For the last few years, the American ruling class has been obsessed with Russia. The Bear Scare in DC over Trump’s alleged ties to Putin is just one ridiculous element to the obsession. At some level, even the dullards in the media know it is nonsense, but the Cloud People are convinced that the public shares their hatred of the Russians. China and Israel are much more involved in our elections, but they are not suitable bogeymen, in the minds of our betters. To them, the Russians are the scariest of scary monsters.
The Russia-Trump story is just a sideshow, of course. The neocon insistence that we start World War 3 over Ukraine is much more representative of the ruling elite’s hatred for the Russians. Steve Sailer has done yeoman’s work documenting the neocon warmonger’s efforts to stoke the fires of Russophobia. It’s not just the neocons. The Left has gone down a similar path, accusing Putin of being the new Hitler and claiming he has plans to invade Europe. The public face of the ruling elite is sure that Putin is very bad.
Of course, this enmity toward Putin has had the strange effect of endearing him to many nationalists in America, especially the younger ones. Their minds are not tainted by memories of the Cold War and the Soviet Union. Putin just looks like a strong leader, who embodies many of the qualities the alt-right types admire. Then you have old paleocons like Pat Buchanan defending Putin, mostly because of old scars from warring with the neocons in the olden thymes. This just encourages the neocons to hate Putin even more.
Guys like Steve Sailer try to pin the cause of this irrational hatred for Putin and the Russians on ancient ethnic grudges. It is true that all of the high profile Putin haters fit a certain ethnic profile. They also look a lot like the crew that tumbles out of the anti-Trump clown car whenever is screeches to a halt. It is not unfair to accuse these folks of being haunted by the hoof beats of Tzar Alexander’s men. The neocons were, after all, the ideological force behind the Right’s Cold War strategy for a reason.
That makes for a fun narrative and good way to taunt some of the more unhinged types like Bill Kristol and Max Boot, but it does not explain why the political class is uniformly anti-Russian. John McCain is nuts, but he is not looking under his bed for Cossacks at night. The same goes for most of the permanent war party in Washington. They would much prefer to be killing Muslims, but they have found it necessary to spend a lot of time going on about the threat of Putin and the Russian menace.
Another possibility is a much less mystical one. Instead of epigenetic fear of a pogrom, perhaps the source of this great fear is much higher, in the billionaire class that rules the nation through the political parties. After the fall of the Soviet Empire, Western bankers rushed in to loot Russia and her former client states. Eventually, the locals rallied and a class of oligarchs rose up to seize control the assets and build their own power bases outside the state. Then Putin came along and broke the backs of the oligarchs.
If you are a Sergey Brin, for example, the one thing that keeps you up at night is the thought of the state reasserting its authority over the oligarchs. Not that Trump is going to throw Mark Zuckerberg into prison or have Tim Cook sent to Siberia. The possibility of a modern Teddy Roosevelt, riding a populist message, promising to bring the billionaires to heel, is a realistic threat. Incentivizing the political class to demonize such talk is one way to hedge against that possibility. In that regard, Russian makes for a useful enemy.
It also makes Putin, and to a lesser degree the Visegrad Group, dangerous example. It’s not just their nationalism that bugs our oligarchs. Its that these countries cling to the outdated notion of state power being supreme. Our oligarchs, as we see with Big Tech’s efforts to subvert free speech, think the idea of the state is outdated. Instead, the new managerial state is supranational and subordinate to the people who finance it. The managerial state is to serve the oligarchs, not the people over whom it rules.
It’s probably why the political class made such a huge deal out of Putin cracking down on homosexual agitators and feminist nutters. They were looking for a way to undermine his moral authority. In a better age, politicians would accuse enemies of preferring the company of men. In this degraded age, politicians accuse their enemies of being sexually normal. Regardless, the point is to make the bad guys appear villainous and outside the bounds of human decency. Our politicians are the model our rulers prefer.
The least talked about aspect to all of this is that the West, particularly America, is probable less internally stable than Russian and the Visegrad Group. You don’t hear about widespread protests or dissident movements in Russia. The people of the Visegrad are pretty happy with their nationalistic politicians. They like having a patriotic ruling class. It is the West where we see the increasing use of coercion and top-down subversion, in the form of immigration, in order to keep the plates spinning.
The trouble for our oligarchs is that people will be loyal to a man or a cause. They will not be loyal to a committee. That’s why there are no monuments to committees. There are plenty of statues of great men and shrines to the gods. That’s the lesson the old eastern bloc countries learned. They were ruled by committees for a long time. To maintain order, it required men with guns and willingness to use them. The people of the East learned that a man on horse is a better choice than ten men behind desks.
That’s a lesson we’re about to learn in the West.