The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersRussian Reaction Blog
BHL vs. Houellebecq on Russia
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Commenter Swedish Family on BHL and Houellebecq on Russia:


Seeing Bernard-Henri Lévy’s name here made me dig out an old book of his, Public Enemies, a book of Lévy’s mail correspondence with novelist Michel Houellebecq in the spring of 2008 (so after Putin’s Munich speech but half a year before Lehman Brothers and the war in Georgia). It’s fascnating to see violently anti-Putin Lévy was already back then. I’ll come to his tirade in a moment, but let’s first have a look at Houellebecq’s warm feelings for Moscow.

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of finding myself in Moscow with Frédéric Beigbeder (by accident; we were there for different reasons and didn’t plan to meet up). Twice we did sets as DJs in nightclubs full of the sumptuous blondes popularized by current affairs magazines. Twice Frédéric and I noticed the same thing: young Russians adore the Beatles, they react to their music immediately, they like it (whereas I’m sure they didn’t know the music before, they only discovered western music in the 1980s through groups like U2 and A-Ha). And not only do they like the Beatles, they like early Beatles, songs like “Ticket to Ride” and “Love Me Do.” The music, made eternal by their genius, their enthusiasm, their joie de vivre; the music of youth, of heading off on holiday (the music of economic growth, of full employment).

Back in France, the magazines ran headlines about a new idea: economic decline. A very different atmosphere, obviously.

The worst thing is, the ecologists are right. Of course, none of the problems facing humanity can be tackled without stabilizing the world population, without stabilizing energy consumption, without intelligently managing nonrenewable resources, without tackling climate change.

And yet coming back to Western Europe I felt like I was coming back to the dead. Of course, life is hard, very hard in Russia, it is a violent life, but they live, they are filled with a desire to live that we have lost. And I wished I were young and Russian and, ecologically speaking, irresponsible.

I also felt I needed idealism (a rarer commodity, I admit, in contemporary Russia). I wished I were part of a time when our heroes were Yuri Gagarin and the Beatles; when Louis de Funès made everyone in France laugh; when Jean Ferrat was adapting Aragon.

Here is Lévy’s reply to Houellebecq. I find this passage very revealing of what drives people like Lévy. Note, again, that this is written in the spring of 2008 (March 12), so at this point, Russia has basically been playing nice in the face of aggressive Western expansion. Yet …

Unlike you, I have absolutely no desire to be Russian or to return to Russia.

I used to love a certain idea of Russia.

I loved and defended this idea of Russian culture, which in the 1970s and ’80s conjured up a whole hodgepodge, Solzhenitsyn and Sakharov, the Slavophiles and Europhiles, the disciples of Pushkin and those of Dostoyevsky, the dissidents on the right and the left and those who, in the words of the mathematician Leonid Plyushch,* belonged to neither of these camps but to the concentration camp and whose defense I was taking up while my father, in the episode I told you about, was signing (or rather, was not signing, deciding not to sign) his contracts with Gosplan’s† wood branch.

Then there’s what Russia has become, what appeared when the breakdown of communism, its debacle—what a mountaineer like your father would call its “thaw” or “collapsing ice” (the real meaning of debacle)—revealed to it and the world the Russia of Putin, of the war in Chechnya, the Russia that assassinated Anna Politkovskaya* on the stairway in her building and that the same Anna Politkovskaya described in her wonderful book A Russian Diary, just before she was assassinated. It’s the Russia of the racist packs who, right in the center of Moscow, track down “nonethnic” Russians, the Russia that chased out the Chinese at Irkutsk, the Dagestanis at Rostov, the same Russia that persecutes those it called the Chernye, meaning the “swarthy” ones, the Russia that has the nerve to explain to the world that it has nothing to do with democracy and human rights since it has its own democracy, a special, local democracy that is quite unrelated to Western canons and rights. It’s the country of such specialties as its party, the Nashi, meaning “our own,” which, to call a spade a spade, is a Stalin-Hitler combo, the Russia that, incidentally, is giving new life to the anti-Semitic European pamphlets of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the same Russia that made a best seller out of a stupid List of Masked Jews, which lumps together Sakharov, Trotsky, de Gaulle, Sarkozy, and Yulia Tymoshenko, the mastermind behind the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine. It’s the Russia that—since you mentioned music—put on the cover of one of its popular magazines the singer Irina Allegrova dressed up as an SS camp guard, holding a ferocious hound on a lead. This Russia, which, apart from this kind of idiocy, believes in nothing at all, absolutely nothing, just the religion of the marketplace, consumption and brands. This Russia, which, the last time I went there, struck me as having had its culture erased and its brain washed, this Russia, whose most discouraging side, according to Anna Politkovskaya, to mention her yet again, was its amorphousness and passivity, the way it accepts, for example, that it hardly has any employment legislation left and that its workers are treated like dogs, the same Russia that leaves the nightclubs where you went to have a laugh and dance with Frédéric [Beigbeder] to rot in a terrifying poverty. In this Russia, no less than under communism, people are ready to betray their parents to steal a broom, a bowl, a badly screwed tap, or—as in Brecht’s Messingkauf Dialogues—bits of scrap iron at night from deserted building sites abandoned by oligarchs on the run or in prison … Not only does this Russia inspire no desire in me, it fills me with horror. I’d go so far as to say that it frightens me because I see in it a possible destiny for the late-capitalist societies. Once upon a time, during your postwar “glory days,” the middle class was terrorized by being told that Brezhnev’s communism was not an archaism restricted to distant societies but rather a picture of our own future. We were wrong: it was not communism but postcommunism, Putinism, that may be the testing ground for our future.

 
Hide 97 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. Imagine. A Jew being upset that Russians might make a list of crypto-Jews. Quelle surprise.

  2. utu says:

    BHL might be correct: “This Russia, which, apart from this kind of idiocy, believes in nothing at all, absolutely nothing, just the religion of the marketplace, consumption and brands.”

    While H is probably wrong: “whereas I’m sure they didn’t know the music [Beatles] before.”

    It seems that BHL’s revulsion toward Russia might have more to do with his lingering leftist idealism. The post communist Yeltsin Russia was Hobbesian and it showed human nature at its worst which leftist pretend to believe that it does not exist. And his anger with Russia is even greater because he is disappointed and feels angry that he let himself to be fooled by the high culture idealism of Russian literature of Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Solzhenitsyn that prevent him to did see the Beast.

    NB: Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Solzhenitsyn and other writers are the best thing that ever happened to Russia in terms of Russia’s PR. So when I see Martyanov, the TN guy or Krieger busy trying to bring down Solzhenitsyn every time he is discussed at UR I wonder for whom these sovoks are working or are they just a part of the Beast that BHL did not see before, too stupid to know what is good for them.

  3. This all is shallow. You take a preferred slice of life & project it onto a whole country.

  4. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:

    Houellebecq seems to be mainly expressing nostalgia for his own youth back in France. He came of age during the “Trente Glorieuses”:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trente_Glorieuses

    Over this thirty-year period, France’s economy grew rapidly like economies of other developed countries within the framework of the Marshall Plan such as West Germany, Italy and Japan. These decades of economic prosperity combined high productivity with high average wages and high consumption, and were also characterised by a highly developed system of social benefits.[1] According to various studies, the real purchasing power of the average French worker’s salary went up by 170% between 1950 and 1975, while over-all private consumption increased by 174% in the period 1950-74.[2] The French standard of living, which had been damaged by both World Wars, became one of the world’s highest. The population also became far more urbanized; many rural départements experienced a population decline while the larger metropolitan areas grew considerably, especially that of Paris. Ownership of various household goods and amenities increased considerably,[3][4][5] while the wages of the French working class rose significantly as the economy became more prosperous.

    • Replies: @El Dato
  5. Since this exchange was brought up again, I might as well post Houellebecq’s (very good) reply to Lévy’s letter.

    March 16, 2008

    […]

    To talk about political commitment, I have to go back to Russia, where I’ve been twice, in 2000 and 2007. The first time was impressive. In the deserted avenues of Moscow, 4×4s with tinted glass windows thundered past. The restaurants and the cafés were empty—except for Westerners; in the streets and the doorways, young people shared bottles of beer and vodka (drinking in the bars was much too expensive for them). A few young women were dressed like prostitutes; the others were barely modernized babushkas.

    Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to drive through Moscow; the cars now are Nissan Micras, Volkswagen Golfs. The restaurants and the cafés are full of Russians who drink according to their budget; young women wear the current fashions. In other words, a middle class has formed, and the first thing one notices is that the pockets of “terrifying poverty” have vanished; the mysterious, almost mystic formation of a Westernized middle class (or that, at least, is how it is usually referred to).

    These middle classes voted en masse for Putin, voted en masse for Medvedev; they believe they have no credible alternative; like their government they consider the rebukes of the West (over Chechnya et al.) to be unacceptable meddling. It must be admitted that, in this, the Russian government is on the same wavelength as the populace.

    Nor has Russia, and here I have to contradict you, become a cultural desert. In the numerous bookshops, literature from around the world is freely available with no restrictions. The books are exceptionally well made and well printed and, most important, they are very cheap, even on a Russian budget. In short, in Russia, many people still regularly buy books—more so than in, say, Brazil or even Italy or Spain.

    It’s true that Solzhenitsyn is considered to be an orthodox old pain in the neck; he, I admit, has every reason to feel disappointed in the recent evolution of Russia, to feel that it has “betrayed its soul”; and I’m not sure that Dostoyevsky would have adored the nightclubs … Then again, I’m not sure whether I adore the nightclubs, but I was glad to see Frédéric again and the sumptuous blondes, well, you know the terms of the equation, I’ve written enough books on the subject.

    On my second trip to Moscow, I had a very interesting conversation with a civil servant in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (These people lead a strange life; they spend a few years in a job, develop a temporary sense of belonging, only to be uprooted; their conversation is often fascinating.) I was telling him that in France after the war, it was said that the country was ungovernable, the Fourth Republic, the frequent changes of government, etc.; none of which prevented France from fast-track development, so much so that this period of government irresponsibility remains, from an economic standpoint, the most flourishing period in our history. He replied that though Putin’s Russia could be accused of all the evils in the world, though not of “governmental instability,” the same phenomena were evident (the rise of the middle classes, consumer capitalism).

    There was silence for a few seconds, then he said something like: “All in all, maybe it’s for the best; it proves that society has its own momentum and the system of government superimposed on it with its regulations, its government officials, is simply a form of parasite.”

    Then he stopped, remembering that he too was a government official, a civil servant at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to be precise; there was an awkward silence, which I easily managed to dispel, since I’m quick to play the fool by asking for more vodka. Another example of the tendency of people to tell me things that they themselves hadn’t expected; even so, we changed the subject pretty quickly.

    There you are, dear Bernard-Henri, the first root (the one I consider to be honorable) of my lack of political commitment: an ideological diffidence verging on atheism. Russians certainly do not feel that they are living in a democracy; I think for the most part they don’t give a damn and who am I to disagree with them? For many years, I lived in a country (France) where I had the right to vote, a right I barely exercised. From a political point of view, many measures were implemented, concerning public health especially, of which I completely disapproved. Off the top of my head, I would mention the banning of products considered to be “drugs,” the constant hectoring campaigns against alcoholism, in favor of using condoms, against cocaine, sugary foods, and who knows what-all, the absurd inability to buy most common medicines without prescription, and more than anything, the thing that in itself is symbolic of all the others: the slow, pitiless pincer movement that in a few short years closed in on smokers. All these things contributed to my cutting myself off from the world, of becoming someone who absolutely does not consider himself to be a citizen. Sadly, I’m not exaggerating; I have gradually grown to see public spaces as a hostile territory bristling with absurd and humiliating bans, which I negotiate as quickly as possible to get from one private residence to another private residence; a territory in which I am deeply unwelcome, in which I have no place, in which nothing interesting or pleasant can happen to me.

    […]

  6. Some red-pilling on Vladimir Putin, who seems to reveal himself as Mr Multi-Kulti

    Putin here in his 23 September 2015 speech opening that gigantic mosque in Moscow

    Putin saying that we need to make an alliance with Islam, in order to fight ‘nationalism and religious extremism’, denounced as if equivalent … Muslims good Putin friends along with ‘Putin’s rabbi’ from Chabad

    [MORE]

    Curious in the video is Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, looking as he is just biding his time, ready to cut some infidel throats in the not far distant future

    The suppression of Chechnya’s right to independence, so Gazprom and Putin’s friends could keep the oil and gas revenues from the Muslim lands, with maybe 100,000 dead in the suppression war Putin finished, seems to be the great ‘dirty secret’ of Russia, no wonder Putin recoils in horror at ‘nationalism’

    One gather’s that Putin’s ‘multi-polar’ world, is a world of distinctive ‘multi-kulti’ civnat mixes, Putin’s the one that his over-wordy pumper, Andrei ‘the Saker’ Raevsky, calls ‘Russian civilisation’ (multi-kulti rather than ‘Russian nationalism’

    Putin is ‘multi-kulti diversity’ as well as ‘multi-polar’, but ‘right-wing based’ as regards family-gender-patriarchy, is that perhaps a good summary?

    Here’s the Putin diversity multi-kulti Russia talk with English subtitles, have tried to set it to start at 3m37 where he denounces ‘nationalism’, the word also heard clearly in Russian

  7. The waifu in The Map and the Territory was Russian, right?

    • Replies: @Swedish Family
  8. AP says:

    “In this Russia, no less than under communism, people are ready to betray their parents to steal a broom, a bowl, a badly screwed tap, or—as in Brecht’s Messingkauf Dialogues—bits of scrap iron at night from deserted building sites abandoned by oligarchs on the run or in prison … Not only does this Russia inspire no desire in me, it fills me with horror.:

    He wrote this in 2008 but he was about 15 years behind. Naturally this reflects the Soviet morality.

  9. Adam says:
    @utu

    Russia lost its soul in 1917, and what followed was a tremendous amount of nihilism, degeneracy, and dysfunction. Western Russophiles with an overly inflated view of Russia often can’t handle learning the truth about Russian society and become Russophobes. Misguided alt-right/nationalist types who go on about BASTE Putin and Dugin don’t help the situation. Of course, the solution is not a color revolution in Moscow or whatever the French jew advocates.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Swedish Family
  10. utu says:

    Western Russophiles with an overly inflated view of Russia often can’t handle learning the truth about Russian society and become Russophobes.

    Exactly. They look towards Russia for salvation projecting their own image of idealized spiritual Russia and once the disappointment hits them they may become Russophobic instead of retuning and fixing the image they held in the first place. Many people who were into Hinduism or Buddhism once they learned the reality of Indian society and greedy materialism of Indians living there have similar reactions.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  11. @Brabantian

    Russia and Putin can have endless war with their muslim minority, or they can reach some kind of agreement, as some blogger I read likes to point out, the muslims are not wrong about everything

    Is it better to live in a mildly Islamic Russia or be ruled by Globohomo ?

    So long as they let me drink beer the Islamic option is OK IMO

    You should read Houellbecq’s novel, Submission

    • Replies: @Adam
    , @melanf
  12. Adam says:
    @(((They))) Live

    The bulk of Russia’s Muslims, which only make up ~8% of the population, are secular and hardly that distinct from the rest of the country. The only real problem Muslims are Central Asians, who are aliens to Russia and probably ought to be deported wholesale, and Caucasians. The latter make up a very small percentage of the population and there’s a good argument to be made that they should be granted independence.

    As AK has pointed out, the multiethnic character of Russia is often overstated. 82% of the population is ethnic Russian, 85% is Slavic, and a significant percentage of the rest are meme ethnicities like the Mari that are basically just Russians.

    Russia should be a state run by and for ethnic Russians. The rest should have equal rights of course, but the current state of the RF where non-Russians have more institutional privileged than Russians is obviously unacceptable to any sane person.

  13. AaronB says:

    Levy is a Jew – he already bongs to a culture that has vitality and has not lost its sense of life and optimism. He has no need to turn to Russia for these things.

    Houllebec belongs to the dead European culture of genetic determinism, scientism, non-imagination, fatalism, materialism, despair. Of course he turns to Russia, which doesn’t have so advanced a case of the disease.

    • Troll: Hyperborean
    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  14. AaronB says:
    @utu

    Many people who were into Hinduism or Buddhism once they learned the reality of Indian society and greedy materialism of Indians living there have similar reactions.

    The great German Buddhologist Edward Conze said he had no intention of visiting any Asian country because he knew he’d be cruelly disappointed by the reality.

    I was very leery about visiting Japan for the same reason – the idealized image I’d constructed for myself I knew I’d be cruelly disappointed by the reality. Being prepared softened the inevitable blow.

    Human beings are pretty disappointing anywhere you go, although some countries are still a better fit for some people.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Anon
  15. @AaronB

    Levy is a Jew – he already bongs to a culture that has vitality and has not lost its sense of life and optimism. He has no need to turn to Russia for these things.

    Houllebec belongs to the dead European culture of genetic determinism, scientism, non-imagination, fatalism, materialism, despair. Of course he turns to Russia, which doesn’t have so advanced a case of the disease.

    Lévy is basically complaining that Russia has not yet been hollowed out and turned souless to the extent of Judaised North America amd Western Europe.

    But of course, you are simply applying your generic template.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  16. AaronB says:
    @Hyperborean

    Lévy is basically complaining that Russia has not yet been hollowed out and turned souless to the extent of Judaised North America amd Western Europe.

    True, but Levy already belongs to a culture that has what Russia has, so he’s completely uninterested in the side of Russia that attracts Houllebeqc ‘s attention, he might even be blind to it. Levy focuses on the aspect of Russia that seems relevant to the concerns of his tribe, its lack of liberalism.

    I’m not defending Levy’s attitude, just pointing out why he seems almost blind to what has managed to mesmerize HL. Of course Levy’s concerns with Russia’s lack of liberalism is just self servingly tribal.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    , @El Dato
  17. @AaronB

    True, but Levy already belongs to a culture that has what Russia has, so he’s completely uninterested in the side of Russia that attracts Houllebeqc ‘s attention, he might even be blind to it. Levy focuses on the aspect of Russia that seems relevant to the concerns of his tribe, its lack of liberalism.

    European Jews, as they are fond of emphasising, do not have a separate culture from gentile Europeans and haven’t had for generations now. They solely subsist on ethno-religious hostility.

    But no matter the objections you’ll simply state that Jews have a ‘healthier culture’.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  18. Does BHL have any redeeming qualities? Is he ever right on any issue at all?

    • Replies: @utu
  19. @Brabantian

    Putin is ‘multi-kulti diversity’ as well as ‘multi-polar’, but ‘right-wing based’ as regards family-gender-patriarchy, is that perhaps a good summary?

    As Steve Bannon might say, Putin is a ‘civic nationalist,’ rather than an ethno-nationalist. Rossiskoye vs. Russki.

  20. There is nothing new under the sun. Already in 1905 Jean Finot (in reality born Finckelhaus in Poland) was publishing ‘anti-racist’ books like Le Préjugé des races, which aim at attacking ‘scientific racism’ through Lamarckian and ‘no one is really pure’ logic, and praises Britain and France for their ‘enlightened’ racial views compared to Germany.

    He was also one of the organisers, along with the fellow Jews Felix Adler and Gustav Spiller, of the first Universal Races Congress in 1911, whose resolutions of encouragement of ‘civilisational tolerance’ and ways to study how to encourage miscegenation could be lifted from today.

  21. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:
    @AaronB

    It’s called “Paris syndrome”:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_syndrome

    Paris syndrome (French: Syndrome de Paris, Japanese: パリ症候群, Pari shōkōgun) is a condition exhibited by some individuals when visiting or going on vacation to Paris, as a result of extreme shock derived from their discovery that Paris is not what they had expected it to be.

    • Agree: AaronB
  22. utu says:
    @Digital Samizdat

    Does BHL have any redeeming qualities?

    No. He does not. He is a fraud. A successful Jewish huckster. Aligned with current powers: banks, EU, Israel. Similar to (also in appearance and demeanor) Elie Wiesel another Jewish huckster who was conned by Jewish trickster Bernie Madoff.

    There should be a special exhibition in the Anthropological Museum where BHL, Elie Wiesel and Bernie Madoff would be displayed in jars filled with formaldehyde. Children could be taken there on days free from their mandatory visits to Holocaust museums. Too bad the exhibition did not exist when our AaronB was little.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  23. AaronB says:
    @Hyperborean

    Its not really something special about Jewish culture. And of course Jews differ from Europeans in certain key cultural assumptions, most notably in their acceptance of the non-rational and non-abstract sources of identity and their rejection of determinism, in short, Jewish culture rejects certain key elements of the Enlightenment tradition.

    All non-European cultures are healthier than modern European culture, which is sick. Amazonian rain forest tribes have a healthier culture. This isn’t controversial – I thought everyone on this site agreed that the modern West is gravely ill, but differ about the causes. Most here find it “incomprehensible”, whereas to me it seems obviously related to the growth of the science (albeit in a complicated way. Science is good but poses problems).

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  24. Mikhail says: • Website

    Simply put, BHL is an ultra-Sorosian dip.

    Not like some of the Ukrainians mentioned in this article:

    https://www.rferl.org/a/fans-jeer-ukrainian-soccer-player-s-transfer-to-russia-rakitskyy/29744161.html

  25. AaronB says:
    @utu

    Too bad the exhibition did not exist when our AaronB was little.

    But I already find these characters just as repugnant as you. Claiming they benefit from a culture that has rejected certain key elements of the Enlightenment culture of abstraction and determinism does not in any way constitute an endorsement.

  26. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Adam

    Not helping things is the misrepresentation of the past like this Sovok piece:

    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/450227-soviet-uk-russia-propaganda-wwi/

    The article’s title inaccurately states “1919-2019: UK still involved in anti-Russian campaign after 100 years“, followed by some inaccuracies.

    There was a Bolshevik coup against an internationally recognized Russian government, followed by a civil war in Russia. The Bolsheviks did a number of things which can be reasonably considered as anti-Russian, with their White opponent taking a patriotically Russian line. This explains why the Whites aren’t as unfavorably viewed in post-Soviet Russia when compared to the Soviet period. This situation includes Putin openly honoring the Whites and (on more than one occasion) speaking negatively of Lenin.

    Regarding the Russian Civil War and foreign involvement in that conflict:

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/25062018-remembering-richard-pipes-oped/

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/08042016-fuzzy-history-how-poland-saved-the-world-from-russia-analysis/

    I’ve little doubt that most of the Russian Civil War era Whites would be generally supportive of present day Russia – inclusive of disagreeing with the prevailing UK government slant on Russia.

    • Replies: @Pericles
  27. melanf says:
    @(((They))) Live

    Russia and Putin can have endless war with their muslim minority

    In Russia there is no “muslim minority” as a whole. Formally, the bulk of Russian Muslims are Tatars and Bashkirs. But Anatoly Karlin laid out statistics: these “Muslims” prefer (by a large margin) Christian migrants from Ukraine, compared to Muslim migrants from Central Asia.

    And so the Tatars build up Kazan (it’s all the buildings of the 21st century)

    Pay attention to the sculpture (forbidden by Islam)

    • Agree: Dmitry
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  28. @AaronB

    Its not really something special about Jewish culture. And of course Jews differ from Europeans in certain key cultural assumptions, most notably in their acceptance of the non-rational and non-abstract sources of identity and their rejection of determinism, in short, Jewish culture rejects certain key elements of the Enlightenment tradition.

    You’re just spewing verbiage. There are many, many atheist and materialist Jews who are only connected by the remembrance of the Holy Shoah and how gentiles persecuted them throughout the ages for absolutely no reason at all.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  29. AaronB says:
    @Hyperborean

    Sure, there’s also plenty of assimilated Jews who aren’t even connected by that much. Although honestly, any Jew who cares about the Shoah or persecution is likely to be culturally Jewish in more significant ways as well.

    But BHL specifically has identified as culturally Jewish and engaged with Jewish culture.

    Again, nothing special about Jewish culture here. I’m just pointing out why BHL wasn’t dazzled by the “vitality” of Russian culture. Only a modern Westener like Houllebecq would be dazzled by the vitality of Russian culture, because vitality is lacking only in the West.

    This shouldn’t be controversial. I thought we all agreed on this site that modern Western culture lacks vitality.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  30. @AaronB

    Neusner argues that America has provided its Jews with a situation that has produced a distinct challenge. First, American Jewry has successfully assimilated, yet it has not abandoned its desire to maintain a distinct identity. However, to a large extent its “religious” knowledge has all but disappeared. By religious knowledge Neusner does not refer to Orthodoxy or any particular form of institutional religious practice. He means, I think, one who lives inside a covenantal framework, however it is understood or manifest, with an informed sense of Jewish history.

    […]

    What is perhaps more distinctive to American Jewry is the second condition: the way the disappearance of anti-Semitism or anti-Judaism as an imminent threat has obviated the need for a parochial social structure (I do not speak of the diminution of anti-Semitism worldwide, but only in America). When the need for social cohesion is removed, the perpetuation of collective identity must be generated from within. The link between continued adherence to “religion (or “law”) and persecution was made by Spinoza in an oft-cited passage in his Theologico-Political Treatise: “That they [the Jews] are preserved largely through the hatred of other nations is demonstrated by historical fact.” This is not Sartre’s notion that anti-Semitism defines the “Jew” but rather that persecution assures the continuity of Judaism. Traditional opponents of the emancipation of Jews in Europe made similar arguments.

    https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/188365/stop-obsessing-over-holocaust

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  31. @Hyperborean

    Cont.

    Neusner argues that contemporary America, a society not plagued by anti-Semitism, is a new landscape that Jews must navigate in order to find resources other than pure ethnicity (ethnos) or negativity (the Holocaust) so as to construct a lasting sense of Jewish identity.

    Given these two conditions, Jews in America have not abandoned the need, or desire, for a Jewish identity or “survival”; in fact, ironically, the notion of survival has arguably become an American Jewish obsession, as we can see by the collective Jewish hand-wringing that followed the 2013 Pew Poll. That is to say, survival becomes the primary concern, and even a dogma, of a collective void of any positive raison d’etre.

    […]

    One may well suspect, therefore, that the reasons American Jews who are actively engaged in Jewish community affairs lay such heavy emphasis on Jewish ethnicism is that they have left little other than a visceral ethnic consciousness (and a diminishing one at that)” [emphasis added by Tablet].

    For Neusner, psychologically, American Jews need new content to drive their empty desire for survival as a distinct community in a world where they have largely abandoned the content of survival but not the desire to survive.

    […]

    And yet, the bargain Jews made to assimilate and subsequently become as successful as they have comes with a price, and the price is precisely what Neusner claims contemporary Jew are paying: the loss of a content-driven sense of identity to bolster the desire for ethnic survival.

    For Neusner it is not that the Holocaust objectively stands outside any covenantal framework. Rather, it is that the process of secularization has made that framework inoperative and thus unable to absorb an event of such magnitude. And it is the need for the Holocaust to fill the vacuum of a Judaism void of content and not its unique status that drives the American Jewish obsession. In some sense the Holocaust takes on religious meaning because there is no religious meaning to supplant it.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  32. AaronB says:
    @Hyperborean

    Granted, but this proves my point that Jews have rejected the Enlightenment notion that identity is individual and abstract and based on rational considerations.

    Jews are striving to maintain a collective identity rooted in a sense of distinct ethnicity and their identity is not rationally constructed.

    And we are talking here about the most assimilated Jews who have the least connection to Jewish culture. But my claim was about Jewish culture being healthier – that there exist many Jews with weak links to this culture is true, but beside the point.

    BHL does in fact engage with Jewish culture and identify with it, so will find himself nourished by certain trends within it that prevent Enlightenment poison from taking root.

    • Replies: @neutral
    , @Hyperborean
  33. @utu

    While H is probably wrong: “whereas I’m sure they didn’t know the music [Beatles] before.”

    Of course he’s wrong. Here’s a post on what was played at USSR dance parties. In late 1970s it already was mostly Western music.
    https://germanych.livejournal.com/333946.html

    Soviet Beatles cover from 1971:

    • Replies: @Swedish Family
  34. Anon[697] • Disclaimer says:
    @AaronB

    Fun Fact: few people reading his Buddhist books know Conze was a doctrinaire Marxist who wrote a big, Germanic book praising Marx for rediscovering Buddha’s refutation of the reactionary law of contradiction. You can buy it on kindle for about $150; I suppose the market is librarians seeking to complete their collections of Marxist brainrot.

  35. neutral says:
    @AaronB

    BHL does in fact engage with Jewish culture and identify with it

    Its not the culture, its the race he identifies with, being a jew ultimately always comes down to race.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  36. @melanf

    Beautiful buildings, and good that the Muslims in Russia are concentrated in the Crimea and Bashkortostan (as well as Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan, but those have very small populations).

    But aren’t there a large number of Muslim central Asians in Moscow metro area, probably more than a million? Doesn’t seem like a safe scenario as the number of nonMuslim ethnic Russians appears to keep declining.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @melanf
  37. Dmitry says:
    @RadicalCenter

    The photos are from Kazan.

    Kazan is an almost half Tatar city. But these are heavily secularized people of Muslim origin.

    Kazan is the city with the third most fast growing tourist flow Russia. I have not been in Kazan, but people say it’s an improving city.

    Our civilizational tensions with Muslim nationalities are significantly solved by the secularization process.

    Azerbaijan is the most secularized Muslim country in the world. And Baku is like:

    • Replies: @AP
  38. Denis says:

    Was there ever a time when BHL didn’t hate Russians? His problem obviously isn’t with Russian culture, which he doesn’t understand or appreciate, nor is it with racism, because if he did have a problem with racism, he would be first in line to criticize Israel. For that matter, he would also criticize mass-immigration to Europe, as those immigrants tend to be extremely racist to the natives.

    His problem is the fact that the Russian people have failed to embrace collective suicide in the same way that Westerners have. So long as Russians continue to defend their own existence in any way, people like Levy will continue to hate them.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  39. Dmitry says:

    I couldn’t help replying to the topic.

    With respect to good contributions of Swedish Family and Karlin – I don’t find these quoted comments intelligent, but the opposite. Average comments in tripadvisor are better than these ones.

    I guess they just fly to Moscow for a book publishing events. And the rest is incoherent nonsense from their imaginations.

    young Russians adore the Beatles

    Popularity of Beatles today – probably not different to Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, Japan, etc. Visiting Abbey Road in London, there are people of all nationalities “making pilgrimages”.

    Of course, life is hard, very hard in Russia, it is a violent life, but they

    You have to be a bit myopic, privileged and/or inexperienced, to say that life in Russia is “very hard” and “violent” in a worldwide sense.

    Maybe if you don’t often leave Monaco and St. Moritz, it will seem like this.

    the world the Russia of Putin, of the war in Chechnya, the Russia

    Like saying “America is the world of Trump and the Afghanistan War.”

    Newspaper headlines ≠ representative of normal life of a country.

    as its party, the Nashi, meaning “our own,” which, to call a spade a spade, is a Stalin-Hitler combo

    Even countries like Norway, have political youth camps, including for its party of power. And in those countries, they don’t have to replace (and still slightly compete with) komsomol.

    “Nashi” was idiotic and had some unpleasant legacy mainly in its online hooliganism (as well as payments to bloggers). But groups like “antifa”, in countries like America, are vastly worse – “antifa” in America is beating people with metal bars, and this is offline hooliganism.

    Nashi, meaning “our own,” which, to call a spade a spade, is a Stalin-Hitler combo, the Russia that, incidentally, is giving new life to the anti-Semitic European pamphlets of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

    Incoherent comments: mass publication of any real racist material is not permitted with the constitution (whether you agree with this policy or not – probably American policy is more mature).

    And how does this sentence link “incidentally” from his complaint about “Nashi”? This is the same “Nashi” antifascist movement which would screen the film “Schindler’s list”, commemorate holocaust memorial day, and send books of holocaust history to politicians.

    , and Yulia Tymoshenko, the mastermind behind the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine.

    Some of his above claims about glorification of Nazism, perhaps would be a little applicable for some things that happen in Ukraine.

    believes in nothing at all, absolutely nothing, just the religion of the marketplace, consumption and brands.

    Almost all countries of the world are capitalist, and all functioning and improving countries are capitalist. Maybe this is avoidable in North Korea and Venezuela.

    Criticizing Russia, for the same as every other functioning country of today – just an indication that this man is an idiot.

    What needs more emphasis in general, is how the marketplace, consumption and brands, is improving ordinary life in all countries.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  40. Pericles says:
    @Mikhail

    What is the best work on the Russian Civil War in English?

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  41. Dmitry says:
    @utu

    that prevent him to did see the Beast.

    This “beast” you talk about, seems something much more attached to your own soul and perception.

    There is some desire to demonize other countries. This life and society for most people is nothing very unusual or different to the rest of the world, and if perceived in a good mood, you would see it as being as interesting and beautiful as any other countries.

    • Replies: @utu
  42. @Stolen Valor Detective

    The waifu in The Map and the Territory was Russian, right?

    You mean Olga?

    Olga was one of those endearing Russians who have learned in the course of their formative years to admire a certain image of France — gallantry, gastronomy, literature, and so on — and who are then regularly upset that the real country corresponds so badly to their expectations.

  43. @Adam

    Western Russophiles with an overly inflated view of Russia often can’t handle learning the truth about Russian society and become Russophobes.

    Stephen Cohen once said that media’s demonization of Russia is at bottom a story of unrequited love. A good number of heavy hitters were stationed in Moscow in the 80s and 90s*, spreading the gospel of social liberalism, so they took it as a personal slight when Russia rejected their legacy. Russophobia is more than this, but Cohen is on to something here: there is something oddly personal about much of the reporting on Russia.

    * Fred Hiatt of the Washington Post and David Remnick of the New Yorker are but two.

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Beckow
  44. @Toronto Russian

    Yes, the Beatles even feature in a few Soviet films. Here is “She Loves You” in Прошу слова from 1975

    (from 0:25)

  45. utu says:
    @Dmitry

    Negative things perceived in other are not always projections. There is always the beast, the shadow. Usually it can’t be seen by the one who is its carrier. It takes the outsider to see it.

  46. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    Having been to Baku I can confirm it is a wonderful city. It’s advantage is not only that it is secular, but also that it is Shiite. Shiites don’t massacre random civilians.

    Anyone wanting to see a Muslim country without taking any risks should come to Azerbaijan. Unless they are Armenian. Azerbaijan explicitly forbids Armenians or people of Armenian descent from entering their country (also, hilariously, their main English-language newspaper devotes 25% of its content to trashing Armenia. It will discuss corruption, crime rates, etc.).

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  47. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Pericles
    • Replies: @Pericles
  48. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Swedish Family

    In the US, NBC used Remnick to serve as their main commentator on the background (history, culture) of Russia during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. On a comparatively limited basis, NBC also utilized Vladimir Pozner.

    Stephen Cohen would’ve been a better choice over Remnick, whose propagandist babble was all too evident.

  49. Beckow says:
    @Swedish Family

    …unrequited love…there is something oddly personal about much of the reporting on Russia

    There is something to that, but most current Russia haters in the West have minimal experience or even interest in Russia. It is just a bugaboo that they have conjured up with no deep thinking or emotions. It is also in a well-paid demand.

    Russia can be frustrating for Westerners: it is unmovable and heavy in experiences in a way they don’t know how to handle. Initially that gravitas can be attractive, but as they fail to understand it or change it (they always want to change societies), the emotional backlash sets in. Remnick and his type are not serious people, they like to slide through life untouched, comfortable and unchallenged. Russia doesn’t allow for that.

    It will be interesting to see how the current Russophobic mania evolves. It has all the prerequisites for a major catastrophe: it is profitable, feeds major economic interests, large ethnic communities are obsessed with it, and a critical mass among the Western elites has committed to it. On the other hand there are the nukes and the unmovable nature of Russia. Short of an arranged marriage between some of the principals (Putin is single!), this could get really bloody.

  50. @AaronB

    Granted, but this proves my point that Jews have rejected the Enlightenment notion that identity is individual and abstract and based on rational considerations.

    Jews are striving to maintain a collective identity rooted in a sense of distinct ethnicity and their identity is not rationally constructed.

    […]

    BHL does in fact engage with Jewish culture and identify with it, so will find himself nourished by certain trends within it that prevent Enlightenment poison from taking root.

    If 75% of Jews have little connection to ‘Jewish culture’ that implies that they are not really healthy at all.

    Now given that Jews are engaging in ethnocentrism yet actively seek to deny it for Amalekites, the solution for gentiles would be to enforce the decomposition of Judaism.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  51. @Dmitry

    Almost all countries of the world are capitalist, and all functioning and improving countries are capitalist. Maybe this is avoidable in North Korea and Venezuela.

    North Korea is slowly, but certainly, reforming economically.

    https://thediplomat.com/2017/03/crisps-and-coffee-shops-north-koreas-new-consumerism/

    https://www.smh.com.au/opinion/the-privileged-elite-of-north-korea-live-a-charmed-life-20170430-gvvt40.html

  52. Anonymous[146] • Disclaimer says:

    If I were Russian, I know where I’d go to find a wife. Yakutsk!

  53. @Denis

    His problem is the fact that the Russian people have failed to embrace collective suicide in the same way that Westerners have. So long as Russians continue to defend their own existence in any way, people like Levy will continue to hate them.

    Lévy’s entire career is based on enforcing the ruling ideology.

    In 1985, Lévy, along with Glucksmann and Jean-François Revel, a socialist-turned-libertarian and harsh critic of anti-Americanism, signed a petition to encourage President Reagan to continue supporting the Nicaraguan Contras.

    Lévy supported the attack on Yugoslavia and agitated against the ebiil!! Nazi-Serbs in favour of the Albanians and Bosniaks.

    He also later said, “Yes, it is true. I am more interested in the misery of the Bosniaks than the misery on the streets [of France]. I am a little deaf to the social question. What do you want, one writes with one’s intelligence and one’s subconscious”.

    He also advocated for interference in Darfur, support for Massoud in Afghanistan and considered the attack on Libya his “grand triumph”.

    He has been a consistent hawk against Russia and said in 2015 that Westerners should support the Kurds against ISIS because ‘they are the only ones who can concretely protect the Christians of the Middle East’.

    Of course, his hypocrisy in appealing to Christians is evident.

    Lévy published “The French Ideology” in 1981, a book which blames practically every prominent Leftist and Rightist Frenchman of the nineteenth and early twentieth century who ever loved France for Vichy and thus the Sin of the Shoah.

    And while lambasting every gentile nationality that dares assert some sort of national pride or independence he is himself a massive defender of Israel.

    No one should pretend he is some idealist. Lévy is merely a conniving, soulless liar.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    , @Denis
  54. @Hyperborean

    No one should pretend he is some idealist. Lévy is merely a conniving, soulless liar.

    In 2007 Lévy publicly supported the former mayor of Grenoble, Alain Carignon, who spent time in prison for various cases of corruption.

    Lévy has been condemned by a French court for defamation in one of his articles and from 1995-1997 headed Becob, a massive company which imports African mineral water. He also in 1998 succeeded in squashing a report on their operations made by the newspaper Entrevue from being published by intervening directly with the owner of the newspaper.

  55. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    Anyone wanting to see a Muslim country without taking any risks should come to Azerbaijan.

    What about Kazakhstan or Iran if the wizards in charge there will ever get overthrown?

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    , @AP
  56. @Mr. XYZ

    What about Kazakhstan or Iran if the wizards in charge there will ever get overthrown?

    Kazakhstan is a generally secular country ruled by a Soviet dictator, not a ‘wizard’ like in Iran.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  57. melanf says:
    @RadicalCenter

    But aren’t there a large number of Muslim central Asians in Moscow metro area, probably more than a million?

    this exaggeration

    Doesn’t seem like a safe scenario as the number of nonMuslim ethnic Russians appears to keep declining.

    That’s not entirely true.
    https://akarlin.com/2013/07/from-russia-to-russabia/

    The article is old but the situation since then has not changed

  58. Par for the course:

    NATO allies ‘fully support’ U.S. action on INF treaty

    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO allies “fully support” the United States’ pending withdrawal notice from the INF nuclear missile pact over Russia’s actions, a statement by the alliance said.

    “The United States is taking this action in response to the significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security posed by Russia’s covert testing, production, and fielding of 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile systems,” it said.

    “Allies fully support this action.”

    Washington will soon announce plans to suspend compliance with a landmark treaty with Russia, responding to alleged violations by Moscow, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

  59. AP says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    Kazakhstan has a large Russian poulation, particularly in the cities, so it is not nearly as much of a Muslim country as is Azerbaijan. Iran sometimes arrests Americans.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  60. Dmitry says:

    Varlamov is vacationing in Syria now, and makes a lot of reports from there.
    https://varlamov.ru/3288668.html

    For Damascus, main problem of the city has been obviously chaotic planning. They need Germans or Japanese to rebuild the cities. Even without the war, I emphasize with Syrians going to Germany so they can have an ordered city experience.

    People motorbicycle on the sidewalk.

    Walking in the roads…

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @Hyperborean
  61. El Dato says:
    @Anonymous

    Over this thirty-year period, France’s economy grew rapidly like economies of other developed countries within the framework of the Marshall Plan such as West Germany, Italy and Japan.

    Reminder that the “Marshall Plan” money mainly went to Sweden and Greece.

    The economy “grew rapidly” because it had nothing else to do. A lot of economic niches, formerly blocked, were suddenly open and the stifling control and state rapacity of the Nazi regime was gone. So, yeah.

    • Replies: @for-the-record
  62. Mitleser says:
    @Dmitry

    They need Germans or Japanese to rebuild the cities.

    What is wrong with you?
    Germans would destroy the souls of their cities.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    , @Dmitry
  63. El Dato says:
    @AaronB

    Levy already belongs to a culture that has what Russia has

    This sounds pretty far fetched.

    Russia does not resemble a Shtetl at all.

    What attributes are we talking about here?

  64. @Dmitry

    For Damascus, main problem of the city has been obviously chaotic planning. They need Germans or Japanese to rebuild the cities. Even without the war, I emphasize with Syrians going to Germany so they can have an ordered city experience.

    People motorbicycle on the sidewalk.
    Walking in the roads…

    I think that has more to do with people’s behaviour than the urban planning. We went to Egypt once when I was little and I remember that some Cairo sidewalks would be completely occupied by makeshift shops while people would walk on the streets instead.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  65. El Dato says:
    @Mitleser

    What _is_ the soul of their cities

    I thought Syria has been bombed out quite a bit, so the Germans and Japanese would have experience helping out. OTOH, one would have to move the city to Germany for full success and the blossoming of fugly 60s cheap apartment block shock horror takeover, but then again, Germany had no choice, gotto build cheap & fast.

    And what am I looking at in these pictures?

    As for a hollowing out, look a Brussels:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brusselization

    In urban planning, Brusselization (UK and US) or Brusselisation (UK variant) (French: bruxellisation, Dutch: verbrusseling) is “the indiscriminate and careless introduction of modern high-rise buildings into gentrified neighbourhoods” and has become a byword for “haphazard urban development and redevelopment”.

    “gentrified neighbourhoods”, uh-huh.

    It’s all about promoteurs working close with national or transnational State Apparatus to buy existing housing, demolish it and set up (often sloppily and with hidden costs) bureaucratic hen pens instead.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  66. AaronB says:
    @Hyperborean

    You said it yourself – even these 75% of Jews with weak connection to the culture engage in ethnocentrism. That implies a different and healthier set of beliefs about the world than that held by whites.

    So even the most secular and assimilated Jews have beliefs about reality that differ in important ways from their fellow whites.

    In fact, ethnocentrism alone implies a whole world view that rejects many key elements of the Enlightenment.

    Jews are ethnocentric, vigorously advocate for themselves, and vigorously seek to undermine those they perceive as their enemies – all this conspicuously not the case with whites. Now these behaviors imply a belief system and are rooted in a particular philosophy. An opposite philosophy would be the Enlightenment.

    That is just a fact. Now, if you wish to say that Jews are ethnocentric and whites not because of genetic determinism than not only are you whites completely screwed but it would merely mean that Jews are genetically programmed to reject key elements of the Enlightenment.

    It would not change the fact that Jews and whites have different cultures in some respects, and that certain beliefs are associated with healthy behaviors in humans and certain beliefs with unhealthy.

    Of course, you may claim the nature of the association is not causal, and that it is all genetically determined – which itself is good example of an unhealthy belief 🙂

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  67. AaronB says:
    @neutral

    Believing in race is itself culture. Some cultures don’t believe in race.

  68. Dmitry says:
    @Mitleser

    What’s in this picture – Germans destroy a historical monument. Don’t tell me Germans are not the best in the world for reconstruction of historical heritage?

    • Replies: @melanf
  69. Dmitry says:
    @Hyperborean

    It could be more like an interaction of the two factors.

    In video below (first one which was on YouTube when I searched Damascus) you can see people crossing the road, being filmed I think from the same pedestrian bridge Varlamov talks about.

    It’s the same bridge I think? So here people are choosing not to use the pedestrian bridge.

    Although Varlamov thinks the general cause of people walking in the highway in Damascus is the lack of pedestrian infrastructure:

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  70. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Hyperborean

    The wizards reference was exclusively to Iran. I certainly didn’t mean to imply that Kazakhstan was ruled by wizards; it certainly isn’t.

    For a dictator, Nazarbayev is actually a pretty good one.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  71. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    It’s the same bridge I think?

    Lol actually obviously a different one, I was confused – no palm trees in the video and different bridge design.

    But cars must not travel very fast, if you can walk in the street like this.

  72. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    That’s a good point about Kazakhstan–though it still appears to be Muslim-majority (just much less so than Azerbaijan, as you said).

    As for Iran, sure, the wizards in charge of Iran right now are extremely hostile towards the US and Americans, but would a post-Ayatollahs Iran also be hostile towards the US?

    Also, what about the other Central Asian countries, Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia, Turkey, and Lebanon?

    • Replies: @AP
  73. AP says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    That’s a good point about Kazakhstan–though it still appears to be Muslim-majority (just much less so than Azerbaijan, as you said).

    Also the Kazakhs themselves are very Russified, whereas Azeris are not.

    Almaty,Kazakhstan’s largest city, is about 51% Kazakh (and Russified ones) and 33% Russian. It was largely built under Russian rule and looks a lot like a Russian city, with some mosques. I suppose the Tatar capital of Kazan (48% Tatar, 48% Russian) is somewhat comparable

    Uzbekistan is fairly safe, it is much less Russian, but it’s far and more expensive to get to. In contrast with Azerbaijan, there are direct flights from NY to Baku and they are cheap. I highly recommend it.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  74. melanf says:
    @Dmitry

    Don’t tell me Germans are not the best in the world for reconstruction of historical heritage?

    In Germany, everywhere I’ve been, modernist buildings have been built in historic city centers

    As far as I know (according to people living in Germany), “progressive” architects for such a transformation of Germany did more than American aviation. If I’m wrong – correct me

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  75. Dmitry says:
    @melanf

    Ok, but when Germans want to reconstruct, they can like for example Dresden’s Neumarkt since 2005.

    I’m not sure how successful this is – some people say it is too much like “Disneyland”.

    Like you say future buildings planned for the area, maybe will be filled with more modernist designs?

  76. @El Dato

    Reminder that the “Marshall Plan” money mainly went to Sweden and Greece.

    I assume you’re joking. Greece received 5%, Sweden less than 1%.

    https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R45079.pdf

  77. Mitleser says:
    @El Dato

    And what am I looking at in these pictures?

    Destruction of a memorial to Emperor Friedrich III. in the 1960s for the sake of a broader road.

    The location, Friedrich-Wilhelm-Platz, Friedenau, (West-)Berlin is still named after him.

  78. @AaronB

    That is just a fact. Now, if you wish to say that Jews are ethnocentric and whites not because of genetic determinism than not only are you whites completely screwed but it would merely mean that Jews are genetically programmed to reject key elements of the Enlightenment.

    Don’t be stupid and don’t put words in my mouth I never said. Jews hold the power they hold because of ethnic nepotism and because of they are ruthlessly willing to eliminate those they see as an obstacle, whether they are Amalekites, Canaanites, Persians or Germans, Russians or, again, Iranians.

    “Jews are ethnocentric, vigorously advocate for themselves, and vigorously seek to undermine those they perceive as their enemies”.

    I would add generally speaking, but I see we have gotten the crux of the matter and now that I have this acknowledgement from you, you and this conversation are no longer needed.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  79. AaronB says:
    @Hyperborean

    Jews hold the power they hold because of ethnic nepotism and because of they are ruthlessly willing to eliminate those they see as an obstacle, whether they are Amalekites, Canaanites, Persians or Germans, Russians or, again, Iranians.

    Exactly. I would merely add also because they are highly motivated.

    So Jews have a positive, optimistic, and motivating culture. Which was my origin point.

    BHL does not need to find these things in foreign cultures.

    I would add generally speaking, but I see we have gotten the crux of the matter and now that I have this acknowledgement from you, you and this conversation are no longer needed.

    So the crux of the matter that we finally reached was the premise which began the conversation?

    Who knew.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  80. @AaronB

    Exactly. I would merely add also because they are highly motivated.

    So Jews have a positive, optimistic, and motivating culture. Which was my origin point.

    They are motivated, but it is born out of desperate negativity.

    BHL does not need to find these things in foreign cultures.

    Lévy is a cynical leech.

    I also quoted his words before: “Yes, it is true. I am more interested in the misery of the Bosniaks than the misery on the streets [of France]. I am a little deaf to the social question. What do you want, one writes with one’s intelligence and one’s subconscious”.

    Of course, he does not really care about Bosniaks either.

    So the crux of the matter that we finally reached was the premise which began the conversation?

    Who knew.

    I never stated I believed in your ‘genetic determinism’ strawman you are determined to promote.

    The crux is that once you move from vague insinuations to specifics, there is no ‘there’ there.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  81. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    Also the Kazakhs themselves are very Russified, whereas Azeris are not.

    Almaty,Kazakhstan’s largest city, is about 51% Kazakh (and Russified ones) and 33% Russian. It was largely built under Russian rule and looks a lot like a Russian city, with some mosques. I suppose the Tatar capital of Kazan (48% Tatar, 48% Russian) is somewhat comparable

    Agreed about Almaty, but what criteria are you using to classify Kazakhs as Russified? The Russian percentage of the total population? By that criteria, Latvia and Estonia would be even more Russified than Kazakhstan is, no?

    Uzbekistan is fairly safe, it is much less Russian, but it’s far and more expensive to get to. In contrast with Azerbaijan, there are direct flights from NY to Baku and they are cheap. I highly recommend it.

    I wonder if there are direct flights from LA to Baku.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  82. @Mr. XYZ

    Agreed about Almaty, but what criteria are you using to classify Kazakhs as Russified? The Russian percentage of the total population? By that criteria, Latvia and Estonia would be even more Russified than Kazakhstan is, no?

    I think AP is referring to the culture/behaviour of ethnic Kazakhs.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  83. AaronB says:
    @Hyperborean

    Ok, but even negative motivation is healthier than European apathy and nihilism.

    Whatever the sources of Jewish motivation, they are still interested in survival and in pursuing their self interest. They are still optimistic and vigorous.

    And my original point was not to say Jewish culture is fantastic and wonderful, which you should know by now is not at all what I think. I can go on for hours about the ways in which it’s awful, and have on this site. I merely said it posses vitality, which it does.

    Now why do still Jews posses vitality and pursue self-interest while Europeans do not? Well, one difference one notices right away between the groups is that they have different philosophies.

    For one, Jews believe in the importance of race. That is an anti-Enlightenment view. In fact it can’t be defended using abstract principles. It is a purely emotional thing.

    So we see already that Jewish culture does not prize intellect over emotion. The European will suppress his emotional inclination towards his own race out of abstract principle. He accepts only what can be rationally defended, not emotion.

    Now, giving in entirely to emotion is also destructive – one must balance it with rationality.

    But it seems to me evident that cultures which entirely suppress emotion in favor of intellect lose their vitality and ability to pursue their self-interest. And that is the calamity that has befallen Europe. Of course cultures that give in entirely to emotion become chronically self-destructive.

    Of course, he does not really care about Bosniaks either.

    Of course not. He is a loathsome person. My claim that he possesses the vitality for self-interest doesn’t imply I think highly of him.

    I just recognize that he is in a certain measure healthier than those who don’t.

    The crux is that once you move from vague insinuations to specifics, there is no ‘there’ there.

    I think I laid out a pretty clear argument here, so I have no idea what you mean by this.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  84. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Hyperborean

    More specifics would be nice, though.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  85. @AaronB

    I think I laid out a pretty clear argument here, so I have no idea what you mean by this.

    That is what I mean.

    That there is no obscure esoteric knowledge from you, rather it is clear and exoteric.

    You are not wrong at this last point, but it is not anything new for me.

  86. @Mr. XYZ

    More specifics would be nice, though.

    To the extent that I have experience with Central Asians, it is with educated ones. I don’t think they would be very typical.

  87. Vojkan says:

    BHL is a complete idiot whose own wife admitted once that he used psychoactive substances to increase his awareness and “creativity”.
    He’s famous because he owes his access to media to owning a few and to being Jewish and rich. He’s rich because he inherited the fortune made by his father through trade of African wood, translated, by cutting rain forests and exploiting indigenous workforce.
    Anyone who has managed to read more than five pages in a row of a book by him is a masochist. Heck, to prop up his argument, the guy even quoted once an imaginary philosopher invented by a journalist for the sole purpose of mocking him. He’s also known for battlefield photoshoots made in studios and for crouching behind walls in Sarajevo while people walked around casually because he heard some shooting done in the distance.
    In short, he’s an intellectually inept, morally repugnant egomaniac and he owes his relevance to idiots who take him seriously.
    Stop mentioning him, start ignoring him, leave him to his audience in Saint-Germain-des-Près, “germanopratine” in French, and you’ll see that time not wasted on him can actually be used to do things that are intellectually much more gratifying.

    • Agree: Mikhail
  88. @Mr. XYZ

    For a dictator, Nazarbayev is actually a pretty good one.

    I didn’t mean it derisively, which is why I said ‘Soviet’ instead of ‘Sovok’, but his style of ruling is still shaped by his Soviet background.

  89. Off topic, but here is an interesting chart I found. It shows budget subsidies to Russian regions.

    Turns out Dagestan is costing Russia just under $1 billion every year, and this sum is increasing. The regions receiving the most sibsidies are all ethnic republics.

  90. @Felix Keverich

    I could understand why underpopulated and isolated regions like Yakutia o Kamchatsky Krai receive large amounts of subsidies but why does oil rich Bashkorostan get so much federal subsidies?

  91. Seraphim says:
    @utu

    BHL’s revulsion toward Russia has nothing to do with any ‘leftist idealism’, but everything to do with him being Jew and Russia ‘anti-semitic’ (not, of course, that ‘leftist idealism’ has other origins).

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  92. Seraphim says:
    @Seraphim

    As to his ‘leftist idealism’:
    BHL is a multimillionaire!

    “His father, André Lévy, was the founder and manager of a timber company, Becob, and became a multimillionaire from his business… In 2004, his fortune amounts to 150 million euros. Owner of seven companies, his fortune comes essentially from the inheritance of his parents, then completed by stock exchange investments (he is in 2000 suspected of insider trading by the Commission des opérations de bourse)…”

    The ‘leftist idealists’ who signed the Manifesto are the cretins manipulated by the real ‘oligarchs’. Useful idiots. Maybe not that idiots. ‘Presstitutes’. It is hard to believe that there is not some money for them too.

  93. Denis says:
    @Hyperborean

    Yep. I wonder who actually reads the stuff that he writes.

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - If you are new to my work, *start here*. If you liked this post, and want me to produce more such content, consider *donating*.


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Anatoly Karlin Comments via RSS