Three storytellers

10. März 2022

fill in an audi­ence on his­to­ri­cal inter­pre­ta­ti­ons, fai­ling to ever men­ti­on that a public speech has PR cha­rac­ter, and usual­ly isnt writ­ten by the public offi­cial that is giving the speech.

Also of note - the first spea­ker illus­tra­tes three poten­ti­al moti­ves for “Putins actions” two of which are deemed “over­sim­plistic, but not necessa­ri­ly wrong” and only one of which allows for a US stance of “Biden could have done not­hing to pre­vent this”, name­ly - the “Cra­zy Putin” nar­ra­ti­ve. Skip­ping over that one, the result of all three of them (even the backed into a cor­ner one), would be - that the­re is no pos­si­ble way out of the cur­rent situa­ti­on spi­ral­ing upwards in inten­si­ty (“Putin can not back down.”). For some rea­son my mind always starts ques­tio­ning - if the­re also hadnt been a pos­si­bi­li­ty of deesca­la­ting two of the named poten­ti­al moti­va­tions of Rus­sia in the recent past. So just move your van­ta­ge point for that assess­ment one mon­th into the past. 

Cant help it.

The more I watch panels with his­to­ri­ans, the more my opi­ni­on of the tra­de just slow­ly dis­in­te­gra­tes - to me it has beco­me more and more an occup­a­ti­on, citing lite­ra­tu­re, pre­fer­a­b­ly old, without the sligh­test con­cept of who wri­tes spee­ches, why they are held, what desi­red effects a public state­ment was craf­ted for - in one spe­ci­fic case in here, its watching someo­ne making an argu­ment ending up at Noahs arch in the end, put­ting in an “I know, cra­zy - right” laugh to indi­ca­te that they dont belie­ve that, but then cite the rest of the text that was craf­ted to end up at that point (“we the cho­sen peop­le”) ver­ba­tim, and in a mat­ter of fact way, becau­se - look, its still old and esteemed.

Still worth a watch though.

edit: Oh, and Putins “insa­ne, feve­rish” [refer­ring to the one hour long speech] “noti­on of Ukrai­ne as a his­to­ri­cal part of rus­sia”, wasnt inven­ted by Putin hims­elf, but has “very deep his­to­ri­cal roots”, “Putin rever­ted to the old lan­guage [lin­gu­is­ti­cal­ly]”. “After 1991 the ukra­ni­an government insis­ted, that Ukrai­ne be refer­red to as the Ukrai­ne, that is in ukra­ni­an - a his­to­ri­cal dis­tinct enti­ty, Putin rever­ted to the old lan­guage, novu­kra­nia [sic?] that is to say, the land on the peri­phe­ry”. Then “fol­lo­wed by a com­pa­ri­son to the ger­man fashist image of an “emas­cu­la­ted ger­ma­ny”, that was con­nec­ted to an image of “res­to­ring for­mer great­ness””. With this, “Putin shed his public role as the cal­cu­la­ting stra­te­gist, and ins­tead step­ped into the role, and took up the mant­le of being once more, the glo­rious savi­or of rus­sia, the mythi­cal war­ri­or figu­re of the boga­tyr, the gathe­rer of sla­vic peop­le under the gre­at rus­si­an ban­ner. The­re was no word in his speech about Nato, or wes­tern aggres­si­on, only one brief men­ti­on in the end about sup­por­ting Donezk and Lug­ansk. Next morning of cour­se, after the speech on Tues­day the 24th it beca­me clear what was behind the speech, not a mili­ta­ry ope­ra­ti­on to pro­tect the­se rus­si­an spea­king lands, but a full sca­le inva­si­on, to reco­ver the lost rus­si­an hinterlands.”

But then to hold them in a semi per­ma­nent desta­bi­li­zed sta­te, not to get drawn “into ano­t­her Afgha­ni­stan”, becau­se for a per­ma­nent occup­a­ti­on (and sta­bi­liz­a­ti­on) he lacks the num­bers. Alle­ged­ly. Which is whe­re chan­ging public opi­ni­on in rus­sia comes in. (If seen as a long term stra­te­gy, and not just aiding peace talks.)

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