Putin Calls Out Neoclowns

The Russian President knows perfectly well who Russia’s most vicious enemies are, and why they are pushing for NATO forces to engage directly with the Russian military:

You know that the word “elite” has lost much of its credibility. Those who have done nothing for society and consider themselves a caste endowed with special rights and privileges – especially those who took advantage of all kinds of economic processes in the 1990s to line their pockets – are definitely not the elite. To reiterate, those who serve Russia, hard workers and military, reliable, trustworthy people who have proven their loyalty to Russia by deeds, in a word, dignified people are the genuine elite.

Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly, Vladimir Putin, 29 February 2024

He’s referring to the foreign oligarchs who took advantage of the post-Soviet “end of history” era in order to financially rape Russia. Most of them have now fled Russia. As Yoram Hazony has pointed out, foreign elites are entirely common in the late stages of empire; the fact that the current US political elite is entirely foreign, with nary an American nor a Protestant to be found in it is a) not at all surprising and b) strongly indicative of the incipient end of the imperial USA that we already appear to be witnessing.

Other historians have noted this phenomenon of imperial foreign elites as well. I was reading The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire last night and came across this pertinent passage:

Such priorities and shibboleths are, however, best viewed against a background of barbarians frequenting the imperial court, ad hoc arrangements continually being made with useful potentates, and titles bestowed on outsiders with barely a smattering of spoken Greek. The proportion of families in the ruling elite comprising first-, second- or third-generation immigrants probably made up around a quarter of the total… Many were members, if not from the dominant family, of elites beyond Byzantium’s borders, external or internal.

Putin knows the treachery of them that say they are elites and are not…