War Of The Memes

No, I’m not talking all of the brilliant/good/okay/incrediblyfuckingstupid memes about Russia and the Ukraine seen on social media. While they do play a role to some extent, what they are is an expression of some of the deeper societal beliefs, language, philosophy, and how those all tie together.

Kamil Galeev is back with a rather lengthy bit of homework for you. He gets deep into the weeds on memes and memetics, and the evolution of same in different countries, with a focus on Russia and the Ukraine. It is an excellent read from an academic perspective, and from that of anyone who truly wants to understand what is going on and — more importantly — why it is going on. If you are trying to understand the Gramscian damage done to the U.S. and the West, this is some good “foundation” material to read.

To simplify, the Putin and a good bit of the elite see this as a war of liberation. It is their belief that the majority of Ukrainians long to be good Russians and adhere to the Russian (Slav) traditions. They not only believe this of the Ukraine, but a wide swath of former (and not former) territories. That is part of the heart of the plan that is Russkiy Mir.

They have been astounded at the resistance, because they believed that most of the population would rise up on their behalf. Given the information bubble at the top, it’s not surprising that in some cases there may still be some belief that it is just a fraction that is driving the rest to resist. Rather, they see that group plus NATO as trying to thwart the crusade of liberation. I have no doubt that Vladimir really does think he’s winning.

While it can be seen as delusional, or just a product of the information bubble, it is more than that. It ties into mores and memes, and the belief that obstacles to “restoring” the majority of the Ukrainian population to their rightful status as Russians will be overcome.

As we head towards May 9, keep in mind that the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and even the new Russian Federation have done many things on the basis of historical occasions rather than what the real world dictates. Never mind that they could just settle in and take however long it takes to re-assimilate the Ukraine. They won’t. This is tied into symbolism, mysticism, religion, and more. The danger to the Ukraine and the world is only going to increase as the clock ticks down.

For, if it becomes clear that the majority of the Ukraine has no desire to become Russian, well, that just shows that they are evil, sub-human, and not deserving of life. In fact, because they are evil and Nazi, they deserve death. Read what the Russian “elite” are saying on this topic right now, because that’s exactly what they are saying. It’s what they have been saying for decades, if not centuries.

This is not a people or leadership who believe a mistake has been made, and desire a way to negotiate an end to things. They see this as a holy war of liberation, and if those being liberated don’t want to be liberated, then they are clearly on the side of evil and need to be eradicated to free the rest. Those that help them resist are evil too.

The Russians know a thing or two about proxy wars. They see this as a proxy war with NATO, and seem to be moving towards seeing it as an open war with NATO. This is why I don’t (yet) support Trent Telenko’s idea of using PMCs for training, as that pushes the “rules” of proxy wars. Then again, anything that stands in their way is an act of war and causes Vladimir to rattle the briefcase ominously while making threats. It is also why a no-fly-zone and other open actions will take this instantly from proxy war to full war.

Can the Russians take large amounts of territory in the Donbas and the South? Yes, though there are limits. Can they hold it? No. No more than they can hold the Ukraine should they somehow take it. Their ability to take territory is open to question for any number of reasons, and Trent Telenko points out something that is going to have huge implications on the Russian home front sooner rather than later. Which makes me even more concerned about May 9.

As a complete aside, the homework that started this features Pushkin rather heavily and with good cause. That said, I find amusing his status today given that the Czar had him killed via the duel. Fairly typical Russian melodrama (Oh, those Russians!). When I visited Pushkin’s home where he died after the somewhat botched duel, it was quite the shrine for Russophiles, Slavophiles and other Pushkinophiles. The way they preserved things large and small had me wondering (after seeing the wastebasket of Pushkin) if they were going to trot out the chamber pot of Pushkin with the contents bronzed in much the same way parents bronzed baby shoes for a while. Pretty much everything else had been preserved, after all…

To go back to topic, today’s homework shows why the invasion was not a mistake (from Vladimir’s point of view) and why absent a clear and unambiguous victory from one side or another, there will be no negotiated peace anytime soon. It also serves as a warning for May 9, and why we need to keep a sharp eye on things.

Some Previous Posts:

Vladimir And The Ukraine

Answers, Ramblings, And A Bit More On Vladimir And The Ukraine

Your Must Read For The Day On Russia

The Puzzles In Play, And The Missing Pieces

Quick Thoughts On Ukraine/Putin

The Thing Behind The Curtain

Missing Pieces And Surprise Pieces

Thursday Update

Not A Lot To Add


Monday Update

Burn Notice

Accuracy, Reliability, And More

Putin, Trump, And The Coming Storm

Three Futures For Russia

Quick Thoughts

Saturday Update

Mismatched Locomotives

War, Ag, Demographics, And The Worst Is Yet To Come

Past, Present, And A Hungry Future

Huge Grain Of Salt

The Moskva

Retribution Inbound

Uncertainty And Preparation

Honest Question

Monday Morning Quick Brief


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