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Home/Rod Dreher/Putin Gets It. Why Don’t We?

Putin Gets It. Why Don’t We?

Putin gets it -- why don't we? Source)

The reason I wrote Live Not By Lies is because people who lived under Soviet communism were telling me that what’s happening in the US right now, with the acceleration of cancel culture, militant wokeness, and the rest, remind them of what life was like under Communism. They’re angry that Americans won’t believe them. Hence the book. Well, I did not expect to have Russian President Vladimir Putin confirm the thesis of Live Not By Lies, but he just did — and if anybody should know about Soviet totalitarianism, it’s a former KGB colonel. Excerpts from the Daily Wire piece about Putin’s speech:

Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed during a speech on Thursday the far-left woke ideology that he said is causing societal ills throughout the Western world, saying that it is no different than what happened in Russia during the 1917 revolution.

Putin made the remarks during a plenary session of the 18th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi where the topic was “Global Shake-up in the 21st Century.” Putin’s remarks were translated by an interpreter and that video was uploaded to the Russian government’s website.

“We see with bemusement the paralysis unfolding in countries that have grown accustomed to viewing themselves as the flagships of progress,” Putin said during an event where he spoke for a few hours. “Of course, it’s none of our business or what is happening, the social and cultural shocks that are happening in some countries in the Western countries, some believe that aggressive blotting out of whole pages of your own history, the affirmative action in the interest of minorities, and the requirement to renounce the traditional interpretation of such basic values as mother, father, family, and the distinction between sexes are a milestone … a renewal of society.”

Putin said that Western nations had a right to do whatever they wanted to do but that “the overwhelming majority of Russian society” rejected these new ways of thinking.

“The preparedness of the so called social progress believe that the bringing a new conscience, a new consciousness to humanity, something that is more correct,” Putin said. “But there is one thing I would like to say: The recipes they come up with are nothing new. Paradoxical as it may seem, but this is something we saw in Russia. It happened in our country before after the 1917 revolution, the Bolsheviks followed the dogmas of Marx and Engels. And they also declared that they would go into change the traditional lifestyle, the political, the economic lifestyle, as well as the very notion of morality, the basic principles for a healthy society. They were trying to destroy age and century long values, revisiting the relationship between the people, they were encouraging informing on one’s own beloved, and families. It was hailed as the march of progress. And it was very popular across the world and it was supported by many, as we see, it is happening right now.”

More:

“Incidentally, the Bolsheviks were absolutely intolerant of other opinions, different from their own,” Putin continued. “I think this should remind you of something that is happening. And we see what is happening in the Western countries, it is with puzzlement that we see the practices Russia used to have and that we left behind in distant path, the fight for equality and against discrimination turns into an aggressive dogmatism on the brink of absurdity, when great authors of the past such as Shakespeare are no longer taught in schools and universities because they announced as backward classics that did not understand the importance of gender or race.”

“In Hollywood there are leaflets reminding what you should do in the cinema, in the films, how many personalities and actors you’ve got, what kind of color, what sex, and sometimes it’s even even tighter and stricter than what the Department of Propaganda of the Soviet Communist Party Central Committee did,” he said. “And the fight against racism, which is a lofty goal, turns into a new culture, cancel culture, and into reverse discrimination, racism on the obverse. And it brings people apart, whereas the true fighters for civic rights, they were trying to eliminate those differences. I asked my colleagues to find this quote from Martin Luther King, and he said, ‘I have a dream, that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.’ That is a true value.”

“You know, the Bolsheviks were speaking about nationalizing not just the property, but also women,” Putin continued. “The proponents of new approaches go so far as they want to eliminate the whole notions of men and women, and those who dare say that men and women exist and this is a biological fact, they are all but banished. Parent number one, parent number two, or the parent that has given birth, or instead of breast milk, you say human milk. And you say all of that, so the people who are not sure of their sexual agenda are not unhappy.”

Read it all. And if you want to see the speech dubbed in English, click here. Whatever else you think of him, Putin is telling the God’s honest truth here.

See, this is the thing. Putin, Orban, and all the illiberal leaders that our baizuocracy loves to hate are all completely clear and completely correct on the society-destroying nature of wokeness and postliberal leftism. It should not be that way, but it is. Meanwhile, our Democratic political class, and the baizuocrats throughout the American elite (e.g., those who run corporations, universities, the media, law, medicine, sports, the military), are actively destroying this country and its founding values with their ideology. The Republicans, for the most part, aren’t doing a damn thing (though good for Sen. Tom Cotton for just introducing a bill to prohibit schools from participating in the gender transitions of children behind the backs of parents; more, please). Trump talked a reasonably good game, had some minor successes, but had too little follow-through. It is time to get serious, to quit playing around, before it’s too late.

There are a lot of Americans who will look to Putin and Orban and point to corruption they’ve allowed under their governments, and use that as a reason to dismiss everything they say about wokeness. This is a foolish error. You don’t have to endorse corruption in order to recognize that on these cultural matters, they are correct. Besides, as a young woman I shared a taxi with across town in Budapest told me, she recognized that the Fidesz Party governance had tolerated far too much corruption, but she was going to vote for them anyway in next year’s election. Why? She said that she doesn’t want her young children to grow up in a country that has destroyed the idea of man and woman, and of family. There are some forms of corruption, she explained, that are harder to recover from.

As I see it, this is the main lesson American conservatives can learn from Viktor Orban and his government. They grasp that this is a civilizational struggle, and that they are not just dealing with opponents, but with very powerful people who push an agenda that is tearing our societies apart. And they are willing to use the power of the state to stop it. You don’t have to commit to a grand integralist theoretical scheme to do as they are doing. You have to use the laws that are already there — but you also have to not give a damn what the media and the baizuocracy say. If the GOP comes to power again, please, let’s stop this pantomiming.

I was talking yesterday to a conservative Catholic friend who is very smart about all this. He says that all talk of integralism is a complete non-starter in the US, and a distraction from what might actually work in the real world to save the country from its internal enemies. My friend pointed out that democracy has not prevented the Left from mainstreaming all kinds of crazy concepts in a lightning-fast way, and using the actual institutions of liberal democracy to bring about illiberal Leftism.

The problem, he said, is that we on the Right have been too stupid to understand that control over institutions matters. Yale Law School is incomparably more powerful than 15 million Southern Baptists. That being the case, why do we allow these people who actually hate us and want to see us crushed hold so much power? We allow these institutions, run by and filled with people who hate us, to credential the ruling class, and yet we sit by hoping that one day, they will wake up and realize that our arguments are better, and change? Not going to happen. Why do we give Big Tech, which also despises us and our values, control so much of the public square? Why do we all keep voting Republican, even though the party outsources its policymaking to libertarians and neocons who have no real problem with the baizuocracy, as long as they can maintain their position within it?

J.D. Vance gets it (“We are actively subsidizing the people who are destroying this country”) even if the rest of the GOP does not (and even if his main primary opponent is the kind of hopped-up GOP guy who only wants to tweet and meme rather than offer serious ways to dismantle the baizuocracy). We tried the Trump thing. There were some successes, but it didn’t work. Trump left office with the White House and both houses of Congress in Democratic hands, and with the woke more entrenched in power than ever. Time for something new. When even America’s No. 2 rival in the world, Vladimir Putin, can see what’s happening, what on earth is wrong with us?

If you haven’t read Live Not By Lies, let me ask you to do so, please. It’s exactly what Putin is talking about here. I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Vladimir Putin, but when the man is right, he’s right.

Ask yourself: is there a single American conservative politician with the guts to give a speech like Putin did? If not, why not? You see the crisis.

It is interesting to consider that Live Not By Lies has sold over 140,000 copies in the one year since its release, yet as far as I know, except for the week it appeared on the Times bestseller list, the first time it was mentioned in the mainstream media at all was in the story about Hungary in this weekend’s Times magazine. I’m not complaining because I’m losing money — I’m making good money on this book, with sales like that. I’m saying that it means something when a book like this, one that gives voice to immigrants to America who escaped Communism, and who say that they’re watching the same thing happen here with wokeness, is widely ignored in the mainstream media, despite being a bestseller. The media don’t want people to read this, because if the book is telling the truth, and if these immigrants from the USSR and the Warsaw Pact are accurate in their insights, then Live Not By Lies stands to awaken the somnolent public about the true nature of this crisis. If people wake up, then they might just fight back hard against wokeism. That is something the media does not want, for obvious reasons.

Wake up. The media and the baizuocracy are gaslighting us all. The immigrants who came to this country seeking freedom from Communist totalitarianism are desperately trying to warn their fellow Americans — but few of us want to listen. Now even a former KGB colonel says it’s true. At some point, Americans will either wake up and fight back, or we are going to find ourselves living under a social credit system, and crushed by the baizuocracy.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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