Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

A TRULY Conservative Take On International Workers Day

May Day in the Ukraine before the American-fomented Maidan coup d’état… may such days return… and soon!

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The greatest achievement of socialism was in resisting morose, nihilistic, and sick western “culture”. Like all political systems formed on an ideological and not a pragmatic basis, Communism had flaws. For example, Liberalism shares many of the same flaws as Communism, in spite of the fact that it sets itself against Communism. Both share an unhealthy fanaticism that’s difficult to oppose successfully. However, on this International Workers Day, I’d like to celebrate the most important achievement of socialism and communism. This achievement happened as much by accident as by design.

Communist and socialist countries were and are generally opposed to the import of American hegemonic pop “culture”. American and broader Western culture in the 20th century became increasingly anti-Christian, anti-family, anti-male, ahistorical, and anti-traditional. Interestingly, in spite of the futurism and atheism implicit in Communism, Communist societies ended up opposing many of the same things that conservatives despise in Western “culture”. For most people living in former communist states, the legacy of former political systems doesn’t manifest itself in people fondly recalling chapters of Das Kapital nor is it about nostalgia over speeches made by Erich Honecker. People tend to look to this era and remember the music of The Aleksandrov Choir, films like Офицеры (Officers), and sweet cartoons like Ну, погоди! (Nu, Pogodi!: Just You Wait!).

Throughout the communist era, particularly in Warsaw Pact countries and in Yugoslavia, there was a general cultural consistency where film, music, and television content was wholesome, historically informed, patriotic, and comforting. Such societies were generous in funding classical orchestras. Performances of both traditional folk, modern, and classical music remained popular and recordings were widely and inexpensively available. Contrast this with the West that at the same time began to increasingly devalue classical music. Likewise, in the West, films became increasingly obscene. By the 1990s, the decade that communism ended in Europe and much of Eurasia, Western pop music, film, and television glorified violence, had a hatred of Christianity, and disseminated sectarianism, whoring, anarchism, and general sickness.

Whilst many think that Liberalism is less left-wing than Communism is, in terms of total cultural output, Communist states produced a culture that was monumentally more conservative than that of the Liberal West. President Putin’s popularity in Russia demonstrated that one could maintain a normal culture and a happy citizenry through maintaining a moderate conservative government. This is exactly what Russia became in the Putin era. Russia still has much work to do to purge itself from garish Western influences, but Russia is broadly heading in the right direction in this respect. In the 1920s and 1930s, many Christians fled the USSR due to religious persecution. However, what has become of the West where many fled to? It now exorcises Christian symbols from the public sphere and both the mainstream and counterculture excoriate Christian values.

Christianity has returned to Russia and the communitarian values of Communism rebounded after the anarchic 1990s.Other post-communist states haven’t been so lucky. A deluge of Western propaganda disguised as “culture” totally swamped many countries in Europe. Indeed, many adopted vulgar American “culture” as a way to enhance their anti-Russian credentials, as such states wrongly equated the Germanic philosophy of Communism with the long history of Russia, which for most of its existence was a conservative Orthodox country, as it’s once again today. For decades, Communism helped these countries resist the Western “cultural” onslaught. In most countries, nothing has replaced this rampart. Russia is an exception that proves the rule. Russia’s rich history and restored superpower status made this exceptional circumstance possible. On this International Workers Day, I long for a time when much of the world that has now gone “West” used to have protection from the social rot of Western Europe and America. In these countries, something much worse has replaced traditional Leninist-Marxism… Cultural Marxism. Many have regrets about this development, but many more remain oblivious. After all, the result of Cultural Marxism is neurosis and oblivion. After all, that’s the point… to conquer and numb simultaneously.

1 May 2017

Adam Garrie

The Duran

http://theduran.com/a-conservative-take-on-international-workers-day/

Editor:

American “conservatism” is Liberalism in ten-league boots. It’s Liberal to the core, with no conservatism in it at all. One need only look at phonies like Sean Hannity and Rod Dreher to realise this. I’m a leftie, and I’m more socially conservative than many “conservatives”. The most successful societies merge a communitarian social stance with a love of the traditions of the people and a love of their creativity. The moneygrubbing American “conservatives” have none of that in their makeup; ergo, they’re not conservative at all… they’re nothing but apologists for the One Percent and their Affluent Effluent lackeys. Money is their god… what did Christ say about those who try to serve two masters? It does comment on their “religiosity”, doesn’t it?

BMD

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Friday, 28 April 2017

Mind the Culture Gap: “Russian Soul” Meets “Big Mac” Culture

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If Russians and Americans learned to understand our cultural differences, it could ease diplomatic tensions a great deal. In the 1980s, Sting sang the lyrics:

I hope the Russians love their children too!

In Russia, the popular group Lube lovingly joked:

Don’t be silly, America, we’re all the same!

Yes, for a few years, we lived learning our similarities. However, why was this Russian-American romance so short-lived? Why did we turn to hate again? Geopolitics and financial issues aside, it’s worthwhile to ask a question:

Are Russians and Americans culturally complimentary or do our cultural differences get in the way of our ability to understand each other?

Samuel Huntington observed in his 1996 The Clash of Civilisations:

Cultural commonalities and differences shape the interests, antagonisms, and associations of states, accordingly, countries with cultural similarities are more likely to cooperate economically and politically, and the major differences in political and economic development among civilisations are clearly rooted in their different cultures.

Are Russians more aggressive by nature?

According to Washington and all of the Western mainstream media, this isn’t up for debate… Russians are bad! How many movies have you seen with Russians portrayed as the good guys?  I can’t recall even one. Russians are the quintessential badass guys, according to Hollywood or any political thriller. Don’t even bother with the portrayal of their politicians! According to Hollywood and most of Washington, Russia has been always up to no good. What do you get by reading Russian history from Western textbooks? According to some, the Russian state expanded left and right like crazy to amass 1/5 of the Earth. Just keep in mind this simple fact… most Russian wars were defensive wars! The acquisition of Siberia and the Far East wasn’t done by wars, but rather by including the native populations with acceptance of their cultural traditions into the Russian Empire.

Villains became humans for a while

In the early 1990s, there was certainly excitement on the both sides of the Atlantic to discover that we are all humans… “Reds” and “Yankees” alike! The peaceful dissolution of the “Evil Empire” took everyone by surprise. Unlike previous Soviet leaders, Gorbachev charmed the West with his smile and promising words of “glasnost” and “perestroika”. In doing so, he dissipated the fears of “Reds” for some time. Later, the perpetually drunk Boris Yeltsin added more humanity to the face of Russians:

Hey, they’re just like us, except that they prefer vodka, while we prefer beer!

At this point, one can almost imagine the archetypal American hugging the badass Russian in mutual understanding. Yes, we were more similar than different.

Manners

Have you observed on the Russian subway that you can spot Americans right away? Just listen up for their loud speaking. It isn’t that they don’t mind revealing the most intimate details of their lives to the public because people around might not understand English… they do it on American public transportation as well. Russians whisper… God forbid people might hear!

Courting/Dating

If any Russian dates an American or vice versa, you can expect a long list of surprises ranging from believing that opening the door for a woman might degrade her as a human being (some American young men seem brainwashed by feminism) to Russian girls’ entrenched belief that men should always pay the bill at the restaurant (even if you are just friends) just because Russian men would never let Russian woman pay for them.

 Smiling

Don’t expect Russians to show a full row of front teeth just because your conditioning in the land of Hollywood leads you to do it for every stranger you meet face to face. Russians consider American smiles fake and insincere. If Russians smile at you, it means:

I like you and it’s a pleasure to be near you.

There is one major difference between Americans and Russians… it has to do with keeping your word!

Russians don’t waste words and they’re direct in their language, foreigners often misunderstood this as rudeness, but the truth is, there’s little tolerance in Russia for hypocrisy. If you don’t like a person… you don’t give them a full-front teeth smile. Russians look down upon duplicity. Russians value each other by how much they can trust each other and any sign of insincerity is enough to break a relationship. For Russians, a man isn’t a man if he can’t keep his word. Either you’re a man of your word, or you’re a little, unreliable, and worthless weasel…  a chatterbox. Men keep their promises; weasels throw away words without meaning or consideration. You learn it early as a child in Russia. When Bush Sr made a promise to Gorbachyov not to expand NATO, Gorbachyov treated him and the USA as a trustworthy partner. Therefore, when every Russian leader after Gorbachyov told the world that they have a problem with NATO expansion and took a break of the promise as an offence… you have to understand that they mean it!

What Washington fails to grasp is that Russians mean what they say. American leaders have to learn to understand that we aren’t the same. Perhaps, the Pentagon and State Department ought to have positions for cultural advisers? It’d be much cheaper than military advisers are; in the end, it might prevent unnecessary wars. Let’s admit it… from rituals of courting, conducting yourself in public, raising children, to high diplomacy… Russians and Americans aren’t the same and it helps to understand our differences to avoid foreign policy and diplomatic blunders.

28 April 2017

Angela Borozna

The Duran

http://theduran.com/mind-the-culture-gap-the-russian-soul-meets-big-mac-culture/

Saturday, 1 April 2017

1 April 2017. Have a Care… It’s April Fool’s Day…

Filed under: social life and customs — 01varvara @ 00.00
Tags: , , ,

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Have a care… it’s April Fool’s Day… all sorts of rubbish and fun will be all over the net. You need to be twice as vigilant today. I’ll post some goodies later…

BMD

Saturday, 18 March 2017

17 March… St Gerasim of the Jordan and the Arrival of the Rooks in Slavic Folklore… With an Excursus on the Evil Spirit Kikimora

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In Russia, this holyday coincided with time of arrival of the rooks. Because of this, the people called it “St Gerasim the Rook-Keeper Day”. The people said:

  • If you see a rook, spring is on its way.
  • I saw a rook, so, spring has come.

In folklore, the behaviour of the rooks on this day predicted how spring would go:

If the rooks return to their old nests, it’ll be a good spring. The ice will melt all at once.

However, if the rooks arrived earlier than 17 March, it was a bad omen. It predicted a lean and hungry year. In order to speed up the arrival of balmy days, peasants baked little rooks made of rye flour… “грачей” (grachei: rooks).

Another legend about this day was:

St Gerasim the Rook-Keeper brought the rooks back to Rus; with this, Holy Rus throws out the witches.

On St Gerasim Day, people baked grachei as talismans against Kikimora (a pagan Old Russian mythological figure). In popular belief, she was a dwarf with a thimble; her body was thin as straw. She was ugly, with slovenly and disordered clothing. Her eyes were of different colours. With one, she gave the evil eye; with the other, she gave leprosy. A less-common belief was that Kikimora was a naked girl or one who wore nothing but a tunic, wielding a scythe.

Folklore said that if you saw Kikimora, it predicted trouble in your house. Peasants believed that Kikimora was the harbinger of death in a family. People feared Kikimora and did everything that they could, no matter how difficult, to keep her away. On St Gerasim Day, people believed, Kikimora was quiet and placid; they could kick her out of the house. On other days, they protected themselves against Kikimora with prayers and talismans. The best talisman against Kikimora was a куриный бог (kuriny bokh: chicken god), a stone with a natural hole in it (that is, a hole not bored by a person). Besides this, people hung broken jugs over the flap covering the chicken coop to protect the birds against Kikimora.

Kikimora was just one of the household spirits from Old Russian paganism. She feared juniper branches, so people hung them around the house, even wrapping juniper twigs around the salt-cellar to protect it so that she wouldn’t spoil the salt, as it was very expensive in olden days. If Kikimora rattled the dishes and made noise, then, people had to wash the dishes in water and sprinkle the juniper branches to make her go away. Then, people searched for any foreign object that Kikimora may have placed in the house. They had to remove it carefully from the house and throw it away… it was even better to burn it. Superstition had it that if someone wanted to harm another, they’d leave a cursed object in the house. To remove the curse, you had to remove the object. Folklore had it that if you swept the floor with a wormwood broom, unholy things couldn’t bother you, including Kikimora. This was one of the most powerful talismans. People thought that the pungent smell of this herb repelled evil force and evil people.

17 March 2017

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