Day 23, Phase 2
Outrageous Claims to Expertise
Nate at CURRENT AFFAIRS chats up “one of the most influential intellectuals in the world” in How To Prevent World War III, a longwinded interview in which Noam channels his inner Nikolai.
USM-5 peeps will laugh at this bit.
The “one famous case” brings you to this story popularized in Deutschland 83 in 2015. In fact, Moscow never believed a NATO attack was imminent or considered moving first. The last thing I want to do during an air-raid alert at 5:25 a.m is dismantle arguments made by “one of the most influential intellectuals in the world,” so I’ll format my version of World Wars in a poetry block below in order to maintain original spacing when published, maybe turn it into an png for tattooing purposes.
On the podcast side of things, listen to Week in Review with Ibrahim and Leonid.
And London-based practicing philosopher Vladimir Pastukhov’s Thursday evening chit chat, esp the bits about collective responsibility, accountability and guilt.
Vladimir answered the question, “Who rules Russia today,” on Telegram over the weekend. I’ve provided a quick xlation below.
Who rules Russia today?
This is an important question to which there is no easy answer. If we’re talking about trifling matters, everyone (the army of brazen officials) and no one is in charge, all at the same time. On fundamental issues, Putin personally runs the show. All real politics revolves around him. Minus Putin, not a single gun in Eurasia would be fired or fall silent. But this is a superficial answer.
There are also the individuals who control Putin. More precisely, not Putin himself, but his brain. They perform the functions of the very neck that turns his head in the right direction. It is a privileged caste, about which we know little. There’s a kind of collective Rasputin under Putin. Some of these people hold high government posts, while others are less credentialed and less visible. Some do not hold any posts at all. The main thing is that the sphere of their real competencies (a word the president has become so fond of in recent days) may in fact have nothing to do with their formal position in the hierarchy. The mayor can be responsible for the media, the oilman for security, the huckster for education, and so on. This is the real "conceptual Politburo.” The main political asset of its members is the possibility of influencing Putin emotionally and intellectually, the ability to persuade him in favor of taking this or that decision. The stronger the influence, the higher the place in the conceptual hierarchy.
In such a system of government, Putin has been gradually transformed into a passive instrument for translating the will of a brainless and faceless entity devoid of its own political identity. Each member of Putin Inc. has a stake and is seeking to take over the enterprise.
Oh, and the White House has minted up Ze commemorative coins. They cost $100 a pop.