The election of Donald trump President of the United States, in addition to all the other global political challenges, sets the agenda of the Kremlin’s policy is quite specific psychological question, the answer to which is not obvious: how to deal with a person who is capable of lying even more sophisticated and assertive than it used to do in the Kremlin?
It is a curious and even comical circumstances might create in relations between Russia and the United States more uncertainty than under Obama and all previous presidents.
The lie as a weapon
Lies in General and in politics in particular, and in the twenty-first century deserves to be her devoted treatises. Unfortunately, the lie turned out to be indestructible companion policy, and is therefore a common phenomenon. But the attitude and the scale of the phenomenon in different political cultures.
In General, honesty is formally recognized in the framework of the Western political culture of virtue, and therefore lie was driven here in the underground. Its distribution is in the West particularistic in nature. Here lie many and varied private life, but exposure of the public lie fraught with negative consequences, in connection with which politicians prefer to be careful.
There is some Scythian tradition of the struggle with the steppe civilization. Strong to deceive, to outwit, to use public lies as a tool to achieve their economic and political goals is not something to be ashamed of. On the contrary, it is something like military prowess (given that the Russians now feel at war with the world, this approach seems very natural).
Moscow is waging, or not waging war in the Donbass, or enters, or withdraws in the middle East. This amazing ability Kremlin politicians to lie looking you straight in the eyes, often put their Western, and particularly European partners, to a standstill and forces you to fold back, and thus reaches the goal.
Despite its unique ability to public hypocrisy, Putin out of the public sphere has proven itself quite honest partner who can keep his word and carry informal obligations. The law and formal restrictions have for him is not very important, but the rules and customs of behavior in a narrow circle of people close to him, they revered religiously.
Overall, this is a normal feature of peasant culture, which restricts the norms of morality to a narrow circle of “their”, allowing any deviations from it in respect of others. In this sense, Putin is quite intrinsic to his people.
This moral flexibility is still given Putin a huge tactical advantage in dealing with his European colleagues, burdened with all sorts of complexes and constraints of an educated man. Since he supposedly came to the conclusion that he was dealing with people on whom you cannot rely and who are “outsiders” (this change apparently happened in the period from 2008 to 2012), he began to win the Europeans have one party after another.
“Minsk”, “Norman”, “Geneva” format of talks does not leave an intelligent European politicians are no chances of success. Putin enthusiastically manipulating public opinion, both in Russia and in the West, changing the rules during the game, calling white black and Vice versa, denying the obvious and asserting the incredible.
The coming to power of trump is able to reduce all these benefits. At the helm of the world’s most powerful state was the representative of a very specific business culture alien to the limitations usually inherent to professional public policies. According to publicly available information about the business career of a tramp, lie accompanied him throughout adult life. But unlike Putin, for him the lie is not so much weapon, how many passion and a way of existence.
“Chaos” vs “concepts”
At the helm of the world’s most powerful state was the representative of a very specific business culture. Unlike Putin, trump has no formal or – more importantly – informal constraints.
Trump appears ready to do with his word under any circumstances whatever: to forget, to take back, to sell again, but at a different price. He, presumably, will swear Putin in love 10 times and 10 times deceive him without a twinge of conscience. He knows how to look straight in the eye, unblinking, and prudent to bear with this nonsense.
But, unlike Putin, he does not divide people into friends and foes: he is ready to “throw” anyone. Putin is indifferent to the law of the place where the Europeans have is the “sense of justice”, he seems to have a “blind spot”. But trump may be indifferent to the law and to the concepts that are in the system of Putin’s values play a huge role.
The discomfort all of these Hollande, Merkel and Cameron have felt in dealing with Putin, we are now going to feel Putin himself. The advantage that typically the hooligan is before an intelligent student in a dark alley, and disappeared. It is not excluded that for the first time in his political career, Putin will be able to feel that he was a European.