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Old 19th March 2020, 01:46 AM   #1
lambent
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Smile What is the essential peculiarity of the Russian authority?

I believe that there is no country where the authority would have a different essence compared to other countries.

But it seems that there are people here who believe that in Russia there is a certain special kind of authority in essence different from the rest of the authorities.

So if you see such fundamental differences then please write about it.
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Old 19th March 2020, 02:08 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by lambent View Post
I believe that there is no country where the authority would have a different essence compared to other countries.



But it seems that there are people here who believe that in Russia there is a certain special kind of authority in essence different from the rest of the authorities.



So if you see such fundamental differences then please write about it.
Nothing fundamental, it's a new democracy and as many do it seems to be failing.
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Old 19th March 2020, 02:35 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Nothing fundamental, it's a new democracy and as many do it seems to be failing.
From your answer, I got the impression that you consider democracy (by ďdemocracyĒ you probably mean the authorities in the West) as some special form of authority.

I am right?


1) From my point of view, there is nothing in the West that could be called "democracy."

2) Authority in the so-called Western "democracy" is essentially no different from other forms of authorities.
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Old 19th March 2020, 03:04 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by lambent View Post
From your answer, I got the impression that you consider democracy (by ďdemocracyĒ you probably mean the authorities in the West) as some special form of authority.

I am right?
Nope.
Originally Posted by lambent View Post
1) From my point of view, there is nothing in the West that could be called "democracy."
Why use definitions that are different to what everyone else does? Would suggest you use a new word if you don't like how the word democracy is used by everyone else.
Originally Posted by lambent View Post
2) Authority in the so-called Western "democracy" is essentially no different from other forms of authorities.
You are apparently use your own definitions for commonly used words so until you give me a definition for how you use the word "democracy" and "authority" I can not have any informed opinion on your claims.
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Old 19th March 2020, 11:15 AM   #5
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What is the essential peculiarity of the Russian authority?

Lambent, I was going to make a reply, but then I realised that Darat is right: your usage of "democracy", and possibly "authority" is so much at odds with normal usage that I have no idea what you mean.
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Old 19th March 2020, 02:31 PM   #6
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Switzerland is probably the country with the closest system of government to what I would regard as a true democracy, and it goes right down to local government.

If the government of any given Canton (analogous to a province or state) wants to undertake a project such as a new road or a building development that is going to use taxpayer money, they not only have to pass it in council (der Kantonsrat/le Conseil Cantonal) they also have to convince the citizens of that Canton by referendum. If the people vote against it, the Kantonsrat is overruled.
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Old 19th March 2020, 02:55 PM   #7
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I really don't understand the OP, I guess. "Democracy" isn't black and white, there are many variations. Here in the US, one political party is fond of saying the country is not a democracy, but we still have mostly fair elections.
Russia's big problem is that it has been governed by authoritarian regimes for hundreds of years. The people simply don't really know anything else.
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Old 19th March 2020, 03:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by lambent View Post
I believe that there is no country where the authority would have a different essence compared to other countries.

But it seems that there are people here who believe that in Russia there is a certain special kind of authority in essence different from the rest of the authorities.
I think it would help if you were to cite one or more examples of this kind of belief, or expressions that lead you to infer this belief.

Based on my very limited experiences with your other threads recently, I'd guess that -

- nobody believes there's anything peculiar about Russian authority
- everybody pretty much agrees that the various types of governments have fairly straightforward and well-understood failure modes
- everybody pretty much agrees that Russia is probably experiencing one of these typical failure modes right now, and that given its recent history there's nothing peculiar about it at all. Just regrettable.

But again, I think it would help if you were to cite some examples of the kind of belief you're saying you've seen here, and that you've started this thread to discuss.

Last edited by theprestige; 19th March 2020 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 20th March 2020, 06:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
I really don't understand the OP, I guess. "Democracy" isn't black and white, there are many variations. Here in the US, one political party is fond of saying the country is not a democracy, but we still have mostly fair elections.
Russia's big problem is that it has been governed by authoritarian regimes for hundreds of years. The people simply don't really know anything else.
An enlightened dictatorship can actually be the best form of government if the dictator is extremely able, but this is rarely the case. We see how Putin has developed his power right from the beginning by enabling the huge accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few supporters, and now he fears giving up power because it could mean trial and downfall of him and his supporters. 'fortunately, the Russian people generally think that a strong man at the helm is good, and they do not expect anything else than benevolence and corruption.

Democracy does not stand out by its sterling qualities but by being the least evil: There is nothing that guarantees that the ablest people rise to the top. Governmental decisions may be bad or ill-advised, but at least they are supported by a majority of the people.

To overcome some of the deficiencies of democracy, a minority protection is sometimes being regarded as essential. In systems with many parties, stability is almost guaranteed because no party can gain enough seats to rule without being in a coalition, whereas in systems with just a few parties there is often a winner takes all-situation where a tiny majority can lead to sweeping changes. The effect of a lack of minority protection has most recently been seen in the UK were a tiny majority was able to make the UK leave the EU despite almost half of the population being against it.

The strange thing about Russia is that they have an effective dictatorship, but they still go through the motions to make it look like a democracy. As far as I understand, Putin could win a comfortable majority no matter what, but his government still suppresses critical voices, and punishes opposition candidates.

Enough of the rambling ... what was the topic again?
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Old 20th March 2020, 08:43 AM   #10
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A man differs with steenkth at his peril, but

I must question the value, especially the efficiency, of dictatorships, and definitely question the existence, anywhere or at any time, of an enlightened one.

People (some, anyway) started out thinking that Mussolini was good for Italy. That was due to a lamentable inter-war fantasy that democracy was weak. Along came Hitler and Franco and some lesser jackboots, and the fantasy thickened into a near-conviction. Then came the war. How efficient did those dictatorships turn out to be?

We have to recognize that in a dictatorship there is no law. No lawless society can exist for long; mere power is a shapeless thing with unclear boundaries, like cancer, and it never corrects itself.

Politically immature populations facing hard times can grow weary of thinking and give in to the temptation to accept some hoon as their strongman. But they always regret it.
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Old 20th March 2020, 08:53 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by lambent View Post
I believe that there is no country where the authority would have a different essence compared to other countries.

But it seems that there are people here who believe that in Russia there is a certain special kind of authority in essence different from the rest of the authorities.

So if you see such fundamental differences then please write about it.
Would do you mean by a different "essence". Be strictly specific.
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Old 21st March 2020, 09:40 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think it would help if you were to cite one or more examples of this kind of belief, or expressions that lead you to infer this belief.

Based on my very limited experiences with your other threads recently, I'd guess that -

- nobody believes there's anything peculiar about Russian authority
- everybody pretty much agrees that the various types of governments have fairly straightforward and well-understood failure modes
- everybody pretty much agrees that Russia is probably experiencing one of these typical failure modes right now, and that given its recent history there's nothing peculiar about it at all. Just regrettable.

But again, I think it would help if you were to cite some examples of the kind of belief you're saying you've seen here, and that you've started this thread to discuss.
lambent?
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Old 21st March 2020, 09:57 AM   #13
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Well, I think there is something peculiar about Russian authority - just wrote this to the recent Putin thread: "Well, he will go on and on, the Supreme Leader of the Great Sov.., sorry, Russian nation. And why not - it even took only a couple of dismissive statements by him to stop the Corona virus in its tracks. At this very moment life in Russia is totally normal, so good for them."
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Old 22nd March 2020, 11:56 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Nope.
And what is "democracy" for you?


Quote:
Why use definitions that are different to what everyone else does? Would suggest you use a new word if you don't like how the word democracy is used by everyone else.
If on the cage with a snake you see the inscription "rhino", then you will call the snake a rhino because it is "everyone else does" it?


Quote:
You are apparently use your own definitions for commonly used words so until you give me a definition for how you use the word "democracy" and "authority" I can not have any informed opinion on your claims.
"Democracy" itself contains a definition. "Demo-cracy" is "rule by people."

As for the word "authority", then maybe I really use it somehow incorrectly because English is not my native language.

For me, "authority" is "a person or organization having power in a political sphere."






Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
Lambent, I was going to make a reply, but then I realised that Darat is right: your usage of "democracy", and possibly "authority" is so much at odds with normal usage that I have no idea what you mean.
I replied what I meant.






Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Switzerland is probably the country with the closest system of government to what I would regard as a true democracy, and it goes right down to local government.

If the government of any given Canton (analogous to a province or state) wants to undertake a project such as a new road or a building development that is going to use taxpayer money, they not only have to pass it in council (der Kantonsrat/le Conseil Cantonal) they also have to convince the citizens of that Canton by referendum. If the people vote against it, the Kantonsrat is overruled.
I agree with you that it looks like a democracy.

However, a construction of a road is not a very important issue.

I wonder what happens in Switzerland when the important interests of powerful people conflict with the interests of ordinary citizens. Which of them is forced to retreat?
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Old 23rd March 2020, 12:47 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
I really don't understand the OP, I guess. "Democracy" isn't black and white, there are many variations. Here in the US, one political party is fond of saying the country is not a democracy, but we still have mostly fair elections.
From the election process to the ruling process a long way.


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Russia's big problem is that it has been governed by authoritarian regimes for hundreds of years. The people simply don't really know anything else.
Maybe you suggest the fish breathe air?

Russian authority is a phenomenon derived from the living conditions in which Russian people find themselves.

In warm Europe, which had fertile soils and sea trade routes, it is easy to neglect the authorities of your country.

And if you do the same in Russia, then this is a direct path to death.

When the authority was weak, nomads came from a steppe and did whatever they wanted with the Russian people.
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Old 23rd March 2020, 01:29 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think it would help if you were to cite one or more examples of this kind of belief, or expressions that lead you to infer this belief.
dudalb: He has some daughters/future Czarinas though, so we could still have a Putin dynasty. - http://www.internationalskeptics.com...1&postcount=10

dudalb: Let's face it:The Russians just cannot conceive of a government without a dictator in charge. - http://www.internationalskeptics.com...4&postcount=15

The Atheist: There's obviously some freak DNA in Russians that makes them love a strongman leader. - http://www.internationalskeptics.com...5&postcount=18

llwyd: Well, he will go on and on, the Supreme Leader of the Great Sov.., sorry, Russian nation. And why not - it even took only a couple of dismissive statements by him to stop the Corona virus in its tracks. - http://www.internationalskeptics.com...6&postcount=27



Quote:
Based on my very limited experiences with your other threads recently, I'd guess that -

- nobody believes there's anything peculiar about Russian authority
- everybody pretty much agrees that the various types of governments have fairly straightforward and well-understood failure modes
What do you mean by the phrase "failure modes"?


Quote:
- everybody pretty much agrees that Russia is probably experiencing one of these typical failure modes right now, and that given its recent history there's nothing peculiar about it at all. Just regrettable.

But again, I think it would help if you were to cite some examples of the kind of belief you're saying you've seen here, and that you've started this thread to discuss.
Do you mean the opportunity for the president to run two more times?

Why do you think this is a kind of failure?
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Old 23rd March 2020, 01:37 AM   #17
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I don't really think there is much difference between Russians and Americans in most areas. Americans just shower more often ...
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Old 23rd March 2020, 01:57 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
We see how Putin has developed his power right from the beginning by enabling the huge accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few supporters, and now he fears giving up power because it could mean trial and downfall of him and his supporters.
What is this statement based on?

By the way, what about rich people in the West?

Are they indifferent to their income level?

Do they not interfere in the politics of your countries?

In your countries, is the income gap between rich and poor growing or falling?


Quote:
Democracy does not stand out by its sterling qualities but by being the least evil: There is nothing that guarantees that the ablest people rise to the top. Governmental decisions may be bad or ill-advised, but at least they are supported by a majority of the people.
I correctly understood that the only advantage of democracy is that people support decisions whether they are effective or ineffective?

But maybe it would be better if the right decision is made without popular support and even in spite of it than if some suicidal decision accompanied by widespread popular support is made?


Quote:
As far as I understand, Putin could win a comfortable majority no matter what, but his government still suppresses critical voices, and punishes opposition candidates.
What is this statement based on?
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Old 23rd March 2020, 02:05 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by sackett View Post
No lawless society can exist for long; mere power is a shapeless thing with unclear boundaries, like cancer, and it never corrects itself.
This is because in the West there are no other things and values that would hold people together in a single state.

For other types of society (where, in addition to the law, there are other values holding the society together), laws and their implementation are much less important.
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Old 23rd March 2020, 02:24 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by trustbutverify View Post
Would do you mean by a different "essence". Be strictly specific.
By the essence of authority, I meant that always influential people rule. They always rule under a monarchy, democracy and any other type of government. And they never allow government decisions to conflict with their most important interests.






Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
Well, I think there is something peculiar about Russian authority - just wrote this to the recent Putin thread: "Well, he will go on and on, the Supreme Leader of the Great Sov.., sorry, Russian nation.
Are you a prophet? Do you know what will happen in the future?


Quote:
And why not - it even took only a couple of dismissive statements by him to stop the Corona virus in its tracks. At this very moment life in Russia is totally normal, so good for them."
Are you claiming that Russia stops the coronavirus with Putinís statements?
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Old 23rd March 2020, 06:52 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by lambent View Post
dudalb: He has some daughters/future Czarinas though, so we could still have a Putin dynasty. - http://www.internationalskeptics.com...1&postcount=10

dudalb: Let's face it:The Russians just cannot conceive of a government without a dictator in charge. - http://www.internationalskeptics.com...4&postcount=15

The Atheist: There's obviously some freak DNA in Russians that makes them love a strongman leader. - http://www.internationalskeptics.com...5&postcount=18

llwyd: Well, he will go on and on, the Supreme Leader of the Great Sov.., sorry, Russian nation. And why not - it even took only a couple of dismissive statements by him to stop the Corona virus in its tracks. - http://www.internationalskeptics.com...6&postcount=27
I see the problem. Those are examples of trolling. None of them are meant to be taken seriously. None of them are going to give you good answers or reasoned discussion. That would defeat the whole purpose. I would say, reply to dudalb, The Atheist, and llwyd each directly. Respond once to each, making one attempt to get a substantive response to your question. If that fails, drop it and move on to more fruitful conversations.

Quote:
What do you mean by the phrase "failure modes"?
The ways in which a given system can fail.

Quote:
Do you mean the opportunity for the president to run two more times?
I'd say it's more a question of causes than effects.

Quote:
Why do you think this is a kind of failure?
I'm not sure that it is.

I am sure that, given the examples you gave, I'm not very interested in discussing the topic anymore.
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Old 23rd March 2020, 10:14 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by sackett View Post
I must question the value, especially the efficiency, of dictatorships, and definitely question the existence, anywhere or at any time, of an enlightened one.
I too canít find examples of able dictators, although we must be aware that rulers before democracy were more or less dictators, and given the huge amount of possible candidates, I would not rule out that there was a good one among them. This of course also depends on what constitutes good or bad dictatorship. Historian sources canít be relied on judging by the same standards as we would today.

Quote:
People (some, anyway) started out thinking that Mussolini was good for Italy. That was due to a lamentable inter-war fantasy that democracy was weak. Along came Hitler and Franco and some lesser jackboots, and the fantasy thickened into a near-conviction. Then came the war. How efficient did those dictatorships turn out to be?
Actually quite efficient, as far as I gather. But this efficiency came with a cost of crimes against humanity, and a general fear in the population.

Quote:
We have to recognize that in a dictatorship there is no law.
I think there is a law, but it is not dependent on principles of justice and equality.

Quote:
No lawless society can exist for long; mere power is a shapeless thing with unclear boundaries, like cancer, and it never corrects itself.
The Empires of old, like the Roman, Chinese, or Persian empires lasted quite long, and they were pure dictatorships.
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Old 23rd March 2020, 10:36 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by lambent View Post
What is this statement based on?
My own surmises built on the fact that Putinís regime is built on corruption, and corrupt governments always fear what will happen if they give up power.

Quote:
By the way, what about rich people in the West?

Are they indifferent to their income level?
No. Your point is?

Quote:
Do they not interfere in the politics of your countries?
Of course.

Quote:
In your countries, is the income gap between rich and poor growing or falling?
Growing. Again, I do not see your point.

Quote:
I correctly understood that the only advantage of democracy is that people support decisions whether they are effective or ineffective?

But maybe it would be better if the right decision is made without popular support and even in spite of it than if some suicidal decision accompanied by widespread popular support is made?
It will always be better if only right decisions are taken. But who decides what is right? Why do you think that dictatorships are better at arriving at the right decisions?

Quote:
What is this statement based on?
I thought it was common knowledge that Putin is popular. Am I wrong?

I have seen numerous reports over the years about how the government harasses the opposition by jailing them, removing their financial support, and closing their media. At a previous presidential election there was even the laughable display of an obvious phony opposition candidate who told his voters to support Putin!

Anyway, the latest election does not seem to be different, though there has been less interest in the West to report on it.
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Old 24th March 2020, 10:08 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by lambent View Post
By the essence of authority, I meant that always influential people rule.
Anyone who achieves a leadership position in any government automatically becomes an influential person. This is a meaningless statement.

Quote:
They always rule under a monarchy, democracy and any other type of government.
Yes, government officials are members of government. What else could they be?

Quote:
And they never allow government decisions to conflict with their most important interests.
So Richard Nixon's impeachment didn't actually conflict with any of his most important interests? That's strange.

By your meaningless definitions, there is virtually no essential difference in authority between Putin's RF and Hitler's NSDAP.
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Old 25th March 2020, 03:06 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I see the problem. Those are examples of trolling. None of them are meant to be taken seriously.
These are just your interpretations of their words. I have not seen them write somewhere that this should be considered as not serious.



Quote:
None of them are going to give you good answers or reasoned discussion. That would defeat the whole purpose. I would say, reply to dudalb, The Atheist, and llwyd each directly. Respond once to each, making one attempt to get a substantive response to your question. If that fails, drop it and move on to more fruitful conversations.
Good. Thank you.



Quote:
The ways in which a given system can fail.
I understood it. I would like to understand exactly what is meant.



Quote:
I'd say it's more a question of causes than effects.
What are the causes?



Quote:
I'm not sure that it is.

I am sure that, given the examples you gave, I'm not very interested in discussing the topic anymore.
This is your choice.
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Old 25th March 2020, 04:03 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
My own surmises built on the fact that Putinís regime is built on corruption, and corrupt governments always fear what will happen if they give up power.
Your statement that "Putinís regime is built on corruption" itself needs proof.



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No. Your point is?

Of course.

Growing. Again, I do not see your point.
My point is that in the USA real authority is also in the hands of a small number of the richest and most influential people. And they, too, are very afraid of losing this authority.

And the growing income gap is just a sign of whose interests the US government is working in.



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It will always be better if only right decisions are taken. But who decides what is right? Why do you think that dictatorships are better at arriving at the right decisions?
I did not claim that "dictatorships are better at arriving at the right decisions."

I just wanted to draw your attention to the fact that your criterion of "population approval / disapproval of the population" is a pseudo-criterion since it has absolutely nothing to do with the correctness of the decision.



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I thought it was common knowledge that Putin is popular. Am I wrong?
You are right.

But my question was about "suppresses critical voices, and punishes opposition candidates."



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I have seen numerous reports over the years about how the government harasses the opposition by jailing them, removing their financial support, and closing their media. At a previous presidential election there was even the laughable display of an obvious phony opposition candidate who told his voters to support Putin!

Anyway, the latest election does not seem to be different, though there has been less interest in the West to report on it.
I canít say anything because I donít know what specific reports you are talking about.
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Old 25th March 2020, 04:58 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by trustbutverify View Post
Anyone who achieves a leadership position in any government automatically becomes an influential person. This is a meaningless statement.
You are right such a person becomes an influential person. But he cannot afford to ignore the interests of other influential people, including more powerful ones than he.

Remember the Russian Emperor Paul I and John F. Kennedy.



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Yes, government officials are members of government. What else could they be?
I had in mind not only government officials but also very wealthy people and large industrialists and heads of huge corporations and senior military officials.



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So Richard Nixon's impeachment didn't actually conflict with any of his most important interests? That's strange.
I have not affirmed anything like this.

But the question with whose interests Nixon came into conflict seems to me very interesting.



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By your meaningless definitions, there is virtually no essential difference in authority between Putin's RF and Hitler's NSDAP.
I directly wrote that the essence of any authority is the same.
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Old 25th March 2020, 07:22 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by lambent View Post
These are just your interpretations of their words. I have not seen them write somewhere that this should be considered as not serious.
It's the correct interpretation. Body of work alone is enough for the first two posters.

But like I said, try to get a good response from any of those three, on those points. You won't.

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Good. Thank you.
I appreciate the thanks, but I'd rather you take my advice seriously, and write off the above comments as trolling.

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I understood it. I would like to understand exactly what is meant.
I'm not going to list all the failure modes of all the systems of government, if that's what your asking for. I'll give two examples, full stop:

One failure mode of dictatorships is the dictator not receiving good information from his advisors. One failure mode of majoritarian democracy is oppression of the minority.

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What are the causes?
Yes. That is exactly the question: What are the causes of Putin being able to run for President two more times?

You discussing these causes might be a good way to demonstrate that Russian authority is not essentially peculiar.

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This is your choice.
Thanks, but you don't have to tell me. I already know. I'm more interested in whether you understand why I've made this choice, and why it's a waste of your time and effort to press me for a more in-depth discussion.
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Old 25th March 2020, 07:53 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by lambent View Post
You are right such a person becomes an influential person. But he cannot afford to ignore the interests of other influential people, including more powerful ones than he.
Influential people lead because you can't lead without influence. Like you can't be a professional athlete without athleticism, or a top scientist without superior intellect. Of course, if someone suggested those facts indicate no essential difference among them, they would be justifiably laughed at.

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I had in mind not only government officials but also very wealthy people and large industrialists and heads of huge corporations and senior military officials.
Powerful people are, by definition, powerful. Of course, that doesn't mean all powerful people express, or repress, their power in essentially the same way. At all.

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I have not affirmed anything like this.

But the question with whose interests Nixon came into conflict seems to me very interesting.
Does it start with a Deep and end with a State?

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I directly wrote that the essence of any authority is the same.
I disagree the authority of Ghandi was essentially the same as the authority of Stalin. But then again, I'm not an apologist.
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Old 27th March 2020, 04:50 PM   #30
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I think people see Russia this way because they are the archetypal "opposite white country" to the United States and European allies.

There are a number of other longtime dictatorships elsewhere that Westerners, especially Americans, don't really pay attention to. There may be a similarly long history of authoritarian rule in these countries, but they don't have the cultural significance of the Cold War behind them, not to the degree of Russia vs America.
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Old 28th March 2020, 02:48 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
I think people see Russia this way because they are the archetypal "opposite white country" to the United States and European allies.
I donít think Europeans look at it this way. We tend to be wary of Russia because of its size, and consistent animosity. When the Soviet Union fell, Europe was quick to extend its influence, and this was disapproved in Russia because the former colonies and vassal states were still being regarded as belonging to Russia. It never occurred to Russian leaders that cheap energy prices was not enough to make their former subjects love Russia, and like the U.S. they were happy to support corrupt dictators if they stayed under Russian influence.

The consistent attempts to undermine democracy in Europe is also not endearing Russia to Europeans, except of course those who are against democracy anyway.

My point is that there are lots of other reasons for the fear today than the Cold War.
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Old 30th March 2020, 09:13 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
I donít think Europeans look at it this way. We tend to be wary of Russia because of its size, and consistent animosity. When the Soviet Union fell, Europe was quick to extend its influence, and this was disapproved in Russia because the former colonies and vassal states were still being regarded as belonging to Russia. It never occurred to Russian leaders that cheap energy prices was not enough to make their former subjects love Russia, and like the U.S. they were happy to support corrupt dictators if they stayed under Russian influence.

The consistent attempts to undermine democracy in Europe is also not endearing Russia to Europeans, except of course those who are against democracy anyway.

My point is that there are lots of other reasons for the fear today than the Cold War.
Noted.

But the part you quoted made me think I should rephrase what I said earlier.

Americans might be seeing things that way.
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Old 31st March 2020, 02:38 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It's the correct interpretation. Body of work alone is enough for the first two posters.

But like I said, try to get a good response from any of those three, on those points. You won't.
Even if you believe that my topic is based on the opinions of trolls, this does not mean that it cannot be useful.

Let people write about the essence of Russian authority.


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I appreciate the thanks, but I'd rather you take my advice seriously, and write off the above comments as trolling.
What is the difference?

Trolling should not go unanswered too.


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I'm not going to list all the failure modes of all the systems of government, if that's what your asking for. I'll give two examples, full stop:

One failure mode of dictatorships is the dictator not receiving good information from his advisors. One failure mode of majoritarian democracy is oppression of the minority.
I don't consider these examples to be failure patterns.

For me, the loss of power is the only real failure of authority.


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Yes. That is exactly the question: What are the causes of Putin being able to run for President two more times?

You discussing these causes might be a good way to demonstrate that Russian authority is not essentially peculiar.
Putin is the real authority in Russia.

And any real authority almost always opposes the termination of its rule.


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Thanks, but you don't have to tell me. I already know. I'm more interested in whether you understand why I've made this choice, and why it's a waste of your time and effort to press me for a more in-depth discussion.
I don't understand this.
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Old 31st March 2020, 04:23 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by trustbutverify View Post
Influential people lead because you can't lead without influence. Like you can't be a professional athlete without athleticism, or a top scientist without superior intellect. Of course, if someone suggested those facts indicate no essential difference among them, they would be justifiably laughed at.
I consider this as your agreement with my words.


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Powerful people are, by definition, powerful. Of course, that doesn't mean all powerful people express, or repress, their power in essentially the same way. At all.
I agree with you. A powerful person not necessarily interfere in politics.


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Does it start with a Deep and end with a State?
The Deep State is an abstraction. In contrast, Nixon could come into conflict only with the interests of very specific people.


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I disagree the authority of Ghandi was essentially the same as the authority of Stalin. But then again, I'm not an apologist.
Mohandas Gandhi did not rule India for a single day.

Of course, I consider him one of the influential people. But I do not think that he had authority in the sense in which I use it in this topic.
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Old 31st March 2020, 08:29 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
I donít think Europeans look at it this way. We tend to be wary of Russia because of its size, and consistent animosity.
What do you mean specifically?

We only made courtesy return visits to Europe after visiting our country with groups of tourists led by Napoleon and Hitler
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Old 31st March 2020, 09:10 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by lambent View Post
Even if you believe that my topic is based on the opinions of trolls, this does not mean that it cannot be useful.

Let people write about the essence of Russian authority.
Why Russian authority? Because some trolls said so? What's the use in that?

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What is the difference?

Trolling should not go unanswered too.
The difference between what? The difference between a serious argument that leads to fruitful discussion, and an empty jibe that goes nowhere?

Of course trolling should go unanswered. That's the whole point of identifying it as trolling, rather than as serious inquiry. Anyway, if you think dudalb et al. are serious, talk to them. That's the real test of whether they're trolling or not. If they don't engage you with serious answers, then you know it's trolling.

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I don't consider these examples to be failure patterns.

For me, the loss of power is the only real failure of authority.
Both of those are losses of power. In the first example, the dictator loses his power to make fully-informed decisions about his dictatorship. In the second example, some citizens lose a share of the collective authority that is rightfully theirs.

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Putin is the real authority in Russia.

And any real authority almost always opposes the termination of its rule.
I'm following you so far. What else?

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I don't understand this.
I don't take trolling seriously. I don't try to explore it. I don't try to argue for it or against it. It's just not worth it. Because your inquiry in this thread is premised on trolling, I'm not going to put a lot of effort into it. Why try to build any useful structure on such wet sand?
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Old 31st March 2020, 02:54 PM   #37
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What is the essential peculiarity of the Russian authority?

Originally Posted by lambent View Post
What do you mean specifically?
I gave examples. They include the abduction of an Estonian border guard, and persistent disinformation campaigns to destabilize Western countries.

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We only made courtesy return visits to Europe after visiting our country with groups of tourists led by Napoleon and Hitler
The courtesy visits included Finland, Poland and the Baltic countries before Hitler made his bid to enslave all slav people, but OK, that is ancient history now. More recently, Russia has done a great deal to destabilize the former subject countries, even to the point of actively attacking Ukraine with "volunteers". And actually that included the shooting down of a civilian airplane - but OK, the U.S. would probably not have owned up to it if they had done it. (I am not counting the attack on Georgia: that was entirely Georgia's own fault, even if Russia had nibbled off smaller regions before; Russia simply does not have the knack of how to make other peoples love her).

The fact is that Russia is a threat, and likes to be seen as such, and Europeans have to live with it, much like Central America has to live with the U.S. that has also not been shy of threatening with military power.

I guess this is what you call the essence of power.
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Last edited by steenkh; 31st March 2020 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 31st March 2020, 03:34 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by lambent View Post
We only made courtesy return visits to Europe after visiting our country with groups of tourists led by Napoleon and Hitler : )
The horrors of war perpetrated by people like Hitler and Stalin probably aren't a joking matter.

And you might not want to use "we" in this context. Unless you really are claiming solidarity with Josef Stalin and the Soviet Union.

And the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was an alliance between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany to divide Poland between them, not a retaliation against France for something Napoleon had done a hundred years earlier.

Not to mention things like Soviet Russia's support of Serbian terrorism strategies. These weren't revenge for Napoleon, either. These were Russian attempts to destabilize southeastern Europe to the point where Russia could move into the region and secure Russian access to the Med. That was a direct contributor to the outbreak of WW1, and it almost worked, too. They tried the same thing at the end of WW2, enslaving most of Eastern Europe.

So that's the "we" you're talking about. That's the perception you'll need to change, before your jokes about "courtesy return visits" to Europe will find a receptive audience here.
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Old 31st March 2020, 03:57 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
I guess this is what you call the essence of power.
"Every country has men like Putin in charge. Why all the hypocritical hate for Putin in particular?"
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Old 31st March 2020, 10:16 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by lambent View Post
I consider this as your agreement with my words.
In that case, your reading skills need work, because you missed the point entirely.

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I agree with you. A powerful person not necessarily interfere in politics.
Even powerful people who do interfere in politics sometimes have essential differences in their motives and methods. They are most definitely not all essentially the same.

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The Deep State is an abstraction. In contrast, Nixon could come into conflict only with the interests of very specific people.
Part of a shadowy cabal motivated only by self-interest or people trying to do the right thing?



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Mohandas Gandhi did not rule India for a single day.

Of course, I consider him one of the influential people. But I do not think that he had authority in the sense in which I use it in this topic.
Gandhi was the fully authorized leader of the Indian people during the rebellion... he wielded real authority during that time and significant political influence afterwards. I suggest you don't consider him to have had real power because it contradicts your "essence" theory.
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