Wednesday, November 29, 2017

From Sports to Politics, Kremlin Can’t Win Anywhere in an Open and Fair Competition, Christenzen Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, November 28 – Russia’s problem under Vladimir Putin is that it is “not capable of winning in an open, competitive fight” and therefore always makes use of underhanded and often illegal means, be it in athletic competitions or geopolitical ones, according to Moscow commentator Yury Khristenzen.

            Moscow’s “ruling elite acts as it was taught in the KGB,” he continues, to always “seek to obtain results by the quickest way, not limiting oneself in methods and means. In this paradigm, an competition is evil” because what one wants is the certainty that one will come out ahead (

                Inside Russia, this approach “still works,” Khristenzen says; but outside its borders, it can work only for a time, then it is exposed, and others turn away from and then work against those who don’t play by the rules but think they can do anything they want in the name of victory.  In short, “if you violate the rules, no one will want to play with you.”

            Those who do play by the rules meaning move ahead, while those who don’t remain mired in the past, he argues. They do so by working harder and innovating within the rules rather than thinking that they can do anything. And they understand that they must do so on their own rather than relying on corruption or force.

            But in Russia today, there is no such approach.  And that is reflected not only in Moscow’s repeated violations of doping rules and international law but also in its ideological notion of “rising from its knees.”  That idea is “harmful in and of itself” because “it is formed on the ruins of former greatness in view of the impossibility of competing” in an honest way.

            This is “a surrogate idea” of “the lazy and the loser, who seeks the source of his problems in those around him and does not want to change anything in himself.” 


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