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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Putin upholds western values?

  The always fiery and articulate Clarice Feldman references several articles about America's decline under Barack Obama: she posits that what "progressives" really fear is progress because they are constantly trying to hold back capitalism and the advances society has made under Western values, freedom and liberty.
  In Barack and Michelle Obama and their friends, the hacks are back, determined to slice the pie to help their "friends," and disbelieving that there is such a thing as the growth of wealth. (Well, under Obama's "reign" this is true, since he's done everything in his power to limit growth and wealth opportunities, replacing it instead with phony stimulus money and the Fed's feverish activity.
  Feldman describes what she observed of people living under the iron grip of communists such as Obama and the rapid decline of the everyman, while the elite prospered in their villas:
  I remember traveling behind the Iron Curtain and observing the furnishings in the Ukrainian hotels, taken from the rich (with painted inventory numbers on the back) and growing ever more shabby as decades passed with no replacements in sight; the careful halving of paper napkins and coffee pots with lines drawn on them to assure no one got more or less than any other patron on the Adriatic Coast of Tito's Yugoslavia. (Those resorts, by the way, were conveniently located near the lovely villas of the apparatchiks who had beautiful roads to travel there from the capital. Ordinary citizens from elsewhere in the country would have had to make a difficult journey over almost impassable and poorly tended roads.) I recall state shops with cheesy goods and restaurants and bakeries where service was impossible and more time was spent inventorying each roll and pat of butter than in fulfilling their function of providing food to customers.
  Feldman also notes that, my, my, times have changed. Believe it or not, Putin has come out in support of Christianity and western "conservative" values. "Conservatism doesn't keep society from moving forward; it keeps society from sliding backwards."
The Moral Code of the Builder of Communism, if you read it, is just a pathetic copy of the Bible: Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife. The Code of the Builder of Communism has the same commandments, just that they are written in a simple language shortened drastically. This code has passed on, it does not exist any more. A new generation of Russian citizens, young people don't even know what it is. But the only thing that can replace it is those traditional values that you mentioned. Society falls apart without these values. Clearly, we must come back to them, understand their importance and move forward on the basis of these values. I want to reiterate something I said in the Address to the Federal Assembly: yes, this is a conservative approach, but let me remind you of Berdyaev's words that the point of conservatism is not that it obstructs movement forward and upward, but that it prevents the movement backward and downward. That, in my opinion, is a very good formula, and it is the formula that I propose. There's nothing unusual for us here. Russia is a country with a very profound ancient culture, and if we want to feel strong and grow with confidence, we must draw on this culture and these traditions, and not just focus on the future.

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