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Film Review: Leviathan (2014)
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LEVIATHAN (2014)
Rating: 2/5

 

Finally watched this major Cannes hit, and understood why it was so popular with the “professional” critics, if not quite as much with normies (Metacritic: 92% vs. 73%; Rotten Tomatoes: 98% vs. 80%).

No redeeming characters. Main “hero” is a boorish, highly unlikable, impulsive, and violent alcoholic. His wife is a whore who sleeps with his hotshot lawyer friend, who in turn scurries away back to Moscow as soon as the Chad corrupt mayor physically shows him who’s boss in his town. Almost everybody is some walking caricature of a dysfunctional, vodka-swilling, chain-smoking vatnik. I think the film meant to portray the mayor as the bad guy – the local representative of the Putin “power vertical” – but he at least built the degenerates he fleeced and presided over a beautiful church, so can he really be bad that? was my main thought as the ending panned out, judging the film on its own premises.

Caricature characters in a caricature Russia from a director who seems to have only a very vague idea of the “deep Russia” he wishes to engage in “soul searching” about.

The film is set in Teriberka, a small fishing village in Murmansk oblast that saw hard time after the collapse of the Soviet era fishing industry. However, it seems to have rather well for itself in the past decade thanks to tourism. (At any rate, I should imminently find out for myself).

Here are some specifics about Murmansk and the Russian North generally:

  • It is Russia’s most atheistic region, more similar to the Baltics in that respect than south/central Russia (or indeed Ukraine/Belarus). You would certainly not see the ostentatious (hypocritical or not) Christianity portrayed in the movie amongst both proles to elites.
  • There is little corruption in the Russian North. These pudgy bureaucrats presiding over local power verticals of police/judicial cliques are much more of a southern thing.
  • There is actually very little electoral fraud in the Russian North. Its Russia’s only reasonably “clean” region in that respect, along with parts of Siberia.
  • The film has people handing over wads of cash. Even in a detail as minor as this – 52% of transactions in Murmansk oblast in 2017 were with cash, vs. 65%-70% in the south.
  • The one regional stereotype I suppose it did get right is that the north does a more pronounced alcoholism problem, which translates into more murders and suicides.

Maps confirming above sociological observations here: https://akarlin.com/ruriks-seed/

Still, as a movie that hit all the correct tropes about the “bleakness” and “misery” of life “outside Moscow” in “Putin’s Russia” it was not hard to see why it was such a hit with the Cannes crowd.

But it is also easy to understand why there was a mini-scandal about the fact that 35% of the movie was funded by the Russian Ministry of Culture. Pretty bizarre that Russian taxpayers were funding people who were portraying the great mass of them as stupid, impulsive alcoholics hoodwinked by priests serving mafia politicians for the snickering pleasure of the sort of people who delight in “arthouse” flicks. There is now happily much less Russian state support for “artists” who hate and despise their own people – and don’t have even the minimal talent to hide or disguise it.

 
• Category: Culture/Society • Tags: Arctic, Film, Review, Russia, Russophobes 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    You can find all my reviews here.

    My personal website also has (more or less) current lists of my book, film, and video game reviews.

    Commenting rules. Please note that anonymous comments are not allowed.

    • Replies: @Yevardian
  2. utu says:

    Perhaps Leviathan should be watched after Cargo 200 to make one feel better about Putin’s Russia. BTW, Cargo 200 was the darkest film I ever watched.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @JL
  3. @utu

    Happily such sentiments are increasingly the preserve of Westerners negatively disposed towards Russia, not the people who live here.

    [MORE]

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  4. Anon O says:

    Anatoly, I think you should keep in mind the film is meant to be a Russian twist on a real life episode of small town American corruption (Heemeyer and his killdozer). Maybe this will help change your view on the film in some way? Also I recommend his 2003 film The Return, I found it to be very moving.
    https://www.cpr.org/2015/02/20/director-oscar-nominated-leviathan-a-colorado-tale-with-a-russian-twist/

  5. AP says:

    Thanks for pointing out the ways in which it was not a realistic portrayal of Russia’s far north. Furthermore it was more about 90s Russia than modern Russia. Or about what Russia would have been like, if it had been Ukraine. This inaccuracy which slanders Russia might cloud your judgement of the film.

    Keeping in mind that it is therefore a portrayal
    of an alternative realty, it’s a good movie, I still remember it after several years.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Yevardian
  6. I didn’t hate this movie, but when I watched it a couple years back, it was partially with the intent that I might get some insight into life in Russia. After watching it, I came away with the impression that Russia couldn’t possibly be as rotten as all that.

  7. Dmitry says:

    some specifics about Murmansk and the Russian North generally:

    It is Russia’s most atheistic region

    portraying the great mass of them as stupid, impulsive alcoholics

    I wonder if such a reviewer, would criticize “Taxi Driver”, for “misrepresenting the proportion of New Yorkers who attended a sex cinema. (According to surveys, 80% of New Yorkers don’t visit sex cinemas).”

    Or would the reviewer write: “Travis Bickle is not representative of an American man, and his boorish personality must be designed to slander Scorsese’s own countrymen, as well as the power vertical of New York life under President Carter. Although it is at least accurate that a Vietnam veteran would drive a taxi, as taxi driving is statistically pronounced profession among war veterans”.

    Also we can review Takeshi Kitano’s films by saying: they are “misrepresenting a level of violence in Japanese society and Japanese police. According to surveys, Tokyo has one of the lowest rates of police violence, yet Kitano’s films consistently show a high level of police violence. It is bizarre that the Japanese government would support such artists”.

    Lol, no offense, but this can be something of how peoples’ asperger’s tendency will experience fiction and storybooks.

    It’s some years ago, but I have watched “Leviathan” myself, and enjoyed the film. I remember “Leviathan” as being a Kafka style of fairy tale, with surrealistic, clearly anti-realist presentation.

    You don’t want too much realism for this kind of film – when lights go down, the audience is supposed to enter a director’s dreams and nightmares. There is some political message as showing bones of a whale at the end, which refers to Hobbes’ Leviathan, but overall there is nothing explicitly political commentary in the film and it inspired on an American story.

    Caricature characters

    For cinema, it’s effective to use stereotypes and dramatic acting, as there is very short time to distinguish characters in audience mind. (Unlike in long-running television series, where you can use less dramatic acting). There’s more suitable to use such style of dramatic acting for film than for television.

    So, Christian Bale in “American Psycho” is not an accurate picture of either American businessmen, or of serial killers, but his character is making sense for the dramatic purpose of the story.

    Or that, Marlon Brando, in “Godfather”, is rather an illustration, that conveys with dramatic gesture in a few seconds all the relevant stereotypes to the audience that they need for the story.

    Weak films can be those in which actors are not able to establish a strong caricature in your mind early on, and you start to confuse the different characters. This is especially a problem watching Japanese films where all the actors can look the same as each other. I notice in some Takeshi Kitano films that I only recognize Takeshi’s character, as he is the only one who really presented a dramatic stereotype.

  8. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    inaccuracy which slanders Russia

    I doubt that films of dramatical fiction does. When you sit in the cinema, biting popcorn, and the light goes off, – most adults understand they are entering a fictional universe, which will be judged on its own dream logic, visual aesthetics, and primarily entertainment value.

    Otherwise, we would not like to think about e.g. the effect of “Psycho” on the reputation of the American hotel industry.

    • Agree: AP
  9. Mr. Hack says:

    One of my “Tiotias” was a real life “Murmanka” who was married to my alcoholic uncle (a Ukrainian) and made a much better impression on everybody surrounding her than he did. I really got to know her when she’d come to visit her daughter for long periods of time, stateside. She was really a very good person who displayed a very warm personality. She spoke very good Ukrainian and had apparently taken nicely to her life in Central Ukraine. Both of her children did extremely well in school, completing engineering type professions.

    The only way that you could describe her physical appearance is to say that she was quite a beautiful woman. I imagine that she must have been quite a knockout as a young woman, enchanting my uncle with her fair skin, dark hair and curvaceous figure. Being a magnificent cook didn’t hurt her persona in any way either. Her pelemeni were really great Russian comfort food, and she had all of the Ukrainian dishes down perfecto! Nothing was better than going on a picnic with her and taking part in a great feast of shashlik. It’s great to remember her now. I’ve often wondered about the historical forces that were involved in the interaction of Slavic and Finnish tribes that inhabited this far northern land.

  10. El Dato says:

    Damn. I’m sure I have that movie somewhere in my big storage box I’m going to peruse Really Soon Now.

  11. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Loveless is a glum movie. As some other commenters note, it’s easy to cherry pick movies to spin a certain preferred image which is often not entirely accurate.

  12. Pretty bizarre that Russian taxpayers were funding people who were portraying the great mass of them as stupid, impulsive alcoholics hoodwinked by priests serving mafia politicians for the snickering pleasure of the sort of people who delight in “arthouse” flicks

    Russia continues to westernise (following the example of the BBC, CBC, DW etc.)

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  13. JL says:
    @utu

    The main difference between the two being that Gruz 200 was actually a quality film, with dramatization enhancing the allegory, while Leviathan was just garbage. Balabanov was based, Zviagentsev is a cucked faggot who lives in Moscow artistic circles, not amongst the narod. That being said, I thought Elena was quite good and would recommend it.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @Dmitry
  14. Pericles says:

    The Karelia region is presumably populated by Finns converted by the sword to being Russians. So perhaps that explains some of its characteristics.

    • Disagree: AltanBakshi
  15. Pericles says:
    @Dmitry

    So-called documentaries can be pernicious in this regard.

  16. melanf says:

    I wonder if such a reviewer, would criticize “Taxi Driver”

    There are films that are caricatures of reality (there are many of them in American cinema, including comics like “Sin City”). But Zvyagintsev’s “creation” is a caricature of Western ideas about Russia. What is called in Russian “развесистая клюква”

    An analog will be a film about America designed for a Russian audience. The film will tell about a town in Alaska inhabited by cowboys and African Americanss. Cowboys constantly drink gin, and African Americans snort cocaine. The main character is a gay drug dealer who stole a child from Russia in order to “adopt” him (and actually rape him). In the center of the city, freemasons are building a temple to Satan. Etc., etc.

  17. @melanf

    An analog will be a film about America designed for a Russian audience

    Brat II

    • Replies: @melanf
  18. melanf says:
    @Kent Nationalist

    Brat II

    Brat II is NOT a film about America made for a Russian audience. This is not film about America at all. This is film about Russia made for a Russian audience.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  19. @Dmitry

    2 of the infamous characters in the Godfather – the pervert, evil, ruthless jewish film producer… and the singer clearly based on strong allegations about Frank Sinatra, are grounded in realism though.

    The main character in the film, not Marlon Brando but his son, seems to be a total enigma throughout the film and not a caricature

  20. It’s not just Russians who are portrayed badly in Western films, most English characters are usually portrayed with some negative or unflattering stereotype. It’s rare to see an English person portrayed as a normal, likeable character in Hollywood.

    Overtly English characters are the villains in Hollywood films at least as much, if not more, than overtly Russian characters. English actors in Hollywood are normally expected to feign American accents for their roles, if the role is not a “bad guy”.

  21. melanf says:
    @Europe Europa

    “Overtly English characters are the villains in Hollywood films”

    If my memory is correct, this trend was mocked in Deadpool.

  22. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Europe Europa

    James Bond, the dude in that “comedy” The Nanny, Bullwhip Griffin and the Brit series The Saint (aired in the US)….. Where are the Russian equivalents?

    Of course, the Brits don’t look so good in Hollywood American Revolutionary war themed movies and shows.

  23. @Dmitry

    BTW, has Stalin actually EVER been portrayed in any Hollywood film?I ask because I can’t recall any – maybe he is the most famous person in history to never have had a biopic or serious dramatisation made of him in the west?

    I think the reasons for that is everybody accepts it’s total BS to call this mild-mannered man of God, anti-corruption fighter, charismatic and warm individual an “evil” “dictator” – so it would be impossible to credibly portray him in film to go with the absurd myths propogated against him.

    For some of these demented retards there is the uncomfortable fact they have to invent too much further BS to justify calling the great USSR “evil” from the years after his death to the near 40 years after of USSR, when they have no material to justify it.

    BTW- Stalin easily more charismatic than the morally disgusting JFK, a guy who can’t even talk properly. Also parallels of Abraham willing to sacrifice his son Isaac at the rock for God…… with Stalin’s lack of nepotism to his captured son.

  24. Mr. Hack says:
    @Gerard.Gerard

    Even within Georgia itself, the cult of the great Stalin finally resulted in his statue being pulled down. There’s a graveyard of pulled down Lenin and Stalin statues somewhere in Moscow where you can visit and still pay homage to your “man of god”. I envision that this park is inhabited with homeless bums that sit in the shadow of you hero drinking stale beer and spitting out bones of half rotted smoked fish. Enjoy – you can count me out.

    Workers remove the statue of Joseph Stalin from the central square in his home town of Gori, Georgia. Photograph: Reuters

    • Replies: @Gerard-Mandela
  25. @Gerard.Gerard

    BTW- Stalin easily more charismatic than the morally disgusting JFK, a guy who can’t even talk properly.

    Strange that you imply Stalin had comparatively good oratory skills considering wasn’t he pretty much ridiculed in the Soviet Union for his heavily Georgian accented Russian? I’ve read people often had trouble understanding his speeches because of his bad pronunciation and heavy accent.

    • Replies: @Gerard.Gerard
  26. The arrogant elitist assholes who make and act in these films might have enough money to insulate themselves from hellhole urban America, but most of us actual Americans don’t.

    Having lived in the USA’s cities for the decades of my adult life — East Coast, Midwest, and now West Coast — I can advise the filmmakers that Americans are in no position to mock and condescend to Russians.

    And shame on the Russian government for funding this.

  27. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    For a movie that does a good “ Zviagentsev” treatment of southern New England, watch “Land of Steady Habits.” Movie is more realistic, and less bleak because location is.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Dmitry
  28. @Europe Europa

    Why should we think well of the English? They don’t even think well of themselves, bother to have children, or apparently care much about the giveaway / immivasion of their nation, destruction of their culture, and selling out of their young people into subjugation and poverty.

    Oh, see, we Americans DO have something in common with formerly-great formerly-Britain (even if it’s not a common language).

    Anyway, Americans have never benefitted from following the “UK” into its wars (though our rulers seem fully capable of wanton aggression and mass murder and alienation of the world even now that we are not as influenced by the UK and the “mother country” is weak and insignificant). We should have truly stopped being a bootlicker of “Great Britain” two centuries ago.

  29. @JL

    The best film by Zviagintsev was The Return (Возвращение). I agree that Elena is also good. Still didn’t watch Loveless.

    • Replies: @AP
  30. @Pericles

    This is an oversimplification.

  31. @Kent Nationalist

    Financed by the reactionary Putinist regime (sarc):

    https://www.bok-o-bok.ru/default.asp?lan=1

    As I wrote already a couple of times, I expect Russia Russia getting closer to Western “standards” as Putin’s generation is exiting the political scene.

    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
  32. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Yes, Return and Elena were good.

  33. @Gerard.Gerard

    The propaganda in US movies is non-stop, and the ignorance of our people is embarrassing, about Stalin and otherwise. But the USSR wasn’t evil? Really? People don’t risk their lives to escape a place if it is not a miserable and yes, in this case, evil cruel vicious system. My family and I have spoken to enough people who fled or wanted to flee the USSR (real Russians, not disloyal Jews with an ax to grind) to know that “evil” is a perfect description of the USSR.

    It is possible to reject cruel finance-capitalism of the sort that is grinding Americans down into serfdom, without pretending that the Soviet system was vicious and evil.

    Russians can be a strong, unified, respected, thriving people, and have a generous social-safety net / social democracy where plutocrats and corporations do not rule, without resorting to inhuman treatment of people per the Soviet Union.

    • Agree: Jatt Aryaa
  34. Carlo says:
    @Gerard.Gerard

    Stalin was depicted in “The Inner Circle”, directed by Andrei Konchalovsky, released 1991 (it was the first Western movie to have scenes filmed in the Kremlin). There was also a long HBO movie about him, from 1992, with Robert Duvall as the main character:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalin_(1992_film)

    • Thanks: Gerard.Gerard
    • Replies: @Gerard.Gerard
  35. @Europe Europa

    Heavily accented Georgian, but much different in style to how Gruzians usually speak…… which is not much slower and frenetic that Saakasvili’s chemically induced maniacal form of speaking in perfect Russian.

    I was mainly focused on content of his excellent speeches, but his pronunciation improved significantly by the 1940’s.

    JFK can’t speak properly, very hard to listen to – an embarrassment. I saw some of his 1960 debate with Nixon (who I think was a successful president of US) and it appears to me that Nixon annihilated him.

    Outside of his appearance though, Stalin is impossible to caricature but Hitler, JFK, Nixon are very easy to do as that.

    • Replies: @Jatt Aryaa
  36. @Bashibuzuk

    Almost indistinguishable from the British equivalent, the BFI. I used to look through their catalogue and over half of the new films were about homosexuals (the other half were about blacks). I am glad to see that Russia is making such great progress towards becoming a Western country!

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  37. @Carlo

    Thanks for that. I had forgotten about Konchalovsky, but had zero idea that Robert Duval had acted as him and won awards for it!

    It’s interesting that they appear to have only made these films after end of USSR. Khrushchev had destalinised everything in the country so I think he would have enjoyed a negative Hollywood film about Stalin during his time! Nothing to stop Hollywood from doing films about Stalin during the start of the Cold War, particularly as they filmed many anti-soviet propaganda films in the 1950’s.
    Rasputin,Nicholas II, Lenin,Trotsky,rest of Romanov family, Brezhnev ( or at least characters clearly based on him) all seem to have been done by Hollywood, but Stalin not alot.

    It does prove my point about Stalin though…… Robert Duval must be the most inoffensive, mild-mannered, nothing personality in acting!

  38. @Kent Nationalist

    I am glad to see that Russia is making such great progress towards becoming a Western country!

    It’s actually a Russian LGBTQ movie festival receiving a substantial funding from the Ministry of Culture of the RusFed.

    As one of my Russian ex-girlfriends told me in 1996 when I decried the electoral fraud: “Stop your propaganda, we also want to live as the white people do !” (Хватит тут со своей пропагандой, мы тоже хотим жить как белые люди!) Белые люди = white people = Westerners.

    It is not a new phenomenon, it goes all the way back to the Raskol.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  39. @Bashibuzuk

    More proof that Slavs are POC

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • LOL: Jatt Aryaa
  40. Dmitry says:
    @melanf

    film about America designed for a Russian audience

    His audience are not Americans, but European film critic and festival circuit in France, Spain, Germany and Italy. This is an audience that “auteurs” like David Lynch, Takeshi Kitano, Emir Kusturica or Michael Haneke are making films for. Zvyagintsev is considered one of the most talented young directors since 2003 with European critics.

    People who are his fans are specifically cinephiles – they don’t watch films for realism, but for surrealism. “Leviathan” is self-consciously surrealism. If my memory from watching it 5 years ago is accurate, there are scenes which pure surrealism, such as in a nightmare court when you cannot speak to defend yourself.

    In the first few minutes of the lights go off in the cinema, you knew you are entering into a surrealist dreamworld.

    Political controversy was manufactured, because it was a film released a year late in Russia, with all the fake artificial media nonsense from the top down, with that would never watch normally these films. Then people which do not like cinema, are watching it idiotically for political content and realism. Many people are watching on a small screen on their notebook, when the values of Zvyagintsev’s films is largely visual and atmospheric, not in stories or drama i.e. it requires a large screen to enjoy.

    The influence on Zvyagintsev is Tarkovsky and Luis Buñuel. Dramatical scenes in his films are like some absurdist Luis Buñuel, while cinematography is like Tarkovsky.

    European critics like his films because they wanted to find a “new Tarkovsky”. But the other enjoyable thing in his film is more the surrealist atmosphere.

    Finally, his films have to be negative and have unhappy ending, because that is clearly his personality. From his first film, all of them are negative emotionally.

    about a town in Alaska inhabited by cowboys

    This is how genres like “Western” is designed.

    “Westerns” are not realism, but a kind of mythological anti-realism – and the best ones were produced by Italians, not by Americans. This is partly how Italian “Spaghetti Western” became superior to “Westerns” made by American directors. If you tried to make it “realism” and “not using stereotypes”, then it would turn into telenovela, rather than iconography that you can project on a large screen.

    But arthouse cinema of today is almost all part surrealist genre, which began already in times of Fellini. Of course, arthouse directors like David Lynch, doesn’t use real Americans, but rather iconography of American stereotypes. Takeshi Kitano does not show authentic Yakuza, but of Yakuza stereotypes.

    Probably the reason cinema went in the anti-realist direction since the 1960s, is the same reason that painting became anti-realist in the 20th century after photography.

    For realism, there is the genre of documentary, which is superior to any neorealist cinema. While even television series (because of longer time) is more suitable for things like characterization. Cinema’s main advantage is bold visuals (because large screen) and compressed timespan.

    • Replies: @melanf
  41. utu says:
    @AP

    I did like “All or Nothing” by Mike Leigh (the film is set in present-day London, and depicts three working-class families and their everyday lives).

    • Replies: @AP
  42. Dmitry says:
    @JL

    Isn’t “Elena” the inspiration that was plagiarized for the Korean film “Parasite”? I saw it because of your recommendation, and I was entertained but not such a fan of either films (I would say 2-3 star films).

    I wonder if in Korea they will have some manufactured controversy about the Koreaphobia of the film “Parasite”.

    If a “low IQ audience” are watching “Parasite”, expecting was supposed to be realism about Korea, you would leave with a very negative impression of Korean society.

    Problem that “Parasite” was that the first 3/4 of film felt like 80% realism and 20% surrealism. Then the final 20 minutes was 100% Tarantino style of surrealism. Tarantino’s “Once upon a Time in Hollywood” has the same pattern of mixing realism and surrealism.

    Whereas in “Elena”, mix was like 80% realism, 20% surrealism. And in final 30 minutes of “Elena” there is something more like 50% surrealism.

    Both “Parasite” and “Elena” have this underlying elitist viewpoint though, which is entertaining for the audience as satisfies some of our worse instinct. Both end with surrealist fighting scenes. But in “Parasite” it goes to pure surrealism, while in “Elena” it still stays with some realism.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @Yevardian
    , @JL
  43. Mr. Hack says:

    Not having seen this film, but from Karlin’s review, the rural northern landscape features and rough and tumble characters described, remind me of an interesting American film directed by Robert Redford, the 1992 “A River Runs Through It”. Actor Brad Pitt delivered a credible performance as the mischievous son of a preacher who divides his time between getting out of trouble and fly fishing for trout. At the very least, the film is memorable for providing breathtaking shots of Montana’s beautiful countryside.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  44. @Mr. Hack

    “A River Runs Through It” is a great movie. Leviathan is way more negative. It’s a caricature on the “Russian rednecks ” of the northern glubinka.

    I’ve been to some of these places in the early 90ies and it was truly depressing. It is well filmed in the Zviagintsev movie “The Return” which was well received at the time.

  45. @Dmitry

    “Parasite” is way more symbolic than Elena.

  46. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    Thanks for the recommendation.

    Shohei Imamura does also surrealism films painted in colours of Japanese countryside and rednecks. For example, “The Eel”, which I recommend, after a man who murders his wife, and falls in love with an eel. It won Palme d’Or of Cannes Festival of 1997.

    I suspect Imamura’s “The Eel” was also inspiration for some of the atmospheric of scene of “Leviathan”. Zvyagintsev seems like he is copying some of the scenes from Imamura’s film like fishing trip scene.

    There is something film directors in the arthouse circuit, constantly plagiarizing each other, and often adding local colours to distinguish between them. I assume what writers might see as “plagiarising”, is something accepted between directors as a kind of tribute between each other.

    For example: Emir Kusturica = Fellini painted with gypsies and Balkan colour?

    Or “Sacrifice” by Tarkovsky = Tarkovsky imitating Ingmar Bergman directing a Tarkovsky script.

  47. melanf says:
    @Dmitry

    The influence on Zvyagintsev is Tarkovsky and Luis Buñuel

    You’re looking for a black cat where there isn’t one. Zvyagintsev is just a typical figure of Russian cinema – a worthless mediocrity whose films (shot with state money) failed at the box office. This is not surrealism, but a caricature “agitka” designed for Western party propaganda (and of course for fellow faggots from the Moscow intelligentsia). Here is an analog of Zvyagintsev (but more talented) Born American (1986) https://ok.ru/video/1277534341689

    Probably the reason cinema went in the anti-realist direction since the 1960s, is the same reason that painting became anti-realist in the 20th century

    The cinema was and remains realistic – it is easy to see this by viewing the list of films in cinemas

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  48. AP says:
    @utu

    Thank you. The people in “Land of Steady Habits” are upper middle class and living in a very nice part of the country, but the film nevertheless manages to do bleakness well.

  49. I don’t know what people actually expect from a movie. As I see it, this film is “accused” of not being sociologically realistic.

    But- which film is?

    Casablanca, The Godfather, most of Bergman, Fellini, Kurosawa, Welles, Ford, Malick, Wajda, Kieslowski, … are not “realistic”. Highest fictions (Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Proust) are not realistic, too.

    I’ve seen the movie & liked it because it was made professionally & artistically. Cinema, dialogs, acting, music, … And- it is “real” in the sense that any down-to-earth depiction of life in provinces is, give or take- “real”. Provincial life is boring; people generally suck; politicians are corrupt; clergy is corrupt; women are frequently sluts. It’s the same in Russia, China, US, France, Sweden, Argentina, … anywhere.

    What do you expect, fake optimistic socialist realism?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  50. @Gerard.Gerard

    BTW, has Stalin actually EVER been portrayed in any Hollywood film?I ask because I can’t recall any – maybe he is the most famous person in history to never have had a biopic or serious dramatisation made of him in the west?

  51. Dmitry says:
    @melanf

    . Zvyagintsev is just a typical figure of Russian cinema – a worthless mediocr

    I agree Russian cinema died very much and there is generally nothing to enjoy.

    Finally in the 2000s, there is someone emerging with some extent of talent or at least original style – i.e. Zvyagintsev. He is winner of Golden Lion in the Venice Film Festival. And so not many years, before officials manufactured a stupid, artificial, fake controversy using him, partly because they cannot understand he works in a kind of horror genre.

    Nobody says Zvyagintsev is a great director, but he has talent, and that is unusual in the current industry.

    failed at the box office.

    The slow editing, would not allow for success at the box office, or popularity in the American or Russian (or Chinese) markets.

    However, among film fans in countries like France, he has real supporters, which I believe the first achievement for a postsoviet era director.

    Read the reviews on amazone.fr – written by French people, which (along with Italy and Japan) is the nationality considered with the most passion for cinema.

    https://www.amazon.fr/Coffret-Andre%C3%AF-Zviaguintsev-bannissement-Leviathan/dp/B015NLAYW4.

    The cinema was and remains realistic – it is easy to see this by viewing the list of films in cinemas

    You will tell me that “50 Shades of Grey”, or “Marvel Cinematic Universe”, is a paradigm of realism?

    I hadn’t seen many films in the past. But because of the boredom of coronavirus quarantine, I was watching a lot of films last year.

    From my selection, I think the latest realist film I saw was “Nights of Cabiria” (Fellini 1957). Or perhaps “The Hustler” (1961), “Leopard” (Visconti 1963).

    From the 1960s onwards, most films have been anti-realism.

    Personally, I love the neorealism cinema of the 1950s, but the whole direction cinema went in an opposite direction from 1960s.

    And before people talk about recent fashionable films like “1917”. This is not very realist, but has more of the design of an American rollercoaster slide.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @melanf
  52. melanf says:
    @Dmitry

    I agree Russian cinema died very much and there is generally nothing to enjoy.
    Finally in the 2000s, there is someone emerging with some extent of talent or at least original style – i.e. Zvyagintsev

    In the Russian cinema of the last 20 years, there was one director genius (Balabanov) but also in addition to Balabanov, a number of good films were made (“Свои”, “Особенности национальной охоты”, “Последний богатырь” 2017). But Zvyagintsev is a director worse than Ed Wood

    Read the reviews on amazone.fr – written by French people

    Then where is the French money for his “masterpieces”?

    You will tell me that “50 Shades of Grey”, or “Marvel Cinematic Universe”, is a paradigm of realism?

    Of course, Marvel films are realistic, in the sense that the oil painting “The Battle of centaurs with lapiths” is a realistic painting

  53. Dmitry says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Of course, and I think anyone who watches films knows that. Probably from all artforms (including opera and ballet), cinema is the one which is least sociologically realistic. If a film is too undramatic, and acting is too “realistic”, then it will feel more like you are watching a telenovela from a television afternoon, whereas we expect to see icons projected on large screens.

    To begin with, real peoples’ faces are not 2 metres tall, but they are at cinema.

    Cinema is a place of receiving dreams, fantasies and nightmares. First thing that happens in the cinema, is the light turns off, and you enter a state similar to REM sleep.

    I am not usually a film fan, but I was watching suddenly a lot films at home last year because of coronavirus boredom. A secret for enjoying films at home, is – to turn off your phone, block out sound, and turn the lights off. It’s not co-incidence that it is the same routine you do before going to sleep and dream.

    Wajda, Kieslowski, … are not “realistic”.

    Polish films are often one of the most dreamlike and artistic.

    But also in 1940s American cinema. For example, film noir, is usually somekind of complicated nightmare maze. I wonder if people could criticize film noir for slandering the reputation of America, as all the characters are simple negative stereotypes, and the authorities are usually 100% corrupt.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Bardon Kaldian
    , @Mr. Hack
  54. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    Cinema is a place of receiving dreams, fantasies and nightmares. First thing that happens in the cinema, is the light turns off, and you enter a state similar to REM sleep

    You are someone who understands how this is done 🙂

    Do you have a very large screen that enables immersion? If so, Sokurov’s Russian Ark is amazing, it really has a hypnotic quality. After watching it, without the aid of any substances, I left the theatre as if walking in a cloud.

    Malick’s movies are also very good.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @Dmitry
  55. @Dmitry

    Basically all art is not “realistic” in any deeper or, better, conventional sense. A film (novel, drama, painting, ..) can be experienced as “real”, but not “realistic”. Real means it has something to do with our perception of the world; fake would mean it is evidently- well, fake.

    A movie can be good even if it is mostly out of touch with social & psychological reality. The Godfather, for instance, is absurdly lying about life it depicts, but is a successful film. Vito/Brando is depicted as some kind of patriarchal sage, while in reality all big Mafia bosses were ugly sociopaths without redeeming qualities; Michael/Pacino is a hero who, out of necessity, becomes a villain or hero-villain. Nothing similar in the history of organized crime.

    The Silence of the Lambs is completely fake. A psycho with Hannibal Lecter’s IQ would go into politics & not waste his time on cannibalism. Cannibals are low IQ & obsessive, psychologically not only deranged, but unable to focus on anything beyond their ghastly psychopathology.

    But enough with the cinema, that low form of creation.

    The highest narrative forms are to be found in imaginative literature. Even those considered to be the peak of it are sociologically, historically, perhaps psychologically … not conventionally realistic. Hamlet is about revenge that involves whole human universe & is the most powerful representation of a hero of consciousness- but, what it has to do with a revenge?; The Possessed is the supreme metaphysical novel about perennial questions, but it has nothing to do with revolutionaries of any sort; War and Peace heavily misrepresents Napoleon, who was a super-human genius, as some kind of pompous prick.

    All narratives, literature & film & comics, succeed if they somehow offer us insight into Reality & make our “souls” bigger, wiser, sadder, … or change us. Of course, no-one would expect us that we take Dante and Kafka as “real” as Zola or Chekhov. But all these guys are ultimately not “realistic”.

    Leviathan is a good movie, technically. It is “real” as a film on provincial life can be. Political tendentiousness aside, this is- I guess- even closer to “reality” than all Fellini’s or Mizoguchi’s films put together.

    And all WW2 movies, westerns, gangster films, romances …. are completely fake. And so what?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  56. @AP

    Yep, Russian Ark was great. Also, The Island by Lungin was also quite good.

  57. Some people are not satisfied with movie realism. All I can say is- take this

    [MORE]

    What have we learned from American movies ?

    Cough is a sign of a deadly disease. A detective can only solve a case if he is suspended from duty. The man will show no signs of pain as he receives the most cruel blows, but he trembles as the woman tries to clean his wounds.

    One match is enough to light a room of any size. Each lock can be opened in a second with a credit card or paper clip – unless it is a door leading to a burning building with a child trapped inside. It’s not necessary to say “hello” or “goodbye” when you start or end a phone call. The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window in Paris.

    A man who shoots at twenty people has a better chance of killing them than twenty people who shoot at one man. Kitchens do not have light switches. When you enter it at night, you just need to open the refrigerator door and use its light as a replacement. It doesn’t matter if you are vastly outnumbered in a fight that involves martial arts – your enemies will patiently wait for you to attack one by one, playing around in a threatening mantra, until you overthrow their predecessors.

    Mothers prepare eggs, bacon and cakes for their husbands and children every morning, even though they never have time to eat them. Once applied, lipstick will never be erased – even while diving with full diving equipment. Officers are always assigned partners who are their exact opposite.

    Cars that collide almost always explode in flames. Even when driving down a completely flat street, it is necessary to vigorously shake the steering wheel from left to right every few moments. Honest and hard-working police officers are usually wounded or killed three days before retirement. If you want to introduce yourself as a German officer, it is not necessary to know German – a German accent is enough. The police chief always suspends his chief detective or gives him an impossible deadline to complete the job. The more a man and a woman hate each other, the more likely they are to fall in love.

    The ventilation system of any building is the perfect place to hide. No one will ever think that they are looking for you in it and you can easily reach any part of the building. When confronted by an evil international terrorist, sarcasm and wit are your best weapons. When you pay a taxi driver, you don’t have to look in your wallet while withdrawing money – just grab one banknote at random and give it to the driver. It will always be the exact amount of the ride price.

    When alone, all foreigners prefer English. Stripping to the waist can make a man invulnerable to bullets. If staying in an occupied house, women should explore every strange sound in the most scanty underwear. If you need to reload your weapon, you’ll always have enough ammunition – even if you haven’t brought it before.

    If you find yourself caught in a situation that can be quickly clarified with a simple explanation, be sure to keep your mouth shut! If you see a large glass, someone will soon be thrown through it. If someone is following you around the city, you can take refuge in St. Patrick’s Day parade, which takes place at any time of the year. If you decide to dance on the street, everyone you come across knows dancing steps.

    When someone is in love, it is customary to sing a song enthusiastically. When a person is unconscious from a blow to the head, they will never suffer a concussion or brain damage. When driving a car, it is normal not to look at the road, but at the person sitting next to or behind, during the whole trip. The cursor is never seen on the computer screen, only: “Enter Password Now”. You will survive any battle in any war unless you make a mistake and show someone a photo of your loved one at home.

    Television daily news usually contains a story that particularly concerns you at the time. It is easy to land a plane if there is someone in the control tower to give you instructions. An electric fence strong enough to kill a dinosaur will not cause lasting consequences to an eight-year-old child.

    During all police investigations, it is necessary to visit a strip club at least once. It is always possible to park right in front of the building you are visiting. You can always find a chainsaw when you need it. Most people keep an album of newspaper clippings, especially if one of their relatives or friends was killed in an unusual accident. In America, every date ends in fucking. In America, no one rides the subway except when running away from the FBI or a psycho killer.

    In America, by the age of 40, it’s completely O.K. to live with a roommate. No woman plans to get married before 40. No woman plans to have children before the age of 45. People at home almost never go to the toilet, but at work they work half the time and spend half in unisex toilets.

    Nobody does physical work, everyone works in offices or they are actors … 99% you won’t lose a lawsuit (no matter how stupid you are) if you are defended by the main characters. In Mexico, it is fashionable to dress like a cowboy and go out into the city.

    • Agree: mal
    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  58. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dmitry

    Probably from all artforms (including opera and ballet), cinema is the one which is least sociologically realistic

    I’m not quite sure how you define “sociological realism”, but most of the operas and ballets that I’ve seen have taken the human experience to the very heights of strained realism and present a form of art that seems to be steeped in fantasy of some form or the other. Family and societal relations presented often offer all sorts of examples of the proverbial “dysfunctional family”. quite comparable to similar fare offered at the cinema. IMHO. 🙂

  59. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    This comment is quite well thought out and deserves to be saved and referred back to. Excellent analysis – Kudos!

    Not a whole lot that can be added to it. 🙂

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  60. @Mr. Hack

    You ain’t seen nothin’ yet ….

    [MORE]

    What have we learned from American movies ? pt. 2

    The 500-pages book in the film has up to 100 pages with all the content changes. Nobody drinks the prescribed therapy, but just pours half a bottle of sedative into their throats without fear of consequences, overdose, etc ….. Jumping through a closed window leaves no visible consequences for you. Especially if you’re John McClain. He can’t beat terrorists without broken glass his soles.

    They usually drink alcohol with a tranquilizer. What water, water is for the weaklings … Stephen Seagal is a calm, contemplative guy, but there is always some jerk in the bar who needs to be taught a lesson in good behavior … and never with a conventional weapon, but with a billiard ball or a stick. Cowboys are not cow herders (their profession), but gunslingers and never aim and never miss.

    In fact, Dolph Lundgren just stands still, while various film directors and scenarios change around him. Men always cum in women during sex, no one “takes it out on time” … it’s a thought noun, in this case a verb. Middle-aged, well-preserved, good-looking black women with a penetrating voice are ideal for the president’s secretaries to monitor the crisis situation and do the logistics. If a divorce occurs, it is always his fault. Even if she does, she did it for the good of the relationship so again he is guilty. LA is the center of the world and all dictated numbers start with 555 …, and there are 911 ambulances worldwide.

    In a team of several people in an unenviable situation (catastrophe, etc.), there is always one defeatist who dies first. The psychopath was necessarily an unloved child, and his brother or sister was loved by those same parents. In SF-movies, when the action takes place in space on a ship, you always hear the sound of the ship moving through space (and there is no sound in a vacuum) … During World War II, all the villains were Germans, during the Cold War they were all Russians, and during the war with Iraq they were all terrorists.

    If a Jewish character is present, he’ll probably have Holocaust survivor as a relative. Old-money WASPs have some dark secret, skeleton in a cupboard & have frequently a gay relative in the closet and neglected children. Italians are, more or less, all in the mob. The preferred professions for blacks are computer scientists, doctors & high ranking spooks. Middle class women are in search for themselves, especially if they have a family and children. When in danger in a dark wood possessed by mysterious, threatening invisible forces, people in a group tend to split up, instead of staying together.

    Married women never fall out of love & initiate a divorce, until pressed to the wall- they are forced because husbands mistreat them physically & verbally. Children are either always complaining or are wiser than their parents. When an expedition goes to catch dinosaurs in a jungle, they usually have just a rifle or two, plus a handgun. If a Russian appears in a movie, someone will certainly mention vodka. If a Muslim civilian is in a movie, he will always be pious & and a sage. The same with rabbi. A priest has always a dark secret, generally sexual. A minister is always trapped in an unhappy marriage. All black believers do nothing but sing. Grandmothers are devoted to family, while grandfathers are cold and distant.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  61. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    Do you have a very large screen that enables immersion?

    Yes I had an OLED before it was cool, but I was only watching films on it for the last 6 months, as a kind of psychotherapy for surviving coronavirus lockdown. Before coronavirus lockdowns, I was not interested in films, just using my television only for Nintendo and YouTube.

    I can get immersion by sitting very close the screen, which only 1 person can watch at once with a television. Also turn off phone tell girlfriend you are busy, turn off lights.

    It feels like being in cinema. The problem about sitting very close to the television is that it doesn’t often work well with streaming because of compression.

    Sokurov’s Russian Ark is amazing,

    I haven’t seen it, although I remember your recommendation. As you imply I assume that is the kind of very visual film which would only work watching on a large screen.

    Malick’s movies are also very good.

    And surely “Badlands” is slandering the American nation, with its portrayal of redneck brutality, etc.. But it is beautiful and memorable – it’s one of the first “classic films” I saw last year. I have Criterion Channel streaming, and there’s also “Days of Heaven” – I didn’t see it yet though.

  62. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    It looks like you know all the rules of the game. Perhaps, you should become a “B” film script writer or at least a writer of TV programming? Los Angeles must have at least a few Armenian writers helping out their Jewish bros? 🙂

  63. I enjoyed it some years back and thought it just the Russian version of what happens in some rural areas here, where a corrupt clique takes over.

  64. Dmitry says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    movie can be good even if it is mostly out of touch with social

    Sure the quality of a film is independent of any connection to reality. Just as a dream can be interesting or not, regardless of whether it corresponds to waking reality.

    And same in literature. Even 19th century novelists like Flaubert, are already going into anti-realism and a lot of surrealist scenes. Some of scenes in “Madame Bovary” can be as surreal as see in arthouse cinema from the second half of the 20th century.

    with the cinema, that low form of creation.

    But unlike books, film is extremely fast and instantly immersive. You can watch whole classic film in 90 minutes. It’s only enough to read one chapter in a novel.

    Film is very time efficient and suitable for busy people – you can watch most of one if you have an hour extra before going to bed. On the other hand, reading novels is a lot of your time. People can be cinephile without much effort, while to become a literature nerd you need many hours of spare time.

    Also film can be interesting (unlike literature) for its visual logic, and this has a tendency to become more similar to dreams, than written fiction.

    On the other hand, obviously cinema is not able to do things like showing moral values, characterization, etc. Most films extremely time-compressed and have less ability for characterization than serial Mexican telenovelas.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  65. These what we may call “dread porn” films are a staple in art-house cinema and in no way particular to Russia, but Zvyagintsev does have a thing for them. Tellingly, he named Sergey Loznitsa’s equally bleak (and borderline oikophobic) “My Joy” the best Russian-language film of the 2010s.

    Where these films often fail, I think, is that a non-stop parade of awful characters doing awful things is not only a torture to watch, but also cartoonish. Life is seldom this unrelentingly dark, so why subject a poor filmgoer to it?

    This is something directors like Yuri Bykov get right. “Durak” is not a pleasant film, but the moral example the main character sets gives it meaning beyond the misery, greed and corruption it portrays.

  66. @Pericles

    The Karelia region is presumably populated by Finns converted by the sword to being Russians. So perhaps that explains some of its characteristics.

    The Kola Peninsula is not Karelia. I think most of its people came there in Soviet times, but our Russian commenters would know that better than I do.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  67. @Dmitry

    I wonder if such a reviewer, would criticize “Taxi Driver”, for “misrepresenting the proportion of New Yorkers who attended a sex cinema. (According to surveys, 80% of New Yorkers don’t visit sex cinemas).”

    I think you’re missing the point and the more I read your comments, the more distanced you began to spin from the point, and I do think its a certain example of distance from abstract thinking that characterizes a lot of your comments.

    Movies(and stories) are essentially allegories, insofar as they attempt to portray certain truths within the framework of “what has happened,” which is one of the most powerful ways of getting it into the human mind, since the human mind is designed to absorb images and relationships in sequential order. The powerful loci method of memory is organized around that.

    The fables are the most significant example of that – they feature wildly fantastical plots of talking animals and magical helpers, but they nonetheless embody morals by which children are supposed to be able to take from and then apply to their day to day lives.

    This is true of fiction too, and what movies and fiction do, even in the extreme, is to simplify it. James Bond movies, for example, are quite ridiculous and often entail the titular hero triumphing over the villain via a great show of prowess, luck and the villain’s own problems. But while extreme simplified to present a simple and pleasant image, it is indeed a kind of allegory of more realistic conflicts: Le Carre’s rather realistic “The Quest for Karla” omnibus essentially features ultimately a version of that with his character Smiley against the KGB intelligence officer Karla – confrontation happens, though shadowy and remote, with the antagonists almost never meeting each other; prowess does happen, through vague assassins and soldiers struggling against each other; ultimately Karla displays a weakness which Smiley’s intelligence team is able to exploit against him.

    Realistically, there’s little “payoff” for the struggle beyond its own sake. Karla defects, looking very plain. Smiley had hoped to gain a sense of moral triumph against Karla(and in a way, prove the innate failure of Communism and its “fanatics” as he saw Karla as), only to “win” via underhanded methods(he found out that Karla was embezzling KGB funds to fund an illegitimate daughter – effective blackmail, but not really a condemnation of Marxism). But in its innate notion, of confrontations with an ultimate victor, though extremely messy and ultimately fatal for many innocents, it rings an innate truth.

    The same could be said even of various revenge fantasies(which many Westerns were), insofar as posses certainly did exist and bring them about(Pablo Escobar’s death, for example, was driven by possess and organizations staffed by friends and family of his victims).

    And I think that’s the thing that Anatoly was arguing against in the movie, because its allegory was not so much of “people are terrible to people”, but attempted to specifically indicate that “people are terrible to people and this is the soul of Russia.” A similar accusation against an American movie would be(and has been noted) for Deliverance, which suggests that rednecks are inbred gay rapists. Its not so much the direct factual content provided but the essential meaning suggested and it is the meaning, abstracted from the content, that our kind host objects to and believes is deceptive.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  68. Yup, or well… Nicholas II saw the construction of the railway to Kola and founded Murmansk, after which there was an influx of people from the rest of the Russian Empire. Prior to that, the peninsula was sparsely populated, by some east Saami reindeer herders and the Slavic (essentially Russian) Pomors.

    The USSR increased the Kola population manifold, again drawing from the rest of the “empire”, mainly Russians.

    Anyway, Karlin: Twitter just told me that your handle had been “temporarily restricted” because of “unusual activity”, what?

    Still accessible after clicking “OK” but what’s that all about?

    • Replies: @mal
  69. Mr. Hack says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    A truncated but helpful synopsis of the “Karla Trilogy”. Ever watch the BBC’s shortened version (“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy & “Smiley’s People”)? Alec Guinness played the part of Smiley quite admirably, but I think that some of the details presented within the book would make watching the series a bit easier to understand.

  70. mal says:
    @Anonymous lurker

    Uh oh, Twitter is reviewing Karlin’s vibrancy.

  71. @Swedish Family

    As I wrote above, his opinion about the topic is overtly simplistic. And yes, you are correct, Murmansk is obviously not in Karelia at all.

  72. cortesar says:

    Leviathan is a very good film, one of the few good ones that I have seen in last few years
    I do not think that the reason it was successful in the West lies in a fact that western public was enthralled by Karlin’s perceived anti-Russian propaganda
    I think that most of the Western people that watched the film (and all I talked to) liked it just because its story is universal and could happen (and it happens regularly) in any country including their owns.
    Certainly in both the story and characters the film is Russian but beyond it, it is an universal story about an ordinary poor and weak man being crashed by the corrupt power
    As for “no redeeming characters” well isn’t it in Christ that a weak man should redeem himself, isn’t that one of the themes exposed in the last scene in which powerful and corrupt are being served/absolved by an equally corrupt priest ?
    Yes the main character is a weak drunkard who is destroyed by the power against which he stood no chance (Leviathan), betrayed by everyone including his wife, first robbed of the house and land in which he ancestors had lived for generations and then having his life completely destroyed.
    The very last scene showing the powerful stormy sea in which Leviathan lurks for those whose misfortune make them cross the path with the monster once more in my view emphasizes and underlines the film main theme

    • Agree: Bardon Kaldian
    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
  73. Yevardian says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I remember actually enjoying Zvyagintsev’s films prior to this one (‘The Return/Возвращение’ and ‘Elena’ were especially good), but I never understood the acclaim this entry got. Or rather I do, but it obviously wasn’t for artistic reasons. His follow-up after this, ‘Безлюбви/Loveless’, was markedly worse, just straight misery-porn, and I lost interest in him as a director. A shame, because his first (totally apolitical) film was a minor masterpiece.

    As for good Russian films above the prole level (Меtro, Christmas Trees, The 9th Company), Alexander Sokurov is a director (dating back the Soviet Golden Age of Russian-Film) that continues to make good movies today. В Тумане was also really good and recent.

  74. Yevardian says:
    @AP

    Keeping in mind that it is therefore a portrayal
    of an alternative realty, it’s a good movie, I still remember it after several years.

    But I also agree here, the level of vitriol directed at this film from vatnik types strikes me as stemming more from psychological insecurity and an inferiority complex towards the West than anything. Plenty of countries all around the world make films depicting life in local shitholes. It’s not like the world watches ‘Fat City’ or ‘Requiem for A Dream’, or ‘Sátántangó’, or ‘ The Death of Mr Lazarescu’ and interprets it as self-hating Americans, Hungarians or Romanians.

  75. melanf says:
    @Pericles

    The Karelia region is presumably populated by Finns converted by the sword to being Russians.

    Karelia was not “converted by the sword to being Russians”, the assimilation of Karels was not violent.

    The film Leviathan takes place not in Karelia, but in a completely different place

  76. Yevardian says:
    @Dmitry

    Isn’t “Elena” the inspiration that was plagiarized for the Korean film “Parasite”? I saw it because of your recommendation, and I was entertained but not such a fan of either films (I would say 2-3 star films).

    I think they only have the vaguest possible thematic resemblances, I doubt in the extreme there was any influence. The tone of each film is also very different. Also ‘Elena’ was far, far superior as a work of art than ‘Parasite’, which was entertaining, but nothing special. Another Korean film from the same year, ‘Burning’, was immeasurably better (the best film of that year, actually).

    @Bashibuzuk

    “Parasite” is way more symbolic than Elena.

    I personally would say ‘way more ham-fisted’ in ramming it’s (very obvious) message, but yes. Now that I think about that film ‘Parasite’, too many things in that film simply didn’t make sense. The family of con-artists obviously weren’t stupid, their impoverished position at the film’s beginning makes little sense.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  77. @Yevardian

    The whole Parasite movie is a symbolic caricature of the South Korean society. If someone filmed something truly similar about RusFed there would be much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. I wonder if anyone was displeased with the movie in Korea though. That’s what a 15 points of IQ difference would make.

    • LOL: Bardon Kaldian
    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
    , @Dmitry
  78. @Bashibuzuk

    Parasite was a nasty, sneering, anti-working class film. I can only imagine the depths of Joseon hell that it is considered left-wing or sympathetic.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  79. @Kent Nationalist

    It ridiculed both the rich, the poor and the social system.

    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
  80. JL says:
    @Dmitry

    I wasn’t aware of any connection between those two films, though I can see a certain parallel, of course, with the juxtaposition of the working class and the rich and what happens when they intersect. I didn’t care for Parasites at all and couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. It was entertaining, in Hollywood-style fashion, but the message was too overwrought and lacking in any subtlety or nuance.

    I liked Elena as a morality tale and thought of it as pretty hard realism. Indeed, it could have been done as a play instead of a film. But now that you mention it, the element of surreal was present, for example the fight scene with the teenager, shot as a whirlwind of violence and confusion.

    I will be watching The Return, in the next day or two, on the recommendation of several commenters here. It’s interesting how Zviagintsev’s films got progressively worse through his career.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  81. @melanf

    I’d watch something like that for a good laugh.

    Don’t actually know anyone who drinks gin. It’s a small dusty corner of the local liquor store.

  82. @Mr. Hack

    Even within Georgia itself, the cult of the great Stalin finally resulted in his statue being pulled down.

    LOL – after “only” 70 years the Gruzians had the “courage” to take his statue down…..that coincidentally happened with a Soros-regime in control of Gruzia, in the background of the 2008 war and nearly zero victims of the Stalinist ” repression” around to contest or protest?This is like Banderastan where you have a load of US funded Banderatard scum plaigirising some idiotic prank by Austrian intelligence over a century before (Ukrop “nationalism”) who have no actual connection to Ukraine trying to insert fantasist revisionism in an area they never lived, know nothing about, and were not alive at the time or any so-called incident ( Golodomor or other “repression” that magically has nothing mentioned about it during the other years of Ukrainian SSR after 1953).

    You do realise that the “cult” of Stalin dissipated immediately as Khrushchev succeeded him you dimwit? Everything from Architecture, names of places and roads, organisations everything was changed in the process of destalinisation ( I have mentioned before that if Stalin had lived afew more years then Gagarin would not have been allowed into Soviet Space program because he grew up in a area that was occupied by Nazis in GPW).

    Anyway, polling still shows Stalin as the most popular Gruzian you idiot. They are very proud of him, and for those who don’t – his anti-rating is not that bad there.

    I envision that this park is inhabited with homeless bums that sit in the shadow of you hero drinking stale beer and spitting out bones of half rotted smoked fish. Enjoy – you can count me out.

    Stop talking about Lvov in that disrespectful way you bad person. Yes, I know it is a diseased sh*thole , but you are crossing a line there.

    BTW – I have found a plan to save Ukraine disaster economy. There are hundred’s of 1000’s of Lvov whores doing nothing . All they have to do is get one of them to seduce Elon Musk and marry or have a kid with him – divorce him – and then Ukrop GDP economy literally increases by 100% in financial settlement with him. It’s a perfect plan

    There’s a graveyard of pulled down Lenin and Stalin statues somewhere in Moscow where you can visit and still pay homage to your “man of god”.

    Those statues in Ukraine and Gruzia would easily be a few billion dollar market in China and other places to pay into Ukrop/Gru with their non-existant economies. I suspect none of them are actually demolishing the statues because of that reason – it’s a chance for more corruption and more money. Lenin’s image in printed or sculpted art produced much of the best art of the 20th century.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  83. @Dmitry

    But unlike books, film is extremely fast and instantly immersive. You can watch whole classic film in 90 minutes. It’s only enough to read one chapter in a novel.

    Yeah, but it evaporates fast. I’ve been saying it all the time.

    [MORE]

    Movies are best in depiction of action, or rendering of atmosphere of a certain age (costumes, manner of speech etc.). But, in most other fields, film language is sorely lacking. For instance, brilliant acting & music are the only tools in description of horror, when Hoskins’ character realizes he’s being driven away by the IRA gang to be executed. His grimaces are the most film language can come up with, while a good novelist could extract pages & pages about the same scene.

    Or take Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey ending.

    The Star-child scene is idiotic.

    We are to believe that the guy was transformed into some kind of star-god who has will & paraphysical powers. And this is- a star. With a developed fetus inside (at least, that’s how we know that this transformed guy has become a humanoid super-physical star). Can you get more nonsensical than that? Stars are just stars. There is nothing within, or around them, that is remotely human, or “alive” (any form of life imaginable included). Stars have no will, intelligence, identity, power, … nothing.

    I get that Kubrick/Clarke wanted that guy to undergo transformation into a god-like supra-physical being transcending ordinary 3+1 universe. I understand their intention & accept it. But: a) this is not supra-physical existence, Star-child being some extremely weird star in physical universe, b) fetal phase is ultimately comical, c) they should have presented some kind of god-like being our guy has become outside of space-time & acting on it from beyond & “above”, d) the fetal stuff makes it all hilarious. He should have become a hyper- humanoid being with traces of humanity, but, basically- a god beyond space-time.So, this legendary scene is, in my view, completely botched.

    They failed, but the public & reviewers were just transfixed by unexpectedness, so they uncritically accepted this anti-climax as the climax.

    An author more intelligent than Clarke/Kubrick would have ended it better.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @Dmitry
  84. Mr. Hack says:
    @Gerard-Mandela

    I’ve always pictured you as some sort of a refined person, one who spends wads of leisure time playing mostly serious classical music on the piano (I’ve posted many photos of how I see you), and yet it appears that you’re really some sort of a of a Gopnik prole who just can’t get that creepy Stalin out of your mind. You probably are the progeny of Stalinists and due to their good standing in the party at that time, you enjoy some good family memories at their dacha. I bet you have hammer and sickle tatoos inscribed all over your body too. 🙁

    Geraldina (on the right) hanging out with the guys at the neighborhood watering hole.

    • LOL: Bashibuzuk
    • Troll: AltanBakshi
  85. @Bashibuzuk

    Ok but the ridiculing of all of them was done in a stupid, trivial and basically meaningless way.
    What is wrong with the rich people in the film, that they are naive?
    Watching this film made me think that Koreans must be stupid and unfeeling if this is the best they can come up with.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  86. @Bardon Kaldian

    We are to believe that the guy was transformed into some kind of star-god who has will & paraphysical powers. And this is- a star. With a developed fetus inside (at least, that’s how we know that this transformed guy has become a humanoid super-physical star).

    Perhaps this is what this scene alluded to:

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

    A Soviet concept of Vertical Progress as initially described by the Strugatsky brothers also comes to mind.

    Basically, a post-human civilization sooner or later creates a new Universe, that is if doesn’t go extinct in the process…

  87. @Kent Nationalist

    The Rich were obsessed with everything Western among other things. They were nowhere as naive as they were disconnected from the bulk of the Korean society. And their dreams were hollow, while at least the underclass characters had valid reasons to struggle and a desire to achieve a better outcome for themselves.

    • Replies: @Xi-Jinping
  88. @Bashibuzuk

    Thats the same problem Russia and most of the East suffers with. Which further proves my point that Russia is not a Western country but an Eastern one and thus it should turn its back in Europe and look for acceptance in the East.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  89. anonlb says:

    Film based on true events in USA filmed as it happened in Russia. Films about white trash are simple hard to watch.

  90. Dmitry says:
    @JL

    Story of “Parasite” is the same structure as “Elena”, and I assume likely inspiration for.

    We see two apartments – one which represents a cynical world of the rich, one apartment which represents an equally undeserving poor. Between the two worlds – a train journey. The poor family try to move from the poor apartment to the rich apartment, and the final cynically, violently achieved, but with sense that it is an arbitrary difference between the rich and poor, who are equally debased.

    However, the original concept was in Jacques Tati. So it is probably a Russian originated concept for film structure, although Korea now wins the awards for its ingenuity.

    Elena as a morality tale and thought of it as pretty hard realism. Indeed, it could have been done as a play

    Aside from the concept of two apartments, the value of “Elena is very visual.

    Zvyagintsev is filming the inside of the apartment, like a landscape oil painting. He is a talented artist, and his talent in this visual area.

    For example, he films in the beginning, the opening of the curtains in the wealthy apartment, like a sunrise over barren fields.

    Another good thing in the film, is a performance by the actress Elena Lyadova, as a daughter of a remarried business. I know exactly some people which have these same attitude and gestures she portrays, albeit in exaggerated way.

    Zviagintsev’s films got progressively worse through his career.

    I only saw “Leviathan” (5 years ago) and “Elena” (a couple months ago).

    In both films, the dramatic side is the weaker side (or it has a hard surface and lack of narrative drive and feels like the “plotting” was rushed), but the visuals are very strong.

    But someone who can make visually interesting films – this already places his films above the majority of what is shown in the cinema (which is neither visually or narratively valuable)

  91. @Xi-Jinping

    Although I partially agree with what you write, I have come to think that in the present day and age the West is no longer consistently Western, while Oriental or Asian cultures are not really Eastern anymore.

    What we are looking at are regional particularisms inside a globalized system. The late Igor R. Shafarevich’s allegory of the “two roads leading to the same precipice” comes to mind. Russia should find its own independent way between the Atlanticist and Sinocentric geopolitical alignments. At least Russia should try finding such a way.

    • Replies: @Xi-Jinping
  92. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    15 points of IQ difference would make.

    For “Parasite”, perhaps.
    The way in which “Leviathan” was criticized, was what you would expect from “low IQ audience who do not understand the concept of films or fiction”, if that had been the source of the controversy.

    However, this criticism was not from the audience for the film (its natural audience is very small and self-selecting), but rather a “top down” creation from a couple of officials, who then astroturfed and manufactured a controversy about the film a year before it was released in Russia.

    I didn’t follow about films at the time, and only first heard about the film from my friend, who is usually very liberal and nerdy, but who posted in facebook something about a terrible anti-Russian film “using negative stereotypes to try to re-enforce Western sanctions”, or something like that. That had raised my curiosity months earlier.

    Such fake low IQ reactions to works of fiction, astroturfed from politicians, can be a viral anti-marketing, and I knew I had to see this film in the cinema. It was also really delayed by a year or more, if I recall.

    So, I only saw it because of political controversy, but when I was in the cinema, remember that from the first shot of the film, that we didn’t waste the ticket price – you can see that he is a talented director from just the visual composition of most of the shots.

    Needless to say, the slow editing style of the film, also means very few people would normally watch it. It is least likely choice for propaganda (a pretentious film designed in a way so that only a few thousand of the world’s remaining arthouse circuit fans will have the attention span to watch it).

    If someone filmed something truly similar about RusFed there would be much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    Perhaps as another manufactured controversy, from some politicians who would presumably assume that Texas authorities should sue the creators of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” for misrepresenting ordinary life in the states. (“This film is presenting negative stereotypes of social life in Texas for foreign consumption. According to studies, a proportion of people which kill hitchhikers with a chainsaw is one of the lowest in the country.”).

    But this is the same people which give millions of dollars to Simonyan and her boyfriend, to create such https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5B9Tn3DEWzY.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @melanf
  93. Dmitry says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Your attitude, will also depend on whether you want to access cultural productions of 20th century vs. 19th century.

    If you were interested in middle and late 20th century culture, then a large part of recent decades’ creative energy was thrown onto the cinema, whether we like it or not.

    On the other hand, literature, (not to mention painting, sculpture, opera, ballet, symphonic music, and theatre) of the 20th century, was dying by the 1930s-1940s, and seems to have received less creative investment with each subsequent decade.

    So that’s aside from the general differences: that e.g. prose fiction as a technology is more suitable for realism, while counter-intuitively cinema has been mainly projection of strange anti-realist “dream images” since the 1950s. Or that prose fiction had a self-selecting audience (particularly in countries without yet universal literacy), while cinema is usually oriented to providing a prolefeed for masses.

    but it evaporates fast. I’ve been saying it all the time.

    Reading a novel like “Anna Karenina” is equivalent number of hours as watching of maybe 40 films.

    My memory of “Anna Karenina” is far more strong, than of any individual film. But less than 40 films (or equivalent hours)? Or 40 hours of being in an art gallery? Or 40 hours of opera? I would definitely have stronger memories, if those 40 hours had been in art gallery and opera, rather than reading the novel (not sure of film).

    I agree that film is usually far weaker than prose literature, from various points of view.

    Literature is more active, as it requires the reader’s imagination to provide the pictures and image, rather than simply projecting it to the viewer, as happens with film.

    Cinema is too time-compressed to show things like moral values (that 19th century novel could), or show character’s soul. Film has to transmit character personality via a few seconds of usually crude visual stereotypes.

    But while 20th century cinema has many weaknesses – 19th century novel has many different weaknesses. In the novel, the characters are usually like disembodied souls, and we have no sense of physical people.

    Novel is also trapped in language and a convention view of the world, which means that it cannot show certain absurdities of our life.

    There are some films by directors like Jacques Tati, which can achieve a really alien viewpoint – I’m not sure that a writer can achieve this.

    And of course, film today is mainly showing anti-dream images, which is the technology’s strength (film is just very similar to dreaming).

    • Replies: @melanf
    , @Bardon Kaldian
  94. melanf says:
    @Dmitry

    However, this criticism was not from the audience for the film (its natural audience is very small and self-selecting), but rather a “top down” creation from a couple of officials, who then astroturfed and manufactured a controversy about the film a year before it was released in Russia.

    Zvyagintsev made the film with state money, publicly stating (in Russia) that this film is not about Russia, but about universal human problems (obviously something similar he said to officials to get money).
    After that, Zvyagintsev went to Cannes, where he advertised his film as a true exposure of the horrors of Putin’s Russia, and presented himself as a brave freedom fighter persecuted by a repressive state apparatus.
    Naturally, Zvyagintsev was silent about whose money he used to make his film. What would be right to do is to lock Zvyagintsev in prison, and keep him there until he returns all the money stolen from the state.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  95. melanf says:
    @Dmitry

    On the other hand, literature, (not to mention painting, sculpture, opera, ballet, symphonic music, and theatre) of the 20th century, was dying by the 1930s-1940s, and seems to have received less creative investment with each subsequent decade.

    This is an extremely strange statement. Can you suggest any objective criterion that can confirm this statement? In terms of the number of books published, there was not a decline, but a continuous growth

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
  96. Mr. Hack says:
    @melanf

    The late 19th – mid 20th centuries also saw the rise of newer styles of classical music, such as Impressionism and Expressionism, that filled concert halls in both Europe and America. Also, the advent of classical FM radio stations first gained prominence in the 1930’s – 1940’s, extending the listening repertoire of listeners to these more high brow forms of music. Jazz music was also just starting to hit its stride during this period of time. Certainly classical radio stations, mostly the commercial variety, have been undergoing competition that has often forced them to change their format somewhat from the more unencumbered manner of the past, so many stations are becoming less commercial relying on financial support from their listener base, including large corporate contributions too.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  97. There is now happily much less Russian state support for “artists” who hate and despise their own people – and don’t have even the minimal talent to hide or disguise it. That’s because it’s all here now.

  98. @Europe Europa

    Overtly English characters are the villains in Hollywood films at least as much, if not more, than overtly Russian characters. English actors in Hollywood are normally expected to feign American accents for their roles, if the role is not a “bad guy”.

    Jaguar made an advert alluding to this phenomenon

    I think in both cases, English and Russian, it ends up raising the profile of the respective nationalities for the better. I mean, do Russians really take exception to being portrayed by the likes of Dolph Lundgren?

  99. cortesar says:

    Hard to believe how many here value a film based on how “realistic” it is
    Film tells a story that can be highly realistic as well as completely fictitious and that has very little or nothing to do with the quality of it
    In terms dramaturgy the story should have its natural progression
    Same with personalities
    What is is the most important is that a film is a moving picture(s) and as such it has its unique language of which the usage is the best tell of its director/creator and film quality
    Film by its nature transmits best human emotion (unlike literature) and it is not the best tool to deal directly with philosophical questions of any kind It does not support much dialogue either (unlike theater)
    In that respect it is similar to music
    That is why a good soundtrack can bring a film scene to another level which is unattainable to other forms of expression/story telling

    An example

    This scene from Kieslowski Double vie de Veronique the scene in which first Veronique dies
    (btw the story of 2 completely identical women living different/and yet connected lives is completely “unrealistic”)The hole scene is 3m39s long yet there is no single second/cadre which is not carefully directed to act in unison with the powerful Preisner music

    • Replies: @Swedish Family
    , @utu
    , @utu
  100. Dmitry says:
    @melanf

    More trees might be killed, but cinema and television displaced literature.

    Today, for example, Netflix has 7 times more revenue than the largest fiction publishing company (Penguin Random House).

    And most of the fiction published is something like romance fiction and adventure, rather than a literary fiction that had aspirations of the 19th century.

    Revenue of literary fiction, might be smaller than for a single Marvel superhero film.

    That’s not to say that arthouse cinema also has small revenues and audience (which is why there is justification for government support to allow directors to produce films that only small audiences will enjoy).

  101. Dmitry says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Jazz is America’s most important contribution to culture, along with cinema. But the productive age was like 1920-1970 – only about 50 years. By the 1980s, jazz is already becoming almost a dead museum object, with conservatives like Wynton Marsalis trying to maintain it as a historical tradition.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  102. More trees might be killed, but cinema and television displaced literature.

    Today, for example, Netflix has 7 times more revenue than the largest fiction publishing company (Penguin Random House).

    And most of the fiction published is something like romance fiction and adventure, rather than a literary fiction that had aspirations of the 19th century.

    Revenue of literary fiction, might be smaller than for a single Marvel superhero film.

    Was there really such a thing at all that could be displaced as literate people through all the times were miniscule minority of all living people? The time when literacy really started to take off into sizable levels was also the time when cinema was invented, so there probably was never extended meaningful period in history of mankind when literature was a leader of entertainment income.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  103. EldnahYm says:
    @Europe Europa

    Look who runs Hollywood. WASPs were displaced from the film industry(which they built) almost 100 years ago. The people who run Hollywood have more sympathy for Italian mobsters than they do an ordinary English person.

    If people in the U.S. want some other type of depiction of English people, they can watch British television shows. British mystery dramas are a niche in the U.S. They’re shown on public television.

  104. melanf says:
    @Dmitry

    cinema and television displaced literature.
    Today, for example, Netflix has 7 times more revenue than the largest fiction publishing company (Penguin Random House).

    This is a strange argument, because then we can talk about the decline of literature in comparison with ancient Sumer, since in Sumerian society literature occupied a more important role (relative to other forms of art) than today

  105. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dmitry

    I don’t have any figures as to record and CD sales in the 80’s, but based on information that I’ve reviewed, it would appear that jazz was far from being “dead” but actually was expanding its listening base by catering to the tastes of a wider audience. Jazz music was characteristically evolving and changing during this period and enjoyed greater exposure amongst the masses, perhaps as never before in the new direction known as “smooth jazz”. Radio stations were quite willing to promote this new, less traditional jazz idiom, often playing tunes by artist playing this form of “easy listening and pop jazz”. I’m quite confident that record sales were going through the roof for some of these artists, including the likes of Kenny G, Al Jarreau, Sade, David Sanborn,, Chaka Kahn, David Sanborn and many others. Another current in the jazz idiom that took of in the 80’s was called “acid jazz”. Less popular with the masses, it developed a niche within the jazz idiom that can still be heard today. The big horses of traditional jazz music were also putting out albums, including one of my favorite newcomers to the field, Pat Metheny, truly a giant in the world of jazz guitar. And many, many more! I think that you were perhaps too young and weren’t exposed to much of this great music to appreciate its importance in the evolution of jazz music.

  106. @Mr. Hack

    I recommend Galliano, the original Acid Jazz collective from UK:

    I had all their albums. Actually I still have them in my CD collection, but I haven’t listened to them in a long time.

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Mr. Hack
    , @Mr. Hack
  107. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Please excuse any content or spelling errors above. For some reason I wasn’t allotted the whole 3 minutes for making and corrections or changes.

  108. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Acid jazz is incredibly inventive and fun music to listen too. There are scores of compilation albums (“Best of”, volume 1 – 37, etc). One of my favorite groups of this idiom was the rambunctious South American group “Opa” featuring the Fattoruso brothers. A real roller coaster of bright jazz sounds, IMHO. I recommend this double album compilation (funny, I see that it was first released in Russia?)

    • Thanks: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  109. @Bashibuzuk

    Western (US) softpower has diluted traditional cultures worldwide, which accounts for the East no longer being fully Eastern, but even despite that more of the traditional remains in the East than in the West.

    Although, I agree Russia ahould find its own way, it unfortunately never will. It had its chance to find its own path during the time of Peter I, but instead it looked to the West and started an obsession with the West that lasts to this day. Another opportunity for Russia to forge its own path came in 1917, when it defied the world and formed the USSR – but then it was betrayed again by those looking to the West.

    “Its own path” is impossible for Russia – thus it must choose between two evils – integrating with the East is the better choice for Russia.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  110. @melanf

    I cannot give links to studies- actually, I haven’t read them, but have heard from a friend of mine who had been occupied with his paternal duties re his growing daughter: psycho-neurological studies show that in children who read in formative years from, say, 4- 14, there is a strong correlation between the density of neuron packing &, generally, growth in cognitive ability and reading.

    On the other hand, those who don’t read (for various reasons), just watch TV & other moving pictures (you can apply this to smartphones & similar stuff, too) – do not develop cognitive abilities at that level because they just passively absorb what they’ve been watching.

    My friend & his wife are above average re mental abilities & they read, or have read, a lot. But they couldn’t force or persuade their daughter to read. She is now in her mid 20s & while OK, evidently a non-mental type. Cognitively- definitely below her parents.

    • Replies: @melanf
  111. melanf says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    That’s right, but Dmitry claimed that literature has been in steady decline since the 30s of the 20th century!

    If we make a forecast for the future, then books in the usual form for us will clearly turn into a marginal phenomenon. In Russia, they are now being squeezed by audiobooks

  112. @Xi-Jinping

    It had its chance to find its own path during the time of Peter I

    Russia had its own path prior to the Romanovs accessing the throne and starting the gradual westernization which culminated with Peter the Great’s reforms (which yielded a significant drop in the Russian population, just like in 1917 and 1991).

    Starting with Tzar Peter, Russian elites became integrated into the Western paradigm. The few Slavophile or Russophile aristocrats or intellectuals that have been influential before 1917 were not able to shake the Russian elites dependance on Western intellectual and cultural tropes. And the 1917 Revolution itself was a direct result of this “mental colonization”, for the Communism is a Western doctrine – an extreme form of “progressive” thought born out of European Enlightenment.

    The 1917 Revolution was Russophobic. It harmed and hurt Russian people more than it harmed and hurt any other ethnic group inside or outside the USSR. Even though it rejected the ancient westernized elites, it only made the situation worse by replacing them with the Soviet mankurts, slaves to the Internationale.

    Same for the Perestroika, it destroyed the Soviet golem, but instead erected an even dumber and more primitive one, slave to the international financial Cabal. Russians suffered atrociously during the twentieth century under these terrible and inhumane regimes.

    Russia might still find its way if it looks back in time to Slav and Orthodox roots and ensures that these roots are recognized and honored. Also the same attitude should be applied to all other native ethnic groups in the Russian federation. Their roots, their cultures and religions should be respected and protected. Unlike China, which has embraced the complete modernization of its civilization – quite similar to Tzar Peter’s reforms – Russia should prioritize the elaboration of its own cultural code – a harmonious amalgamation of the native cultures of the Russian Federation allied to the Russian Slav ethnic group that represents more than 80% of the population.

    Becoming a vassal to China will only delay the ultimate demise of the Russian people. Twenty first century’s China will ultimately be as (or even more) destructive as the Atlanticist West was in the second half of the twentieth century or European colonial powers were in the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth. Anyone embracing hyper modernity- as China does today – makes a “bargain with the Devol” and will lose their cultural and spiritual “souls”. The Han are walking a tightrope that Russians walked before them, there is a high probability that the Han will ultimately fail as Russians did.

    Two roads to the same precipice…

    • Replies: @Xi-Jinping
  113. @Dmitry

    Alright, I’ll c-p a pastiche of mine. It is about imaginative literature vs cinema vs modern art.

    I didn’t insert More Tag, because it is a continuous text.

    The central thing about imaginative literature is this: the peak in major works is irradiation of the sublime (I know it sounds preposterous, just..). For instance (I don’t read fiction anymore, so I’m writing from memory), this is what I felt, elation, a sort of electric current rushing through my body..when I read (had read): great triumphant Clytemnestra’s speech over her murdered husband’s body in Aeschylus; core teaching about the triad of Man-Earth-Heaven in The Doctrine of the Mean of the Confucian canon; great Socrates’ prophetic & visionary oratory on the immortality of soul in Phaedo; Macbeth’s hallucinatory speech when he is in the final phase of his doom; the penultimate chapter in Flaubert’s Sentimental Education, when old & crushed lovers part, leaving us with their unconsumed love and unlived lives; a few pages in Proust’s The Fugitive, located in Venice, when the Narrator, upon receiving a telegram & wrongly assuming that Albertine may be alive, receives an epiphany that he’s been “cured” of jealousy & love, and has definitely died to his former self & youth; Ilyushechka’s dying & death in The Brothers Karamazov; castration & agonising death of Joe Christmas in Faulkner’s Light in August; final two pages in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness; the execution of Billy Budd; the last stand of Tolstoy’s Hadji Murat; ….

    These are high sublime epiphanies, burnt into protoplasm of my inner being I’ll never forget. It is the fusion of heart, mind & spirit that gives them lasting value, rendering much of other issues superfluous or of secondary importance.

    Film just cannot do it. Music- sometimes.

    Classical/concert music is dead from, say, the 1930s/40s. It doesn’t exist anymore except for a few, very few people who could be regarded as an esoteric sect.

    Nobody, except almost sectarians, listens to that production. One can check music shops & similar areas & will find that, statistically, 99% of concert music repertory what customers buy & listen to belongs to the era that ends with WW1 or around. Early Stravinsky, some Schoenberg, Orff, perhaps some Honegger…and that’s it. John Cage, Stockhausen …nothing.

    This is, give or take- noise.

    Nobody cares for it. Nobody listens to it. Even if we put aside the central repertory (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert, Verdi, Wagner, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Palestrina, Brahms, …), I bet that old-timers like Hildegard von Bingen, Machaut, Ars Antiqua, Gregorian chant… outsell all composers from the 1940s on by so wide a margin that it would be tasteless to mention it.

    The point is- music, serious Western/global music has vanished because the communication has been broken. The rest is not silence- but noise.

    The same goes for visual arts where last painters worth looking at were, say, Schiele, Klee, Kandinsky, Chagall, Malevich (here, I’m not so sure), Delaunay, de Chirico, Rouault & a few others.

    Warhol, Pollock …pooh, nothing.

    Imaginative literature has been spared of that dismal fate simply because we don’t communicate in brush strokes or music notes. That’s why stories or novels written from 1950 to 2020 can- at least, some of them, still be read & enjoyed.

    Perhaps film is intrinsically limited, as German theorist Heinrich Wölfflin speculated: Film is a picture book of life for the illiterate.

    It is first & foremost an entertainment; then, possibly, it may become a work of art-for some time. It has two weaknesses: a) it is a product of too many people plus budget constraints, so it cannot be fully authorial, b) it depends too much on technology, so most older movies become absurd or inadvertently funny. Or boring.

    One can listen to a piece of music 50-100 times; one can read a piece of literature 50-100 times. Just, I don’t think one can watch a movie 50-100 times.

    Movies have wider appeal, but this form of entertainment is much more limited than others.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk, AP
    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
  114. @melanf

    Reading a text allows for more concentrated and absorbed state of mind. Whether you read it in a physical printed form or on a iPad or any other tablet is irrelevant. But you need to process signs into meaning. Audiobooks do not allow this processing of information. And yes, young children must read as much as possible.

    • Agree: Bardon Kaldian
    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    , @Dmitry
  115. @melanf

    No, he’s wrong.

    I’ll just re-state my position, which generally coincides with that of most prominent academicians.

    The supreme authors are very few, perhaps 5-10 of them, but the last one, Proust, died in 1922 (or 1923, I forgot).

    Great authors are more numerous. Without going too much back in the past – Chekhov, Flaubert, Balzac, Dickens, Eliot, Ibsen, Henry James, Conrad …. belong to that category. Having in mind great authors who had been writing after Uncle Adi’s rise to power, 1933, we can see a bunch of them active (I am writing from memory, I don’t read fiction anymore): great authors after 1933-1945 period are, among others: Mann, Musil, Yourcenar, Broch, Gaddis, perhaps Cormac McCarthy, Grass, Bernhardt, 1-2 works of Joseph Heller, Faulkner, probably something from Hispanic Boom (Garcia Marquez, Alejo Carpentier, Borges…),…

    So no, literature lives, but there are not many readers anymore: https://www.salon.com/2011/06/28/stopped_reading_fiction/

    ………..

    There’s a school of evolutionary anthropology that might agree with him. It speculates that fictional storytelling — a universal cultural practice — helps people imagine what others are thinking and feeling, and consequently how they might behave in the future. The value of such skills when it comes to navigating complex social groups is obvious, but perhaps people do reach a saturation point with age. No other artistic form can surpass the novel’s ability to immerse us in the inner life of another human being, yet there may come a stage when that prospect promises nothing new.

  116. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Oops, I meant this great two album compilation that includes “Magic Time” and “Goldenwings”:

    • Thanks: Bashibuzuk
  117. @Bashibuzuk

    I agree with your assessments regarding Tsar Peter.

    I disagree with your assessments about Communism. Yes, it was a logical progression of European Enlightenment values (that Russia has integrated from the time of Peter I), but the difference is that Communism was not wholly embraced within Europe or the world. It was a fringe ideology (for the most part) and Russia was the first to implement it onto a State wide level. This alone makes it a “new path” for Russia, that eventually isolated it from the harmful effects of Europe.

    Perestroika was a travesty as it ended Russian isolation from the harmful effects of Europe and resumed its obsession with everything Western (if you recall, the USSR was proudly Russian and proudly announced its achievements to the world such as victory in Sports, flying a man to Space, and developing its own art and musical styles). Now Russia is becoming harder and harder to distinguish from Europe (that ironically rejects it), as it adopts European LGBT tropes, is more immersed into Western culture rather than its own, has its own people hating the country and seeking to emigrate because “everything za bugrom is superior”. Russia has lost its identity and ability to do anything of meaning, which was not the case under the Soviets.

    Even though China rushes to embrace modernity, its influence will regardless be less harmful as it has also isolated itself from American softpower. This means that a “Chinese Russia” will not be forced to adopt LGBT, democracy or other harmful ideas.

    Next, Russia cannot prioritize adopting its cultural code whilst it has an obssession with the West that hasnt been broken. Breaking this obssessions, but cutting ties with the West would allow it to elaborate its own cultural code as it did under the Soviets.

    Russia should also reject Orthodoxy as a vestige of Western influence. Not only is Christianity foreign to Russia (it was adopted by Knyaz Vladimir in his obssession to imitate the Byzantine’s) and was resisted by Russians for centuries, it is a Jewish invention (Christ was an unrepetent Jew who essentially translated the Talmu) and on this principle alone should be rejected. Russia had its own spiritual and religious code that developed before being subsumed by the plague of Christanity.

  118. @Bashibuzuk

    Everybody should read as much as possible from his/her 5th to, say, 30th.

    But:

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  119. @Bardon Kaldian

    LOL

    Perhaps they’re all reading War and Peace on their cellphone? Just cause they’re cute, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re superficial. Although I am probably being overly optimistic…

    🙂

    [MORE]

    But yeah, females reading serious literature are few, far between and most often fugly. That and cute gals don’t really get that much excited by bookworm type of dudes. When I was a young adolescent I read a lot, spending my free time completely immersed into books and the girls in school and neighborhood didn’t find me that attractive, except perhaps for a Jewish classmate from a typical Moscovite Jewish intelligentsia family. But she was not in the slightest attractive.

    Then, when I reached 15, started doing lots of sports, listening to death metal, industrial music and hardcore punk and overall behaving more as a teenage thug, the cuties warmed up towards my natural charm. I continued reading a lot, but completely stopped talking about it. It was my secret vice…

    😄

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  120. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    I was searching for some “Opa” music on Spotify for you to listen to before you shelled out any of your hard earned money for any CD’s. I couldn’t find anything directly, but had the good fortune of finding this incredible playlist assembled including the music of Opa’s main cog, Hugo Fattoruso. It includes his last CD put out in 2018, titled “Hugo Fattoruso y Bario Opa” that I had never listened to before. It sounds really good to my ears, and I’m only on song 7 of 23 offered. The rest of the playlist includes Hugo’s collaboration with other great South American artists, like Airto Moreira and Flora Purim, and other faire that I’m not familiar with. Give it a listen to first to see if it might tickle your fancy:

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  121. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Here’s (hopefully) the whole playlist:

  122. @Dmitry

    Video games industry is now bigger than the films industry, and is dominated by mobile games.

    Angry Birds is the defining symbol of our age.

  123. @Xi-Jinping

    So Russia should enshrine a religion developed by a 19th century Jew under which it lived for 70 years, while rejecting one developed by a 1st century Jew under which it lived fir a millennium. Very based and logical.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Xi-Jinping
  124. @Anatoly Karlin

    Where did i say it should enshrine it? I said that under the Soviets, Russia was an entity and (ironically) was proud to reject European values and go on its own path (after the Jews were expelled by Stalin).

    What has the RF done since its inception that is superior to the achievements of Russia under the Soviets? Did it send a man to space? No, it just continues to use Soviet developed Proton M rockets to shuttle people to space. What about Russian GLONASS? Thats about to fall apart, because the RF cannot source the necessary components fron Europe/US and cannot make its own (as the Soviets did). What about weaponary? It still relies on unfinished Soviet designs (Armata tank) – what happens when those run out? What about the best education system in the world? That was destroyed to in favor of a Western style education, as the Russian minister of Education said back in 2004, “We dont need good thinkers, we need to develop good consumers”. What about world class science that it had? That was destroyed too, so much so that Russia has less papers being published per year than Iran!

    So yes, If anything Russia should enshrine the system it lived uner for 70 years, where it had its own identity, it did great things in the world and managed to hold the whole world in its palm. Take Russia now, an impotent shadow of its former self, that is confused in its own identity.

    • Replies: @melanf
    , @mal
  125. @melanf

    Agreed on everything but the prison part.

    State support should go towards wholesome, patriotic movies. I don’t want my tax money to go for the delectation of some small, cosmopolitan elites who snicker at us, often from abroad, who use their stated appreciation for such movies to signal their supposedly superior sophistication to the working masses.

    • Replies: @melanf
  126. @cortesar

    This scene from Kieslowski Double vie de Veronique the scene in which first Veronique dies
    (btw the story of 2 completely identical women living different/and yet connected lives is completely “unrealistic”)The hole scene is 3m39s long yet there is no single second/cadre which is not carefully directed to act in unison with the powerful Preisner music

    Good point. It’s some ten years since I saw The Double Life of Veronique, and I can’t for the life of me remember the plot or how it ends. What sticks is its dreamy, haunting imagery, especially that bus scene at Krakow’s Rynek Główny (indeed, that scene was the first thing to come to my mind when first seeing the square in 2014).

  127. @Dmitry

    More trees might be killed, but cinema and television displaced literature.

    Today, for example, Netflix has 7 times more revenue than the largest fiction publishing company (Penguin Random House).

    And most of the fiction published is something like romance fiction and adventure, rather than a literary fiction that had aspirations of the 19th century.

    Revenue of literary fiction, might be smaller than for a single Marvel superhero film.

    Actual 19th century literature was very unlike the books from that era we remember now. Emilie Flygare-Carlén was for a time Sweden’s most-read writer (and saw her works translated to Russian, Polish, and many other languages besides) but is now all but forgotten. Rightly so, but it goes to show what common people in the 19th century actually liked to read.

  128. @Xi-Jinping

    Maybe the stupidest comment yet made in this comments section

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @Xi-Jinping
  129. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Although I don’t use it personally, I think audiobook would be fine if the software allows you to speed it up so you receive information at a similar speed to reading.

    Aurally is a traditional way to receive stories, both in terms of our personal and man’s history. As children, our parents read the story and we listen.

    And in Homer’s time, we have would listened to the story. It’s believed that the version of Homer stories we have today were transcribed into tablet by professional story reciters, who probably travel across village to village.

    In later centuries, a lot of the best writing is produced for audiences to listen to. Nothing is better to read today than a play of Shakespeare or Aristophanes, but these were produced for audiences who would hear the words, rather than read them.

    young children must read as much as possible.

    I didn’t read much as a young child, and yet I now enjoy reading today. I remember I started to like spare time reading when I was around 13 or 14. And then the years when I read a lot were something like 16-22.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  130. melanf says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    State support should go towards wholesome, patriotic movies.

    There should be no government funding for films. “Financing patriotic films” will mean plundering public money by the same chameleons as Zvyagintsev, who simply painted their skin in a different color (a vivid example of this is Nikita Mikhalkov). “Patriotic films” (i.e., hack work done to cover up the theft of money) will only cause contempt among the population, discrediting both the state and patriotism.

    • Replies: @utu
  131. Dmitry says:
    @sudden death

    It depends on the country. In the Russian Empire at the beginning of the 20th century, 3/4 of the people are still illiterate.

    But in Great Britain, France, and Germany there was universal literacy in 1900 (something >95% literacy).

    As a result, I think that in English 19th century prose literature there is more prevalence of populist texts, than in Russian 19th century prose writing. Although I’m not an expert and haven’t read a large sample of 19th century prose literature, aside from some famous classics.

  132. melanf says:
    @Xi-Jinping

    What has the RF done since its inception that is superior to the achievements of Russia under the Soviets?

    It’s a strange question, but it’s pretty easy to answer. Russia in 2020 developed and began production of two coronavirus vaccines, an achievement more important than all space flights.

    I can also offer another answer-Yandex, VKontakte, Telegram. Well, or the same Armata (if you consider it an outstanding technical achievement)

    • Replies: @Xi-Jinping
  133. @Dmitry

    Aurally is a traditional way to receive stories, both in terms of our personal and man’s history. As children, our parents read the story and we listen.

    Oral storytelling also was associated with memorizing the text, which involves an incredible amount of involvement with the story. We don’t do that – so its arguably more involved to attempt to read, which is rather novel but involves attempting to recreate the imagery in the head. Reading increases connectivity in the brain:

    https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/brain.2013.0166

  134. Dmitry says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Jazz might not have died in the way that e.g. Italian opera died in the 20th century. But it lost its direction and confidence in the 1970s, and mainly survived now as a new music by mixing with other genres and traditions (for example, “ECM Records” fuses jazz with classical and world music), or recreating the sound of past decades before the 1960s.

    Until 1970s, the mainstream jazz was becoming increasingly complex musically, but from around 1969 there is a reversal. I think the loss of confidence is with Miles Davis in 1969, who changes having static electric bass in his 1969 albums.

    By 1980s, the mainstream is even with what music criticism calls “neoconservative jazz” – i.e. the attitude of people like Wynton Marsalis, whose attitude almost views jazz like a dead old museum music. Wynton Marsalis’s conservatism was in some sense good for music history (for example, his preference in only allowing acoustic instruments), and could have seemed like a time of restoration; but his attitude from his first album is always retrospective and quoting past decades.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  135. @melanf

    Production on the coronavirus vaccine has been o going for about 5 years bc of the SARS virus back in 2000. The research was merely accelerated. They didnt start from scratch like others.

    Yandex and VK were developed by people with a Soviet education (Soviet education was very strong in software development and continies to this day. Same with Telegram.

    Armata plans were developed back in the 80s but were unfinished. They were merely completed. I would hardly call it a developemnt of the RF

    • Replies: @melanf
  136. @Kent Nationalist

    Sounds like you have no idea what im talking about.

    Or you are a triggered European

  137. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dmitry

    Wynton Marsalis’s conservatism was in some sense good for music history (for example, his preference in only allowing acoustic instruments), and could have seemed like a time of restoration; but his attitude from his first album is always retrospective and quoting past decades.

    Personally, I was never a great fan of Wynton Marsalis. I have to admit that he’s done quite well for himself, capitalizing his skills as a session player and being surrounded by otherwise quite talented players. His “conservatism” I suspect was more just related to his inability to innovate anything truly new and interesting within the genre, and after all, isn’t one of the great hallmarks of jazz music the ability to innovate and improvise something new? I think that his talent to describe past trends in jazz is where his true talent lies, and is on full display as a commentator within Ken Burn’s historical detailed documentary account of “Jazz” (2001). If you haven’t watched this series already, you might consider doing so, as its really quite well done with many interesting historical video clips.

    There’s a time and place for acoustic music, but the interest and love of jazz music shouldn’t have to end at the end of a Steinway piano. The great Chick Corea plays wonderfully in both electric and acoustic settings, often even intertwining the two.

  138. utu says:
    @cortesar

    I think Kieslowski last four films: DLV and B+W+R were kitschy though a very good ones. The kitschy music by Preisner was the most important components of the kitschiness. People liked his movies though most reviewers who are liberal and progressive and know more or less what is in and what is out were spooked by his mystical and transcendental themes that too closely were linked to Catholicism.

  139. utu says:
    @cortesar

    It occurred to me that the Danish Dogme 95 program could have been started to protect people from Kieslowski/Preisner kitsch.

  140. utu says:
    @melanf

    True and not true. The chameleon directors should not be given second or third chances if they do not make money but they should get money for the first chance. Having public money available for movie making is critical in smaller markets. India or China perhaps do not need public money but smaller countries do if they want to have any film industry.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  141. Yevardian says:
    @Mr. Hack

    You could argue that this is a matter of taste, but practically none of them I could consider serious artists, or even Jazz in many cases (Kenny G as the future of Jazz.. yeahnah). That of course doesn’t mean I root for sticks-in-the-mud like Wynton Marsalis either (both Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman, probably the 2 greatest innovative Jazz musicians still playing hated him, btw). Acid Jazz is ok, I guess.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Dmitry
  142. Yevardian says:
    @melanf

    I would say since the 40s, perhaps 50s, but the trend is nonetheless unmistakable. I don’t welcome or believe this development was inevitable, it’s simply another reflection of the decline of Western, and actually global high-culture as a whole. I think generally it is true that many true talents turned to mediums such as cinema rather than literature, I can imagine that Ingmar Bergman, Tarkovsky or Kubrick could have been great writers at least, though with most filmmakers admittedly I can’t see writing something permanent, the skills involved are quite different.

  143. mal says:
    @Xi-Jinping

    What has the RF done since its inception that is superior to the achievements of Russia under the Soviets? Did it send a man to space?

    RF was the only country that could send man to ISS for a while, and no, Soyz-MS/2.1 are not the same as the old Soviet Soyuz. The new versions are highly modernized and with improved agility. They were developed around 2016 and allow for really fast ISS docking, two orbits or about 3 hours.

    No, it just continues to use Soviet developed Proton M rockets to shuttle people to space.

    Current Proton was developed in the early 2000’s and it remains one of the best rockets out there. If it didn’t poison Kazakh goats, I would keep using it. It is comparable in capability and price to Falcon 9 of SpaceX, but it is getting phased out in favor of Angara, a post Soviet development.

    What about Russian GLONASS? Thats about to fall apart, because the RF cannot source the necessary components fron Europe/US and cannot make its own (as the Soviets did).

    They just launched next generation of GLONASS-K satellite (Oct 25). It is true there were problems with electronics in 2016 due to sanctions, but it took about 3 years to close the gap.

    https://www.gpsworld.com/directions-2021-glonass-on-the-verge-of-a-new-decade/

    What about weaponary? It still relies on unfinished Soviet designs (Armata tank) – what happens when those run out?

    Avangard? Burevestnik? Kinzhal? Zirkon?Status-6/Poseidon? Sarmat? Bulava? Okhotnik? Izdelie 30? Kh-101? Calibr with small boats? SVP-24?

    Outside of weaponry, SuperJet (I would still consider it an accomplishment, Japanese couldn’t make similar plane and Russians could, even if with heavy Western input), MC-21 (plane), PD-14 (engine), RITM-200 (mobile nuclear reactor), Spectr RG (space telescope), halfnium carbonitride alloy (the most temperature resistant ceramic ever made), carbon nanotubes manufacturing (OCSiAl, one of the largest manufacturer’s in the world). Elbrus processors, currently at 16 core 28 nm process going to 32 core 7 nm process. Massive buildout of chemical industry and gas processing to the point of even NYT complaining about Russia producing all the helium.

    Also, food. Not high tech but it’s important.

    And that’s just the top of my head.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
    , @Xi-jinping
  144. @Xi-Jinping

    Russia was the first to implement it onto a State wide level. This alone makes it a “new path” for Russia, that eventually isolated it from the harmful effects of Europe.

    Any positive effects of Communism are largely counterbalanced by its negative effects. USSR was not Russia. It was anti-Russian at its inception, but has progressively evolved towards a more neutral stance regarding traditional Russian culture around early 40ies (during the war Stalin had to re-inforce Russian identity to prevail) and finally, around late 70ies towards a form of appreciation of Russian traditional culture and the Slav culture in general (with the inception of a fringe Русская партия inside the KGB and the Nomenklatura). It was a process similar to mithridisation – you ingest a poison so you could become immune – but it nearly killed Russian culture and identity. Of course this only happened because Russian identity was already shaken by three centuries of Westernization.

    [MORE]

    Perestroika was a travesty as it ended Russian isolation from the harmful effects of Europe and resumed its obsession with everything Western (if you recall, the USSR was proudly Russian and proudly announced its achievements to the world such as victory in Sports, flying a man to Space, and developing its own art and musical styles).

    Perestroika was indeed a travesty (and a tragedy). But it was not due to USSR suddenly becoming “less Russian”. As I wrote above it was already essentially anti-Russian. All the accomplishments of the USSR were never presented as accomplishments of Russian, Ukrainian or any other ethnic group. It was always the proud accomplishments of the Soviet people that was supposedly a Novel Historical Community (Новая Историческая Общность). Of course Russians contributed immensely to the success of the Soviet Regime (which was literally built on their blood, sweat and tears). The obsession with the West was present in the later years of the Soviet era, everything Western was already seen as superior, even though the official propaganda denied that.

    Now Russia is becoming harder and harder to distinguish from Europe (that ironically rejects it), as it adopts European LGBT tropes, is more immersed into Western culture rather than its own, has its own people hating the country and seeking to emigrate because “everything za bugrom is superior”. Russia has lost its identity and ability to do anything of meaning, which was not the case under the Soviets.

    I agree with what you write here, with the caveat that I am convinced that you are wrong about the Soviet era.

    Next, Russia cannot prioritize adopting its cultural code whilst it has an obssession with the West that hasnt been broken.

    This is correct.

    Russia should also reject Orthodoxy

    This is impossible. Every cultural entity has its own transcendental myths, its “spiritual ” code, its egregore so to speak. For better or worse, Russian egregore is strongly influenced by Orthodoxy, to such an extent that removing or rejecting Orthodoxy would probably kill Russia. This has already been tried in the Soviet era and was a completely failed policy. Now, before the Raskol Russian Orthodoxy had a more “Northern Spirit”. The Orthodoxy of Sergyi of Radonezh, Peresvet and Oslyabya was not completely identical to the Orthodoxy of Patriarch Nikon. If Russian Church finds the way to bring back some of the “Northern ” spirit, still found among the Old Believers, then Russian Orthodoxy will help Russian revival as it did in Saint Sergyi times. To achieve this Russian Church should bring forth the likes of protopop Avvakum instead of the likes of patriarch Kiril.

    it is a Jewish invention (Christ was an unrepetent Jew who essentially translated the Talmu) and on this principle alone should be rejected. Russia had its own spiritual and religious code that developed before being subsumed by the plague of Christanity.

    You oversimplify the origins of Christianity and anyway Slav paganism is (unfortunately ?) lost. I wish we had texts from the Rethra of Sviatovid, but this faith died with the last drevvids of Arkona. And it was the Catholic crusaders that subdued the last bastion of the Slav Paganism, not the Rus princes.

    Bottom line: go back to Slav identity and pre-Raskol Orthodox Church for Russians and ensure the maximum respect for the heritage of all native ethnicities of RusFed and you will have the right cultural code.

    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
  145. Mr. Hack says:
    @Yevardian

    I was only countering Dmitry’s assertion that jazz was almost dead by the 70’s, for clearly it was not. Some of it only morphed into something different, “smoother” almost like elevator music jazz. I wasn’t a big fan of it either, and kept my focus on fusion jazz, that was still exploding all around in the 1970’s. Some of it was okay when driving around in your car, and you needed a break from rock music. Herbie Hancock put out some of his most seminal records during this period, as did many others. For the life of me, I can’t think of even one jazz tune or album that Wynton put out that struck me as particularly endearing. He really was no Miles Davis (but then few ever were). But you’re absolutely correct, it’s all a matter of “personal taste”.

  146. @mal

    The newest models of Soyuz are merely modernizations and further upgrades of existing Soviet designs. Due to Soviet design philosophy (and smaller military budget than the USA) it produced good quality military and scientific hardware for cheap. This same philosophy is what allows the modern Soyuz rockets to be cheaper than the Falcon Rockets. And the quality of Soviet designs speaks for itself, that it still continues to fly.

    Most recent articles indicate that currently 70% of GLONASS electronic components are foreign made and that Russia does not have capability to manufacture components themselves, unlike the Soviet Union, which had developed and was able to produce ALL the electrical components itself (including those for Space Station Mir and Buran as well).

    https://jamestown.org/program/multiple-challenges-hinder-russian-efforts-to-modernize-its-satellite-navigation-system/

    Soyuz and Proton-M series of rockets where modernized from existing Soviet designs. They were not entirely new developments (as you can see above the Russian space industry is plagued by many set backs and lack of production capability that it had under Soviet government).

    Most of what you listed is either a derivative of a Soviet-built/designed product. Most of the missiles have either had previous Soviet designs (like the Kh-101) or where iterative improvements of existing missile systems (Burevestnik). There was substantial Soviet investment into hypersonic missile research and so the development of Avangard was merely a continuation of that. With the exeception of maybe Okhotnik (for which i could not find evidence of Soviet plans existing) most of this cannot be said to have been ‘designed’ by Russia from scratch (as the USSR did the heavy lifting for most of these designs – something Russia cannot do).

    I would entirely discount Superjet and Spectr-RG (although development was started based on Soviet plans and had to be scrapped because of lack of funding) because they were made in conjunction with other countries and not developed on their own.

    Elbrus was built in the USSR and continued to be refined. In fact the USSR had laid down foundries (Mikron in Zeleongrad) for the mass production of semiconductors back in the 1960s (there were many other factories founded throughout the country but most of them have been closed down) – the USSR was aiming to be a leader in semiconductor production and likely would have been one, with it’s own architecture developed and processes had it still been around. Mikron was able to accomplish a 65nm process back in 2013 (what TSMC, Samsung and Sony had achieved back in the early 2000s) and has made no progress since.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elbrus_(computer)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikron_Group

    Nanotube development was started and discovered in the Soviet Union in 1952 – that is hardly an invention of the RF.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_carbon_nanotubes

    Sure I’ll give you MC-21 and gas buildout (which is the only industry that is truly Russian)

  147. @mal

    The newest models of Soyuz are merely modernizations and further upgrades of existing Soviet designs. Due to Soviet design philosophy (and smaller military budget than the USA) it produced good quality military and scientific hardware for cheap. This same philosophy is what allows the modern Soyuz rockets to be cheaper than the Falcon Rockets. And the quality of Soviet designs speaks for itself, that it still continues to fly.

    Most recent articles indicate that currently 70% of GLONASS electronic components are foreign made and that Russia does not have capability to manufacture components themselves, unlike the Soviet Union, which had developed and was able to produce ALL the electrical components itself (including those for Space Station Mir and Buran as well).

    https://jamestown.org/program/multiple-challenges-hinder-russian-efforts-to-modernize-its-satellite-navigation-system/

    Soyuz and Proton-M series of rockets where modernized from existing Soviet designs. They were not entirely new developments (as you can see above the Russian space industry is plagued by many set backs and lack of production capability that it had under Soviet government).

    Most of what you listed is either a derivative of a Soviet-built/designed product. Most of the missiles have either had previous Soviet designs (like the Kh-101) or where iterative improvements of existing missile systems (Burevestnik). There was substantial Soviet investment into hypersonic missile research and so the development of Avangard was merely a continuation of that. With the exeception of maybe Okhotnik (for which i could not find evidence of Soviet plans existing) most of this cannot be said to have been ‘designed’ by Russia from scratch (as the USSR did the heavy lifting for most of these designs – something Russia cannot do).

    I would entirely discount Superjet and Spectr-RG (although development was started based on Soviet plans and had to be scrapped because of lack of funding) because they were made in conjunction with other countries and not developed on their own.

    Elbrus was built in the USSR and continued to be refined. In fact the USSR had laid down foundries (Mikron in Zeleongrad) for the mass production of semiconductors back in the 1960s (there were many other factories founded throughout the country but most of them have been closed down) – the USSR was aiming to be a leader in semiconductor production and likely would have been one, with it’s own architecture developed and processes had it still been around. Mikron was able to accomplish a 65nm process back in 2013 (what TSMC, Samsung and Sony had achieved back in the early 2000s) and has made no progress since.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elbrus_(computer)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikron_Group

    Nanotube development was started and discovered in the Soviet Union in 1952 – that is hardly an invention of the RF.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_carbon_nanotubes

    Sure I’ll give you MC-21 and gas buildout (which is the only industry that is truly Russian)

    • Replies: @mal
  148. @Bashibuzuk

    I strongly disagree that the early Soviet State was anti-Russian.

    Russia was woefully unprepared for WW1 and lost TWO armies to the numerically inferior German Army, because it had a lack of supplies, industry and was generally ineffective in war against European powers. This explains Russian war weariness and was a contributing factor to the collapse of the Tsarist regieme in 1917.

    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_entry_into_World_War_I#Military_weakness)

    The new Soviet leadership realized that WW1 was unwinnable for Russia. In fact the situation was so bad that the Russian Imperial economy had almost collapsed under the demands of the War:

    Russian economy had nearly collapsed under the strain of the war effort

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Brest-Litovsk

    Not only could the Tsarist regieme supply troops, It could not feed its population properly – which led to the February Revolution:

    The large numbers of war casualties and persistent food shortages in the major urban centers brought about civil unrest, known as the February Revolution

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Brest-Litovsk

    Next, lets look at the Karensky Offensive, which was a disaster and a gross mismanagement of the Provisional government (meaning both the Tsarist Government and the Provisional Government where inept). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerensky_Offensive

    Harold Whitmore Williams had to say this about the Provisional Government:

    “eight months during which Russia was ruled by the Provisional Government was the history of the steady and systematic disorganization of the army” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Provisional_Government)

    which ultimately led to the travesty that was the Kerensky Offensive and allowed for the dominance of the Bolshevik’s in the first place. In fact the Provisional Government was so inept, that it was

    “The Provisional Government was unable to make decisive policy decisions due to political factionalism and a breakdown of state structures” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Provisional_Government).

    The Provisional Government waffled on the status of the Tsar compared to that of the Petrograd Soviet, which was seen as a institution fighting for democracy and seen as far more effective than the ‘effective Tsar’s’. In fact unlike the Provisional government the Petrograd Soviet (and then the Bolshevik’s themselves) recognized that the Russian people where against war, and the idea by the Bolshevik’s to exit the war had popular support (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Provisional_Government#April_Crisis). In fact, the Petrograd Soviet was so effective, it arose as a competing system to that of the Provisional Government and was so effective it soon took control of the railroads, telegraphs, factories, etc and became the de facto ruler or Russia despite not having the recognized power of the Provisional Government.

    Now before you go ‘but teh evul bolshevik’s opressed the church!!1!’ The Provisional government itself promoted seperation of Church and State (which would’ve seen a weakning of the Church’s power anyway – as it did under the Soviets), and most of the local Soviets in rural areas, refused to obey many laws the Provisional government passed, so whether the Bolshevik’s came to power or not remains irrelevant as the way the people’s ideology shifted (away from the tenents of Tsarism), would have led to resistance to the Provisional government anyway.

    Another common argument goes “but muh Lenin caused the revolution and he was a Gewrmahn Agent!1!” This is false. Revolution was already brewing (as I showed earlier) in Russia because of the social conditions and general ineptitude of the Tsarist regieme. Lenin himself was caught off guard by the February Revolution. During that time there were many Revolutionary movements in Russia – it was simply the effectiveness of the Bolshevik organization, and the fact that Lenin recognized popular sentiment about ending famine and war that catapulted him to power (https://old.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/gj05g6/would_a_russian_revolution_happen_if_germany/).

    Next, the Red Army itself had about 700 Tsarist Generals, and half of its officer corps had served in the Tsarist Army. Some 50,000 to 60,000 Tsarist Cadre ended up working for the RKKA against the Whites. Combined with phenomenal organizational ability of Trotsky this led to victory against the Whites, even in face of external support from Britain, France and USA. If anything this speaks of the incredibly effective Soviet leadership.

    The Soviet leadership itself (Lenin and Trotsky themselves) recognized (as did Marx himself) that Capitalism could be effective and innovative and so implemented NEP in response to that. But also their initial economic goals where modest – namely to reverse the ineptiude of the Tsarist regieme and restore food to the population. They also realized they needed to catch up to the rest of Europe in about 10 years – which led to Stalin’s Centrally Planned Economy (that continues to work remarkably effectively in China with minor modifications – I’d compare it as a fusion of Lenin’s NEP and Stalin’s Central Planning). This further speaks of the Communists effectiveness (https://old.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/j8d8h5/lenins_new_economic_policy_after_the_ravages_of/)

    Another popular argument goes “but muh evull bolshevik’s killed people !!1!” – this happened because of the nature of revolution itself and the need to rebuild the entire state and beauracracy from the ground up. There is no compromise, or anything that can convince existing power structures (for the most part) to peacefully obey a revolutionary government. This explains it best: https://old.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/jzh0r7/the_communist_manifesto_was_written_as_a_critique/gdexp5s/

    The Communists created numerous innovations beginning from making the first records of humanity flying into space, to developing the first computer operated space shuttles, to calculating and producing the first idea of an internet BEFORE it became an idea in the US (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OGAS), to creating the first LED lights (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light-emitting_diode#Discoveries_and_early_devices) and numerous other inventions. In fact the ‘inept’ Soviets were able to preside over the administration and development of far flung regions (in the arctic or even deep in Siberia), which the current Russian administration cannot do – as we see in the general poverty of Russian provinces. The ‘inept’ “sovoks” had produced some of the greatest scientific works in Russian history as well as had a Scientific output much higher than the current ‘non-sovok’ Russia can produce. Hell, it took the RF 30 years to reach the level of automobile production of the Soviet Union at its peak that had inferior machine tools and processes for production, which is a ‘sad’ state of affairs for Russian capitalism itself. In fact, we can say capitalism in Russia has been a disaster and may end up in the destruction of the Russian state as a whole.

    Furthermore, early Soviet leadership further expanded and innovated on Tsarist era Gymnasium, standardized libraries throughout the country to be in the Russian language (and introduced the dewey decimal systems throughout the country), introduced programs for children’s development in sport, math and chess in the 1920’s and presided over the education of the masses. In fact given the historical record and the sheer scope of the USSR’s achievement, I’d put it as Russia’s Golden Age.

    accomplishments of the USSR were never presented as accomplishments of Russian, Ukrainian or any other ethnic group. It was always the proud accomplishments of the Soviet people that was supposedly a Novel Historical Community (Новая Историческая Общность). Of course Russians contributed immensely to the success of the Soviet Regime (which was literally built on their blood, sweat and tears). The obsession with the West was present in the later years of the Soviet era, everything Western was already seen as superior, even though the official propaganda denied that.

    Of course, I agree with you here. However, the USSR was presented as a Russian state first and foremost and the monikor “Soviet People” was used to encompass all the people’s of the Empire (which the USSR was).

    I also agree that there was an obsession with the West that unlike China (which had a similar obsession and still does in places like Hong Kong and Taiwan), the government was not able to overcome. In fact, this ideology still remains in Russia and is often heard from the mouths of Russian liberals who shout “nam nado kak v normalnih strannah s rabotaushami zakonimi” – implying that there is something wrong with Russia. The point is – this is not strictly a Soviet viewpoint, but has been present throughout a big portion of Russian history, since at least the time of Peter.

    However, under the Soviets, the USSR had its own distinct culture (that I’d argue was fundamentally Russian). This is much different from now where Russia is dying and becoming a Russian speaking cultural colony of the US.

    This is impossible. Every cultural entity has its own transcendental myths, its “spiritual ” code, its egregore so to speak. For better or worse, Russian egregore is strongly influenced by Orthodoxy, to such an extent that removing or rejecting Orthodoxy would probably kill Russia. This has already been tried in the Soviet era and was a completely failed policy. Now, before the Raskol Russian Orthodoxy had a more “Northern Spirit”. The Orthodoxy of Sergyi of Radonezh, Peresvet and Oslyabya was not completely identical to the Orthodoxy of Patriarch Nikon. If Russian Church finds the way to bring back some of the “Northern ” spirit, still found among the Old Believers, then Russian Orthodoxy will help Russian revival as it did in Saint Sergyi times. To achieve this Russian Church should bring forth the likes of protopop Avvakum instead of the likes of patriarch Kiril.

    I agree that it is impossible to remove the stain of Orthodoxy from Russia, especially as (like you mention) Slav paganism is lost and there remains nothing to replace it.

    My point is this – Russia will not survive in its current incarnation and needs to cut off the West, censor the media (no youtube, instagram, facebook, twitter, netflix, etc) and find a way to reindustralize (hopefully through investments from Asia) to maintain its cultural identiy.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Bashibuzuk
    , @Bashibuzuk
  149. @Dmitry

    But in Great Britain, France, and Germany there was universal literacy in 1900 (something >95% literacy).

    Wonder if there is any data available what percentage of those people from developed countries were actually buying fiction literature then? Would guess it still was relatively low too.

  150. AP says:
    @Xi-jinping

    I strongly disagree that the early Soviet State was anti-Russian.

    LOL, can someone really be so ignorant?

    Russia was woefully unprepared for WW1 and lost TWO armies to the numerically inferior German Army, because it had a lack of supplies, industry and was generally ineffective in war against European powers.

    Russia single-handedly crushed Austria-Hungary, taking its Przemysl fortress (the Eastern Front’s Verdun):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Przemy%C5%9Bl

    and seized a large chunk of territory from the Ottoman Empire, that Britain could not defeat:

    Germany did not advance nearly as far against Russia in World War I as it did during World War II:

    By 1914-1915 Russia had probably improved to the point of being the second strongest of the European powers, after Germany.

    While it is correct that Russia went to war about 20 years too soon (it would have inevitably eclipsed Germany by then), and that the war was a colossal mistake in general, the idea that its performance was is some way pathetic simply demonstrates your ignorance.

    Don’t have time to address the rest of the nonsense.

  151. melanf says:
    @Xi-Jinping

    Production on the coronavirus vaccine has been o going for about 5 years bc of the SARS virus back in 2000. The research was merely accelerated. They didnt start from scratch like others.

    And? You asked for an example of the achievements of Russia (after the USSR) – here is an example for you: vaccines against coronavirus

    Yandex and VK were developed by people with a Soviet education

    According to this logic, the Soviet space program can be declared an achievement of tsarist Russia

    • LOL: mal
    • Replies: @Xi-Jinping
    , @mal
  152. mal says:
    @Xi-jinping

    Well, I think ignoring accomplishments in modernization and foreign collaboration is silly. Its like saying Tesla and 19th century electromobile are the same because they share the same basic plan and design – four wheels and the battery. In the real world, their capabilities are a world apart.

    Results matter, plans not as much. (Which is why I avoided stuff like Nuklon which is still in the construction phase).

    So Soviet Union may have had this stuff in the plans, but it was RF that was able to execute them, despite losing much of its industrial base (domestically and in places like Ukraine and Balitics).

    And as for foreign collaboration, where would China be without Western corporate technology transfers? 🙂 There is no need to try and reinvent the bicycle if you can avoid it. You have to be smart about it of course. But if you can avoid sanctions/patents and its not a critical component, working with the rest of the world is good.

    As for GLONASS, your article is Jamestown Foundation citing RBC article from 2019. Those problems were true back then. But in 2020 it looks like launches resumed, so it looks like RF figured it out.

    • Replies: @Xi-Jinping
  153. @AP

    Lol sure it took a few forts from the Austrians and the Germans werent even concentrated on defeating Russia, as they were during WW2. Doesnt change the fact that by 1917 the Tsarist economy was collapsing (this isnt even my invention but accepted by historians, so your maps dont matter) from the war, and Russia lost two full armies to Germany and there was a state of war weariness within Russia which played a significant role in forcing the abdication of the Tsar and the coming to power of the Bolsheviks.

    • Replies: @AP
  154. @melanf

    Thats a good point about the vaccine, I’ll give you that

  155. @mal

    The reason I believe we should ignore things that were in plans is that they werent built by the USSR because it fell apart vefore they were built, but the USSR would have been able to build it were it still around.

    I think the best measure of Russias scientific and industrial sector is being able to design and construct entirely new technologies without having anything to build them on (as the Soviets did). We see that Russia is lacking in this regard, because even for their Ratnik armor for example, they rely on foreign components especially for electronics. You can see why this would be a problem during wartime.

    The reason I worry about Glonass, is because the article states that Russia sourced most of its electronic components from foreign sources and it was impossible for Russia to substitute them with domestic sources.

    • Replies: @mal
  156. @Bashibuzuk

    Then, when I reached 15, started doing lots of sports, listening to death metal, industrial music and hardcore punk and overall behaving more as a teenage thug, the cuties warmed up towards my natural charm.

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
  157. AP says:
    @Xi-Jinping

    took a few forts from the Austrians

    Ongoing demonstration of your ignorance.

    You claimed Russia was “generally ineffective in war against European powers” when instead it crushed one of them (Austria-Hungary) and performed better against the Ottoman Empire than did the European power Britain.

    So you are either ignorant or dishonest. Which one?

    Russia lost two full armies to Germany

    Several times more Soviets were lost to Germans during World War II than Russians were lost to Germans during World War I.

    • Replies: @Xi-Jinping
  158. mal says:
    @melanf

    According to this logic, the Soviet space program can be declared an achievement of tsarist Russia

    To be fair, all rocket engineering is a derivative of Tsiolkovsky equation so tsarist Russia is the boss of all rockets in the world.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @Xi-Jinping
  159. @Xi-jinping

    I strongly disagree that the early Soviet State was anti-Russian.

    “Great Russian chauvinism”, that is Russian patriotism, was declared the penultimate sin by the Bolshevik CheKa inquisition, the ultimate sin being of course antisemitism. Red Terror specifically targeted the most capable and educated Russian elites, later on the liquidation of Kulaks annihilated the most capable and productive among the Russian peasants. The ideal early Bolshevik was a rootless proletarian that might be used as kindle to fire the worldwide Revolution and would torture and kill his own kin without a slightest hesitation.

    [MORE]

    Russians were to become this kindle and to burn and disappear as a nation to allow the Bolshevik ideology to infect the rest of the world. They were to become the helots in a Trud Armia feeding, clothing and arming the RKKA. Faced with a widespread insurrection of the peasantry that constituted 75% of the Soviet population, the Bolsheviks relented and declared NEP. But as soon as they consolidated their power enough, they declared collectivization, and destruction of Kulaks as a class, which resulted in additional millions of victims.

    And during the NEP interlude, the vilification of the Russian culture never stopped. That was the time when it was seriously discussed banning Pushkin and demolishing St Basil Cathedral (Kaganovich presented the project to Stalin who opposed it). How anyone could consider that these people were friends of Russian people is beyond my understanding. Overall feeling is that you would benefit from reading this:

    http://shafarevich.voskres.ru/a43.htm

    This book is an absolute must read for anyone discussing the Russian – Soviet question.

    Russia was woefully unprepared for WW1 and lost TWO armies to the numerically inferior German Army, because it had a lack of supplies, industry and was generally ineffective in war against European powers. This explains Russian war weariness and was a contributing factor to the collapse of the Tsarist regieme in 1917.

    I saw that AP has already started clarifying this matter for you and he is absolutely correct in what he wrote. I would just add that in 3 years of fighting, Russian Empire did not yield as much lost territory to Germany as the Soviet regime did in 6 months! And let’s not even try to compare the losses in soldiers wounded, killed or taken prisoners. The early WW2 on the Eastern Front was for the Soviets a disaster of epic proportions. One of the reasons being that Russian soldiers did not really want to die for Stalin or the Soviets. They were much eager to die for the God, Tsar and the Fatherland in the beginning of the WW1 before the revolutionary propaganda sapped their morals. In fact, it could be argued that if not for the destructive propaganda by the revolutionary provocateurs, Tsarist army wouldn’t have fared any worse than any other of its allies and the war would have ended in 1917. The revolutionaries prolonged the WW1 a year longer by weakening the Russian front and allowing Germany to capture rich Ukrainian lands.

    The new Soviet leadership realized that WW1 was unwinnable for Russia. In fact the situation was so bad that the Russian Imperial economy had almost collapsed under the demands of the War:

    The economy and Army have only collapsed due to the revolution itself. Prior to the revolution, the situation in the Russian Empire was not worse than in the German Reich. The revolutionaries were pathogens that infected a d weakened the Russian Empire’s body. Later, in 1918 they did the same in Germany.

    Not only could the Tsarist regieme supply troops, It could not feed its population properly – which led to the February Revolution:

    Wrong, the war effort was paralyzed due to a willful sabotage by those who aimed at the destruction of the Tsarist autocracy and replacing it with a constitutional monarchy. These people organized along the official political party lines, but even more so organized and coordinated through the network of Masonic lodges knowingly led to the bourgeois revolution in the February of 1917. They aligned in their actions with the British interests in the Great Game. Russia was to be used to win the war with Germany, but was to come from the war in such a dilapidated state that it would have become impossible for Russian interests to compete with the British and American interests in Asia and the Pacific region.

    The Provisional Government

    Was basically British and American agents of influence. The Anglo-Saxon overplayed their hand as they often do and created a situation which for a time benefited their German opponents. But more than anything else, this typical Anglo backstabbing prevented Russia from winning the war and led to the Bolshevik coup.

    Lenin caused the revolution and he was a Gewrmahn Agent!

    The Socialist revolutionaries were the agents of the Internationale. That is a terrorist international network. They were connected, financed and manipulated by many interests. Germans financed through Parvus the return of Lenin a d his clique to Petrograd, but at the same time Anglo-American Jewish financial interests financed and facilitated the return of Trotsky. The revolution in Russia was decades into making and was mainly the result of Anglo meddling. Overall you need to read this:

    https://g.co/kgs/iYgYKD

    https://a-kaminsky.livejournal.com/55923.html

    And listen to the full cycle of these videos:

    (Ignore the trolling and clowning style of the narrator, Galkovsky has done an outstanding job at digging into the convoluted historical situation around the Russian revolution. It is an excellent material that should be taught in Russian schools, but of course it never will be).

    I will probably write more later in the day.

    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
  160. @AP

    I also don’t think early Bolsheviks were anti-Russian. They were against Russian imperialism, but ethnic Russians among them (plus a part of others) had been similar in orientation (though, not in temperament) to Vissarion Belinsky.

    And, in my book, Belinsky is definitely not anti-Russian.

    • Agree: Xi-Jinping
    • Replies: @AP
  161. @mal

    And let’s not forget Russian Cosmism which is a purely Russian philosophical system aimed at colonizing the Universe. Cosmism was originally developed by Fedorov as an updated scientific outlook on Orthodox Christian doctrine of resurrection. Tsiolkovsky was a cosmist.

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

    Created in Russian Tsarist Empire, strongly influenced a lot of thinkers among the Russian communists (BogdanovMalinovsky, Lunacharsky etc.). Actually could be seen as the “esoteric aspect” of Bolshevism and a form of (proto)-transhumanism. In that approach, early Boldhevism would be a kind of Cosmist accelerationism.

    • Agree: mal
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  162. @Bashibuzuk

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  163. mal says:
    @Xi-Jinping

    I think the best measure of Russias scientific and industrial sector is being able to design and construct entirely new technologies without having anything to build them on (as the Soviets did). We see that Russia is lacking in this regard, because even for their Ratnik armor for example, they rely on foreign components especially for electronics. You can see why this would be a problem during wartime.

    This is an extremely difficult bar to clear for any country, nevermind one that has only been around for 20 years (Yeltsin doesn’t really count, he was more negative for national development than positive). Russia only has 146M people. China has 10 times more and so does American Empire (US + EU + S Korea + Japan + Australia etc).

    Not only that, but Chinese and Americans share in their production and R&D, so basically you are asking what can a country of 146M do uniquely and from blank slate that a combined industrial and scientific might of 3B+ people can’t.

    Of course, military tech must be in house, but aside from that, autarky is impossible in the modern world, unless you are Best Korea, and even they develop from Soviet tech, so they are not self sufficient either. For that matter, Soviet Union was not self sufficient as well because it got mass production technology from the Americans. And Americans are not self sufficient either because Americans get critical technology from Europe and Japan.

    Anyway, aside from in house electronics manufacturing (for that Russia must go to Taiwan just like everybody else), Russia is doing pretty good i would say. Material science, nuclear engineering, and aerospace are the sectors where Russia is strong at, and while you might say those are legacies of the USSR, sure, but then lack of electronics manufacturing is a legacy of USSR too. If USSR existed today, it would also have to order electronics from Taiwan. And USSR would have to import food and other basic consumer items and live off credit at the mercy of the West, which is suicidal in the long run.

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  164. @AP

    Where did i say it was “generally ineffective against European powers?”. Show me the quote.

    I said that the Tsarist government was inept – and that is true, given that it could not take Constantinople from the Turks on multuple occasions or how the Russian army fell apart from a stalemate against the Germans (despite a few early successes.

    So it is your ignorance that is plain – you dont know your history, if you dont know that the Tsarist troops were falling apart by 1917 (as I have shown).

    Sure the Soviets lost several times more people to the Germans in WW2, just like the Germans lost several times more people to the Russians. The scale of war was far different. What exactly is your point?

    • Replies: @AP
  165. @mal

    Tsilkovsky developed some rocketry principles but was unable to build a prototype. It was only the Soviet Korolev that managed to build prototypes and expand Rocketry to the science it is.

    I’d attribute this to a Soviet rather than a Tsarist innovation, because Tsilkovsky never made plans or prototypes (as far as I know), it was all purely theoretical.

  166. @Anatoly Karlin

    The intellectual influence of the Cosmism on the Soviet scientific development is strongly underestimated. I think that once one realizes that Bogdanov Malinovsky was a Cosmist and was a proponent of the first known theory of systems, which might also be seen as the (proto)- cybernetics, and that under the influence of Cosmism Fr. Pavel Florensky wrote on “Organo-projection” which might be seen as (proto)- robotics, then one understands how well ahead of their times these people were.

    Also, in the early 20ies some of the extreme – left (further on the left than any Bolshevik) Russian Cosmist futurists wrote texts that are eerily similar to the hallucinated accelerationist prose of Nick Land. The majority of these people were subsequently purged because they were too extreme for the Soviets to stay alive.

    This futuristic outlook also impacted Russian constructivism which was a less radical and more practical approach. Constructivism was also rejected under Stalin.

    Someone should really try to go through all this information because some of the stuff these people thought and wrote back then is absolutely, remarkably futuristic.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  167. @Bashibuzuk

    If you are going to mention the “Red Terror” you should also probably mention the “White Terror” that the White Army instituted first (to which the Red Terror was a response).

    In fact the White Terror can be considered more bloody than the Red Terror, with the Whites willing to kill the entire Russian nation if it meant Victory – as Kornilov said:

    “We must save Russia, even if we have to set fire to half the country and shed the blood of three-fourths of all Russians.”

    And

    “The greater the terror, the greater our victories.”

    Or lets look at an example of what happened when the Cossacks under Pytor Krasnov took Don:

    More than 45,000 people were shot or hanged by Krasnov’s White Cossack regime, which lasted until the Red Army conquered the region following their victory at Tsaritsyn.

    So in other words Tsarist (White) blood shed only stopped when the Bolshevik’s retook the area.

    The Tsarist officer class was mostly aristocrats and hated regular Russians which explains Kornilov’s sentiment, and how easily the Whites could go about executing their own people.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Terror_(Russia)

    As for why he Soviet’s lost many more people than the Tsarist Army did during WW1. This Quote summarizes it quite well:

    “Every human being shot within 100 kilometres of the nearest partisan activity is now considered a soldier of the Red Army!”

    Oskar Dirlewanger

    I saw that AP has already started clarifying this matter for you and he is absolutely correct in what he wrote. I would just add that in 3 years of fighting, Russian Empire did not yield as much lost territory to Germany as the Soviet regime did in 6 months! And let’s not even try to compare the losses in soldiers wounded, killed or taken prisoners. The early WW2 on the Eastern Front was for the Soviets a disaster of epic proportions. One of the reasons being that Russian soldiers did not really want to die for Stalin or the Soviets. They were much eager to die for the God, Tsar and the Fatherland in the beginning of the WW1 before the revolutionary propaganda sapped their morals. In fact, it could be argued that if not for the destructive propaganda by the revolutionary provocateurs, Tsarist army wouldn’t have fared any worse than any other of its allies and the war would have ended in 1917. The revolutionaries prolonged the WW1 a year longer by weakening the Russian front and allowing Germany to capture rich Ukrainian lands.

    LOL. The Russian Empire did not lose as much land because Germany did not have the entire industrial might of Europe behind them (as they did during WW2) and the manpower of Europe to serve them too. They were also not focused on exterminating Russia as they were during WW2. These are false equivalencies.

    Furthermore, the early years were not as much of a disaster as you think. Despite being in the midst of reorganization and getting caught off guard in terms of a surprise attack, they nonetheless managed to turn it around by Moscow and even in 1941 where outproducing Germany in small arms, which resulted in a about a 1.1:1 ratio in favor of the Germans.

    Next, “revolutionary propaganda” was not the CAUSE of the defeats and low morale. It was defeats and general ineptness of the Tsarist command that led to low morale and revolutionary propaganda to start!

    >Wrong, the war effort was paralyzed due to a willful sabotage by those who aimed at the destruction of the Tsarist autocracy and replacing it with a constitutional monarchy. These people organized along the official political party lines, but even more so organized and coordinated through the network of Masonic lodges knowingly led to the bourgeois revolution in the February of 1917. They aligned in their actions with the British interests in the Great Game. Russia was to be used to win the war with Germany, but was to come from the war in such a dilapidated state that it would have become impossible for Russian interests to compete with the British and American interests in Asia and the Pacific region.

    The only people who could have ‘willfully paralyze’ Tsarist industry would have been local Soviets (that ended up ignoring the orders of the Provisional government), but those only gained power (as did the Petrograd Soviet after the Abdication of the Tsar and the February Revolution.

    The Socialist revolutionaries were the agents of the Internationale. That is a terrorist international network. They were connected, financed and manipulated by many interests. Germans financed through Parvus the return of Lenin a d his clique to Petrograd, but at the same time Anglo-American Jewish financial interests financed and facilitated the return of Trotsky. The revolution in Russia was decades into making and was mainly the result of Anglo meddling. Overall you need to read this:

    I’ve mentioned before that Lenin and the Bolsheviks where caught off guard by the February Revolution. When he caught whiff of it, Lenin was still in Switzerland and had to rush back to Russia! The Bolshevik’s were not the only revolutionary group in Russia – are you telling me that EVERY revolutionary group in Russia was “anglo agents of influence” at that time? LOL

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  168. @mal

    What was Soviet electronics like late USSR?

    I’ve been looking at the Russian CPUs and while they of course are far from being in the same league as AMD or Intel there is some progress. The first sample of Elbrus-8S was made in 2015 but the serial production only started like 2018 (in Taiwan and only low production government orders). It’s bad, but it’s not *that* bad. It seems to be comparable to a medium priced CPU from 2010 or 2011. It succeeds in playing War Thunder in 60 fps.

    The first sample for Elbrus-16S was made in 2020 and it’s a massive improvement. It should basically be comparable to CPUs which are only a couple of years old (from today, not from the start of serial production). It won’t be cheap enough to compete on the private market but it’s good if the Russian government is able to use Russian designed CPUs that have something resembling respectable performance.

    • Replies: @mal
  169. AP says:
    @Xi-Jinping

    Where did i say it was “generally ineffective against European powers?”. Show me the quote

    Um, I showed you the direct quote in my post that you replied to. Here was your post:

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/leviathan-2014/#comment-4404150

    I said that the Tsarist government was inept – and that is true, given that it could not take Constantinople from the Turks on multuple occasions

    Neither could Britain. But Russia managed to take about 10% of Turkish territory. In your ignorance or dishonesty you wrote that Tsarist Russia was “generally ineffective in war against European powers” but clearly it was effective five against Austria-Hungary whom it totally crushed, effective against the Ottoman Empire whom it consistently defeated, was more effective than the Brits (who performed poorly against the Ottomans compared to the Russians) and Italy (who did worse against Austria-Hungary than did Russia). By inference, Russia was probably more effective than Germany. So of all the European powers, only Germany surpassed Tsarist Russia.

    • Replies: @Xi-Jinping
  170. AP says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    They were anti-Russian in the sense that Leftists in Europe or the USA are anti-German/anti-American etc.

  171. @Xi-jinping

    EVERY revolutionary group in Russia was “anglo agents of influence” at that time?

    To some extent yes. Russian revolution was decades into making. It was one of the most important goals of the Anglo-Saxon elites and their Jewish financiers minions. Read the links that I have provided and we’ll discuss it later.

    BTW I appreciate your earnestness in defending Soviet achievements and successful developments which were many. I do not think that Soviet regime was a worthless thing, quite the opposite. But the price Russian people and other peoples of the USSR paid for the Soviet experiment was too high to be sustainable. I would prefer the revolution to never have happened and Russian people now numbering around 250 million and Eastern Slavs around 350 million because I love Russians despite their many failures and flaws, and in general I love Slavs despite them being often inept to the point of comedy.

    Russian revolution and the WW2 have destroyed the Eastern Slav prospects at being the leading force in Europe. It destroyed the prospect of the pan-Slavic confederacy under Russian Empire’s benevolent patronage. That is why this Anglo-Jewish ploy was so damaging.

    As General Krasnow said hours before being transferred to the Soviets by the British to be executed: “Опять Англичанка гадит...”

    • Replies: @Xi-Jinping
  172. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    I listened to this clip and was interested enough to go to Spotify for more. They provide about 3 additional albums of theirs, in case you’re interested. Their sound is kind of a mainstream acid jazz sound that includes some theatrical flair that was common amongst other groups of that earlier “London” period.

    Our discussion yesterday prompted me to research some more of “Opa’s” historical albums, and I’m very pleased to have found some additional, newer output by Hugo Fattoruso. The playlist that I’ve provided above, in comment 121, includes all of his last album put out in 2018 (that is quite good) and tidbits of his earlier music too. You do have access to Spotify?

    These musical discussions of ours often lead to opening up some good quality listening – thanks!

  173. mal says:
    @Shortsword

    I’m not an expert on electronics, but it wasn’t great in my experience. If you look at same Elbrus, USSR made a version in 1977 and then waited until 1986 to make an update. It is a long time.

    Personally, growing up there, we had clones of Sinclair ZX Spectrum, a British minicomputer. USSR made them in Czechoslovakia or something.

    Don’t quote me on that, but I think the best USSR could do competitively was to clone the original x86 architecture but that was at the top of the capability. Once 286 series were introduced, USSR couldn’t compete anymore.

    And yes, Elbrus is certainly interesting. It uses different, larger instruction set this makes it slower and clunkier compared to Western designs, but on the flip side, it can support huge amounts of high speed memory and multiple cores. So for applications specifically designed to take advantage of that, Elbrus is very fast indeed. Again, not an expert here, but from what I’ve read, Elbrus data server is no joke.

    https://www.tomshardware.com/news/russian-company-tapes-out-16-core-elbrus-cpu-20-ghz-16-tb-of-ram-in-4-way-system

    Also, it is rather secure because its rare and most people don’t write malware for it.

    • Replies: @Xi-Jinping
  174. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Karlin once mentioned that there was at least one Russian Orthodox Christian theologian who was a proponent of transhumanism, though I can’t remember his name. If there were more, it would make for an interesting topic for a new post. Also, I know that Vernadsky had some “out there” ideas, and was wondering what he felt about transhumanism? He must have been rubbing shoulders with some of his colleagues that were proponents of this “futuristic” current…

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  175. @Mr. Hack

    Vernadsky had some “out there” ideas

    Yes absolutely. He was most certainly well aware of the Cosmism of Fedorov. And Vernadsky’s ideas influenced Theillard de Chardin. Perhaps the Orthodox theologian AK had in mind was Florensky, but we can’t be certain about it.

    Of course, a true Orthodox Christian should reject Transhumanism because Orthodox Christianity already leads to Theosis of which transhumanism is a mere and inferior materialist adaptation. Same for Cosmism take on resurrection of the dead, although Fedorov was most certainly a devout Orthodox Christian, his take on material resurrection was of course heterodox and quite frankly heretical.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  176. Dmitry says:
    @Yevardian

    Reactionary views of young Wynton Marsalis that angered those people in the 1980s, was a result of a (probably correctly perceived imo) disintegration of jazz that had happened in the 1970s.

    For example, what happened to Miles Davis and many of his band players in the 1970s? (Miles Davis had also physical and mental collapse by 1974). And Ornette Coleman didn’t seem too successful in the 1970s? His albums I listened to are from 1958-1959.

    sticks-in-the-mud like Wynton Marsalis either

    Too many conservatives like Wynton Marsalis can mummify an artform.

    There is a lot of this mummification in classical music, and even more what happened to ballet. Pedagogues, technicians and connoisseurs can hijack the artform, and make everyone become too self-conscious about “playing in the correct way”. In classical piano, players became obsessedly self-critical about playing correct legato, or the difference between ppp and pp. Even though we know that Mozart’s technique for legato was unlike the modern one, or that Chopin’s rubato was completely different to every 20th century pianists’ concept. Today we have nostalgia to pianists like Horowitz, whose technique was against the most basic pedagogues’ advice to 5 year olds to not play with flat fingers.

    But what happened in jazz in the 1970s seemed more like the opposite of the mummification by conservatives. Jazz could have benefited from having more conservatives in some ways, to enforce everyone to stay with acoustic instruments.

    For example, Bill Evans in the 1970s was making albums where he overdubs himself with a Fender Rhodes. A large part of Evans’ artistry was just his touch on acoustic piano, and all kinds of complex sounds his motor skills produce, and which his fans became addicted to.

    Asking such type of acoustic pianist, to overdub with an electric piano, is like if Renoir was working with Microsoft Paint, and covering his subtle brushwork with printouts he had made with Microsoft Paint. Yet somehow in the 1970s Bill Evans and his producers thought this was a good idea, because electric instruments were so fashionable then.

    • Replies: @Yevardian
  177. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    You know, this whole transhumanist ideal that Karlin seems to be so interested in is at least worth discussing. Weren’t you slightly more interested in it in your youth, reading more science fiction and fantasy novels that incorporated some of its visions. I myself try to eat nutritiously and take supplements that are good for my health that will probably extend my life a few years down the road (if I don’t get hit by a car or get shot down by some stark raving mad lunatic at the shopping mall). I get a “free subscription” to “Life Extension” magazine every month, only because I’ve purchased a few supplements from them in the past. It’s really quite a good magazine, although its basically a vehicle used to sell their supplements. Lots of good articles within about how supplementing can be helpful in maintaining your health, even some just about certain vegetables that one might consider incorporating into their diet. The name itself sounds rather transhumanist, doesn’t it “Life Extension”. There’s at least one article this month about the benefits of intermittent fasting, etc. that I’m sure Karlin would get a kick out of…

    But having my “conciousness” (soul) somehow compressed into a computer, after being reanimated from a freezer where I’ve been lying within for two hundred years, well, seems, ya know, kind of “way out there”. 🙂

    I’m thrilled to see that you’ve taken more of an interest in Theosis. Did you ever get a chance to read that tract that I suggested about it?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  178. It’s interesting to read the exchanges between Bashibuzuk(and others too) and Xi-jinping . I am not as well read about the historical details , so wouldn’t have much assessment of these details but just some opinions :-
    1. I agree that Russia should stop her “worship” of the West. But seriously, which major country today does not admire the West? Even the elites in China , envy, if not secretly admire the West. Western cultural hegemony is supreme and global . It’s tied to the material and technological superiority( real and/or imagined) of the West, and with that comes prestige. This is just part of human nature. It’s easy to note that Russia(and China) should chart independent paths , but it’s another actually doing so.
    2. I think it’s more difficult for Russians to disentangle themselves from Western(ie American and Western European) influence compared to the Chinese. Russians are ethnically European, certainly closer connection to their Western “cousins”. Also, historically , Russia was engaged as a major power in European geopolitics. Just many commonalities with other European peoples(and also many differences /distinctives). Russia is “ethnoculturally” European but geopolitically “Eurasian” with a tinge of “Asian”influence . In fact, I think Western ‘obsession’ with ultimately transforming Russia into a Western vassal is not just because of geopolitics. Is it possible that white Western elites ( usually of the liberal kind) consider Russians as “less civilized” kinsmen who should be “Westernized” ?Perhaps that partially explains their almost “evangelical zeal” in bringing down Putin( viewed as “not liberal enough”)? Similarly Russian youths probably envy and admire the apparent material wealth of their Western cousins? Hence if Western youths love LBGTQ or worship black males, Russian youths want to do the same. It’s an emotional feeling of being “Westernized” , having the attitude and values of their more ‘prestigious’ cousins. Even upper class Chinese youths want to emulate the West, what more Russians with closer ethnocultural affinity .
    3. I agree that Communism was anti-Russian. The USSR built it’s strength and prestige based on Russian strengths but credited success to “the Soviet people” and not to the Russian people, like many pointed out. USSR almost destroyed the Russian ‘soul’ and ‘traditional’ civilization. Communism was basically “anti- traditional “. China suffered a similar fate under Mao. In many ways, Communist China back then(especially during Mao’s tenure) was , to me, “anti-Chinese”. So much of China’s cultural heritage and traditional values were wiped out during the Cultural Revolution. The Chinese almost lost their ‘traditional’ civilization. Only recently , the PRC Government begin emphasizing Chinese culture and civilization. Would have been an anathema during Mao’s era.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_Revolution#:~:text=The%20Cultural%20Revolution%2C%20formally%20the,China%20from%201966%20until%201976.
    4. I don’t agree that Russia should , after refusing to be a vassal of the West, become a vassal of China instead. Russia would do better to be on her independent path, to be a vassal of neither. I agree with Bashibuzuk that the way forward for Russia is to ultimately reject Western cultural hegemony and revive Russian civilization based on her Slavic and traditional roots – to rediscover and recover the Russian ‘soul’. In fact the same should be for the Chinese too. To me , PRC is just a temporary form of government that glues the nation together to reject Western cultural hegemony and maintain Chinese political sovereignty . Ultimately the way forward for China is to rediscover herself , that self almost obliterated by Mao and his supporters back then . Moreover, it’s good to have a multipolar world where regional powers ensure check and balance globally.
    5. I believe the West will fail to maintain its geopolitical supremacy and together with it, loss of cultural hegemony and prestige, probably by the second half of this century. For Russia and other states , they will survive
    as independent powers and centers of civilizations if they resist Western vassalage before the West falls.

    • Agree: mal
  179. Dmitry says:
    @utu

    It might be useful for the rulers to want to use cinema to create more patriotism in the population, as we can see they attempted in many countries during the Second World War. (But this attempt at “patriotic films”, was rather overestimating the power of bad art).

    Patriotism in art would usually operate by trying to use peoples’ vanity (or vicarious vanity, to the extent it would not be based on their own achievements – but of achievements of the national group you want the audience to vicariously identify themselves with).

    The problem is that vanity is not an attractive trait to look at. Even a beautiful woman appears less beautiful, if we notice that she is vain about her beauty.

    Projecting “patriotic art” onto the screen, will likely create an opposite reaction in an audience, as we see a type of vanity being objectified, and our natural moral sense is to perceive vanity as a form of ugliness.

    Aristotle thought some kind of self-esteem can be a virtue, but this (megalopsychia) has to be originating from accurate self-assessment, and result in generous and noble actions. Aristotle’s “great souled people”, is not the type who is doing a vicarious self-identification with other peoples’ achievements; but people who would we aware of their abilities and achievement, and avoid timidity that would stop them acting in accordance with it.

    In terms of 20th century cinema, the most self-criticizing traditions like the Japanese (e.g. Mizoguchi), Polish and Italian films, result in more admiration for those cultures when we watch them; while watching even very talented “patriotic films” like “Soy Cuba”, is more likely to make you feel anti-Castro and against Soviet authorities who ordered its production.

    Creating “patriotism” in the population, requires them to not think too much about patriotism. Patriotism more like falling asleep, where you mustn’t think about the fact you are falling asleep, to achieve it.

    • Replies: @utu
  180. Mr. Hack says:

    For example, what happened to Miles Davis and many of his band players in the 1970s?

    Well, for starters some of the greatest and most memorable jazz that has ever occurred, all except in my opinion, Miles Davis himself. His music had degenerated to a strange cacophony of noises and rhythms, that I once described as listening to an old fashioned wash machine. I know, because I spent time listening to all of his faire, and was quite disappointed. I even saw him play at least twice in the 70’s and couldn’t quite get into the groove. I think that his problem was that he was just too far gone with the whole drug scene, and his addiction to heroin was lulling him into complacency and inability to distinguish between noise and music. Undoubtedly, this obsession with free form sounds and screeches (reminiscent of Sun Ra on a bad day), is what perhaps helped many of his cadre of very abled side men to move on to greener pastures. Much greener pastures:

    [MORE]

    Chick Corea: went on to formulate one of the greatest fusion groups of the era, the fabled “Return to Forever” that put out at least half a dozen iconic albums, that require no adulation on my part.

    Return to Forever (Polydor 1972)
    Light as a Feather (Polydor, 1972)
    Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (Polydor, 1973)
    Where Have I Known You Before (Polydor, 1974)
    No Mystery (Polydor, 1975)
    Romantic Warrior (Columbia, 1976)
    Musicmagic (Columbia, 1977)

    Al Dimeola: Latin guitar virtuoso, that continues to impress. I saw him play a year ago, still manages to keep it all together. His albums havealways been very popular:

    1976 Land of the Midnight Sun (Columbia)
    1977 Elegant Gypsy (Columbia)
    1978 Casino (Columbia)
    1980 Splendido Hotel (Columbia)
    1981 Friday Night in San Francisco with John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucia (Columbia)

    Stanly Clark: All around great bass player, always included in any discussion of jazz bass guitar. His classic album “School Days” was a very big hit album form him and old quite a bit.

    Children of Forever (Polydor, 1973)
    Stanley Clarke (Nemperor, 1974)
    Journey to Love (Nemperor, 1975)
    School Days (Nemperor, 1976)
    Modern Man (Nemperor, 1978)
    I Wanna Play for You (Nemperor, 1979)

    Jon McGlaughlin: His output with the legendary with fusion super-group “Mahavishnu Orchestra” speaks for itself. I saw this group play at the same venue as where I saw Miles Davis, and it was incomparably more enjoyable to watch and listen to.

    The Inner Mounting Flame (1971)
    Birds of Fire (1973)
    Apocalypse with London Symphony Orchestra (1974)
    Visions of the Emerald Beyond (1975)
    Inner Worlds (1976)

    Keith Jarrett: A fine jazz pianist whose maintained his sole devotion to acoustic piano. He’s been steadily putting out albums all along. One of my favorites is his “Koln Concerts”. I think that you’d probably like his output.

    Wayne Shorter & Joe Zawinul: Both great artists in their own right, that went on to form another fusion supergroup, the legendary “Weather Report”. A very popular group among many jazz fans, that out out about a dozen albums:

    1971 Weather Report
    1972 I Sing the Body Electric
    1973 Sweetnighter
    1974 Mysterious Traveller
    1975 Tale Spinnin’
    1976 Black Market
    1977 Heavy Weather
    1978 Mr. Gone

    And so many, many more artist that helped define the 1970’s as a really great and furtive time in jazz history. It wasn’t, as you’re trying to indicate, at all a time of of “mumification” and “disintegraton” of jazz music, but as I’ve plainly shown a really great period for the genre that evolved and provided some really fantastic muscic.

  181. Yevardian says:
    @Dmitry

    For example, what happened to Miles Davis and many of his band players in the 1970s? (Miles Davis had also physical and mental collapse by 1974). And Ornette Coleman didn’t seem too successful in the 1970s? His albums I listened to are from 1958-1959.

    Ornette Coleman made some of his greatest albums in the 70s (Of Human Feelings is masterpiece) and 80s, and continues to make interesting music until today. Miles Davis made some awesome music in the 70s, his drug-problems and steep personal decline notwithstanding (I read his tell-all autobiography many years ago, it’s very ¡Black! but a good read, interestingly he couldn’t work with Charles Mingus because even Miles was irritated by his constant race-baiting).

    But yes, by the 80s Jazz-Fusion had almost entirely devolved into elevator music (even talented bands like Weather Report, after their first 2 albums, make me want to puke), the avante-garde was mostly an atonal mess, whilst the classic style had settled into derivative retreading, with some notable exceptions like Coleman Hawkins and Chick Corea.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  182. @Dmitry

    In the Russian Empire

    But in Great Britain, France, and Germany there was universal literacy in 1900 (something >95% literacy).

    ……but not in their own sizeable empires outside of Europe. Great Britain and maybe France did at least educate a critical mass of people who served in their foreign institutions and actually formed the main part of the independence movement of these countries ( Gandhi and Mandela to name afew)

  183. @Mr. Hack

    Weren’t you slightly more interested in it in your youth

    When I was younger, that is around mid-90ies, I was strongly interested by transhumanism. It was before I arrived to the conclusion that technological advances are not necessarily conducive to human happiness.

    taken more of an interest in Theosis

    I have always found this aspect of Christian traditions very profound.

  184. @Xi-jinping

    2nd part to follow on my comment #160.

    and the idea by the Bolshevik’s to exit the war had popular support

    By the end of 1917, the popular support for war has essentially vanished among all European nations. There is no reason other than a strong revolutionary propaganda and anti-autocratic inclinations among the intelligentsia to explain why this anti-war sentiment became a revolution process in Russia and not in France of England. Russia was primed for revolution since the nihilist, narodniki and SR terrorism of the late nineteenth century. Several tens of thousands of people were killed in terrorist attacks including members of the highest elites. The financial support for these attacks was in great part British.

    Now before you go ‘but teh evul bolshevik’s opressed the church

    As I wrote already I am not a great fan of the post-Raskol Russian Orthodox Church because it submitted itself to the Holy Synod and therefore became subservient to the Romanovs’ regime. It must be clearly stated that Russian Orthodox Church has always tried to have the most harmonious relationship with TPTB. This tendency to collaborate with any ruler (including the Golden Horde) had its drawbacks, one of them being the Church embracing the February revolution, betraying the Tzar and offering its blessing to the Provisional Government led by the Franc Mason Kerensky. This is an error of spiritual judgment that costed dearly to the Church.

    Next, the Red Army itself had about 700 Tsarist Generals, and half of its officer corps had served in the Tsarist Army. Some 50,000 to 60,000 Tsarist Cadre ended up working for the RKKA against the Whites.

    Yes quite unfortunately a great lot of tsarist officers worked to ensure Soviet victory in the Civil War. This was also a betrayal of oath which also cost the great majority of these people their freedom and their life. After the victory, the Soviets ensured that the majority of these former officers ended up in the camps where most of them perished. There are three reasons for this betrayal of the Russian Empire by these officers: 1) many among the Russian elites were the equivalent of modern day “progressive ” and “liberal” intellectuals and their influence was felt among the officer corps 2) the need to survive the starvation and social destruction after the 1917 coup, people needed to feed their families and were ready to earn a living working for the Reds 3) the desire to escape the Red Terror and protect themselves and their loved ones against it. Although all these reasons are perfectly acceptable, for most of the former Tzarist officers it just delayed the imprisonement and execution. They ended-up mostly exterminated.

    Another popular argument goes “but muh evull bolshevik’s killed people !!1!” – this happened because of the nature of revolution itself

    And that is why revolutions are evil and must be avoided. The revolution, civil war and their consequences cost around 10 million lives and the destruction of the Russian economy. Russia would have preserved these lives and would not have needed to rebuild its economy from scratch without the revolution.

    The Communists created numerous innovations

    As I wrote earlier in the day, I don’t deny the many Soviet achievements. But it would be very insulting to insinuate that Russians and other Russian Empire populations wouldn’t have had the talents and the strength to innovate in absence of a Communist takeover. In short, these innovations have nothing to do with the Communist doctrine and everything to do with the talented people among the the Soviet population. Many of these talented people were in fact prevented from achieving their greatest successes by the Bolshevik because they were not loyal enough to the Soviet regime, others perished in the camps simply because someone incriminated them out of jealousy. Without this unhealthy atmosphere of fear and persecution the people of the Russian Empire would have arguably innovated more, not less.

    Bottom line; the 1917 rvolution was not a necessary evil, it was just evil. Communism was not a blessing upon the Soviet populations, it was a disease.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @AP
    , @Xi-Jinping
    , @AltanBakshi
  185. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    As I wrote already I am not a great fan of the post-Raskol Russian Orthodox Church because it submitted itself to the Holy Synod and therefore became subservient to the Romanovs’ regime.

    Part of the “poison pill” that came with the absorption of Ukraine by Muscovy (another part was the appearance of the large Jewish community). Something like the first 5 heads of the Holy Synod were from Ukraine, and the reforms were spearheaded by Ukrainians. First head of the Holy Synod, Stefan Yavorsky, was a Galician who wrote poetry in Latin and Polish in his spare time:

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

    Muscovy would have been more pure of culture had it not taken in the Little Russians.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @AltanBakshi
  186. utu says:
    @Dmitry

    “Patriotism more like falling asleep, where you mustn’t think about the fact you are falling asleep, to achieve it.” – That is exactly how the pop culture works. In the process of being entertained you are open and absorb imperceptibly ‘memes’ from deeper layers of the narrative. When the zeitgeist is being steered to change a course new ‘memes’ are planted there. It could be a black judge in a crime drama or black high ranking military or black president in action movie who is fair, wise and compassionate like Morgan Freedman and you have no time to object and think of the implausibility of it because you are captivated by the plot and the action. The necessary condition. is to make good and really entertaining movies and then you can plant many things.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  187. @AP

    Muscovy would have been more pure of culture had it not taken in the Little Russians.

    I agree that Little Russians have been more westernized than Moscovites / Great Russians. They have indeed been a strong vector of westernization in the religious matters because of a long co-existence of Orthodox, Greco-Catholic and Catholic Churches in the Little Russian / Ruthenian lands.

    As I wrote above, pre-Raskol Moscovite Orthodox Church was probably more “nordic” for the lack of better word. It was more archaic, sober, simple and self-relying. It was also able to often fend for itself because of monasteries’ militias, the authentic Black Hundreds (called this way because of the black robes of the warrior monks).

  188. @AP

    A success or two from the Tsarist government does not disprove their general ineptness. If they were effective, Russia would never have joined the war, never lost the Crimean war and taken Constantinople from the Turks back when Tsarist forces were poised to take Constantinople back in 1826 and 1878 – but they did not because they got scared of the British. Russia would never have sold Alaska for pennies if it was competent enough to defend it from the British. If the Tsar was competent the Revolutions would not have happened and Russia would not have been full of revolutionary groups. There would also have not been numerous famines that only exacerbated Political tensions within Tsarist Russia.

    Furthermore, defeating the Ottoman Empire (which by that time had been crumbling for a few hundred years) was no big feat. Its like beating up an elderly person or cripple and calling it a great victory. The Ottomans got lucky at Constatinople and thats why it was never taken as Russia was too war weary to take it then.

    Next, Russia got its ass kicked by Germany (only country to lose two whole armies to them and have their economy collapse) .

  189. @Bashibuzuk

    The problem with your thesis is Russia then was suffering from the same priblems it is suffering now.

    A pan-Slavic union of 250 million Russians would not have happened, as Russia was full of foreign agents all the way from the Tsars court down to laborers.

    World War 1, Tsarist ineptness, widespread peasantry and war weariness and lsck of industry together resulted in the Revolution.

    As much as I wish it was true, Russia would never have been a leading force in Europe as it did not have the same colonies from which it could suck resources like most of the major European powers, it had too much social strife, it was backwards and did not have the level of development. As much as I like your idea, I do not believe it possible.

  190. @mal

    I was reading about early Russian cybernetics back in the 50s and 60s. There were numerous teams formed to study semiconductors, cybernetics and a few teams even wrote their own machine code and programming languages using cyrillic. Some of these languages were innovative (and continue to be so today), and if they were never scrapped to follow IBMs plans (for some reason), all computing would currently be done in cyrrilic.

    I suspect that this was intentional sabotage, as was abandoning development of the OGAS system.

  191. @cortesar

    Yes, it is simply a good movie. Karlin is whining like a Woke POC. A film maker needs to tell a good story, not extol the virtues of a tribe.

  192. @Xi-Jinping

    Russia would never have been a leading force in Europe as it did not have the same colonies from which it could suck resources like most of the major European powers,

    Russia was its own colony. I explain – Russian elites extracted wealth from Russian peasantry exactly like the French, British and Dutch extracted wealth from their colonial empires. That is, despite both the elites and the peasantry being citizens of the same state, the aristocracy and the people had a completely different existence. There was a commonality of citizenship, but there was absolutely no economic equality and close to no common cultural identity. It was as if the muzhik and his barin were two different ethnic groups, despite them both mostly being Russian (Russian Empire had a cosmopolitan aristocracy and bureaucracy, but was still ethnically mainly native).

    Something else is also very important: the elites extracted wealth through selling agricultural products and natural resources to the more advanced and industrialized western European countries. Their wellbeing depended on the benevolence of their European customers.

    So basically we have a self-colonizing society that is strongly dependent on foreign economies on the affairs of which it has absolutely no control whatsoever. That is why Russia was backwards and that is why it lost Crimean war. This is the system that the Holstein Gottorp Romanovs perfected after 1746 and that the Shwerin Mecklenburg Romanovs built after the death of Peter the Great. This system was enforced through violence of the worst kind and the enserfement of the majority of the population.

    I am not idolizing the Tzarist regime, I am absolutely aware of what they were. It was an extractive regime built on exploitation. But I know that this regime was evolving. And I know that evolution is always better than revolution. Through the naturally accelerating economic and social change, without any revolution, Russia would have come today at least as far as it did. And it would be twice more populated and wouldn’t have suffered the horrors of the civil war, the purges, WW2 and the absolutely disgusting Perestroika.

    Russia would be today the most populous and the largest European country, it would have avoided the stigma of totalitarian communist dictatorship and would have kept better relations with its Slavic neighbors. It would be de facto a major European power, probably a world power. All this being achieved through natural evolution, without all the craziness and terror.

    The Bolsheviks prevented this through their very existence. The Bolshevik undone this natural evolution and distorted Russian historical evolution. That is why the Bolshevik are but accursed scum.

    • Agree: AP, mal
    • Thanks: Sinotibetan
    • Replies: @AP
    , @Xi-Jinping
  193. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Just to add to your excellent comment – the evolution was well underway in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Peasants were emancipated, and Stolypin’s reforms resulted in many of them achieving prosperity; mass education was well underway; industrialisation was proceeding; social mobility had become commonplace. The timing of the First World War was horrible because it caught Russia at a delicate transition period, which was exploited by the anti-Russian Bolsheviks. Imagine what would have happened if Dickensonian Britain had found itself in the same circumstances and stress: mass war and deprivation due to war, with well-funded ruthless revolutionaries there to take advantage.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  194. @Xi-Jinping

    It is fortunate Russia(and other Eastern European countries) did not have overseas colonies like other major Western European powers . The “sins” of exploiting non European nations have come back to bite these nations in the form of self-hate/self-loathesomeness of their own civilizations and ethnicities. Western wokeness derive a whole lot of their ‘moral justifications’ from “trying to right the wrongs” of their exploitative colonial forefathers. There is a sense of warped ‘moral indignation ‘ to anything European , from culture to the colour of their skin. Woke Westerners wear their wokeness like a badge of honour, with the smugness of moral superiority. At least woke youths in Russia or non Western countries do so because they want to emulate those Western youths they worship. Perhaps, they may be open to reason as their forefathers never did colonize and exploit the resources and natives of foreign lands like major Western European countries did. As a Chinese living in a multiracial country in which the minority Chinese community is discriminated upon because we do better (in academic and business) than the majority native ethnicity, I can never understand wokeness. It is so self -defeating , all that constant moralizing and insistence on ethnocultural equivalency when it simply isn’t reality. If exploitation of colonies was one of the basis for current Western supremacy, it is also one of the basis for their eventual civilizational collapse. Current economic or scientific superiority can not save a West that hates what made them great in the first place.

    • Agree: Xi-Jinping
    • Replies: @Xi-Jinping
  195. @AP

    The economy of Russian Empire was lagging behind Western Europe and North America by perhaps a generation. While the West had already started to rapidly industrialize, Russia was still a mainly agrarian society. The major problem of the early twentieth century in Russia was the lack of affordable arable lands for the peasants living in the central regions. These regions, where the demographics started their unprecedented increase due to the advances in hygiene and medecine, did not afford the average Russian muzhik to earn enough to feed his family.

    [MORE]

    In much of these regions at the end of the nineteenth century the arable land was still managed by the traditional Russian community, so-called Mir, which attributed the lands to the different families. Of course the most energetic and influential muzhiks, the so-called Kulaks, had the best and most productive arable land attributed to themselves. The poorest peasants circled the drain.

    The situation could have been corrected through mass emigration of the Russian peasants towards the Far East and southern Siberia (including modern day Kazakhstan). The exceeding population of the central regions might have also been progressively absorbed in the developing industries. This urbanization and industrialization would have also increased the literacy and in a generation could have lead to the expansion of the middle class, providing a larger internal market for the Russian industrial products.

    This social transformation started, but this evolution was unfortunately prevented by the WW1 and the ensuing revolution. The revolution, which was expected and actually desired by the major part of the intelligentsia, could have been averted if the said intelligentsia would have not partially been a kind of pro-Western “cargo cult”. This also started to change with a more profound appreciation of the ethnic peculiarities of the Slav and Russian mentality and culture. But this change was also prevented by the WW1.

    Of course WW1 was a watershed moment in European history and Russia has not been the only one being impacted. But in the case of Russia, this agrarian question and this westernization of the elite to the point of ethnic alienation, allowed for a fatal flaw which has been exploited by the internal and the external enemies of the Russian Empire. Basically Peter the Great – who definitely enserfed the peasants and created this “internal colonization” system exploited by the westernized elites – laid the ground for Lenin and Trotsky.

    • Agree: Xi-Jinping
  196. @Bashibuzuk

    Youre right by 1917 war weariness had set in around europe. The difference in Russia was that it was getting hammered (with disastorous defeats at the Battle of Tannenberg, failed assualts on German held Silesia, facing combined German-Austri/Hungarian armies and suffering heavy losses and defeat at Gallipoli) really played a negative role in army morale and caused many Tsarist Officers to takeup Revolutionary causes.

    Moreover, although Russia had mobilized 1.4 million men with 3.1 million men in reserve it had 10x less railway track per square kilometre than Germany and Russian troops had to travel 1290 km (mostly on foot or horseback) to reach the front, whereas Germans travelled a quarter of that distance. Of course, Russian troops suffered war weariness!

    And lets also talk about how Grossly unprepared Russia was for war. Russian industry could not supply sufficient munitions to the front (for all the men) and often could not reply to German artillery Barrages. As General Anton Denikin said:

    “The German heavy artillery swept away our whole line of trenches, and their defenders with them. We hardly replied. There was nothing with which we could reply. Our regiments, completely exhausted, were ebating off one attack after another by bayonet…blood flowed endlesslyN the ranks became thinner and thinner. The number of Graves multiplied”

    The revolution did not destroy the Russian economy as there was very little for it to destroy! By the mid 1920s, under Lenin’s policies of “War Communism” and NEP did Russia reach and surpass Tsarist levels of productin. That speaks for how pitiful it was in the first place.

    Those lives may have been preserved, but how many of them were traitors? How many of them would have worked for the people versus their own pocket?

    Russia has always had a problem of poor leadership – without a central leadership directing Russian talent I doubt that Russians would have innovated as much as they did under the Soviet leadership. Would they have invented Buran? Or sputnik? Would they have had the athletes they did (remember under the Tsar Russian football team was beat 14:0 by Portugal)? Would Russia have built the AK or the famous MiGs? Or what about the thousands of famous mathemtacians? I highly doubt that this would have happened. I believe it was only possible under the organization skill and direction of Soviet leadership.

    Sure there was a time when camps existed (but lets be honest, they existed under the Tsar as well, it is sufficient to read “Crime and Punishment” for proof of this), but that was for a rather short and unfortunate period of history. Most of Soviet and Russian innovation occured after those events.

    Look at Modern Russia – it is arguably the modern incarnation of Tsarist Russia (and in many ways resembles it) – there are no camps, millions of Russians do not die, there is no directing influence – where is Russian innovation? Its economy is smaller than that of texas! Where was Russian innovation under the Tsar? It was unable to build enough railways so that its soldiers did not have to walk 1000 km to the front! No, I disagree that Communism was a disease on the Russian people – Communism is what brought it to glory, the greatest the Russian people ever had.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Bashibuzuk
  197. AP says:
    @Xi-Jinping

    disastorous defeats at the Battle of Tannenberg, failed assualts on German held Silesia, facing combined German-Austri/Hungarian armies and suffering heavy losses and defeat at Gallipoli) really played a negative role in army morale and caused many Tsarist Officers to takeup Revolutionary causes

    Raw ignorance further confirmed

    Some people simply should not have been taught to read and write.

    • Agree: Philip Owen
    • LOL: Bashibuzuk
  198. @Bashibuzuk

    I agree with your assessment of the Tsarist regieme being one of self-exploitation.

    However, you write as if the Bolshevik’s appeared in a vacuum and just took over to halt Russia’s development.

    This is false. As I have tried to show you in my other comments, Tsarist ineptness, the poorly built socoal system, famine and poverty led to their being numerojs revolutilnary groups. If the Bolshevik’s never won, another group would have. Even after the Tsar abdicated, the Provisional Government ruled only in name and it was the Petrograd Soviet that made all the laws. The Provisional Government can be considered an “evolution” of the Tsarist system that caused an even greater breakdown of social cohesion and army than ever before.

    Plus given the exploitative nature of the Tsarist regieme and the aristocracy, what makes you think “evolution” was even possible?

    Also, it didnt matter if Russia was “communist” because it was still stigmatized in Europe and not seen as “European” by all the Great European powers.

    Next, whst makes you think it would have avoided WW2? WW2 was inevitable given that Germany was defeated (and would have been defeated regardless of wheyher Russia stayed in the war) and utterly humiliated. Communism was an excuse, a cassius belli that the Nazi Party used to start the War – it wohld have still occurred and would have seen Russia conquered rather than uniting as there would have been no strong central leadership.

    Russia would be in about the same (or worse) demographic situation as it would have adopted Globohomo reforms much earlier than it has and seen a drastic drop as that of Europe. And it may be full of black and arab immigrants as well.

    Modern Russia is an example of how an “evolution” of the Tsarist system would have played out.

    It seems that you wish that the regieme was evolving, but looking at history it was not.

  199. Mr. Hack says:

    Russia’s modern day answer to Bolshevism and the Uruguayan acid jazz pop group Opa:

    🙂

  200. @AP

    There was “no evolution” occurring. Stolypin’s reforms did not make things better (in fact made it worse), as his short time as Governor of Saratov saw draconian measures taken against Peasants (such as having all males above age 16 put on an uchet).

    Next, his “reforms” where not popular with peasants and many peasants did not avail themselves of the “benefits” of land privitization. When the war in 1914 started, it threw the countryside into dissarray and caused State control of prices to enter freefall. This was another cause for Revolution (and why many peasants supported the Bolsheviks). Many Peasants opposed the disintegration of the mir/obschina, which explains the creation of the Kolkhoz and Sovhoz systems.

    By 1914, 90% of Russia’s population was peasantry, so what kind of “industrialization” did it have? Industrialization would mean that the peasantry would move to the cities and the creation of a merchant, capitalist class that would undermine the vary basis of autocracy (as the tsar percieved happening in Europe), so he was hindered efforts at industrialization.

    One of the great ironies of the October Revolution is that – this, the archetypical proletarian revolution that delivered a Marxist party to power with the mission of creating a working class paradise – the big winners in 1917 were the peasantry. The Soviet Decree on Land, a grand stroke of Bolshevik opportunism/pragmatism, legitimised the parallel revolution in the countryside that had been building since February.

    At a stroke the Revolution removed:

    Individual land ownership. The nobles were driven from the countryside and Stolypin’s independent farms reabsorbed into the obshchina. In both cases the village annexed their land.

    Much state oversight. The Tsarist land captains were a thing of the past, replaced by weak Village Soviets that were easily controlled by the obshchina.

    Much of the class tension in the villages. The ‘Black Repartition’ saw the enlarged village lands divided amongst its members, generally favouring the poorest peasants.

    There was a tendency in Russian history before 1917 (and in this forum) to blame the problems of government on the good tsar being misled by nefarious advisors, and doubtless this is one reason why the prevalent image of Rasputin took hold so quickly and easily. However, where in the past the people had sought to oust the advisors in the name of the Tsar, in late imperial Russia this instead was used as a stick to beat the already beleaguered Tsar.

    The fall of the Tsar was informed largely by the fact that his political system was so outdated. While dictatorship was still possible, the political conversation had long since moved on from autocracy and divine right; when defending the ineptitude of the tsar, the narratives sought by his own side were pathetically anachronistic. In the absence of propserity and military success, the Tsar underwent a crisis of legitmacy as it became increasingly clear that his state was so behind the times; politically, economically and militarily.

    The moral of the story is this, no reform would have been possible without undermining the very legitamacy and bedrock upon which Romanov rule rested. Reform would have resulted in Revolution (just like in Europe), and no reform also resulted in revolution (as we saw). Stolypin’s reforms were blocked mostly by the Tsar and his court and the entire purpose if Stolypin’s reforms was to strengthen the economy without triggering Revolution and mass politics.

    Numerous blunders of Nicholas, from the Russo-Japanese war, loss of Russia’s Western territories, ethnic tensions and Nicholas’s blunders in WW1 utterly delegitmised him and caused a mass radicalization on the streets that led to revolution and factionalism with anti-Bolshevik elements starting White terror in the countryside and many different peasant and radicalized intellectuals fighting against what they saw was “outdated” Tsarist autocracy.

    So no, you dont know your history and are utterly wrong in your assessments.

  201. @Sinotibetan

    Good poat. I agree. However, emulating woke Youths in Russia (and Hong Kong and Taiwan) has an emotional underpinning, and because of this is not amendable to reason.

    Also, much of this is also through financing through organization such as the NED.

  202. @Xi-Jinping

    the big winners in 1917 were the peasantry

    And of course it only happened because of grandpa Lenin’s benevolence and the love of uncle Trotsky for the Russian muzhichok!

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

    https://avatars.mds.yandex.net/get-zen_doc/16074/pub_5b93c13e23420100aaa0adf4_5b93c6065960b700aa684d8f/scale_1200

    🙂

  203. Dmitry says:
    @Yevardian

    very ¡Black! but a good read,

    With some historical reasons for this, when you look at the life of the African American jazz musicians in the 20th century.

    In the Soviet Union, creative professionals were often bullied by authority, for many eccentric reasons. But, for example, police are not beating Aram Khachaturyan for nationalist reasons, in the centre of Moscow, after a performance of his latest symphony.

    Yet police really beat Miles Davis outside Birdland, 8 days after the release of “Kind of Blue”, and this attack subsequently affected negatively his creative activity for the following years.

    Charles Mingus because even Miles was irritated by his constant race-baiting)

    To the extent there was racism in jazz in America, it was going in both directions – for example, there were claims in mid-20th century, that white musicians are “more commercialized” and “less authentic”.

    This is particularly idiotic in music, considering that one of the primarily activities of music while you play, is to abstracting your soul from these kinds of trivial topics like nationality, class, politics.

    These kind of claims likely originate from jealously between musicians. And the race of the musicians does have a role in how record companies could market the products to different audiences. So, for example, Dave Brubeck achieved the most mainstream popularity in the 1950s.

  204. Dmitry says:
    @utu

    Yes they can add their political views in margin of the text, although the popularity requirement of commercial art means that mass market films often just inherit the pre-existing stereotypes in the society.

    For example, the populist requirement of the mass market film industry, means that important actors are usually physically better looking than average people, while only the minor characters can have average looking actors to fulfil them.

    So, actor like Morgan Freeman might play a Hollywood stereotype of a “wise black grandfather” (which stereotype could indeed be popular with writers and producers partly for political reasons), but you couldn’t easily use such an actor as the central character in a film aiming for high profitability.

    And then very infrequent are mainstream films where the central character has disabilities, or is fat, or is even over an age of 60, even though a humanistic culture would be interested in those subjects as much as in anyone else.

    You mentioned about Kieslowski films becoming “more kitsch” in France, compared to in Poland. I think one way his French films seem more commercial, is that they have a beautiful young woman actress driving narrative, while in Poland some of his films were able to avoid using any beautiful actresses. For example, in “Dekalog”, he almost avoids using a single beautiful actress. .

    Films which use actors with disabilities, is something I only saw in unprofitable Werner Herzog 1970s films. And to see films with old pensioners as a main character, we find maybe in 1950s Italian neorealism (e.g. “Umberto D”).

    • Replies: @utu
  205. @Xi-Jinping

    Russia had Siberia, Central Asia and the Far East as colonies and then the Caucasus. It also controlled large parts of China. when Do talks about unequal treaties, he isn’t talking about Hong Kong.

    Russia was too inept to turn these colonies into Canada/Australia. Elizabeth did order the genocide of the Chuchki. About half of them were killed.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @Xi-jinping
  206. @AP

    Stolypin, although right, was too little, too late. The emancipation of the serfs was only half done. Peasants were still tied to the Mir with results that reflect in land ownership to this day as I know from first hand.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  207. @Philip Owen

    I partially agree, but today land ownership in Russia hasn’t much to with Mir and everything to do with the absence of private property under Communism.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  208. @Philip Owen

    Russia still has Caucasus, Siberia and Far East. Russia only had Central Asia for a century and a half and transformed this medieval hellhole into something livable. Compare Afghan Tadjikistan to former Soviet Tadjikistan. In fact, if we compare today’s Bangladesh and Pakistan – colonized by the British – with today’s former Soviet Stans, the superiority of the Russian approach is self evident.

    I now see that the Eternal Anglo is strong in you Mr Owen, despite you being a Welshman. Stockholm syndrome much?

    🙂

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  209. @Xi-Jinping

    The peasants other than a few army deserters did not support the Bolsheviks. They were solidly for the SRs. Saratov for example elected Kerensky, a local boy and still voted 50% SR in November. I am a sometime inhabitant of Saratov. Unusually,, I have studied the revolution there rather than in St Petersburg. Urban workers supported the Social Democrats (the city was full of displaced Poles and Balts working at the port supplying grain and meat and in factories). The army, especially junior officers was originally neutral. It just wanted the war to stop. Kerensky’s decision to continue the war opened the junior officers to the Bolshevik strand of the SDs. Then Lenin arrived in Russia with gold. in Saratov, the third biggest city and largest military district in what is now Russia, Lenin’s sisters carried and spent German gold. The Bolshevik/Menshevik division took hold. (the Mensheviks kept the most highly skilled workers, eg the telegraph office but it did them no good. The junior officers and Latvian rifles also in the district forced a Soviet and began a war. At the Latvians probably responded to Lenin’s sisters’ gold. The countryside was against them and not just the Germans and other free peasants. If it had gone the other way and Black Hundreds and White officers had moved first, which they had done earlier in the year, Russian history might have been different. The two machine gun regiments based in Saratov for training were the best armed infantry not already at the front.

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi, Xi-jinping
  210. @Bashibuzuk

    There are three reasons for this betrayal of the

    No! There is a fourth major reason!

    The accursed Lyakhs attacking weakened Russia at its weakest moment, just like hyenas attacking a wounded lion. Many Russian officers understood then that by struggling or being apathetic towards the Soviet state would just help the Polish cause and ambitions. After all you still love and protect your mother even if she had fallen in madness, or try to keep your son safe, even if your son has ended in bad company – that is love! So those brave Czarist officers just protected their delirious Mother from vile jackals dressed in a human clothing! After all Poles wanted a weak, partitioned and defeated Russia, Soviets wanted an utopian but strong and united Russia, yes yes there is always a hindsight, but surely you should understand why any reasonable man would choose to defend Soviet Russia from Poles in beginning of the year 1919.

    So by your analogy communism is a (mental) disease, but what would have been a Polish victory? A death, thats what!
    Especially if you try to look situation, not from the view of present, but how situation looked in the early 1919. Unlike Brits or French, they had the will to power and ruthlessness to annex and separate large and critically important areas from Russia.

    https://zen.yandex.ru/media/id/5b9e7c90bd1d6600aae148b6/vozzvanie-ko-vsem-byvshim-oficeram-gde-by-oni-ne-nahodilis-brusilov-5fb15be7b321633937a7663a

    [MORE]

    К ОФИЦЕРАМ АРМИИ БАРОНА ВРАНГЕЛЯ

    Офицеры армии барона Врангеля!

    Время, опыт должны были обнаружить перед большинством из вас ту преступную и постыдную роль, какую вам навязали ваши вожди, в то время как трудовая Россия истекает кровью в борьбе с польской шляхтой, которую поддерживают хищники всех стран.

    Вы, русские офицеры, выполняете роль вспомогательного отряда на службе польских панов.

    Кто вас ведет? Черносотенный немецко-русский барон, который пытался стакнуться с кайзером Вильгельмом против Антанты; который вел интриги против Деникина, обвиняя его в демократизме; который сейчас выставляет свою кандидатуру на роль хозяина-монарха России.

    Сознавая, однако, свое бессилие, барон Врангель готов отдать своим покровителям и господам три четверти России на растерзание, чтобы остальную четверть поработить самому. Английские газеты разоблачили соглашение Врангеля с французским правительством; по сообщению “Дейли Телеграф” от 19 августа, он передал французскому синдикату монополию вывоза из южных гаваней. “Дейли Геральд” от 30 августа сообщает, что Врангель передал французской буржуазии эксплуатацию всех железных дорог Европейской России, таможенные пошлины, хлеб по норме довоенного экспорта, уголь, три четверти добычи нефти и пр.

    Врангель живет и действует милостью англо-французских капиталистов, которые для экономического закабаления русского народа готовы пользоваться и чехо-словацким корпусом, и дивизиями из чернокожих, и армией Врангеля.

    Каковы бы ни были ваши первоначальные намерения, вы являетесь сейчас не чем иным, как наемным войском на службе биржевого капитала и вспомогательным отрядом кровожадной и хищной польской шляхты, ненавидящей трудовой русский народ.

    Попытки Врангеля перекинуться на Кавказ разбиты, десанты его сокрушены: неделей раньше или неделей позже ваша армия будет разбита. В этом вы сами не можете более сомневаться, но этот результат будет достигнут ценой новых потоков крови и дальнейшего истощения нашей страны.

    Не довольно ли уроков прошлого?

    Не слишком ли ясно теперь для всех, что затягивание борьбы в Крыму, бесцельное само по себе, способно только усилить польских панов и помочь им держать в кабале Восточную Галицию.

    Рабоче-крестьянская Россия нуждается в труде, в хозяйственном и культурном возрождении. Оно может быть достигнуто лишь путем прекращения бессмысленной и бесполезной гражданской войны.

    Во имя единодушного труда всех и всего, что есть честного в русском народе, руководимые заботой о возрождении трудовой России, мы призываем вас:

    Откажитесь от постыдной роли на службе польских панов и французских ростовщиков, сложите оружие, бесчестно направленное против собственного народа. Честно и добровольно перешедшие на сторону Советской власти – не понесут кары. Полную амнистию мы гарантируем всем, переходящим на сторону Советской власти.

    Офицеры армии Врангеля! Рабоче-крестьянская власть последний раз протягивает вам руку примирения.

    “Правда” N 202, 12 сентября 1920 г.

    Воззвание подписали:

    Председатель Всероссийского Центрального Исполнительного Комитета М. Калинин.
    Председатель Совета Народных Комиссаров В. Ульянов (Ленин).
    Народный комиссар по военным и морским делам Л. Троцкий.
    Главнокомандующий всеми вооруженными силами Республики С. Каменев.
    Председатель Особого Совещания при главнокомандующем всеми вооруженными силами Республики А. Брусилов.

    Brusilov was a real patriot, who cherished and loved his Motherland.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @AP
    , @Xi-jinping
  211. @AP

    Muscovy would have been more pure of culture had it not taken in the Little Russians.

    Ivan the fourths Russia culturally pure? How intricate excuses and lies you love to weave, so that the imagined curtain between Russia and Ukraine would grow.
    You are a smart guy, but always your heart is in the wrong place, if Russians would have started to cherish something like cultural purity at the crossroads of Eurasia, without any natural borders, in the age before nuclear weapons, they would have disappeared from the pages of history, Russia is not an island like Japan or peninsula like Korea.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AP
  212. @Xi-Jinping

    How delightful! A new generation Tankie! Or are you a NazBol?

    No matter, as long as you want to crush Baltic and Ukrainian separatists, and subjugate Poland, oh and the most importantly beat America, your heart is in right place!

    Even if I would end in the gulag of Neo-Bolshies, because of my reactionary attitudes, I would get warm and fuzzy feeling in my chest, and forget my hunger, everytime when I would think that there are Russian troops garrisoned in Kiev and Warsaw. Maybe things would not be well for me personally, but at least world would be all right…

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Xi-jinping
  213. Mr. Hack says:
    @AltanBakshi

    The European part of Russia was much like most of the rest of Europe, without impressive natural boundaries that could help limit the spread of the idea of the nation state. And yet in the 17th th century, Central Ukrainian lands had formed an impressive autonomous governing structure within its boundaries. Russia’s role as a huge Eurasian imperial state didn’t occur until much later in its development. Muscovy was and is at the core of Russian state structures, from which all of its future expansion began. By the 17th century, at the Rada of Pereyeslav (1654), the languages of the two peoples (Russian and Ukrainian) had digressed to the point that interpreters were needed in order to help in communicating protocol and policy. By the first half of the 19th century an active movement amongst the Ukrainian intelligentsia was underway that would grow into louder and even more strident forms of Ukrainian nationalism by the early 20th century. Circle forward another 100 years to 2014 and you now have the idea of an independent Ukrainian state (without Russia) firmly in place and seeking stronger bonds with Western Europe. Welcome to Eastern Europe, AltanBakshi. There is nothing original or out of place with AP’s embracement of a Ukrainian national idea.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  214. Mr. Hack says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Two old Bolshies meeting in discourse in the future, one more loyal to the original movement than the other, the other having lost touch with his original mission in life, escaping to a world of nihilism and alcoholic stupor. The first one actually making more sense than the second, as his arguments are at least consistent and not marred with betrayal of the cause. How absolutely touching. 🙁

    • Troll: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  215. @Mr. Hack

    Maybe APs heart is in the wrong place, but your mind definitely is! I criticized APs belief in the cultural purity of Russia before the treaty of Andrusovo, and not his belief in Ukrainian nationhood.

    AP cultures are always under a flux and its too easy to criticize decisions that were made hundreds of years ago. At the same time when Russia was integrating Ukraine, English were destroying Gaelic clan system in Ireland and Highlands, Catholic priests were literally hunted. Were Brits taking a poisoned pill then? After all Irelands struggle against British Empire was seen as an anti colonial movement.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priest_hunter#Ireland

    Or what about your beloved Habsburgs? They annexed huge swathes of former Ottoman territories and got unruly Hungarian noblemen under their rule, who were later the major cause for the downfall of the Austrian Empire.

    Swedes were annexing historic Danish lands of Skåne, Halland and Blekinge, and violently assimilated the local population.

    Also Ukraine proper had more peaceful existence under Russia than it ever had under Poles.

    Its always AP and Bashi Buzuk so easy to see after the things and decisions have happened which would have been the wisest course in the history.

    Welcome to Eastern Europe

    Says American guy who has never lived in the Eastern Europe! Oh well smugness based on the false assessment of present and past is from what the Ukrainian dreams are made of!

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @AP
    , @Mr. Hack
  216. @Mr. Hack

    Will your confusion ever end? I a Bolshie? I was just surprised that there is a possible Tankie or some kind of Maoist here, you know because they have been a dying breed for a while. Theres lots of stuff that I dont agree with them but as long as they are against America and de facto imperialistic and militaristic, they are okay in my books.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  217. @AltanBakshi

    I must agree that Poles (as usual) didn’t help, always overplaying their hand at the worst possible time and never coming to terms with the consequences of their hubris.

    OTOH all the politicians of the time, with the notable exception of the Bolshevik, thought and acted in nineteenth century mindset. Ideology was less important to them than national interests. But as I mentioned above the Bolsheviks were an outlier anyway.

  218. The West is finished, Western women in particular miscengenate like there’s no tomorrow and that’s not just an Anglosphere thing either, miscengenation is rife in France, Germany, etc too, maybe even worse than the Anglosphere to be honest.

    Russia is not immune to it either, it seems that lots of Slavic Russian women miscengenate with Caucasian and Central Asian types, but maybe the impact of this is less damaging in Russia than the West because their non-white groups are more heavily Russified, and not as low IQ as those in the West, and also this type of mixing fits in with the Eurasian agenda that seems popular with the Russian elites.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  219. @Europe Europa

    Women have always been natural-born race-traitors. Makes sense from the biological point of view.

    Also British gals drink too much (even when compared to Slav chicks) which makes them even less mindful of whom they sleep with.

    A woman should be taken care of and steered in the right direction, otherwise disaster ensues. But British men do not seem fit to handle their female counterparts anymore.

    A sad state of affairs really…

    😑

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Dmitry
  220. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    “Muscovy would have been more pure of culture had it not taken in the Little Russians.”

    Ivan the fourths Russia culturally pure?

    I did not claim that. Great Russian culture indeed had many cultural influences. I just pointed out that any purity was further compromised by the inclusion of Ukraine.

    However I should have been more specific and accurate by not mentioning “purity” and instead stating that Russia would have experienced less Westernization had it not annexed Ukraine. Bashibuzuk complained of Peter’s Westernization and I pointed out that this was aided in large part by Great Russia’s annexation of Little Russia (Vernadsky pointed this out also).

    If someone wanted Muscovy to be freer of Westernization and more of a unique civilizational pole, annexing Ukraine was a bad idea.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  221. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    The accursed Lyakhs attacking weakened Russia at its weakest moment, just like hyenas attacking a wounded lion.

    Poland did not claim Muscovite lands but came to the aid of Ukraine whose links with Poland were no less substantial than with Russia.

    Many Russian officers understood then that by struggling or being apathetic towards the Soviet state would just help the Polish cause and ambitions. After all you still love and protect your mother even if she had fallen in madness, or try to keep your son safe, even if your son has ended in bad company – that is love! So those brave Czarist officers just protected their delirious Mother from vile jackals dressed in a human clothing

    Understandable (if incorrect) but the consequences were disastrous. If Poles had succeeded in separating Ukraine from Bolshevik-ruled Moscow, Ukraine would have been spared 3 million Eastern Slavs being starved to death, and another 100,000s would have avoided execution and deaths in gulags. Since Poland couldn’t even succeed in Polonizing Galicia and Volyn, these millions of people would have retained their East Slavic identity. And by avoiding Sovok demoralization they would have avoided a 90s style nihilism and collapsing birth rate that characterized post-Soviet Ukraine (formerly Polish Volyn and Rivne oblasts had the highest birth rate in Europe outside of Albania a few years ago). For Ukrainians/Little Russians, Bolshevik rule was worse than Tsarist rule, worse than rule by a German puppet such as the Hetman, and worse than rule by a Polish junior ally such as Petliura.

    The Tsarist officers who helped the Bolsheviks due to outrage at the Polish incursion are responsible for the death and destruction of millions of Eastern Slavs, perhaps there was a cruel justice for their fate at the hands of their ungrateful Communist masters.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  222. @AP

    For Ukrainians/Little Russians, Bolshevik rule was worse than Tsarist rule, worse than rule by a German puppet such as the Hetman, and worse than rule by a Polish junior ally such as Petliura.

    The Tsarist officers who helped the Bolsheviks due to outrage at the Polish incursion are responsible for the death and destruction of millions of Eastern Slavs, perhaps there was a cruel justice for their fate at the hands of their ungrateful Communist masters.

    Agree with that. But I don’t really think that Polish incursions or the Western intervention was the determining factor in former Tsarist officers joining the Reds. The intervention didn’t help, but the bulk of the “Military Specialists ” (Soviet slang for the former Tsarist officers) joined the Reds in 1918 for the reasons that I listed in my comment.

    These people were dying of hunger and cold and were executed in droves along their loved ones, so they decided that accepting a commanding position in the RKKA was a less terrible outcome than just being wiped out.

    Also the Whites were not pragmatic enough compared to the Reds, which were ruthlessly pragmatic despite all their ideological gesturing.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @AP
  223. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    I could be wrong but IIRC Poland would have allied with Denikin, if Denikin had recognized Poland’s independence with Polish territory being about the same if not less than Poland got at the Treaty of Riga.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  224. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    AP cultures are always under a flux and its too easy to criticize decisions that were made hundreds of years ago. At the same time when Russia was integrating Ukraine, English were destroying Gaelic clan system in Ireland and Highlands,

    Someone who cares about Gales would dislike English rule. Similarly, someone who cares about the Rus people of Ukraine would dislike Muscovite rule (though Muscovites were not as bad as English).

    Were Brits taking a poisoned pill then?

    No.

    OTOH annexing Ukraine introduced and accelerated Westernization to Russia, provided “traitors” in every war, and gave Russia its large and disruptive Jewish population.

    You decide whether this annexation was medicine or a poison pill.

    Also Ukraine proper had more peaceful existence under Russia than it ever had under Poles.

    Ukraine also got a massive expansion and worsening of serfdom, stifling of local language and culture, and in the 20th century, the deliberate mass starvation of 10% of its population.

    Historically the most prosperous and educated Ukrainians were the ones lucky enough to have been under Hapsburgs.

  225. Mr. Hack says:
    @AltanBakshi

    as long as they are against America and de facto imperialistic and militaristic, they are okay in my books.

    A few half muted squawks from China is just global posturing. Real Chinese dissatisfaction with US policy is hard to imagine, as the Chinese themselves would experience unimaginable damage to their own civilization if the US and the dollar were to somehow be totally supplanted by another currency. Trade with the US is king, as the US is by far China’s leading destination for exports. Russia, of course, being a very minor economic player does not have much to lose if things go really sour in the US, therefore, there can not be any sort of real coordinated effort for China/Russia to topple US economic and cultural hegemony in the world. Their interests are totally different vis a vis the US.

  226. Mr. Hack says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Welcome to Eastern Europe

    Well, if you’re presumably someone who’s lived in Eastern Europe, and still holds a torch for Russia, then explain to me why every country in Eastern Europe that was aligned with Moscow (with the exception of Belorus) was so eager to ditch it, once presented with the real opportunity to do so? My point was that Ukraine’s behavior was not unique in this respect, yet I don’t hear you shedding any big crocodile tears about the other countries ditching Moscow and its control? I don’t hear about any of these “iron curtain countries” now lamenting about their decision to change sides?

    • Replies: @Shortsword
    , @AltanBakshi
  227. @AP

    The impression I had was that prior to 1919 all of the countries that became independent from the Russian Empire were biased against both Whites and Reds. I explain – they saw the Whites as the ones who wanted to reestablish the Empire (it wasn’t true for most of White leaders) and they saw Reds as inept, ineffective and leading to further weakening and partition of Russia. IIRC Estonians even went as far as mowing with machine guns fire the Whites that were retreating towards their territory and were closely pursued by the Reds. They did not shoot at the Reds. No one thought that the Soviets would amount to much back then.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @AltanBakshi
  228. @Mr. Hack

    With the exception of Poland and Baltics the narrative of Eastern Europe hating Russia for oppressing them isn’t really true. Lamenting changing sides? Okay, not really, but most former Warsaw Pact has had periods with nostalgia for communism. Most recently it was high for several years after the recession in 2008. This is primarily displays of discontent of the current economical situation rather than actually wanting communism but it’s still something to keep in mind.

    Yeah, they joined NATO but that’s part of a larger economical deal rather than popular desire to be part of a defensive alliance (again, with the exception of Poland and Baltics).

    As for Ukraine, support for Maidan was at best a small majority and Poroshenko’s approval rating turned out to become even lower than Yanukovych’s. Interestingly, the pro-Russian party has recently become the highest polling party in Ukraine (and that’s without Crimea and the separatist regions).

    • Replies: @AP
  229. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Ugh…totally disgusting. British gals, that is (the video clip).

    How do you manage to keep your Celtic woman in line? Any primer lessons? My experience with Ukrainian and Polish women, as regards to “steering them in the right direction” was not, alas, very successful.
    Usually, just a lot of arguing that didn’t amount to much. 🙁

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  230. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Women.. race-traitors

    It’s not that plausible considering that a priori mixed nationality children requires 1 man and 1 woman, to each be representatives of a different nationality, and that historically men might have had a higher proportion of consensuality in their choice of partner, than women.

    Many Latin American nationalities have been created by Latino men mixing with indigenous American women. Historically, in continents like South America, a Latino men would have more consensuality and freedom of choice, on average than the indigenous women.

    E.g. ethnogenesis of nationalities like Argentinians. There is evidence that founding populations are mainly formed by Latin men having children with majority of native American women. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20059473/

    British gals drink too much (even when compared to Slav chicks)

    I think it’s more that they cannot drink as much. Well, it depends on which slavic nationalities. Every Polish woman seems to be able to drink a bottle a wine without changing their behaviour

    But really in Russia, mixed-nationality romantic relations look more commonly young Russian mothers with Caucasian and Central Asian husbands.

    The reason is because gastarbaiters that go to Russia to work for unskilled jobs, have a much higher proportion of men than women.

    Whereas at least student style of immigration into Great Britain might be quite gender balanced.
    Before Brexit, EU immigration into Great Britain, seemed like it could even more women immigrants than men. For example, with Polish immigrants, I wonder that there seem to be more women than men immigrants.

    taken care of and steered in the right direction, otherwise disaster ensues. But British men do not seem fit to handle their female counterparts

    Northern Europe is all turning into a matriarchy, so that hope is unlikely.

    Since school days, I feel like Russia is mostly a de facto matriarchy.

    But what about countries like Finland? Even in politics it doesn’t pretend not to be matriarchy (and Finland’s rulers are all female millennials born after the mid-1980s, which doesn’t seem like it would be supportive of wisdom).

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  231. AP says:
    @Shortsword

    As for Ukraine, support for Maidan was at best a small majority and Poroshenko’s approval rating turned out to become even lower than Yanukovych’s.

    Polls during Maidan placed support for Maidan at 41% and for Yanukovich at 25%. If Maidan were an election turnout would be 66% and Maidan would win 62% to 38%.

    There was a geographic split; Maidan enjoyed a sold majority in the West and Center (where the capital is).

    Interestingly, the pro-Russian party has recently become the highest polling party in Ukraine (and that’s without Crimea and the separatist regions

    It’s in first place, with about 24% support. Most if the rest goes to numerous pro-Western parties. Pro-Russian ceiling is around 30%.

  232. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    A lot of logistical differences.

    An English private corporation (East India Company) was ruling India for many decades, with the only connection by ship journeys across distant seas, rather than subsuming it into an adjacent, contiguous territory.

    English only constructed the Suez Canal in the second half of the 19th century, so for most of the time they had a ship journey around Africa to even arrive in India.

    Of course this history was originally far more cynical and exploitative, than the “benevolent imperialism” that developed towards later 19th century. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_India_Company

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  233. @Mr. Hack

    How do you manage to keep your Celtic woman in line?

    It wasn’t always easy, but we did fine overall.

    🙂

  234. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    That’s about right.

    If Ukraine had managed to extricate itself from Russia permanently in 1917 it would be a thoroughly Ukrainian-speaking country but would have a relationship with Russia that would be as friendly as that between Sweden and Denmark.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  235. @AP

    Not even sure about the thoroughly Ukrainian speaking part. Possibly some bilingualism would have been worked out. The whole linguistic drama is more a questions of resentment. A separation in 1917 would have led to much less resentment overall so there would probably have been more of a balanced attitude between Ukrainian and Russian nationalists.

    • Replies: @AP
  236. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Not even sure about the thoroughly Ukrainian speaking part. Possibly some bilingualism would have been worked out.

    There would have been a small Russian community in Kiev, swamped by the incoming Ukrainians from the countryside who would have retained their language due to schools being in their language thanks to a Ukrainian government (as happened to Germans, outnumbered in Prague as that city grew in the 19th century). Odessa would have likely remained Russian-speaking. Crimea would probably not have been a part of Ukraine.

    According to the 1890s census, Ukraine was overwhelmingly Ukrainian-speaking and therefore would have strayed that way if Ukraine had become its own country (or a Hetmanate puppet of Germany); Russification occurred under Soviet rule.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  237. AP says:

    People in Donbas are interesting. Their two most trusted politicians after Yuriy Boyko are:

    http://www.kiis.com.ua/?lang=ukr&cat=reports&id=992&page=1&t=3

    Viktor Medvedchuk, son of a Nazi collaborator; and this guy, Vadim Rabinovich:

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  238. @AP

    Russification occurred under Soviet rule.

    Not accurate as there was also a thorough Soviet korenizatsia. Also the influx of Russians started at the end of the nineteenth century and was mainly due to industrialization by the time of the Revolution the industrial regions and large cities were Russian speaking. Ukrainian was mainly spoken in the agrarian setting. BTW I remember that the whole of Donbass was not yet part of Ukraine in 1917.

    • Replies: @AP
  239. @AP

    Speaking of poisoned pill, Ukraine should let go of Donbass. It is an alien body in the Ukrainian nation that would only create further problems.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  240. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Not accurate as there was also a thorough Soviet korenizatsia

    Korenizatsia was simply the local Ukrainian officials introducing literacy by teaching Ukrainians (including those coming into the cities from the countryside) in their own language. It was a natural process that was artificially interrupted after a few short years, and replaced with Russification by Moscow. A Ukraine separated from Moscow would not have halted that process. Ukraine would then be as Ukrainian-speaking as Czechia is Czech-speaking.

    Also the influx of Russians started at the end of the nineteenth century and was mainly due to industrialization by the time of the Revolution the industrial regions and large cities were Russian speaking. Ukrainian

    The cities were not that large and there were also Ukrainians moving in. Kiev had 450,000 in 1905, over 650,000 in 1914 and down to 420,000 in 1917. Ethnic statistics indicate most growth came from Ukrainians.

    Urban and Russian-populated Donbas, like Crimea, was not part of Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Shortsword
    , @Mr. Hack
  241. @AP

    Was there a single Ukrainian speaking city?

    • Replies: @AP
  242. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    Do you know what caused the drastic drop in Kyiv’s population from 650,000 in 1914 to 420,000 a few short years later in 1917?

  243. @Dmitry

    It’s not that plausible considering that a priori mixed nationality children requires 1 man and 1 woman, to each be representatives of a different nationality,

    Nationalities are a recent concept. I was writing about Race and/or largely distinct ethnic groups. When you compare the distribution of the Y haplogroups and the mtDNA haplogroups, you find that the mtDNA is much less correlated with ethnicity and Race. This is due to women sleeping with anyone able to protect and feed their offspring, while the men probably preferred staying true to their kin when offered the choice.

    Many Latin American nationalities have been created by Latino men mixing with indigenous American women. Historically, in continents like South America, a Latino men would have more consensuality and freedom of choice, on average than the indigenous women.

    You actually confirm what I wrote. The conquistadors – not having the beautiful mediterranean Spanish ladies around – had to mate with the Cholitas. But the Cholitas had a lot of Cholos to choose from, and yet preferred sleeping with the Viracochas. The Spaniards were not Race-traitors, they just needed to have sex (which they did with the women at hand), but the Cholitas were Race-traitors programmed by the biological selection. Basically, an average woman will ignore all abstractions if not enforced on her by her milieu and some thorough brainwashing. Women are usually not into abstractions and Race is to some extent an abstract category. Women will see a person, where some guys (the majority?) would see a racialized phenotype.

    E.g. ethnogenesis of nationalities like Argentinians. There is evidence that founding populations are mainly formed by Latin men having children with majority of native American women.

    Again you confirm what I wrote above.

    I think it’s more that they cannot drink as much.

    Perhaps, but the Anglo girls are well known for their binge-drinking.

    But really in Russia, mixed-nationality romantic relations look more commonly young Russian mothers with Caucasian and Central Asian husbands.

    Soviet propaganda helped a lot normalizing the interethnic marriages. Also, this is perhaps due to Muslim types being less drinking and more family oriented. More patriarchal, many women despite all their pretense would actually love to find a man strong enough to act as a patriarch. I remember meeting a Tatar taxi-driver in Moscow who married a Russian girl, got five kids with her and got her converted to Islam. The guy was in his late thirties and he told me that his wife was younger than he was. How many Russian dudes would have been able to do the same with a Muslim girl from Tatarstan? Rhetorical question, given that the majority of Russian guys would actually never have five kids in the first place, even with an ethnic Slav gal.

    Before Brexit, EU immigration into Great Britain, seemed like it could even more women immigrants than men.

    Yeah, last time I was in London (3 years ago) the ladies working in the hotel and the restaurant were all Eastern European.

    Northern Europe is all turning into a matriarchy, so that hope is unlikely.

    Since school days, I feel like Russia is mostly a de facto matriarchy.

    Agree to both, Russia was very patriarchal before the Revolution and only became a matriarchy after WW2, at the same time the men had it good because there were too many women around in the early 50ies so the guys kind of got a little complacent.

    But what about countries like Finland? Even in politics it doesn’t pretend not to be matriarchy (and Finland’s rulers are all female millennials born after the mid-1980s, which doesn’t seem like it would be supportive of wisdom

    Last time I was in Finland (4 years ago) I already felt that Finnish gals were interested by the foreign guys. They actually have lots of good looking and charming women there, if I was single I would have loved spending some fun time in Finland. So basically, Finnish guys better grow some and ensure their rights, if they want to keep all these beauties to themselves.

  244. @AP

    What? That Russia would have created some kind of juche civilization in the early 17th century or something? Westernisation was needed, or the Russias fate would have been same as Chinas or Turkeys. But its impossible to argue with you, because you just cant accept that things are in a constant flux and its always easy to imagine a better solution to problems and challenges after they have happened. Especially after generations and centuries.

    Theres different types of westernisation, you can reform and continue your cultural and religious traditions, like the Japanese did, or vainly and shallowly imitate and ape it like Koreans(Evangelical Christianity, circumcision etc…). Westernisation does not equal of having the same values and/or religion as the countries of the Western Europe.

    worse than rule by a German puppet such as the Hetman, and worse than rule by a Polish junior ally such as Petliura.

    Oh yes their rule was so long that you can deduct how the course of history would have been, the power of your mind or should I say imagination, never leaves me unsurprised.

    The lost struggle with the Irish was the first defeat of the British Empire, first time when the non-Anglo subjects won their liberty, it could be said that it was the prelude for the downfall of the Empire. There was a long and protracted struggle in British politics before that regarding the Irish question, Irish were a strong anti-imperial element in the heart of the empire and they were organised under the Irish Parliamentary party. Gandhi and other Indian leaders of anti-colonial struggle gained quite a lot hope and optimism from the fact that the Irish Free State was established in the early 20s, it showed them that victory against British Empire was possible, even for a small nation as long as they dont lack spirit and vigour in their struggle.

    Mr Hack I believe that St. Petersburg and European Russia are situated in the Eastern Europe, or do you beg to differ? By the way nowadays Visegrad countries claim that they are Central European, in my opinion they are right.

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @AP
  245. @Bashibuzuk

    Not all, Finland, or the Whites who had won the Finnish Civil war were extremely sympathetic towards the White cause in Russia, Mannerheim the military leader of Finnish Whites and former general of Russian army even wanted that Finns join the Russian civil war on the side of the Whites, but he couldnt gather enough support from war weary and exhausted people, still he planned that if he would have been elected as president in 1919 that he would declare war against Soviet Russia and attack St Petersburg in coordination with the forces of Yudenich, but he lost the elections.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  246. @Mr. Hack

    Why some one wants to ditch a failed economic system, hmm so puzzling?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  247. AP says:
    @Shortsword

    Poltava was the only one. However, again, at that time cities were small. Ukrainians like Finns, Balts, Slovaks, were a rural people; all of these peoples has small foreign-speaking cities at one time, before the villagers moved in. What usually happened was that the cities changed language as their populations grew due to the influx of country people. So Prague switched from German to Czech speaking. This began to happen in Ukraine too, until the Bolsheviks shut the process down. They allowed Ukrainian to continue to be used in schools in the countryside but cities were Russian.

  248. utu says:
    @Dmitry

    There was a period when freaks and people with disabilities were central figures in films. Marcello Mastroianni who came from Fellini’s “be yourself” and “do what I say” school of acting and who never got Oscar (though was nominate three times) joked that if he played an invalid in a wheel chair he would get an Oscar or even two, the second one for the wheelchair. Doing foreign accents like Meryl Streep or being crippled or autistic like Dustin Hoffman was a cheep shot or a crutch that belongs to vaudeville in the world of Mastroianni.

    The difference between the “Decalog” and “DLV” and “B+W+R” is more than pretty actresses. The soundtrack is too dominant and manipulative in DLV and in B music plays the lead role while Juliette Binoche is supporting actress. Of the four Kieslowski’s French films R is the most intellectual and B is the most captivating because it is visceral via music.

    I do like Kieslowski and his films very much but in retrospect I value him now less. His collaborator who was coming up with the ideas for scrips to Decalog and the later films should be remembered. He wrote the script for “Heaven” by Tykver with Cate Blanchett after Kieslowski’s premature death. There was supposed to a be trilogy Heaven, Purgatory and Hell that Kieslowski and Piesiewicz were working on. I am not sure what happened after the Heaven.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  249. Mr. Hack says:
    @AltanBakshi

    And yet, if I understand you correctly, Ukraine should have stayed loyal to and continued being tied to a sinking ship?

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  250. @Bashibuzuk

    Something I’ve noticed is that women in general seem to have a natural dislike of their own men. This seems to be an innate, biological trait in women. It’s not just white men who complain about their women being race traitors, Asian men complain about the same thing and it’s a well known thing that black women dislike black men.

    It probably originated as a instinct to prevent inbreeding, but in a degenerate, multi-racial society it can easily get out of control, especially when the native men are politically marginalised and a lot of women are in positions of authority.

    It’s always been this way, before dating blacks and Muslims became a thing, British women used to swoon over “dark and handsome” Greek and Spanish waiter types.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  251. @AltanBakshi

    OTOH the Suojeluskunta just massacred the Russians of Vyborg, Red, White, nevermind: if it’s a Venäläinen mies he gets killed.

    Also, Mannerheim wanted to attack Petrograd because he wanted to reassert Finnish ancestral rights on the Neva isthmus. As if Finno-Ugric Vodi, Nudi and Izhora tribes who inhabited the region prior to building of St Petersbourg were the same as Suomi (Finns).

    And unrelated, but Mannerheim was a pederastic homosexual and an exhibitionist. Not surprisingly he got along well with Uncle Adi.

    We’ve seen better as a father figure for a recently independent nation.

    Here you can learn more about Finnish nationalism and its roots:

    https://sputnikipogrom.com/europe/73757/suomi/

    (God I miss Спутник и погром)

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  252. @AltanBakshi

    Russia would have created some kind of juche civilization in the early 17th century

    I wish it did. That would have been way too cool!

  253. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    My aunt by marriage, from Murmansk that I describe in some detail in my comment #9 above, I suspect had strong Finno-Ugric roots, was quite the good looker. Her warm personality was enough to warm anybody’s heart. I think that it’s pretty much accepted that the Finnish input to Russian DNA, especially in the northern zones, was quite prevalent. Would you agree that many Russians just don’t really look very Slavic, but more Scandinavian? I’ve read somewhere that Ukrainians generally, actually are taller than Russians, but my own observations, are just the opposite, and many Russians seem to look like taller Scandinavians that I’ve lived among for a good portion of my life.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  254. @Mr. Hack

    As I have stated before, your powers of analogy always amaze me.

    How Ukrainians could leave a sinking ship when they were the sinking ship? Or do you claim that Russia did not leave the sinking ship?

  255. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    What? That Russia would have created some kind of juche civilization in the early 17th century or something?

    I agree with Bashibuzuk that this would have been very cool.

    Westernisation was needed, or the Russias fate would have been same as Chinas or Turkeys.

    Maybe, or maybe Russia could have waited until the 1850s so that the Westernization was less cultural in nature (as had been the case in Japan). Of course, the world would then have been denied Russia’s incredible high culture.

    worse than rule by a German puppet such as the Hetman, and worse than rule by a Polish junior ally such as Petliura.

    Oh yes their rule was so long that you can deduct how the course of history would have been,

    One doe snot need to have a powerful mind to guess that neither a Hetman Ukraine nor a Petliura Ukraine would have murdered 3 million Ukrainians in the 20th century.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  256. @Bashibuzuk

    Mannerheim was not an ethnic Finn, most of your comment is based on rumours.

    • LOL: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  257. @AP

    Its always about hindsight with you, so tiring…

    Lack of westernisation would meant same as a weaker army and state, which wouldve resulted in things like continued nomad slave raids and… hmph Im not going to waste time by explaining matters that are self evident for any man who is capable of rational thought….

  258. @Bashibuzuk

    The principle of shared collective ownership passed over to Soviet collective farms and then to modern ones. They are unbuyable short of going bankrupt because the descendant of some who left in 1955 can come back and claim part ownership. It needs huge teams of lawyers to cancel these things. Bankruptcy is much easier.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  259. @Philip Owen

    Basically all boils down to Kolkhoz, exactly what I wrote above when I mentioned the absence of private ownership in the Communist Russia. In the pre-revolutionary Mir obsshina, you would have been able to buy the house and the adjacent garden (двор) and the arable land attributed to that house (надел). The Mir would have had to accept you as a standing member of the community and to confirm your right to toil that land. Mir was more of a cooperative than a commune. Perhaps a Sovkhoz was a closer analogy to Mir than a Kolkhoz.

    A hint: there are many deserted villages attached to bankrupt Kolkhoz in the Russian glubinka. A Russian agrofood company I once collaborated with simply bought a couple of these adjacent bankrupt Kolkhoz farms in the south-central Russia and brought in gastarbeiters. And of course the people who signed the papers were all Russian citizens. Perhaps this is the bankruptcy angle that you have alluded to.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  260. @AltanBakshi

    The whole long read by “Sputnik and pogrom” was based on rumors? There was no Greater Finland ideology among the Finnish nationalists? The Finnish White Guards killed no Russians in Vyborg?

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

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

    I know that Mannerheim was not ethnically Finnish. So were many among the early Finnish nationalists and statesmen: Swedes used Finnish nationalism to break Finland from Russian Empire.

    The fact that Mannerheim was a bisexual pederast is well known, they’ve even made an animated movie about it and aired it on Finnish TV:

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

    Anyway looks that it was quite prevalent among the Finnish males in pre-war Finland.

    https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/thesis_gay_male_relations_common_in_pre-war_finland/7032431

    Perhaps this is why Tom of Finland became the staple of the twentieth century homoeroticism and defined the pseudo-Nazi manner in which these gay gentlemen liked to LARP.

    https://g.co/kgs/L4dfoM

    Today it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Actually given the privileged status the LGBTQ people have nowadays, Finns should be proud of their pink White Guard marshal and their world-renowned homoerotic artist.

    Горячие финские парни…

    (Now that I think about it, this might also explain the prevalence of female politicians in Finland, that Dmitry has written about.).

    • LOL: AltanBakshi
  261. Mr. Hack says:

    And your powers to obfuscate the issue seem to me to be even more amazing.

    Ukraine was not the sinking ship, but the newly reconstituted U.S.S.R that was renamed as the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) that Putin was pushing on all of the former countries of the Soviet Union was. Ukraine always distanced itself from this new entanglement and was more interested in a Western orientation that included its neighboring countries, former members of the iron curtain countries.

    • Replies: @JL
    , @AltanBakshi
  262. JL says:
    @Mr. Hack

    I don’t think this is right, CIS was a Yeltsin era creation and never enthusiastically pursued by Putin. Putin’s project was more the Eurasian Union.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  263. @Philip Owen

    The difference between european colonies was not that they tried to assimilate as Russia did with its multiethnic empire. The conquering nation would send colonists over that would kill the local population (for the most part) or exploit them as laborers to be working the mines to get gold (south america under the spanish for example). This led to a policy where the people it conquered did not view themselves as part of that nation but as subjugated ethnicities, which is what partly led to speratist movements in all the former colonies.

    The difference with Russia is that it did its best to assimilate disparate peoples, which is why Russian empire lasted for as long as it did and why many nationalities consider themselves russian (even when they clearly are not).

    Russia was too inept to turn these colonies into Canada/Australia. Elizabeth did order the genocide of the Chuchki. About half of them were killed.

    Russia did not need to turn them into Canada’s or Australia’s because unlike all the European colonies it was connected by land to these territories and was not administering some distant lands purely for resources. To be fair Soviet policies of assimilation where in many ways similar to those of the Tsar.

  264. @AltanBakshi

    brave Czarist officers

    You mean the same Tsarist officers who instituted White Terror and shot 40, 000 brave peasant muzhiks at Rostov before the Red’s came to liberate them and stop the bloodshed?

  265. @AltanBakshi

    A new generation Tankie!

    How delightful! Another person trying to be cool by being ‘anti-Soviet’ and against the greatest point in Russian history, where Russia achieved its greatest successes!

    beat America

    The reason the USSR must be brought back is to punish America for what it did to Russia. This is also why I support China. It remains the last country able to punish America for its transgressions!

    To be against the USSR is to be pro-American and anti-Russian

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  266. Mr. Hack says:
    @JL

    You are correct. I got the two groupings mixed-up.

  267. @Mr. Hack

    Moving the goalposts, are we? Both Russia and Ukraine left the sinking ship of communism, who the hell was thinking in 1990-1991 that CIS is the sinking ship?

    • Agree: Shortsword
  268. @Xi-jinping

    You mean the same Tsarist officers who instituted White Terror and shot 40, 000 brave peasant muzhiks at Rostov before the Red’s came to liberate them and stop the bloodshed?

    Eh? I was writing about Czarist officers who joined to Red Army, so that they could protect Russia from external enemies.

  269. How hard it is for some folks here to understand that Peter I or Stalin were not responsible or at fault for what the leaders of succeeding generations did? There are other examples but lets use Peter I and Stalin, both of them probably did their best in hard circumstances, and both left Russia in quite a strong position, are they responsible for decisions made by leaders who succeeded them?
    We all know cases where one generation has been hard working and earnest, but succeeding generations have wasted their inheritance and ended in bad circumstances, is it automatically the grandparents fault if their grandchildren end up being junkies or scoundrels? Even if those grandparents have been honest and good people? You cant say that these things never happen to good people. Same with the governments and nations. This topic is very simple and self evident for any man who has even a rudimentary knowledge of Classical philosophy, of Platon and Aristoteles! Nay! This is self evident for any man who has some common sense!

    Mr Hack already has confessed that he thinks of himself as a victim, so Im not expecting much from him, but you AP and Bashi-Buzuk too? Do you believe that Peter I, Ivan IV and Stalin are somehow permanently responsible for what has happened to Russia after their deaths?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @Mr. Hack
  270. @AltanBakshi

    Ivan VI is not responsible for the Time of Troubles, Godunov is.

    Peter the Great is the one who engaged Russia on the road to westernization. He did that through a brutal reform that was extreme in all its aspects. It ended up with Russia losing a significant part of its population, its political system becoming unstable and its economy being weakened.

    It took the monarchs that followed Tzar Peter a couple of generations to fix these problems. But the two most important trends established by Peter: westernization and the self – colonisation of Russia by its westernized elite have never been reversed and reached their most extreme expressions under Lenin and Trotsky.

    Ever since Peter the Great, Russian masses have been denied a truly Russian way of building their nation and in fact the Russian nation building has never been completed. Russian elites built an Empire instead where the Russian muzhik was oppressed as much or even more than the other ethnic groups.

    [MORE]

    Stalin was a career criminal and a terrorist before becoming a dictator. He was a sociopath. Why should we consider him as a great Russian politician evades me. He was not Russian, he killed millions of Russians and also botched the war preparations, which lead to mass killing of Russians by the invading Nazis. The only good thing he did was creating the Jewish Autonomous Region of Birobidzhan (Sarc). And Stalin held a positive view of Peter the Great, for obvious reasons…

    I would personally consider Tzar Peter as the pivotal figure in the transformation of Russia into what it is to this very day: an imperial self-colonizing structure profitable to a westernized elite and its Western (and now Chinese) clientele. Russia must put the wellbeing of its populations first and Imperial grandstanding last. And it should “nationalize” its elites: no more foreign citizenship, nor bank accounts or real estate abroad for anyone holding important political and economic responsibilities.

    Russia for Russians and Make Russia Great Again!

    🙂

  271. @Mr. Hack

    It went both ways: what would become Finno-Ugric people, Balts, Slavs and Turkic tribes intermixed since the neolithic. Corded Ware Culture impacted all of them. Carlos Quiles even came to (an extreme) conclusion that CWC people might have been initially speaking a proto Finno-Ugric language.

    https://indo-european.eu/2020/06/de-neolithisation-of-corded-ware-groups-in-the-eastern-baltic/

    Basically, both modern day Ugro-Finns and modern day Balto-Slavs are descendants of the CWC. The cultures were close before the religious divide and nation-building – both historically speaking recent phenomena.

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  272. Mr. Hack says:
    @AltanBakshi

    If you don’t consider losing one’s grandparents and other members of your extended family, due to the maliciousness of policies and methods of organization reasons to feel victimhood, then your more of a heartless bastard than I’ve ever imagined. These lives were callously murdered for no good reason. Shooting people for hiding less than a sack of grain to help sustain the lives of family members is no good way to run a country, Comrade. Thankfully, you’ll never get away with trying to sweep these humanitarian crimes under the rug. The time for calumniators of the truth is growing shorter and shorter all of the time.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  273. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Does Mr. St. Claire look Slavic to you? Give him some grey hair and the beginnings of a second chin, and he looks, like somebody very dear and near (identical). Notice his slanted eyes?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  274. @Mr. Hack

    My great grandfather died fighting against the Red Army(he had good reasons unlike cursed banderites, hiwis and vlasovites) and my grand father was in a Soviet prison, does it make me a victim? No, they are or were victims, not me. You are a thoroughly modern and American individual with your concept of victimhood, how a man of European origins could have been judaized so completely with his values and sense of justice as you? No wonder that your negroes have gotten so uppity and even have such absurd demands as reparations from slavery. Oh well they have the same attitude as you, only difference is the skin colour…

    There are numerous other examples of suffering because of the Soviets in my family, not just my great grandfather and grandfather.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  275. @Mr. Hack

    A typical Slav would be Vitally Solomin, but of course Slavs are quite admixed.

  276. Mr. Hack says:
    @AltanBakshi

    And you, Mr. Modern Sovok, appear to have internalized a whole host of deracinated soviet ideologies where family ties mean little, and loyalty to the larger political entity is the Alpha and Omega.

    For me, never being able to meet one grandfather and not really getting to know my other three grandparents is reason enough to feel victimhood. I find it difficult at times to communicate with my cousins via skype, because of our varied backgrounds and upbringings. 🙁

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  277. @Bashibuzuk

    The system evolved. True.

    Russian country people do not work. All the agro businesses I work with prefer to bus in workers from cities and larger villages. Peasants like to be paid for a few weeks work at harvest (pays for an old car and a TV) and spend the rest of the year rearing a dozen pigs with ducks and chickens. If you have no ambition, it’s enough. They don’t have many children though. Rural people usually procreate.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  278. @Bashibuzuk

    Also, an economic dinosaur. Coal and its children.

  279. @Mr. Hack

    appear to have internalized a whole host of deracinated soviet ideologies

    It seems to me that you are ideologically stuck in the Reagans America. So its very hard for you to fathom that things are not as simple and dualistic in the real world. To me it doesnt matter if the system is capitalistic, socialist, or mix of both, only thing what matters is how well the economic system can be utilised in the behalf of the state, or how well the system works. I dont have and I never have had any loyalty to any system or theory of economics. Though in my youth I did belong to a mainstream economically liberal and socially conservative party in one of the Nordic countries, before they became just another neo-liberal party like all the others. The follies of the youth. Till the mid 2000s I even naively thought that Russia could one day join the EU, and Europe could become an independent power centre, free from the trashy and degenerating influence of America, my thinking was much more Mitterandian in those days, alas, the Munich conference in 2007 and Georgia in 2008 woke me up and I understood finally that Europe had lost all its spiritual and civilizational vigour and vitality, that it was enough for Europe and Europeans to become just an appendix of America. A collection of mediocre dependencies.

    Do you guys remember Putins friendship with Schröder and Berlusconi in the mid 2000s? Those were simpler times for Russo-European relations.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  280. @Philip Owen

    The best Russian rural people were culled by the Communist when they eliminated the Kulaks and imposed a stiffening collectivization. After the WW2 people did their best to leave the glubinka to escape the kolkhoz system. Also, serfdom didn’t help to keep the most courageous and ambitious among the rural people of the central gubernyas. The most energetic ones ran away to join the Cossacks and the Siberian Old Believers or bought their freedom and become artisans and merchants in the towns. Perhaps the last true Russian muzhiks are to be found among the Old Believers. They kept alive what Holy Rus used to be before it got entangled in the Western tropes:

  281. @AltanBakshi

    my thinking was much more Mitterandian in those days, alas, the Munich conference in 2007 and Georgia in 2008 woke me up and I understood finally that Europe had lost all its spiritual and civilizational vigour and vitality

    Actually it was the Euromaidan that made me finally lose all hope in the Europe, or how EU politicians dealt with whole Ukrainian situation, at least after the Georgian conflict EU made a quite balanced and neutral report about the beginning of that conflict.

  282. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    women sleeping with anyone

    But you are writing about “culture loyalty”.

    I was talking more “genetic loyalty” (perhaps a meaningless term, but something which determines whether nationalities will remain “racially pure” in the 20th century sense – for example, as this “purity” would be seen in 1930s Germany by Nationalist Socialist ideologues).

    Needless to say, woman needs a man to produce a child, so by definition there is equal “race betrayal” by both a man and a woman, every time a mixed nationality child is born as a result of consensual relations.

    Spaniards were not Race-traitors, they just needed to have sex (which they did with the women at hand), but the Cholitas were Race-traitors programmed by the biological selection

    Well you are writing about cultural loyalties, where it may be true that women were historically changing sides more easily than men.

    But in the genetic sense of “race-traitor”, there is by definition equal input from the man and woman, each time a mixed nationality child would be born.

    If you (assuming non-Chinese or non-Indian man) consensually have children with a Chinese or Indian woman, then you are just as a responsible for loss of “racial purity” in the next generation of Chinese or Indians, as the woman is.

    Although from some certain historical context, it might not be viewed as loss of racial purity, but rather a new ethnogenesis – for example, in the creation of new nationalities in Latin America by a mixture of Latino men with Indigenous American women.

    Anglo girls are well known for their binge-drinking.

    Yes, but if your nationality becomes well known in stereotypes for public drunkenness – here would be an indication of a lack of ability for drinking.

    propaganda helped a lot normalizing the interethnic marriages. Also, this is perhaps due to Muslim types being less drinking and more family oriented. More patriarchal,

    Simply, if you flood a country with tens of millions of male immigrants (as in the Russian Federation in the last couple of decades, excluding even the discussion of internal migration in a multinational country), then it is inevitable that some of them are getting local wives.

    This is a result of the immigration dynamics, and happens perhaps more easily in Russia, in absence of some kind of religious or legal barrier (for example, Islam and Sharia Law that reduces this in Arab countries with large guest worker populations like UAE or Qatar).

    If in the last twenty years instead, Russia has been flooded with millions of young German men, or millions of Italian men, then it would be the same result intensified, with intermarriage rates significantly higher.

    Tatar taxi-driver in Moscow who married a Russian girl, got five kids with her and got her converted to Islam.. majority of Russian guys would actually never have five kids in the first place, even with an ethnic Slav

    Expending the years of your youth driving all day in Moscow’s traffic, to pay for 5 children? To my ears, sounds like a kind of painful purgatorium .

    How many Russian dudes would have been able to do the same with a Muslim girl from Tatarstan

    Among Tatars, more often probably now nationalism rather than religion that would prevents marrying Russians – in terms of secularization, they are just a generation behind the Slavic population, and two generations behind Jews.

    Because of being a minority, the Tatar nationality is in much worse demographic collapse, than Russians.

    In couple of generations, Tatars will almost be demographically unviable as a separate nationality. And unlike Jews, there is no 1990s emigration to Israel to save part of the nationality from being absorbed into the Russian nationality.

    “In the post-war period rising intermarriage was accompanied by a great increase in the proportion of children born to mixed couples. In 1959, out of all children born to Tatar women, the percentage of children born to mixed couples (we have no data on the number of such marriages) was as low as 8.6%. Twenty years later, in 1979, it was 31.0%, or 3.6 times more. Among the urban Tatar population in 1989 this percentage reached 40.2%. At the same time, in 1989, the percentage of children born to mixed couples among all children born to a Jewish mother reached 59.2%, or 2.2 times more than in 1959.

    Data on the offspring of mixed Russian-Tatar and Russian-Jewish couples show a clear preference for Russian ethnic affiliation of children. Even according to the 1994 microcensus, this was the preference on average for 81% of the children of Russian-Tatar couples, and 89% for those children born to Russian-Jewish couples.”

    “According to the 1979 and 1989 census data, the average number of children ever born fell dramatically among Russian and Tatar women born in the 20th century. For Tatar women this indicator decreased from about 5 children per woman born before 1909 (i.e., for women aged 70 and over in the 1979 census) to 2.42 for those born in 1939–43. The 1914–1918 cohort of Russian women had already reached a level of 2.49 children ever born. In other words, there was a time lag of about 25 years between Tatars and Russians. Russian women born in 1939–43 had 1.82 births compared with 3.59 for women born before 1909. However, starting from 1919, the birth cohorts of Jewish women had a very stable and low level of fertility — about 1.4 or less.”

    https://www.bjpa.org/content/upload/bjpa/c__c/Tolts_EPC%20Milan,%2019951.pdf

    Finnish guys .

    Although I’m not sure we know much about pre-literate Finnish peoples, in general in Northern Europe, there had been a tradition of matriarchy before the Roman invasions, and later Christianizations.

    Ancient Mediterranean cultures were mainly extremely patriarchal. However, in Northern Europe the situation was different at least by the time they were observed by writers. In the 1st century, Tacitus describes that are some matriarchal societies among Ancient German tribes.

    A culture shock for Romans, about Northern European barbarians, related to the dominance of women, or e.g. how among these tribes women are wearing the same clothes as men.

    When Romans invaded Great Britain, they were resisted unsuccessful by Iceni, under command of a woman Boudicca – subsequently crushed in a typical Roman style, including destruction of London.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defeat_of_Boudica

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Bashibuzuk
  283. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    Simply, if you flood a country with tens of millions of male immigrants (as in the Russian Federation in the last couple of decades,

    In addition, there is massive internal immigration to the largest cities, with young women internally immigrating to cities like Moscow at higher rates than young men. So there is a situation of excess of young women internal immigrants to men internal immigrants, in the economically largest cities.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  284. Dmitry says:
    @utu

    Also note that “Dekalog” is further time-compressed (just 50 minutes for each film), and probably as a result it relies more in “dream symbolism” and “visual metaphors”, and less time for conventional narrative – in comparison with Kieslowski’s French films which are around 90 minutes .

    For example, in the end of comedy episode 10, there is a visual metaphor of “Cerberus”, but the director is polite to us, and doesn’t explain too much.

    When a woman is ruining family Christmas night for a taxi driver in episode 3, she makes him crash into the yule tree. If I remember, the camera moves fast away, so it doesn’t seem “overexplained”.

    When a daughter wants to reclaim her child in episode 7, viewing the child as a kind of toy, the genetic father is shown as a manufacturer of plush toys bears.

    This visual metaphor to describe the meaning of the story, is like how dreams are supposed to communicate – but Kieslowski allows the audience to decode without forcing us too much.

    In films made in France (I’ve only seen two of them though), there seems to be more time for narrative, and I noticed less use of the visual metaphors.

    freaks and people with disabilities were central figures in films

    Like in “Forest Gump”? Tom Hanks, one of the actors most representative of idealized “normal man”, is fulfilling the adventures of a mentally disabled observer of 20th century American history.

    It’s successful entertainment, but in opposite of a humanistic spirit of realist art, e.g. entering into the life of people we wouldn’t normally know, building empathy, objectivity, etc.

  285. @Dmitry

    Really terrible take. Fiction informs most of people’s thoughts on pretty much any subject you care to name. This applies especially to people’s mental picture of foreign outgroups.

    The one distinction they can make somewhat is between those depictions which are meant to be constrained to one character’s particular personality, and which have broader implications about the character of a group. A new yorker puts on blue tights and flies around foiling villains -> obviously not generalizable to new yorkers. Most of the characters in a film in new york are crass, boisterous, and obnoxious -> immediate implications about new yorkers that will probably be internalized to some extent by the viewer.

  286. @Dmitry

    Indo-Europeans, Slavs among them were quite patriarchal.

    About the Cholitas, it was not only culture but also race that were different. The Spaniards were absolutely aware of the racial aspect and preferred marrying the Spanish women when possible. It’s just that Spanish women were in short supply at the time of the conquest and colonization. I believe that the Cholitas were also aware of the racial aspect, but preferred the dominant and affluent Conquistadors to their enslaved Native kinsmen.

    The most blatant case was the Bell Beaker folks taking over Western and Central Europe. In England they replaced more than 90% of the local male lineages, but female lineages continued undisturbed. Local women just mated and had children with the Bell Beaker men.

  287. Soloview says:

    I am surprised at Anatoly’s take on the picture. He is a harsh judge (“No redeeming characters”, “walking caricature of a dysfunctional, vodka-swilling, chain-smoking vatnik”, “the degenerates he fleeced”, “his wife is a whore”, “hot-shot lawyer..scurries away back to Moscow””) who has only one doubt among the actors in the movie, and that is about the villain-of-a-mayor-who-has pangs-of conscience-but-is-egged-on-by-a-fanatical-priest”. But the real problem, in my view, is that Karlin doesn’t get the jewel of a movie by Andrey Zvyangtsev at all.

    First of all, it is not a docu-drama about actual life of Russia’s Murmansk region in the times of “power verticals” of Putin. It’s about way more than facts and statistics and the spread of atheism in the north. (Though Murmansk had no churches after the last one was closed in 1920’s had two new ones built during perestroika). At any rate, any inauthentic props in the film, cannot overshadow the profundity of Leviathan’s theme, which is the story of an ordinary man, whose life is, suddenly and utterly destroyed by two sudden, inexplicable disasters in a cosmic calamitiy, that comes out of nowhere. Anatoly finds Kolya “boorish and highly unlikeable” without pausing to consider that it is the master artist who paints the popular town car mechanic with dirt under his nails, with a sure purpose. Similarly, Lilya, Kolya’s wife is no “whore”. Whores do not throw themselves off cliffs in pangs of guilt over the craziness of the idea of escaping the boredom of a small town in the Arctic. She loves Kolya and realizes how deeply she hurt him by his fling with Dmitry. The “hot shot” lawyer “scurries away back to Moscow” alright, but it is not just his ego that was bruised by being outplayed and humiliated by the nemesis of his childhood friend. That too, Anatoly appears to have missed.

    No, this was not a commentary on life in a region in Putin’s Russia. The Kalashnikov shootup of portraits of past Soviet leaders during the picnic should have given Anatoly a clue. It didn’t and so he was lost in a profound, moving, beautifully told, story, in perhaps the best film to come out of Russia post sovok.

    • Thanks: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  288. @Soloview

    I watched it on a plane, therefore I didn’t have the full impression that would have come with a wide screen. I still found the movie interesting.

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