SMALL WARS COUNCIL
Go Back   Small Wars Council > Conflicts -- Current & Future > Other, By Region > Europe

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-16-2014   #1
mirhond
Council Member
 
mirhond's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 370
Default Russian political psyche: history and modernity

disclaimer #1. any links and sources which is going to be posted here are quite possibly biased
disclaimer #2. Unsupported claims and irrelevant ravings will be ignored.

Ok, lets get started.
Before posting anything here, you, Westerners must remember that we, Russians, lived for three generations under stern but (mostly) just supervision of omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent state. If you think it explains everything - you are probably far from truth.
How the whole system has been set up - that is a huge historical question, still unanswered, how it works today, after a dissolution of Soviet state - I'll try to explain.

Now we have a mostly free market economy, paternalistic politics, consumerism ethics and apathetic population.
I won't tell about structure of the economy, it's well known, but I'll tell what people think about it: free market is unjust, capitalism is unhuman, so any ideology which denies it as an economic basis would have public approval.

Most important tool of the paternalistic policy is the controlled media, full of dumb entertainment and, quite recently, spiritual guidance from the Orthodox chirch, pseudo-patriotic sentiments and sheer propaganda Dr Goebbels would be proud of.
Why it works? I think of the part of the answer is simple: people are stupid, so they are unable to tell the truth from the lie, they are politically powerless, because they are trained to be divided, they are in general want to be left alone, but won't mind to listen about great achievements, kicking some asses, stupid Americans who can't find Ukrain on the map or spoiled and souless Europeans - the majority of the Russians exposed to the media are prone to any lies which brings a little bit of comfort.

End of part one. Part two on the way (may be)
__________________
Haeresis est maxima opera maleficarum non credere.
mirhond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2014   #2
kaur
Council Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,005
Default

May 16, 2014

Window on Eurasia: Infantilism on the Rise among Russians, ‘Nezavisimaya Gazeta’ Says

Quote:
In a lead article today entitled “On the Growth of Social-Political Infantilism in Russia,” the editors of the Moscow paper review recent poll results which show among other things a decrease in support for democracy, human rights and markets and a rise in the share of those who are indifferent as to what kind of state they live in as long as they and their families are well off (ng.ru/editorial/2014-05-16/2_red.html).

That there should be a decline in support for Western models of state and society is no surprise, the editors say. It reflects the Ukrainian events or “more precisely their treatment in the government and pro-regime mass media” and the tendency of Russians to evaluate other countries primarily on the basis of their policies toward Moscow rather than anything else.
Quote:
This “lack of understanding of the role of procedures” has had the effect of opening the way for the acceptance among Russians of “declarations of ‘a special path’” for Russia without a clear understanding of what that might mean. Unless such things are specified, they add, coming up with and imposing an “alternative” model to the West will be “extremely difficult.”
http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.be/...m-on-rise.html

Mirhond, hope to read your answers

Quote:
Mirhond: "golden age lost due to the sins of fathers"

What was the period of that age?

Who were those fathers?

What sins they did?

To whom they lost it?
kaur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2014   #3
JMA
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Durban, South Africa
Posts: 3,902
Default

When the a Soviet Union collapsed the greatest mistake made by the US (and their western allies) was not to dismantle the Russian Empire to a status where there would no threat to neighboring minor nations of non Russians ever again. We are seeing the results of one of histories great strategic mistakes as Russia once again develops expansionist dreams and converts them into reality paid for by an oil industry that never should have been allowed to be developed.

Russia will probably get away with it because of the US fear of nuclear weapons (as was the real reason for the soft settlement at the collapse of the Soviet Union). So keep testing rockets and issuing threats about using weapons and the US will stay out of it.

The reason for this fear of Russian nuclear weapons is that it is generally believed that the Russians are actually stupid enough to use nuclear weapons despite the assurance of the complete destruction of Russia if they ever do. So don't do anything to lead the US to start to think Russians are really capable of intelligent and logical thought.

Last edited by JMA; 05-17-2014 at 03:59 PM.
JMA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2014   #4
mirhond
Council Member
 
mirhond's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 370
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaur View Post
May 16, 2014

Window on Eurasia: Infantilism on the Rise among Russians, ‘Nezavisimaya Gazeta’ Says
http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.be/...m-on-rise.html
I fail to see why it's called "infantilism", not just "indifference" or "apathy", but everything else in this article is true.

Quote:
Mirhond, hope to read your answers
OK, lo and behold:

1. it were several last decades of Soviet epoch
2. anyone who is now at his 50-60s
3. they sold primogeniture for lentil soup, in geopolitical sence
4. to the coterie of thieves and foreign agents
__________________
Haeresis est maxima opera maleficarum non credere.
mirhond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2014   #5
kaur
Council Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,005
Default

mirhond, that golden era was called stagnation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Era_of_Stagnation
kaur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2014   #6
mirhond
Council Member
 
mirhond's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 370
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaur View Post
mirhond, that golden era was called stagnation.
So what? Does it even matter?
__________________
Haeresis est maxima opera maleficarum non credere.
mirhond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2014   #7
kaur
Council Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,005
Default

mirhond, I think it does. How country happened to be in this situation? Overstretched ambitions, bad economics etc ? Structural problems?
kaur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2014   #8
mirhond
Council Member
 
mirhond's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 370
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaur View Post
mirhond, I think it does. How country happened to be in this situation? Overstretched ambitions, bad economics etc ? Structural problems?
Source of the mith isn't necessarily rooted in reality, as Dayuhan have already said. Call it as you wish, it remains golden age of justice, equality and great achievements. Real problems of USSR you've mentioned above deserve another topic in "Historians" branch.
__________________
Haeresis est maxima opera maleficarum non credere.

Last edited by mirhond; 05-21-2014 at 03:09 PM.
mirhond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2014   #9
kaur
Council Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,005
Default

mirhond, what can I answer if Russians dream about era that had serious systematic errors. Memory is tricky thing that picks out usuallly good things. Freud may think other way. Do you still like Жигули beer or prefer Carlsberg? What about those Sovet ice creams that were dreams of childhood? What about Magnum ice cream? Did you like riding Десна-2 bicycle, or Scott would be better? Oh, I forgot that those NATO/EU guys are producing those things in Russia now together with Russian oligarhs ...

Nice example about golden age, that should remind childhood

http://blog.t30p.ru/post/A-vi-znaete...-izdeliya.aspx

Quote:
Some 61 percent of respondents polled by the Public Opinion Fund (FOM) in 2006, when Brezhnev’s 100th birth anniversary was marked, recalled the years of his rule as good times for the country and only 17 percent - bad times. Some 50 percent of Russians believe that Brezhnev played a positive role in the history of the country, 16 percent, think he played a negative role.
Meanwhile, only 36 percent of respondents wanted “to return the country to that historical period, when Brezhnev ruled it, with all typical features and peculiarities of the life in those years,” 42 percent opposed such comeback in the past.
Quote:
According to the recent public opinion poll conducted by the Levada Centre, 45 percent of young people in the age brackets between 16-18 years stayed undecided about their evaluation of Brezhnev’s era. 44 percent of school students are unaware about the manhunt of dissidents in Brezhnev’s era, 54 percent of respondents do not have the slightest idea about the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.
http://in.rbth.com/articles/2012/11/...era_19001.html

Last edited by kaur; 05-21-2014 at 03:59 PM.
kaur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2014   #10
mirhond
Council Member
 
mirhond's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 370
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaur View Post
mirhond, what can I answer if Russians dream about era that had serious systematic errors. Memory is tricky thing that picks out usuallly good things. Freud may think other way. Do you still like Жигули beer or prefer Carlsberg? What about those Sovet ice creams that were dreams of childhood? What about Magnum ice cream? Did you like riding Десна-2 bicycle, or Scott would be better? Oh, I forgot that those NATO/EU guys are producing those things in Russia now together with Russian oligarhs ...
Exactly, not to mention that almost all they produce is BS, because almost no one follow technical requirements and standards. That is why customers usually prefer Belorussian dairy, meat and other staple, which is usually way better then Russian stuff. So when Belorussians lament about tirannical Lukashenko most Russians answer like: "You don't want him - excellent, we take him, we need such kind of a guy" So, if mass and public executions make business to follow the standarts, bureaucracy to obey the law and both to work for common good - we'd support it, because it's a part of a dream, along with free health care, free edication and ridiculously cheap housing we had in the days of yore. Class society is acceptable - unjust class society is unacceptable.
__________________
Haeresis est maxima opera maleficarum non credere.

Last edited by mirhond; 05-21-2014 at 04:46 PM.
mirhond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2014   #11
kaur
Council Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,005
Default

Why Russians need this Lukashenko guy? If I remember correctly Russian state pays every year 20 billion to support this system. 10x more than to Crimea in the future.
kaur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2014   #12
kaur
Council Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,005
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaur View Post
Why Russians need this Lukashenko guy? If I remember correctly Russian state pays every year 20 billion to support this system. 10x more than to Crimea in the future.
My bad with numbers. Bad memory

Quote:
Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Shatalov told Reuters in March that Belarus and Kazakhstan received about $6 billion annually from Russia in direct and indirect support and said that could increase by $30 billion if all trade restrictions were lifted in 2015 after the union is created.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...9BO06S20131225

In 2012 support was 6 billion. Belarus budget was 16 billion. First chapter here

http://www.osw.waw.pl/sites/default/...us_ang_net.pdf

Here are some numbers about Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria for comparsion.

http://www.theatlantic.com/internati...kraine/284197/

Armenia.

Russian cumulative investment in Armenia currently exceeding $3 billion, or approximately one half of total foreign investment in this country whose total annual total GDP was reported at $9.8 billion in 2012 (Interfax, Armenpress, September 3, 4).

http://www.jamestown.org/regions/rus...8#.U3zb7doaySM
kaur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2014   #13
mirhond
Council Member
 
mirhond's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 370
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaur View Post
Why Russians need this Lukashenko guy?
Answer is obvious - quality of Belorussian goods, fair pentions and working factories are strongly assosiated with his ironfist rule.
__________________
Haeresis est maxima opera maleficarum non credere.
mirhond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2014   #14
carl
Council Member
 
carl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Denver on occasion
Posts: 2,460
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mirhond View Post
disclaimer #1. any links and sources which is going to be posted here are quite possibly biased
disclaimer #2. Unsupported claims and irrelevant ravings will be ignored.

Ok, lets get started.
Before posting anything here, you, Westerners must remember that we, Russians, lived for three generations under stern but (mostly) just supervision of omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent state. If you think it explains everything - you are probably far from truth.
How the whole system has been set up - that is a huge historical question, still unanswered, how it works today, after a dissolution of Soviet state - I'll try to explain.

Now we have a mostly free market economy, paternalistic politics, consumerism ethics and apathetic population.
I won't tell about structure of the economy, it's well known, but I'll tell what people think about it: free market is unjust, capitalism is unhuman, so any ideology which denies it as an economic basis would have public approval.

Most important tool of the paternalistic policy is the controlled media, full of dumb entertainment and, quite recently, spiritual guidance from the Orthodox chirch, pseudo-patriotic sentiments and sheer propaganda Dr Goebbels would be proud of.
Why it works? I think of the part of the answer is simple: people are stupid, so they are unable to tell the truth from the lie, they are politically powerless, because they are trained to be divided, they are in general want to be left alone, but won't mind to listen about great achievements, kicking some asses, stupid Americans who can't find Ukrain on the map or spoiled and souless Europeans - the majority of the Russians exposed to the media are prone to any lies which brings a little bit of comfort.

End of part one. Part two on the way (may be)
Mirhond: That is an extremely useful statement. It is just about the best and most cogent outline of the Russian popular worldview that I've read. You obviously can judge firsthand and I only know what I read but it is almost perfectly consistent with all I've read and what Russia has done.
__________________
"We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene
carl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2014   #15
carl
Council Member
 
carl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Denver on occasion
Posts: 2,460
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMA View Post
When the a Soviet Union collapsed the greatest mistake made by the US (and their western allies) was not to dismantle the Russian Empire to a status where there would no threat to neighboring minor nations of non Russians ever again. We are seeing the results of one of histories great strategic mistakes as Russia once again develops expansionist dreams and converts them into reality paid for by an oil industry that never should have been allowed to be developed.

Russia will probably get away with it because of the US fear of nuclear weapons (as was the real reason for the soft settlement at the collapse of the Soviet Union). So keep testing rockets and issuing threats about using weapons and the US will stay out of it.

The reason for this fear of Russian nuclear weapons is that it is generally believed that the Russians are actually stupid enough to use nuclear weapons despite the assurance of the complete destruction of Russia if they ever do. So don't do anything to lead the US to start to think Russians are really capable of intelligent and logical thought.
This leads me to comment about something I've been thinking of for a bit. I wonder if historians, however many there may be left, in 200 years will judge the Americans with great harshness for what we didn't do. What we didn't do was make certain that after WWII nobody else developed nuclear weapons. We didn't maintain a nuclear monopoly.

We could have done it. The Western nations would have simply been told not to develop any or no aid and by the way pay your war debts tomorrow. The USSR and Red China would have required something harsher, no development or no (pick a city or province). We didn't because it would have required a willingness to actually torch some cities and we weren't willing. Besides the egalitarian streak in us always is susceptible to the argument that if we have something why can't they?

But what did that get us? The Pak Army/ISI with nukes, North Korea with nukes, the Russians with nukes. What it got us, the world, is a lot of people with nukes and more getting them every decade. And many of those realize that if they convince others they are willing to use them regardless of the consequences they most often get their way. They will continue to get their way until they meet somebody who will call a their bluff that may not be a bluff and then-tens of millions, maybe hundreds of millions dead. I believe we are a lot closer to that in the Indian sub-continent than people realize. In any event it will happen somewhere in the next 50-80 years.

So that is where we stand today. Nukes everywhere in the hands of some very bad people and an almost certain nuke war somewhere. Now let's say we were the only ones with nukes, nobody else, just us. Things would be rather more stable I think, regardless of what you think of the noble Americans or the imperialist war-mongering Yankees. The threat of incineration wouldn't be hanging over the heads on millions and millions of Indians and Pakistanis. That is why I think the historians many tomorrows from now will judge us very harshly.
__________________
"We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene
carl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2014   #16
Dayuhan
Council Member
 
Dayuhan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
Posts: 3,136
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaur View Post
Why Russians need this Lukashenko guy?
I suspect it has a lot to do with fear that any move to replace him could get out of control and put a pro-western government in... the old "he's a bastard, but he's our bastard" attitude.

Of course if Putin comes out of the Ukraine mess feeling very confident, he might try destabilizing Lukashenko to create a pretext for outright annexation, but that is of course very speculative.
__________________
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

H.L. Mencken
Dayuhan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2014   #17
mirhond
Council Member
 
mirhond's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 370
Default

Specially for kaur

a good article about cossaks http://lurkmore.to/%D0%9A%D0%B0%D0%B7%D0%B0%D0%BA%D0%B8

Аннотация: Казак - это костюмированный кубаноид.
__________________
Haeresis est maxima opera maleficarum non credere.
mirhond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2014   #18
kaur
Council Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,005
Default

Quote:
Sunday, June 8, 2014

Window on Eurasia: Russians Back Putin Because He Offers Illusion Russia is Again a Superpower, Levinson Says


Paul Goble

Staunton, June 8 – Much of the public support in Russia for Vladimir Putin reflects the fact that his actions allow Russians to believe if only for a time that their country is once again a great power even though they fully understand that Russia is not in a position to be one the equal of the United States, according to Aleksey Levinson of the Levada Center.
Quote:
In short, the supposed unity of the Russian people behind Putin is just as fragile and ultimately illusory as the supposed return of the Russian Federation to the status of a super power and could disappear more rapidly than many, including Putin and his supporters, now think possible.
http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.be/...ack-putin.html
kaur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2014   #19
SWJ Blog
Council Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 10,782
Default Old Aspirations - New Tensions: “In Search of a New Russian Identity”

Old Aspirations - New Tensions: “In Search of a New Russian Identity”

Entry Excerpt:



--------
Read the full post and make any comments at the SWJ Blog.
This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.
SWJ Blog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2014   #20
Ray
Council Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Calcutta, India
Posts: 1,124
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaur View Post
Do you still like Жигули beer or prefer Carlsberg? What about those Sovet ice creams that were dreams of childhood? What about Magnum ice cream? Did you like riding Десна-2 bicycle, or Scott would be better?
I am not a Russian but I come from a country that has seen and lived socialism in its worst form.

Do I like Carlsberg or western goods?

Sure. There is quality control.

Do I like my country over Carlsberg.

You bet I do.

Can I still be what I am with this dichotomy?

Yes I can.

Do i reject my country for the Western way?

Never.

Therefore, your argument is false.

Further, may I ask why do you forsake your country's products for Chinese products?

What about the crave for Russian vodkas and Beluga and Iranian caviar and Cuban cigars?

In short, what is good and if one can pay, then one enjoys it beyond petty nationalist considerations.

Any answer?

Jingoism has limits.

This is what Patrick O'Brian said:

“But you know as well as I, patriotism is a word; and one that generally comes to mean either my country, right or wrong, which is infamous, or my country is always right, which is imbecile.”

Last edited by Ray; 06-17-2014 at 09:03 PM.
Ray is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:02 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9. ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design © 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation