Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Clash of Civilizations as a Clash of Musics and the brand name of Southern Front

The Cold War was not only a geopolitical clash, it was, as well known, also a clash of ideologies (both of which were products of the Western Enlightenment/Illumination/Lustration). The Cold War was, however, also a clash of political cultures. It would certainly be a gross simplification, but one which does hold an important kernel of the truth within, that at first jazz and then rock'n roll were something, which the Soviet Union and its top-down heavy and progressively bureaucratically deadening "culture" could not match or outgun. If the early 1960s were marked by the triumph of Soviet cosmos and rocket technology, the cultural revolution of that time was a global revolution blazed by the American spirit. In this regard, bureaucrats, especially the soulless ones or those spiritually dead, either tend to see culture not much more than a can of worms with some occasional mass diversion functions and if these do show any taste, it weighs heavily on the side of the vulgar and the base, but of an especially hollow kind (think of Yeltsin or the other one). In a sense, the Cold War was also decided by a competition of the two systems' music and "spirit of music." Had someone like Nietzsche lived today or in those days, we would have had a very interesting book about it, which would be very instructive and valuable in this respect.

In this regard, we do also know that, despite occasional pretense or protestations to the contrary, the Russian leadership and the current Russian elite (oligarchy, really a hybrid and merger of certain sections of the KGB, former party bosses, the mafia, and the higher state apparatchiks), their desire and goal, which they do regularly state openly and vehemently, is to be part of Western (political) culture (and the Western elite) as they understand and perceive it.
As the communist spirit evaporated among the Soviet elite and the decisive sections of its KGB guardians (did they ever seriously study Plato's Republic?), there were so many KGB defectors to the West in the 1980s and the 1990s, that the CIA would have be completely alarmed short of panic--for if everyone or at least so many defected, who would be there left to carry out the program of perestroika, "liberalization," and colonization? At one point, the success in crushing and infiltrating the Soviet system must have been too great and too excessive for the success to remain manageable. Moreover, paying off so many defectors off the state budget might not be that cheap once the flood of applicants booms so much. Obviously, one can suspect that the system then needed some serious correction, adjustment and  new triangulation in order to ensure that a needed amount of the traitors and defectors stay on their side--behind the enemy's (their nominally own people's) line instead of spending fruitless time drinking beer in Seattle or on Florida beaches--or trying to take valuable jobs from American analysts. So what could have been used to make to those people staying in their own countries sufficiently secure or at least very attractive? A blank check (up to a point in the small print) for the spoils and plunder of the wealth of their own country and people? Destroying lives of millions for $ millions or even billions was for many of the eligible ones a very good and irresistible deal.

So, if one wants to be objective and realistic, one has to recognize (without aspiring to be any Tocqueville) that U.S. political culture includes certain traits and strengths that proved to be not only more popular in the end, but that they also had more vitality and were not only more "compatible with the next stage of the development of the production forces and relations of productions," as they used to say, but also more conducive to the demands and requirements of technological progress. In my view, the deep down reason for this was quite simple--the ugly truth was that the bureaucrats did lack proper political and even social culture and what they have was a strong sense of jealousy for other people's excellence, talents, worth, and intelligence. Once you give these people with such a character power over others, there is not much that can save or redeem the situation. 

There is a Czech proverb (taken, as it seems to me, from a fairy tale) about a toad sitting on the spring and thus blocking the gush of water for the people and thus life itself. These soulless bureaucrats armed with petty minds and minuscule souls are, for me, like those proverbial toads sitting on the springs of life. And, for me, Plotnitsky is one of their series. He too is a toad on the spring under yet a bigger toad to whom, not so long time ago, Putin (or someone else) delegated control over Russian internal politics, nomination of key administrative toads--on top of delegating to him control over the "ideology" (banned under the Russian 1993 colonial constitution), which, as such, was just a sort of PR over which he too had delegated powers. These toads try to kill and suppress the good or the best in the people--just as they needed to remove such great people as Bednov, Mozgovoy, Ischenko or Dremov in Donbass. These toads are anti-life.

No system is inexhaustible, and each system can afford to neglect and waste human and social capital only up to a certain point of perceived "return," behind which lurks the point of no return. In its initial phase and first decades, the Soviet system unleashed and tapped into an enormous human potential and power. The final phases were those of mortification--some of its planned, some of it out of ignorance, other part out of utter disdain for human potential, and the rest was due to incompetence.

Anyway, much of this was to serve but as a sort of musing and introduction for acknowledging and singling out these peculiar traits in American political culture--its pragmatism (a sense of realism and a focus on the results), the enormous drive, which lifeless and soulless bureaucrats cannot quite match, unless they mistake energy for some their outbursts of anger, sophistication (good liberal arts education helped the Romans, helped the British, and also helped the US elites), and, at times, even a sort of disarming honesty (contrast that, for example, with the veil of secrecy with which Putin is trying to shroud his daughters and their billions, thus according them the status of the highest state secrets).

Speaking of that sort of thing, which I dubbed disarming honesty, and which may be especially of great significance for the "negotiations" ordered by the US with Russia's help for transiting Bashar al Assad out and moving in some new "provisional government" presumably with a notable "FSA" input, I have become puzzled by the provenance of the strange brand and meme called South or Southern Front. Then, thanks to US technology and that honesty, which has almost a certain democratic feel to it, google search offered to me right on top of the quick search this suggested answer:

"The Southern Front was established on 14 February 2014 in southern Syria[1] and receives support from the US led Military Operations Center (MOC) based in Amman, Jordan."

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