Power Seduces…

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

Because we’re not doing our homework.
Not coming into our own powers.
It’s something all of us must do. A task all human beings are confronted with.
Each one of us has to think hard on it and choose how to get there.
To not come into our powers or not be on the road to do so is to flunk out of life.
Coming into our powers also requires taking time to form political opinions about the world we live in and who is ruling us.
When Putin ordered the conscription of hundreds of thousands of his citizens to go and kill Ukrainians he was counting on people who, for one reason or another, had put off doing the homework of coming into their powers.
Tens of thousands, maybe more, saw the conscription order coming and fled. They did so quickly because they knew that the invasion of Ukraine was Putin’s war, not Russia’s war.
They acted promptly because they were accustomed to thinking, and to a Russian who does so, the war on Ukraine doesn’t add up.
Ukraine had been fighting Russian sympathizers in the East – the Donbas area – since 2014, but they were fighting in their own land, to reclaim their stolen territory. Ukraine was not a threat to Russia itself.
But Putin needed a war. He needed a war to soothe his aching ego, aching because he had failed to lead his country to a position of world leadership, in spite of having ample natural resources and human capital.
Frustrated with his lack of capacity to lead as a statesman, he decides that occupying a neighbor nation will grant him world standing. No need to discuss it with his people. On his own, he decides what the fate of hundreds of thousands of his citizens should be.
Prior to the war there was no open discussion of what problems Ukraine may have posed.
When you’re a dictator you skip the consultation and discussion part. You just do what you feel like doing. Russian lives were and are at his disposal.
And so an officer assigned to do the enlisting knocks on the door of the home of a potential recruit.
‘Where’s Ilya?’
The potential recruit’s mother answers. ‘He’s at work, learning to be a carpenter. Why do you ask?’
‘His country needs him.’
‘I had heard you might be coming… and Ilya and I discussed it. He’s only 21 and loves building things… creating things. Look, on the shelf behind me, those figurines… I love the ballet dancer, it’s a copy of a famous sculpture by Degas, the French sculptor, which he saw in a museum in St Petersburg. I took him there. He never forgot it. He carved it out of wood. Isn’t it beautiful? He’s so young. He’s just coming into his powers, but he’s not interested in politics. Not yet.’
‘His country needs him.’
‘Russia needs carpenters, too.’
‘Madam… I’m just following orders. Ukrainians don’t want to surrender so we need to force them.’
‘Putin says that, I know. But what did they do to us?’
‘Madam, I don’t have all day, I have other people to see and recruit.’
‘I think there should be courses on political education starting in grammar school… so children learn early on how to choose a political leader. Do you have children?’
‘I do.’
‘How old are they?’ asks Ilya’s mom.
‘He’s nineteen.’
‘Will he be enlisting, too?’
‘No, madam. He’s enrolled at university.’
‘Does that make him better than my son? Russia needs carpenters, too.’
‘Look, madam, I don’t have time to argue with you, Putin says Russia needs Ilya to go into Ukraine. I’m going to leave you the address where he must go. If he doesn’t show up he’ll be in violation of the law.’
‘Every country needs political education early on… so we choose better leaders.’
‘Madam, I’m just following orders. Tell Ilya Russia needs him now. And to show up tomorrow to the recruitment center. Do not disobey this order.’
Ilya’s mother nods distractedly.
‘Is that all?’
‘Yes. You need to tell him, understood?’
She nods again.
‘Will he be there?’
‘It’s up to him.’
‘If he doesn’t show up he’ll be in violation of the law and will be imprisoned.’
‘Better to be imprisoned than being shot at.’
‘This is an order from Putin. Ilya must comply.’
She looks off as she nods.
‘Is that all?’
‘Yes. Have a good day.’
He leaves and she closes the door.
She stands there for a moment, then says, ‘I never thought I’d ask my son to leave Russia.’

In America, to consent to be ruled by a man like Trump is to not have exercised our powers to think. To consent to his rule is to have been intimidated by a blow hard and his accomplices.

In America’s state of Georgia’s election for the Senate, taking place today, Raphael Warnock will beat Herschel Walker, former football player and Trump avatar. (This one is easy)

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