13 thoughts on “On Russian Messianism”

  1. Not one word about China? The West doesn’t care much about Russia and will just try to neutralize it, hoping that corrupt politicians and inept bureaucrats fail to make the only rational decision, which is to create a united front with China, Iran, and all other countries not yet under US control.

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  2. Oh, I don’t know about this ‘Soviet messianism’ idea. Starting from Brezhnev, 1964, it all but disappeared, it seems to me. And, wikipedia tells me, the idea of “peaceful coexistence” was actually developed by Khrushchev as early as 1959.

    So, one can talk about ‘Soviet messianism’ during about half of its 70 years, and the early, more romantic, half at that.

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  3. Your parting comment – how long it will take Americans to wake up from their messianic zeal – is to the point. Once could definitely argue that the USSR had some level of awakening already from Khrushhev and definitely Brezhnev onward. But if there was any kernel left, it surely got thrown out in 1991. The Germans needed two lost wars to get their Ubermensch-type destination out of their heads: a major humiliation. The Americans have lost almost all wars in the last 60 years, but it hardly touched them. This is both a testimony to their religious zeal – certainly more pronounced than any country I can point to – but also to the distance of the suffering endured. It will take total economic collapse for this to be kicked out of them.

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  4. Pound for pound, Polish messianism is a much greater reality than the Russian variant.

    For that matter terms like “manifest destiny” and leader of the “free world” have a certain quality.

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    1. “Pound for pound, Polish messianism is a much greater reality than the Russian variant.”

      Great messianism but a rather small country. A bit of a problem I would say. In more modern parlance this is called “punching above one’s weight”.

      Regards,

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      1. Poles tend to be very tribal, and I don’t get the impression they pose themselves as a model for the whole world. Well, maybe in the limited sense that they pose as the Catholic bulwark for Europe against Eastern barbarism?

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      2. Poles tend to be very tribal, and I don’t get the impression they pose themselves as a model for the whole world.

        I feel a bit sorry for Polish citizen, Trump no doubt seemed to love and support the reigning party and its politics. As a Christian bulkwark in the midst of an European liberal sea of unbelievers, concerning almost everything that matters? Remember Trump’s bible Photo Op?

        Ok, ok, I’ll stop trolling you now, I promise. Quite a few Polish expats in Germany over the decades, possibly centuries, especially in the Rhinelands. Never ever pondered if they felt or feel tribal. Whatever that may be. 😉

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      3. ‘Poles tend to be very tribal, and I don’t get the impression they pose themselves as a model for the whole world.’

        ******

        A good number of them buy into the notion that they’ve been under-appreciated as a bulwark against Ivan.

        —————————–

        “Great messianism but a rather small country. A bit of a problem I would say. In more modern parlance this is called ‘punching above one’s weight’.’

        *****

        The way its government carries on is somewhat analogous to the little poodle that barks loud under the leash of its owner (in this example NATO).

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  5. Biden and other western leaders’ incessant gibbering about ‘democracy’ is a perfect example of what Orwell warned us about: ‘[A]n effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely … [T]he English language … becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.’

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  6. Dear Paul, the commentary around the summit today made me think about a topic worth discussing on your page: “The US would prefer to ignore Russia, but Putin does not let them.” Or “Biden wants stability, Putin does not.”

    Here is, for example, a tweet from BBC’s Steve Rosenberg from today:
    “Joe Biden wants a relationship with Russia that is stable & predictable. Trouble is, unpredictability is Vladimir Putin’s thing.”

    https://mobile.twitter.com/BBCSteveR/status/1404855322292916224

    Or here the New Yorker five days ago:
    https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-bidens-washington/for-biden-trump-is-an-easy-act-to-follow-in-europe

    “ Biden himself vows to look Putin in the eye and set him straight. The problem, left unsaid, is that Putin’s brand is unpredictability”

    I remember you have written in the past your results from studying his speeches. The opposite is true. There is a continuum between Putin’s statements and actions over the years. Hence, Putin is anything but unpredictable.

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  7. On topic of American Messianism. Which Americans interpret as “We brag to everybody else how super-duper we are!”

    Well, Putin and Biden already met, and supposedly everything went well. That’s because New York Times previously told its readers how Joe Biden is going to pretend to treat Putin with respect.

    Saw this analysis just this morning, before the meeting even occurred, how NYT sagely advised readers that Joe should be respectful and not his usual…

    VZGLIAD commenters responded positively, pointing out how Russians are vastly superior to Americans in the politeness department. Commenter Gilius Bo:

    Russia must also show respect for Joseph Biden. Respect and politeness are always appropriate and valuable, and constitute an important component of the Russian diplomatic and cultural heritage. For this reason, the Russian journalistic contingent must NOT call Joseph Biden a pedophile. […] We should never ask Biden: “Are you a pedophile?”, it is not right to make him turn pale, turn red, or stutter.
    Manners and respectability — that’s an important component of our culture.

    Commenter “Postmodern Person” responds with a slight disagreement to that argument: That is not a correct posing of the question. The question should be posed thusly, so that at first there is a confirmation. And then allow him to defend himself. It would be correct to ask: “There is a broad consensus of opinion (it doesn’t matter whose) that you are a pedophile. Tell us why you ordered them to kill Epstein.”

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