This is not just a brutal, frontal and long-planned attack on women’s liberation. Beyond this aggression against half of humanity, the US Supreme Court ruling reversing the right to terminate a pregnancy also highlights three weaknesses of Western democracies that are just as much assets for Mr Putin.

The first is that the evolution of morals does not divide American and European societies less and less, but more and more. Nowhere is there a majority calling for the recriminalisation of abortion. The acceptance of homosexuality and marriage for all is even growing year by year but…

But there is a but.

Just as a number of voters are now willing to call themselves far-right after having hidden it for so long, even from themselves, a growing number of Westerners are coming to openly regret the extent of the rights acquired by women and homosexuals.

The situation is not the same in the United States, where Puritanism is an essential component of the religious right wing, as in Europe, where the new extreme rights above all reject Islam and immigration. In Europe and even in the US, very few of these new reactionaries go so far as to follow Justice Clarence Thomas in his desire to ban contraception and homosexual relations now. Some accept abortion in exceptional circumstances, while others absolutely refuse it. Nostalgia for the patriarchy of yesteryear is by no means homogeneous in the West, but the general right-wingisation of the political spectrum, the impoverishment of the middle classes and the insecurity that the affirmation of women and homosexuals creates in many men leads to less and less insignificant rejection of the new rights of women and the presence of same-sex couples in everyday life.

Mr Putin can only be pleased about this because, in addition to the fact that the evolution of Western morals is for him a sign of decadence, which he abhors and fights against in Russia, he finds there a common ground with a growing part of American and European opinions. It even provides the basis for his deep connivance with Donald Trump and, above all, allows him to count on a political fracturing of the United States.

It is not only women and homosexuality that divide America and all Western countries. More generally, it is the whole legacy of the sixties, the rejection of tradition and religion, of hierarchical authority, of nationalism and borders, that is now being called into question because, in these times of social, economic and geopolitical upheaval, many Westerners are seeking to regain confidence in the future by fleeing into the past of traditions, borders and national identities.

So true is this that Mr Trump still sets the tone for the Republican Party and, again, Mr Putin appears to embody these same aspirations. This gives him his second advantage and the third one is that social discontent expresses itself much more easily and quickly in the freedom of the West than in a dictatorship.

Even if we are not necessarily on the verge of a new crisis of ’29, the Western dashboards are still turning red. Debt is becoming ever more dizzying, while interest rates are on the rise again. The blocking of Ukrainian wheat exports is dramatically increasing food prices and could soon send entire regions into famine and flight to Europe. As for the return of inflation, it is to be feared that it will be long-lasting because the war in Ukraine and the slowdown in international trade are causing shortages and because inflation – “the euthanasia of the rentier”, as Keynes said – remains the best tool for reducing public debts.

This is not to say that Mr Putin is in great shape. The resistance he will continue to face in Ukraine weakens him considerably. The very nature of his regime makes it impossible to envisage a political changeover that would allow Russia to overcome this historic mistake. The Russian economy and purchasing power are in decline. Mr Putin will not have a happy ending to his reign, but the US Supreme Court has just come to his rescue by showing, in a single ruling, the three weaknesses of the West.

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