2022-04Thematic Section
Puppeteer Putin


In this essay, the author regards the individual as the chief courier of History, and Mr. Putin, the immediate cause of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – distinguishing his agency from broad precipitating socio-historical causes that deny inwardness, individuality, and free-will. A dark puppeteer, Mr. Putin is more sinister than Plato’s puppeteers (Allegory of the Cave). This invasion raises at least three questions: (1) Why has the west not responded as much to other recent non-western wars and genocides? Why have Europe’s former colonies not protested Russia more vigorously? (2) Why do armed forces obey cultishly, the commands of autocratic heads of state? (3) How do we prevent autocrats from occupying positions of power? Western hedonism and Putin’s puritanism are opposites that cannot resolve one another. Moreover, Ukraine reminds us that non-violence, patriotism, defiance – even war – cannot be moral absolutes. Depending on the context, they are good, evil, or something in between.


Russia, Ukraine, Putin, dark puppeteer, Plato, revanchist, free-will


(April 30th, 2023): Due to an editorial error, the previously published version of this paper contained some unauthorized proofreading interventions to the text.

How to cite:

Majumdar, Deepa. “Puppeteer Putin.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 6, no. 4 (2022):  32-47. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2022.0033.


Deepa Majumdar
Department of History, Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Purdue University Northwest
1401 S. U.S. 421 Westville, IN 46391, USA


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