Telltale Sign of Putin’s Western Apologists

Listen to Elon Musk talking about the “tragic loss of life” in Ukraine that could be ended if only the Ukrainian government would concede its losses and sit down to negotiate with Russia, because a happy Russia is a profitable Russia. Listen to Senator Mike Lee, a former freedom-pitching politician who, having sold his soul to Donald Trump’s cult of populist demagoguery for votes and future opportunities, has joined the Marjorie Taylor Greene and Tucker Carlson chorus of anti-Ukraine rhetoric. Listen to Jordan Peterson, a pop psychologist who blew his brains out on drug addiction and his heart out on addiction to his profit-making list of idol-worshipping subscribers, as he makes the case for Russia’s legitimate claims in Ukraine and legitimate beefs with NATO. 

What do all these profiteers, in their craven pleas for Ukrainian surrender and their desperate use of moral equivalency arguments to muddy the perfectly clear issues of instigation and culpability in this war, have in common — aside, that is, from their self-interested motivations for Ukrainian defeat which have nothing to do with geopolitical justice or moral decency.

Just this: They all refer incessantly in their faux arguments to “Russia.” Russia’s security interests, Russia’s historical claims, NATO’s actions against Russia. That is, they systematically avoid identifying this war primarily with the one man who started it, the one man who fabricated its premises, and the one man whose dictatorial aggression now threatens world stability on a scale not seen since that man’s old mentors and bosses were calling the shots in Moscow — a threat which will expand exponentially with the West’s collective surrender to his wishes in Ukraine. They all use the word “Russia” where they ought to use, and where intellectual honesty and political propriety demand that they use, the word “Putin.”

But Vladimir Putin is not Russia, and does not represent the interests of the Russian people, whose lives and hopes have been gradually demolished over the past generation, entirely due to the self-appointed dictator for life who is currently sacrificing their sons in the tens of thousands on a vanity project of national annihilation in Ukraine (though it is not clear yet which nation is about to be annihilated, his own or his victim’s), not to mention chasing into exile a generation of Russian youth while murdering everyone within the country who dares to earn a public voice by speaking truth to power. To conflate him with the country he has suppressed and demeaned for over twenty years, or his totalitarian fantasies with that country’s genuine national interests, exhibits exactly the same anti-freedom, pro-authoritarian bias that progressives displayed as apologists for Stalin, Mao, and Castro. And to portray him as a defender of Christianity against Western moral corruption, as Jordan Peterson has recently done — just how dumb can a genius be? — is the same mentality that led anti-Western cultural relativists to support the rise of the mullahs in Iran in the 1970s.

When you hear popular voices in today’s incessant chatter meandering about “Russia’s interests” and the need to “negotiate with Russia,” always remind yourself that “Russia” is being used as a euphemism, in effect a one-word moral equivalency argument. It is a rhetorical and moral veil used to hide a truth which these popular voices wish to hide from you. Why? Because they are apologists for tyranny who want their preferred tyrants to succeed and thrive, for whatever twisted reasons they might have, but who lack the integrity to admit that the advance of tyranny (but only the kind they like, of course) is indeed their preferred outcome. Dismiss these voices outright, until and unless they show you the respect of at least stating their intentions openly, rather than exploiting the oppressed and dispirited Russian people as human shields to protect the honor, and prettify the bloody cause, of their populist idol in Moscow, along with his allies and acolytes in their own countries.

You may also like...