Sid Guttridge wrote: ↑
09 May 2021 14:31
You ask, "Ah. But how 'right' is it for other countries to 'explore' the history of a country they are politically targeting with the objective of instigating unrest in that country?
" Entirely right. If a country doesn't want to be suddenly embarrassed by its past, it should address its own history honestly, thereby removing it as a stick with which it could be beaten. Then it can't be successfully ambushed by its own past.
Who is doing this, as a matter of interest? This seems to be entirely an internal Russian thing.
You post, "1- Putin is not an ordinary Russian. He is the leader of the Russian Federation and is empowered (whether outsiders like the Russian system of government is immaterial) to make decisions to protect the Russian Federation."
Yup. So? The fact that Putin can do something does mean (1) that he should do so or (2) that it is in the interests of Russia or Russians.
You post, "I do not believe any push in Russia to equate the actions of the Soviet Union with Nazi Germany was a home-grown political phenomenon.
" Your evidence for this is.....?
You post, "It sounds like an attempt to reduce the negotiating power of the Russian state by advancing the notion that morally, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were equally bankrupt, and therefore, Russia has no recourse to rebuttal based in morality.
" I wouldn't, personally put the USSR in quite the same category as Nazi Germany. However, beyond good theoretical intentions, in practice it certainly didn't occupy very much of the moral high ground during its existence, so it would be difficult to mount any "rebuttal based on morality"
. What bits of the moral high ground do you suggest the USSR occupied that might be leveraged to its advantage in the future?
You post, "Now consider how Putin would view such a situation. As a national leader, he would never agree to such a proposition. So, he shuts discussion of it down. Not much to like there?
" I don't have to consider Putin's view if it diverges from openness on the facts and the right to publicly debate them. It would appear to be his intention to treat the Russian people like mushrooms - kept in the dark and fed on sh1t! If this didn't impact on Russia's neighbours, it would just be a private Russian grief, but it does and is very threatening to them. Putin's forces currently stand on the territory of four of the Christian, former SSRs of the Soviet Union, in three cases without being invited.
You post, "Other states, faced with similar attempts at defamation of the entire country, may be able to rely upon robust legal systems to remedy such attempts at manipulation by other countries.
" Which "other states
"? What "manipulation
"? What "defamation
How can open discussion of the facts defame anybody, let alone an entire country if that fame is justified? If it is demonstrable that the USSR is not equatable to the Nazi Germany, then it should be a simple matter to demonstrate this. My suspicion is that there are too many parallels with Nazi Germany for this to be a safe and easy route to follow and so the preferred option is to shut down debate altogether.
I should point out that the USSR was not the same country as today's Russia. Nor was Czarist Russia. If the current Russian Federation wants to reclaim Russia's heritage as its own, it might like to start by paying off Czarist Russia's international debts. That would empirically demonstrate its reclamation of Russia's past and continuity with it.
"Well, I also consider the state of the law in Russia. It is applied with considerably more arbitrariness there than in many countries of the West. That is the consequence of heavy-handed state control for a much longer time than Putin has even been alive. Yet, it is what Putin has to work with, and so instead, he issues decrees.
" Putin is an autocratic head of government with near dictatorial powers. He has been in power for over twenty years already and has altered the constitution to keep himself there for perhaps decades to come. A majority of Russia's practicing legal profession today probably began work after Putin came to power and some would be half way through their careers by now.
How long can Putin go on blaming the past for inadequacies in his own regime?
After over two decades of his rule, Russia's population is again falling, despite the return of millions of Russians from the "near abroad". Russians seem very patriotic, yet a high proportion of educated young Russians want to leave. When they do leave they apparently repatriate less money to Russia than Georgian expatriates send back to tiny Georgia!
Russia has more natural resources than any other country, yet exports almost no manufactured products beyond armaments. Its people are often highly educated and skilled, yet have a life expectancy slightly below those of Mexico, Morocco or Malaysia.
This law is the least of Russia's internally generated problems.