Thursday, 13 November 2014

PUTIN TOPS FORBES‘ LIST OF MOST POWERFUL PEOPLE, OBAMA IS SECOND


Even though most of the time we try to focus on local topics, this time we reached out for a global one, reason behind this being a) we find this one quite interesting, b) there’s not that much happening around here anyways and some more local focused post should be coming soon, covering happenings in Austria/Czech/Slovakia, c) Press freedom! We can write about anything we want to write about.
Anyways, back to the post itself:

Forbes takes list-making to a whole new level: the magazine is well known for its annual lists, including ones like ‘The World’s Billionaires list’, ‘The Richest People and America list’, ‚The World's Most Innovative Growth Companies list’ and – the most recent and talked about – ‘World’s Most Powerful People list’.
(All this ‘list list list’-ing makes me think of obsessive–compulsive personality disorder, and yes, I had to google it to get the name right.)

Putin tops the list, winning for the second time in a row. Forbes reasons for this choice are ‘a proxy war in the Ukraine’, ‘the deal to build a more than $70 billion gas pipeline with China (the planet’s largest construction project)’, ‘(giving asylum to) NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’ and the ‘chess match over Syria’.

One of the aspects when ranking is the candidate’s use of power and it’s no surprise that Putin scores the highest, while Obama comes in as second. Forbes accuses him of being too cautious and calls him internationally the weakest President of the post-WW2 years. (Is Putin really more powerful than Obama? http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveforbes/2013/10/30/is-putin-really-more-powerful-than-obama/) This sounds ironically – I had the feeling that people were complaining about the US being way too loud and a bitty bit too malignant. 

Also, other reasons probably are Obama’s u-turning in Syria, US’s defeat in Afghanistan and Iraq or the Republicans triumph in the elections.

On the other hand Putin is known for his more heavy-handed attitude, stability being his leitmotif and having a way more dominant position in the Russian politics. He obliviously knows what he wants and, looking at the case of Krym, how to get it. “The bear is the master of the taiga. It is not going to move to another climate,” he claimed at the Vaidai International Discussion Club. “It’s not going to give up its taiga to anyone.”

By the way, Putin’s speech at Vaidai: it does have a strong post-Cold War vibe to it, doesn’t it?` He’s openly (and not for the first time) criticizing the US’s politics, accusing US of recreating a ‘quasi-bipolar world’ for the propaganda, in which it doesn’t matter who gets the role of the ‘Evil Empire’. He’s talking about the US selling guns and thus supporting the conflicts in mid-east and in general of deforming the world order. He even mentions Cold War itself, saying it ended, but not with peace.

But it’s no surprise that Forbes’ list is criticized a lot – and not just this one, but the most of them in general. The Guardian even calls it absurd (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/31/forbes-vladimir-putin-most-powerful-person-world-obama).
People mostly question Forbes’s ranking methods, or the result being way too obvious, the real ‘most powerful person’ being somebody out of the spotlight, who’s pulling by the strings. My personal favorite is probably comparing it to ‘deliberately controversial 'best albums of all time' lists’. We can talk about it, discuss it, argue about it, hash or even fight over it, but we’re not going to get our answer. 


Or maybe you have it? What’s your opinion on Putin’s triumph or the Forbes’ list in general? Let us know in the comments below!

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