“Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one… Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others.” – Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776)
This past week, Russia invaded Ukraine under the guise of “demilitarization and de-Nazification,” according to Czar Vladimir Putin. It is an odd comparison to make, given Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is of Jewish descent, and whose grandfather fought Nazis in WWII. It is perfectly clear to see what Czar Putin is attempting. He wants to expand Russia’s borders and regain the former glory of the Russian Federation.
The ambition of some men knows no bounds. As Putin gets older, his legacy weighs more heavily on his mind. How will he be remembered? Will his name be lost in the list of Russian leaders, or will he stand above the rest? Will his name go down in history?
Russia considers itself, on paper, a “democratic, federative, law-based state with a republican form of government. State power is divided among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Diversity of ideologies and religions is sanctioned, and a state of compulsory ideology may not be adopted.” In practice, Czar Putin has already enacted his compulsory ideology and holds the reins of power. He has largely eliminated the free press and political adversaries; corrupt government officials do most of his bidding. According to Freedom House, Russia is considered a consolidated authoritarian regime with a Democracy Score of 7/100.
In next week’s article, I will discuss the general trend of political ideologies in the 21st century, and why Czar Putin’s efforts are in vain.