Tag Archives: Russia and the West

Russian Regression Roulette

Russia & the West.

Pt. IX: Russian Regression Roulette

Stephen King Flexible Bullet

Stephen King in his 1984 novella titled “The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet” presents a scary story, which shows how fragile our ‘normal’ consciousness is and that madness is actually contagious. Very little is needed for ‘the roof to start leaking‘ (krýsha poteklá – Russian idiom on going cuckoo). Continue reading Russian Regression Roulette

The Retrospective Foresight Saga (The Eternal Return of Russia Analysis)

Russia & the West.

Pt. VII: The Retrospective Foresight Saga (The Eternal Return of Russia Analysis)

Bhavacakra
Bhavacakra

A simple study of names and dates will prove that between the policy of Ivan III and that of modern Russia there exists not similarity, but sameness. […] At length Peter the Great coupled the political craft of the Mongol slave with the proud aspiration of the Mongol master to whom Genghis Khan had, by will, bequeathed his conquest of the earth.

Karl Marx, Revelations on the Diplomatic History of the Eighteenth Century (1857).

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When I first went to Russia it was in 1991, I caught the last couple of months of the Soviet Union before it came crumbling down, and I was in Moscow during the coup against Mikhail Gorbachev, or the coup attempts, I should say, when there was this great optimism right after, that Russia would soon join the international community and would be sharing in Western prosperity, and so on and so forth. And it became quickly evident, in fact, it was evident already before then that the Soviet Union didn’t entirely crumble and leave a ruin on which to build a new shining capitalist democratic society but it still had many structures in place and many behaviors that continued. Nevertheless, I think it could have fundamentally changed, it was fundamentally changing in some ways in the 1990s, that is, I don’t believe Russia’s faded to remain a corrupt authoritarian country.

Gregory Feifer on Putin’s Russia (2015).

Ouroboros by Theodoros Pelecanos, in the alchemical Byzantine Greek alchemical manuscript Synosius (1478)
Ouroboros by Theodoros Pelecanos, in the alchemical Byzantine Greek alchemical manuscript Synosius (1478)

Of course, confrontation can’t last forever. When Russia emerges from its current course in the coming years or decades, it will be nearly as shell-shocked as after the Soviet collapse in 1991. The people will be confronted with the same massive task of reforming not merely the economy and government but also some of their cherished attitudes and thoughts. For now, however, they will no doubt dismiss the suspicion that will naturally fall on Russian Olympic medals in Rio, failing to see just what the Russian revelations have exposed about their country’s real place in the world.

Gregory Feifer, Russian Envy (2016).

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The concept of Russia’s eternal sameness appears in a plethora of Western Russia narratives. By this ‘sameness’ I mean the continuity of Russia’s identical essence during all (or at least several) historical periods and forms of Russian statehood.

Continue reading The Retrospective Foresight Saga (The Eternal Return of Russia Analysis)

Russia & the West: Vodka vs Caviar, or the Eternal Opposition?

Russia & the West.

Pt. IV: Vodka vs Caviar, or the Eternal Opposition?

§1. Vodkaviar.

Pubama Obutin © RussianUniverse.org, 2016.

Again a tussle with Europe (oh, it’s not a war yet: they say that we – Russia, that is – are still a long way from war). Again the endless Eastern Question is in the news; and again in Europe they are looking mistrustfully at Russia…. Yet why we should go running to seek Europe’s trust? Did Europe ever trust the Russians? Can she ever trust us and stop seeing us as her enemy? …

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, A Writer’s Diary, My Paradox, 1876.

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The West in Russia is more than just the ‘West’.

Captain Obviov,  Lost Letters & Memoirs, 1989-2009.

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…Let me quote Romano Prodi once again: “Russia and the EU are united like vodka and caviar“. He tried to modify an English proverb – ‘like whiskey and soda’. But my Russian friends told me that vodka and caviar are not always perceived integrally in Russia. Perhaps, I will advise him to say like vodka and herring next time.

Richard Wright (Head of the European Commission mission to the Russian Federation), Evropa (journal of the European Union), №6(29), June, 2003, p. 2.

Continue reading Russia & the West: Vodka vs Caviar, or the Eternal Opposition?

Russia as… the West

Russia & the West.

Pt. III: Russia as the West.

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East or Best, Russia is West.

Captain Obviov, Lost Letters & Memoirs.

Some Western Russophiles and Russophilophobes love to elaborate on the question of Russia’s alleged non-Westerness:

Continue reading Russia as… the West

Crussialism, or the Eternal Fall

Russia & the West.

Pt. II: Crussialism, or the Eternal Fall.

Bearly on top
Bearly on top

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”.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, A Writer’s Diary, April 1876. Continue reading Crussialism, or the Eternal Fall

Deconstrucracy, or Imaginary Fall of the Imaginary West

Russia & the West.

Pt. I: Deconstrucracy, or Imaginary Fall of the Imaginary West.

Giuseppe Arcimboldo - Autumn, 1573, oil on canvas, Muse du Louvre, Paris.
Giuseppe Arcimboldo – Autumn, 1573, oil on canvas, Muse du Louvre, Paris.

Russia & the West.

Pt. II: Crussialism, or the Eternal Fall.

Russia & the West.

Pt. II: Crussialism, or the Eternal Fall.

With the Syrian migrant crisis and Russia’s airstrikes against the IS all over the news, I would like to sum up the main viewpoints on the recent state of the collective West, which are popular in the ‘core’ Western countries and in Russia. These viewpoints are shown in relation to the migrant crisis but are not limited to it: Continue reading Deconstrucracy, or Imaginary Fall of the Imaginary West