A Good Week for Liberty

by Eric Schliesser on November 10, 2022

It’s probably not an entire coincidence that the Russians plan to withdraw from Kherson after realizing that the mid-term Trumpist wave petered out. It’s safe to say that whatever the final results will be, there will be sufficient, even bipartisan, support to continue the weapons flow to Ukraine for the time being.

In fact, the Ukraine war has exposed two fatal weaknesses of Putin’s regime that reflect the structural weaknesses of all such kleptocratic political orders. First, he encourages corruption down the chain of command in order not just to reward loyalty, but also to maintain leverage over his cronies. But, as any Chinese sage could have taught him, there is no level at which this stops; each level of authority mimics the strong-man at the top. This process gets accentuated in the chain of command of the armed forces, who are shielded from the evidence that things are deeply amiss until it’s too late to do much about it.

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