Captain Obviov wants to tell you some obvious things:
- The image of ‘Russia’ was reified as non-West or even anti-West long before the Cold War I. It was true for Russian Empire (“Russian Tzar wants to conquer the world!”), then Soviet Union (“Commies want to conquer the world!”) and now Russian Federation (“Putin wants to conquer the world!”).
- Russia was not colonized or conquered by the ‘West’ through force of arms despite multiple attempts to do so: Polish, French and German invasions, and the allied intervention during the Russian Civil War.
- The Westernophobia in Russia is based on the same idea as Russophobia in the West: “they want our land/resources, they failed last time but now they want to try again”. Needless to say, this phobia was (is) exploited by politicians in the West and in Russia.
- The ‘Russian idea’ has been – at least since the 18th century (in fact, earlier) – ‘to keep up with the Joneses’ and be accepted in the West as an equal part of it in an optimistic scenario or as a ‘diligent student’ in a more pessimistic one.
- From the late Soviet period the ‘aim’ of Russian top brass was to become a part of the West politically whether with Russia or without it (on their own). Since the collapse of the Soviet Union new ‘democratic Russia’ de facto became a (quasi-)colony of the West if not politically but economically. “Politics is a concentrated expression of economics”. I’m not a communist but it is what it is: he who
prints dollarspays the piper calls the tune. Of course, all these would be impossible without the Russian top brass whose money is in Western banks, their chidren live abroad, etc.
- If we use the discourse that the West really won the Cold War I – hence, ‘vae victis‘ of the turbulent 90s, NATO expansion and the list goes on. Then, preaching about freedom and democracy to the ‘enslaved Slav’ is too much of a hypocricy. It can’t be both – either the ‘victory’ discourse or the ‘democracy’ discourse. The ‘victory of our democracy’ discourse is just a politically correct name of (neo)colonialism.
P.S. There are two running jokes or popular aphorisms in Russia:
- Soviet propaganda lied about communism but told truth about the capitalist countries (i.e. West).
- Democracy is the rule of democrats.
There’s a grain of joke in every joke.