The Russian World and European Civilization

4122823192_fed122294d_b_Russia

In recent years, both the Western as well as the liberal Russian press have had a lot to say about Russian “barbarianism,” as if to contrast it with European “civilization.” But a closer inspection – through the prism of the heroic pages of Russian history – of the two groups’ moral ideals and actual lives presents us with quite a different picture.

For example, in pagan times, ancient Russians never worshipped a god of war, although their contemporaries in Europe were transfixed by their own martial deity, constructing an entire epic narrative around the concepts of war and conquest.

After defeating the “infidels” (the Golden Horde), Russians never sought to forcibly convert them to Christianity. In the epic poem “Ilya Muromets and the Pagan Idol,” the Russian hero liberates Constantinople from that mythological monstrosity, but refuses to become the voevoda (or ruler) of the city and returns home. Ancient Russian literature does not include tales of personal enrichment through conquest or plunder, although this is a common theme in the Western canon.

The hero of the “Nibelungenlied” is obsessed with his search for a hidden treasure – the Rheingold. The main character of the ancient English poem “Beowulf” dies, having beheld “the gorgeous heirlooms, golden store … Now I’ve bartered here for booty of treasure the last of my life.” It would never occur to any hero from a Russian epic to sacrifice his life in exchange for riches.0_a7d63_94b1899b_XXL Ilya Muromets is not even able to accept the inducement offered by the brigands he meets – the “golden treasure, richly colored robe, and as many fine horses as he needed” (citation from the Russian fairytale “Ilya Muromets and Nightingale the Robber”).  He did not hesitate to reject the path by which he would “be rich,” instead voluntarily taking the road on which he would “be killed.”

And it is not only in this epic, but also in the legends, tales, songs, proverbs, and folk wisdom of the Russian people where it is evident that one’s duty to uphold one’s personal or tribal honor is something quite distinct from any duty to exact personal or tribal revenge.

The notion of retaliation, as such, is absent from Russian folklore, as if it were never part of the original “genetic code” of its people – the Russian champion has always gone to war as a liberator. And in this we can see the difference between Russians and Western Europeans.

The Russian historian and philosopher Ivan Ilyin wrote:

“Europe cannot grasp us … because the Slavic and Russian way of contemplating the world, nature, and man is something alien to it. Humanity in Western Europe is motivated by will and intellect. The Russian people are above all guided by their hearts and imaginations, relegating the mind and will to a supporting role. Therefore, the average European is ashamed of sincerity, scruples, and kindness, viewing them as “foolishness.”

A European, nursed on the ideals of Rome, is secretly contemptuous of other nations and desires to rule over them. Russians, however, on the whole expect kindness, scruples, and sincerity from others.

The Russian people have always enjoyed the natural freedom of the vast space they inhabit … gazing “in wonder” at other nations, getting along with them amiably, with hatred only for oppressive invaders … “

Russians’ congenial relationships with their geographic neighbors are testament to their sense of justice and mercy. The Russian people never committed the same atrocities for which the enlightened Europeans were responsible in their own conquered lands.

The psychology of the nation includes a certain principle of moral restraint. These naturally strong, resilient, dynamic people have been endowed with an amazing ability to survive.

This spiritual strength is also the basis for Russians’ renowned forbearance and tolerance toward others.

Continually invaded from all sides and forced to live in an incredibly harsh climate, the Russian people managed to colonize vast swathes of land, but without slaughtering, enslaving, robbing, or forcibly baptizing any nation.

Western Europeans’ policies of colonialism annihilated the aboriginal populations on three continents and forced natives from across Africa into slavery, while its cities grew rich on the backs of those colonies.

The Russian nation, which also waged wars that were not purely defensive, acquired, like all great nations, large tracts of land, but never treated their conquered subjects as the Europeans did. The European people reaped the benefits of Europe’s conquests and its cities were enriched by the colonial plunder.

Emperor Peter I the Great in Tarqui June 13, 1722

Russians robbed neither Siberia nor Central Asia nor the Caucasus nor the Baltics. Russia has preserved every nation within its borders, acting as their protector, granting them the right to own land and property and to practice their own faith, traditions, and culture.

Russia has never been a nationalist state – it has belonged to all who inhabit her. The Russian people were granted only one “advantage” – to bear the burden of nation-building.

The resulting state was like no other in the history of the world, and the Russian people defended it with their own blood, willingly sacrificing their very lives.

Precisely because they have borne so much suffering and heavy sacrifice, my people deeply empathized with the pain and suffering of other peoples languishing under the Nazi yoke.

And after liberating their own homeland, Russians channeled that same spirit of self-sacrifice and energy into liberating half of Europe.

This was an example of epic heroism! These are the stouthearted people born of the Russian earth! And I believe that such a feat can be accomplished even by a great nation only once a century.

The patriotism displayed by Russian soldiers in the fields of the Great Patriotic War met the highest ideal of patriotism – something unprecedented in the history of any nation anywhere in the world. And I will never agree with the media’s pronouncements about Russian “barbarianism” vs. European “virtue.”

I stand proud that our ancestors – our heroic ancestors – were so lovely, steadfast, courageous, and resilient, and that we are their descendants!

19-06-2016

About the author:

Anna Zhdanova is the 16-year-old student of a higher school in the Belgorod region (Central Russia). She is a laureate of a regional contest for the young journalists.

Source in Russian: Politikus.ru

Translated by ORIENTAL REVIEW

Source: http://orientalreview.org/2016/06/19/the-russian-world-and-european-civilization/

800px-Imperial_Standard_of_the_Emperor_of_Russia_(1858–1917).svg

RELATED POSTS
09.03.2001, Berlin, Berlin, Germany - Zoran Djindjic, serbischer Ministerpraesident der Bundesrepublik Jugoslawien. 00M112016CARO.JPG GT, Image: 141207614, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: , Model Release: no, Credit line: Profimedia, Alamy
Odd as it may seem, October 5, 2000 was not the first time the Western powers engaged in “regime change” in Serbia. There are many similarities between the October 5 regime change and the Western involvement in putting the government of Josip Broz Tito and the Communist Party in charge of Yugoslavia in 1945. Just as Slobodan Milošević received faint praise from the West as “factor of peace and stability” in the Balkans, General Draža Mihailović was praised by the Western Allies during the war – yet support for both was limited mostly to words and empty propaganda gestures, and only so ...
READ MORE
NATO: Seeking Russia’s Destruction Since 1949
In 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, U.S. president George H. W. Bush through his secretary of state James Baker promised Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev that in exchange for Soviet cooperation on German reunification, the Cold War era NATO alliance would not expand “one inch” eastwards towards Russia. Baker told Gorbachev: “Look, if you remove your [300,000] troops [from east Germany] and allow unification of Germany in NATO, NATO will not expand one inch to the east.” In the following year, the USSR officially dissolved itself. Its own defensive military alliance (commonly known as the Warsaw Pact) had already ...
READ MORE
The 6 Reasons China And Russia Are Catching Up To The U.S. Military
Why the Gap In Military Superiority Is Closing? China and Russia are still behind the U.S. militarily. But they are both showing surprising breakthroughs that – sometime down the road in the future – could threaten U.S. hegemony. The Washington Times reported last month: Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Wednesday warned Russia and China are quickly closing the military technology gap with the U.S. as inconsistent military budgets and slower innovation threaten America’s lead in the military world. *** “It’s evident that nations like Russia and China have been pursuing military modernization programs to close the technology gap with the United States,” he continued. “They’re ...
READ MORE
When Canada invaded Russia
The corporate media presents Russia as militaristic but ignores Canada’s invasion of that country. 100 years ago today a popular revolt ousted the Russian monarchy. Enraged at Nicholas II’s brutality and the horror of World War I, protests and strikes swept the capital of Petrograd (Saint Petersburg). Within a week the czar abdicated. Later in the year the Bolsheviks rose to power in large part by committing to withdraw from the war. The English, French and US responded to the Bolshevik’s rise by supporting the Russian monarchists (the whites) in their fight to maintain power. Six thousand Canadian troops also invaded. According ...
READ MORE
The West Versus Russia:  Towards The End Of A Pax Americana?
A peaceful dissolution of the USSR according to the agreement between Mikhail Gorbachew and Ronald Reagan in 1988 in Reykjavik brought a new dimension of a global geopolitics in which up to 2008 Russia, as a legal successor state of the USSR, was playing an inferior role in global politics when an American Neocon concept of Pax Americana became the fundamental framework in international relations. Therefore, for instance, Boris Yeltsin’s Russia capitulated in 1995 to the American design regarding a final outcome of the USA/EU policy of the destruction of ex-Yugoslavia in November 1995 (the Dayton Agreement) followed by even ...
READ MORE
The Russian War Crimes in Syria in 2016-2017: Exclusive Photo Evidence
Exclusive photos of the Russian war crimes in Syria and the Middle East by "Free Media Group" volunteers, 2016-2017 with a proper illustrations of the Russia's militant imperialism:   The My Lai Massacre by Russian soldiers The Russian soldiers at the spot of My Lai Massacre with their victims Aleppo citizen with a daughter during the Russian destruction of the city Russian Orthodox monk in Moscow in protest against the Russian invasion of Syria Syrian children of war and the Russian occupant soldier   Killed Russian student in Moscow by Putin’s SS troops in protest against the Russian invasion of Syria and the Russian war crimes in ...
READ MORE
The ghosts of World War I circle over Ukraine
We don’t yet know the details behind the tragic downing of the Malaysia Airlines jetliner over eastern Ukraine on July 17, but in one sense, the details aren’t going to matter very much in the global scheme of things. The geopolitical outcome is already known. World outrage has focused on Russian president Vladimir Putin to such an extent that Putin has suffered a huge loss of moral authority. That, in turn, lessens his range of actions in his ongoing confrontation with the West over Ukraine and increases the likelihood that Russia will lose its traditional dominance over that split country ...
READ MORE
Serbia Under The EU’s Ultimatum On Kosovo’s Independence
Serbia entered on December 14th, 2015 a final stage of negotiations with Brussels on the EU's membership. It is known, however, that the EU gave an informal ultimatum to Serbia to recognize Kosovo’s independence for the exchange of becoming a full Member State of the EU. The western (the USA/EU) client Serbia’s Government is currently under the direct pressure from Brussels to recognize an independence of the narco-mafia Kosovo’s quasi state or to give up an idea to join the EU. It is only a question when a western colony of Serbia has to finally declare its official recognition of ...
READ MORE
Twenty-Five Years Since The USSR Collapse: The Eurasian Economic Union Has A Promising Future
On December 8, 1991 Russia, Belarus and Ukraine stated that the USSR ceased to exist and signed an agreement on the creation of the CIS. Mikhail Gorbachev, the President of the Soviet Union, resigned on December 25, 1991. The Russian Federation assumed the USSR’s rights and obligations to become the recognized primary legal successor of the Soviet Union. Each post-Soviet state was free to choose its own destiny but the need to cooperate and maintain mutually beneficial close economic ties was evident. The creation of the Eurasian Customs Union was guaranteed by 3 different treaties signed in 1995, 1999 and 2007. The first treaty in 1995 guaranteeing ...
READ MORE
Putin Is Defeating More Than ISIS In Syria
Russia and its President, Vladimir Putin, a little more than a year ago, in July 2014 were the focus of attention in Europe and North America, accused, without a shred of forensic evidence, of shooting down an unarmed civilian Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine. The Russians were deemed out to restore the Soviet Union with their agreement to the popular referendum of Crimean citizens to annex into the Russian Federation and not Ukraine. Western sanctions were being thrown at Russia by both Washington and the EU. People spoke of a new Cold War. Today the picture is changing, and profoundly. ...
READ MORE
Angela Merkel Ignores Otto Von Bismarck’s Advice Never To Quarrel With Russia
It has been 200 years since the birth of Otto von Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor who unified Germany. Otto von Bismarck emphasized the importance of good relations with Russia. "The secret of politics? Make a good treaty with Russia", he said. Bismarck was convinced that a European security system without Russia would be impossible and war with Russia would be disastrous. Bismarck had been Prussia's ambassador to the Russian Empire. He was no Russophile, but he had an understanding of the geopolitical situation that almost no politician today possesses. Let's imagine that Bismarck left a letter to the following rulers of Germany, ...
READ MORE
Europe Between Kosovization And Jihadization
Today the Old (dying out) Continent is under multi-faced crises pressure some of them having older roots but the others are product of current political decisions and moves by the European decision makers (and those who are behind them across the Ocean). The European oldest and mostly painful crisis-problem is a biological declination of the whole continent what from the economic point of view means, at least for the western countries, an import of a huge number of the „outsiders“ in order just to keep the same level of the economic production and national GDP. This solution of course produce as ...
READ MORE
Why the Ukraine crisis is the West’s fault
According to the prevailing wisdom in the West, the Ukraine crisis can be blamed almost entirely on Russian aggression. Russian President Vladimir Putin, the argument goes, annexed Crimea out of a long-standing desire to resuscitate the Soviet empire, and he may eventually go after the rest of Ukraine, as well as other countries in eastern Europe. In this view, the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 merely provided a pretext for Putin’s decision to order Russian forces to seize part of Ukraine. But this account is wrong: the United States and its European allies share most of the ...
READ MORE
Western Democracy Is An Endangered Species On Its Way To Extinction
The British Labour Party no longer represents the working class. Under UK prime minister Tony Blair, the Labour Party became a vassal of the One Percent. The result has been a rebellion in the ranks and the rise of Jeremy Corbyn, a principled Labourite intent on representing the people, a no-no in Western “democracies.” Corbyn is too real for the Labour Party Blairites, who hope to be rewarded with similar nest eggs as Blair for representing the capitalist One Percent. So what is the corrupted Labour Party doing to prevent Corbyn’s election? The answer is that it is denying the vote to ...
READ MORE
The Jewish Role In The Bolshevik Revolution And Russia’s Early Soviet Regime
In the night of July 16-17, 1918, a squad of Bolshevik secret police murdered Russia's last emperor, Tsar Nicholas II, along with his wife, Tsaritsa Alexandra, their 14-year-old son, Tsarevich Alexis, and their four daughters. They were cut down in a hail of gunfire in a half-cellar room of the house in Ekaterinburg, a city in the Ural mountain region, where they were being held prisoner. The daughters were finished off with bayonets. To prevent a cult for the dead Tsar, the bodies were carted away to the countryside and hastily buried in a secret grave. Bolshevik authorities at first reported ...
READ MORE
The United States and the “Russian Devil”: 1917-2017
Conservatives have had a very hard time getting over President Trump’s much-repeated response to Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly’s calling Russian president Vladimir Putin “a killer”. Replied Trump: “There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers. You think our country is so innocent?” One could almost feel a bit sorry for O’Reilly as he struggled to regain his composure in the face of such blasphemy. Had any American establishment media star ever heard such a thought coming from the mouth of an American president? From someone on the radical left, yes, but from the president? Senator John McCain on the ...
READ MORE
Has Democracy Gone Missing? Or Was It Ever Here?
With a general election looming in the United Kingdom and Spain possibly following Greece’s revolt against austerity later this year, we need to think, not just who or what we are voting for, but why we should vote at all. People are suffering from a deficiency which is as unbalancing as a hormone or vitamin deficiency. What we are severely lacking in is democracy. Many of those pondering on the state of politics feel unhappy and somehow depleted. They haven’t yet realised it is democracy that’s lacking because they have believed what so many politicians have told them, over and over ...
READ MORE
Historical & Other Maps
Administrative division of the Roman Empire about 395 A.D. Europe in the early Middle Ages: The Carolingian Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Arab Caliphate and the Slavs Europe in 526: The Germanic kingdoms and the Byzantine Empire Ethnographic map of Europe about 900 Europe, North Africa and the Near East at the time of the First Crusade The Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania after the Kreve Union (1385) A time after the First Crusade German Central Europe about 1500 Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 13-15th centuries The Balkans from 1815 to 1859: Political division between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy The Balkans in ...
READ MORE
The Russians Are Coming
As 2016 closes, we find ourselves a deeply unsettled nation. We’re unable to draw the lines of our national interest. Is it jobs and economy, is it national security, or is it now in our interest to ensure global security — in other words, act as the world’s policemen? As the “failing” (to quote Trump) New York Times degenerates into a Washington Post organization with its stagnant Cold War vision of a 1950s world where the Russians are to blame for most everything — Hillary’s loss, most of the aggression and disorder in the world, the desire to destabilize Europe, etc. — the Times has added the ...
READ MORE
“Regime Change” in Serbia, 1945 and 2000
NATO: Seeking Russia’s Destruction Since 1949
The 6 Reasons China And Russia Are Catching Up To The U.S. Military
When Canada invaded Russia
The West Versus Russia: Towards The End Of A Pax Americana?
The Russian War Crimes in Syria in 2016-2017: Exclusive Photo Evidence
The ghosts of World War I circle over Ukraine
Serbia Under The EU’s Ultimatum On Kosovo’s Independence
Is Slavery Still Exist?
Twenty-Five Years Since The USSR Collapse: The Eurasian Economic Union Has A Promising Future
Putin Is Defeating More Than ISIS In Syria
Angela Merkel Ignores Otto Von Bismarck’s Advice Never To Quarrel With Russia
Europe Between Kosovization And Jihadization
Why the Ukraine crisis is the West’s fault
Western Democracy Is An Endangered Species On Its Way To Extinction
The Jewish Role In The Bolshevik Revolution And Russia’s Early Soviet Regime
The United States and the “Russian Devil”: 1917-2017
Has Democracy Gone Missing? Or Was It Ever Here?
Historical & Other Maps
The Russians Are Coming

Comments are closed.