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 Post subject: Why Russians Feel So Isolated and Hostile
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: 23 Jan 2013 13:42 
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Why Russians Feel So Isolated and Hostile

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People who are surprised by certain recurrences in Russian history apparently are not aware that popular culture changes very slowly, if at all.

U.S. history is a good example. The U.S. emancipated itself from Britain 250 years ago, forming a republic intended to be unique. Yet even today, our political and legal culture is thoroughly imbued with concepts and values inherited from Britain.

Russians are no different, carrying in their minds and hearts the fears and hopes inherited from their ancestors. The most ambitious and cruel attempt undertaken in human history to create a new "Soviet man" proved a dismal failure. When I read public opinion polls conducted in post-Soviet Russia, I am struck by how many of the opinions expressed resemble those of tsarist Russia.

Take, for example, the political system. Russians mistrust democracy because they identify it with chaos and crime. When asked what they value more — security or freedom — they overwhelmingly opt for security, apparently unaware that the two are not incompatible.

They want their government to be strong to protect them from foreign and domestic enemies, most of which are imaginary. They also have believed for centuries that Russia has a right to be a superpower, feared rather than respected.

Another recurrent theme in Russian behavior is low respect for law and private property. Until 1864, Russia had no legal system worthy of the name. Foreign travelers to pre-1864 Russia often noted that Russians were subject to arbitrary judgments by the tsar and his officials. And even after the 1864 judiciary reforms were enacted, political crimes were judged not by courts but by administrative bodies. Contempt for law, therefore, survives to this day. According to public opinion polls, the majority of Russians regard the courts as corrupt.

Historically speaking, private property is the basis of freedom. In countries where it is respected, the government depends on its citizens for essential income and thus must respect their rights. Until the late 18th century in tsarist Russia, private property, for all practical purposes, did not exist. All the land, the main source of wealth, belonged to the monarch, who leased it to his nobles in return for service. He not only ruled the country, he literally owned it.

Furthermore, owing to the institution of the rural community, the peasants, who made up four-fifths of the country's population, did not own the land they tilled but merely held it in temporary possession. As a result of this historical heritage, reinforced by seven decades of communism, Russians have a low opinion of property as a basic human right.

Another significant inheritance from the past is hostility to the outside world, especially Europe and the U.S. This attitude has religious origins. The Russian Orthodox Church, which for centuries dominated thinking and attitudes in the country, inculcated in its followers the belief that Western religions were heretical. This view became secularized in modern times and translates into a sense that the West is hostile. Asked in 1998 "Do you feel European?" a mere 12 percent of the respondents replied "yes, always," whereas 56 percent said "practically never." As a result, many Russians perceive themselves as isolated from the outside world.

I believe that once a majority of Russians start realizing that their country is not threatened from the outside, they will be able to devote themselves more assiduously to changing their attitudes and institutions, among which rule of law and human rights are the most important.


By Richard Pipes, a historian and professor emeritus at Harvard University, This comment appeared in Vedomosti.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Russians Feel So Isolated and Hostile
Post Number:#2  PostPosted: 24 Jan 2013 07:53 
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Richard Pipes
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

Richard Edgar Pipes (born July 11, 1923) is a Polish-American academic who specializes in Russian history, particularly with respect to the Soviet Union.

In 1976 he headed Team B, a team of analysts organized by the Central Intelligence Agency who analysed the strategic capacities and goals of the Soviet military and political leadership.

Richard Pipes was born in Cieszyn, Poland to an assimilated Jewish family (whose name had originally been spelled "Piepes"). His father Marek was a businessman and a Polish legionnaire. By Pipes's own account, during his childhood and youth, he never thought about the Soviet Union; the major cultural influences on him were Polish and German. The Pipes family fled occupied Poland in October 1939 and arrived in the United States in July 1940, after seven months passing through Italy. Pipes became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1943 while serving in the United States Army Air Corps. He was educated at Muskingum College, Cornell University, and Harvard University.


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I think that Richard Pipes is an angry old commie hater.

Russian "distrust of democracy", because they identify it with chaos and crime... is based upon accurate observation.

It is rubbish to say most Russian enemies are imaginary. What developed nation ever suffered so much from foreign invasion by enemies in our lifetime?

As for "the most ambitious and cruel attempt in human history to create a new Soviet man" ... spare us your lack of understanding. The "most ambitious and cruel" attempt of any kind in human history was the project of Germany.

Mr. Pipes comments remind me of some of the words of that project. Those monsters had a plan for the New Soviet Man, and woman. It could have been more successful without the never ending fear and hate held by capitalists who have zero interest in the masses of humanity. Those capitalists continue to fear every sign of the organized non-rich. It scares them out of their wits and they fight back... with brilliant lying propaganda like that of the American right wing Republican Party.

Pipes probably wants a desk at Fox News... the most well funded and powerful propaganda project in history. Soviet Man and Nazi Monster never saw the likes of Fox News.

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 Post subject: Re: Why Russians Feel So Isolated and Hostile
Post Number:#3  PostPosted: 25 Jan 2013 02:48 
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This article is another form of the nonsense we used to hear during the cold war, yet another round of justification for what is essentially a hostile policy bent on carrying out a new version against Russia.

Like this one.......



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