October 5, 2011
(Libra Bunda / THE DAILY TELEGRAPH): Vladimir Putin is on a roll. Last month, he revealed he was all set to return to the Russian presidency next year, possibly for as long as twelve years. And on Tuesday, he disclosed he was in the process of creating a new global power bloc, the ‘Eurasian Union,’ on the bones of what used to be the Soviet Union. His dream would see Russia again dominating about one fifth of the earth’s surface with an internal market of almost 300 million people. The new union would include authoritarian Kazakhstan and Belarus to begin with before expanding to take in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and then, Mr Putin hopes, other former Soviet republics. Mr Putin did not say so but it is known that he would dearly like to see Ukraine sign up to his master plan. His is a bold idea and one that immediately and unsurprisingly drew admiration from Russian nationalists. Older Russians, who hark after the paternalism and stability of the defunct Soviet Union, are also likely to appreciate the plan. Mr Putin was at pains to say however that his mission was not to recreate the Soviet Union …other countries ruled by strong men like Mr Putin may well see the idea as a good one. They will of course fight to minimise Russian dominance in the new union. But ultimately they may see the new power bloc as a way of enhancing their marginal voices on the global stage and as a mechanism to shore up their authoritarian regimes at a time when dictators are nervously looking over their shoulders. (MORE PAIN)
I feel less threatened and more pity for any confederation of countries that centralize. It might help tyrannical governments feel less threatened by their own populations, but in a time when there is so much economic instability, It’s about the worst thing one can do for one’s economy… no wait… correct that… it is the worst thing for the richer countries economy… the country of deadbeats gets bailed out. Russia has nothing to gain by bringing potential equivalents of Greece into their sphere. Sure… they might be rich in resources, but a centralized structure will quickly abuse those resources. I don’t feel threatened… I feel bad for them. It has not worked for Europe. It is too bad these totalitarian countries can not bring some proportion of human rights into their government because a stable democracy built on natural resources and a healthy amount of cultural guiding through media public relations to push ideas like equal dignity for genders and tolerance for those who don’t threaten to kick your ass would be ideal. Russia seems ok in the gender department, but many of their former satellite states are Muslim. Good luck with that. While America and Europe are starting to understand that Democracy is not Democracy because someone says so, but rather Democracy is Democracy because government is kept in check, Russia is figuring out a new way to obscure a dictatorship. G-d help them.