I have updated my blogroll, deleting one redundant link to a site which doesn’t seem to have posted anything new for months, and adding a couple of new links: to Meduza and The Duran. The fact that I’m connecting to both those sites, despite their very different politics, is indicative of my desire to listen to a broad variety of viewpoints concerning Russia. To that end, I have long since listed on my blogroll a bunch of websites whose content I almost always vehemently disagree with. I doubt, for instance, that ‘The Power Vertical’ has ever said anything I could remotely endorse. But it’s important that we don’t live in a ‘filter bubble’ in which we block out people whose views don’t coincide with our own. Truth comes through dialogue, engagement, and discussion, not censorship.
That said, there are limits. Being on my blogroll isn’t an endorsement, but it is a recognition that the site in question is at least not entirely un-respectable. There are websites which discuss Russia and international affairs, which I’m not prepared to link to. I have, for instance, never put The Saker on my blogroll due to its incessant talk of ‘Anglo-Zionist’ conspiracies. That is not something I wish to be associated with.
With this in mind, I have removed the connection to Russia Insider as a response to Charles Bausmann’s ill-judged recent article about Jews. I don’t think that I can stop Russia Insider reprinting my articles if it wishes, but henceforth I will no longer encourage people to visit that site.
Countering the widespread nonsense being spoken and printed about Russia is hard enough as it is. It becomes harder when those wishing to do so make extremist statements and thereby taint others engaged in similar activity by association. Moderation; nuance; balance – those are the values which we need to bring to the discussion, and those are the values which I hope this blog succeeds in promoting.