Vladimir Putin takes the gloves off

How about their perennial philosophy of expansionism? Does geography matter then, or is this merely a case of cultural affinity and appreciation?

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I tend to conflate libertarian and conservative thinking only because both seek to create a rather concrete set of reasoned moral boundaries to define the limits of governmental involvement on individual behavior. Notwithstanding, this debate is still dominated by white male thinkers with very limited input from the vast majority of underrepresented and oppressed members of U.S. Society. Both conservatism and libertarianism are less humanist than more liberal and marxist/anarchist ideas about collective effort that seeks a more equitable definition of shared responsibility.
The technology sector, as an outgrowth of a relationship between the disciplines of science, industry, and business, does not inherently prioritize a specific moral view, which places it within the confines of a more conservative (in the true sense of the word) process of unquestioned status quo beliefs, values, and behaviors.

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If I had to take a stab at defining what left-libertarianism is though, I’d say it values the liberty of the individual (as obviously any libertarianism must) and therefore recognises the need for limits on the power of all entities, both governmental and corporate.
It prefers government to have a little more power than the right-libertarians would like, so that government can be a check and balance on the corporations to stop the economy descending into naked feudalism, and so it can coordinate activities everyone benefits from but which would otherwise fail due to tragedy of the commons. That’s what governments are for, and it’s fine as long as they stay the fuck out of everything else.


I can understand why you would think so, but this assumption might not necessarily be true in all cases.

My interest in libertarianism grew in my early years as a result of a capitalist state forbidding and interfering in formal acts of direct democracy and communal living. Libertarianism can be a first step towards autonomous groups and networks which would not otherwise be possible. Also, it defuses some of the possible risk of needing to trust a large state socialism which may lack fairness, involvement, and/or impose authoritarian tactics. In short, people who are not free, are not free to organize. Many people promote libertarian ideas with selfish rhetoric, but this is not required to make use of it.

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War crimes aren’t a dicksizing contest. I’ll wager good money that if you look into how Afghanistan - and the people therein - were treated during the Soviet misadventures there, you’d find much the same. The fact that A and B and C have also done horrible things doesn’t make D’s crimes go away or stop being horrible as well.

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One place with Russian involvement is being unmentioned: Chechnya.


Hell, they were still sending raw materials to Germany when Hitler invaded them.

The fact that 20million Russians died in World War II is no myth. Stalin actually made it worse at the beginning of the war, because he had purged most of the competent officers and did nothing when the Germans were invading. They did fight with sheer numbers, when a US general asked a Soviet general after the war how they handled minefields the Russian answer was you keep sending soldiers until they blow up all the mines. Just consider that a million Soviet soldiers died fighting in Czechoslovakia that alone is probably more than all the US battlefield deaths in all its past wars.

Why are they so far behind the times? I think decades of communism is the answer. Though in the early days, they did remarkably well in the space program - and in quite a lot of aviation and military technology they had different organizations that competed against each other. But you only have to look at the difference between the the former West & East Germany or the Koreas to see that a planned economy (which was still a dictatorship/kleptocracy even then) just cannot compete with a free market system. The Czechs had an excellent motorcycle industry which the communists ran into the ground.


Chenille - you have some valid points.
I am not trying to be dismissive or cavalier about Russia. I believe that Europeans still recall the massive damage from World War II and have no desire to repeat it.
Quite frankly they will not fight Russia over Ukraine, because Ukraine is not and probably will never be a part of Nato. Though I don’t believe it would be so easy for Russia and the rebels to take over the rest of Ukraine (right now the rebel areas are less than 10% of Ukraine’s population)

Instead the European & US response should be an economic one, let the Russians spend billions in Eastern Ukraine propping up the archaic industry which really doesn’t produce anything worth exporting to the West. Increase ties and trade in Western Ukraine, clamp down on corruption, and let the economic growth do the rest. (It can happen and has in the former eastern bloc countries - I’m originally Czech and there has been major growth since the fall of the Berlin Wall - not without problems but no one would go back to the old system).

The points 2 & 3. Yes the US did act unilaterally in Iraq in 2003 and yes the west split up Serbia without even a phony referendum, and in fact was involved even in the recent run-up in the Ukrainian revolution. Also the US did promise not to expand Nato eastward and reneged on it. I also think there is a certain bias toward Ukraine, how much did we care when Russia pretty much destroyed Chechnya after it tried to separate. As far as destroying the Security apparatus, presumably meaning the United Nations - the Bush administration did ignore it - but it is still around and has served its major purpose - that of avoiding a great power war for almost 70 years. However I don’t think the last 25 years have been so dismal a Putin would say - in fact we have seen more dictator ships fall aside than in any other period. With Greece and Portugal and Indonesia and the Philipines etc.

Russia, briefly experimented with democracy but with Putin has returned to a south american style dictatorship - which is heavily dependent (over 50% of state revenues) on fossil fuels. I think there is a potential for democracy in Russia, there were massive protests after the 2011 elections which got very little notice in the West. I also think it is important to have a counter to the one major superpower, I just don’t think Putin is that counter.


Ah yes. “In Fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Fernando Poo discovered Fernando Poo.”

We are talking post WWII.

Induced famine and against Ukraine population that supplied officers to the SS? That was particularly Stalin. Despite the “western” propensity to cast Putin as an autocratic bogeyman, he can not command like Stalin once did. It was a reformation afterward. No one would have that power in CCCP. In the modern Republic, there is even less central autocracy - no party stranglehold on all industry and commerce to nearly such degree.

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If your scale is measured by people killed in battle, then sure, big winners.

I hope you realize that communism and dictatorship/kleptocracy are not even close to being the same thing. Anybody who knows anything about communism, advocates or not, I’d think could see that the USSR and their so-called Eastern Bloc countries didn’t qualify.

Of course not. A market “system” which isn’t controlled is not a system, it is wilderness. But capitalism is used with competition as a goal, whereas communism tends to have providing for those who create culture as a goal. Communism is not designed to compete with other economic systems. This doesn’t mean that “it loses”, just that there is no point to doing so.


I understand quite well what communism is - I lived there. It certainly was both, if you were well positioned in the party you could live quite well.

You didn’t even have to be that well positioned. The “live quite well” has a fairly negotiable threshold.

Being able to afford the rent was certainly easier (and there is a reason why the cost of rent and energies, the less-negotiable budget items, is missing from the before-after cost-comparison reports how much better the post-revolution system is) and jobs were less choicy but more stable. Granted, some things sucked greatly, but from what I remember people had much more time for each other. Today it’s work work work and everybody on their own…



I would have said BoingBoing tend more towards liberal than libertarian, though. For one thing, there seems to be a lot of affection towards social support programs, a traditional libertarian whipping boy.

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indeed. AFAIK, the rocket was blown up because it was going to fly into a populated area. I don’t think the exact cause has been pinpointed yet. It’s possible that the engines were at fault.

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Winter is coming.

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wacka wacka. It must be great to never have to choose anything but the pie in the sky beyond when you die, and label anything short of that “conservative”.