Ukraine triggers many interests. Today we are thinking of Rus traditions, and how history may speak: when forces to overcome are, as a practical matter, unstoppable in the immediate future. Old Rus, new Rus, all dealing with or engaging in invasions, settling, as we in the West also did. And, to address how to cope with an unstoppable force, read the West's Piers Plowman, Belling the Cat. What resolution was proposed in the earliest versions of that too-simplified story.
1. Rus. Putin. Like Vikings. They will run their course.
Vikings came and went in their territories for a long time; eventually settling in where they had raided, or just going home.
Is there a connection with historical repeats of this raider behavior and this drive to reincorporate a "new Russia". If Big Russia is asserting rights to the Old Rus as the new Rus, see old Rus at http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/513010/Rus, examine what that means. Rus is not "different." It includes early Swedish Viking raiding and trading roots, down the Volga, among other sources of Rus as a concept. The history of Viking trading-invasion, as the West well knows, is not one of negotiation; they chose to raid and/or settle or not. Many did settle in the areas previously raided.
So what next for the people already there in Ukraine when the new force of Rus comes? We has recourse, we meaning here, those of us who may see ourselves on a receiving end of a broader Rus influence, if Putin's Rus are not "stopped." But stopping is not possible easily. What recourse? Sanity. We still have that. And perspective, if we choose to look.
- Our own history echoes what is happening in Ukraine now. The "new Rus," as in old roots of Ukraine driving and "justifying" new invasions of it, is also us. We also have invaded those here before us.
- So, we also are the Cat, as in the medieval story that European Piers Plowman wrote-recorded about Belling the Cat.
- Is that story on Obama's nightstand? Piers Plowman's early tale of outside power threatening a community, Who Will Bell the Cat?
- It suggests a resolution that Obama and our leadership routes so far are following:
- Here I suggest that Obama, as Piers, has a strong idea of what may well work best.
- Put away the battle drums.
- Ask because President Obama's approach to the Rus-Cat today suggests he has learned wise lessons from sources such as these: As Piers Plowman moralizes, in a practical way in approaching an encroaching deadly Cat, this indeed is a world of Cats.
- This particular Cat of our day is better dealt with by containment than for the community to die trying to eliminate it. This is much as the Vikings had to be avoided and contained, if possible, until they wore out, or settled in peaceably. Waiting while minimizing damage is one way to arrive at a stable world, even with a Cat loose; and successor Cats. Waiting recognizes that this is a Cat-filled world.
- No era has been free of a Cat. Yet, people survive.
- Try a video of the Kievan Rus at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etmRI2_9Q_A/.
- Explore connections to Viking domination of the Rus historically; as well as Vikings as more quiescent traders, all blending with Rus and Slavs, at http://russian.lingualift.com/blog/russian-culture-christianity-rus/. Vikings we know; Slavic history less. Tie into the Viking at http://econc10.bu.edu/economic_systems/NatIdentity/FSU/Russia/prerevolution/viking_influence_in_russia.htm
This did not spring from nothing. It was fertilized by an aggressive Christian militance, where early benign missionaries were replaced by institutional conformity-religious empire drivers. Cultural adjuncts that killed if people did not convert.
Is this invasion of cultural institutions that demean what was already there, a root of perceived humiliation by those beaten? Is a sense of disregard driving, in part, the new Rus.
5. What, then, can we assess about President Obama's current slow-go, containment approach to the Today's Viking Rus-Cat. Putin putting himself at the helm of new longboats.
We learn that patience and containment may well work. And, indeed, there is not other choice. Containment may result in a militant containment, rather than defeat and decimation; can we live with that as a macho culture? I think we must and should.
6. Examine the old Piers Plowman, How to Bell the Cat. Is it on Obama's nightstand? If not send him an early version. It reinforces his approach.
- Our current international aggressions, by this new Rus-Cat, are just like the looming Cat of old; the medieval Cat new in the mouse neighborhood, a cat who loves to eat them mousies: reminiscent of Kliban at http://www.eatmousies.com/intro.html
- Recall the words: Bite heads off, nibble feet, etc.Get over the idea that we are seen as the mice here, and assess: Put Putin's visage on the old posters. Do a search.
- The Mice in the original story do not just skulk away in defeat, unable to defend, doomed to accept the community victimhood that the uninterrupted presence that the Cat imposes.
- The mice instead listen to a Wise One among them, who puts the Cat in perspective. Quoth the Wise One:
- The Cat, it is true, will get some of us. But if we get rid of this Cat, another will arrive to take its place, because this is a world of cats. Get rid of one, and another arises. Unintended consequences.
- The Cat, if left to its own devices, is really a limited threat.
- It can only eat so many of us, before depriving itself of its own food source.
- So if we can survive the initial onslaught, the entire community is probably not threatened with devastation for the long term.
- The Cat itself will have to limit its own hunting.
- Meanwhile, some deft Mice will escape, and themselves multiply up again, and wise up each time in how to defend from, hide from, or tease to exhaustion, etc., Cat
- This Cat, if successful, will attract more Cats. The competing multiple cats will be faced with wiser mice, however, and the Cats probably will start to fight among themselves, thus relieving some pressure on us mice.
So let us wise up as to how to avoid the claws. We, as the mouse community, the world, will have to accept some losses as the successor Cats do their dance.
But in return, we (voting is a concept with power that can overcome Cats, if we can overcome the powers trying to defeat voting) will survive, and survive well enough. Life proposed: a a limited Cat invasion from time to time, until we can whack it like whack-a-mole; and stability between what this Cat can eat, and who is left. Can we in the West contain the Koch-Cat? Maybe not in the short run. But there is the vote, and the natural intelligence of the Mice.
- So, the wise course is to protect those around you, each household looking after its own, looking after others as may be feasible, but admitting cat-hood as an unchanging part of this community's life and death.
The Wise Course sounds like containment. It has none of the glamor of McCain's cannons; but give Obama, the counsel of the Wise One, this opportunity. Oh, the opposition to letting life happen while protecting quietly our own, helping others sensibly, under the radar. Can that idea survive when faced with the political malignancies of candidates posing as hosts, as in Morning Joe the Candidate of the Flapping Flags Behind His Chosen Head; (is this becoming a rant?); and his beloved Wall Street Journal (the Wall Screed Journal?) editorials that get prime business-interest time even when other views are equally eloquent. Mika, speak up!.
Obamas has the approach. Where you cannot stop the grab and go of countries or businesses, at least you can limit the opportunities, live smarter, more informed on your own, less like cattle answering a call.
Read the initial view, at http://migratorypatterns.blogspot.com/2009/04/who-will-bell-cat-piers-plowman-and.html , and perhaps find it applies to many adversities encountered while breathing.
* The Rus.
Who? The Rus as in Russia. More specifically perhaps
Rus as Viking descendants from the Sweden side of the Norse, invading, trading, raiding centuries ago, but sidling deep into eastern Europe down the Volga toward the Slavs. This was a different Viking cultural route, rather than those other Norse headed for the British Isles and the monks whose initially benign Christian message betrayed the Norse by becoming an unstoppable cultural invasion. The trigger for those earliest Viking raids including Christian atrocity against the Saxons, Charlemagne was no nice guy. See ; and http://www.heritage-history.com/?c=read&author=upton&book=charlemagne&story=saxon/
Does the Viking tradition speak to today's Rus in some way. Raid and run. Have your way, double down, and duck. The trigger for earliest Viking raids including Christian atrocity against the Saxons, Charlemagne was no nice guy. See ; and http://www.heritage-history.com/?c=read&author=upton&book=charlemagne&story=saxon/ And kindly missionaries gave way to inquisitorial dogmatarian institutionalists.
These Germanic Saxons, and later missionary fields in the Scandinavian areas, were literally next door to their cultural brethren, the Norse. But here, we focus on the eastern Rus.