Monday, February 6, 2017

On The Issue Of "Moral Equivalency".

It seems that at this stage the only thing which worries US political and media class is the issue of (self)righteousness or, if to put it in "scientific" term--the issue of moral equivalency. Bullshitters such as Bill O'Reilly of FOX News Channel just cannot exist in the world where they and the United States are perceived less than holy and infinitely righteous. Since such world view is preposterous, especially against the background of US unleashing hell, which resulted in millions innocent people dead, maimed, displaced, in the Middle East and supporting jihadists for decades, the only thing which remains for these lowlifes is to start lashing against others. Who is the prime subject among these "others" for such an exercise? Of course, it is Russia. In the case of O'Reilly's interview with US President Trump it was Russia's President Vladimir Putin.  President Putin was called by the sewer which is US media and most of political class many things: a thug, a war criminal, what have you. Now, O'Reilly found another definition for Russia's President--he is a killer now. 

The phenomenon of this anti-Russian and anti-Putin campaign is not even in the fact of an extremely low intellectual and, especially so, cultural level of people who claim to be American political and intellectual "elite"--this is a well known fact by now. The same goes for visceral Russophobia of US "elites", especially of the so called "conservative" (cuckservative) strata of this elite. It is, for example, very easy to understand why US so called "left" hates Russia. The reasons for this hate are in the open and pretty much well-defined. With people like O'Reilly, however, it is a bit different. What is remarkable in this Russophobic desperate hysteria is the fact of how it is difficult to contain racial and cultural hatred towards Russian people because these were Russia's actions which in the last 20 years really helped, however unintentionally, to expose already crumbling "holier than thou" edifice of US status as a "shining city on the hill". There is also a barely hidden and barely contained complex of inferiority which has its roots in history. A Major one of them is the fact that US never had an actual nobility. Yeah, yeah I heard this all before, such as that George Patton was descendant of some nobles, well, there is one problem with US faux-nobility, United States never had a monarch and the court which are the two main prerequisites for a genuine nobility. US political founding is antithesis to all that. 

For many power and influence (and money) are very desirable objects but once attained, many develop an urge to get a step "higher", to become noble. Well, this is impossible in the United States unless someone is wedded or married into the nobility, such as was the case with Grace Kelly. But then again, this was a nobility of not American descent, which simply doesn't exist, no matter how one tries to twist facts with all kinds of simulacra such as "New Aristocracy", "Old Money" and even such preposterous meme as Camelot etc. Emulating nobility? Sure! Becoming one? Absolutely not, unless married or wedded into it. And here is the deal, Russian nobility which arose in 14th Century, while disrupted by Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, never stopped being a part of Russian history even during Soviet times. It is difficult to completely disrupt an immense political and cultural influence of nobility among which are Count Leo Tolstoy or noblest of nobles Czar Peter The Great, just to name a few. Yours truly, himself being of poor Russian nobility's lineage (mother's side) studied in the same naval academy and later served with a direct descendant of one of the huge Russia's noble military names. I cannot divulge his name for pure PerSec and ethical reasons but it is suffice to say that his noble relative is a major historic figure and features prominently from Wikipedia to Encyclopedia Britannica and even Viscount Bernard Montgomery admitted him being the world's "ablest single commander" between...well, I leave you with a puzzle if one wants to solve it. In other words, Russian history to a very large extent was formed by Russian nobility, US history was not. The idiosyncrasies of Russian Noblese Oblige never disappeared even in the Soviet times, which is easy to understand when even the regular Soviet (and now Russian) public school Russian Literature curriculum was dominated by Russia's nobles from Pushkin, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky to Turgenev, to name a few, whose object of study were Russian people and  nobility, and the way they interacted. Those idiosyncrasies, modes of communication, behavioral matrices of nobility not only did not disappear but were re-appropriated and endured both in USSR and Russia. Generations of Soviet  (and even many contemporary Russian) girls would associate themselves with Natasha Rostova or even Anna Karenina and that is a part of the explanation for well known femininity of Russian women. In his 1961 (I have an original edition)  What Ivan Knows That Johnny Doesn't, Arthur Trace (a graduate of West-Point himself) went on to compare "humanities" curricula of Soviet and American public schools and showed a startling abyss which separated Soviet and American education systems. As short review of his book states:

This profoundly disturbing book is a comparison of American and Soviet school curricula and textbooks. It proves that the sciences and mathematics are not the only subjects in which our children lag behind. By the time the American fourth grader has learned to read 1500 words from his typical classroom reader, a Soviet student in fourth grade will be expected to read at least 10,000 words and will be ready to plunge into history, geography and science. Why does Ivan at the age of nine have a reading vocabulary so much larger than Johnny's? Could it have anything to do with the fact that from his first reader on, Ivan reads Tolstoy and Pushkin and Gogol while Johnny follows the adventures of Jerry and the little rabbit that goes hop, hop, hop? If a Soviet student undertakes to learn English as his foreign language - as 45 per cent of those in the regular school do - he will study it for six consecutive years starting in the fifth grade, and he may well have read more literature in English by the Tenth grade than an American student will have been assigned by the twelfth grade.  

From 1940s through 1980s Soviet and especially today's Russian students were and are educated within the framework of continuous, uninterrupted Russian history in which names of Marshal Zhukov and Yuri Gagarin not only coexist with the names of Prince Kutuzov or General Raevsky of an ancient noble line but complement each-other. In the end, many strategic operations of the Red Army in WW II were named after great Russian generals of 1812 Patriotic War all of whom were, well, nobility. Such as famous Operation Bagration named after Prince Bagration.  Even in Soviet times Russian people were afforded a deep look into the splendor of Russian Court. Visiting State Hermitage could be a life changing experience for anyone, once the scale of achievement is grasped. Even in the radical times of early Soviet Russia a lot what was accumulated and created by Russian nobility  has been preserved. A lot has been restored later. It is incredibly difficult to  explain to the average Joe how come that those barbaric Russians derive from the country which even today leads US in public education, is the home to Bolshoy and Mariinsky Theaters, exhibits art collections which occupy the very top of fine arts' world. Those "barbarians" come from still one of the best read nations on the earth, very many of them actively visit theaters, and classic music concerts. It is difficult to explain, indeed. The same as it is difficult to explain, to those who have very little knowledge of Russia, the grace with which many Russians, from average people to the political top take a barrage of insults hurled at them by US "elites". As I stated before, it is inconceivable to see any rank, even retired, Russian officer calling for "killing Americans". Or Russian politician calling US President a thug. All that is the result of many centuries long cultural conditioning, which, of course, has been overlooked (deliberately or not) by US resident Russia "scholars".              

As Alexis De Tocqueville wrote in 1837 about Russia and United States: There are now two great nations in the world which, starting from different points, seem to be advancing toward the same goal: the Russians and the Anglo-Americans. Both have grown in obscurity, and while the world’s attention was occupied elsewhere, they have suddenly taken their place among the leading nations, making the world take note of their birth and of their greatness almost at the same instant. All other peoples seem to have nearly reached their natural limits and to need nothing but to preserve them; but these two are growing…. The American fights against natural obstacles; the Russian is at grips with men. The former combats the wilderness and barbarism; the latter, civilization with all its arms. America’s conquests are made with the plowshare, Russia’s with the sword. To attain their aims, the former relies on personal interest and gives free scope to the unguided strength and common sense of individuals. The latter in a sense concentrates the whole power of society in one man. One has freedom as the principal means of action; the other has servitude. Their point of departure is different and their paths diverse; nevertheless, each seems called by some secret desire of Providence one day to hold in its hands the destinies of half the world.

However wrong Tocqueville's assessment is from our today's vantage point, he predicted one thing right--a geopolitical rivalry based on seemingly vast eschatological differences between Russia and the United States. The rivalry which was not initiated by historic Russia. The message has not been lost on American elites. The results are in, the same as a jury--"a shining city on the hill" today shines no more being itself in a deep trouble of carefully designed narrative of own superiority being destroyed in a front of our eyes when facing a reality. "Democratic Ideals" mutated today into the regimes change by a subversion and a sword, into the war crimes, into dramatic economic and cultural decline domestically. While things were going well it was possible to pretend that "End Of History", including in a moral sense, is near, and that real morality could be substituted with ideological memes for mob's consumption. It didn't work out this way and once the sense of self-proclaimed moral superiority began to escape the American media and political class, whose ethos Richard Pipes described as "commercial", a thin veneer of culture was peeled back and the plebeian nature of  American political milieu has been revealed completely. There is nothing noble there, be it the spread of atrocious lies about new US President or calling foreign leader a killer or a thug. American obsession with Solzhenitsyn, as an example, is easily explained from this point of view--he gave US Russia which is a perfect fit for self-proclaimed moral superiority. Money can not buy class and that is what almost completely (with some notable exceptions) is lacking in modern American "elites". Russia has it and she can back it up with an incredibly rich, however difficult, and powerful culture, as in behavioral matrix, which is not to insult anyone unless you are ready to back it up with actions--this is a noble thing. Tocqueville's reference to America of 1837 reads:

           One has freedom as the principal means of action

Today, when one observes a behavior of people like Bill O'Reilly or Mitch McConnel, or John McCain one can easily expand Tocqueville's statement with "freedom from decency, culture and truth" a precise combination of factors (or lack thereof) which brought about a situation in which United States can not claim any moral high ground. I applaud President Trump for having a decency and courage to point this out to the face of a professional BSer with the psychology of a bellicose small man who feels, if not grasps, his moral inadequacy and a background in which there is nothing noble.   

UPDATE: two real American patriots weighted today (02/07/17) on the issue I raised in this post yesterday. 

Pat Buchanan and Philip Giraldi. Worth reading. 

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