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Putin: Another Napoleon, Hitler? Another Thirty Years War?


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10 hours ago, Moonbox said:

That probably had more to do with the fact that he spent most of his lifetime fighting wars of conquest. 

The case for Boney and the things he stood for can be neatly summarized by the fact that he installed his brother as the King of Spain.  

 

Yes, his record was mixed and the wars were terrible, although in Britain and the European monarchies he had enemies as anxious as him for war. In a country filled with places and streets called Waterloo and Wellington he’s unlikely to get a fair hearing. However, we should still try to do it. He transformed France for the better. This side of his legacy is not well known enough in the English-speaking world and for obvious reasons. Remember also that French was his third language which he started speaking as a teenager!

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The people of France elected Napoleon as the Emperor, because he saved France from its enemies and he defended the gains of the Revolution at home.

Napoleon established both the Bank of France and the French bourse (stock exchange) as well as National and Departmental Tax Boards, to insure equitable taxation for all. Consequently, the income of the French peasants skyrocketed.

Napoleon established awards such as the "Legion of Honour" to reward those whose services to the nation merited special recognition; the recipient could be scientist, composer, legislator, clergyman, writer, as well as a soldier.

In the area of public works, over 20,000 miles of imperial and 12,000 miles of regional roads were completed, almost a thousand miles of canals were build, the Great Cornice road was constructed along the Mediterranean coast, mountain roads were constructed across the Alps by ways of Simplon Pass and Mont. Cenis, and harbors were dredged and expanded at many ports, including Dunkerque and Cherbourg.

Not only was Paris beautified with the construction of boulevards, bridges and monuments, but the National Archives received a permanent home. Napoleon also saved the Louvre.

Monument buildings were constructed throughout the Empire and structures, such as the Imperial Cathedral of Speyer, made famous by Luther, were preserved while work on the spires of the great cathedral of Cologne were continued on Napoleon's orders. In fact, Napoleon's architectural handiwork can be found scattered across Europe, from Rome to Vienna.

"Think tanks" and research centers were established in France to work on projects vital for national economy. An Industrial Board was organized to provide data and information to French Industry, as exemplified by the success of the sugar beet farming and the canning industry.

For religion, Napoleon ended the schism and restored the Catholic Church to France by the Concordat in 1801. He insured freedom of religions and equality to the Protestant sects, and he declared France the homeland of the Jews, after it became obvious he could not establish their national home in Palestine.

The Code Napoleon established equality before the law, emphasized the sanctity of the family, and assured the legal gains of the Revolution. The Code of Civil Procedure insured widespread user of mediation in the courts and the laws, and the courts were secularized.

Napoleon created the Imperial University to administer French Education. Specialized engineering and technological schools were established along with the famous lycées to insure a scientific education. The establishment of a Professional School of Midwifery and first School of Obstetrics were formed during the consulate and the School of Veterinary Science was professionalized under Napoleon.

https://www.napoleon-series.org/ins/weider/c_jews.html

It is reasonable to ask whether he paved the way for other authoritarian leaders in Europe like Hitler. However, on many issues, particular the Jewish people, they could not have been more different. 

Edited by SpankyMcFarland
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4 hours ago, SpankyMcFarland said:

Yes, his record was mixed and the wars were terrible, although in Britain and the European monarchies he had enemies as anxious as him for war. In a country filled with places and streets called Waterloo and Wellington he’s unlikely to get a fair hearing. However, we should still try to do it. He transformed France for the better. This side of his legacy is not well known enough in the English-speaking world and for obvious reasons. Remember also that French was his third language which he started speaking as a teenager!

The French revolution changed France for the better.  Many of the things you're crediting to him were the natural inclinations of an anti-monarchy/aristocracy revolution (like the insistence on meritocracy).  Hilariously, he made his brother the Spanish King after conquering it, so the hypocrisy and authoritarianism of his regime was apparent for anyone who didn't believe in his legend. 

That he modelled himself on the legacy of Rome (with all its warts) is hard to deny.  He took a shaky Republic, built up populist support and then used that to grab absolute power.  He even used golden eagles (like the old Roman Legions) as military standards for his regiments.  H

He, just like Caesar, was a brilliant and innovative general, but that's where I would say his legacy's strong points begin and end.  

4 hours ago, SpankyMcFarland said:

https://www.napoleon-series.org/ins/weider/c_jews.html

It is reasonable to ask whether he paved the way for other authoritarian leaders in Europe like Hitler. However, on many issues, particular the Jewish people, they could not have been more different. 

Tolstoy wrote about this in War and Peace.  This was the birth of Nationalism and the large-scale continent-spanning wars it later brought.  

 

 

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5 hours ago, Moonbox said:

The French revolution changed France for the better.  Many of the things you're crediting to him were the natural inclinations of an anti-monarchy/aristocracy revolution (like the insistence on meritocracy).  Hilariously, he made his brother the Spanish King after conquering it, so the hypocrisy and authoritarianism of his regime was apparent for anyone who didn't believe in his legend. 

That he modelled himself on the legacy of Rome (with all its warts) is hard to deny.  He took a shaky Republic, built up populist support and then used that to grab absolute power.  He even used golden eagles (like the old Roman Legions) as military standards for his regiments.  H

He, just like Caesar, was a brilliant and innovative general, but that's where I would say his legacy's strong points begin and end.  

Tolstoy wrote about this in War and Peace.  This was the birth of Nationalism and the large-scale continent-spanning wars it later brought.  

Without a stable state the gains of the French Revolution would not have lasted. Napoleon solidified those gains and spread them to other parts of Western Europe. His system of laws lives to this day. The serfs of Russia would have been far better off under Napoloeon than the Tsar. Ditto the people of Ireland and many others who had to wait another century for liberation from oppressive empires. 

The other comparison, with Putin, is even more absurd, an ignorant thug who ran his country into the ground. Imagine what Napoleon would make of Russian performance in the current war. 
 

 

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2 hours ago, SpankyMcFarland said:

Without a stable state the gains of the French Revolution would not have lasted. Napoleon solidified those gains and spread them to other parts of Western Europe. His system of laws lives to this day.

Stabile state is one thing, marching from Paris to Moscow is something altogether different.  The fact that the Republic survived and was revived following his exile proves that it wasn't nearly as fragile some folks assume.

Crediting Napoleon with civil law systems is a big stretch too.  It was released as the "Civil Code of the French" after numerous attempts and commissions, and was copied and modeled after 7th century Roman codes.  That Napoleon encouraged and pushed it along is something you can perhaps give him credit for, but this, again, is likely something that would have happened even without him (albeit maybe slower) like it did in Germany before him, or the Byzantines etc before them.  

2 hours ago, SpankyMcFarland said:

The serfs of Russia would have been far better off under Napoloeon than the Tsar. Ditto the people of Ireland and many others who had to wait another century for liberation from oppressive empires. 

Perhaps, but then as many people died as a result of Napoleon's march on Moscow as did in the Irish potato famine.  At least the latter was a result of blight rather than megalomania.  

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On 6/20/2023 at 11:54 PM, Aristides said:

Napoleon did  believe in meritocracy but on his terms. He also had the most efficient secret police in Europe, which became a model for those that followed, He also had total control of media. He was a complex character who made some real reforms but a despot at heart.

Britain was a constitutional monarchy but it had six different prime ministers during the Napoleonic wars.

That’s not the point. Britain was a country with limited suffrage that had just forced Ireland into an Anschluss-style union where the vast majority of the population had very few rights of any sort, but, yes, it was a constitutional monarchy. However, it saw fit to ally itself with absolute monarchies like Russia that were far more oppressive than Napoleon. Austria, Russia and Prussia feared revolution; Britain, on the other hand, wanted a weak Europe that would not threaten its global empire. Thus British scheming led to Europe being under these tyrants until 1914. Your picture of Napoleon comes from British/Canadian history textbooks that don’t give a full account of the man at all.
 

6 minutes ago, Moonbox said:

Perhaps, but then as many people died as a result of Napoleon's march on Moscow as did in the Irish potato famine.  At least the latter was a result of blight rather than megalomania.  

No, no, no, not just the result of blight. Read about British governmental callousness and incompetence before posting any more about that. I’d say megalomania was involved too. It showed once and for all that the British were completely unfit to govern Ireland. 

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3 minutes ago, SpankyMcFarland said:

Austria, Russia and Prussia feared revolution; Britain, on the other hand, wanted a weak Europe that would not threaten its global empire. Thus British scheming led to Europe being under these tyrants until 1914. 

Yes, that was their unambiguous foreign policy.  They were safe and comfy as long as the continent didn't unite under a single hegemon and threaten their naval supremacy.  They'd likely have supported Napoleon if the Prussians had been rampaging across the continent, as they had supported the French in numerous other campaigns against the Spanish, the Dutch, the Germans, the Russians etc.  

3 minutes ago, SpankyMcFarland said:

No, no, no, not just the result of blight. Read about British governmental callousness and incompetence before posting any more about that. 

Yes yes, and Napoleon reinstated slavery in the French colonies, marched 600,000 soldiers 3000km to Moscow and who subsequently almost all starved to death, and presided over a series of wars that killed ~5 million people.  Let's not pretend that any of these guys look good by today's moral standards.  

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On 6/20/2023 at 1:39 AM, myata said:

Cut out the bull. So international law has no meaning for you? Like for Hitler and Putin? Congrats, you showed your real essence. "Galicia" and "Montreal" are only superficial tokens, pseudo-civilized guise on the reality of a brutal uncivilized Eastern horde.

Hey, I also have a Cuba stamp in my passport.

I recall that the Israelis put their stamp on paper - like Soviet Russia.

===

Define "International Law".

My definition: property law, contract law. 

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11 minutes ago, CdnFox said:

I feel like this is going to be over before 30 years goes by :)

30 ans ? Comme tous, j'ai eu quatre grand-parents. J'en ai connu deux.

====

One grandfather died in 1923 in Newfoundland.

The other, a grandmother, died of leukemia in 1925. 

 

Edited by August1991
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2 hours ago, August1991 said:

My definition: property law

Like grabbing something that doesn't belong to you? Like knowingly buying or using stolen property from a robber? Your fussy cosmopolitan pretense is only a thin guise over a mentality of traditional, genetic liars and thieves.

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24 minutes ago, myata said:

Like grabbing something that doesn't belong to you? Like knowingly buying or using stolen property from a robber? Your fussy cosmopolitan pretense is only a thin guise over a mentality of traditional, genetic liars and thieves.

Who decided who "owns" Crimea?

And what is "Ukraine" exactly? When was that "country" decided?

=====

In all seriousness, in local affairs, I prefer our Trudeau Snr's solution: federalism.

And in world affairs, I prefer Kissinger and also our Trudeau Snr: counterweights.

 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, August1991 said:

Who decided who "owns" Crimea?

The treaties and agreements made when the Soviet Union was dissolved (that Russia agreed to).  That Putin's revanchist and revisionist history disagrees doesn't matter.  

13 hours ago, August1991 said:

And what is "Ukraine" exactly? When was that "country" decided?

By the Ukrainians, who fought for their independence there for centuries.  

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On 6/20/2023 at 1:39 AM, myata said:

Cut out the bull. So international law has no meaning for you? Like for Hitler and Putin? Congrats, you showed your real essence. "Galicia" and "Montreal" are only superficial tokens, pseudo-civilized guise on the reality of a brutal uncivilized Eastern horde.

Disagree strongly.

You will soon hear about "Galicia".

All of this could have been avoided.

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On 3/21/2023 at 11:46 PM, Aristides said:

Nothing remarkable about it. British foreign policy was to ally itself with the weaker Continental power to keep any one country from dominating the continent. 

You post as Pierre Trudeau once wrote.

I wonder whether Thatcher's later views about Europe come from her debates with Trudeau Snr in 1982.

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On 6/24/2023 at 4:32 AM, Perspektiv said:

Anyone know what kind of an actual threat to Putin the Wagner group posed?

Looks like a military coup, in the works.

Likely someone saw weakness in Putin's armor.

A very serious one there's no doubt. I have no doubt that he could have rolled into moscow and the fighting would probably have not gone putin's way.

But i dont' think Preggers wanted to be killing fellow russians.  I"m not really sure this was really about 'power' in his mind. I think a lot of his people got killed because the russian army officials were playing games and he was furious.  I think he literally did it out of frustration.

 

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On 6/26/2023 at 4:20 PM, CdnFox said:

A very serious one there's no doubt. I have no doubt that he could have rolled into moscow and the fighting would probably have not gone putin's way.

Do damage, sure, but a 5000 soldier convoy cut off from the state's support apparatus was never going to be able to siege the Kremlin.  Moscow is too big, Putin has something like 20,000 loyal security forces in the city, and urban fighting is hard.  The entire Wagner group would probably not have been sufficient for the job, unless of course Muscovites and the FSB etc just rolled over and let him in.  

On 6/26/2023 at 4:20 PM, CdnFox said:

But i dont' think Preggers wanted to be killing fellow russians.  I"m not really sure this was really about 'power' in his mind. I think a lot of his people got killed because the russian army officials were playing games and he was furious.  I think he literally did it out of frustration.

This I would agree with mostly.  

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1 hour ago, Moonbox said:

Do damage, sure, but a 5000 soldier convoy cut off from the state's support apparatus was never going to be able to siege the Kremlin.  Moscow is too big, Putin has something like 20,000 loyal security forces in the city, and urban fighting is hard.  The entire Wagner group would probably not have been sufficient for the job, unless of course Muscovites and the FSB etc just rolled over and let him in.  

This I would agree with mostly.  

I don't disagree, but i think they wouldn't have tried to control all of moscow, they would have siezed the kremlin and attempted to rally the people to them. Of course i don't know what was in his head and honestly as we both agree i dont think he really did want to run the country but historically that's largely how these things go if they really do want to take over.

 

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Moscow is huge.  The entire Wagner Group would have had trouble controlling the city, nevermind 5000.  I can't imagine that he would have done this unless he thought he could get military support, and when it didn't materialize he backed down.  The way these coups usually start and gain momentum and succeed is perception.  People gauge which side is likely to win, and they make sure they back the winning team.  Doing otherwise can have fall-off-of-balcony consequences.  

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6 hours ago, Aristides said:

Depends how much popular support the Wagner's had. Revolutions usually succeed when the people and army turn on the government. 

Not enough, obviously.  As I said, rebellions/coups are about momentum.  You have to make it look like you're going to come out on top, otherwise there's no point.  You disappear when you back a loser. 

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2 hours ago, Moonbox said:

Not enough, obviously.  As I said, rebellions/coups are about momentum.  You have to make it look like you're going to come out on top, otherwise there's no point.  You disappear when you back a loser. 

I'm still thinking it wasn't really a true 'coup' attempt.  The fact he demanded the two generals who screwed him up be turned over rather than demanding putin step down is telling. I think it was more of a case of xenophon and the 10,000 - march back home and give the boss who sold you out hell for doing it.

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