Comments

  • Short Story Competition Discussion June 2022
    I gotta ask, do we have any way of contacting Amity? I PM'd her awhile back but no dice. This round will be a bit less exciting without her around.Noble Dust

    Thanks to you and others for your PMs, also Jamal for his email, which I responded to yesterday.
    If others are still wondering, I'll post a snippet here:

    I left TPF, about 3 months ago, for a whole load of reasons.

    I now feel less connected and engaged. Other things have been given priority
    I think the Short Story event will do just fine without my presence. Others will step in.

    Thanks again for your stories and input.
    I gained so much from all previous discussions and explorations.
    Quite the eye-opener. One of the best experiences.

    However, I feel I have moved on and have less to offer in time, energy and motivation.
    Will probably read the stories but...the oomph has gone.


    Best wishes to all :sparkle:
  • Ukraine Crisis

    Thanks - please I don't want to detract further from this thread.
    I regret making my decision public.
    I will respond to you and any others by PM :sparkle:
  • Ukraine Crisis



    I have been advised to take a break from all the acrimony in this thread.
    But I'm sick of it all.
    The worst offender (neither of you) jumps in without even taking a breath to attack those he perceives as an 'enemy'. Hostile doesn't even begin to cover it.
    Even @jamalrob is keeping out of this thread, so toxic has it become.

    I've asked for my account to be closed.
    My 'resignation' refused for the time being.
    Usually, I wouldn't make this public but I'm beyond caring.
    Take care all.
  • Ukraine Crisis

    Please see PM I've sent you.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    I would presume that people on a Philosophy Forum would back up those who are against authoritarianism and imperialism.ssu

    The unfolding war in Ukraine has taken a backseat to petty point-scoring arguments by some.

    A war of words on TPF is nothing new but this latest round has taken it to another level.
  • Ukraine Crisis

    :up:
    I agree that change, as difficult as it will be, has to come from within, with support.
    Views of protestors from inside Russia.
    Posted in the Shoutbox.

    29dys ago, from @jamalrob:
    I posted this in the Ukraine discussion but it's now lost in the propaganda war that's going on there, so I'll post it here, just because I think it's good to see this reaction to the invasion from inside Russia.

    Russian Celebrities, Public Figures Speak Out Against Ukraine War

    (The Moscow Times is an independent Moscow-based English language newspaper that's often highly critical of the regime)
    — jamalrob

    ***

    An update from me 25/03/2022:
    Likewise posting this here instead of the lengthy Ukraine Crisis discussion.
    It's good to see increasing Russian voices speak out in this way. Dangerous to them, no doubt.

    Russian activists sign open letter calling for end to war in Ukraine
    Campaigners write manifesto in broadest anti-war statement by Russian human rights community
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/25/russian-activists-sign-open-letter-calling-for-end-to-war-in-ukraine

    “Russian citizens are being involved in military operations on the territory of Ukraine, where they become accomplices in war crimes and die themselves,” a draft statement says. “Our first goal is to help them avoid this, relying on the constitution and Russian legislation, and to assist all those who are illegally forced to participate in hostilities.”

    The activists’ second goal is to provide legal assistance to the families of Russian military personnel who “find themselves in an information vacuum”.

    “There is no official updated information about the dead, about the transfer of bodies to families, about prisoners, about their release or exchange,” the letter says. “It is difficult or impossible for relatives to find out what has become of their sons and husbands, or to get the bodies of the dead.”
    ----

    In the letter the activists write that the war in Ukraine was a consequence of a culture of impunity for human rights.

    “The war that has broken out in the centre of Europe is a consequence and continuation of Russia’s long-term refusal to protect the rights and freedoms of its citizens and all those under its jurisdiction – once again recalled the unlearned lesson of the second world war: a state that grossly and massively violates human rights within its borders sooner or later becomes a threat to peace and international security,” the letter says.

    The lack of a proper reaction of the international community to these processes during the post-Soviet decades also contributed to the tragic development of events.”
  • The Shoutbox
    29 days ago:
    I posted this in the Ukraine discussion but it's now lost in the propaganda war that's going on there, so I'll post it here, just because I think it's good to see this reaction to the invasion from inside Russia.

    Russian Celebrities, Public Figures Speak Out Against Ukraine War

    (The Moscow Times is an independent Moscow-based English language newspaper that's often highly critical of the regime)
    jamalrob

    ***
    Now:
    Likewise posting this here instead of the lengthy Ukraine Crisis discussion.
    It's good to see increasing Russian voices speak out in this way. Dangerous to them, no doubt.

    Russian activists sign open letter calling for end to war in Ukraine
    Campaigners write manifesto in broadest anti-war statement by Russian human rights community
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/25/russian-activists-sign-open-letter-calling-for-end-to-war-in-ukraine

    “Russian citizens are being involved in military operations on the territory of Ukraine, where they become accomplices in war crimes and die themselves,” a draft statement says. “Our first goal is to help them avoid this, relying on the constitution and Russian legislation, and to assist all those who are illegally forced to participate in hostilities.”

    The activists’ second goal is to provide legal assistance to the families of Russian military personnel who “find themselves in an information vacuum”.

    “There is no official updated information about the dead, about the transfer of bodies to families, about prisoners, about their release or exchange,” the letter says. “It is difficult or impossible for relatives to find out what has become of their sons and husbands, or to get the bodies of the dead.”
    ----

    In the letter the activists write that the war in Ukraine was a consequence of a culture of impunity for human rights.

    “The war that has broken out in the centre of Europe is a consequence and continuation of Russia’s long-term refusal to protect the rights and freedoms of its citizens and all those under its jurisdiction – once again recalled the unlearned lesson of the second world war: a state that grossly and massively violates human rights within its borders sooner or later becomes a threat to peace and international security,” the letter says.

    The lack of a proper reaction of the international community to these processes during the post-Soviet decades also contributed to the tragic development of events.
  • How do we solve a problem like Putin? Five leading writers on Russia have their say.
    I'm too tired - physically and mentally - to continue the discussion I started.
    Thanks to all who participated. It's been a learning experience.
  • How do we solve a problem like Putin? Five leading writers on Russia have their say.
    Sorry, I don't have anything to contribute to this discussion.SophistiCat

    Like I said to @Count Timothy von Icarus, I can't respond fully today.
    However, both you and @baker have contributed to this discussion in thought-provoking ways.
    The article for me was a starting point.
    There are clearly more perspectives and issues to be explored.
    For example, the religious ideology you hint at.
    Also the philosophy of what, if any, actions can or should be taken.

    I haven't heard that proverb before:
    "Do what you ought, come what may".

    I think it is ambiguous. What does it mean, to and for you?
    Does it reflect a particular philosopher's theory/practice?
  • How do we solve a problem like Putin? Five leading writers on Russia have their say.

    Excellent points in a substantive, thought-provoking post.
    Unfortunately, I don't have time to read and respond carefully right now or tomorrow.
    Hope others can give feedback, thanks! :up:
  • How do we solve a problem like Putin? Five leading writers on Russia have their say.
    To @Shwah
    I think you know very well what I'm trying to do here.
    And doing your very best to thwart that.
    I was giving you the benefit of the doubt.
    Please desist.
    Amity

    Apologies for this.
    I have edited my OP accordingly, thanks :sparkle:
  • How do we solve a problem like Putin? Five leading writers on Russia have their say.

    A quick nod in agreement :smile:
    Poverty is relative.
    A basic standard of life and health...that would help to resolve some problems but not all.
    Violence and greed will always be with us. The need for power.
    And who is it that tends to be that way and why...

    Complexity rules.
    Bye for now :sparkle:
  • How do we solve a problem like Putin? Five leading writers on Russia have their say.
    And any closer to a solution?Benkei

    Yes, I have a better idea of the problems now - and that is a good place to start.
    Both you and @Shwah have concentrated on the economic side; the systems and sanctions.

    If the government sets it up and it offers a tax break (since redistribution is build into the system) it might actually just work within the existing system.Benkei

    Introducing social credit system as an economic system of value or even promoting digital currencies may help but we have to see this completely as a failure of the west or the west loses the right of hegemony as a superpower (which it's already had chipped away). The sanctions are further arguing against any proper western hegemony.
    For history this will be viewed less as "Putin's war" and more as a continual fall of western hegemony that started with its domestic issues, went through afghanistan and the covid conspiracies and finally here.
    Shwah

    Not sure about the last paragraph in the last quote. However, will move on...
    Thoughts about money and values reminded me of this clip from Ch4 News which I can't forget:

    https://www.channel4.com/news/youre-asking-me-to-choose-which-children-live-and-which-children-die-says-wfp-head

    A roughly remembered quote from the 3min segment:
    " No child should die from starvation today, given the 430 trillions of dollars around the world".

    It was a heartfelt plea with statistics from David Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Programme.
    The dire lack of dwindling funds and the exact figure required to solve the problem was set out so that any oligarch, queen or corrupt politician should squirm on their golden thrones.

    So tempting to think of Revolution. But what would we revolve to?

    How do we deal with that?
    — Amity
    Through revolutions, like we did in the past
    Olivier5

    Perhaps cutting off their collective heads through 'sanctions'; not just for the wicked, war-mongering.
    I note some non-UK royal figures have opened up their property to refugees.
    I don't see that happening anytime soon here.
    For where would it end...removal of their crowns, glory and riches; their God-given right to rule?
    They salve their conscience by donating some money all the time visiting and receiving extravagant gifts from the likes of the Saudis.
    If Princess Anne's attitude is anything to go by:
    "The poor will always be with us". They really don't give a damn.

    The poor (not just in money) and the public are filled full of propaganda and beliefs about what it is to be a success. Who are the winners in life that take it all and fight so hard to keep more wealth than they can ever spend?

    So, yes - a more equitable distribution of funds, education about all of life's aspects. And so on.
    Dealing with human drives, met and unmet. The way we think and feel. The way to deal with problems of emotion and self.

    In philosophy or psychology - a practical process to learn so that it becomes second nature.
    A step back to critical thinking. However, I don't think even this works in the way described below:

    Self-criticism. This is my way. If a person practices self-criticism, that person cannot be so destructive, because that person will continuously ask to herself: “What am I doing? Is it good? Is it intelligent? Will it help progress?”. If Hitler had a habit of self-criticism, he would have thought, every second of his life: “What am I doing?”.Angelo Cannata

    For people with delusions or paranoia - mad or bad, it is not possible to reason like this.
    They have no reason to.

    OK, that's my early morning rant.
    Going out now. To find some peace and balance in a world seemingly gone mad.
  • How do we solve a problem like Putin? Five leading writers on Russia have their say.
    Yes, sorry for not staying too much on topic. I guess the intricacies of these issues push me into abstractions even further without a clear way to get there.Benkei

    No worries. The intricacies have given me a headache.
    Time for some fresh air and a walk on the wild side :cool:
  • How do we solve a problem like Putin? Five leading writers on Russia have their say.

    Thank you for your considered response.
    I appreciate your sharing and it has given me even more food for thought.
  • How do we solve a problem like Putin? Five leading writers on Russia have their say.
    I think it's been over-said that your conversation topic being limited to the 5 essays will never answer your question and that you should've been clear you wanted no more answer than what the 5 essays professed.Shwah

    For me, and possibly others, the reading of the article provided 5 different perspectives on 'a problem like Putin'. For consideration and comment to improve understanding.

    I admit it was difficult for me to focus on this alone; given further questions arising along the way.
    As to 'professed' answers; I saw most as suggestions and open, in that any list was not perfect.

    I recognised, in my last post, that there could have been a more interesting way to look at this.
    So, if you have a different way - perhaps more interesting philosophically - then I would be pleased to hear it.
  • How do we solve a problem like Putin? Five leading writers on Russia have their say.
    'm less concerned with fixing Russia before my own country and the EU are fixed.Benkei
    Understood and understandable.

    The article is about 'a problem like Putin' with a focus on his war.
    We are concerned because of the wider repercussions and implications.
    That includes our own countries.
    Putin presents the biggest and most present danger not only to Ukraine...

    I think an intermediary step that is getting traction more widely is a stakeholder capitalism.Benkei

    Thanks. I don't know enough about economics to discuss this. Or even where or how it is getting traction. Perhaps I'll look further, later. *
    I agree that anything which leads to less corruption of power in politics can only be better than whatever Putin brings to the table. But perhaps any system has inherent human flaws no matter what.
    Competing philosophical and economic theories abound...it's how they work in practice...

    ***
    Perhaps my original title would have been more interesting from a philosophical standpoint?
    Pragmatism. What say you @Ciceronianus?

    Your title is "How to solve a problem: like Putin" and I thought it may be about the different archetypes of "problem-solving" using Putin as a stand-in for an archetype and as a case study.Shwah

    ***

    I think more economic and tax justice in our own countries will mean they are less prone to abuse by foreign oligarchs as well.Benkei

    Again, yes. But if we are already in the grip of those aligned with oligarchs, what chance?

    I hope you agree that the article did its job in delivering different perspectives to the problem.
    I enjoyed the final one by Peter Pomerantsev.
    I look forward to hearing from @SophistiCat who knows more about him and his work.


    * I did find this for future reference, I am sure there's more out there:
    https://mainstreetcrypto.com/articles/what-is-stakeholder-capitalism/
  • How do we solve a problem like Putin? Five leading writers on Russia have their say.
    In a nutshell, declare "action taken", general population applauds, no extra money or effort just a few letters added to laws we don't really enforce, no change.

    If we want to be serious about change, the change needs to be fundamental, which means more, better and more effective democracy, not just political but especially economical.
    Benkei

    Totally agree. But how or where to begin...

    This is further complicated by hero worship having shifted to business men. We look to oligarchs for answers in fields they don't know anything about.Benkei

    There might be some hero worship of oligarchs in that they are owners of football clubs and have all the trappings of success. And yes, if mega-rich businessmen are in charge of the economy or the state, then we can be sure they are in it for themselves and their friends. Not for the good of the public, even if they claim that is the case.

    In the UK, we have Rishi Sunak* who during the covid pandemic urged us all to "Eat Out to Help Out".
    This appears to have accelerated Covid cases. And so on...

    My main concern has always been that there are no long-term commitments to any important areas, like Health and Education. The uncertainty and bias of continual changes according to party ideologies.
    Ministers being in charge of and taking decisions in fields they know anything of.
    The unwillingness to take on board any of the Reports commissioned, if not toeing the line.
    They set these up, after an outcry, so as to 'learn lessons' from their mistakes.
    The thing is, these 'mistakes' should not have been made in the first place.
    Think Grenfell Tower tragedy, amongst many others.

    So we need political, cultural and economic change and these changes need to be fundamental. The incremental or technocratic tweaking of liberals and democratic socialists is never going to be good enough.Benkei

    Absolutely.
    How does that change happen in electoral systems 'tweaked' and manipulated by the likes of Putin?

    --------
    *
    As a finance minister of UK or Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak will get salary around £71,090 so if we make prediction then his net worth would be around £2 million. Apart from this, he is also a director of the investment firm owned by his father in law named Catamaran Ventures.
  • How do we solve a problem like Putin? Five leading writers on Russia have their say.
    Essay 5/5
    Peter Pomerantsev: ‘Solving the problem means confronting the psychological grip he has on people’

    An interesting start to the essay:
    the senior news producer who waved the anti-war placard on prime-time Russian state television. This was a brave act, given the new law passed by Putin where you get 12 years in jail for mentioning the word “war”.

    She described her act as a desperate attempt to cleanse her conscience for having “zombified” the Russian people.

    No matter if you think it's a little bit too late, at least it's a start.
    How many people saw that and could minds have been changed?
    The problem: Putin's psychological grip.
    The mental model of Putinism, the worldview it constructs with propaganda of word and deed to keep Russians under control, is built on several foundations: it appeals to nostalgia; it projects a conspiratorial perspective and it insists that Putin can get away with anything, that there is no alternative to Putin.

    Again, the continuing thread is about the need to communicate. What and How?
    Some can use virtual private networks or satellite TV but not all.
    And how would it cut through any deep-seated anger and other emotions.

    The nostalgia narrative allows the Kremlin to transfer its own brutality on to a shadowy outside “enemy”, and then help people relieve their pent-up anger through aggression. The abusive, sadistic tone of Putin’s speeches, and the ones of his leading TV propagandists such as Vladimir Solovyov, give people an emotional path to articulate and validate their darkest and most violent feelings. It’s OK to be vicious and mean, this propaganda implies, it’s all history’s fault.

    This narrative is not Putin's alone. If his mission has been to “bring Russia off its knees”, then consider Trump's “make America great again”. The UK's Brexit slogan: 'Take back control'.

    Looking forward:
    Does Putin have a positive vision for the future, apart from his own maintenance of power?
    Thinking about the future means concentrating on political reforms, cleaning up the courts, abolishing corruption – all things Putin cannot achieve, as they will put his own system in danger...

    Media and communication with the Russian people needs to focus on these questions about the future. Both on the personal level, but also in terms of the future of the country.

    Again, the way forward involves keeping the door open:
    ...a group of Russian academics led by historian Alexander Etkind propose to create a university in the Baltics that will bring students from Russia and its neighbours to work on common challenges such as the environment.

    This is balanced with sanctions.
    They might kick in if and when people experience and see the gap between the elite and themselves.
    How might that be revealed by investigative journalism not allowed in Russia?

    They will have to rely on tracing documents and open-source investigations. We will need a whole new iteration of what the Russian journalist and editor Roman Badanin, founder of the investigative online media outlet Agentstvo, calls “offshore journalism”: exile media that uses modern tools to stay as close to the home country as possible.

    The problem:
    Putin will turn to the power ministries to use oppression rather than ideas. This has always been his final argument: that he can carry out any crimes at home, any invasion abroad, any war crime from Grozny to Aleppo, and get away with it.

    I think that Trump would call this 'genius' and has already said he could get away with anything.
    Beware America. Be alert. Do you want a dictatorship?
    This is scary. The argument that he is strong, the opposition weak.

    In Ukraine, Putin is purposefully targeting humanitarian corridors, bombing refugees and hospitals in order to break the will of the people. It’s a message to the world that all statements about humanitarian values, the UN’s “responsibility to protect”, “safe zones” is guff.
    His argument is that might is right, and in the futureless new world the ones who are most ruthless, from Beijing to Riyadh and Moscow, will flourish.

    Even with all the crimes against humanity, there is some controversy over the next suggestion:

    One small, first, but hopefully important step has been taken by the human rights lawyer and author Philippe Sands, who is trying to create a Nuremberg-style tribunal for those who began this war, not merely for war crimes but for having started a completely unprovoked invasion in the first place.

    Who would you begin with?
    Putin is not alone. And he wouldn't even recognise the right of the tribunal to so try him....
  • How do we solve a problem like Putin? Five leading writers on Russia have their say.
    Essay 4/5

    Ruth Deyermond: ‘Closing contact will confirm Putin’s narrative that the west wants to destroy Russia’

    Based on the view that Putin will stay in power. The question then is:
    How western states respond to a Putin-led Russia and how they organise their relationships with one another.

    Their (still) corrupt politics with close ties to Putin meant a blind eye was turned to Russian aggression to Ukraine in 2014 ( and others previously).
    So, what to do now?

    The problem: the grave risk of escalation to a wider Europe, involving nuclear possibilities.
    How can other countries be protected, if possible.
    Nato is seen as a defensive military alliance; not so by Russia, threatened by its expansion.
    Putin seems to have been triggered by mixed messaging from Nato over Ukraine's potential membership.

    Neutrality is largely in the eye of the beholder, and if the Kremlin regards states as de facto allies of the US, lack of Nato membership is unlikely to protect them from whatever forms of aggression it will be capable of after Ukraine.

    The way forward is related to Nato and EU decision-making and communication about future membership and relationships with the remaining post-Soviet states.
    Most importantly:
    However hostile the relationship between Russia and the west becomes, dialogue on nuclear matters needs to be maintained.

    Finally, the author concentrates on how we engage with ordinary Russian society.
    Closing contacts, as per some sanctions, is not helpful.
    It gives Putin more ammunition in his narrative of the West as the enemy intent on destroying Russia. We need to avoid an easy slip into becoming anti-Russian.
    There should remain the possibilities of exchange of ideas; study and culture.

    So, it's about keeping doors open. Even if Putin wants them tightly shut with no light shining in.
  • How do we solve a problem like Putin? Five leading writers on Russia have their say.
    Essay 3/5
    Oliver Bullough: ‘We can deprive him and his cronies of access to their wealth’

    Otherwise known as sanctions, already being carried out to some degree or other, depending on what suits e.g. the corrupt UK Tory party.

    Useful background to an old yet modern 'problem':

    Putin himself calls the Ukrainians Nazis, as if this unprovoked aggression is somehow a rerun of the Soviet people’s self-defence in the second world war. That accusation is disgusting, but it’s harder to dismiss the parallels between Putin’s own behaviour and those of the dictators of the mid-20th century.

    He is driven by a perverse misreading of history to deny his neighbours’ humanity. Russian officials and politicians are aggressive in their patriotism. The orange-and-black striped medal ribbon became the nationalist symbol when Putin invaded Ukraine in 2014, and the air-recognition-mark “Z” has rapidly morphed into an equivalent for this new war.

    Putin is a bully who invades his neighbours and kills his critics, and whose government lies compulsively, even about facts that are so self-evidently true that denying them seems self-defeating...

    ...The Russian elite’s patriotism and anti-western posturing is performative...

    The gap between words and reality.
    Perhaps they even begin to believe their own lies as they indulge in the luxuries.
    Moving their wealth out of Russia to serve their own desires.
    How patriotic. The evergrowing gap between the rich and the poor.
    Everywhere. And yet, where are the revolutions, the outcry for a necessary change?
    Protests, even where allowed, are not listened to.
    Perhaps only when votes are needed. Never the case in a dictatorship.

    If the problem can only be solved by the Russians, then what?
    If they don't see that there is a problem...
  • Propaganda

    :smile:
    Great!
    I look forward to your thoughts.
    I'm struggling a bit.

    Corrected the title of the thread to that of the article:
    'How do we solve a problem like Putin? Five leading writers on Russia have their say'.
  • How do we solve a problem like Putin? Five leading writers on Russia have their say.
    Essay 2/5
    Catriona Kelly: ‘We must try to understand the complex history of Russian imperialism’

    I'm not sure how many really have the motivation or capability to do that.
    However, reading on...

    Much as I share Tolstoy’s scepticism about the individual’s impact on history, to a significant extent this is Vladimir Putin’s war. Determined to reverse the entropy for which he blames Gorbachev, Putin believes in the transhistorical unity of Great Russia, Little Russia and White Russia. Ukraine as such does not exist.

    So, the problem: Putin's determination to 'defeat and purge independent Ukraine'.
    And yes, it's not necessarily the case that a rational solution would appear if Putin and his gang were removed.

    As the author says, many in Russia still support him. Those who hold prejudices about Ukraine, fear the West and so on.

    The suggestions for 'what may be achievable' include:
    Listening to voices from the region. A good place to start is Ukrainian activist and historian Taras Bilous’s essay, A Letter to the Western Left from Kyiv (published recently on openDemocracy), which corrects many of the British media cliches about insuperable linguistic, cultural, historical and geographical divides and the influence of the far right...

    ... Rather than ostracising works of art, try to understand the complex history of Russian imperialism. Pushkin’s To the Slanderers of Russia (1831) told western critics that Russia’s repression of Poland was a family affair. But Evdokiya Rostopchina’s The Forced Marriage (1845) presented Russia and Poland as an abusive husband and defiant wife – provoking outrage in Nicholas I.

    A worthwhile read; instructive and informative.
  • How do we know, knowledge exists?
    Why has this been placed in the Symposium, under Short Stories?
    Anyone?
  • How do we solve a problem like Putin? Five leading writers on Russia have their say.

    They only reference the kleptocracy of russia in the first essay (and once in the third) and never "kleptopia" (which is a much larger discussion).
    So you just mean how to solve kleptocracy as detailed in the first essay (business elites get passing mention in the second)?
    Shwah

    So, you did a word search? And you still got it wrong.
    I'm taking it one essay at a time.

    I think you know very well what I'm trying to do here.
    And doing your very best to thwart that.
    I was giving you the benefit of the doubt.
    Please desist.
  • How do we solve a problem like Putin? Five leading writers on Russia have their say.
    Thanks for your response.
    You are right. Following a reading of the first essay, suggesting possible ways forward, I asked "How do we deal with that?" in relation to the rise of Kleptopia, a term new to me.

    It was a throw-away line of thought, a question arising...perhaps not meaningful to you.
    You see limits to any 'way' or 'solution', I agree.

    Does that mean that the discussion can't proceed with regard to the article and essays?
    Again, your response suggests that you haven't even read it.
    You are trying to steer it in another direction:
    The question is more what's happeningShwah
    Not the focus of this discussion.

    [ I note you have edited your post to further explain your confusion. The title is now changed ]
  • How do we solve a problem like Putin? Five leading writers on Russia have their say.

    Under discussion is the article; the 5 essays within and relevant comments.
  • Propaganda
    Personal anecdote: I briefly met Peter Pomerantsev in Prague when he was a still boy living there with his parents. I haven't had contact with him since then, though I've met his dad in London, a Russian-speaking poet and writer, originally from West Ukraine.)SophistiCat

    Oh, how interesting.
    I have only just met him as the 5th contributor to the Guardian article:
    How to Solve a Problem: Like Putin
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/670017

    Thanks for your link to the podcast discussing propaganda. Will take a look, later.
  • How do we solve a problem like Putin? Five leading writers on Russia have their say.
    Well, I've just read the article with its 5 essays plus BTL comments and I'm seriously depressed.

    1. Tom Burgis: ‘To confront his kleptocracy, we must first cease our complicity in it’.
    2. Catriona Kelly: ‘We must try to understand the complex history of Russian imperialism’.
    3. Oliver Bullough: ‘We can deprive him and his cronies of access to their wealth’.
    4. Ruth Deyermond: ‘Closing contact will confirm Putin’s narrative that the west wants to destroy Russia’.
    5. Peter Pomerantsev: ‘Solving the problem means confronting the psychological grip he has on people’.

    Essay 1/5
    What do we think happens to the money we pay for Russian gas? How do we imagine western multinationals secure oil-drilling rights dispensed by a regime we know to be corrupt? Who do we think is behind the companies of anonymous ownership, registered in places like Guernsey, Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands, that we continue to allow to participate in our economies?

    How on earth can we stop buying gas? Even if we recognise the danger of fossil fuels, we remain highly dependent on them for the foreseeable future. Our 'addiction' remains even if we switch from one autocratic regime to another. We feed them as they feed us...

    The other pipe-line of 'dirty money' and the UK's PM blusterings of turning it off.
    Well, pull the other one...
    But a good point made of the dangers of a shadow global economy.

    Sanctions-busting deals between Iran, Venezuela and Russia – respectively kleptocracies with Islamist, socialist and imperialist masks – reveal that this alternative is already taking shape. The leaders of the Chinese kleptocracy will use this opportunity to bolster their position at the head of this new order

    We are watching the rise of what I’ve called Kleptopia.*
    An undeclared, unconventional war between kleptocracy and democracy has been under way since long before Putin’s troops marched into Ukraine.
    * How do we deal with that?
  • Matrilineal Matriarchy.
    An excellent and thought-provoking discussion, thanks all.

    Interesting overlap with @_db's 'Women hate':
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/12648/women-hate/p1

    Hope you don't mind but I've linked to some of your comments, here:
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/669853

    Cheers :sparkle:
  • Women hate

    :smile:
    The gay factor and gender identity issues are something I've been thinking about, strangely enough.
    After reading the fascinating discussion started by @unenlightened with excellent contributions:
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/12687/matrilineal-matriarchy

    It is not something I've ever read about in any detail. And I probably won't now.
    But so glad to see an open and non-aggressive conversation. A willingness from @unenlightened to consider all perspectives; others sharing their knowledge and experience :sparkle:

    For example:
    I stand corrected. ↪Cuthbert Twice.
    You have not presented any kind of argument here.
    — I like sushi

    That's right, we are speculating and imagining. The global prevalence of patriarchy makes the evidence thin to the point where it is almost impossible to disentangle social nature from social nurture. That's why I am as interested in the fiction as much as the anthropology. There is a thread within patriarchy, of virtual nostalgia for matriarchy.
    unenlightened

    However, it seems to still be about an either/or arrangement. Patriarchy v Matriarchy.
    I don't think this is helpful. Indeed, doesn't it play into the fear of males that women are taking control and being less than subservient? Women have their roles to play; the main one being a mother?

    The 'gayness' and the horror of being seen as less than masculine. Not to mention the religious angle.
    "In God We Trust" - pick your big, bad goodie. What gender must it be to be all-powerful?
    The cartoon: "Anyone who doesn't want to go to war is gay!" has a ring of truth, doesn't it?

    From that discussion, @I like sushi
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/669572

    When it comes to leadership both masculine and feminine traits serve society. The biggest error in colloquial thought is that ‘masculine’ means ‘male’ and ‘feminine’ means ‘female’. I don’t see how society can shift this thought without destroying the truth of these reasonably distinctive categories that shed light of human psychology. I see it as rather bizarre that women who act like men - buy into power structures and act aggressively and competitively) think they are empowering women … they are neither empowering women nor disempowering women, they are merely empowering the system that is already in place.

    And it's not as if women don't compete, just in other ways. So I'm not convinced it's just a male thing (which is worrying if true, because that means there's no clear way to avoid wars).Benkei

    I haven't read enough about female/male/other differences.
    Not sure that philosophy has anything to offer in how to avoid wars or even domestic violence.
    So many levels and aspects to consider in the fields of science, psychology, sociology...

    It is one thing to have the mental and psychological power to enhance wellbeing in self, family, community- when it comes to country and global competition for resources that's another ball game.

    The thought processes and 'reasoning' behind the violent...how can we ever rectify the ways of thinking in extreme groups? Even on TPF, we can see it play out. Vicious words flying instead of bullets.
    Perhaps all this is necessary and who we are...we rise to the challenges...

    It is from and to the extreme sections of society that would-be dictators seem to draw and give their power. Until hatred becomes mainstream, or so it seems.
    Why and how do we allow the extremes to overwhelm the majority? Don't most desire peace?
    Perhaps not...

    I think most people if asked, would say that it is young males ( 20-ish) who are manipulated by the more powerful to carry out their fantasies of world domination. They kill and are killed.
    the weakness of old men as being incapable of compromiseBenkei
    But not always.
    Males with extreme beliefs.
    Some act as lone wolves or gang up in 'brotherhood' to get attention or a sense of belonging.
    Some commit suicide after committing atrocities. Where do you see females doing that?
    Think of the school killings - the causes - so many by young men thwarted, rejected.

    Women are still seen as weak and men as strong.
    "Don't be a big girl's blouse!"; a father to his 5yr old son crying, after a fall from a wall.
    The phrase denotes a man regarded as weak, cowardly or oversensitive.

    Attitudes are ingrained. Any change can be feared and desired in turn.
    As to the prevention of war.
    That will never happen as long as profits can be made...
    It seems hopeless.
    It is horrific what is happening now.
    Unbelievable that humanity doesn't seem to have learned a damned thing.
    Or if it has, can't do anything about it.
  • Propaganda
    One can always argue that everything is fake: things just become more and more complex and more elaborately staged and larger conspiracies.ssu

    Talking about elaborate staging and propaganda.
    This clip from CH4 News is chilling. Putin's War Rally.
    https://www.channel4.com/news/putin-vows-kremlin-aims-will-be-achieved-at-war-rally

    A national celebration. 8yrs since the war began with the annexation of Crimea.
    Putin the dictator, centre stage, cheered on in a full auditorium.
    The use of the Z symbol.

    Images from this event are contrasted with those unfolding in Ukraine.
    Listen to Putin's rhetoric starting at 1:59. The brotherhood of brave soldiers...'shielding each other from bullets on the battlefield with their own bodies as if for a brother. We haven't seen such unity in a long time.'

    So it goes.
  • What are you listening to right now?
    Entente Cordiale :hearts:

    Floyd Robinson - Makin love (HQ)
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NfekMAea1GU

    Johnny Hallyday - T'aimer follement
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1ohw2OqFQl8
  • Show us your fiction!
    Can I take over here when Putin opens Scottish Gulag?Baden

    Oh, don't get me started on dictators, royalty and tramps.

    Trump. Bastard. Son of a Scotswoman. A damned MacLeod :rage:
  • Women hate
    Now I think at the heart of all this drive for competition, the show and spectacle one makes of oneself, is to show ones virility, if not individually than sociallyTobias

    How can anyone not see that :roll:
    I read your 'show one's virility' as...
    What philosophers are said to do.
    No. Not navel-gazing.
    'Willy-waving' :blush:

    But all that's been said and done before too.
    No PhD beckons there.
  • Women hate
    The language of war, the movements of its pieces, the dancing of thr protagonists, are all sexually tinged metaphors.Tobias

    Yeah, baby :cool:
    You got it :up: :party:
  • Women hate
    It is off topic but may ask you what your PhD is about? I am interestedTobias

    Well, not to give the game away too much...
    It includes: 1. quantitative and 2. qualitative analyses, concerning correlational coefficients and company.

    My worldwide tour will be sponsored by Durex and Dulux and maybe another D, yet to be confirmed.
    I do like my 3D's.

    1. A cunting counting game of snakes and ladders.
    The roll of a dice deciding direction of play and consequences.
    Up/down. Short/ long. Bold/ bendy.
    Until when...hmmm...dunno. I'm absolutely determined to be sexy flexi. With slow hands.

    The nitty-gritty bits are coming along spicily, thanks.
    * whispers, come in close.....no, CLOSER...*

    Ingredients and Methodology

    Poly-synthetic orgasmic Organic Orrific Polyfilla ( POOP) to smooth over polytishans cracks.
    Sprayed with Luminol, a floating fluorescency will then highlight [ fill in the blanks ].

    It is assumed that polytitians will be somewhat paranoid.
    Steps taken to ensure the process is perfectly...hmmm...processed, include:
    Beauty parlours, flight stimulators simulators, free freely spiked snorts shorts.
    High-class masseurses doing the necessary with extras.
    Last but not least - the Sunbed Solarium. The tube-y tantricksters telling the truth.

    2. Quality street. A Global Event.
    I will have direct 1:1 intimate intricate sexual relations serious discussions with a random sample of politicians, leaders, oligarchs...any old rich guy with beans to spill.
    In-flight or otherwise. Hmmm. Space travel. Maybe.
    Risquy recordings of...

    Oh, hang on. Best stop there. I think I might have divulged too much already.
    Hope I don't have to return my Durex and Dulux samples :scream:
    Second-hand painted plastic for sale, anyone? :chin:

    Should be a killer :wink:
  • Women hate
    I firmly believe that sexual frustration is at the root of all wars started by men.
    — Amity

    Based on what exactly? That sounds utterly ridiculous and I don’t really understand the obsession with the idea that sexual relations are somehow inextricably entwined with violence/war.
    I like sushi

    Ah, now you got me. As an absolutely firm believer, it is an absolute leap of faith; no evidence required.
    Although...given my compulsive obsession...
    I might just fly off on a world-wide tour; its leaders, past, present and future.
    A close and careful encounter with heads and balls should do the trick. So I hear.
    Yup. PhD in the post. Yes indeedy :nerd:
  • The Shoutbox
    It's been a couple of hours now and I feel bad for attacking your coffee hipster bollocks.
    — jamalrob

    Your sensitivity is inspiring. I'm thinking about feeling bad about something I said once.
    Hanover

    I think you guys should take inspiration from the Curious Case of Quick Cuddly Counselling, courtesy of the Mile High Club. Well, @jamalrob you did say you wanted to leave Moscow...

    Watch and not spill your coffee, now...
  • Show us your fiction!

    Ah. OK. Whatever you say...
    I have a soft spot for Supertramp.jamalrob
    So, show me your soft spot :razz:
    But I gotta go now...until then...

    Dreamer
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SwQ9iavJeI