Thursday, March 14, 2024

Sparta-Style Militarization May Help Putin Stay in Power but It will Destroy Russia’s Future, Bobrik Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Mar. 10 – The militarization of Russia may be helping Vladimir Putin remain in power both by allowing him to engage in what some call the “military Keynsian” to boost to generate both deference to himself and patriotism by engaging in military adventures abroad, Ilya Bobrik says.

            But countries which engage in such militarization, from Sparta onward invariably compromise their ability to compete with and even survive against other states over the longer term that do not adopt such an approach, the Russian historian says (

            Dictators often ignore these longer term consequences seeing in militarization a solution to their immediate challenge of maintaining enough support to retain power, he continues. Putin is among them. But any benefit he receives come at a high cost to the future of the Russian Federation and its people.

            Brobrik, who now teaches in Germany, draws those conclusions after examining the classic case of a militarized society, Sparta. There, the state’s militarization and promotion of “’traditional values’” led to isolation, decay and ultimate defeat, as that regime lost “all geopolitical influence and Spart itself was transformed from a great power to a village.”

            Russia faces a similar prospect, the historian says, if it continues to follow Putin’s playbook

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