Political bloggers at the libertarian or centre-right end of the spectrum are always going on about how the MSM lies, is corrupt, is in thrall to powerful interests, e.g. Murdoch. The left would agree on Murdoch.
If that’s so and I was to write that much of what is written about Russia is misguided – and Ustinov made a series of TV episodes about just that a few decades ago – then isn’t it logical that it might apply to things like Politkovskaya, Litvinenko and these pussy riot girls?
The intention in this post is to write about Russia, admittedly as I experienced it but in saying that, understanding that it is on the basis of speaking with people from the streetsweeper and carpark attendant to the minister, from the child to the babushka, in the Russian language and with an attitude of learning as much as I could, rather than telling them how I viewed Russia. This was over a twelve year period.
I’ve not a lot to thank Putin for, as his office threw the Brits [and others] out in 2007/8 as a result of the British Council spying accusations in Vladivostok around that time and stupidities from Gordon Brown which caused frosty relations. There was a tit-for-tat situation going on and we were the collateral damage. Sure we were subsequently allowed back in and I was on a list of twelve foreign academics invited back in our town but unfortunately, I lost all my money in my departure and am still trying to catch up again now. That departure devastated me.
So I think I have reason to be bitter about arbitrary power and about Putin but the influence of my friends and lovers over there far outweighs any negativity about the PTB. Personal ties always assume primary place in our lives.
If I repeat the comments about Politkovskaya, Litvinenko and Berezovsky, forgive the reiteration but it is to establish that there really are differing points of view and to vehemently hold to one manipulated western view may well be misguided.
People are up in arms about the Pussy Riot jailings but there’s another side. First, from the Spectator:
Now the reaction of Femen is interesting – rather then attack Putin, they also chose to attack the cross:
While the verdict has riled many who feel their punishment does not fit the “crime,” no one is perhaps more upset than members of the Ukrainian feminist protest group FEMEN. To show the world just how pissed off they are, a topless FEMEN activist was sent to “chop down” a giant wooden cross situated near Independence Square in Kiev.
The cross was installed near the city’s International Center for Culture and Arts following Ukraine’s Orange Revolution. It served as a memorial for the victims of Communism.
Courageous young women? Or another agenda altogether? Now Politkovskaya et al:
Politkovskaya was being used by Basayev to promote the destabilization of Russia. For those who’ve forgotten, Basayev was behind Beslan. The murderers were supposedly Chechyen but people in Britain think Putin was behind it and in Russia – that Berezovsky was behind it.
Many Russians wonder why Britain harbours criminals like Berezovsky etc.
It’s difficult for people over here to get a balanced opinion on these things when only one side is ever told. The Chechyen view is different from the Brits’ and similar to the Russians’:
“He couldn’t just give money to the militants, so he invented this mechanism. In my presence, Berezovsky suggested to Raduyev and Basayev: ‘Capture people and I’ll ransom them. I’ll get good publicity and you’ll get money.’ He paid millions of dollars to Basayev,” Ramzan Kadyrov said.
Kadyrov also said he believed Berezovsky was behind the killing of journalist Anna Politkovskaya. She was exposing crimes in the Chechen republic.
Which throws a different light on what Litvinenko was really up to in London.
Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian intelligence agent poisoned in London, is to be buried according to Muslim tradition after converting to Islam on his deathbed.
The spy’s father, Walter Litvinenko, said in an interview published today that his son – who was born an Orthodox Christian but had close links to Islamist rebels in Chechnya – made the request as he lay dying in University College Hospital.
From Russia Profile [page now deleted]:
Alexander Litvinenko was a journalist working with the Chechen Press State News Agency. Between May 7, 2005 and October 24, 2006, just 8 days before the poisoning, the Chechen Press agency carried 26 bylined stories of Litvinenkoâ€™s. They are datelined London where, by the time of his poisoning, he had become a British citizen.
Bruce Charlton adds:
The difference which JH highlights is that we in the UK are very heavily desensitized in relation to desecration and heresy; this is the product of many decades of almost continuous and deliberate exposure.
It is standard behavioural therapy. People are naturally disgusted by desecration, as people are naturally afraid of snakes; but this can be unlearned by repeated exposure.
We, in the West, (since 1967) believe with moralistic fervour that it is both good and a mark of high status never to be offended by deliberate blasphemy – just as we now regard it as both ethical and sophisticated never to be viscerally disgusted by a wide range of sexual behaviours and acts which spontaneously strike people as wicked or disgusting.
That aside- this whole business looks like it was supported, funded, and quite possibly inspired by, subversive Leftist Western activity – which is happening a lot in Russia at present (in an ironic reversal of the pre-1989 situation in the West).
Whether the prosecuted were agents or hapless dupes, they were ‘set-up’ to try and discredit Putin in the eyes of the world media.
Will it work? In the eyes of the world media, yeah – sure it will.
The point of me running all that again now is to illustrate, as I said, that things aren’t necessarily as portrayed and when our MSM calls for an outcry over a simplistic finger-pointing, I for one am quite circumspect before joining the baying mob.
Regarding Putin – I’m not disagreeing with my fellow countrymen but I also have to be careful – not for myself but for my friends who are fairly easy to work out for authorities who they are over there. I’d entertained hopes of getting back for a visit and hadn’t criticized Putin for that reason, even though he was directly responsible for my exit in 2008 [and that of so many other Brits].
This thing goes way back into Soviet times and Stalin. Basically, through pogroms, purges and the restructuring of the entire population, de-intellectualizing it in effect, and losing from 10 to 30 million, depending on which figure you accept – and those were young men, including the cream of the crop and dissidents – through that came a compliant, desensitized population who nevertheless held, in many of the female population to something else, anything else, even Mother Church and men who turn to the vodka bottle. Vodka was still a major issue when I was over there.
I was most surprised to find that so many women – wives and mothers – would actually go to the church to light candles. My gf was pretty well irreligious and part of the new crop tainted by the likes of me from the outside. Yesterday, I spent an hour with a Polish girl I know and we were discussing just that – the new Eastern-European girl. She it was who was far more scathing than me because she is tainted by what other women from over there are doing out in the west.
Everyone knows about the influence of grandmothers over there on the family and it was once so but has much diminished as children are weaned off the family for values and onto the World Culture which includes all the things Bruce wrote of above.
A moment I’ll not forget was when gf and I came out of a produkti [supermarket or grocery store] and saw a grandmother – remembering that grandmothers are the untouchable, revered sector in Russia – it must have been around 2003 – telling off a young man for his behaviour. Grandmothers are forever doing that – one told me off in the winter for being outside and to get inside now! She touched my cheek and when I got back indoors, I looked at the cheek in the mirror and it had gone a different colour.
This young man hit the grandmother for speaking to him like that. The people around were not only shocked but utterly outraged as the western influence subverting Russian society was spoken about by almost everyone of a certain age – it was the subject of studio audiences on TV.
In a sense they were right but rather than “western” influence, I’d call it Them. The same lowlife vermin [and I’m not going to moderate my language on this] who are currently also trying to enslave us. And of course, all of it came – trying to get people onto credit – to put a Russian on credit is one of the most ludicrous things that could be ever done – they’re babes-in-the-wood compared to us and yet look what a mess we’ve made ourselves of credit.
The intellectuals predicted disaster and it has come. Girls have become obese, as in Britain and America, increasingly self-entitled, slovenly, academic application has gone to the dogs and Russia, at one point, ran rings around our students. Nightclubbing, drugs and total lack of self-respect – our sitution again – ran rampant – a veritable pussy riot and women started throwing off their clothes and calling themselves Femen.
And these were lowlifes with zero respect – these were the kids out of school, the Julias from TaTu and the type who feel that what they have to say in their crow-shrieking is somehow something that those with some life experience should all knuckle down and follow.
The difference between this lot and the girls of former years is that the earlier ones still had some family values, some sense of society and structure – plus they were educated. I was seriously in love with hundreds of these – they were educated, respectful, gracious, intellectual, beautiful, vibrant – they were the best advert for womanhood one could ever hope to find. And their heads were screwed on right. Apparently some of them still ask after me and I wish I could see them again.
I also wish I could bring you what these girls said about their 15 year old kid sisters – they were the harshest critics I’d heard about the New Girl – and as for the boys – they’d always been cavalier but now they were dropouts and a huge social phenomenon between youth and the older way began, not unlike Bob Dylan’s 60s over here.
The difference is that Russia’s kids are totally vacuous and empty now – the structures have broken down and these are the new wild kids. At the point I departed and it continues in emails from Russia today – the deterioration has uncannily followed the “western” model, as if a global script is being followed.
Poor, poor Russia – out of the frying pan and into the fire.
This has confirmed in many people’s minds over there that the Soviets were right all along – it is decadent out here and it will destroy the family.
The Russians are also superstitious and that might have derived as something which filled the void of the atheistic USSR. Faith healers and astrology abound, hexes are put on people, many won’t be photographed because it can be used to have incantations put on them. A faith healing person told me that I had 11 hexes on me at the time, the majority from women. Take that or leave it.
Russia is tragic and what it is in their souls I’ve never been able to come to terms with but it’s there all right. I don’t think that Slavik Soul is accurate. The Romanian soul is different to the Russian and even the Ukrainian – there’s not one Slavik Soul.
The issue goes back to the purges and pogroms of Stalin and his influence, according to the intelligentsia over there, cannot be underestimated. Killing off the cream of your manhood and purging intellectuals and anyone else who could oppose you has left a rump of people procreating who are not, shall we say, top-drawer. A new one is developing but these things take four or five generations to get right again.
The Russians are very sensitive about one matter other than their fear of America invading across one border whilst China invades across the other and the distrust of muslims. They are desperate to be taken as intellectual/cultured and to be “byezkulturni” or uncultured, with its most insulting form “ham”, is the worst thing you can say to a Russian.
A western journalist in the 90s wrote that her Russian friends had said: “It may well be a cesspit, it may well be corrupt beyond redemption but it’s our cesspit, not yours.”
Yet the streetsweeper could quote you Pushkin and Lermontov until the mid-2000s and people were fiercely proud of the cultural heritage before the Soviet days. Hence Bruce Charlton’s comment about Tsardom. He may appear reactionary in that, Bruce but actually he’s right on the money because there was actually a culture back then.
The infiltration of and the lilyliveredness of the Church in Russia and also in Rome has been well-documented and critics are right to attack that – I attack that along with them. But don’t throw out the message with the corrupt people who have hijacked the Voice of the Church. It’s a phenomenon increasing every day now and the aim is to alienate people, to wean them off any sort of social structure and even redemption they might have enjoyed.
Russians are good at looking at you and saying one thing but thinking another. They had to be, if only for their survival. In a society where people were encouraged, for reward, to shop their neighbours, it not only focused the mind on the family as the only unit they could trust but it also showed people that the family were the only people who were going to help you in any way.
Now the family is under attack over there, as it’s already been destroyed over here, so the Russians are getting the worst of both oppressions.
The atheistic USSR is squarely at fault. By killing off Christian values and trying to substitute State values, as distinct from the west where values of hedonism and destruction were the substitute, Soviet society was dismayed, stagnant, fearful and yet it appreciated the State teat, such as it was. When that teat was removed in the 90s, many decried that and the new harshness. Berezovsky and other bandits disgusted the Russian people and so did Gorbachev, the darling of Them and the west.
These people are anathema in Russia. Hence all my comments on such people in the previous post and above.
As this post has become too long some time back, maybe a second one might be forthcoming in the near future. However, I really must add this exchange because it includes a point I forgot to mention earlier: