The history of present-day Russia has been untypically idiosyncratic both in its schizophrenic mentality as well as in its discombobulated irrationality. Starting with the Varangian rule of Prince Oleg of Novgorod in 882, continuing with the Mongol invasion in 1237-1240, and culminating in the establishment of the Tsardom of Russia in 1547, the synthesis of Slavic-Byzantine-Mongolian heritage has given birth to the first pseudo Russian civilization, in which stark disagreements about what constitutes such a culture have never been solved with unambiguous clarity. In its civilizational cum cultural misery, Russia has remained completely isolated from Europe and Asia for two centuries. More importantly, from a political perspective, the Russian monarchy was evil from its inception. In this manner, national or individual liberties were never contemplated, let alone implemented, throughout Russia’s bloody history.
Then, around the late 17th century, the fourteenth child of Tsar Alexis, called Pyotr Alekseyevich, emerged first in 1682 as a co-ruler and in 1696 as the sole Sovereign of all Russia. Until his death in 1725, this monarch, known in the West as Peter the Great or Emperor Peter I, attempted by ruthless despotism to “Westernize” his realm. He built a military fashioned after the Western Empires, partially broke the monopoly of the Russian Orthodox Church over public education, and reorganized the administration. Latent and open opposition to his Western reforms resulted in an interregnum that lasted until 1762, when the second of his surviving daughters Catherine I was crowned.
From there on, Tsarist Russia was even more badly ruled. A succession of male and female despots were more preoccupied with navigating the cruel labyrinths of factional wars than dealing with Russia’s chronic domestic backwardness and international isolation. Even the long reign of Catherine II did not result in lasting reforms for the better. While having built cordial relationships with many of the great minds of her era and amassed tremendous powers, she was bound by emotional attractions, interests, and opinions, which she had to observe. Following the French Revolution, she turned against everything she helped to create. When she died in 1796, her mentally challenged son Paul mounted the throne. In March 1801, he was duly assassinated by the nobility led by the Count of Bennigsen.
His son Alexander was the product of a mentaly ill father and the grandson of a nymphomaniac. Accordingly, throughout his reign, he exhibited all the signs of mental impediments. His contradictory foreign policies throughout the Napoleonic wars earned him the contempt of Europe. At home, he oscillated between two extremes: despotism and liberalism. At the end, he became the proverbial bull in the China shop at the Vienna Congress as well as in Russia. His death on December 1, 1825, triggered the Decembrist Revolution against his successor, Nicholas I. Antagonist of both the throne as well as his brother’s flirtation with Western ideas, Nicholas I became a dreaded despot and the sworn enemy of free thought and reforms both at home and abroad. His successors were as incompetent and occasionally mentally deranged as most of the Tsars after Peter the Great.
Repeatedly humiliated by crashing military defeats in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the dead Russian soldiers killed the living political elite. The misnamed Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 was nothing but a desperate attempt to save Imperial Russia from itself. Led by an exiled anti-Tsarist demagogue Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, aka Lenin, who took full advantage of the disintegration of the monarchy during World War I, Russia was violently transformed into a terrorist state. Having wrapped himself and his movement into the ideological cloth of fuzzy Marxism, he laid the foundation with his hypocritical rhetoric to the future destruction of the Soviet Union through self-interested preaching of fallacious idealistic theories. Moreover, by mixing his views on class hatred with racism-stinged Pan Slavism, he established the future Soviet Union as a militaristic nation predisposed to unbending hostility, which stood in a state of perpetual war with the rest of the world. In the same vein, he instituted a degree of domestic terrorism that was unparalelled even under the despotism of Tsarist Russia. Finally, by promising a “new world order,” his thesis of “total war” destroyed humanistic values across the Red Army occupied lands, instead of bringing about the promised perfect world. Russia’s pseudo civilization was never about humanity. Essentially, international politics was divided between the Soviet Union cum Russia, and with few exceptions, the rest of the world.
No wonder that this bastard political fraud, which was further debased by the boundless terror of Stalinism, deflated any optimism regarding the future betterment of Soviet Communism cum Socialism. In 1991, the much glorified Soviet experiment ended in a catastrophic defeat and enormous global disarray following more than seven decades of obdurate refusal by the Kremlin to face reality. After a decade of chaotic interregnum, in April 2000, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin became the head of state with virtually unlimited powers. The legislature was made the obedient instrument of the President. So was the judiciary. The declared objective of the President to turn Russia internationally into a positive player in Europe and beyond and to build a democratic society at home, came to a crushing end first in Georgia in 2008 and then, in quick succession in Ukraine in 2014 and in 2022. The coming military defeat in Ukraine presages the future collapse of the Russian Federation too that points to a much deeper malaise, namely, the repeated failures to address the centuries-old conflict between Westernization and Pan Slavism in earnest. Putin’s restoration of Russia’s Asiatic despotism will remain, as in the past, incongruent with his efforts to unite Pan Slavism and Western values into a coherent set of political, economic, cultural and moral systems. Today, history again repeats itself. Freedom and Despotism, Individualism and Globalism are in a worldwide struggle for supremacy. To wit, in the middle of these proverbial red lines is the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.
To state the truth as plainly as possible, President Putin is a mediocre product of this totalitarian and inhuman pseudo civilization cum culture. As by his countless predecessors, the question of right versus wrong has never entered his mind or his conscience. His miraculous epiphany from a cold blooded officer of the KGB stationed in the occupied eastern part of Germany to a deeply religious adherent of the Russian Orthodox Church, whose teachings represent a corrupted form of Christianity, attests to a morally and intellectually irredeemably corrupt character. Coupled with the corrupt, decadent and backward culture of the Russian Federation, he will never understand what democracy, individual freedom, opposition to despotism, and domestic as well as international principles of justice are all about. Moreover, having been led by the spirit of despotism throughout his professional career, he has never comprehended the distinction between elective leadership and coercive submission of his constituents. Finally, he has always been oblivious to the needs of the average Russian, because he has never respected the basic rules of justice and the most elementar values of human life.
While Russia’s history is replete with weak despots who appeared powerful on the surface, they all considered themselves to be the “Peter the Great” of a crooked course that attempted to combine reform and order. With the illegal invasion of Ukraine, President Putin has added to this fallacious domestic agenda the dictum of rebuilding Russia’s glory on the most extremely racist Pan Slavik tradition. In this sense, he has stated repeatedly that his Russia will be for or against the rest of the world according to his personal judgments and desires. His self-serving interpretation of history, in which his belief in a unifying policy of all Slavik people and beyond, supporting the creation of a Pan Slavik Empire out of a pot-pouri of “artificial” states such as Ukraine, has been bound to result in a catastrophically antagonistic foreign policy. This quest for the forced union of all Slavik nations as well as peoples has been designed from the beginning to destroy the existing international order that had triumphed over his predecessor Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin.
Thus, when NATO, the European Union and President Zelenskiyy rejected his ultimatums, President Putin began to execute the illegal invasion of the sovereign state of Ukraine. On February 24, 2022, his military marched into Ukraine. After initial military successes and amid chaotic fighting, the Russian military advances have stalled. The reasons are many but one argument stands out. In President Putin’s sickly mind the fundamental concepts of his despotic regime at home closely correlate with his basic ideas of Russia’s current foreign policy. Thus, President Putin has a choice to make – either he repudiates Russia’s historical despotism at home with his ridiculous ambition for the violent unification of all Slavs, which includes usurpation of the political processes abroad and all of his outlandish territorial aggrandizements, or he will bring about his demise and the total destruction of the Russian Federation. In other words, unless his barbaric shenanigans of political folly at home and abroad end, he will surely fail in all of his objectives. History will remember him as a loser of epic proportions. For all of these reasons, enduring peace in Europe and beyond is impossible unless President Putin and his inner circle in the Kremlin does comprehend that employing exclusively military force to advance Russia’s political objectives is transitory, while the destructive nature of race-based Pan Slavism will live on indefinitely. For NATO, the European Union and the rest of the freedom loving states the strategy must be obvious. President Putin’s narrow-minded and racist empirical political folly must be decisively rejected. In order to stop once and for all the Russian military menace to the world, the rest of the world must be united, determined and free of biased visions. Such a steady resolve will guard the decision makers on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean from being duped by President Putin’s lies and evil rhetoric or, in the alternative, becoming the victims of unexpected circumstances. Finally, this united front cannot be allowed to be choked by squabbles and internal contradictions. The status quo ante in Eastern Europe must be restored in its fullest. Nothing less would assure the lasting peace and stability of the world.
The mythological allegory of Pandora, the Greek equivalent of the Biblical Eve, the first woman on Earth, was created by Zeus as a new punishment for mankind, because of Prometheus’s theft of the fire from Heaven. According to Hesiod’s Theogony, the Gods provided her with beautifully evil gifts to be mendacious, obstinate and weird. As Eve was forbidden by God to consume the fruit of the “tree of knowledge” of good and evil, Pandora was not allowed by Zeus to open her gifted box ever. Again, as in the case of Eve, Pandora could not resist the temptation and opened the box. Her disobedience resulted in the escape of all the illnesses and deprivations that the Gods hid in the box.
Correspondingly, the gods of the fledgling Hungarian democracy, namely the voters, have since 2010 given absolute powers to a Young Democrat/Christian Democrat coalition and its leader Prime Minister Viktor Orban to steer the historically ravaged ship of the country into the safe harbor of a future free from evil. Yet, the trust of the voters has been betrayed one more time in Hungarian history. Viktor Orban and his party the Young Democrats have used their absolute powers to cage democracy and simultaneously to unleash all the evils of a destructive totalitarianism.
Domestically, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has pursued a form of government that he defined in his speech in 2014 at Tusvanyos illiberal democracy. Pursuant to his definition, illiberal democracy is the idea of “Christian liberty,” which he equates with placing the common good above the traditional liberal values of individual freedoms. According to him, this “Christian liberty” is under unrelenting attack both from within as well as from the outside. In his opinion, Hungary as an illiberal democracy must endure undeserved onslaughts by those who push a post-nationalistic and post-Christian globalist agenda. Thus, combining the adjective illiberal with the general political term democracy, Viktor Orban introduced a dangerous authoritarian ambiguity into the Hungarian, European and global discourse. On the one hand, he has rendered Hungary a victim of his own misplaced righteousness vis-a-vis all those who disagree with his convoluted understanding of democracy. On the other hand, he has designated himself as the sole defender of the common good, including the absolute arbiter of individual and societal morality.
Equally significant is the fact that Viktor Orban owns the entire Hungarian media market. His and his party’s disinformation propaganda campaign has disseminated lies about Hungarian as well as regional history, has created confusion about past and present relations among the various ethnic groups, and fostered the false sense of revisionism in the ethnic Hungarians across the neighboring countries. In this context, especially alarming and outrageous have been his repeated references to “being the prime minister of 15 million Hungarians.” To add fuel to the fire of the ever present ethnic grievances that have been rooted in the peace treaties of World War I, Viktor Orban’s purely political investment strategies and his militaristic bravado have only aggravated the long-existing ethnic tensions in Central and Eastern Europe.
Clearly, Viktor Orban’s version of illiberal democracy can be characterized by its lack of civil society and by a corresponding totalitarian overreach of the political, economic, financial, religious, cultural and educational powers of the authoritarian one-party state. Its common denominator is the irrational and self-defeating nationalism that fails to correctly gauge Hungary’s place and role in the region as well as in the European continent. To add insult to injury, this sick Hungarian nationalism is intertwined with a non-existent Christian identity, because Christianity does not capture the political realities of today’s Hungary.
Essentially, Viktor Orban’s totalitarian regime is an extremely radical oligopoly, in which a very small number of firms are totally subordinated to the political decision making of a single individual, namely, the Prime Minister Viktor Orban. In this absolutely centralized oligopoly, there is only very restricted competition and creativity, because the entire economy is owned by the Prime Minister himself. Since the economy is under the rule of a single political despot, entry to the Hungarian markets is limited to the Prime Minister’s closed circuit of trusted individuals. In this manner, Hungary is a semi-Feudal political and economic construct that is practically closed to effective as well as meaningful political, economic, intellectual and spiritual developments.
Today, amidst Viktor Orban’s totalitarian power grab and failures, his party is flailing and on the defensive. The Young Democrats’ unity is shattering and they are in mounting disarray. Less than a year from now, both the Prime Minister as well as his party will be forced to account for the shameless plunder of the national wealth that they have foisted on the Hungarian people for over a decade.
By now, the majority of Hungarians are thoroughly fed up with the all powerful corruption and the limitless squandering of the national wealth by incompetent thugs masquareding as genuine businessmen and responsible politicians. The time has come for a new political course that will steer the country toward genuine democracy and free markets. Therefore, it is also time for the opposing majority , all across Hungary, to take back their country and truly improve the lives of the citizenry by pursuing political freedom and existential prosperity for every single man, woman and child.
This awakening to the disaster that is Viktor Orban and his Young Democrats Party must also extend to the ruinous foreign policy of Hungary. Although Hungary is a member of NATO and the European Union, Viktor Orban has done everything in his limited powers to undermine the unity of both organizations. In the case of the European Union, his main motivation has been to protect his corrupt regime from the oversight and scrutiny of Brussels. Secondly, he single-handedly has prevented the European Union from imposing punitive sanctions against China and Russia. Again, his reason has been to protect his corrupt dealings with both countries.
Concerning NATO, his close personal relationships with Presidents Putin and Xi have presented extremely serious security threats for NATO. Presently, Budapest has become the major spy hub in Europe for Moscow as well as Beijing. His latest decision to build a large campus for China’s Fudan University is an open invitation for President Xi Jinping to establish a permanent foothold in the middle of Europe.In Hungary, the united opposition must find a way to show the really corrupt and destructive character of the Orban regime and present a coherent vision of moving the country closer to NATO and the European Union. In the same token, the United States of America and all the member states of the European Union must unite in helping Hungary to find its way out of the Orbanian cul-de-sac. Jointly, they also must assure that the national wealth that has been stolen and embezzled so brazenly from the Hungarian people in the last decade be returned to them, and that individuals who committed those crimes be called to full account. Only with such solidly unified assistance will Hungary be able to really rejoin the Free World of democratic nations.
By Fox News•
“Of all tyrannies,” C.S. Lewis once observed, “a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.”
We’re seeing the truth of these words play out right now all across the country, and if you don’t believe me, just look at the headlines.
While we try to help each other stay healthy and safe, state and local authorities are seizing unprecedented amounts of power in the supposed pursuit of that goal, setting dangerous precedents along the way.
Economic czars in the form of governors, including in my own state of Kentucky, are taking it on themselves to decree which businesses will live and which will shutter for continually extended lengths of time, leaving those who have poured their entire lives into their businesses to try to pick up the pieces and do their best to survive and feed their families in the meantime.
The czars decide who can and can’t get medical treatment and restrict fundamental liberties such as the right to gather to worship.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear went so far as to tell some churchgoers their license plates would be scanned, and they would be forced to quarantine for two weeks – never mind that, having an interest in their own health, these worshippers are more than capable of conducting their services safely.
Innocence is not allowed to be presumed. Comply or else.
In Michigan, a self-appointed monarch dictates away basic needs such as landscaping. Not willing to let a little thing like the state legislature get in her way, she simply charges ahead and ignores it when it refuses to support continuing a state of emergency. Gov. Gretchen Wittmer seems to have forgotten she serves the people of Michigan and is not living in Buckingham Palace a century ago when subjects would bow obediently to their sovereign.
Incredibly, in California, a paddleboarder was chased, not by one but two government boats – all while he was about as socially distanced alone in the ocean as one can get. I’ve heard of high-speed car chases in California, but this might be the first high-speed boat chase involving a paddleboarder.
Concerns are also being raised both at home and abroad over excessive use of force.
In West Odessa, Texas, the county sheriff showed up with a SWAT team in response to a local bar reopening and protesters peacefully assembling. Surreal news footage shows the owner being taken away by an officer, hands behind her back.
Let’s take an important second to get something straight: I actually support the concept of states taking the lead in responding to the pandemic, and I applaud President Donald Trump for following this approach as he focuses on broader federal efforts that no state could do on its own.
Is it any wonder, when tensions are already ratcheted up due to the virus itself, that we are seeing false accusations and outright violence and threats?
But it does not excuse abuse of authority. It does not require executives to ignore their legislatures or place unreasonable or unconstitutional burdens on Americans, and we should call those overreaches out when we see them.
In fact, I have said time and again that reopening our nation will require an even more tailored local response, right down to the city level. Bowling Green is not New York City or even Louisville, for example, and should be free to take different steps to get its local economy going again.
This means state and local leaders working with each other instead of acting unilaterally.
In some cases, authority figures are turning Americans against each other, echoing stories we once thought we would only hear coming out of the Soviet Union or Communist China as neighbors are encouraged to turn one another in to the authorities if they see or even suspect anything less than perfect compliance with often arbitrary guidelines.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, saying, “[W]e still know there’s some people who need to get the [social distancing] message,” has encouraged New Yorkers to take a picture when they think social distancing guidelines aren’t being followed and text it to the city. “[A]ction will ensue,” promises the mayor.
Is it any wonder, when tensions are already ratcheted up due to the virus itself, that we are seeing false accusations and outright violence and threats?
A dad and mom taking their young kids into a bank to try to open a joint account are criticized for supposedly not socially distancing enough and are – anonymously – turned in to Child Protective Services on false accusations.
A woman identified as a teacher in New Jersey wishes “a long, painful death” from coronavirus on students playing football. We read stories of alleged choking over social distancing, and the antagonism plays out in attacks online.
C.S. Lewis also warned us that “[t]he robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
There is little government cannot – and has not tried – to justify with the words “for our own good” or “to keep us all safe.” And once that justification – even if genuinely offered – is allowed to automatically stifle debate, actions build “without end.”
You don’t have to look far back into our own history to see where such roads can lead, as the federal government’s response to 9/11 morphed into surveilling innocent Americans. Yet I and others cannot even bring the issue up in Congress without being accused of not taking our national security and safety seriously.
Already, we hear talk of how much additional surveillance we will be expected to tolerate due to the pandemic – for our own good, of course.
As concerning as these issues are, I remain encouraged by the many positive stories that exist of Americans coming together to face this challenge, and I am confident we will beat it as we have so many others.
But it’s imperative we do so while protecting both life and our unique way of life – defined as one that gives the benefit of the doubt to freedom and responds from that philosophical grounding.
Recent events again prove the Founders’ wisdom in deliberately spreading power out and decentralizing our system to try to curb infringements on our liberties.
That is supposed to set us apart, and it is up to each of us to make sure it continues to do so.
by Dr. Miklos K. Radvanyi
Contrary to the erroneous opinions of most politicians and Sinologists, the People’s Republic of China, well into the seventh decade of its existence, is facing severe political and economic crises. Maoism, the gibberish amalgam of twisted socialist ideas and hard-core Han racism, had never been about Marxism-Leninism with “Chinese characteristics.” Rather, Maoism was designed to be a double edged political sword. On the one hand, Maoism meant autocratic contempt for the “politically incompetent” and “economically immature” subjects who could not be trusted with affairs of any importance. On the other hand, Mao wanted to establish, maintain and protect his “thorough revolution” by excluding intellectuals with “bourgeois mentality”, whether inside or outside the party, and base his autocracy on inexperienced and uneducated workers, peasants and soldiers, self-evidently comprising of incompetent and immature individuals. Continue reading
Who killed Kennedy? The CIA.
Who introduced AIDS to Africa? The CIA.
Sure, it’s crazy talk. But those stories were two of Moscow’s most successful disinformation campaigns during the Cold War.
And now Vladimir Putin is reviving these dirty tricks.
That’s the argument made in Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism, co-authored by Ion Pacepa, an ex-intelligence officer who defected from Romania in 1978, and Ronald Rychlak, a professor at the University of Mississippi. And what’s happened during the Ukraine crisis surely supports their thesis. Continue reading
History, in her disposition toward intellectually gifted peoples and nations, appears as fickle as the gods of ancient times were wont to be of their most devout revelers; the more those peoples and nations excelled the less they were shielded from endless tribulations, great catastrophes, and devastating tragedies. Like most of the nation-states of Europe and Asia, present-day Iran had a glorious history, yet unlike them, it has been torn since 1979 between revolutionary adventurism and reactionary self-preservation.
The fatal contradiction in Ayatollah Khomeini’s doctrine of the “guardianship of the jurist” (velayat-e faqih) is that, by definition, it contains the political seeds of its own destruction. Continue reading