Putin made Prigozhin
By Professor Gilbert Morris
Russians have short memories, but centuries long resentments: this is driven by survivalist rather than civilisational ethics!
Few, if any in the West understand this; as the West presumes it’s driven by civilisational priorities…a presumption - and pretence - which leads the West into hypocrisies!
Professor G.J.A. Pocock explained this Western presumption in American terms in his classic work: “The Machiavellian Moment”. There image argued that the American West spoke the language of virtuous republics, but operation in Machiavellian terms.
In the case of Russia, there is no hypocrisy: the survivalist mode is totally, unapologetically Machiavellian!
In Russia - it is said - “everything is possible because nothing is real”. Read Lermontov's classic 19th century novel “A Hero Of Our Time”about the deliberate process of restaging reality by authorities, inducing paranoia as an instrument of rule. Stalin used to disappear for a few weeks and allow traitors to emerge. He would then return and purge. The effect was no one knew whether his apparent weakness was real. Putin allows conflict and takes the role of referee. But then 3 months later some participants are arrested and they plead that Putin was there when they said all they said. The answer in Bahamian terms would be: “Yeah, yah talk wrote cheque yah ass cyan cash”!
Vladimir Putin has cultivated a political model in Russia that may be called a “vertical of power”. That means every institution, corporation, resource and process is locked into a power source that emanates from Putin himself in Czarist fashion.
Westerners who think themselves virtuous or morally superior will notice that Western politics have lusted after this power vertical since its inception. This is what Woodrow Wilson warned about in 1918; what Maj.Gen Smedley Butler warned of in his book: “War is a Racket”; Eisenhower warned of as the “military-industrial-complex” and what President John F. Kennedy warned of as “Secret Societies”.
For instance, those who think enslavement was about race have been deceived, perhaps given today’s narratives, unimpeachably so: the operation of power verticals are the most consistent power relations in the history of humankind and race=>racism was/is a mere evangelical tool used to exercise complete power over a groups - to enjoy the fruit of such power - with impunity! (Read Jean Paul-Sartre’s “The Anti-Semite and the Jew”.
Russia, since the 10th Century at its origins - never needed race. Raw power was always an acceptable exhibition of ‘legitimate’ authority in the shape-shifting geography of its power relations.
Challenge-take-attack-defeat-death or survive by submission and attack again. These are the turnstiles of power games in Russian history. Putin said once:
“there are no friends. There are enemies and traitors. Enemies are monitored and punished. Death to traitors”.
In this light recent events in Russia are true to form and Western media falling over themselves with joy fail to grasp that Prigozhin belongs to Putin. Prigozhin is Russian!
Putin made him. Their spat is both an emotional outburst from a bad day at the office and a gear-shift-snag in the power vertical governing Russia; one does not exist without the other.
In Russia, these men engage in the fullest panoply of their emotional range; including rage and cruelty. Tomorrow, they would break bread and cry singing Russian songs, after bathing in a frozen river and lunching on raw meat. And yet, they’ll weep at the Bolshoi at the Ballet “Maat” or listening to Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninov!
The Russian is both more sensitive with an elegant soul born in and of tragedy - and more blood thirsty Neanderthal than we may imagine commonly!
Western media blatherings about the “coup” attempt by Prigozhin’s Wagner forces are a bold reveal of the West’s utter ignorance of other cultures, of defining others by hypocritical standards and sheer lack of educated perspectives.
It is something to note however, that $6billion (more than the GDP of Barbados) goes missing from US transfers to Ukraine three weeks ago, US congressional leaders are “briefed“ on a possible coup attempt after the miserable failure of Ukraine’s counteroffensive…then there is a half-baked takeover of a regional city, Rostov…then an ignominious retreat by Prigozhin!
Things had been boiling over for at least 11 months between Prigozhin and Russian Defence Ministry. Prigozhin’s coup was against the Ministry, by his own words, not Putin or the Russian state. Planning started 8 months prior as they were smashing Ukraine as explained by GRU's (Russian Military Intelligence) 2nd and 15th Brigades under Utkin and Wagner's former Russian spetsnaz mercenaries spearheading the operations.
Now Prigozhin has retreated ostensibly to Belarus (nearer to Kiev), and…may…have…kept…control…of…the: Voronezh-45 Nuclear Storage Facility.
What does it all mean?
I named this a proxy war at its beginning when foolish irrationalist in the literalist fevers thought otherwise. But let’s with hindsight admit what is necessary to gain scope: this is not a war between Russia and Ukraine.
This is a quasi-world war between NATO and Russia!
That understand of the belligerents gives appropriate scale from which arises the questions:
1. Will Prigozhin’s Wagner group continue its dominant assault on NATO through Ukraine?
2. Does Prigozhin hold Voronezh-45 nuclear storage facility as an insurance policy against long Russian resentment?
(He is also wanted in the US for 2016 election interference).
3. If both the above are true - and they could be - does Prigozhin use tactual nukes against NATO through Ukraine…giving Putin plausible deniability?
4. Was it all planned?
5. Putin knew about Prigozhin’s rants and plans beforehand. Why let them come into play? Was it to reveal who would side with him! Was it to humiliate the defence ministry then purge them?
What is certain: Prigozhin has now only two ways to die: by Putin or not by Putin!
The master diplomatic envoy does not get caught up in the euphoria of things... barking childish ideologies or evangelising potential favoured outcomes.
He reads the tea leaves, he doesn’t drink the tea! He isn’t moved by speechs and convenient comparisons of false virtue!
Instead, he seeks the coordinates of and for survival, which leads to confraternities amongst apparent nemesis, and traces the alignments benefits as indicators of potential outcomes, no matter his preferences!
Cold as ice and twice as hot!