Spengler takes another look at Vladimir Putin:
There are a lot of reasons I don’t watch Republican political debates. One of them is that I might throw a whiskey glass at the television screen every time one of the contenders tries to show how tough he or she is by excoriating Vladimir Putin. Big talkers. My fellow Republicans oscillate between the view that Russia is about to implode and the view that Putin is about to make war on NATO. Both views are equally silly. Putin is playing a weak hand skillfully, trying to keep Russia in the game as a world power (if not a superpower). He also rules the one Christian country that has been fighting a war with Islamic terrorists for decades. After years of colossal American blunders in the Levant, there’s no way we can exclude Putin from a seat at the table. That’s a fact of life, and all the bloviating in the world won’t change it. It’s also a fact that Russia has interests which sometimes run counter to ours and sometimes coincide with ours. Where our interests coincide, we should work with Russia; where our interests diverge, we should foil Russia. That’s called Realpolitik and it’s what great powers do for a living.
If memory serves, Henry Kissinger, serving as Richard Nixon's Secretary of State, was the last practitioner of Realpolitik in the United States government. Here is how our friends at Wikipedia approach about the subject:
Realpolitik (from German: real "realistic", "practical", or "actual"; and Politik "politics", German pronunciation: [ʁeˈaːlpoliˌtɪk]) is politics or diplomacy based primarily on power and on practical and material factors and considerations, rather than explicit ideological notions or moral or ethical premises. In this respect, it shares aspects of its philosophical approach with those of realism and pragmatism; often, its simply referred to as "pragmatism" in politics, i.e. 'pursuing pragmatic policies' (Singapore). The term Realpolitik is sometimes used pejoratively to imply politics that are coercive, amoral, or Machiavellian.
Ahhh.............that rascal Machiavelli.
As a side note, I was wondering what Putin might think of Spengler's calling Russia a Christian country. Judging by this article, he would probably agree. We certainly live in interesting times.