CYNICISM IS RUSSIA’S NEW IRON CURTAIN

In continuation and small expansion of an earlier post here: https://slswrites.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/russians-give-bupkes-to-red-cross/:

Yes, the entire world has taken note of how pitiably little, virtually nothing, compared to the rest of the civilized world, Russia has done so far to help dealing with the consequences of the Haiti tragedy. Notable, too, is the fact that there have been no clear manifestations of any sense of national shame or even mild psychological discomfort as a result of this utter lack of response from up top in any of the quantifiable segments of Russian society. That, unfortunately, is not a coincidence or some kind of accidental slippage in moral judgment — some temporary eclipse of the country’s collective unconscious, if you will. The all-out cynicism pervading every pore of the contemporary Russian life and largely defining the great majority of Russians’ outlook on the world, is a noxious product of the purposeful, targeted propaganda campaign which has been waged quite relentlessly by Russia’s current political regime for the better part of the oughties decade. Its essence could be boiled dow to the following “argument”: “Yes, we know the people running our country, and those who serve them, are completely corrupt and unprincipled, concerned only with enriching themselves and their friends, making billions for themselves by ripping off Russia’s mineral resources. We know we don’t have free and fair elections, or a real parliament, or freedom of speech on television, or the freedom of political assembly, or the freedom openly to oppose those who run the country. We know all that. But we also know that it’s exactly the same situation everywhere else in the world — in America, and in Europe. Everyone there, in a position of power, also has been bought and paid for. It’s just that they may be little less brazenly open about this, because of the political correctness and all that — and the people in those countries, too, they’ve been a little bit more comprehensively brainwashed about the whole state of affairs, because the propaganda there is more efficient and has been at it for a much longer period of time… and also because those Americans and Europeans, and Americans in particular, they’re just more naive, generally more stupid and narrow-minded, less interested in thinking about what’s what, than we are. So don’t tell us about their precious democracy-shmemocracy there, or about how people there, you know, care about anything or anyone other than their own lives, their own wallets, or about how they don’t steal or cheat as much as everyone does here… Haiti. Ha! Don’t make us laugh. Just a new way of money-laundering for the corporations, and for Obama to boost his popularity with the masses. People are the same everywhere, only here we’re more honest about such things, the real state of affairs, because we’re just more realistically-minded, and because we’re just smarter and more per-spi-ca-cious than they are, to put it simply. Everyone is corrupt, everyone. Everywhere. And everyone. Only we’re capable of recognizing this, and therefore we are able to adjust better to the realities of life — and they’re not, over there.”

Cynicism is Russia’s new Iron Curtain. Cynicism, and the attendant apathy and indifference, and a total lack of respect for a fellow human being. Russians can travel abroad these days, they can watch news on CNN and the BBC, read every newspaper and every political website in the world on the internet — and they do, at least some of them — and this does not make any serious difference, causes no perceptible dent in the way they look at and understand the world beyond Russia’s boundaries. This impenetrable armor of cynicism keeps them safely isolated from the rest of the the world. Everything is known, yet nothing registers, nothing reaches the mind, and nothing stirs the heart.

A very smart, keenly observant, finely nuanced and persuasively argued article on the subject (titled, tellingly, “Where Does the Boundary Lie Between Russia and the Civilization”) –a text much more detailed and larger in scope than this quick post — by the Russian commentator Dmitry Shusharin, can be found here (in Russian only):  http://shusharin.livejournal.com/652957.html.

One of the many key quotes: “… the boundary between Russia and the civilization is insurmountable, because it lies everywhere.”

YT is sad to say it again: Cynicism is Russia’s new Iron Curtain.

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