Friday, April 4, 2014

Replies to some comments to my post about Europe and Russia

First, thanks a lot for the very interesting comments you posted in response to my post about Russian-European relations.  Since I did not want to put up with the (silly) length limitations in the comments section, I decided to reply to a few your comments in a separate post.  Sorry I cannot reply to all of them, so I had to pick:

Here we go:

Anonymous wroteactually europe ahs bene infiltrated and destroyed by the english spies who made sure after deloreans departure that british agents be placed inside most policy making part of european commission.
eurpoe is rotten today because of english scumbags.itis not american slave but english slave.

Reply: Sadly, there is much truth to this.  The British policy towards Europe is directly dictated by geography.  Britain, being a seapower, is only safe when Europe is either suffering from internal divisions and wars or when Europe is weak or, even better, under US domination.  A united and peaceful Europe would be a huge threat to the British Empire.  At least this was true until 1945 when the world entered a new, global, stage in which the USA, another seapower, needs to keep the Eurasian landmass and most of the world, really, either in a state of chaos or under its domination.  A lot of US strategic thinking is still influenced by A.T. Mahan and Halford Mackinder.

Augustin L. wrote: The question facing much of Russia's elites is can the eurasian camp institutionalize and win against the liberals who are roaming the halls of the Kremlin ? Segundo, to win the coming struggle on the world stage Russia needs to clearly articulate an economic, cultural and political worldview with broad appeal such as: respect of private property (curbing of monopolies and oligarchy), an emphasis on physical economy and large scale infrastructure projects as opposed to the financialization of the west, a repudiation of excessive usury, free speech (without the liberal excesses of the pussy riot types), A real dialogue of civilization opposed to the zionist fuelled clash. Such a program formalized and backed with a muscular diplomacy aimed at the non aligned world should get Russia a long way. Saker what say you ?

Reply: I say that I agree. For one thing, Russia still does not really know what it stands for.  Yes, some general principles such as social justice and solidarity, support for international law in a multi-polar system, individual private property rights, a regulated market economy, sovereignization, etc.  But these are general principles, not a cohesive cultural or civilizational project (I wrote about that here and here).  Orthodox Christianity is the core spiritual, civilizational and cultural model only for a small minority of Russians, the vast majority are still only very superficially religious and very ignorant of what true Orthodox Christianity is.  Islam is becoming more active, but its adherents are also a minority.  So the fact is that Russia today stands much more against something than for something.  Many Russians today discuss the issue that "Russia has to develop a national idea" but nobody can agree on what should form the basis for this idea.  My personal belief is that the real Russia can be found in the history of Russia before the 18th century and that none of what came later was truly Russian in its ethos and roots. But looking back to pre 18th century Russia is not something most Russians are willing to consider so that is a nonstarter, at least at this point in time.  The 21st century Russia is neither the pre-1917 Russia nor the Soviet Russia.  Nor is it the pre 18th century one.  So the modern Russia really has no roots of its own, just a strong but vague sense of what it does not want to be (Soviet or Anglo).  I don't have a solution to offer here, my own family and cultural roots go back to the old Russia of before Peter I and I have no idea how one can be Russian without such roots.  And yet, Italy is neither Rome or the Italy of the Papal States, but it still exists.  And France is not the France of the Capetians or of Louis XIV, but it also still exists.  Russia today must reinvent itself as best can be and find some type of new national vision because a country without such a spiritual and cultural identity is like a body without an immune system: it is susceptible to any virus or bacteria which it comes in contact with.

Fool on the Hill wrote: When you start looking at the lives of others you begin to notice, not the obvious ethno-cultural divides or geopolitical divides, but rather the class and economic disparities, i.e ., the 99 vs 1 per centers, which cut across Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, et al. as well as across countries. 

Reply: I absolutely agree.  I came to the conclusion that if there is one idea which all of mankind has to urgently rediscover is the idea of class politics.  One of the best tricks played against the rest of us by the 1%ers was to describe the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 as some kind of proof that Marx was wrong and all of Marxism useless.  That was truly a huge mistake.  There is a lot in the Marxist critique of capitalism which has never been disproved or even seriously challenged.  Sure Marx and Marxism can be wrong on this or that point, but dismissing it all is like dismissing Newtonian physics on the ground that Einsteinian or quantum physics superseded them when, in fact, Einstein and Plank were both very much standing on the shoulders of Newton.  What our society has done is, to use my comparison, to dismiss all of Newton's theories and replace them by some kind of hocus-pocus called "free market capitalism".  I would personally argue that class theory is at least as relevant today as it was in the late 19th century or, really, even more.  All of the modern world is now directly shaped by the 1%ers who rule the world while the rest of us sit deaf, blind and dumb - unable to even conceptualize a 1%-ruled social order because we were brainwashed into dismissing all of Marxism.  And even though I do not consider myself a Marxist at all, I am absolutely sure that we will never make any progress towards the liberation of the 99% until we fully turn around and rehabilitate Marxist political theory as an indispensable tool to understand much, but not all, of history and politics.  There is, indeed, much nonsense in Marxism which needs to be dumped, but there are also much very important and even critically important elements in Marxism which must imperatively be studied and remembered.

Alexis TK27 wrote: Britain is content to host Russian oligarchs, France is content to build Navy ships for Russia, Germany is content to buy Russian gas and oil.  In short, European leaders are much wiser in deeds, than they are in words

Reply: Sorry, but I cannot accept that argument. Why does the UK host Russian oligarchs?  Because it wants their money (and hopes to use them against Russia).  Why is France building the Mistrals for Russia?  Because it wants Russian money.  Why is Germany buying Russian gas - because it needs it and has no other option.  In all these cases these countries are move by basic self-interest, not because European leaders are wiser in deeds.  Furthermore, in international relations words are deeds - that is to say that the never ending flow of hostile statements coming from the EU is, in itself, a very important deed.

Alexis TK27 wrote: links of Russia with Europe - or should I come out of the closet now and say: with the rest of Europe? ;-) - go much farther and are far deeper than the mere geographical (examples of geography, economy, culture, language, etc,)

Reply:  I am not denying any of that.  All I am saying is that regardless of this past, the future of Russia cannot be tied to a continent and society which is in clear decay and, frankly, slowly dying.  Sooner or later, a new Europe, not the one of EU and its Masonic sponsors will appear, and then it will be appropriate to reconsider it all, but for the foreseeable future Europe has basically rendered itself irrelevant, unattractive and useless.  If an "Europe des Patries" rises one day from the ruins of the EU, then this might all change again.

SileSlav wrote: What about 18ht cent. when disgusting and shameful division/conquer of Poland/Lithuania between Austro_Hungary, Prusia and car-ruling Russia took place. What about Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania conquested in the 30th of XXc, what happen in summer 1920 when bolshevics attacted Poland and being defeated and did it once again backstabbed Poles in Sept.17th 1939 togheter w/that time Stalin's big-buddy A.Hitler? What Russia is still doing in Kaliningrad oblast, is it historic part of Russia, no, never was. That's what U said not once attacked West? Well, where acc. to You E-W Europe division line is? Oder river? or maybe Vistula, better yet eastwards up to Dniepr riv

Reply: Poland? Lithuania?  You got to be kidding me!  You might have mentioned the disgusting invasion of France in 1813 or the revolting invasion of Germany in 1945.  If there is one country on earth which truly deserved to be invaded by Russia it is Poland with is centuries long warfare against Orthodox Christians and its repeated attempts to subjugate Russia.  Ditto for Lithuania.  As for Latvia and Estonia - they never even existed as countries, so what are you talking about?!  Russian wars against the Hanseatic League, the Swedes or the Livonian Confederation?  But none of them were "Latvian" or "Estonian".  As for the Bolsheviks attacking the Poles - did you ever ask yourself what the said Poles were doing in the Ukraine during the civil war?  As for Hitler and Stalin being big-buddy - this was never an alliance but a non-aggression treaty which Stalin managed to secure from Hitler before Britain (which was also negotiating) did and which gave Stalin time to prepare for war.  Your post is typical of the kind of absolute nonsense which East Europeans who should not history post because they have been completely indoctrinated and brainwashed in the role of "eternal victims of those bad bad Russian imperialists".  Let me promise you this: the next time Poland attacks Russia (with out without NATO), expect Russians to shamefully conquer Poland again :-P  If Russian tanks made it to Berlin - they can also make it to Mons, if needed.

E. wrote: Russia's elites have been trying to shift the country Westwards for hundreds of years (since at least the Raskol in the 1650s, whereupon the znamenny chant was forgotten - and even more strongly since Peter I, when the capital was moved to the Western edge of the country). This couldn't fail to have an effect. The strongest effect perhaps (at least for me, as this is my field of study) is that the greatest artistic works of Russia all take after Western European forms, rather than Central Asian or Chinese ones.

Reply: This is very true, but I would suggest that while the Russian elites were most definitely trying to imitate Western art, it would not be a solution to switch this behavior around and imitate Chinese or Central Asian art.  Russian iconography, architecture or music have been influenced by many external sources of inspiration, and that is how it should be, but they definitely had their own identity.  Compare Znamenny chant to Byzantine chant and you immediately see that.  Or compare Church of the Intercession on the Nerl to Greek or Italian churches and the same will strike you.  Russia is most definitely at the intersection of Asia and Europe and the choice is not "either - or" but a mix and adaptation of (hopefully) the best of both.


One more important thing I think I should mention here:

This discussing made me realize that I forgot to mention what is probably the most important question of all: where did Russia come from?  What *is* Russia, really?

I submit that Russia was born of three different "parents":

1) Rus: The old Slavic/Viking nations which lived in what is called "The Ukraine" today.
2) Byzantium: The conversion of these nations to Orthodox Christianity in the late 10th century
3) The Mongol "Orda": The so-called "Tatar Yoke" (roughly 13th through 15th century)

My daughter likes to say that "we are a mix of Vikings and Mongols who became Christians" and she is right.  These three elements have mixed together to produce the Russian nation, culture, ethos and civilization.  To some, this is a dreadful mix, and I can actually fully understand that, especially coming from a West European.  I would also argue that of the three "parents" the least influential was the old Rus and the most influential was Byzantium, with the Mongol Orda in the middle.  That was true until the 18th century when all this was overturned by the Russian elites who felt a "Drang nach Westen" mostly due to their own ethnic roots.  Modern Russia has only kept a superficial connection to these original "parents" and is now wondering what its place in the world should be.  In many ways, 21st century Russia is now re-starting from a tabula rasa which makes past history maybe not irrelevant (definitely not), but at least not decisive any more. 

Putin and his Eurasian Sovereignists are now in a position to make virtue out of necessity and direct Russia in almost any direction they want without having to struggle against an overwhelmingly powerful historical momentum.  At a time when the AngloZionist Empire is absolutely determined to engage in a full-spectrum confrontation against Russia and when Europe has turned into a silent and submissive US protectorate, there is simply nothing attractive for Russia in its "western partners".  The West can be either a threat to deal with, or a source of economic exchanges.  That's about it.  The rest of the Eurasian landmass has so much more to offer in every conceivable aspect that the choice for Russia is, I think, rather obvious.

Kind regards to all,

The Saker