EDITORIAL: Putin’s Russia, Naked before the World

EDITORIAL

Putin’s Russia, Naked Before the World

Last year, foreigners increased their holdings of U.S. government debt by nearly half a trillion dollars, and as a result the value of the U.S. dollar has soared by almost 15%.  This fundamental confidence in the strength of the United States as a “safe haven” in the midst of a worldwide economic crisis is providing the Obama administration with a valuable source of investment capital it can use to address America’s own downturn.

Meanwhile, of course, Russia’s own currency has plummeted in value by more than 30% as foreigners have expressed fundamental distrust in the Russian government’s ability to keep its word. Investment capital in Russia has virtually disappeared, leading to a massive uptick in unemployment that the governement is totally powerless to address except by frittering away the last vestiges of the nation’s emergency savings funds.

Russia has been spurned once again, just as it was spurned when it asked the world to recognize South Ossetia as an independent state.  And the reason is simple.

When Americans were faced with the failed policies of George Bush, which included a ridiculously soft and confused stance on human rights in Russia, they booted Bush and his Republican Party out of office and handed power to their rivals.  But Russians?  Like mindless lemmings they go on following Putin in his mad rush towards the cliff, pathetically unable to even consider the possible need for reform.

And this is nothing new for Russians.  Rather, it is a hallmark of their entire history, and the key explanation for why their state so predictably collapses and degenerates.  America has had the same constitution for more than two centuries. The Russian state has collapsed three times in the past century alone.

Russians see people from all walks of life and all countries of the world waiting patiently in line for the chance to live in the United States, while nobody in his right mind thinks of emmigrating to Russia (certainly not anyone with a remotely dark-hued skin color).  And yet, though all this is right before their eyes, Russians stubbornly refuse to change, insisting on replaying the same failed struggle with an overwhelmingly stronger American rival over and over until the nation collapses in a heap of dust.

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