The world is turning on its head and he’s spinning fairy tales…
Besides that, what  on Earth does Putin have to do with anything?

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Bear with me and your curiosity will be satisfied.

Most of us believe that bed time stories come from the ancient past, that they were passed on across generations by the regular folks, from the ancient equivalent of you and me to our nephews.

Lets give this idea a second thought.

First of all there weren’t so many ‘you and me’-s readily available until recently. No more than 50 years ago very few people had enough free time, or energy, to spend on such frivolous topics. In those times most people worked/fought hard to make a living and a small minority was rich/powerful enough to live somewhat insulated from the daily worries of the commoners – ‘what will I be eating/feeding my kids tomorrow’. The rich and powerful had their own set of worries, even if of a different kind: how to rule efficiently enough as to maintain/enhance their power and how to pass on to their heirs  the skills they needed in order to ‘keep the show in working order’.
In those times the commoners, and their children, worked so hard that they usually fell asleep while eating ‘dinner’, thus having no use for any bed time stories.
Meanwhile the rich and powerful were so busy with their daily business/routine that they didn’t have time to spend with their children so they hired teachers and helpers to raise their offspring. Oftentimes this entire ‘nursery crew’ was under the authority of a spinster aunt or something similar but regardless of that almost none of them had the guts to  contradict and chastise the ‘young princes’ directly. The deadlock was at least partially solved through the use of bed-time stories and fables.

Seems far-fetched? I must remind you two things. In not so long ago, Europe, and the Arab world, were choke full of story tellers. Remember the minstrels who spread out the story about Tristan and Isolde or Scheherazade, the world’s first spin doctor? So there were plenty of stories waiting to be reshaped into learning materiel for the offspring of the ruling class. And the second thing was that the ruling class had enough means to hire the best teachers available. So sharp minds plus plenty of raw material equals a lot of excellent  ‘bed time’ stories that actually started as lessons for future rulers.

And when did all this come to an end?
When the rulers had became careless and/or unable to maintain the entire kingdom in working order?
When the entire situation had became complicated enough so no individual ruler, no matter how capable, was no longer able to remain on top of things?
When the commoners, enticed by the incessant humming of the minstrels who kept distributing to the general public the same stories which were originally meant to the future rulers and somewhat empowered by the technological advances which had made even their humble lives a little easier and a little safer, became emboldened in their natural quest for autonomy? When all these three conditions/developments ‘merged’ into the explosive situation commonly known as pre-Revolutionary France or, in other circles, as the Enlightenment?

The point I’m trying to make here is that ‘bedtime stories’ are extremely important.
The next generation needs to be initiated in the mores of the old one.
Each new generation needs to understand and keep alive the traditions which have helped to build the society which had borne and educated its members.
Simultaneously, the young must maintain enough independence to understand that traditions are only guidelines and that they can be fine-tuned in order to fit each particular situation

If, for no matter what reason, the flow of information that needs to run from one generation to another is perturbed in any way the ‘train’ is in great danger. If the flow is too strong and the manner in which the information is presented becomes too imposing the ‘education process’ becomes a ‘training session’, the next generation looses it’s ability to think for itself and to solve by its own the smallest of crises, The whole thing eventually ends up in a catastrophe.
If the flow is too weak, either because the ‘teachers’ have lost heart or ‘the pupils’ were allowed to become too cocky – or both – the situation starts to resemble a railway with no rails: the train simply has no clue as to where ‘the way’ is and either grinds to a halt or ends up in a ravine.

OK but …”what  on Earth does Putin have to do with anything?”
Well, my favorite story is the one about the emperor who, at the advice of two of his courtiers (his ‘esteemed couturiers’  actually) started to walk naked through the main square of his capital city.
Do you remember that story?

http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/TheEmperorsNewClothes_e.html

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