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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Annals of Russian Hypocrisy: S.N.A.F.U.

ZheZhe offers a translation from the Russian publication Literaturnaya Gazeta which is a classic example of Russian analysis. In other words, it's a complete mess, with every clever insight balanced by a statement that is not only completely insane but utterly self-destructive.

The author's theme is the unfairly stereotypical image of Russia to be found in the minds of Westerners. He calls for a "completely different Russia." So guess how he fairly, accurately characterizes the West:
The point here is that public opinion in the West, especially in the United States, is dominated by the cult of ethnic, sexual, and other minorities, along with minority peoples and small countries.
Breathtaking, isn't it? He then turns right around and argues against a third term for Vladimir Putin, stating: "Besides, international experience shows that remaining in power for a long time isn’t good for the leader himself or the society he leads. Firstly, two terms are enough for a president to do what he can. Secondly, power is a great temptation; would it really be wise to set a precedent?" International experience? You mean in the WEST? The place "dominated by the cult of ethnic, sexual and other minorities"? Uh . . . yeah.

The guy then actually goes on to make a three good points. (1) He admits that Russia isn't an "energy superpower" because it only exports raw materials. (2) He admits: "If Russia has some of the world’s highest levels of corruption and organized crime influence, we can hardly expect to gain the respect of the civilized world." (3) He even admits that "in the process of fighting the anarchy of the 1990s, an imbalance has indeed been created: too many powers given to the federal government and the executive branch, the bureaucracy becoming even more powerful, and a drastic reduction of pluralism in the media, especially the electronic media."

But then the bottom falls out, and we're right back to square one again. When he asks what should be done about societal corruption in Russia, he answers: "the state needs to take resolute action against crime and corruption," thus directly undercutting the third point he'd just made about the excessive power of the state.

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