Russoshoe Theory

Fluctuarius Argenteus (the guy who does most of the Egor Kholmogorov translations here):

Russophobe: Russians are Finno-Tatar-Mongol mongrels alien to European civilization. They hate democracy and can only be ruled with an iron fist, a situation they welcome and actively enjoy. Their rulers – Tsars, Secretaries General, Presidents, it makes no difference – were/are cruel tyrants obsessed with imperial delusions, yet were/are idolized in spite (or probably because) of this. Their men are hard drinkers, their women licentious, yet they believe themselves to be the only beacon of true civilization in the world and openly scoff at Western values. AND THAT’S TERRIBLE.

“Russophile”: Russians are Finno-Tatar-Mongol mongrels alien to European civilization. They hate democracy and can only be ruled with an iron fist, a situation they welcome and actively enjoy. Their rulers – Tsars, Secretaries General, Presidents, it makes no difference – were/are tyrants obsessed with imperial delusions, yet were/are idolized in spite (or probably because) of this. Their men are hard drinkers, their women licentious, yet they believe themselves to be the only beacon of true civilization in the world and openly scoff at Western values. AND THAT’S AWESOME.

And this, ladies of gentlemen, sums the entire variety of discourse on Russia in existence.

Comments

  1. These sorts of “Russophiles” are just emotional self-hating Westerners looking for a third party to punish their enemies for them or act as a patron for their meme cause, their interest in Russia will evaporate completely when it (inevitably) fails to do either. In a way it’s actually very similar to the psychology of white liberals who lionize minorities until they are no longer useful. It’s unfortunate that a culture with as much going for it as Russia’s has so few sincere admirers, but the “soft power” from sources like Russia Insider and The Duran do little to change that.

  2. And this, ladies of gentlemen, sums the entire variety of discourse on Russia in existence.

    that’s why sites like this exist.
    but the old Turkic-Mongol mongrels and unfitness for democracy-type discourse still rears its head from time to time in comments.

  3. Greasy William says

    I mean yeah you are being humorous and I cracked a smile, but don’t you actually agree with what your prototypical Russophobe and Russophile have to say?

  4. Russians are a great, passionate people with many virtues, who have suffered from a dearth of good leadership on a broad level and for a sustained period of time

    Vladimir Putin has fixed and improved many things, but fell short in others, and Russians still labour under many frustrations … but God bless the Russians they have more potential than many peoples do today

    And for me the Russians are quite indispensably European, Europe is incomplete without them, and it’s sad so many European dumb-asses don’t understand that

  5. PS sadly, considering the trajectory Europe is on, belonging to European civilization (I personally think Russia is part of it, albeit a somewhat peripheral) may not be cool one day.

  6. I mean yeah you are being humorous and I cracked a smile, but don’t you actually agree with what your prototypical Russophobe and Russophile have to say?

    While I usually don’t find them (i.e. people writing on Russia Insider) actively offensive until they start promoting American Richard Spencer nonsense, I don’t agree with them or would have anything in common with them if I met them.

    The reason is they often don’t have a real interest in Russian language, or high culture. I appreciate foreigners that learn Russian very much.

    Russia is one of the important European civilizations. And with one of the main European high cultures and spirituality – with Andrei Rublev, and Pushkin, and Scriabin, and all the many actually interesting things.

    And we still have as many educated, cultured, intelligent and – let’s say – decent people, as any other Northern European country, even if not the same economic level or stable histories as those countries like Sweden.

  7. PPS Russia’s “problem” is she is somewhat out of sync with “core” Europe. Stuff appears either later than in Europe (bookprinting, secular literature, navy, serfdom) or it’s so radical and nasty (all the while being paralleled in the West in a milder form and with a delay) one can’t help thinking someone’s using Russia as a testing range to test run their theories before implementing them in the West.

  8. Chet Bradley says

    The reason is they often don’t have a real interest in Russian language, or high culture.

    I don’t think this statement accurately describes people behind Russia Insider. AFAIK, Charles Bausman is fluent in Russian, as are a few other people associated with that site. Not so sure about Peter Lavelle and people who work for RT.

  9. even if not the same economic level or stable histories as those countries like Sweden.

    “stable histories” translates into Sweden being cowardly Nazi scumbags who betrayed their Scandinavian brothers in WW2.

    The reason is they often don’t have a real interest in Russian language, or high culture. I appreciate foreigners that learn Russian very much.

    Here is where the thesis of “russophile”= “russophobe”, in the context as described in this article, is nearly correct. They don’t have a real interest in the language…completely agree that most of these western russophobe dickheads are like this….but most of the western russophobes& russophiles do have an interest in Russian arts , without doubt. On the language issue, I suppose that’s why you don’t ever see these western journalist Moscow correspondents ever speaking in Russian on the numerous television debate shows, or hear them on the radio……even on the liberast media they could easily go on if they were proficient in the Russian language, had a decent understanding of the country……and didn;t write a stream of lies. They simply cant speak Russian properly.

    I was fascinated to learn Eisenhower’s granddaughter is married to a Russian, and is supposed to be a Russian expert. Never heard much from her, nevermind anything anti-Putin. Perhaps she is a genuine western russophile in the good sense.

  10. Daniel Chieh says

    Congrats, GW. You managed to troll hard enough that I smacked my forehead.

  11. I don’t think this statement accurately describes people behind Russia Insider. AFAIK, Charles Bausman is fluent in Russian, as are a few other people associated with that site. Not so sure about Peter Lavelle and people who work for RT.

    Aside from copy-pasting already translated (usually very accurate) subtitled videos released from the first channel, their other subtitles are made from google translating transcripts (with attendant mistakes).

  12. The old Jewish joke can be reapplied here.

    A Russophile is a Russophobe who likes Russians.

  13. Chet Bradley says

    Yeah, but using google translate is due to not having money to pay staff to do real translation, not necessarily due to not knowing the language. I have seen videos of Charles Bausman on Воскресный вечер speaking fluent Russian; much less noticeable foreign accent than, say, Graham Phillips.

  14. Well, if we are to paint with such broad brushes, then not only it is true but it is also true that this discourse hasn’t changed one bit in the last 200 years.

  15. One may note how many MAGAtards turned back into avowed Russophobes after April 2017.

  16. Yeah, but using google translate is due to not having money to pay staff to do real translation, not necessarily due to not knowing the language. I have seen videos of Charles Bausman on Воскресный вечер speaking fluent Russian; much less noticeable foreign accent than, say, Graham Phillips.

    This is the guy who owns and runs the site – he has been a businessman in Russia for almost 30 years, so he should be able to speak by now unless he is financially successful enough to hire a translator to all his business meetings.

    The owner, staff, content and overall is completely incurious of the country, language, culture, people, (or only feigned this when he thought he could get some kind of government contract), beyond copy-pasting videos from the first channel.

    Subtitling interesting content is not very difficult and I would be happy to do it for free (actually I have done it for free in the past and in more than one language).

    As for sites which are actually interested – there are of course plenty, and any slightly interesting ones of course don’t exactly fit into this spectrum above.

    E.g.

    https://russianuniverse.org/russia-and-the-west/

  17. Here is where the thesis of “russophile”= “russophobe”, in the context as described in this article, is nearly correct. They don’t have a real interest in the language…completely agree that most of these western russophobe dickheads are like this….but most of the western russophobes& russophiles do have an interest in Russian arts , without doubt. On the language issue, I suppose that’s why you don’t ever see these western journalist Moscow correspondents ever speaking in Russian on the numerous television debate shows, or hear them on the radio……even on the liberast media they could easily go on if they were proficient in the Russian language, had a decent understanding of the country……and didn;t write a stream of lies. They simply cant speak Russian properly.

    It’s a typical attitude to people they see as below them, or that should be colonial subjects. The British did not have to learn to speak Hindi in order to rule India, but they perfectly expected the Indians to learn English.

  18. Charles Bausman does speak fluent Russian.

    I think that Peter Lavelle speaks Russian but not very well. Mercouris doesn’t speak Russian, but approaches this issue with consciousness (e.g. takes an effort to consult/translate Russian language sources, which is to be commended). RT journalist Bryan MacDonald speaks fluent Russian, contrary to Bausman’s claims.

  19. Chet Bradley says

    Thank you for sharing Russian Universe, I skimmed it and it seems thoughtfully put together. I will make sure to review it in more detail.

    But don’t be too hard on Russia Insider; it is targeted towards a different audience, i.e. people who know quite a bit less about Russia than I do, but even I find interesting articles there often (even if it’s not the majority of articles). It doesn’t hide the fact that it’s mostly an aggregator. Russian Universe seems like a much deeper content for a much narrower audience, i.e. the type of people who come here, not the general population.

  20. No… no it doesn’t.

    I don’t suppose anyone here’s seen the movie “Russian Ark”? It dealt with precisely this issue…

    Those types of so-called “Russophiles” do exist, but they don’t do their cause any good. Because, believe it or not, there are those who love Russia DESPITE those traits, not because of them. It has plenty else to recommend it.

  21. Russophobe…

    Russophile…

    And then there are normal people who have an interest in world affairs and for whom there are nearly 200 different kinds of foreigners out there, all vaguely interesting up to a point and to varying degrees, many of which are important in particular spheres, of which Russia is one of the more significant in many aspects by virtue of its size and strategic heft.

    And we get classified willy nilly into one of the two above categories basically according to where we stand on particular geopolitical issues. Generally, because elite discourse in the US sphere is currently strongly Russophobic, you are classed as a Russophile if you do not believe that Russia is presently a menacing threat to the world which must be contained. Which is pretty much where I stand.

  22. anonymous coward says

    who have suffered from a dearth of good leadership on a broad level and for a sustained period of time

    Name me a nation that hasn’t, I dare you.

  23. Assuming he is right, what does he propose to do about it? If Russians hate “democracy” (which for leftists does not imply voting but hard leftist positions) should someone like Sobchak be imposed by force so that they can rule with an iron liberal fist, even though most will not accept this.

  24. Philip Owen says

    As I already said on Twitter, all these ideas have their origin inside Russia. Usually I blame Nicholas I but the strong leadership one is someone else, someone earlier. He doesn’t come to mind right now.

  25. But don’t be too hard on Russia Insider; it is targeted towards a different audience, i.e. people who know quite a bit less about Russia than I do, but even I find interesting articles there often (even if it’s not the majority of articles). It doesn’t hide the fact that it’s mostly an aggregator. Russian Universe seems like a much deeper content for a much narrower audience, i.e. the type of people who come here, not the general population.

    Well I thought it was a kind of harmless thing which I came across sometimes on youtube – but then they turned into an alt-right website. It almost looks like a CIA project to discredit the country’s PR (as if RT wasn’t bad enough).

    What happened to making normal websites that will actually attract middle class tourists to the country.

  26. There’s a popular YouTuber in Ufa called Sergey Baklykov who is probably the best English-language guide about Russia.

    He seems like a good guy, with a pretty high English-level, and also it comes across like he has no sponsorship so he gives a more honest point of view on everything.

    He makes original English content and not just copy-pasting stupid shit from the first channel

    The only problem with his stuff is that – like most YouTubers – he is very self-indulgent and makes many boring videos about his own life and kids (99% of viewers are going to be bored of it).

    • This said occasionally he makes very cool videos where he packs in a lot of guide information. (The guy needs to start a travel guide company for Bashkortostan).

  27. Chet Bradley says

    I don’t suppose anyone here’s seen the movie “Russian Ark”?

    I have; it’s fascinating in a way, but it doesn’t have a story. I imagine it would only be interesting to art history buffs.

  28. I don’t suppose anyone here’s seen the movie “Russian Ark”?

    Masterpiece. Has almost a hypnotic effect if viewed in the theater.

    Sokurov’s Moloch is not bad either.

  29. YourBunnyWrote says

    Sergey’s been doing good videos for years on his Real Russia YouTube channel. Another good channel is Different Russia by Valeria Kovtunova, probably aimed at an older audience.
    https://youtu.be/yTQzfH1NIGM

  30. The reality is that an English speaker genuinely curious about Russia has to wade through an abundance of junk like “13D chessmaster Putin to buy gold, US economy to collapse in 3 days”, “17 reasons Why North Korea Is Actually A Great Place To Live”, “Khomeini and Castro: The Case For Orthodox Sainthood” to find anything that isn’t hostile.

  31. Yes – basically 2 + 2 = 5 level bullshit.

    “13D chessmaster Putin to buy gold, US economy to collapse in 3 days”, “17 reasons Why North Korea Is Actually A Great Place To Live”, “Khomeini and Castro: The Case For Orthodox Sainthood”

  32. Friends who have been to Russia say that the men are great, usually very friendly. They always want to get drunk with foreigners and are good company. They like to try to get you drunk. You can be the one foreigner surrounded by them and feel welcome and safe.

    They warn me about the women though. Perhaps this is because of the kind of Russian women that wants to meet foreigners.

  33. Friends who have been to Russia say that the men are great, usually very friendly. They always want to get drunk with foreigners and are good company. They like to try to get you drunk. You can be the one foreigner surrounded by them and feel welcome and safe.

    They warn me about the women though. Perhaps this is because of the kind of Russian women that wants to meet foreigners.

    Generally compared to countries like America, people will seem a bit unfriendly and introverted in the street in the daytime, but once they know you they will be more extroverted and sweet – both men and women. Especially if you’re American and they want a chance to practice speaking English, I think many people will become very friendly and hospitable to you (after you met them a couple of times).

  34. During the cold war we would read how oppressed Russians were. You would see them in public and they were always grim looking, never smiling. I would think “those commie bastards, how can you make people so miserable, your system of government must be soul destroying”.

    In the early 2000s I was in Eastern Europe and still almost no one smiled in public. Possible cultural misunderstanding.

  35. During the cold war we would read how oppressed Russians were. You would see them in public and they were always grim looking, never smiling. I would think “those commie bastards, how can you make people so miserable, your system of government must be soul destroying”.

    In the early 2000s I was in Eastern Europe and still almost no one smiled in public. Possible cultural misunderstanding.

    Yes exactly. Having a gloomy face on the street – it is just a custom, not an indication of anything deeper. The most popular phrase that is invariably replied by everyone when this subject comes up: ‘ laugh without reason – a sign of fools.’

    I haven’t been to China yet, but I have heard they have a similar view on this subject.

  36. This is true.

    However, mores and changing, and smiling and greeting people on the street no longer comes off as strange – at least in Moscow, not sure about the provinces.

    So I’m not 100% sure this is a Russian cultural tradition as opposed to just a Soviet one.

    http://www.unz.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/russia-happiness-vciom-1990-2016.png

    When pollsters first started measuring this in 1990, they found that people in the USSR were very unhappy. But they were happier even in 1998, at the worst point of the economic collapse, and are much happier today.

  37. When pollsters first started measuring this in 1990, they found that people in the USSR were very unhappy. But they were happier even in 1998, at the worst point of the economic collapse, and are much happier today.

    This pollsters statement is a complete, absolute fake. This statement may be true about 1990, but to extend it to 1980, 1970, etc. – a 70 level fake .

    The assertion that Russians don’t smile – rather a myth:

    http://i12.pixs.ru/storage/2/2/5/ua1wLmJwlK_9561360_29434225.jpg

    http://i12.pixs.ru/storage/1/5/9/1462815327_9826303_29434159.jpg

  38. The assertion that Russians don’t smile – rather a myth:

    It’s not that don’t smile. But on average, on the street, much more gloomy faces compared to certain other countries (especially ones like Spain, Italy).

    You don’t notice it normally. But if you look for this, you’re going to notice it a lot now.

    Israeli youtube who returned to visit commenting about it at 10:00

  39. When pollsters first started measuring this in 1990, they found that people in the USSR were very unhappy. But they were happier even in 1998, at the worst point of the economic collapse, and are much happier today.

    But acting grumpy on the street hasn’t got much connection to happiness. You can perfectly look cold when you’re in a good mood, and vice-versa.

    Or else we’ll get to the point of inferring the happiness of Wallmart greeters.

    Have you been in Japan? They have people that charge out smiling at you irasshaimase – I doubt these professional smilers are very happy.