Debates Between Heads of State Need To Become A Thing

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by inrussia

Though I realize that Putin’s call for a debate with Biden in response to Biden’s claim that Putin is a “killer” is a troll job on all sides, it strikes me that debates between heads of states are an interesting idea that need to be actualized.

If you think there is “ideological polarization” between Democrats and Republicans, Americans and Russians might as well live in different universes. Most people are too lazy to even think that the tropes and canards fed to them might be mistaken (e.g. see the American cope on Navalny’s failure to even minimally make waves against what many of them deeply feel is a Putler regime that is hated by the broad mass of Russians). A Biden – Putin debate will have highest viewership rates of any event in history and will at least force many observers into into finessing if not reassessing their positions in the direction of greater realism.

It also sets some useful precedents. It’s not such a big deal if you elect or appoint leaders who are dementia-riddled geezers blathering about the Russian Occupation Government or carnival barkers intent on “owning the libs”, but it would be a bigger deal if there’s an expectation that they would have to go up against foreign counterparts and be humiliated on the global stage on account of their idiocy and bad arguments. Making this into an international fixture should improve governance quality across the board. There will be a greater emphasis on selecting leaders who can win debates internationally on internationally objective merits, as opposed to providing rhetorical “comfort food” for their domestic partisans.

It also certainly beats the “traditional” method of international debating, cannons being the “the last argument of kings” – Louis XIV. E.g., imagine a debate between Biden and Xi Jinping on the status of Taiwan.

But could it happen? Almost certainly not. Blue Checks, SJWs, postmodernists have spent the past few years delegitimizing the very concept of debate (e.g. freeze peach; debate bros) as a way of selecting for truth:

Which, come to think of it, is highly ironic, given that it seems to be a sure way of pushing the world into a the direction of a technocratic globalism/soft One World Government.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.

 

Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.

 

Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.

Comments

  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

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  2. Daniel Chieh says
  3. I’ve long advocated that we need a new form of diplomacy, that the existing apparatus favors neo-liberalism.

    What a lancing it would be, if Putin asked about pregnant women in the US military and the tranny in the Department of Health and Human Services. Whoever runs in 2024 against Harris won’t do it.

    Putin should offer to have a contest between a squad of tranny soldiers and one of middle-aged Russians.

  4. Bardon Kaldian says
  5. AnonFromTN says

    Debates make sense only when all participants are intellectually functional human beings. Considering Biden’s progressive Alzheimer, debating with him is as useful as debating with a lamppost.

    Then again, debates of Putin, Xi, Maduro, or Rouhani with someone who actually calls the shots in the US would be interesting.

  6. AnonFromTN says

    These are real chicks, not trannies. Some look pretty. Russia is not into perverts and mental cases.

  7. I have nothing against a parade core of young female soldiers, so long as they are trained in wifely duties, paired up with reliable mates at socialization dances, and given honorable discharge before they reach their mid-twenties.

    I wonder if there are any TFR studies about women in the military.

  8. AnonFromTN says

    I wonder if there are any TFR studies about women in the military.

    I had a female post-doc from Israel. She said that virtually no one there dodges the draft because most people meet their future husbands/wives in the army. Israeli TFR is remarkably high.

  9. Israeli TFR is remarkably high.

    Isn’t that concentrated among the draft dodgers though?

    In the US, women used to get pregnant in order to get a discharge. I’m not sure how desirable that part of it would be.

    Personally, I think public schools should put more effort into socialization. It should start early.

  10. AnonFromTN says

    Personally, I think public schools should put more effort into socialization.

    I went to school and college in the USSR. Neither made special efforts to promote socialization, but classes were always mixed, and nobody had trouble finding boy/girlfriends and spouses. It was a normal (in that regard) society, though: no lawsuit culture, no sexual harassment or #metoo BS. However, guys tended to take “no” for an answer the first time around (as we used to say, our job is to suggest, yours is to say “no”).

  11. “Some look pretty”…..I hate to quibble ,but dude look again…..

  12. AnonFromTN says

    I hate to quibble ,but dude look again

    Of course, there is no accounting for tastes. As far as I can tell, the third from the left (not smiling) looks not bad, so do some of the others (although the quality of the picture is far from perfect). Anyway, they are all real females (as a Russian and a biologist, I believe that there are two sexes, the rest should be of interest only to psychiatrists).

  13. A Biden – Putin debate will have highest viewership rates of any event in history

    No it won’t, cause nobody outside Russia/Ukraine/American Neocon circles cares about Crimea or Donbas. And you’re right Russians and Americans are indeed in different universes. The Gap is too far to have a functioning debate

    What I think would be more fun, a debate between Putin and Zelensky. (Zelensky is a native Russian speaker)

    Russian-soviet Boomer who is a former KGB Agent vs. Jewish Youngster who is a former Comedian

    Of course it’s obvious who would win

  14. Trial by Wombat says

    If you think there is “ideological polarization” between Democrats and Republicans, Americans and Russians might as well live in different universes.

    The main economic difference –
    in Russia, the state owns the central bank, meanwhile in America, the central bankers own the state.

    Beware the emergence of the Jekyll Island Yeti, when it comes for you..

  15. I say skip it and go straight back to the stone age through bronze age bonking of people that don’t agree with you. Simpler.

  16. When the British P.M. appears before the house of commons, he always has a looseleaf with tabs on the lectern. Someone asks a question, and the P.M. looks-up the succinct, catchy answer in his sort of Cliff Notes for the leader of a country. Biden, being adept at using a Teleprompter, might actually be quite good if he is allowed to have a looseleaf with tabs. Putin, by contrast, would considerate it demeaning to use the cliff notes, and would be at a loss for the snappy soundbite.

  17. The Wild Geese Howard says

    Putin should offer to have a contest between a squad of tranny soldiers and one of middle-aged Russians.

    Trannies vs. Spetsnaz in hand-to-hand combat would be hilarious:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eg7IStgxYIE

  18. silviosilver says

    Then again, debates of Putin, Xi, Maduro, or Rouhani with someone who actually calls the shots in the US would be interesting.

    How exactly would a debate with Xi be a good idea? What if someone “insulted” the great leader, wouldn’t that exacerbate Chinese nationalist calls for war?

    Or if both the other party and Xi knew of this risk, then the other party would avoid saying anything even potentially “insulting,” and Xi could have maneuver the debate to make them avoid this, which would completely diminish the value of the “debate.”

  19. I think a debate in the American sense of the term between leaders is quite useless since it’s less about trying to understand each other and rebut intelligently and more about managing perceptions to “win” the debate.

    I’ve found a format like the plenary sessions of the Valdai conference quite useful to understand different points of view. Putin often faced a passive aggressive Western journalist (and I use the term “journalist” lightly) along with Western figures on a panel – along with leaders from non-Western countries – in an open format. The Munich Security Conference used to have genuine back-and-forths but has become more and more a venue for the West to rag on Russia. Then there are a bit less relaxed, but equally interesting pressers after bilateral or multilateral meetings.

    In general the problem of course is that leaders primary are interested in speaking to the audience of interest to them – their own people or elites. Western leaders statements when in power – with an exception being Trump – are usually highly scripted to stay on message with Biden – in his current condition – an extreme case of that.

    In a larger sense though, much discussion is useless because the World is divided into two irreconcilable camps. One pushes a “rules based order” which is thinly disguised (and sometimes not even that) lingo for an order dictated by the Western establishment in a pyramidal structure with the US establishment on top with its approved POTUS anointed as the “leader of the Free World” (with circular logic that a country is not part of the “Free World” of it fails to accept this order, thus rendering the term effectively meaningless).

    The second camp opposes that, though this does not mean all who oppose this are then automatically allied (eg India, China). Indeed to call it a “camp” may itself be a misnomer. It is more those who do not accept the idea of a “camp” in the first place. In geopolitical speak the confrontation is between a Hegemon who seeks to perpetuate its hegemony and those who refuse to accept/pushback with varying degrees of vigor against it.

    Incidentally, the much discussed Alaska meeting between the US and Chinese foreign delegations is interesting to watch in full rather than the selected excerpts in news clips. The full video is here: https://youtu.be/PqqVceMVZm0

    (Though an hour long, English speakers can skip over the mandarin statements/translations thus reducing it to around a half. China’s beat down of the US in no uncertain terms is remarkable for its candor. Also interesting was this: the Americans spoke first, and then the Chinese – in a long rebuttal which the translator had to wait 15 mins before translating; then as the press was being ushered out, the Americans who were passing notes back and forth during the Chinese reply asked for the press to stay so they could record their counter-reply. Following this, the journos were pushed out despite Chinese protestations of wanting to have a chance to reply to the reply as per protocol. Finally it seems the Chinese media at least were allowed back for the Chinese to get in the last word – this was where the powerful CPC politburo member Yang Jiechie, angered at the breach in protocol and the Americans trying to end the opening statements on their terms, gave his most acerbic comments, telling the US delegation that they were mistaken if they thought they were speaking from a position of strength. This last piece is covered in the link above, but was not covered as part of the American ABC live stream which cuts off after the US counter-reply https://youtu.be/JoGvV86QcGk )

  20. Blinky Bill says
  21. I want Merkel vs. Putin but only under the condition that Merkel has to speak Russian and Putin has to speak German.

  22. Diversity Heretic says

    Debates between national leaders is an interesting idea, but I’m reminded of the observation of French ing Louis XIV: “Artillery is the final argument of kings.”

  23. Bashibuzuk says

    Supposedly VVP is no longer able do discuss in German although he was perfectly capable of it in his younger years.

    I am not sure whether Merkel was ever fluent in Russian.

  24. Boomthorkell says

    A victory in and of itself.

    Either US regime leadership shoots itself in the foot or it shoots itself in the foot. Maybe next election-cycle, they’ll install a cleverer puppet, or a new, less antagonistic ideology, or they’ll declare war, or they’ll go to full sanctions and anti-chinese autarky.

    Either way, they will be shamed, their plans hurt, and change forced.

  25. RadicalCenter says

    They can pillage my village any time.

  26. sudden death says

    And some say feminization is bad for the military – more like increases efficiency by breaking down male desire to defend, lol 🙂

  27. Merkel is certainly fluent in Russian. I even dimly recall that she won some GDR-level Russian language prize as a schoolchild.

  28. All the Russian girls in that photo should have a poem written for them even if we have to turn this Neo-clown globo-homo world back right side up to do it.

    H/t Richard Brautigan

  29. Daniel Chieh says

    Plastic surgery as a form of transhumanism has never been sufficiently tried.

  30. Morton's toes says

    I was going to post this exact link and you beat me by 18.9 hours.

  31. Doubt it’ll happen. We’re only a few months from the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Slaughter in Vienna, sometimes called the Khrushchev-Kennedy Summit of 1961. Even the History Channel got it part right so I went no further.

    ‘He just beat the hell out of me,’ Kennedy said… “Worst thing in my life,” Kennedy told a New York Times reporter. “He savaged me.”

    https://www.history.com/news/kennedy-krushchev-vienna-summit-meeting-1961

    Seriously, this was the debacle that caused laughter all over Europe, convinced America’s allies that JFK was a weak president, and might have contributed to the decision a few years later to knock him off.

    Just consider Khrushchev’s take on it: “Compared to him, Eisenhower is a man of intelligence and vision.” Ike? Yikes!

  32. but it would be a bigger deal if there’s an expectation that they would have to go up against foreign counterparts and be humiliated on the global stage on account of their idiocy and bad arguments

    I think you underestimate such things as tribalism and (self-)deception. Such a debate would change nothing about anyone’s view of either participant.

  33. Gerard1234 says

    There was some “ask the president”, or some type of forum thing about 3 years before where in the studio audience a German guy was asking Putin something, unable to speak in russian. Before waiting for the translator to speak, Putin started to do the translation himself for everybody in the audience (getting much laughter and applause), and then started talking fluently with him in German, and translating everything else from the German guy into Russian.

    It also looks that Putin is probably fluent in English, even from the small number of times he speaks it…….. and that his level of “Ukrainian” over-qualifies him into being Ukrainian president, Internal Ministry chief, defense chief, cultural “advisor”- its superior to 99.9% of the population outside of serial killers and their wives.

  34. I remember a report in German media that Putin and Merkel usually talk in German to each other, cause he is far more fluent in German, than she is in Russian. Which is a credible claim. Practically nobody in the GDR Schools reached fluency in Russian, and while Merkel is smart and she was an oustanding student I still doubt her Russian is byond “conversational”