Friday, December 5, 2014

Putin's "Big Speech" to the Federal Assembly on December 4, 2014

I know that the friends of Russia are expected, especially from other avowed friends of Russia, to shower President Putin with praise and admiration. Listening to his latest "big speech," my impression was rather mixed or, to be more precise, I could not but agree with Boris Rozhin's evaluation, which I find accurate and just. Colonel Cassad/Rozhin entitled his review of Putin's speech "pacifying," which seems to correspond to satisfactory.

A political theorist might also characterize the speech as falling into the category of accounts by housekeepers and household-managers.

Putin's speech to the Federal Assembly was notable as much by what it focused on as by what it painstakingly avoided. Among the latter notably were the questions of the people of Donbass/Novorossiya, the war in east Ukraine, the rise of Nazism in Ukraine, NATO expansion, or, from "foreign" issues, the ongoing war in Syria.

The striking emphasis in Putin's speech and by far most time of it went on business and entrepreneurs, thus bringing much home a point that business is a key business of the Russian government. Putin's formula was, indeed, something like "the government and business."

The boldest and most radical measure announced by Putin in his address on December 4 is declared amnesty to oligarchic capital and assets hidden abroad if the rich decide to bring the cached-away and taxation-evading money, whatever their source, back into Russia.
Putin tried his best to emphasize Christianity and the importance of "traditional values."

But the only one person whom he cited was Ivan Ilyin. I will leave it at that here for now. But I will return to this later with only this little note: siding with Ilyin and citing Ilyin does not bode well to any socialist aspirations of the people of Donbass or in the Russian Mir. 
Putin started off by bringing the coming of Christianity to Kiev Rus, but then, in the middle of his speech, the only time he used the word "sacred" again was when he spoke of "private property," which happened, I believe, shortly after he declared total amnesty to Russian capital stashed abroad "regardless of its origin or the way in which it was obtained."

This placed the people themselves and the needs and aspirations of the people to the very last segment of the speech, depending on how one counts to the last 20 or 10 minutes where Putin's key point was that the care for the people should not be imitation.

So listening to the speech, my first thought is that doing something for free is very un-smart and inconsiderate. But then I remember all the people of Donbass, all the volunteers, then I also remember Russell Bonner Bentley III, or someone like  Plato's barefooted teacher, and my spirit and contentment is restored again.

Here I openly admit my bias--early today I was listening to an interview of one of the Novorossiya commanders (and it was not Alexey Mozgovoy) and his spirit and his sincere care about the people inspired me incomparably more than the one-hour-ten-minutes speech which I touched above.

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