Putin the Vampire
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has sunk his fangs deep into the neck of his nation, and is drinking heartily of its blood. The nation grows paler by the hour, and we grow more appalled.
In our last issue, we reported on how Putin is moving to place every photocopier in the nation under registration so he can choke off one of the last outlets of independent printing, the “samizdat” publishers who stood against the USSR. Simultaneously, Putin is preparing to prosecute the defiant Nezavismaya Gazeta for daring to publish an op-ed piece by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, which predicted that the Putin regime would end in bloody violence. And as insurrectionist activity becomes more and more defiant in the Caucasus, Putin is pushing to make it illegal to report the public statements of the rebel leaders.
There is simply no way to describe these measures except “neo-Soviet.” At breakneck speed, Putin is returning Russia to the same type of governance that led to the collapse of the USSR in less than a century.
Just as in Soviet times, while the Putin regime holds itself out as manly and courageous, in fact it quivers in fear of the printed and spoken word. Only rulers who know they have no legitimate basis to hold power, either in term of competence or mandate, fears words the way Putin does. But such rulers, of course, know that their rule cannot survive the harsh light of day shining upon it, so they lash out with violence against anyone who dares to try it.
The result of this is inevitable: blindness and ignorance. Cut off from criticism and the flow of information, the regime cannot adapt to changing circumstances, cannot innovate, cannot grow. Hence it stagnates, wallows in failure, and eventually collapses from internal rot.
What is most outrageous in all this is that the people of Russia, in their living memory, have seen all this before. They have willingly chosen to be governed by a representive of the failed, corrupt society of secret police who murdered Russians by the tens of thousands and brough the USSR to its knees. As such, who can say that they do not deserve the vampire’s fatal kiss?