May 15, 2014

Putin a 21st-century tsar, with Russians happy to trade freedoms for security

Russia's default state is not that of a democracy; its authoritarianism has deep roots. And Russians are more than happy to trade liberties for security, says political academic Thomas Ambrosio.

The actions of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin may seem bewildering to those in liberal-democratic countries who believe that personal freedoms, open-mindedness and economic prosperity are the paths to success in the modern world. But the Kremlin is operating from a different playbook.


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7 thoughts on “Putin a 21st-century tsar, with Russians happy to trade freedoms for security

  1. Grumpy Old Sod

    This is an excellent article and one sorely needed to counter the bombastic propaganda about Russia that assails our consciousness on a daily basis.

    While not disagreeing at all about Putin and his standing within Russia, I find myself having a wry chuckle about how we class ourselves as ‘democratic’. Interestingly enough, a study just released (April 2014) from Princeton University points out that the US is not a democracy either as no matter how many people my agitate about an issue, it is ignored for the benefit of the corporations.

    Given that this is happening to a greater and greater extent here and elsewhere in the Anglosphere I would suggest to Thomas that he may like to turn his gaze upon us as well.

    With Putin, one aspect that is given only slight mention is the fact of the resurgence of the Russian Orthodox Church and with it the releasing of Slavic mysticism under Putin, something that resounds through Russian history and is regarded by many such as Tolstoy as one of the fundamental underpinnings of the Russian psyche. Along with Thomas I believe he will go down in Russian history as great ‘Tsar’.

  2. Electric Lardyland

    Could somebody please send Abbott and Putin off to their own deserted island?
    And perhaps with a well hidden film crew to document the results.

  3. zut alors

    His regular disrobing highlights the man’s weakness ie: vanity. I await the glorious day when Putin will eventually be cowed… by his own burgeoning omentum.

  4. Kevin Herbert

    While this article is a measured assessment of the unique societal & political context in which Putin operates in the post 1991 Russia, the global MSM including our own State sponsored media of the ABC, Fairfax, the Guardiam and Limited News, should hang their heads in shame at the bias they display against Putin who compares more than favourably with G Bush, Obama, Clinton ete etc.

    Check out this article in the UK based media analysis group Media Lens, and you’ll understand the overwhelming hypocrisy of even those media Aussies trust such as Aunty & Fairfax.

  5. Chris Hartwell

    zut, I’m just glad his long lost cousin (Mr Newman) doesn’t do the same.

  6. Bob the builder

    All very well, as far as it goes, but how could you not mention the disastrous western-imposed restructuring of the ’90s? The west’s policies had a disastrous impact on Russia – perhaps it’s time we took some responsibility for the emergence of authoritarianism too!

  7. Kevin Herbert

    Plaudits to you Grumpy O S…nice analysis.

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