The network of people disinforming Western opinion is very extensive. It includes the press of different and frequently divergent political orientations.Jozef Mackiewicz
In his book, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, Joseph Schumpeter explained what actually happened in World War II. He said, people “will have to realize that what has occurred amounts to a surrender not much less complete than might have been expected from a military victory of Russia over her two chief allies.” Those allies, of course, were America and Great Britain. Schumpeter went on to attribute Moscow’s victory in 1945 to Joseph Stalin’s political genius. “Following events from that first master stroke — the ‘understanding’ with Germany — we behold a master’s handiwork. It is true that Stalin never encountered a man of comparable ability.” 
Joseph Stalin was the successor to Vladimir Lenin, founder of the first socialist state. Lenin and Stalin had insights that allowed them to transform Marx’s ideas into political reality. They fashioned a new kind of state, based on propaganda, deception, and terror. The calamities they brought to Russia were unprecedented in scope, yet their regime thrived on crises — on the worst possible outcomes for people in general. Or as Lenin famously said, ‘The worse the better.'”
Looking at the situation of Russia today, with Vladimir Putin’s failed invasion of Ukraine, the outside observer may ask whether worse is still better where Kremlin policy is concerned. Stalin won World War II through a series of spectacular defeats and enormous human losses, proving himself a true disciple of Lenin’s paradoxical dictum. Is Vladimir Putin also a disciple of “The worse the better”?
The political genius of winning by making everything worse is unique in history. Schumpeter wrote, “this only reinforces the case for a philosophy of history that leaves adequate room for the quality of leading personnel and for the special case of this — the quality of the leading individual. The only concession that realistic analysis can make to the ‘impersonal theory’ is this: An autocrat is, in matters of foreign policy, unhampered by all those considerations that distract the attention of a democratic leader.” 
Yet, a mediocre autocrat may not have the requisite skill. For him, worse may simply be worse. Perhaps, if Putin had the nerve to launch an all-out nuclear war he could prevail if the Russian people believed the West started the war. And then, the resulting economic collapse and general mayhem might not be survivable for the person largely responsible. Of course, Putin has threatened nuclear war in the most brutal fashion, but he has not used his advantage in nuclear arms. Why? Is it a lack of nerve, or is the Russian nuclear deterrent as poorly organized as Russia’s conventional arms?
In our theory of history, taking into account “the quality of the leading individual,” a shadow is now cast on Moscow’s strategy. Where great things have been accomplished on Lenin and Stalin’s model, Putin seems to have failed miserably. Yet, we should not be too hasty in discounting him. He has the same ace up his sleeve that Stalin had: Agents and friends in high places, in the West.
For all of his difficulties, Putin’s friends are eager to bail him out. And Putin has friends on the right and the left. I believe he has President Joe Biden, who has slow-walked Ukraine’s military aid. He has Tucker Carlson and Col. Douglas MacGregor, too (see below). Much of the MAGA movement has, strangely, shifted against Ukraine (which signifies a shift toward Russia).
It was Stalin’s friends in Washington who secured him the Lead Lease he needed to win the war against Hitler, despite his overwhelming losses. But Putin is not likely to receive any aid from the West. His aid, in fact, is coming from North Korea and China. What is needed is a cutting of aid for Ukraine. Perhaps Putin has friends who will do this for him. Perhaps they will rescue him. Yet, if we observe the military mutiny of early summer, and study how this was handled, Putin’s leadership does not inspire confidence. It does not, in fact, resemble Stalin’s leadership; for Stalin preempted his would-be mutineers by shooting them before they decided on a mutiny. One might say that all this needless shooting of military men, prior to World War II, was a terrible waste. Yet it fits Lenin’s dictum, “The worse the better.”
Schumpeter said that after World War II the nations of Europe were incapable of resisting Stalin’s Russia. They needed the United States to survive. And that is still the case. Europe does not have an adequate nuclear deterrent. If American sank beneath the ocean tomorrow, Russia would own Europe despite its troubles in Ukraine. It would be a case of nuclear blackmail, plain and simple.
There is a way of taking the United States out of the East European game politically. The only question is whether Putin is smart enough, and capable enough, to use his minions here — in North America — to accomplish that goal. Schumpeter said that America is a provincial country with a provincial outlook. “In the United States,” said Schumpeter, “foreign policy is domestic politics. There is indeed a tradition flowing from Washington’s advice. But it is essentially isolationist. There is no tradition and there are no organs for playing the complex game of any other foreign policy. When violently excited by propaganda the country may enter upon or accept an activist course of interference beyond the seas. But it soon tires of … the horrors of modern warfare, of sacrifices, taxes, military service, of bureaucratic regulations, of war slogans, of world-government ideals — and very anxious to return to its habitual ways of life.” 
Even though American forces are not engaged in fighting the Russians, even though the military supplies being sent are relatively trivial, a vast propaganda for giving up strategic ground is emerging on the American right. And it may only be a matter of time before the left chimes in. The only question is whether a shift in American support for Ukraine is six months off, or two years. Putin needs to be rescued in short order. His situation is growing worse by the week. Already Ukrainian forces are threatening the lifeline of his forces in the south of Ukraine.
The slogan for surrendering Ukraine will be similar to things we have heard before. Writing shortly after World War II, Schumpeter framed it this way: “Let Russia swallow one or two more countries, what of it? Let her be well supplied with everything she needs and she will cease to frown. After twenty years Russians will be just as democratic and pacific as are we — and think and feel just as do we. Besides, Stalin will be dead by then.” 
Indeed, Stalin is dead. And Putin is no Stalin. Yet, he follows the logic of the Stalin system. And this logic, may of its own, deliver him. Schumpeter insisted that Russia was not really socialist at all. It has always been a military autocracy, he said. It merely used socialism as a weapon to justify the buildup of this autocracy. Of course, the situation of Russia is more complicated than this. Even Schumpeter had to admit, “the communist groups and parties all over the world are naturally of the greatest importance for Russian foreign policy.”
Time will tell whether Putin can turn defeat into victory. Right now it does not look good for him.
In the following video, Douglas MacGregor’s pro-Russian line is debunked by an expert.
Thank you for reading. Please check out J.R. Nyquist’s books on Amazon.com
Notes and Links
 Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (New York: Harper Collophon, 1975), pp. 398-401.
 Ibid, p. 402.