Beyond Mere Stupidity

In one of my previous articles, I asked, only half-jokingly, what might explain the rationale behind the steadfast American effort, spanning over three decades, to Make Russia Great Again. Is it mere stupidity? Are there Putin’s “little green men” infesting the inner sanctum of the American deep state, perhaps? Or does the problem have to do with an inner mechanism of the American political psyche? Or perhaps it’s just a matter of there existing certain axioms which must be accepted unquestioningly, or a fixed algorithm that must be followed, no matter how repetitively bad the results may be?

The theory of mere stupidity does not satisfy; even very stupid people eventually learn not to step on the same rake again. The theory of there being Russia’s “little green men” toiling tirelessly within the bowels of Deep State does not appear amenable to either verification or falsification, so we’ll set it aside as well. The basic axiom is that America is the greatest and most powerful nation on earth and therefore always victorious. If it is not victorious (as in Korea, Vietnam, Syria, Afghanistan or any number of smaller conflicts) then the algorithm is to have a stiff drink and re-read the basic axiom.

The deep dark mystery of the American political psyche is that the world outside the United States—even Canada and Mexico, not to mention fabled mangled lands such as Iranq or Afghanturkmentajikipakistan—does not really exist. These are all but flickering images, visible today (while the story of America being victorious there is still plausible) and gone tomorrow (when it’s time to consign that story to oblivion). This is all pretty obvious and we have all seen it many times. But when it comes to Russia, this axiom and this algorithm don’t work.

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