximize inequality and suppress votes, at some point a line would be crossed. Americans, like Russians, would eventually cease to believe in their own elections; then the United States, like the Russian Federation, would be in permanent succession crisis, with no legitimate way to choose leaders. This would be the triumph of the Russian foreign policy of the 2010s: the export of Russia's problems to its chosen adversaries, the normalization of Russia's syndromes by way of contagion."

Here's also a piece Snyder wrote for The Guardian, which is a short version of the arguments he makes in the book:
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/16/vladimir-putin-russia-politics-of-eternity-timothy-snyder

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Response to Chiyo-chichi (Reply #7)

Tue May 22, 2018, 11:55 AM

9. Yep, apathy works well for tyrants

Time to share the love I guess

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Tue May 22, 2018, 09:41 AM

8. Russia wants us divided.

Helping to install Trump weakens us and NATO greatly, leaving Europe open to Putin's influence. It may have been a long shot, but it has paid off spectacularly for them.

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