The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersRussian Reaction Blog
Kiselev Wants to Take You to a Gay Bar
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New Reply
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

rainbow-kiselev

A few days after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage throughout the US, a fairly (in)famous Russian TV presenter expressed his support for gay civil unions on the nation’s second biggest TV channel in front of a big projector screen blaring out “Love Works Miracles.”

No, he was not beaten up by skinheads with iron bars for his temerity live on air, nor was he fired, nor did anything happen to him whatsoever (which is surely shocking enough by itself for many Westerners). What is all the more surprising is the identity of this TV presenter: Dmitry Kiselev. He is a personality who has a highly chequered reputation in the West, reliably generating headlines with soundbytes about Russia’s ability to turn the US into radioactive ash and the necessity of burning the hearts of dead homosexuals. He is arguably regarded as being second only to Putin in terms of his godly powers in Ukraine, and has been sanctioned by the EU for being a “central figure” in Russian state propaganda.

And to hear him “come out” this way – “Love Works Miracles,” indeed. Snide jokes about his imminent gay marriage to Milonov inevitably follow. Even if he is serious, how exactly is Russian society – where support for gay marriage is at a mere 7% according to opinion polls, down by half from 15% just a decade ago – supposed to accept gay civil unions?

gay-marriage-russia-poll

But far from being the raving firebrand and Slavic Glenn Beck that he is typically regarded as, Kiselev is in fact a fairly intelligent and urbane person who speaks four foreign languages, successfully cultivated ties with important people who didn’t necessarily share his ideological outlook – here is a photo of him serving fried potatoes to Poroshenko and Buzina, in nicer, older days – and overall, an able servant of the state who is ultimately paid to propagate its thoughts, priorities, and feelers.

This episode must force us to consider an unusual proposition: The granting of concessions to the Russian LGBT community, up to and including civil unions. So far as the Russian state is concerned, this is arguably both realistic and adaptive and might happen far sooner than one might otherwise imagine.

The first major point to bear in mind is that Russian attitudes towards homosexuality – as well as social conservatism in general – have always been far more functional than ideological and/or theological in nature. This might be a surprising assertion to some, but it is backed up by history. The Soviet state was the fourth major European country (France, the Ottoman Empire and Italy were first) to effectively decriminalize homosexuality in 1917, along with abortion. The “reactionary” ancien regime had been overthrown, and so too were its cultural and legal accoutrements to be consigned to the dustbin of history. This policy was sharply reversed by Stalin in 1933, when (male) homosexuality was once again made illegal. Despite the rhetoric, its goals were purely pragmatic: The Stalinist leadership was concerned about falling birth rates (which they ascribed to the liberal policies instituted under the Old Bolsheviks, including legal homosex and abortion), made especially germane due to the looming threat of war with Nazi Germany; and the latent homoeroticism of much of Nazi art and culture (compare Kameradschaft to Worker and Peasant Girl) coupled with the regime’s search for scapegoats made homosexuals an easy target. These policies were maintained after Stalinism, when homosexuality was associated with effete capitalist societies that had no place in a worker’s state. The USSR might have been Marxist, but it was by no means culturally Marxist (a fine point that oft happens to be lost on US conservatives).

gchq-gay

Turing? More like Orwell.

Then the winds of history shifted, and sodomy was (re)decriminalized in 1993 – that’s ten years earlier than some US states, for context. In the absence of the state declining to take a strong position one way or the other, attitudes towards homosexuality steadily crept up well into the Putinist 2000s – albeit from a very low base. But then in 2012, Russian politics took a starkly conservative turn as Putin, following the mini-shocks of the 2011-12 elections protests, forsook the urbane and cosmopolitan class of Muscovite latte-sippers in favor of the “real Russia” of the Uralvagonzavod workers in the hinterland. The law against propaganda of homosexuality to minors was adopted in 2013. Locked in an increasingly bitter culture war with the West, which has now began not only embracing but actively weaponizing the international LGBT movement against its geopolitical foes – conventional wisdom must assess the prospects for LGBT rights in Russia as bleak for the foreseeable future.

Or maybe not. Here are the reasons:

(1) As per above, the Russian state’s policies on social conservatism are functional, not ideological. If the cost-benefit calculatinos change in a certain direction, so too will state policy. This is especially the case today since unlike the Soviet Union, Russia is an avowedly non-ideological state. When asked if Russia has a “national idea,” Putin replied, “For our children, our grandchildren, for our Motherland, Russia, it always was, is, and will be worth living for and creating for. What else is there? However we might try to come up with a national idea, it has to be said directly: There is nothing closer to someone than his family, his close ones, and his own country.” In other words, strident conservatism might be adaptive today – but tomorrow is another day.

alexeyev-outburst

“He dared call me a hypocrite? KGB must have hacked him!” – some American faggot.

(2) From a McCarthyite conspiracy theory, the US and Co. have managed to make Homintern into reality, highly intertwined with SJWs (with Buzzfeed as their flagship) and wielded with aplomb against countries unfriendly to the West (I suspect that as much has been written in the American MSM about Russia’s “persecution” of gays just in relation to the Sochi Olympics than about the totality of LGBT experiences in Saudi Arabia). What is all the more remarkable is that all this came together just a mere decade or so after the end of institutionalized discrimination against homosexuals in the US. This is no mean achievement and can be said without the slightest trace of irony.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that all or even most homosexuals are now fully on board with Western imperialism. To the contrary, Manning and Greenwald plainly disprove that. The Russian LGBT movement as a whole has been highly subservient to Homintern, but this is neither a universal position nor even an entirely non-understandable one in the context of the Russian state’s turn against LGBT in the early 2010′s. For instance, Nikolay Alexeyev – a prominent leader in Russia’s gay movement – doesn’t like the West anymore than he does Putin, after he fell out with America’s Homintern (specifically John Aravosis and the AMERICAblog) because of their attacks on him following his refusal to toe their line calling for a boycott of the Sochi Olympics.

(3) To avoid falling behind the global Zeitgeist. If you can’t beat it – and let’s not kid ourselves, Russia objectively can’t – then join it on your own terms. As Razib Khan points out, it is the high IQ people who set policy – even in the US, the religious conservative types have next to zero influence over policy – and the great bulk of high IQ people in the West now support the gay agenda. This percentage is not going to diminish anytime soon. Like it or not, but opponents of gay marriage are going to find themselves increasingly surrounded by blithering idiots (Khanian qualifier: on average). And fat, drunk, and stupid – well, just fat and stupid, I’m talking about the US not Russia here – is no way to exert influence.

The counterargument is that the Western power is sinking anyway with the rise of BRICS, so why adapt to their world now of all times? Even if one insists on viewing it that way, though, it’s hardly an exclusively Western phenomenon. For that matter, two BRICS members – South Africa and Brazil – already have gay marriage.

homosexuality-world-poll-pew

As religiosity decreases, and it is decreasing virtually everywhere, tolerance for homosexuality and consequently support for gay marriage tends to rise. China and Russia are the only two major exceptions to this trend, due to their socialist legacy, but will they remain exceptions indefinitely? With the homosexuality = effete capitalists ideology now defunct, I wouldn’t bet on it in the longterm.

One concern for Russian conservatives might be that civil unions would be a slippery slope. To the contrary, evidence so far indicates that they are more of a line in the sand. It’s striking that Germany – a country far more socially liberal than the US, and which has had gay civil unions since 2001 – still doesn’t have gay marriage, while the US is fining bakers hundreds of thousands of dollars just for following their religious beliefs on homosexual unions. Americans can thank their pathetic cuckservatives for that, who spent many years slavering about the evils of gay marriage only to do a volte-face as soon as support for gay marriage crossed the 50% bar.

(4) One of the main purposes of traditionalism in Russia right now is as a foreign policy to consolidate the Near Abroad (e.g. Novorossiya) and undermine the NWO (e.g. Nazi conferences, support for Front National and Scottish independence – Europe, “The South will Rise Again!” – the US). The No Homo position is a consistent, if unnecessary, complement.

Why unnecessary? First, because consistency in foreign policy is overrated. Nobody pays anything but lip service to it. At various points since the fall of the Soviet Union, the US supported Chechen jihadists, its pet Moscow liberals, and literal liberal Nazis like Navalny – and the US is, after all, the country that invented the very concept of “color revolution.” Smart countries would do well to learn from the master. And I think some are doing just that. Today’s Russia supports both Left and Right, Syriza and the National Front, Occupy and Texas secessionists.

gay-marriage-europe-map The naive view is that No Homo will be more of a draw in the Near Abroad, where society is just as or even more homophobic than in Russia. For instance, a mere 5% of Ukrainians support gay marriage. The problem? It’s about the 20th item on the typical Ukrainian nationalist’s list of priorities (Putin is #1-#3, Europe is #4). More so, in a country where street “lustrations” and Far Right thuggery are a daily occurence, with the police powerless to intervene, any Ukrainian knows that his country is in precisely zero danger of being overtaken by a gay mafia anytime soon. That is why Russian online trolling of Ukrainians about “Gayropean values” and how at this rate they would soon be marrying dogs to toasters is like water off a duck’s back.

In dealing with this… cult (see video above), that happens to worships Europe, what would be a guaranteed way to mindfuck svidomy skulls? To inflict unimaginable levels of butthurt amongst Maidanists? Adopting same-sex civil unions just like in (the very European countries like) Germany, Czechia, Croatia, and Estonia that they love and look up to so much.

(5) Conservatism has certainly been useful in restoring Russia’s 1990s-depleted patriotism levels and fertility rates, but were it to be taken much further, its overall utility will become questionable. One distant if not altogether impossible outcome is falling into genuine retarded obscurantism. This is currently faked in Russia, not least by characters like Kiselev himself, but as in the Borgesian fable, the map can become the territory.

This would cripple transhumanism in Russia along with associated technological vectors like indefinite life extension and superintelligence. Too “real” and self-sacrificing – or “passionate,” in the Gumilevian sense – a commitment to traditionalism would increase the risks of this scenario coming to pass. Starkes Herz, starker Stahl! Dudes with AKs or even Armatas would always end up getting wrecked by Googletopia’s drones, Belltower augs and NWO terminators.

A loosening of No Homo policies can be a useful and timely reminder to people not to take the Spiritual Braces (dukhovnye skrepy) too seriously.

Now for sure this must all remain speculation. But I do not think Kiselev’s announcement of his support for gay civil unions was entirely out of the blue, and as covered here, there are solid and logical reasons for why it might presage a deeper turn in Kremlin policy in the not too distant future. And though I wouldn’t take even odds on it, I do think it’s likelier that Russia will into homosex by 2020 than that the President’s first name is going to be to be something other than Vladimir or Sergey (Shoygu).

***

PS. To preempt any claims of opportunism: I have supported same sex civil unions with some of the rights and privileges of marriage since the early 2000s when I became politically aware and my position on that hasn’t changed substantially since even though I zigzagged ideologically quite a bit during this period. Searching my blog would confirm that at least for 2008. Ironically, this means in American terms that I went from being a raving liberal under early Bush to a hateful bigot redneck today.

 
Show 39 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. The Soviet state was the third major European country (the Ottoman Empire and Italy were first) to effectively decriminalize homosexuality in 1917

    Homosexuality has been legal in France since the revolution.

    AK Edit: You’re right thanks.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  2. “This would cripple transhumanism in Russia along with associated technological vectors like indefinite life extension and superintelligence.”
    I doubt that this is a real concern for Putin.
    Putin’s orthodoxy and social conservatism are propaganda tools adopted for pragmatic reasons, but they are far more useful than taking a more liberal position on homosexuality because they allow him to stand out as the only conservative world leader.
    China’s position is very interesting as they are prohibiting both gay propaganda and gay bashing, trying to keep homosexuality invisible or at least to reduce the politicization of homosexuality.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  3. [Dudes with AKs or even Armatas would always end up getting wrecked by Googletopia’s drones, Belltower augs and NWO terminators.]

    Yes, reality generally fares very poorly against fiction. Seriously, “transhumanism … along with associated technological vectors like indefinite life extension and superintelligence” are 100% bullshit, and arranging your social mores so as not to offend them, or rather people who believe in them, is considerably stupider than a cargo cult. At least cargo actually exists.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Genetics was fiction in the USSR until the 1960s thanks to Lysenko.

    Result: Soviet genetics and biology research was next to nonexistent relative to the West, or for that matter its own research in math and physics.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. @5371
    [Dudes with AKs or even Armatas would always end up getting wrecked by Googletopia’s drones, Belltower augs and NWO terminators.]

    Yes, reality generally fares very poorly against fiction. Seriously, "transhumanism ... along with associated technological vectors like indefinite life extension and superintelligence" are 100% bullshit, and arranging your social mores so as not to offend them, or rather people who believe in them, is considerably stupider than a cargo cult. At least cargo actually exists.

    Genetics was fiction in the USSR until the 1960s thanks to Lysenko.

    Result: Soviet genetics and biology research was next to nonexistent relative to the West, or for that matter its own research in math and physics.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    Lysenko was too optimistic about the possibilities of techno-voluntarism, not too pessimistic.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  5. @Anatoly Karlin
    Genetics was fiction in the USSR until the 1960s thanks to Lysenko.

    Result: Soviet genetics and biology research was next to nonexistent relative to the West, or for that matter its own research in math and physics.

    Lysenko was too optimistic about the possibilities of techno-voluntarism, not too pessimistic.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. Of course, as I have detailed, there is a far simpler underlying pattern to tolerance of homosexuality around the world:


    The Rise of Universalism | JayMan’s Blog

    But, as you note, Putin’s regime is nothing if not pragmatic, so if it suited him I can see his regime changing its tune.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  7. Having Dmitry Kiselev come out and say this just makes it look like Kremlin is being pwnd… it’s these hypercalculating reactive power games that are usually too tactical not strategic that make it hard to ever trust Russia even if you sympathize.

    You failed to mention the World Cup… and I swear there is absolutely nothing dumber than hosting the Olympics/World Cup while actively opposing the dominate international zeitgeist.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  8. […] when in fact they should be treating Moscow as a partner in combating a far more deadly enemy. 3. Kiselev Wants to Take You to a Gay Bar – Anatoly Karlin, […]

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  9. And why conservatism necessarily has to be antithetic to scientific and technological progress? I’m thinking of Wilhelmine Germany as a counter-example.

    Read More
    • Replies: @whahae
    I would argue with your characterization of Wilhelmine Germany as conservative. Prussian conservatives were opposed to Bismarck's policies from the beginning.

    (see Das andere Preußen by Hans-Joachim Schoeps)
    , @5371
    We don't have to go back so far or leave Russia. The USSR in 1953 had worthy conservative credentials. National history was revered. The national religion could be freely practised. Private property definitely existed, though it could not be traded or monetarised freely. Evils such as bourse capitalism, parliamentarism, yellow journalism, homosexuality, transvestism, gender feminism, Zionism and jihadism were not tolerated. High art, music and literature could be enjoyed and composed; degenerate versions were not permitted. It was a time of great scientific and technological progress.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  10. @Commenter
    And why conservatism necessarily has to be antithetic to scientific and technological progress? I'm thinking of Wilhelmine Germany as a counter-example.

    I would argue with your characterization of Wilhelmine Germany as conservative. Prussian conservatives were opposed to Bismarck’s policies from the beginning.

    (see Das andere Preußen by Hans-Joachim Schoeps)

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  11. My understanding is that the Prussian old guard, agrarian and aristocratic was at odds with more liberal populations in recently acquired/joined western provinces, the latter being obviously overrepresented in the industrial revolution.

    Notwithstanding divisions between the Prussian elite, it’s a certainty that many self-described liberals were massively dissatisfied with Bismarck, and actively opposed him in the Reichstag, including in parties like the German Progress Party- a political positioning hard to reconcile with Bismarck not being conservative, at least in the German political spectrum of the day.

    And at any rate, compared to other powers like France, the United Kingdom or the United States that they usually revered.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    In 1877, Bismarck simultaneously abandoned the kulturkampf, the liberal parties and free market economics, while moving to tighten relations with Austria-Hungary. That was a rejection of the progressive bourgeoisie all along the line (and popular as a delayed reaction to the collapse of the financial orgy that was the gründerzeit). Before that, while defending executive authority against the liberals, he had been essentially carrying out their programme.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  12. 5371 says:
    @Commenter
    And why conservatism necessarily has to be antithetic to scientific and technological progress? I'm thinking of Wilhelmine Germany as a counter-example.

    We don’t have to go back so far or leave Russia. The USSR in 1953 had worthy conservative credentials. National history was revered. The national religion could be freely practised. Private property definitely existed, though it could not be traded or monetarised freely. Evils such as bourse capitalism, parliamentarism, yellow journalism, homosexuality, transvestism, gender feminism, Zionism and jihadism were not tolerated. High art, music and literature could be enjoyed and composed; degenerate versions were not permitted. It was a time of great scientific and technological progress.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    The USSR in 1953 had worthy conservative credentials.
     
    Only in the sense that some macho pro-Commie old-school trade-union activist from the 50's had "conservative credentials." It was indeed culturally conservative (anti-gay, etc.) - as was the rest of the world at the time. But it was also atheistic, practiced "affirmative action" for children of proletarians, was aggressively opposed to individual ownership of land and businesses (indeed, stealing these from their traditional owners in lands newly absorbed), etc. etc.

    The national religion could be freely practised
     
    Not by everyone. Certainly not by people who wanted to be in supervisory positions, members of the Komsomol, teachers, etc. If following the national religion limits one's career, it cannot be described as freely practiced.

    Why am I not surprised that you are trying to rehabilitate late-era Stalinism?


    Private property definitely existed, though it could not be traded or monetarised freely.
     
    You apparently don't know the difference between personal property and private property.

    High art, music and literature could be enjoyed and composed; degenerate versions were not permitted.
     
    So in your world are the works of Bulgakov, Hemingway, Faulkner, etc. "degenerate art"?

    As for respect and production of traditional works - so what? This was universal and was common in the West also, at that time.

    Soviet apologists who point out how high art flourished in the Soviet Union are in some way similar to Muslim apologists who point out how pre-Islamic Classical traditions were preserved in Muslim lands for awhile - giving credit for merely not destroying a tradition created by the society that was replaced.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  13. @Commenter
    My understanding is that the Prussian old guard, agrarian and aristocratic was at odds with more liberal populations in recently acquired/joined western provinces, the latter being obviously overrepresented in the industrial revolution.

    Notwithstanding divisions between the Prussian elite, it's a certainty that many self-described liberals were massively dissatisfied with Bismarck, and actively opposed him in the Reichstag, including in parties like the German Progress Party- a political positioning hard to reconcile with Bismarck not being conservative, at least in the German political spectrum of the day.

    And at any rate, compared to other powers like France, the United Kingdom or the United States that they usually revered.

    In 1877, Bismarck simultaneously abandoned the kulturkampf, the liberal parties and free market economics, while moving to tighten relations with Austria-Hungary. That was a rejection of the progressive bourgeoisie all along the line (and popular as a delayed reaction to the collapse of the financial orgy that was the gründerzeit). Before that, while defending executive authority against the liberals, he had been essentially carrying out their programme.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  14. AP says:
    @5371
    We don't have to go back so far or leave Russia. The USSR in 1953 had worthy conservative credentials. National history was revered. The national religion could be freely practised. Private property definitely existed, though it could not be traded or monetarised freely. Evils such as bourse capitalism, parliamentarism, yellow journalism, homosexuality, transvestism, gender feminism, Zionism and jihadism were not tolerated. High art, music and literature could be enjoyed and composed; degenerate versions were not permitted. It was a time of great scientific and technological progress.

    The USSR in 1953 had worthy conservative credentials.

    Only in the sense that some macho pro-Commie old-school trade-union activist from the 50′s had “conservative credentials.” It was indeed culturally conservative (anti-gay, etc.) – as was the rest of the world at the time. But it was also atheistic, practiced “affirmative action” for children of proletarians, was aggressively opposed to individual ownership of land and businesses (indeed, stealing these from their traditional owners in lands newly absorbed), etc. etc.

    The national religion could be freely practised

    Not by everyone. Certainly not by people who wanted to be in supervisory positions, members of the Komsomol, teachers, etc. If following the national religion limits one’s career, it cannot be described as freely practiced.

    Why am I not surprised that you are trying to rehabilitate late-era Stalinism?

    Private property definitely existed, though it could not be traded or monetarised freely.

    You apparently don’t know the difference between personal property and private property.

    High art, music and literature could be enjoyed and composed; degenerate versions were not permitted.

    So in your world are the works of Bulgakov, Hemingway, Faulkner, etc. “degenerate art”?

    As for respect and production of traditional works – so what? This was universal and was common in the West also, at that time.

    Soviet apologists who point out how high art flourished in the Soviet Union are in some way similar to Muslim apologists who point out how pre-Islamic Classical traditions were preserved in Muslim lands for awhile – giving credit for merely not destroying a tradition created by the society that was replaced.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    I doubt whether many will be more interested in the opinion of a many-faced svidomite whore on what I wrote than I am.
    , @Glossy
    "It was indeed culturally conservative (anti-gay, etc.) – as was the rest of the world at the time."

    The USSR of 1945-1990 was much more culturally conservative than the West of the same period.

    Soviet apologists who point out how high art flourished in the Soviet Union are in some way similar to Muslim apologists who point out how pre-Islamic Classical traditions were preserved in Muslim lands for awhile – giving credit for merely not destroying a tradition created by the society that was replaced.

    Not true. The post-WWII USSR produced much more original high art than the West of that time. There is no Western equivalent of late Stalinist architecture for example. Public architecture as an art died in the West around the time of WWI. Poetry with rhyme and meter (aka real poetry) continued to be produced in the USSR up until the end. It died in the West around the middle of the 20th century. Soviet movies were better (smarter, more realistic) than Western movies of that time. And on and on.

    The high art of the past continued to be studied in schools and unuversities in the USSR at a time when it was dropping out of the curriculums in the West.
    , @Glossy
    So in your world are the works of Bulgakov, Hemingway, Faulkner, etc. “degenerate art”?

    It's funny that you would mention Bulgakov. Your beloved junta has banned a movie based on one of his most important works.

    http://tvkultura.ru/article/show/article_id/115026/

    I'd like some clarity on this: do you think that banning Bulgakov is good or bad?

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  15. @AP

    The USSR in 1953 had worthy conservative credentials.
     
    Only in the sense that some macho pro-Commie old-school trade-union activist from the 50's had "conservative credentials." It was indeed culturally conservative (anti-gay, etc.) - as was the rest of the world at the time. But it was also atheistic, practiced "affirmative action" for children of proletarians, was aggressively opposed to individual ownership of land and businesses (indeed, stealing these from their traditional owners in lands newly absorbed), etc. etc.

    The national religion could be freely practised
     
    Not by everyone. Certainly not by people who wanted to be in supervisory positions, members of the Komsomol, teachers, etc. If following the national religion limits one's career, it cannot be described as freely practiced.

    Why am I not surprised that you are trying to rehabilitate late-era Stalinism?


    Private property definitely existed, though it could not be traded or monetarised freely.
     
    You apparently don't know the difference between personal property and private property.

    High art, music and literature could be enjoyed and composed; degenerate versions were not permitted.
     
    So in your world are the works of Bulgakov, Hemingway, Faulkner, etc. "degenerate art"?

    As for respect and production of traditional works - so what? This was universal and was common in the West also, at that time.

    Soviet apologists who point out how high art flourished in the Soviet Union are in some way similar to Muslim apologists who point out how pre-Islamic Classical traditions were preserved in Muslim lands for awhile - giving credit for merely not destroying a tradition created by the society that was replaced.

    I doubt whether many will be more interested in the opinion of a many-faced svidomite whore on what I wrote than I am.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    I like how the abusive troll doesn't even try to dispute the facts anymore.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  16. @5371
    I doubt whether many will be more interested in the opinion of a many-faced svidomite whore on what I wrote than I am.

    I like how the abusive troll doesn’t even try to dispute the facts anymore.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  17. Sean says:

    The USSR might have been Marxist, but it was by no means culturally Marxist (a fine point that oft happens to be lost on US conservatives). That was because they were faced with the prospect of war. The birthrate (one) in Ukraine recovered a bit once the war started. Russia may well have assisted Ukraine somewhat on the thing that really matters by, er, invading it. The Ukrainians probably feel guiltier leaving or having only one child. Conversely, The Ukraine/West alliance facilitates the flow of people out of Ukraine, which is going to have to invite neighbouring countries to take over much of its territory in a couple of generations. The Putin regime ebarked on making homosexualty an issue after the US poked its nose into Russian business with the Magnitsky act. Russian public opinion is just about where Britains was under Thatcher right now. And I dare say the significant WEIRD childbirth markers like women demanding cesareans (for purposes we won’t go into) have not become common in Russia either.

    As Razib Khan points out, it is the high IQ people who set policy – even in the US, the religious conservative types have next to zero influence over policy – and the great bulk of high IQ people in the West now support the gay agenda. This percentage is not going to diminish anytime soon.

    Yes but those people’s influence may decline precipitously as the population becomes of a different ethnicity. For example extending to homosexuals the legal rights against discrimination that nonwhites have in the US and other western countries will probably happen, but be come increasingly controversial as it will mean whites can be designated as victims of discrimination. The superficial ideas of the West may be accelerating towards legalistic-liberal utopia, but the trees in that wood are charging very rapidly too.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  18. Glossy says: • Website
    @AP

    The USSR in 1953 had worthy conservative credentials.
     
    Only in the sense that some macho pro-Commie old-school trade-union activist from the 50's had "conservative credentials." It was indeed culturally conservative (anti-gay, etc.) - as was the rest of the world at the time. But it was also atheistic, practiced "affirmative action" for children of proletarians, was aggressively opposed to individual ownership of land and businesses (indeed, stealing these from their traditional owners in lands newly absorbed), etc. etc.

    The national religion could be freely practised
     
    Not by everyone. Certainly not by people who wanted to be in supervisory positions, members of the Komsomol, teachers, etc. If following the national religion limits one's career, it cannot be described as freely practiced.

    Why am I not surprised that you are trying to rehabilitate late-era Stalinism?


    Private property definitely existed, though it could not be traded or monetarised freely.
     
    You apparently don't know the difference between personal property and private property.

    High art, music and literature could be enjoyed and composed; degenerate versions were not permitted.
     
    So in your world are the works of Bulgakov, Hemingway, Faulkner, etc. "degenerate art"?

    As for respect and production of traditional works - so what? This was universal and was common in the West also, at that time.

    Soviet apologists who point out how high art flourished in the Soviet Union are in some way similar to Muslim apologists who point out how pre-Islamic Classical traditions were preserved in Muslim lands for awhile - giving credit for merely not destroying a tradition created by the society that was replaced.

    “It was indeed culturally conservative (anti-gay, etc.) – as was the rest of the world at the time.”

    The USSR of 1945-1990 was much more culturally conservative than the West of the same period.

    Soviet apologists who point out how high art flourished in the Soviet Union are in some way similar to Muslim apologists who point out how pre-Islamic Classical traditions were preserved in Muslim lands for awhile – giving credit for merely not destroying a tradition created by the society that was replaced.

    Not true. The post-WWII USSR produced much more original high art than the West of that time. There is no Western equivalent of late Stalinist architecture for example. Public architecture as an art died in the West around the time of WWI. Poetry with rhyme and meter (aka real poetry) continued to be produced in the USSR up until the end. It died in the West around the middle of the 20th century. Soviet movies were better (smarter, more realistic) than Western movies of that time. And on and on.

    The high art of the past continued to be studied in schools and unuversities in the USSR at a time when it was dropping out of the curriculums in the West.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_28
    , @AP

    The USSR of 1945-1990 was much more culturally conservative than the West of the same period.
     
    I was replying to a post praising the USSR of 1953. Yes, after the mid 60s the Soviet Union was far more culturally conservative than the West. But, for example, the world (fairly accurately) depicted in the early Mad Men seasons was more conservative and traditional than was Russia.

    The post-WWII USSR produced much more original high art than the West of that time. There is no Western equivalent of late Stalinist architecture for example.
     
    Stalinist architecture wasn't exactly original. One can certainly see examples of "Stalinist" architecture, built in the 1930s, in large American cities (this is also an example of a large public building made after World War I):

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

    I'm not into Miesian architecture, but ther'es that, and Wright's later work such as the Guggenheim museum, etc.

    As for high art - just focusing on the USA, Tennessee Williams (ironically the best production of one of his plays I saw, was at Sovremenik theater in Mosocw a few years ago), Faulkner, Salinger, Mamet, etc. etc.
    , @reiner Tor
    Interestingly, different forms of Fascism (including National Socialism) were also good at public architecture. Mussolini built a lot of public spaces and buildings in Rome, and most of them were retained. Truth be told, it's difficult to add anything of value to a city as magnificent as Rome, but far as I know for example the area around Hadrian's mausoleum (including the Ponte Sant'Angelo) looked way inferior before Mussolini had the whole area refurbished.

    It's also well known that some of Hitler's buildings and structures were destroyed because they looked so damn good. I find it most unfortunate that both Hitler's and Stalin's regimes were so highly murderous, at least the arts produced and structures built in them are highly superior to anything produced and built in our age or even in their contemporary (Western) rivals... :(
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  19. @Glossy
    "It was indeed culturally conservative (anti-gay, etc.) – as was the rest of the world at the time."

    The USSR of 1945-1990 was much more culturally conservative than the West of the same period.

    Soviet apologists who point out how high art flourished in the Soviet Union are in some way similar to Muslim apologists who point out how pre-Islamic Classical traditions were preserved in Muslim lands for awhile – giving credit for merely not destroying a tradition created by the society that was replaced.

    Not true. The post-WWII USSR produced much more original high art than the West of that time. There is no Western equivalent of late Stalinist architecture for example. Public architecture as an art died in the West around the time of WWI. Poetry with rhyme and meter (aka real poetry) continued to be produced in the USSR up until the end. It died in the West around the middle of the 20th century. Soviet movies were better (smarter, more realistic) than Western movies of that time. And on and on.

    The high art of the past continued to be studied in schools and unuversities in the USSR at a time when it was dropping out of the curriculums in the West.
    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    Homosexuality was a mental disorder in the USSR up until the end, i.e. up until around 1990. Without looking it up, I think it stopped being a mental disorder in the US around 1970.

    There was no nudity on Soviet TV or in Soviet movies (with a few insignificant exceptions) right until the end. No Soviet version of Playboy, obviously. No prostitution whatsoever. No drugs. Much less divorce than in the West. More abortion though. The post-WWII Soviet state recreated morality more or less from scratch instead of copying it from an already-established, scriptural source. The vast majority of the time the result was the same. On the issue of abortion it was different.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  20. Glossy says: • Website

    practiced “affirmative action” for children of proletarians

    I don’t think that the post-WWII USSR did that. There was certainly none of that in the 1980s, the period I remember personally.

    If following the national religion limits one’s career, it cannot be described as freely practiced.

    A Catholic who follows his religion’s teachings on homosexuality and abortion wouldn’t go far in current Western politics, even in historically Catholic countries like Spain or France.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  21. Glossy says: • Website
    @Sean
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_28

    Homosexuality was a mental disorder in the USSR up until the end, i.e. up until around 1990. Without looking it up, I think it stopped being a mental disorder in the US around 1970.

    There was no nudity on Soviet TV or in Soviet movies (with a few insignificant exceptions) right until the end. No Soviet version of Playboy, obviously. No prostitution whatsoever. No drugs. Much less divorce than in the West. More abortion though. The post-WWII Soviet state recreated morality more or less from scratch instead of copying it from an already-established, scriptural source. The vast majority of the time the result was the same. On the issue of abortion it was different.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    Sticking to the post's point about homosexuality as a marker for attitudes in recent times. I do not think in the Soviet Union homosexuality got anyone classified as having "creeping schizophrenia' and given ant-psychotic drugs that were virtually a chemical lobotomy, as political dissidence did there in the eighties.

    Homosexuality in the Soviet Union of the 80's was on much the same level of official acceptance as in the Britain of that time, ie Thatcher's Britain.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  22. @AP

    The USSR in 1953 had worthy conservative credentials.
     
    Only in the sense that some macho pro-Commie old-school trade-union activist from the 50's had "conservative credentials." It was indeed culturally conservative (anti-gay, etc.) - as was the rest of the world at the time. But it was also atheistic, practiced "affirmative action" for children of proletarians, was aggressively opposed to individual ownership of land and businesses (indeed, stealing these from their traditional owners in lands newly absorbed), etc. etc.

    The national religion could be freely practised
     
    Not by everyone. Certainly not by people who wanted to be in supervisory positions, members of the Komsomol, teachers, etc. If following the national religion limits one's career, it cannot be described as freely practiced.

    Why am I not surprised that you are trying to rehabilitate late-era Stalinism?


    Private property definitely existed, though it could not be traded or monetarised freely.
     
    You apparently don't know the difference between personal property and private property.

    High art, music and literature could be enjoyed and composed; degenerate versions were not permitted.
     
    So in your world are the works of Bulgakov, Hemingway, Faulkner, etc. "degenerate art"?

    As for respect and production of traditional works - so what? This was universal and was common in the West also, at that time.

    Soviet apologists who point out how high art flourished in the Soviet Union are in some way similar to Muslim apologists who point out how pre-Islamic Classical traditions were preserved in Muslim lands for awhile - giving credit for merely not destroying a tradition created by the society that was replaced.

    So in your world are the works of Bulgakov, Hemingway, Faulkner, etc. “degenerate art”?

    It’s funny that you would mention Bulgakov. Your beloved junta has banned a movie based on one of his most important works.

    http://tvkultura.ru/article/show/article_id/115026/

    I’d like some clarity on this: do you think that banning Bulgakov is good or bad?

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    Assuming your source is correct in its claims, I disagree with banning that stuff. That being said, in a time of war such behavior is hardly surprising and probably reflects pandering to the popular mood rather than top-down brainwashing as some (not necessarily you) have suggested. Isn't Banderist stuff banned in Moscow now, even though the war is much less significant for Russia than it is for Ukraine? Banderist stuff is no Bulgakov works, but would that make a difference?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  23. AP says:
    @Glossy
    "It was indeed culturally conservative (anti-gay, etc.) – as was the rest of the world at the time."

    The USSR of 1945-1990 was much more culturally conservative than the West of the same period.

    Soviet apologists who point out how high art flourished in the Soviet Union are in some way similar to Muslim apologists who point out how pre-Islamic Classical traditions were preserved in Muslim lands for awhile – giving credit for merely not destroying a tradition created by the society that was replaced.

    Not true. The post-WWII USSR produced much more original high art than the West of that time. There is no Western equivalent of late Stalinist architecture for example. Public architecture as an art died in the West around the time of WWI. Poetry with rhyme and meter (aka real poetry) continued to be produced in the USSR up until the end. It died in the West around the middle of the 20th century. Soviet movies were better (smarter, more realistic) than Western movies of that time. And on and on.

    The high art of the past continued to be studied in schools and unuversities in the USSR at a time when it was dropping out of the curriculums in the West.

    The USSR of 1945-1990 was much more culturally conservative than the West of the same period.

    I was replying to a post praising the USSR of 1953. Yes, after the mid 60s the Soviet Union was far more culturally conservative than the West. But, for example, the world (fairly accurately) depicted in the early Mad Men seasons was more conservative and traditional than was Russia.

    The post-WWII USSR produced much more original high art than the West of that time. There is no Western equivalent of late Stalinist architecture for example.

    Stalinist architecture wasn’t exactly original. One can certainly see examples of “Stalinist” architecture, built in the 1930s, in large American cities (this is also an example of a large public building made after World War I):

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

    I’m not into Miesian architecture, but ther’es that, and Wright’s later work such as the Guggenheim museum, etc.

    As for high art – just focusing on the USA, Tennessee Williams (ironically the best production of one of his plays I saw, was at Sovremenik theater in Mosocw a few years ago), Faulkner, Salinger, Mamet, etc. etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    "Yes, after the mid 60s the Soviet Union was far more culturally conservative than the West. But, for example, the world (fairly accurately) depicted in the early Mad Men seasons was more conservative and traditional than was Russia."

    Playboy was founded in 1953. The Beatnik subculture was proudly subversive. The whole modernist "art" scene was degenerate. Freudianism was mainstream. Freudianism isn't just wrong, it's immoral too - the Oedipal nonsense for example.

    "Stalinist architecture wasn’t exactly original. "

    Correct. It's much easier to come up with new ugly styles than with new beautiful ones. This is because it's generally easier to destroy than to create. If good architecture ever revives it would have to return to classical forms - the Greek temple, the Gothic cathedral, the Hausmannian building with a mansard, etc.

    Stalin's architects used classical forms because they work. Their Western contemporaries were building ugly on purpose.
    , @Glossy
    Also, stuff like prostitution, drug abuse, gambling, strip clubs wasn't as common in 1950s America as now, but it existed. That stuff was completely absent from 1950s USSR.

    The degeneracy of the art scene is important because all sorts of people look up to artists.

    So yes, of course 1950s USSR was more culturally conservative than 1950s America and Europe. The gap increased in the 1960s, but it already existed in the 1950s.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  24. @AP

    The USSR of 1945-1990 was much more culturally conservative than the West of the same period.
     
    I was replying to a post praising the USSR of 1953. Yes, after the mid 60s the Soviet Union was far more culturally conservative than the West. But, for example, the world (fairly accurately) depicted in the early Mad Men seasons was more conservative and traditional than was Russia.

    The post-WWII USSR produced much more original high art than the West of that time. There is no Western equivalent of late Stalinist architecture for example.
     
    Stalinist architecture wasn't exactly original. One can certainly see examples of "Stalinist" architecture, built in the 1930s, in large American cities (this is also an example of a large public building made after World War I):

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

    I'm not into Miesian architecture, but ther'es that, and Wright's later work such as the Guggenheim museum, etc.

    As for high art - just focusing on the USA, Tennessee Williams (ironically the best production of one of his plays I saw, was at Sovremenik theater in Mosocw a few years ago), Faulkner, Salinger, Mamet, etc. etc.

    “Yes, after the mid 60s the Soviet Union was far more culturally conservative than the West. But, for example, the world (fairly accurately) depicted in the early Mad Men seasons was more conservative and traditional than was Russia.”

    Playboy was founded in 1953. The Beatnik subculture was proudly subversive. The whole modernist “art” scene was degenerate. Freudianism was mainstream. Freudianism isn’t just wrong, it’s immoral too – the Oedipal nonsense for example.

    “Stalinist architecture wasn’t exactly original. “

    Correct. It’s much easier to come up with new ugly styles than with new beautiful ones. This is because it’s generally easier to destroy than to create. If good architecture ever revives it would have to return to classical forms – the Greek temple, the Gothic cathedral, the Hausmannian building with a mansard, etc.

    Stalin’s architects used classical forms because they work. Their Western contemporaries were building ugly on purpose.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  25. @AP

    The USSR of 1945-1990 was much more culturally conservative than the West of the same period.
     
    I was replying to a post praising the USSR of 1953. Yes, after the mid 60s the Soviet Union was far more culturally conservative than the West. But, for example, the world (fairly accurately) depicted in the early Mad Men seasons was more conservative and traditional than was Russia.

    The post-WWII USSR produced much more original high art than the West of that time. There is no Western equivalent of late Stalinist architecture for example.
     
    Stalinist architecture wasn't exactly original. One can certainly see examples of "Stalinist" architecture, built in the 1930s, in large American cities (this is also an example of a large public building made after World War I):

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

    I'm not into Miesian architecture, but ther'es that, and Wright's later work such as the Guggenheim museum, etc.

    As for high art - just focusing on the USA, Tennessee Williams (ironically the best production of one of his plays I saw, was at Sovremenik theater in Mosocw a few years ago), Faulkner, Salinger, Mamet, etc. etc.

    Also, stuff like prostitution, drug abuse, gambling, strip clubs wasn’t as common in 1950s America as now, but it existed. That stuff was completely absent from 1950s USSR.

    The degeneracy of the art scene is important because all sorts of people look up to artists.

    So yes, of course 1950s USSR was more culturally conservative than 1950s America and Europe. The gap increased in the 1960s, but it already existed in the 1950s.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    Also, stuff like prostitution, drug abuse, gambling, strip clubs wasn’t as common in 1950s America as now, but it existed. That stuff was completely absent from 1950s USSR.
     
    All of these things (other than strip clubs, I suppose) are ancient vices that always had a place in societies, on the margins where they belong.* The near-total elimination of such things, like alcohol prohibition, is not a conservative feature but one of Progressivism. Furthermore, the near total elimination of such things also reflects a level of absolute government power that is also very nontraditional and nonconservative.

    Now, mainstreaming such vices is not conservative at all, so when this occurred, sometime in the 60's during the sexual/cultural revolutions, the West became less conservative than the USSR. But not before.

    *You may find this feature of Medieval English towns interesting/amusing:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gropecunt_Lane
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  26. AP says:
    @Glossy
    Also, stuff like prostitution, drug abuse, gambling, strip clubs wasn't as common in 1950s America as now, but it existed. That stuff was completely absent from 1950s USSR.

    The degeneracy of the art scene is important because all sorts of people look up to artists.

    So yes, of course 1950s USSR was more culturally conservative than 1950s America and Europe. The gap increased in the 1960s, but it already existed in the 1950s.

    Also, stuff like prostitution, drug abuse, gambling, strip clubs wasn’t as common in 1950s America as now, but it existed. That stuff was completely absent from 1950s USSR.

    All of these things (other than strip clubs, I suppose) are ancient vices that always had a place in societies, on the margins where they belong.* The near-total elimination of such things, like alcohol prohibition, is not a conservative feature but one of Progressivism. Furthermore, the near total elimination of such things also reflects a level of absolute government power that is also very nontraditional and nonconservative.

    Now, mainstreaming such vices is not conservative at all, so when this occurred, sometime in the 60′s during the sexual/cultural revolutions, the West became less conservative than the USSR. But not before.

    *You may find this feature of Medieval English towns interesting/amusing:

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

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    The near-total elimination of such things, like alcohol prohibition, is not a conservative feature but one of Progressivism. Furthermore, the near total elimination of such things also reflects a level of absolute government power that is also very nontraditional and nonconservative.

    If the Puritans who ruled England after the Civil War there and who founded New England were called non-traditional and non-conservative, they'd have been really ticked off. They banned theater and all games of chance, among other things. I think they also had public floggings of adulterers.

    There was John Calvin in Geneva, Savonarola in Florence and lots of less famous examples. Moral purity movements are as old as history.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  27. Glossy says: • Website
    @AP

    Also, stuff like prostitution, drug abuse, gambling, strip clubs wasn’t as common in 1950s America as now, but it existed. That stuff was completely absent from 1950s USSR.
     
    All of these things (other than strip clubs, I suppose) are ancient vices that always had a place in societies, on the margins where they belong.* The near-total elimination of such things, like alcohol prohibition, is not a conservative feature but one of Progressivism. Furthermore, the near total elimination of such things also reflects a level of absolute government power that is also very nontraditional and nonconservative.

    Now, mainstreaming such vices is not conservative at all, so when this occurred, sometime in the 60's during the sexual/cultural revolutions, the West became less conservative than the USSR. But not before.

    *You may find this feature of Medieval English towns interesting/amusing:

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

    The near-total elimination of such things, like alcohol prohibition, is not a conservative feature but one of Progressivism. Furthermore, the near total elimination of such things also reflects a level of absolute government power that is also very nontraditional and nonconservative.

    If the Puritans who ruled England after the Civil War there and who founded New England were called non-traditional and non-conservative, they’d have been really ticked off. They banned theater and all games of chance, among other things. I think they also had public floggings of adulterers.

    There was John Calvin in Geneva, Savonarola in Florence and lots of less famous examples. Moral purity movements are as old as history.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    Sure, but Puritans were certainly not conservatives - the Puritans belonged to a force that killed the king in a revolution, for goodness sake. Neither are ISIS, who are blowing up traditional Islamic tombs, murdering tribal elders, - conservatives.

    http://www.britannica.com/topic/Puritanism

    Puritanism was essentially a reform movement that sought to transform society, rejecting traditional authority and the traditional way of life.

    Within the English context, the most conservative were the Catholics, then the members of the Church of England; the least were the Puritans.

    I think you are confusing "conservative" with "moralistic." Now, when society veers off in the direction of total debauchery and untethered hedonism, there is a link between conservatism and moralism. But that doesn't mean the two are necessarily linked.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  28. AP says:
    @Glossy
    The near-total elimination of such things, like alcohol prohibition, is not a conservative feature but one of Progressivism. Furthermore, the near total elimination of such things also reflects a level of absolute government power that is also very nontraditional and nonconservative.

    If the Puritans who ruled England after the Civil War there and who founded New England were called non-traditional and non-conservative, they'd have been really ticked off. They banned theater and all games of chance, among other things. I think they also had public floggings of adulterers.

    There was John Calvin in Geneva, Savonarola in Florence and lots of less famous examples. Moral purity movements are as old as history.

    Sure, but Puritans were certainly not conservatives – the Puritans belonged to a force that killed the king in a revolution, for goodness sake. Neither are ISIS, who are blowing up traditional Islamic tombs, murdering tribal elders, – conservatives.

    http://www.britannica.com/topic/Puritanism

    Puritanism was essentially a reform movement that sought to transform society, rejecting traditional authority and the traditional way of life.

    Within the English context, the most conservative were the Catholics, then the members of the Church of England; the least were the Puritans.

    I think you are confusing “conservative” with “moralistic.” Now, when society veers off in the direction of total debauchery and untethered hedonism, there is a link between conservatism and moralism. But that doesn’t mean the two are necessarily linked.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  29. AP says:
    @Glossy
    So in your world are the works of Bulgakov, Hemingway, Faulkner, etc. “degenerate art”?

    It's funny that you would mention Bulgakov. Your beloved junta has banned a movie based on one of his most important works.

    http://tvkultura.ru/article/show/article_id/115026/

    I'd like some clarity on this: do you think that banning Bulgakov is good or bad?

    Assuming your source is correct in its claims, I disagree with banning that stuff. That being said, in a time of war such behavior is hardly surprising and probably reflects pandering to the popular mood rather than top-down brainwashing as some (not necessarily you) have suggested. Isn’t Banderist stuff banned in Moscow now, even though the war is much less significant for Russia than it is for Ukraine? Banderist stuff is no Bulgakov works, but would that make a difference?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  30. Sean says:
    @Glossy
    Homosexuality was a mental disorder in the USSR up until the end, i.e. up until around 1990. Without looking it up, I think it stopped being a mental disorder in the US around 1970.

    There was no nudity on Soviet TV or in Soviet movies (with a few insignificant exceptions) right until the end. No Soviet version of Playboy, obviously. No prostitution whatsoever. No drugs. Much less divorce than in the West. More abortion though. The post-WWII Soviet state recreated morality more or less from scratch instead of copying it from an already-established, scriptural source. The vast majority of the time the result was the same. On the issue of abortion it was different.

    Sticking to the post’s point about homosexuality as a marker for attitudes in recent times. I do not think in the Soviet Union homosexuality got anyone classified as having “creeping schizophrenia’ and given ant-psychotic drugs that were virtually a chemical lobotomy, as political dissidence did there in the eighties.

    Homosexuality in the Soviet Union of the 80′s was on much the same level of official acceptance as in the Britain of that time, ie Thatcher’s Britain.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    Homosexuality in the Soviet Union of the 80′s was on much the same level of official acceptance as in the Britain of that time, ie Thatcher’s Britain.

    No, that's just not true. Homosexuality in 80s Britain makes me think of Boy George, Freddie Mercury, George Michael, Elton John, the Pet Shop Boys, etc. Most of whom were talented musicians. Credit where it's due. But a society that could put so many flaming gays on a pedestal was clearly a polar opposite of the Soviet Union of the 80s. Had nothing whatsoever in common with it.

    , @Glossy
    According to this table, homosexual acts became legal in England in 1967 and homosexuality was declassified as an illness there in 1968:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_the_United_Kingdom#Summary_table

    Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993. It was fully in the shadows until the late 1980s. Meaning that a lot of people at that point had never even heard of it. I doubt anyone was being jailed for it, but neither was anyone (at all) being out with it publicly.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  31. @Sean
    Sticking to the post's point about homosexuality as a marker for attitudes in recent times. I do not think in the Soviet Union homosexuality got anyone classified as having "creeping schizophrenia' and given ant-psychotic drugs that were virtually a chemical lobotomy, as political dissidence did there in the eighties.

    Homosexuality in the Soviet Union of the 80's was on much the same level of official acceptance as in the Britain of that time, ie Thatcher's Britain.

    Homosexuality in the Soviet Union of the 80′s was on much the same level of official acceptance as in the Britain of that time, ie Thatcher’s Britain.

    No, that’s just not true. Homosexuality in 80s Britain makes me think of Boy George, Freddie Mercury, George Michael, Elton John, the Pet Shop Boys, etc. Most of whom were talented musicians. Credit where it’s due. But a society that could put so many flaming gays on a pedestal was clearly a polar opposite of the Soviet Union of the 80s. Had nothing whatsoever in common with it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    Gary Glitter and Jimmy Savile were not on a pedestal because they were industrial-scale child molesters.

    I dare say in the 80's many star Russian entertainers, ballet dancers and musicians were widely known to be gay, but they didn't make a thing of it and so their audience did not really have the performer's homosexuality in mind. Even camp comedians. Britain up to (oo er missus) the early 80's was similar. None of the people you mention made a thing of being that way. In fact you'd be surprised at the ones who denied they were.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  32. @Sean
    Sticking to the post's point about homosexuality as a marker for attitudes in recent times. I do not think in the Soviet Union homosexuality got anyone classified as having "creeping schizophrenia' and given ant-psychotic drugs that were virtually a chemical lobotomy, as political dissidence did there in the eighties.

    Homosexuality in the Soviet Union of the 80's was on much the same level of official acceptance as in the Britain of that time, ie Thatcher's Britain.

    According to this table, homosexual acts became legal in England in 1967 and homosexuality was declassified as an illness there in 1968:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_the_United_Kingdom#Summary_table

    Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993. It was fully in the shadows until the late 1980s. Meaning that a lot of people at that point had never even heard of it. I doubt anyone was being jailed for it, but neither was anyone (at all) being out with it publicly.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    Heh, I remember arguing with a Russian in the 1990s, who insisted that the Pet Shop boys (he was a fan) were not gay, which was seen as a very rare and very bizarre condition..
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  33. @Glossy
    According to this table, homosexual acts became legal in England in 1967 and homosexuality was declassified as an illness there in 1968:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_the_United_Kingdom#Summary_table

    Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993. It was fully in the shadows until the late 1980s. Meaning that a lot of people at that point had never even heard of it. I doubt anyone was being jailed for it, but neither was anyone (at all) being out with it publicly.

    Heh, I remember arguing with a Russian in the 1990s, who insisted that the Pet Shop boys (he was a fan) were not gay, which was seen as a very rare and very bizarre condition..

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    I remember being really puzzled by the Pet Shop Boys name. I thought that maybe one or two of these words could have had a secondary meaning that I didn't know. Or that it was an idiomtic expression or a cultural reference that I didn't get. I asked classmates for opinions. Before the World Wide Web it was so much more difficult to look things up. The real meaning turned out to be literal and boring.

    And of course I had no idea that "It's a Sin" and "Tainted Love" (not Pet Shop Boys, but same period) could have been about something like THAT.

    A few years ago Ahmadinejad came to New York for the UN General Assembly. And he gave a press conference. So of course American reporters asked him about the plight of gays in Iran. He said that there was no homosexuality in Iran, that Iran just didn't have that problem. When that was reported in the news I thought "I know what he means." I'm sure that the reporters thought he was lying, but he didn't have to be.

    It was completely possible for a Soviet person to either be unclear on the concept of homosexuality or to think that it was something entirely foreign. And I'm sure that in that environment some of the people who were naturally inclined towards it simply went with the heterosexual flow. And that this prolonged their lives and decreased the virus load in society.

    , @Sean
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/thorpes-friends--and-a-murder-conspiracy-1352118.html
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  34. Glossy says: • Website
    @AP
    Heh, I remember arguing with a Russian in the 1990s, who insisted that the Pet Shop boys (he was a fan) were not gay, which was seen as a very rare and very bizarre condition..

    I remember being really puzzled by the Pet Shop Boys name. I thought that maybe one or two of these words could have had a secondary meaning that I didn’t know. Or that it was an idiomtic expression or a cultural reference that I didn’t get. I asked classmates for opinions. Before the World Wide Web it was so much more difficult to look things up. The real meaning turned out to be literal and boring.

    And of course I had no idea that “It’s a Sin” and “Tainted Love” (not Pet Shop Boys, but same period) could have been about something like THAT.

    A few years ago Ahmadinejad came to New York for the UN General Assembly. And he gave a press conference. So of course American reporters asked him about the plight of gays in Iran. He said that there was no homosexuality in Iran, that Iran just didn’t have that problem. When that was reported in the news I thought “I know what he means.” I’m sure that the reporters thought he was lying, but he didn’t have to be.

    It was completely possible for a Soviet person to either be unclear on the concept of homosexuality or to think that it was something entirely foreign. And I’m sure that in that environment some of the people who were naturally inclined towards it simply went with the heterosexual flow. And that this prolonged their lives and decreased the virus load in society.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  35. […] Ulyukayev. 8. Oilprice.com: Is Russia Ready To Make A Comeback? 9. The Unz Review: Anatoly Karlin, Kiselev Wants to Take You to a Gay Bar. 10. Russia Beyond the Headlines: Press Digest: Putin calls for dialogue in Independence Day […]

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  36. @Glossy
    Homosexuality in the Soviet Union of the 80′s was on much the same level of official acceptance as in the Britain of that time, ie Thatcher’s Britain.

    No, that's just not true. Homosexuality in 80s Britain makes me think of Boy George, Freddie Mercury, George Michael, Elton John, the Pet Shop Boys, etc. Most of whom were talented musicians. Credit where it's due. But a society that could put so many flaming gays on a pedestal was clearly a polar opposite of the Soviet Union of the 80s. Had nothing whatsoever in common with it.

    Gary Glitter and Jimmy Savile were not on a pedestal because they were industrial-scale child molesters.

    I dare say in the 80′s many star Russian entertainers, ballet dancers and musicians were widely known to be gay, but they didn’t make a thing of it and so their audience did not really have the performer’s homosexuality in mind. Even camp comedians. Britain up to (oo er missus) the early 80′s was similar. None of the people you mention made a thing of being that way. In fact you’d be surprised at the ones who denied they were.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    A listener asks Radio Yerevan: "Is it true that Tchaikovsky was a faggot?" Radio Yerevan answers: "It's true, but we revere him for other reasons."
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  37. @AP
    Heh, I remember arguing with a Russian in the 1990s, who insisted that the Pet Shop boys (he was a fan) were not gay, which was seen as a very rare and very bizarre condition..
    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  38. @Glossy
    "It was indeed culturally conservative (anti-gay, etc.) – as was the rest of the world at the time."

    The USSR of 1945-1990 was much more culturally conservative than the West of the same period.

    Soviet apologists who point out how high art flourished in the Soviet Union are in some way similar to Muslim apologists who point out how pre-Islamic Classical traditions were preserved in Muslim lands for awhile – giving credit for merely not destroying a tradition created by the society that was replaced.

    Not true. The post-WWII USSR produced much more original high art than the West of that time. There is no Western equivalent of late Stalinist architecture for example. Public architecture as an art died in the West around the time of WWI. Poetry with rhyme and meter (aka real poetry) continued to be produced in the USSR up until the end. It died in the West around the middle of the 20th century. Soviet movies were better (smarter, more realistic) than Western movies of that time. And on and on.

    The high art of the past continued to be studied in schools and unuversities in the USSR at a time when it was dropping out of the curriculums in the West.

    Interestingly, different forms of Fascism (including National Socialism) were also good at public architecture. Mussolini built a lot of public spaces and buildings in Rome, and most of them were retained. Truth be told, it’s difficult to add anything of value to a city as magnificent as Rome, but far as I know for example the area around Hadrian’s mausoleum (including the Ponte Sant’Angelo) looked way inferior before Mussolini had the whole area refurbished.

    It’s also well known that some of Hitler’s buildings and structures were destroyed because they looked so damn good. I find it most unfortunate that both Hitler’s and Stalin’s regimes were so highly murderous, at least the arts produced and structures built in them are highly superior to anything produced and built in our age or even in their contemporary (Western) rivals… :(

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  39. @Sean
    Gary Glitter and Jimmy Savile were not on a pedestal because they were industrial-scale child molesters.

    I dare say in the 80's many star Russian entertainers, ballet dancers and musicians were widely known to be gay, but they didn't make a thing of it and so their audience did not really have the performer's homosexuality in mind. Even camp comedians. Britain up to (oo er missus) the early 80's was similar. None of the people you mention made a thing of being that way. In fact you'd be surprised at the ones who denied they were.

    A listener asks Radio Yerevan: “Is it true that Tchaikovsky was a faggot?” Radio Yerevan answers: “It’s true, but we revere him for other reasons.”

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to All Anatoly Karlin Comments via RSS