An interesting continuity

Russia’s Supreme Court has accepted the government’s request to designate Jehovah’s Witnesses as an outlawed religious group, deeming it to be an extremist organisation.

The Tsars rather hammered down on those who didn’t follow their flavour of Russian Orthodox. Old Believers buggered off into Siberia in order to be able to make the sign of the cross their way.

The Soviets rather hammered down on the non-Orthodox religious sects too. Baptists and Jehovah’s W and so on.

Putinism is hammering down on………

There’s more than a soupcon of a hint of truth to the idea of the Deep State, isn’t there? That whatever the political complexion on the top certain policies are going to be roughly the same?

12 comments on “An interesting continuity

  1. Not having had the chance to goggle it. But what are the chances our ROP is on that list too. I suspect that would be a catalyst to round up all the non believers’… All starting sound rather familiar.

  2. It’s about the balance of state and individual power. Under the Tsars, they were peasants depending on the land for food production. Today, they’re dependent upon the land for oil production. 50% of their exports are what’s in the ground.

    Democracy, human rights, all that good stuff depends on the power shifting. They depend on industrialisation taking over. It’s why Venezuela is pretty much a dictatorship along with the Middle East. When wealth is all about the land, groups of people will come together to get the land and use violence to get it, and the people who they are facing will also use violence to stop them. This includes destroying brands, symbols, traditions of those people, anything to stop them forming opposition groups that will kick them out and grab the power.

    I really don’t care about Putin. He’s an arsehole, but probably about as good a dictator as you can get. He and his mates are making a ton of money. He’s not stopping people leaving, his interference in many markets is rather small. You can buy booze and women aren’t covered up.

  3. There are an awful lot of SJWs who must be feeling Putin envy. I bet their list of antisocial freethinkers is a lot longer.

  4. “There’s more than a soupcon of a hint of truth to the idea of the Deep State, isn’t there? ”
    Not really as the Soviets blew up Orthodox churches which is a major difference from today.
    @Bloke in Wiltshire
    “I really don’t care about Putin. He’s an arsehole, but probably about as good a dictator as you can get. ”
    Considering the poverty in Russia that is not very good.

  5. It’s much simpler than that – Putin just got fed up with answering the front door to them and, seeing that he was confronted by people who were misguided rather than malign, was forced to tell them politely to depart rather than use the term du jour. Also he was tired of picking up those improbably beatific leaflets from his doormat.

    Can’t fault the bloke on this one, TBH.

  6. anon,

    “Considering the poverty in Russia that is not very good.”

    No, it isn’t. But what people in the west never grasp is that in these countries, the conditions mean you get dictators. The only way out of that is industrialisation, and Putin is generally pro-industrialisation. It’s that, or a bunch of fucking theocrats that will waste kids childhoods on reading bibles, korans or whatever the fuck else.

  7. It isn’t the Deep State. France has a Deep State that hates Catholics. So they exclude them and their policies from the public sphere.

    However France is quite conservative. Not to Catholic these days but not as revolutionary as their educated classes. So the Deep State is in a permanent coup d’etat against the voters. The voters really want a powerful executive like the King that was taken from them. So De Gaulle’s Constitution, with its powerful President, has worked best of everything that has been tried since the Revolution.

    What is happening in Russia is that culture is persistent. The Russian Revolution has tried to destroy traditional Russia but instead it is still there. What the Russians want is Autocracy, Orthodoxy and Mother Russia. Putin gives it to them and they are happy.

    It is time to admit that culture doesn’t really change. People can’t really escape their pasts no matter what they try.

  8. @BIW:
    “I really don’t care about Putin. He’s an arsehole, but probably about as good a dictator as you can get. He and his mates are making a ton of money. He’s not stopping people leaving, his interference in many markets is rather small. You can buy booze and women aren’t covered up.”

    Given the leadership models in Russia over the last 500 years, Putin’s behaviour is hardly surprising, and it may be many years or may require another revolution before they get the sort of benign demoocracy we have in most of western Europe – where political leaders don’t try to rape the country and figure that attention years it is time to let some else have a go.

    So long as Russia has leaders like Putin, they will use the West as bogey men, act like arses at the UN and threaten the nations on our Eastern border in order to distract Russians” attention away from their criminal behaviour.

  9. What the Russians want is Autocracy, Orthodoxy and Mother Russia. Putin gives it to them and they are happy.

    Putin has a very clear understanding of how to rule Russia based upon the psychology of its own people.

    Just as American presidents have played upon motherhood and apple pie, Putin has played upon the key levers of power for Russian values (as SMFS says, ” Autocracy, Orthodoxy and Mother Russia”)

    What Putin promised was a restoration of Russian national pride after the decades of decline and decay under the late Soviet leaders and Yeltsin.

    This restoration is little more than smoke-and-mirrors conjured up by the svengali-like figure of Vladislav Surkov, but both he and Putin understand that what matters in retaining power in Russia is not the truth, but the propaganda.

    The “expulsion of the Jehovah’s Witnesses” plays well in the cheap seats as it conjures up images of both Lenin and Stalin, still considered great men despite all of the horrors they inflicted upon their own people.

    Modern Russia is little more than the Roman mob writ large in the 21st Century and Putin understands the necessary mob mentality to stay on top.

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