Mar 19th 2013

Response to CPAC Extremism: A Liberal Manifesto

by Jeff Schweitzer

Jeff Schweitzer is a scientist and former White House Senior Policy Analyst; Ph.D. in marine biology/neurophysiology

As the CPAC crowed cheers and offers standing ovations to the growing extremism of right wing idealism, the time has come to offer a comprehensive alternative to the politics of hate. Marc Rubio, the new darling of the right, harked back to the old and tired idea that only Republicans were patriots. He also said silly things like, "There is no tax increase in the world that will solve our long-term debt problem." Sure, but also there is no spending cut in the world that will solve the problem either. The whole point, and Obama's focus, is a balanced approach that includes both ideas. Listening to CPAC speakers is an exercise is frustration, like hearing an old LP stuck in one place just repeating over and over and over the same old tired refrain. Spin the record in reverse and you hear not only that "Paul is dead" but NRA's LaPierre ranting about gun regulation.

If any one line of any speech embodies the sclerotic stagnation of right wing ideology, it is this from Rubio: "We don't need new ideas. The idea is America and it still works." The line got huge applause. Of course only their idea of America is valid; and everything in that world is so perfect that they need no new ideas to solve modern problems.

Rand Paul went all in on libertarianism, with the limp quip that "for liberty to expand, government must shrink." Paul and Rubio were like two rats fighting over the last scraps of food on a sinking ship. It was like passing the remains of a terrible car accident; you don't want to watch but just can't turn away from the carnage.

As a healthy counter to the creepy insular jingoism of CPAC, I offer here fresh view of the world from the liberal perspective. Here is my liberal manifesto.

Self-evident Truths

We the people of rational thought and sound mind in middle America, in order to establish a more perfect union , establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the benefits of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Liberal ideology in the United States of America.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal with no special status of birth, and that all life on Earth began as a contingent event based on standard laws of physics and chemistry involving no magic spark or divine act.

We further hold these truths to be indisputable facts of our biology and a clear demonstration of our humble place in the biosphere, which is a fundamental foundation of our political philosophy: 1) Evolution is an undirected process with no purpose, intelligence, or foresight. Humans, who evolved under the same laws of nature as all other creatures on earth, hold no exalted status in the pantheon of life. 2) All species exploit the environment to the maximum extent possible, until either competition, resource depletion, predation, disease or other constraints limit growth and expansion. Like every other animal, humans have followed this natural path of using all available resources in our struggle to survive. One critical difference, however, is our technological advantage. Our species has successfully co-opted a significant percentage of the planet's bounty as we fight to pass our genes to the next generation. This unique reliance on technology to exploit the environment, and to threaten each other using weapons of war, has had global effects over a short time period. As a result, while we act no differently than other animals in pursuit of survival, our actions may cause our extinction, either through the degradation of the resources on which we depend, or more directly through the use of weapons of mass destruction. 3) The large brains that gave us technology, prosperity, myths and war also give us the ability to choose, personally and collectively, to be concerned with the fate of distant generations, and to behave for the greater good. Humans are special, not because we are made in god's image, and told to rule over the Earth, but because people have the amazing ability to choose a future in which we will thrive and develop in a just society while coexisting with a healthy natural world. If humans fail to seize this opportunity to create such a future, we will be no more than bacteria with e-mail accounts.

Inalienable Rights

Liberals are committed to the development and adoption of policies, programs and laws that will help guide humankind toward a just future in which we celebrate our deep connection to all things living as a minor twig on the vast four billion year old ever-branching bush of life.

To secure the inherent rights consistent with our biology and evolutionary history, governments are created as human institutions that derive their just powers solely from the consent of the governed. No government so formed can claim to be favored by gods of their own making. The mythical god of Abraham is not Republican, Democrat, Independent, Progressive or American.

The various powers of the earth are entitled to a decent respect as to the opinions of humankind contingent on a demonstrable fidelity to the rightful laws of nature and ability to secure for all citizens the inalienable rights of liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

A government formed by the people for the people can survive only through open debate, free exchange of ideas and reliance on verifiable facts to arbitrate disputes. Liberals are therefore dedicated to rooting out hypocrisy, myth, appeal to faith and bigotry in political discourse. We vigorously reject pious calls: to balance the budget, but only when a Democrat holds the nation's highest office; to protect the Constitution while advocating to alter the document for trivial purpose; to end "runaway government spending" when the party making that demand is responsible for the nation's greatest debts and deficits; to repeal "government-run" health care while reaping the benefits of Medicare; to stop tax hikes that are in fact nothing but repealing temporary cuts that led to record deficits and debts; to promote energy reform that is a cloak to hide continued subsidies for the fossil fuel industry; to agitate to "take back America" without articulating who exactly America is being taken back from; to get "government off the people's back" while advocating government intrusion into our most personal and intimate choices, including who we marry and a woman's right to choose her own reproductive destiny; to promote limited government while urging the federal government to "do more" whenever a crisis or natural disaster occurs; to promote education while foisting upon our children superstitions and myths appropriate to the 15th century; to promote the inherent advantages of capitalism while legislating "free market" regulations that subsidize and foster corruption, harm individual investors and squeeze small businesses. This hypocrisy must end.

Role of Government

We call for a government that is as big as necessary, but no bigger. The ideals of small government, balanced budgets and lower taxes are shared by all in theory but diverge in implementation. While conservative agitators attempt to paint of a picture of stark differences in fiscal ideology between the left and right, the facts tell a different story. We call on the Congress to debate federal spending on facts rather than ideological fiction. To promote such a debate, we note the following facts about the 2010 federal budget (we take this year to examine because it incorporates the worst impact of the recession beginning in 2008; the conclusions are the same using 2012 numbers):

National defense ($718 billion), Health and Human Services (including Medicare; $900 billion) and Social Security ($780 billion) combine to a sum of $2.4 trillion out of a total federal budget of $3.8 trillion. The sum all of these government programs comprise 63% of the entire spending package. The National Science Foundation ($ 6 billion) and law enforcement, including border patrol ($60 billion) add $66 billion more. Farm subsidies, which mainly go to red states, add another $17 billion. Those total $83 billion. The government is also paying $200 billion annually in interest on debt created under President Bush.

This package of federal spending has widespread and deep backing from conservatives. That brings total government spending that has Republican backing to $3.2 trillion, out of a total budget of $3.8 trillion. We note therefore that Republicans actively support and defend 84 percent of the big government they so thoroughly disdain. We conclude that opponents of liberalism believe a budget of $3.2 trillion is virtuous but are outraged by a budget of $3.7 trillion. Even if liberals supported 100 percent of the federal budget (they do not), gathering up righteous indignation about the remaining 14 percent hardly constitutes an ideological divide between big and small government. Let us lose this false debate and focus on the issues of greatest importance to our future well-being.

National Security

Liberals believe that we can and must protect American citizens against terrorism without sacrificing the very rights we are fighting to protect. We have faith in the strength of our Constitution, and believe that we can work within the constraints of our founding document to protect the Republic and secure a prosperous future.

Republicans scoff at the idea that "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both" (multiple variations, usually attributed to Ben Franklin). Instead, conservatives believe that our safety can only be secured by sacrificing our rights; the same ones our founders thought were inalienable. In the name of national security, conservatives advocate that the government (which they distrust in all other arenas) be given the extraordinary power to detain any American citizen and that the suspect be denied the right to petition for a writ of habeas corpus, denied access by families and denied legal representation. In condoning torture, disdaining Miranda rights, and dismissing the right of the accused to meet his accuser, conservative ideology has become one of the greatest threats to liberty.

Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Recovery

Faced with the choice of a catastrophic depression or federal debt, President Obama prudently even if reluctantly chose the latter. We applaud his precipitous actions to prevent an economic calamity with emergency stimulus money. As with health care, we acknowledge as well his leadership in getting the Congress to pass meaningful if imperfect Wall Street reform.

Eight years of conservative rule left the economy of the United States in shambles with double-digit unemployment festering in a deep recession, on the verge of a great depression, with record annual deficits and a ballooning national debt. Eight years of an almost religious zeal for deregulation left Wall Street drowning in a sea of massive corruption, failed banks, and collapsing brokerage houses. Conservatives have exhausted all credibility on the subject of fiscal responsibility. Whenever a Republican is President, the Party quietly buries the mantra that we are "living off the backs of our grandchildren" to rail against government spending, but brings the phrase back into use when a Democrat occupies the Oval Office. Enough. The time has come, finally, to kill once and for all Republican hypocrisy on this subject.

While declining significantly under President Obama, unemployment remains persistently higher than desirable, a personal tragedy for millions of Americans. The real daily suffering this causes for families across the land can never be minimized. But we also call on the American people to exercise some realistic if painful patience as the economy walks back from the brink of collapse. Unemployment continues to decline, even if too slowly. We note that President Bush inherited from President Clinton an unemployment rate of 4 percent, but left office bequeathing to Obama an unemployment rate of 8.1 percent and growing monthly. Bush was losing 700,000 jobs per month, a number that has declined and then reversed under Obama. Blaming Obama for reversing the economic nightmare caused by Republican incompetence because the momentum of the recovery is too slow feels good but makes little sense. It also ignores a housing industry on the rebound, Wall Street hitting record highs, manufacturing growing and inventories shrinking and exports expanding.

Education

Our educational system is in shambles, and our children lag far behind by every international standard. But we dither, focusing on "vouchers" instead of underlying problems. In the meantime 75% of our kids do not know that George Washington was our first president or that the east coast of our country borders the Atlantic Ocean. Rather than face the real issues, conservatives simply attack the Department of Education as a favorite foil. We are dooming entire generations to second class status in the world. While the rest of the world eagerly provides children with a sophisticated curriculum of science and technology, the United States lags behind under the weight of antiquated debates forced upon us by the religious right.

Health Care

We fully endorse Obamacare. In doing so we acknowledge that the president of the United States is not a dictator, and must work with a divided Congress, and therefore any legislation will be less than perfect. We applaud President Obama for his success. He acted in the face of a growing crisis: our health care system is an embarrassment, but is defended through gross ignorance as "the best in the world." We spend twice as much per capita as any other wealthy democracy but get a poor return on that investment. The United States is the only developed country in the world that does not offer universal health care. In the industrial world we are ranked 26th in infant mortality. We are 24th in healthy life expectancy. Overall our health care system is ranked 37th globally, behind third-world countries like Oman. Only the United States has the embarrassment of medical bankruptcies. The health care reform recently implemented is an important step in bringing the United States back up to the standards of a developed country.

Clean Energy

Now is the time to create the renewable energy equivalent of the Manhattan Project or the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. We need to push our transition to green energy technologies quickly, massively, with unwavering commitment. This is our opportunity.

"Drill baby drill" is not a national energy policy, yet remains a tired refrain on the right. Fracking does not solve our long-term problem. We must invest heavily in research, implementation and infrastructure development: research to discover new technologies; implementation to ensure wide adoption of the technologies in play now; and a restructuring of tax incentives to promote clean growth, discourage waste and accelerate the development of the extensive infrastructure changes necessary to widely adopt clean energy technologies. While the predominant emphasis must be on the private sector, we will also need direct government investment in certain areas beyond research, such as modernizing the electric grid. This is how our national interests will be secured. This is where jobs will be created. The United States should rightfully lead this charge.

Climate Change

Climate change is real, exceeding natural background rates, and is caused by human activity. We have run out of time for debate, and need to act quickly now. Cap and trade is a flawed mechanism to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but better than doing nothing and certainly a reasonable intermediate step. We call on the Congress to overcome conservative resistance and re-introduce this legislation.

Conservative denials of climate change are tragic on many levels. We are condemning millions to an unfortunate future of coastal flooding, mass migrations, agricultural disruptions, exposure to the northward march of tropical diseases, and inevitable wars over shifting and scarce resources. When these tragic events unfold, we will face of millions of unnecessary deaths and the preventable disruption of hundreds of millions of lives.

Environment

The world every year is losing 40 million acres of tropical forests, which now cover only 6% of the globe's surface, down from 14%. More than half of all coral reefs are dead, dying or endangered. Humans have depleted 90 percent of all large fish from the world's oceans. We are losing up to 50,000 species each year to extinction, a rate 1000 times natural background levels.

We have no luxury in time as we ponder a response. The false dichotomy between growth and the environment is an anachronism born from the failures of conservative thought. Conservatives believe that growth is only possible at the expense of the environment, and that any and all efforts to protect our resources impede growth and cost jobs. That philosophy is wrong on every count and has proven so by history repeatedly. Environmentalism is not the ideology of socialists, but instead the true engine of all future economic growth.

We need to protect our forests and biodiversity, reinvest in clean air and clean water, sustainably manage our marine resources and improve efficiencies at all levels of production and consumption. We accomplish these goals with strict enforcement of existing regulations, improved laws to accommodate advances in our knowledge of ecosystem function and the development of a truly level playing field in which green technologies can compete fairly with traditional industries. Economic incentives, tax laws, enforcement of environmental legislation, implementation of international treaties, and government support for sustainable resource use are necessary to create the milieu in which individuals can rationally act to promote the greater good.

We, therefore, the representatives of the rational electorate of United States of America, appealing to natural law and reason, do by authority of the good people here gathered, solemnly publish and declare that Liberals hereby establish a rational approach to solve America's problems. For the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of human dignity, we mutually pledge to each other our fortunes and sacred honor.



Book Introduction:

Beyond Cosmic Dice: Moral Life in a Random World

by Jeff Schweitzer and Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara 

June 22, 2009
"Beyond Cosmic Dice" offers a new perspective on the purpose and meaning of life free from any divine influence. By rejecting the false premises of religion, readers are free to pave their own road for a better life.


Jeff Schweitzer
 spent much of his youth underwater pursuing his lifelong fascination with marine life. He obtained his doctorate from Scripps Institution of Oceanography through his neurobehavioral studies of sharks and rays. He has published in an eclectic range of fields, including neurobiology, marine science, international development, environmental protection and aviation. Jeff and his wife live in central Texas, moving there after retiring from the White House as Assistant Director for International Science and Technology.

Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara is an evolutionary biologist with a doctorate from the University of California. He serves as a marine policy advisor to various national and international bodies, and has recently represented Italy in multilateral environmental negotiations. Through appearances on television and radio, and the publication of articles and books, he has been striving to increase public awareness of marine conservation. Giuseppe lives with his family in Northern Italy.




 


This article is brought to you by the author who owns the copyright to the text.

Should you want to support the author’s creative work you can use the PayPal “Donate” button below.

Your donation is a transaction between you and the author. The proceeds go directly to the author’s PayPal account in full less PayPal’s commission.

Facts & Arts neither receives information about you, nor of your donation, nor does Facts & Arts receive a commission.

Facts & Arts does not pay the author, nor takes paid by the author, for the posting of the author's material on Facts & Arts. Facts & Arts finances its operations by selling advertising space.

 

 

Browse articles by author

More Current Affairs

May 27th 2022
EXTRACTS: "Monetary policymakers are talking tough nowadays about fighting inflation to head off the risk of it spinning out of control. But that doesn’t mean they won’t eventually wimp out and allow the inflation rate to rise above target. Since hitting the target most likely requires a hard landing, they could end up raising rates and then getting cold feet once that scenario becomes more likely. Moreover, because there is so much private and public debt in the system (348% of GDP globally), interest-rate hikes could trigger a further sharp downturn in bond, stock, and credit markets, giving central banks yet another reason to backpedal." ----- "The historical evidence shows that a soft landing is highly improbable. That leaves either a hard landing and a return to lower inflation, or a stagflationary scenario. Either way, a recession in the next two years is likely."
May 26th 2022
EXTRACT: "No, I am not arguing that Powell needs to replicate Volcker’s tightening campaign. But if the Fed wishes to avoid a replay of the stagflation of the late 1970s and early 1980s, it needs to recognize the extraordinary gulf between Volcker’s 4.4% real interest rate and Powell’s -2.25%. It is delusional to believe that such a wildly accommodative policy trajectory can solve America’s worst inflation problem in a generation."
May 26th 2022
EXTRACT: "It will be critical in this context how China will act and whether it will prioritise its economic interests (continuing trade with Europe and the US) or current ideological preferences (an alliance with Russia that makes the world safe for autocracies)."
May 26th 2022
EXTRACT: "The document is full of embarrassing and damming stories of illegal gatherings and bad behaviour. There was “excessive alcohol consumption”, a regular fixture referred to as “wine time Fridays” and altercations between staff. Aides are shown to have left Downing Street after 4am (and not because they had worked into these early hours). Cleaning staff and junior aides were abused, and a Number 10 adviser is on record before the infamous “bring your own booze” party...."
May 17th 2022
EXTRACT: "But even a resounding Russian defeat is an ominous scenario. Yes, under such circumstances – and only such circumstances – Putin might be toppled in some kind of coup led by elements of Russia’s security apparatus. But the chances that this would produce a liberal democratic Russia that abandons Putin’s grand strategic designs are slim. More likely, Russia would be a rogue nuclear superpower ruled by military coup-makers with revanchist impulses. Germany after World War I comes to mind."
May 8th 2022
EXTRACT: "For citizens of states that are members of NATO, taking all possible steps, short of all-out war, to ensure that Russia does not conquer Ukraine is not even an altruistic sacrifice. It is a long-term investment, for themselves and their children, in freedom, democracy, and the international rule of law."
May 4th 2022
EXTRACT: ".....a remarkable transformation is taking place in Ukraine’s army amounting to its de facto military integration into Nato. As western equipment filters through to the frontline, Nato-standard weaponry and ammunition will be brought into Ukrainian service. This is of far higher quality than the mainly former Soviet weapons with which the Ukrainians have fought so capably. The longer this process continues and deepens, the worse the situation will be for the already inefficient Russian army and air force."
May 3rd 2022
EXTRACT: " The conventional wisdom among students of the Russian arts and sciences is that Russian culture is “great.” The problem is that, while there are surely great individuals within Russian culture, the culture as a whole cannot avoid responsibility for Putin and his regime’s crimes." ---- "Russianists will not be able to avoid examining themselves and their Russian cultural icons for harbingers of the present catastrophe. What does it mean that Fyodor Dostoevsky was a Russian chauvinist? That Nikolai Gogol and Anton Chekhov were Ukrainian? That Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was an unvarnished imperialist? That Aleksandr Pushkin was a troubadour of Russian imperial greatness? May these writers still be read without one eye on the ongoing atrocities in Ukraine?"
Apr 29th 2022
EXTRACT: "The following day Lavrov met his Eritrean counterpart, Osman Saleh, in Moscow. Eritrea was the only African country to vote against the UN resolution condemning the invasion. In this refusal to condemn Russia, Eritrea was joined by only Belarus, North Korea and Syria. Even longstanding allies such as Cuba and China abstained. It’s an indication of Russia’s increasingly limited diplomatic options as this war continues."
Apr 24th 2022
EXTRACT: "Although the milestone lasted only for a brief time, it points to a future in which California runs on 100% wind, solar, hydro and batteries, a future that will certainly arrive even faster than the state plans. As it is, California is ahead of its green energy goals." ...... "A world of 100% green energy and electric cars is not only a healthier and more comfortable world, it is a world where oil and gas dictators like Vladimir Putin are defunded."
Apr 17th 2022
EXTRACT: "Kazakhstan’s authorities have also showed uncharacteristic leniency in allowing public rallies in support of Ukraine. Thousands of protesters holding banners reading “Russians, leave Ukraine”, “Long Live Ukraine” and “Bring Putin to trial” marched across the capital, Almaty, wrapping monuments to Lenin and other Soviet-era figures with yellow and blue balloons symbolising the Ukrainian flag."
Apr 15th 2022
EXTRACT: "People’s identification with the Soviet Union appears to have a clear and growing basis in Russian public opinion. Surveys we have conducted throughout the Putin period show that Soviet identification among the general population – something that had been steadily declining after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 – began to increase in 2014, when the Russian government annexed Crimea and supported rebellions in the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk. By 2021, almost 50% of those surveyed identified with the Soviet Union rather than the Russian Federation."
Apr 13th 2022
EXTRACT: "Worse yet, the Hungarian government has effectively been helping Putin by prohibiting the shipment of weapons to Ukraine across its borders. Hungarian public TV spreads Russian disinformation day and night. The day before the election, an assembly of ordinary people expressing solidarity with Ukraine was framed on state television as a “pro-war rally.” "
Apr 13th 2022
EXTRACT: "It may well be that the Russian army’s fate has already been sealed in what is likely to be a long war. The single qualification to this may be that Russia could default to escalation using “weapons of mass destruction” of one form or another – whether tactical nuclear warheads or chemical weapons."
Apr 13th 2022
EXTRACTS" "Ukraine and Russia produce a substantial amount of grain and other food for export. Ukraine alone produces a whopping 6% of all food calories traded in the international market. At least it used to, before it was invaded by the world’s largest nuclear power." ...... "When it comes to cereals like wheat, corn, rice and barley, the big players talk about millions of metric tonnes, or MMTs. A single MMT of wheat contains about 3.4 trillion food calories,." ....."Ukraine produced about 80 MMT of grain (a category that includes wheat, corn and barley) in 2021, and is expected to harvest less than half of that this year. A shortfall of 40 MMT is enough missing calories that a country like the UK could only make it up by having everyone stop eating for three years. That’s the thing about tonnes of grain: a million here and a million there and pretty soon you’ve got a real issue on your plate."
Apr 11th 2022
EXTRACT: "I don’t even know the little girl’s name. All I do know is what a friend of a friend wrote on Viber: that her relative, a senior nurse in one of Kyiv’s hospitals, “saw in the morgue a child with 20 varieties of sperm on her small body.” Since this information was conveyed in a private conversation, there is no reason to doubt its veracity."
Apr 8th 2022
EXTRACT: "Russian society has so far failed to stop Putin, just as German society failed to stop Hitler. And so, like a poisoned chalice, that task has fallen to the West, as it did in 1939. The West must now treat Putin and his regime the same way that Winston Churchill treated Hitler: Don’t talk to him, just defeat him. Dead-enders such as Putin are too fanatical and desperate to be reliable negotiating partners."
Apr 3rd 2022
EXTRACT: "From 1807 to 1814 on the Iberian peninsula, Napoleon had to fight Spanish, Portuguese and British armies while beset by ubiquitous, ferocious insurgents. He described this war as his “bleeding ulcer”, draining him of men and equipment. It is the west’s aim to make Ukraine for Putin what Spain was for Napoleon. In the absence of a negotiated settlement, Ukraine and Nato will continue to grind away at Russia’s army, digging away at that bleeding ulcer and prolonging Russia’s agony on the military front, as the west continues its parallel assault on its economy. If Putin’s plan is to proceed with the Korea model, he will fail. There is a strong possibility that Putin has only a limited idea of how badly his army is faring. So be it – he’ll find out soon enough that there is now no path for him to military victory."
Apr 1st 2022
EXTRACTS: "Policymakers expected that the country would be able to secure its energy supply entirely from renewable sources, so they resolved to phase out coal and nuclear energy simultaneously. The last three of Germany’s 17 nuclear power plants are set to be shut down this year." ---- ".... the share of wind and solar power in Germany’s total final energy consumption, which includes heating, industrial processing, and traffic, was a meager 6.7%. And while wind and solar generated 29% of the country’s electricity output, electricity itself accounted for only about a fifth of its final energy consumption." ----- "If Germany suddenly halted Russian gas imports, gas-based residential heating systems – on which half the German population, approximately 40 million people, rely – and industrial processes that rely heavily on gas imports would break down....."
Apr 1st 2022
EXTRACT: "For Putin, the past that matters most is the one the dissident author and Nobel laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn exalted: the time when the Slavic peoples were united within the Orthodox Christian kingdom of Kievan Rus’. Kyiv formed its heart, making Ukraine central to Putin’s pan-Slavic vision. ---- But, for Putin, the Ukraine war is about preserving Russia, not just expanding it. As Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently made clear, Russia’s leaders believe that their country is locked in a “life-and-death battle to exist on the world’s geopolitical map.” That worldview reflects Putin’s longstanding obsession with works of other Russian emigrant philosophers, such as Ivan Ilyin and Nikolai Berdyaev, who described a struggle for the Eurasian (Russian) soul against the Atlanticists (the West) who would destroy it. ---- Yet Putin and his neo-Eurasianists seem to believe that the key to victory is to create the kind of regime those anti-Bolshevik philosophers most detested: one run by the security forces. A police state would fulfill the vision of another of Putin’s heroes: the KGB chief turned Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov."