Counterpoint by Mark Nicol – Alexei Navalny – The fight for humanity

| February 1, 2021

Russian patriots and Western minds concerned with fates in foreign cultures will see Alexei Navalny, Putin’s political nemesis, as a valiant freedom fighter. But I would argue that most tuned into this David and Goliath narrative do not sincerely want the noble underdog to triumph. I would go further, to say that far more is actually at stake than the matter of freedom and contractual political decency in State Russia.

Alexei Navalny is just a man, no more, no less. He is no moralizing poseur. He is just an extraordinarily brave soul pursuing a final end to the litanies of decadent despotism wrought upon the Russian people and their sad psyche. Yet therein lays the rub.

It was Sergei Rachmaninoff, penner of the most romantic music ever, who, as a trifling yet emblematic Russian aristocrat, would yield profound insights into the self-fulfilling nature of an ongoing Slavic tragedy:

“A Russian is only happy when he is sad.”

“I do not want to stay in a country where one’s house servant becomes one’s master.”

Rachmaninoff, positioned as a lower aristocrat during Russia’s early 20th Century revolutionary uprisings, fled to the land of freedom, the USA. Of four Russian master-composers who lived through that torturous epoch, Stravinsky, Prokofiev also emigrated to the USA, whilst Shostakovich stayed, suffered. Rachmaninoff yearned achingly for Russia from exile, but comfort and safety ruled.

In Russia today we see the cumulative consequence of a cynical social contract where economic expediency and political cowardice have ruled, beyond the Tzarist State, for a hundred years. The first real ray of light in that period was summonsed via the visionary leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev, some 30 years past, and gone.

The Stalinist years, 1929 – 1953, marked the nadir of the Russian Political State, the descent into brutal ideological terrorism. Via Stalin’s purging programs millions of Russian, and Ukraines, were directly or effectively murdered. All Soviet citizens lived under a prolonged Reign of Terror of enduring psychological effect.

How, via that design for Commons emancipation, the Communist vision, could the Soviet State so quickly throw up the totalitarian treachery wrought by Stalin’s regime? In Mao’s vile, vicious purges borne of maledictive proletarian recrimination, did we not witness another classic example of totalitarian atrocity enacted in the paradoxical name of communalist decency?

The agent who intellectually underwrote this abysmal failure of Russian and Chinese history, the failed outbreaks from Ancient World Politics, was Karl Marx. The West adopted democracy, free enterprise, as designs offering emancipation from the Ancient Regime. But Russia and China chose Communism, the Marxist doctrine. Both cultures suffered horrifically as direct consequence, whilst the whole world is still lumbered with the ongoing moral and political mess.

Marx, unlike Mohammed, was a brilliant intellectual, possessing a genius faculty for rational analysis. However, like Mohammed’s creed, Marx’s communist doctrine is heavily insinuated with the violent vitriol of the oppressed underling. Mohammed motioned his devotees directly towards war. Marx may as well have done the same, so thin was the rational veneer concealing his inflammatory rhetoric.

Live by a lie, and you’re surely fated to suffer by it. The notion that Marx’s extremist Egalitarian State could deliver universal prosperity, political decency, is proven fallacious. Add in political fatalism in the Russian mindset, cultured ritualism in the Chinese, and you have a sure recipe for political farce and human tragedy.

The Soviet State would surely have imploded, given the heinous social contract enforced by Stalin, were it not that totalitarian collectivism eventually yielded brute economic dividends. Post-Stalin the USSR emerged as a mighty economic and military force, vying with the US for global hegemony.

The Russians adopted Communist ideology as a warmongering imperialistic mantra. Consequently, the Cold War, USSR v. USA, c1947 – 1991, represented an ideological contest between the Free World and Marx’s totalitarian dogma.

The Cuban Crisis of 1962, when Kruschev and JFK stared the USSR and USA down the barrel of nuclear affray, became the critical moment in the war of the worlds. Militaristic devastation was averted. But the Soviet State, more over-extended in the exercise, was approaching economic ruination due to the costs.

Unfortunately, the luminous Soviet leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev arrived simultaneous with failing Russian economic fortune. Gorbachev withdrew from the invasion of Afghanistan, conversed with Reagan to reduce nuclear arsenals and end the Cold War. His glasnost, perestroika, democratization initiatives aimed at free speech, freedom of the press, economic decentralization, and promoted a Congress of People’s Deputies to displace Soviet totalitarianism.

Precipitate wasting of the USSR economy was unwittingly hastened by Boris Yeltsin, Gorbachev’s successor and Russia’s first democratic leader, promoted in 1991. Yeltsin rolled out misconceived macroeconomic policy, aiming to shock start a free trade Russian economy. He raised interest rates, taxes, withdrew subsidies to industries. This was the sure death knell for the Russian economy.

Rapid economic failure became unfairly associated with political, economic liberalization campaigns. This real tragedy, it invited the entrance of a new brand of Russian despot, one who would get the books back in the black, and totally blacken the fabric of Russian political culture.

Russia was ruled for 24 years by a sub-human schemer, Stalin. Now, for 22 years it has been ruled by another inhumane clone, Vladimir Putin.

Alexei Navalny’s latest expose video, revealing the grandiose personal palace Putin is constructing upon the Black Sea coast with thieved State funds, says this:

Here is the world’s most decadent Capitalist, a Communist offshoot, a Russian Head of State, a systematic and monumental thief from his own people, and, appropriately, a wager of heinous State despotism aligned with scabrous imperialistic ambition.

Gorbachev’s enlightened vision for a post-tyrannous, post-Ancient Russia was fatally thwarted, via the economic decline he inherited. Worsened by Yeltsin’s economic ignorance, this decline would sink the first feasible Russian liberation project. The Marxist Project was a doomed liberation exercise, which never offered a realistic passage out of the Ancient Regime.

Converse to the fate of the liberalization project, the new despotic design rolled out by Putin has enjoyed massive, ‘endorsing’ economic fortuity. Under Putin, Russia’s GDP grew for 8 years, purchasing power rose 72%, real incomes rose x 2.5, real wages tripled, unemployment and poverty were halved.

None of this was achieved via any restructuring of Russia’s wasted industrial, manufacturing base, via any adroit commercial enterprise. All of this new-found wealth is built upon the fortuitous quintupling of global oil prices in Putin’s happy period. Russia, like Mohammed’s ‘Arabia’, are two throwback Ancient World cultures sitting astride massive lucky bounties.

But whilst the OPEC nations carefully control prices, supply, demand, to run a long-term profitable business, Putin and his co-profiteers do not care. Russia’s resource supplies are less, will not last nearly so long. But Putin and Russia’s oligarchs, the magnates running Gazprom, Surgutneftegaz, United Energy Systems, Sidance, Lukoil, and pipeline constructions companies, the corrupt politicians, officials? They are selling off Russia’s household goods and chattels post-haste, looting the profits to build their own personal palaces.

Why do the Russian people put up with this decrepitude?

The remembrance of former suffering is worse. And, if you keep your head down, don’t cause trouble, things are not so bad now. Putin and his cronies are corrupt thieves. But they keep the trains running.

The oil and gas will soon run out. What then? Russia will have no money, the people will be lumbered with farcical democracy, farcical political, economic liberalization. Russia will then sit within its own cultured squalor. Enter Alexei Navalny, his Russia of the Future party, and, perhaps, the final ray of liberalization hope for Russia, maybe for the world?

Why so?

If the whole world does not liberate itself from egoistic indulgence, escalating demographic overload, very soon, we are likely conscripted to geoecological, geomilitary devastation. Only the Free World can navigate a way out of this critical dilemma. Three Ancient World, imperialistic aggressors drive population, economic, militaristic expansionism on this planet today – China, Islam, Russia. Russia, by virtue of cultural pedigree closest to the West, is the one that can be feasibly drawn across to the Free World cause, to a futurist Green Planet vision. Thus, Navalny is not just a future King for Russia, he is a vital pawn in the play for our Global Green Future.

Navalny is not alone in striving to drag Russia out of endemic moral, economic, political indecency. The International Federation of Journalists lists 300 Russian press professionals definitely or likely murdered by The State. These are the heroic souls attempting to out the truth. Navalny is attempting to out the culprits of that vile truth.

Anna Politkovskaya was the journalist, murdered in 2006, whose case brought Putin’s strangulation of the press to legal light. Paula Klebenikov, exposing fraud in the Chechen reconstruction project, linked to the FSB, Putin, was contract killed.

Navalny’s Russia of the Future Party, instituted in 2018, is the third incarnation of a franchise aiming to overthrow political tyranny in Russia. The People’s Alliance, 2012, the Party of Progress, 2014, were similarly denied political party registration by the Ministry of Justice. Legal technicalities were used to stifle this freedom fight. Fabricated embezzlement charges are used against Navalny, prison his second home.

Putin and Navalny are both lawyers, which fact just goes to show: Articles of legal paper are worth, only, the quality of moral fabric that dictates them.

Navalny’s freedom fighters aim to decentralize political power, purge repressive politicians, reduce presidential powers, possibly create a parliamentary republic, enforce the rule of law and independence of the judiciary. Despite being State poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok last August, requiring a month in a Berlin hospital to recover, knowing that he would be immediately imprisoned upon re-entering Russia, Navalny, the noble, has returned. Pity his beautiful wife, for she suffers as much.

It is all too easy to see this a neat, good versus evil confrontation, Navelny v. Putin, David v. Goliath. But let’s have a reality check here. If and when the Russian people were ever truly committed to procuring contractual political decency, they would have found a way. History’s malignant despots have all stood, and stand, as but singular entities. Hitler did not personally murder millions. His henchmen did the work. The title, henchman, must ultimately extend to any person who stands aligned or obeisant.

The fundamental guilt for this ongoing Russian tragedy, travesty lays with the Russian people. I am not a hero, like Navalny. But, in numerous situations I have stood up against resident evils, at my own serious peril, whilst watching apparently decent folk peel off – one by one. Not a real Reign of Terror, but the basics play out the same. Common cowardice underwrites despotic culture. And? There is really no such thing as a refugee. There are only peoples too dumb, cowardly, and lazy to take responsibility for intelligent and decent governance in their own nations.

It is time for the Russian peoples to get off their backsides, out of their comfortable havens and cynical mindsets, to give their national hero a real hand. And we, in the ever so comfortable West, if we have any brains, decency, will extend a giant hand across the ocean to herald and exalt this noble cause.

Vicarious participation in the theatre of David and Goliath is not a just cause. It is just the option that the meek invariably choose.

All hail Bill Browder, Russia investor, activist, grandson of a US Communist and presidential candidate. Navalny’s greatest ally, Browder has procured the international Magnitsky laws pursuing State criminals.

Cover image – Navalny is arrested on Tverskaya street in Moscow during the 2017 Russian protests on 26 March 2017.  Photo by Evgeny Feldman CC BY-SA 4.0.