On Putinology Episode IX: Michael Crowley & Niall Ferguson the trailblazers in this replacement for Kremlinology, a comment by Political Observer

The once ascendant Kremlinologist, after the ‘Fall of the Soviet Union’, seemed to have disappeared without a trace, except for the ever present Mr. Strobe Talbott, his twitter    soubriquet ‘Russia Hand’,  who now heads Brookings,the headquarters of advocates/agents for the American Empire:  Neo-Conservatives i.e.  ‘Liberal Internationalists’ and its coterie of Zionist agents/apologists. File the ‘politics’ of Brookings under the heading of American bourgeois political conformity.

Those Kremlinologists have now morphed into Putinologists: the pretenders to that mantle are the reporters and pundits who people the American/European news media. What we as readers confront, in the closing days of 2016 in ‘Long Form Journalism’ are two ‘experts’ in the field, Michael Crowley and Niall Ferguson.

Mr. Crowley’s essay is long, and to say the least, sketchy on the psychological profile of Putin, as it is the purest kind of self-serving speculation. This is the stuff of News Magazines and its Pundits, like the predigested ‘News’ of Time Magazine of the Henry Luce era. Crowley is stronger on repeating the received wisdom, in the political portion of his  profile of Putin, from a series of American sources, who share Mr. Crowley’s beliefs.

According to diagnostician Crowley, Putin is suffering from a debilitating case of ‘profound humiliation’ over the fall of the Soviet Union, that has now reached the stage of a fully realized pathology.Mr. Crowley’s psychological profile lacks the arcane, yet resonant Freudian vocabulary of the once ascendant  practitioners of Psycho-biography.

This is anti-Putin propaganda, that mimics actual Journalism, that appeals to the prejudices, and the cultivated paranoia of a careful campaign of the demonization of Putin: as the subverter of the American democratic process, after the recitation of  his other  crimes. Notice that the Crowley essay is neatly framed, in its introduction and coda , by a  nostalgia for the easily manipulable drunkard Boris Yeltsin, yet he is a kind of comic figure. Yeltsin appointed Putin, so that nostalgia mixed with comedy is utterly misplaced.

The readers of the political tip-sheet Politico, inside and outside the political power structure-the sharing of ‘insider information’ with a wider public is the fraudulent mystique of Politico. Read the whole of the essay, aptly titled ‘Putin’s Revenge’ here:


Consider next the essay of Niall Ferguson published at Foreign Policy ‘The Russian Question’.

Mr. Ferguson’s argument is in part a staid historical approach that features in its introduction the ‘German Question’ as historically comparable to the arguments of his essay ‘The Russian Question’. That Mr. Ferguson is the official biographer/hagiographer  for Henry Kissinger, he makes an appearance as the ‘voice of reason’. ‘Wold Order’ Kissinger’s latest book, that extemporizes on the Huntington theme expressed as ‘…four evolving and incompatible conceptions of international order: America,European,Chinese and Islamic. Russia’s place in the scheme of things is ambiguous. This reads as shopworn, but it suits the Ferguson purpose, except that the villains of Russian revanchism and Putin are inconveniently lost. Kissinger’s 2014 prescient warning about ‘cyberwarfare’, featuring Thomas Hobbes, provides the necessary cover, for this extemporizing on a theme, Mr. Ferguson shifts into Neo-Con high gear:

That crisis has already arrived. As I write, the burning question of American politics is how far the Russian government was successful in its efforts to influence the outcome of November’s presidential election. That Russia tried to do this is no longer in serious dispute. Russian hackers successfully accessed the emails of the Democratic National Committee. WikiLeaks acted as the conduit. The resulting email dumps and leaks probably reinforced voters’ negative views of Hillary Clinton. Given Donald Trump’s narrow margin of victory in key swing states, one might claim that this was decisive — though no more or less decisive than all the other factors that made up the minds of crucial voters in an election where “everything mattered.” President Barack Obama now says that “when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections … we need to take action” and that “we will.”

That the Russians have committed an ‘Act of War’ against the sacrosanct USA. Now, that the assertions of America’s utterly lawless ‘Security Apparatus’ produces ‘evidence on demand’ to ‘prove’ Russia guilt, somehow escapes the attention of this writer does not surprise. The defenders of the Hegemon suffer a telling lack of recall when it comes to their own ‘Acts of War’: Stuxnet , just one example among many. And given Mr. Kissinger’s past record of bellicosity, allied to political machination,love of intrigue and egotism on a grand scale:  he is not the ‘voice of reason’, in American Foreign Policy, as Mr. Ferguson portrays him. And linking to and briefly quoting  Franklin Foer’s and  Anne Applebaum’s political hysterics, and calling their assertions ‘circumstantial’, introduces their cultivated paranoia into the conversation, and is a tacit recognition of their delusions as having some kind of efficacy. So much more to be said, but trying the reader’s patience, nor reinforcing the tired recitation of American National Security State propaganda, like Mr. Crowley and Mr. Ferguson is not my aim.

Political Observer

The Russian Question



About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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