Tagged: Black Hand of Donetsk

2018

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Looting museums to meet the emotional needs of the present is foolish and dangerous to art. To treat culture as property is philistine.

Nationalists instrumentalise art to embellish their power. Museums are a bulwark against such abuse of art.

National populism is an international menace.

Bernie Sanders will push 80 in 2020 and is damaged goods politically (dismissing southern primaries in 2016). Moreover, he should run as an Independent to avoid the charge of opportunism (i.e., using the Democratic Party when it’s convenient, ditching it when it is not).

Opportunism: After losing the nomination in 2016, Mr Sanders renounced his membership in the Democratic Party and was soon busy raising funds for his revolution on YouTube.

The nineteenth-century bases of industrial capitalism are no longer the leading edge of liquid capitalism (to paraphrase Zygi Bauman). The social disruption caused by AI and the “flexible” labor arrangements of the twenty-first century capitalist economy is not addressed by Trumpist and Sandersite ideas (neo-mercantilist protectionism and “socialization,” respectively), which remain locked in a nineteenth-century perspective of the nation state and labour-capital relations.

Consumers are primarily concerned about quality of service and consumer rights, not ethics and workers rights. The twist is workers are also consumers.

Smart twentieth-century Marxists used Freud’s work. Dumb ones didn’t.

Althusser liked Freud. Zizek is also cathected

Freud’s essay on group psychology explains the craving for the love of a strong leader among the populist masses.

Smart socialists are never motivated by envy. However, the dumb ones are.

There’s no litmus test for holding office other than being elected or appointed. To apply one to “wealth” is undemocratic and discriminatory.

If you like family dictatorships:

Hafez al-Assad 12 March 1971 – 10 June 2000
Bashar al-Assad 17 July 2000-

Putin aims to restore the glory of the Russian Empire. His ideology is neo-imperialism. Externally, he found a useful idiot in Trump, whom he plays like a balalaika. His investment in Brexit appears to be paying off as May and Corbyn unwittingly (or wittingly) do his bidding against the EU. Internally, the economic outlook for Russia remains bleak, as its leading exports — orphans, mail order brides, and political violence — have remained unchanged for at least a decade.

The civilised world will have to come to terms with the Black Hand of Donetsk sooner than later. One observes that what appear to be relatively small slights (see Pussy Riot’s stunts and WADA’s ban of Russian athletes) are more of an affront to his fragile ego than the threat of military reaction. Like Trump, Russia’s Eternal President can be played.

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Two tribes

Putin versus Erdogan. Two dictators having a spat is not a pretty sight.

As the Diego Costa of international relations, Mr Putin faces the problem of a lack of credibility when he cries wolf.

As the kids say, “sh*t just got real” for Russia’s Eternal President.

I’m no friend of Erdogan (who himself is a very bad actor), but Mr Putin was warned about violating Turkey’s airspace (I believe when Russia’s model airplane/drone was shot down a few months ago). Now, he’s been taught a harsh lesson in the meaning of respect for the sovereignty of other nations, something he’s wilfully ignored in Ukraine.

It’s ironic to hear the Black Hand of Donetsk use the language of “stab in the back.” All of this could have been avoided if Mr Putin had respected the international law of sovereignty.

US versus Syrian refugees. Caterwauling emocons are afraid of their own shadows.

What do the simple folk do

Doctrine is faith for doctrinaire people.

The patriotic Russian economy has been reduced to rubble under the strong leadership of Mr Putin, who blames “foreign interests” for the collapse of his Potemkin Republic of Donetsk.

Oddly, the Cambridges did not visit the Chip Shop during their trip to Brooklyn.

Booing Arsene Wenger is like booing Father Christmas/Santa Claus.

The fuse

Pundits worry over Mr Putin’s feelings and psychological limitations. The only thing the Black Hand of Donetsk understands is force, applied liberally. Put an economic pinch on the Russian middle class via sanctions, fast track the Ukraine into the EU, and he’ll backpedal.

Most political strongmen dislike being lectured to. But that’s no reason to coddle a criminal. In the short run, it is reasonable to demand the hand over of Comandante Strelkov to international authorities and the placement of UN troops in Donetsk. Finally, the Western powers should demand the removal of all Russian weaponry from Ukrainian territory (to forestall further sanctions). When Putin’s shock troops shoot down another airliner, there should be no question the shot was fired from the Russian side of the border.

A tale of two Indias, the desperate poverty on the streets (after decades of independence) and the conspicuous consumption of the Mumbai financial lords and Delhi superrich.

Artifacts of a royal childhood are the most precious things in the world.