As we saw in “Putin’s Problems,” the previous posting on this subject, the Ukrainian “Special Military Operation” (a.k.a. “Putin’s War,” “Invasion,” “Assault,” “Genocide,” etc.), Vladimir Putin, the Autocrat of All the Russias (and anywhere else that won’t stand up to him), consists largely of what can only be called “applied knavish imbecility.”
This is not to say that Putin’s wonderful act of genius (at least, according to a certain former U.S. president) has not wreaked havoc and caused death and destruction on a wide scale — and all completely unnecessary. Nor does it belittle the incredible heroism of the Ukrainian people in defying their purported liberators and — so far — slowing down and in some cases stopping (at least temporarily) one of the largest and presumably best-equipped and experienced military forces in the world.
Of course, Putin has made all the wrong decisions from the very first, the greatest of which was to start a war in the first place. All the self-serving rhetoric of Putin’s admirers and defenders about NATO’s aggression and the right of ethnic Russians to secede from Ukraine instead of moving to Russia is meaningless in light of the fact that Russia invaded and fired the first shot, and from the very beginning clearly intended to conquer Ukraine if they were not welcomed with open arms.
|Patriarch Kirill of Moscow
This is not, however, about the sickening display of sanctimonious self-righteousness from those claiming to deprecate the violence but hinting in not-so-veiled terms that Putin might, after all, have some kind of justification for genocide. As His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow (a.k.a., “Putin’s Altar Boy”), declared in the last few days, the fact that the city administration of Kyiv permitted a “Gay Pride Parade” to take place this past September is reason enough to invade Ukraine and murder children.
Personally, this writer doesn't care for “Gay Pride Parades,” and finds watching a curling match much more enjoyable, but if people want to waste their time marching in one or watching it, go ahead. Just don’t force others to participate or watch. Just because some people find “Gay Pride Parades” offensive or evidence of a decadent civilization doesn’t make it okay to kill thousands of innocent people, lay waste to an entire country, threaten nuclear annihilation, or risk starting World War III. In fact, it is not indicative of a civilized outlook or of anything other than criminal insanity.
What about the claim of NATO’s aggression? Does that justify Putin?
Get real. Perhaps NATO shouldn’t have expanded as it did after the fall of the Soviet Union, or it could have been more diplomatic about it. Is there anyone in the world, however, aside from the clearly deranged and paranoid Putin and his deluded apologists, who thought that Russia’s security was in any way imperiled or compromised?
For decades the United States has been complaining that other NATO members have not been carrying their weight and are not adequately prepared if Russia should do anything. As for actually attacking Russia? Who are you kidding? Getting countries to condemn Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014 was difficult enough, but actually doing something about it? Putin figured he was safe from any action from NATO or anyone else, or even he wouldn’t have dared to goosestep into Ukraine.
Not anyone else’s concern? Not our war . . . er, special military operation? Think again. Putin claims that Ukraine is part of Russia and therefore he can do anything he wants. It’s no one else’s business. Of course, Putin has also declared that Alaska properly belongs to Russia. And did you know that Russia also colonized northern California? And that the United States does, in fact, border Russia? It’s less than a mile away, right across the Bering Strait. When it’s frozen, you can walk across, and it’s been done.
|Criminally insane, or insanely criminal?
Forget about Gay Pride, NATO, or Russia’s Manifest Destiny. There is only one reason for the invasion of Ukraine, and that is the lust for power of a deranged megalomaniac. The question is what to do about it.
First, get Russia out of Ukraine. All of it, including Crimea and the so-called separatist regions created and maintained by Putin in his effort to undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty . . . guaranteed by Russia. If this requires “all aid short of war” — including a global ban on Russian oil and gas — it’s still cheaper than the life of a single innocent person. That the countries opposing Russia permit the killing of innocent children through abortion, allow Gay Pride Parades or same sex “marriages,” have participated in their own aggressions in the past, or any other reason for avoiding helping Ukraine is fatuous. Those are different issues, and there are remedies — but don’t justify genocide because you spot a splinter in someone else’s eye while ignoring the lumber yard of planks in your own or Russia’s eyes.
Second, reparations. Russia owes reparations both to Ukraine as a whole, and to every citizen, especially those killed or injured. What form this should take is a difficult question, and not only because the issue of reparations after World War I led directly to World War II. It needs to be just, but it also needs to be creative.
Obviously, Putin’s wealth must be confiscated and paid to his victims, the amount to be determined by an international court. If this is not sufficient, the wealth of any of the oligarchs who supported Putin should also be confiscated and paid out. If that is still insufficient, a special tax levy or funds taken from Russia’s military budget could make up the balance.
The issue of nuclear weapons is a touchy one. Given that Putin threatened to use them if his demands are not met suggests that Russia cannot be trusted to have them. On the other hand, it would probably start another war if Russia was required to surrender them. This is an issue that might not have a solution.
|Putin and friends' future
One issue that does have a solution, however, is that of war crimes. Putin and others are clearly war criminals and may also be guilty of crimes against humanity. They must be brought to trial. Whether the death penalty is justified in this case is a matter for discussion, but Putin clearly had no qualms about sentencing hundreds of thousands of people to death over the course of his career for the crime of getting in his way or having something he wanted.
So how should reparations be handled? This may sound strange, but the best reparation for Ukraine is to establish a just social and economic order in Ukraine and Russia. The question is, how?
The answer is the Economic Democracy Act combined with an intensive global effort to develop fusion power.
The Economic Democracy Act (EDA) is a way to finance not merely rebuilding an entire country in a way that benefits every citizen, but does so in a way that breaks the monopoly over power enjoyed by people like Putin that enabled him to start the war in the first place. If every Russian citizen owned capital and was thus empowered, it’s likely Putin never would have become president in the first place, or even if he had, would have been able to get away with what he’s done. Power follows property, and an empowered citizenry is Putin’s greatest fear.
The EDA requires a complete monetary and fiscal overhaul of an economy. This is not as drastic as it sounds, for the financial and legal infrastructure is already in place throughout the world, although it is egregiously misused and badly in need of reform.
Briefly, the money system needs to be shifted from backing reserve currencies with government debt, to backing them with private sector hard assets. Commercial and central banking were, in fact, invented to do just that, but politics (and greedy rulers) interfered and central banks got into financing growth of government instead of the private sector.
|Webster: Power follows property
Any country’s reserve currency must be stable, uniform, elastic, and asset-backed. By phasing out government debt as a backing for money, the power of politicians to act contrary to the will of the people is largely removed. If all government funds come from taxation supplemented with short-term borrowing from existing savings, politicians will find their hands tied and won’t be reelected or even able to function unless the taxpayers agree.
The tax system must be overhauled and simplified. If all the different taxes are merged into an income tax levied at a single rate above a generous and adequate exemption for basic living expenses, not only will tax preparation be simplified, tax revenues will likely increase, if only because all the income formerly sheltered in the mistaken belief that it is needed to finance growth will be taxable.
The tax system must encourage small ownership, and the monetary system must make it possible. Ideally, all new money should be created in ways that create new owners, thus rebuilding an economy and funding its growth using a country’s own resources without foreign investment and in ways that generate mass consumption power without job creation or government redistribution.
Of course, Ukraine should immediately adopt the Economic Democracy Act for its own good, but Russia will be required to do so in lieu of financing rebuilding Ukraine’s economy.
Then there must be a global effort, dwarfing even the Manhattan Project, to get fusion power as soon as possible. This could be combined with hydrogen fuel cell technology for systemic redundancy and to reduce, then eliminate completely all reliance on fossil fuels.
Obviously, this is a very brief outline of what needs to be done, but it at least points us in the right direction