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Sobering analysis. Soviet and post-Soviet Kremlin policy has been made in conjunction with the notion that there’s no real democracy, only useful manipulated appearances.

As with the Right at home, Putin gains power by undermining faith in the very possibility of good government
And in post-Soviet Russia, like here in these United States, theocracy and kleptocracy are bosom companions. Without Bolshevism for ideological legitimacy, the cynical former KGB officer Putin turned to the church. It’s effective.

#SundayMorning #Resist

Cynical kleptocrats work to undermine faith in democratic institutions not only in their home countries, but elsewhere too. It makes it easier to gain influence and wealth. As with the American Right’s “starve the beast” tactic, the strategy runs on self-fulfilling prophecies.
Theocrats happily go along (even if not as wealthy) because they too despise democracy. After all, only God can make humans ever behave well at all, and not for long, apparently. But they’re still “better” than you and me b/c they’re “forgiven” and they punish “the right people.”
If you don’t believe in human goodness—in the very possibility of it—you won’t believe in good governance. You won’t believe we can have a society with functional institutions run by ethical people, fair oversight of business, and government accountability.
Somehow, we need to thread the needle of holding to the belief that such things are possible—not that we’d expect 100% perfection, but generally possible—while pointing out where our institutions are already broken. Failing to do *both* is conducive to authoritarianism.
The American and global crisis of democracy is acute. We’re in deep. There’s no guarantee we’ll be able to save democracy, at least before some major human catastrophe. But I for one am going to do what I can.

So, uh, have faith? (But don’t tell anyone I phrased things that way)
For more on how a dark view of human nature fuels authoritarianism, see this thread and the threads quoted in it:

And if you value my work, please throw a few dollars a month my way via @Patreon if you can spare them:

Finally, remember that Russia did not create this crisis of democracy. The Kremlin is one force that exploits it, but there’s no puppet master, and there is agency among various parties in the right-wing international


Don’t hate Russians indiscriminately
I’ve spent a lot of time in post-Soviet Russia, most recently in 2015, and some of the most passionate defenders of democracy and human rights I know are Russian dissidents/intelligentsia folks.

We have major homegrown problems and oligarchs and theocrats running amok globally.
The Russian influence campaign may have tipped the 2016 election to Trump. But I doubt it could have done so apart from Comey’s anti-Clinton grandstanding and Mitch McConnell blocking Obama from warning us about it. To say nothing of the Electoral College and voter suppression.
I’ll end here. Hope you all have a great Sunday despite the generally horrible state of the world.

#SundayThoughts #Resistance #EmptyThePews
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