Wrong comparison. The Russian aristocracy owned its property. The proper comparison is with the Turkish Sultan. His servants, no matter how great, were slaves, and forfeited all possessions on natural death, or beheading, or other whim. The august slaves created a work-around, founding mosques with schools and kitchens attached, and funding them with indefeasible religious gifts, where their lineal descendants were perpetual trustees. See them still at work in Istanbul today (and likewise abbeys and chantries in early feudal England.).
Putin’s oligarchs, it appears, do not actually own their companies, but have the gift of operating them from the State. It is certain in our uncertain world that they will have invested in their own foundations, much as the Kennedys and Clintons have. Their problem remains, not the European sanction authorities, but the implacable blood lust of their benefactor should they appear to stray from the obligation of loyalty.
Keep an eye on Kate Middleton’s brother in law James Matthews and the fate of ‘his’ . errr… ‘ hedge fund’ Eden Roc and hotel of the same name…. absolutely not, and in any way whatsoever linked with any Russian interests…
I have wiped a tear from my eye. That is the extent of my mourning for a vanishing way of life. Actually, it might have been allergies. Damned nuisance right now.
The consolation for Dr Zhivago and his wife of their request that they collect their music sheets or books (or was it a violin?) from their comfortable (not lavish) apartment was dismissed by the local Bolshevik in charge who told them that as the Bolsheviks don’t do music, there would be no need to collect them. If I recall right, as they stood outside their place (place, not palace). Stuff was being thrown out windows. In the movie.
Surely ordinary Russians can see that their top brass would never really fear the West or NATO since they, or rather the rich people they have links to of one kind or another, have lived it up in the West, availing of its openness and its freedoms. The war is a complete waste.
The oligarchs have many other options. Even if they leave out Europe and the US, there are plenty of interesting places left in the world. And a mere fraction of their wealth is enough for them to live comfortably.
Much more interesting is the other side of the analogy. That is, the similarity between Western liberal democrats and the Bolsheviks of 1918. What they have in common is that they do not consider any laws or norms binding. And also that they consider the very existence of the Russian oligarchs to be immoral to the point of being intolerable.
But while the old Bolsheviks were bothered by the contrast between their wealth and their intolerable poverty, today’s liberal democrats are also rich. The problem is that they can’t stand the idea that anyone could be so rich that they are not dependent on the system of multinational corporations. That is the real crime. And that is Russia’s real crime as well. Not war, wars are tolerated. The crime is independence.
What utter rubbish. You mean we have rich people in the West too? Who knew?! Yep, Keir Starmer must be one of the world’s wealthiest people, and of course responsible like Lenin for the deaths of tens of thousands.
Sometimes I almost wish some people making these fatuous comparisons could try out their clever contrarian positions for, say, a couple of weeks in an actual tyranny, Communist or otherwise. But that would be uncharitable.