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Why Resist Russia?
Nietzsche’s Master-Slave Morality and the price of Russian expansion.
On the last Break The Rules, the silver tongued charismatic monarchist Curtis Yarvin returned with Vlad Davidzon of the Atlantic Council to speak for the third time about the Russia Ukraine War right before Vlad made his way to Kyiv.
While there were many tangential conversations on the nature and motivation of organizations like the Atlantic Council regarding this war, the most important point had to do with why Ukraine is, as Curtis said, “fighting to the last Ukrainian” rather than giving up their sovereignty for safety. The second important question had to do with why Russia (and by extension China) acquiring a larger global presence is an existential threat to the world as a whole.
Both of these questions relate back to the nature of Russia and why an unfamiliarity with this nation in its current form makes it hard to understand why being within its bear hug is a fate less preferable to death.
The Master-Slave Morality
From a philosophical perspective, we can turn to Friedrich Nietzsche and his “master-slave” morality where in the slaves end up succumbing to their masters rather than being given death when liberty is nowhere to be found. Creating their own system of meaning and morality within these confines so as to be “realistic” about the situation and live another day may work for some, but it has not worked for the Ukrainians no matter how much sense people like Curtis try to talk into them.
There is an ironic parallel here as well with problems many on the reactionary right see happening in the West from a spineless acceptance of “the new normal”. Yet these same people show confusion at the sight of Ukrainians who put their lives on the line to defend their freedom (it must be Zelenskyy the Jewish puppet master hypnotizing them).
Perhaps part of it has to do with the pro-transgender propaganda Vlad alluded to during the later part of our conversation, where trans medic Sarah Ashton-Cirillo has been propped up as the Ukrainian military spokesperson, despite the nature of the Ukrainian armed forces and its people being as far from woke as you can get.
This may honestly be a great miscalculation on the part of the Ukrainian government as this false impression functions like a giant Bud Light campaign to further lose support from people who are sick and tired of wokeness.
And at the same time, there is much doubt as to how much those into woke culture will even care about the war beyond a few slacktivistic Ukraine-supporting avatars once they get distracted by the next “current thing”.
Regardless, rather than seeing Ukraine as a Western puppet state which will mandate Drag Queen Story Hour or a state which is no different from Putin’s Russia, it's important to recognize Ukraine’s trajectory so that we can understand why it has the Master morality instead of the Slave.
After Ukraine was loosened from the Soviet grip, there was indeed the famous corruption that its opponents like to equate with or elevate above that of the Russian Federation, but with a very important difference. Unlike Russia where all the oligarchs are owned by and answer to Putin, the Ukrainian oligarchs were their own independent “fiefdoms” of local corruption who answered to no one above them.
This combined with a free press meant that the kinds of crimes that went unpunished with in Russia were far less likely to occur in Ukraine, if only for the reason that there was no Czar pretender like Putin whose power could shield the worst of humanity from prosecution when word would get out about the misdeeds of such groups of people.
Life (and Death) Under Russian Occupation
To illustrate why a life occupied by Russia would be worth fighting against with all one’s might, we can look at miscarriages of justice which don’t just affect big shots like businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky, but the civilians who, some Westerners may imagine, can skate by freely so long as they don’t try to overthrow the government.
One such example is of an Alexander from the city of Izhevsk whose three-story dream house for the whole family which he built himself was taken and demolished when it met the eye of a developer friendly with the city administration.
Or you might be one of the 220 civilians that end up murdered, raped, assaulted, or just robbed if you’re lucky, not by a gang of outlaw thugs but thugs protected by the law. This is the unfortunate case with the henchmen of Sergei Tsapok whose family is one of the wealthiest landowners in the vast Krasnodar Territory of southern Russia (including Sochi which hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics). Regardless of any criminal proceedings against the marauders, all were subsequently closed.
But to really understand the closeness such wanton criminals have with the centralized Russian state, Tsapok had been feasting “Goodfellas style” on caviar, barbecue, and crabs from his prison, finally being apprehended after offing a rival. Unlike Goodfellas, however, this hit on his rival was also the mass murder of twelve people including a one-year-old girl who was doused with gasoline and burned alive.
Such a monstrous action would never be able to skirt justice in Ukraine because if there was a local corrupt oligarch whose gang terrorized the village like in the aforementioned examples, freedom of the press (which is sorely lacking in Russia) would allow news of this to spread and create a Maidan style reaction so as to punish such people rather than feed them caviar.
True, this was not always the case in Ukraine as it took time to rid itself of its Soviet cocoon with its KGB ties, and this is not to say that the country is now some butterfly of incorruptibility either.
The real test is whether people can be galvanized to stand up against the kind of crimes which destroy the lives of innocents and that those criminals are not safely linked up to a pyramid which goes all the way to the dictator whose word is law.
But even if the Ukrainians were to somehow accept the rule of such a dictator as the new normal and concede to the Russians out of self preservation, it is a mistake to believe that there would even be a self to preserve under Russian occupation as the government’s only guarantee of legitimacy now is to keep acquiring more territory.
So a young Ukrainian man being spared a battle against the aggressor would in time find himself drafted at gunpoint to fight as the aggressor himself against the adjacent piece of land like Poland or the Baltics whose occupants would meet the same fate until the whole wretched machine is finally destroyed. And we have already seen examples of this with the occupied territories of Donetsk being drafted into the Russian army to fight against Ukraine.
But at that point, how many lives and (to a far lesser importance) resources would have been used up to stop it when compared to funding a voluntary resistance against a force which is only starting to learn from its early mistakes?
Curtis’s answer is none, as long as we draw a red line when it comes to the Anglosphere which he would prefer to be kept out of Russia’s or China’s grasp.
Everything else would be up for the taking.
The Price of Isolationism
Even if we were to gamble on a further expansion of Russia being avoided due to NATO’s Article Five scaring Putin into stopping at Ukraine, such fears would not be as effective against other powers like China who would see losing Ukraine as evidence of declining Western hegemony and an opportunity to finally expand into Taiwan. And as far as what there is to fear from China, we need only look at what Russia has been learning from their style of governance when it comes to social credit as applied to their invasion effort.
While Covid demonstrated that some in our Western nations have been too giddy about implementing China-style surveillance, Russia has taken things to the next level with their digital draft registry and the punishments that come with disobeying it:
“Regardless of whether a person has a Gosuslugi account, or even uses the internet, they will still be penalized for failing to report to the recruitment office once a digital draft notice is issued. Those penalties include a ban on leaving the country, as well as on driving, buying and selling real estate, taking out loans, and registering a small business. Regional governments will also now be able to add other restrictions to the list, such as suspending social benefits.”
In this sense, the dehumanizing nature of the “globalist technocracy” that Alex Jones loves shouting against is only too alive and well within China and its vassal state Russia.
Those in the West like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau admire China’s “basic dictatorship” so it may not be a great leap to say that when the Canadian medical system recommends assisted suicide to patients with illness or disability, they are imbuing this same inhuman energy. And while Vancouver General Hospital apologized for the most recent incident as Canadians tend to do (unlike Russia or China), how long till these suggestions are normalized if not mandated should the China / Russia model reign supreme?
Do we want more of the same technocracy in all the places where America’s influence has been felt since the end of World War II? Or how about the well connected thugs who can rape and murder as they please?
If Ukraine is taken along with the Baltics followed by Eastern Europe and Northern Europe, there is no reason for Putin not to use his now much more powerful army in Western Europe and beyond. After all, if we are so terrified of Russia’s nukes, why should we risk angering Putin too much by mounting an actually threatening offensive even in the case of Germany and France? Next would be Alaska as it would certainly not be worth it to defend such an inhospitable place with the threat of nuclear annihilation. And then, perhaps California is declared to be a historical part of Russia, though the Chinese may insist on giving that one over to them instead.
But even if the US, Canada, and England were to erect their “Maginot Line'' against the aggressors, Russia and China’s acquisition of more countries means more influence abroad due to the larger amount of bargaining chips. Over time, such influence can easily pierce the shell of an isolationist Anglosphere that Curtis drew his red line around as the last bastion of Western freedom.
As far as the American (actually free) part of the Anglosphere goes, there are certain localities like Portland Oregon that intimidate jurors to free Antifa, but US citizens have the right to leave this accursed place for states which actually respect the law. The equivalent of Kyle Rittenhouse being acquitted would never happen in Russia, and justice was able to prevail as those higher up could not command the system to do otherwise. Such is not the case for Putin’s Russia or Xi Jinping’s China, and gets to be less of a case in countries which are influenced in the same direction.
Regardless of the small victories mainly in the US, it won’t be an easy fight to restore liberty where we find it wanting in the West, but the bravery of Ukrainians fighting for their freedom shows us that the principles which not all of our elites may live up to are nevertheless alive and well in places which know what it's like to live without it. They are the masters willing to die rather than be slaves to those whose system of governance is beneath them.