Russia & the West.
Pt. II: Crussialism, or the Eternal Fall.
Strikingly, Europe does not like us and it has never liked us: it has viewed us not as its own, as Europeans, but always as nettlesome outlanders. That is why Europe likes to console itself occasionally with the thought that Russia is somehow “yet powerless”.
I wrote a draft post in late October 2015 on the specific form of Western view of Russia which combines essentialism with realism – Russialism. I didn’t have enough time to finish my post due to lack of time: trips to Yaroslavl, Cheboksary, Ulyanovsk/Simbirsk and very busy working schedule in general. The job of a certified Kremlin troll is time consuming, you know.
In Western mainstream political discourse there’s one concept that remains no matter what. The eternal return of this concept can be witnessed in news programmes, talk shows, newspapers and films over and over again. I’m talking here about the ‘Fall of Russia’. The Eternal Fall.
The idea of Russia as a country in terminal state has a long history behind it. The image of Russia as a ‘collossus on clay legs’ was popular way before the 1917 coup, then after the Soviet Union was established, then after the fall of the USSR in 1991, then – during the Yeltsin’s turbulent 90s and finally – fast-forward to Putin’s Russia of nowadays.
Don’t get it twisted – Russia has many serious economic and social problems. I know it much better than any BBCNN ‘Russia watcher’ because I’m a common Russian living in Russia, so I see the signs of crisis every day. But ‘crisis’ doesn’t mean it will necessarily result in a revolution/regime change (we had enough), and even the latter isn’t equal to ‘collapse’.
Thus, these real Russia’s problems do exist and they serve as the realistic basis for the mythology of ‘imminent Russian collapse’. This Western ‘collapsophilia’ can be referred to as crussialism (from crush + Russia + [certain amount of] realism). Crushialism has been an inseparable part of Western master discourse of Russia for years, just like, for example, Russian mainstream media recently exploits the migrant crisis in Europe. The plot is simple: ‘we’ are not as f*cked as ‘we’ are – look – ‘they’ have so many problems in Russia/Europe. If we adopt this collapsophilic vision, then Russia is in the mode of Eternal Fall, yet it is always reintepreting itself and coming back to normal like nevalyashka (Russian for roly-poly toy).
To be continued.
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