Voices from Russia

Thursday, 26 November 2015

26 November 2015. Happy Thanksgiving From Us to You

00 dozhinki belarus 261115

Dozhinki (Harvest Thanksgiving) celebration in Belarus

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Today is American Thanksgiving… the rest of the world already had Thanksgiving… usually, it occurs around the Harvest (as it does in Canada, occurring in October). That’s so that events can take place outdoors; people set up tables in the yard and feast outside. It’s a festival of thanks for the harvest, so people take the first-fruits to the church for blessing (and distribution to the poor afterwards). Thanksgiving didn’t begin with the English Puritans… it’s an ancient and venerable holiday, known to all peoples.

Have a wonderful day with your family and friends…

BMD

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Putin Hails Traditionalism as Core of Russian National Identity

00 There'll Always be a Russia. Summer in the Village. 21.09.13

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On Thursday, President Vladimir Putin touted traditionalism as the heart of the Russian national identity; lamenting threats like globalisation and multiculturalism, the drive for a “unipolar world”, and the erosion of Christian values… including an exaggerated focus on the rights of sexual minorities. addressing several hundred Russian and foreign officials, scholars and other public figures at a Kremlin-backed conference in northwestern Russia, Putin said, “Without the values at the core of Christianity and other world religions, without the moral norms that’ve been shaped over millennia, inevitably, people would lose their human dignity”. In a speech and question-answer session lasting over three hours at the 10th annual meeting of the so-called Valdai Club, broadcast live on Russian television and news websites, Putin lambasted “Euro-Atlantic countries” where “any traditional identity, including sexual identity, is rejected. Their policy equates families with many children with same-sex families, belief in God with belief in Satan. Any minority’s right to be different must be respected, but the right of the majority mustn’t be questioned”. Putin shifted toward conservative rhetoric ever since returning to the Kremlin for a third time in 2012, after a four-year term as prime minister. Regularly, he’s promoted traditional values in public speeches… a move that political analysts saw as an attempt to rally his conservative core constituency in the face of growing public discontent and a slowing economy. Many of the liberal values criticised in his speech are associated with the urban middle class that was a driving force behind large-scale anti-Kremlin protests in Moscow after controversial parliamentary elections in late 2011.

19 September 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://www.en.rian.ru/russia/20130919/183591728/Putin-Hails-Traditionalism-as-Core-of-Russias-National-Identity.html

Editor’s Note:

Caveat lector! The article uses the words “conservative” and “liberal” in their Russian meaning. That is, “liberal” means anti-traditional Neoliberalism, which INCLUDES laissez-faire crapitalism, so-called “libertarianism”, and individualism. On the other hand, “conservative” means the philosophy of Graf Stolypin and the Church, NOT the fantasies of the US Republican Party, Fox News, and the National Review. I’d mention that many leftists are more “conservative” than most righties… all that you need to see are the many towns wrecked by “investors” pulling out for areas willing to “deregulate”. That’s NOT Conservative with a large “C”, kids. Socialists are more conservative than the “conservatives”… who woulda thunk it…

BMD

 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

The Role of Traditional Values in Contemporary Society

imperial family of aleksandr aleksandrovich

Families, then (Tsar Aleksandr Aleksandrovich loved his wife and kids, never cheated on her, routinely commuted virtually all death sentences to life imprisonment, and hid a bottle of brandy in his boot… what’s not to like?)…

******

viktoria-parkhomchuk-a-family-idyll

families, now…

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Recently, the role of moral values in society has taken centre-stage in public and political discourse. Increasingly, their status as “universal” is under question, and core fundamental concepts receive new, sometimes contradictory interpretations. We must draw a clear distinction between those indisputable values that guided mankind for centuries over its journey of self-development, and the ultraliberal {“liberal” in the European sense, that is, Anglosphereconservatism”: editor} trends that flourished in the early 21st century.

The collapse of the USSR and the socialist bloc in the late 1980s took Western academe by surprise. It also led to the disappearance of the bipolar political and ideological structures that stabilised international relations throughout the 20th century, paving the way for the triumph of neoliberalism. This latter was the only game in town for some time, much as the “unipolar moment” had been. Some more idealistic researchers even started to talk about the “end of history,” meaning the end of the historic creativity of man and nations. In this regard, I can’t help but refer to the interpretation of the “end of history” by the Most Rev Rowan Williams in his book Dostoevsky: Language, Faith, and Fiction (Making of the Christian Imagination). The euphoria in international relations was short-lived, because of the experience of the first decade of this century, and, then, the global financial and economic crisis. This suggests that talk of the “end of history” usually heralds serious upheavals.

Neoliberalism prompted a number of profound shifts in social development, largely endorsing principles such as political correctness, and the dictatorship of the minority. The “permissiveness” inherent in this trend led to some traditional values shared by an often acquiescent majority being squeezed out of public discourse. It’s worth noting that distinctive features of this particular “take” on liberalism included zero tolerance of dissent and radical approaches to imposing this view, often with the government’s active support. One can’t help but recall how nihilism, as it’s materialism taken to its absurd conclusion  locks human nature within a consumerist framework. George Orwell gave a convincing description of where this kind of social engineering can potentially lead.

I’d like to quote President Vladimir Putin’s address to the RF Federal Assembly. He said, “Attempts by the government to encroach on people’s beliefs and views are a manifestation of totalitarianism” and “law can’t instil morality“. Nevertheless, this is exactly what’s happening now, even though those involved formally deny it. As a result, the erosion of the cultural and moral social environment began with the replacement of its fundamental concepts. Moreover, all this is happening at a time when the role of religion has been on the rise world-wide, including in Islamic countries. At the heart of the issue lies a search for a common denominator between cultures and civilisations. This is essential for better mutual understanding in the modern world. As Madeleine Albright wrote in her book The Mighty and the Almighty (2006), all “should equally refer to such transcendental issues like history, identity, and faith”. Especially, this is so as “the three monotheistic religions provide a rich tradition of overlapping principles, ethics, and beliefs”. I believe that if we perceive society as a purely socio-mechanistic construct, if we ignore its more subtle moral and spiritual nature, it can have fatal consequences for that very society’s life, and, indeed, its future.

2 April 2013

Aleksandr Yakovenko

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/alexander_yakovenko_blog/20130402/180394557/Ambassadors-Notebook-The-Role-of-Traditional-Values-in.html

Editor’s Note:

Many Americans, in particular, are “thrown” by the fact that Russians use English differently than Americans do. For Russians, “liberal” retains its original meaning… “the absence of state controls on private affairs”. That’s to say, the Free Market Nihilism of Anglosphere “conservatives”. The US Republican Party, the Canadian and British Conservative Parties, and the Australian Liberal Party all share this adoration of the Free Market and the concomitant worship of wealth and greed.

“Liberal” in Russia (and on the Continent, as well) does NOT mean “leftist” or “social democratic”. It means a soulless and corrosive nihilistic scrapping of all constructive government regulation, and the trashing of the rights of the non-wealthy. The political parties mentioned above DO believe in the “dictatorship of the minority”… they bow down before oligarchs, gun nutters, religious kooks, economic tinkerers, stock market manipulators, and media moguls. If “law can’t instil morality” (President Putin is right, here), then, we shouldn’t be waving placards in anti-abortion marches; we should be helping unwed mothers, seeing to it that larger families have the wherewithal to raise their kids (including help from the state, of course), and opposing oligarch-inspired cuts to social benefits and wages.

When viewed sanely, with a proper viewpoint, things aren’t quite what Fox News, Pat BuKKKanan, and Rod Dreher propagate. Anyone who opposes sane government regulation and intervention is a godless nihilist… never forget that (the worst of the lot are the Evangelical poseurs, with their smarmy pseudo-religion). Also, remember that “libertarian” is nothing but a euphemism for “wilful, spoilt childishness”. We have a job to do…

BMD 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Do Traditional Values Have a Future?

tatiana-mikhedova-my-family-from-age-to-age

My Family from Age to Age

Tatiana Mikhedova

2000s

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On 27 September 2012, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution submitted by Russia on “Promoting Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms through a Better Understanding of Traditional Values of Mankind: Best Practises”. More than 60 states sponsored this initiative, including, collectively, members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the League of Arab States. The resolution reiterates the idea that understanding of and respect for traditional values both encourage and facilitate the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

We strongly believe that all cultures and civilisations, in their traditions, religions, and beliefs, share a common set of values that belong to mankind in its entirety, and that those values have made an important contribution to the development of human rights, norms, and standards. The family, society, and educational institutions all play key roles in asserting these values. In a broader sense, traditions underpin national identity. It’s widely-recognised that manifestations and symbols of national identity unite people and underpin their sense of national pride, community, and continuity. It’d be no exaggeration to say that traditional values are the backbone of every society and define its existence. By protecting traditional values, we protect our societies from destabilisation, the erosion of fundamental moral principles, loss of national identity, and basic cultural codes. It’s clear that safeguarding human rights goes hand in hand with preserving traditional values.

The resolution that Russia initiated calls on UN member states to recognise and reaffirm the vital role of traditional values in promoting human rights. This is the third resolution in this vein adopted by the Human Rights Council since 2009. However, a few states, namely the USA and some EU members, voted against it. Their position is quite clear… they see traditional values as a way of justifying human rights abuses, particularly against those considered the most vulnerable members of society. Such arguments and unwillingness to collaborate on the draft are regrettable. Russia is open to dialogue and cooperation in this sphere, but we think that no state or group of states has the right to speak on human rights in the name of the entire international community. After all, we have universal instruments, such as the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, amongst others. However, in some regions, the concept of human rights evolved considerably beyond that common denominator. Imposing that outcome on others isn’t an option. What, then, can we do?

I’m convinced that human rights issues should draw nations together, and that the Human Rights Council should focus on finding ways to accentuate the fact that human rights don’t exist in a societal vacuum. They didn’t emerge from nowhere. If traditional values crumble, so will human rights, since that would destroy the moral fabric that holds society together. It isn’t about which come first. There’s a real need to promote the understanding that human rights and traditional values are interconnected. To this end, it’s important to take into account the cultural, civilisational, historical, and religious heritage of all communities and nations. The concept of traditional values will only benefit from absorbing elements of different cultures. This is even more important now, when this period of global economic crisis puts the very foundations of social cohesion to the test.

17 January 2013

Aleksandr Yakovenko

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/blogs/20130117/178839002/Ambassadors_Notebook_Do_Traditional_Values_Have_a_Future.html

Editor’s Note:

Let’s keep it simple and focused. The thesis of this essay is that the USA has no right to impose its idiosyncratic notions on the rest of the world under the guise of “human rights” and “traditional values”. This is especially true considering that the USA believes that it has the “right” to “impose” such notions using military force and violence against leaders and/or countries that it doesn’t care for (in addition, “traditional values” is used by the same lot to justify brutality and discrimination against individuals and groups that they don’t like). We, as Orthodox believers, follow the moral ethos and civilisational values of the Orthosphere… not the depraved moneygrubbing “values” and the twisted “morals” of the American élite (we have nothing in common with the crackbrained “Evangelicalsectarianism that cheerleads such rubbish). Note well that some of our clergy and laity have sold out to the American apparat… these people are Sergianists of the worst possible sort. Remember the definition of a “Sergianist”:

One who sells out to the godless powers-that-be for personal power and/or personal gain.

That definition fits Paffhausen, Potapov, Alexander Webster, Lyonyo, Jillions, Dreher, Mattingly, Freddie M-G, and Reardon, amongst others (sorts such as Whiteford and Trenham are simply uninformed louts… they’re not sell-outs… neither are Lebedeff, Roman Krassovsky, Behr, and Bobby K… they’re just First Family apparatchiki). Have a care… there ARE “Chekists in riassas”… and you can find them all on the Right, sucking up to the most extreme and irrational elements in the Republican Party (for instance, Paffhausen, Dreher, Mattingly, and Webster have sold out to the K Street stink-tankers). The worm does turn, doesn’t it?

BMD 

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