The Beast, Not the Beauty

Yury Nesterenko

"Russia is finished"
M. Voloshin, Russian poet

Russia is Evil - evil in its pure, absolute form.

This thesis engenders a deep-seated visceral revulsion even for those individuals with an extremely negative attitude toward the Russian authorities, the majority of whom would still say: “I hate the State, but I love my country". Russian Authority, in its turn, counters with the simple thesis: "Who is against the State is against Russia!"

Alas, it is sadly necessary to recognize that this thesis, which at first glance appears to be the crudest and filthiest lie issuing from the Ruling Power is, amazingly, true. The Ruling Power is, in reality, synonymous with Russia. More accurately, it is one of the indispensible components of Russia, the second one, of course, being the Russian people. Let's call a spade a spade - these people are really a slavish biomass that has birthed, fed and supported the Authority for the past eight centuries. The State, which we despise - and rightly so - did not arrive from Mars or crawl from Hell. For the entire course of Russian history, it has been generated and reproduced in various, but always ugly, forms by this same country and by these same people. There is simply no one else to blame.

Oh yes, it is possible to lay the blame at the feet of aliens. Russian nationalists embrace the popular idea that "Russia is not - and was not - ruled by Russians, but by ‘alien occupants and invaders. One can say - as I myself used to do - that Russia as a state (not to be confused with ancient Rus, the confederation of almost independent principalities that were quite modern and progressive for that era) was generated from one side by the hordes of Asian conquerors, and from the other side, by the traitorous Moscow princes and other collaborators such as Alexander Nevskiy[1].

Thereafter, these princes of Muscovy absorbed and in turn infected Russia with all of the worst features of the Horde (not that the Mongols possessed any particularly redeeming features). They at first used the Mongols to destroy their competitors in a naked contest for power. Hitherto, the nation had been united - by violence and abominable characteristics, but at least united.

This is like saying a serial killer or child molester is the victim of his own violent childhood. While this may explain deplorable behavior, it cannot in any way excuse it.

Eight hundred years should be sufficient time to recover from the consequences of even a catastrophe such as the Mongol invasion[2], over three-quarters of a millennium in which to evolve and develop into a civilized people and nation. Unfortunately, over all these centuries Russia failed to evolve. In fact, the situation degenerated. The most disgusting inclinations and sins developed, strengthened and were elevated into objects of national pride. Historians have counted not less than 18 attempts at modernization and liberalization over the course of Russian history; each failed miserably. How much more obvious can it be? What more proof is required of Russia's complete inability to evolve into a liberal, modern state, and - more importantly - of her utmost lack of desire to do so?

But what about the alien contamination? Indeed, there came to Russia foreign elements not only from the East but also from the West. In either case, the result was the same. What did the Western-educated princess Sophie Auguste Friederike von Anhalt-Zerbst do, after ascending to the Russian throne as Catherine II? She, to be known in history as Catherine the Great, came from small and poor German princedom, where there was no imperial tradition. Rather than bringing Western influence to Russia, Catherine absorbed the spirit of the land, strengthening absolutism, executing a policy of unification and forced Russification, imposing serfdom on Ukrainians and taking the oppressions of serfdom to new depths, which led to the great peasant riot of Pugachov, introduced the Jewish Pale (strictly limited geographical area beyond which the Jewish population could not live or travel), trumped up a bloody provocation for the purpose of annexing independent Georgia (Georgia was promised military protection from the Persians and the retention of most of her sovereignty. All of Russia's pledges were broken in cowardly acts of betrayal. The Persians devastated Georgia, which rendered it helpless against Russian occupants.), exempted the nobility from mandatory military service, sent progressives such as writers Novikov and Radishchev to jail (lucky in their cases not to the executioner's block), fostered unprecedented (even for Russia) corruption and ended her reign with an empty treasury and a government bureaucracy in paralysis .

And Catherine's reign is called "the Golden Age” - a high point in Russian history!

Western European blood flowed in the veins of both the Ryurikovich and Romanov dynasties of Russian tsars. The only difference was that in the case of the former, the European component had been diminishing over the generations, while increasing in the Romanov line. In neither case did the foreign admixture result in anything of a positive nature. And during the “pure Russian” period - the century after The Time of Troubles, from 1598 to 1613, before the Romanovs introduced the custom of marrying German princesses, there were also no achievements of note. What the country saw was inertness, complete stagnation, and obscurantism.

Nor was Russia's utter backwardness a matter of the vices of the various historical personalities. One of the most disgusting monsters in world history - Ivan the Terrible - began as a reformer. The fact is that Russia is a hopeless swamp where the best and brightest are trampled into the mud and the most progressive undertakings are stillborn. Contrary to Marx's thesis, this is a country where people - with the minutest exception - express sincere hatred for freedom, including - above all - aversion to their own liberty. This is a people who deeply despise the very sense of self-respect and intelligence ("don't get smart”), a people who hate anyone who manages to elevate himself. The individual who achieves something by dint of effort and hard work triggers far more envy than the lucky dolt who wins the lottery. The very desire to live independently and to prosper is regarded as sinful, while to be a part of the brainless, inarticulate crowd - passive, submissive ("don't you even try to better yourself”) - proud to live in dirt and squalor, willing to sacrifice the individual without blinking an eye in the name of that seething mass, and in the name of Mother Russia, the Empire, the State, whatever this apparatus that existed, swollen on the blood of this people throughout history - THIS is regarded as the Highest Good.

Russians are a people that always sincerely and passionately adored its tyrants and oppressors (both domestic and foreign); and the worse the tyrant, the greater they were loved! It is significant to note that the Russian name "Ivan Grozny” (“Ivan the Terrible”) is practically untranslatable into any Western language. The English translation “the Terrible” conveys a different meaning than the Russian. The Russian word “grozny” is close to English "stern", but has a different connotation: it is not an expression of horror or revulsion, but rather an appellation of respect and admiration for this bloodsucker. Russians are lower than slaves because even slaves dream of freedom. This is a nation of grovelers who pine only for ‘a good master'; what they want in a ruler is not decency or fairness, but rather someone who arouses fear - in both Russia's neighbors and in its own people ("our master is a stern one - you will not get around him”). This masochistic pride in a whipped bum and a bitten mug (what other country measures its military achievements by the sizes of its losses?!) is nevertheless combined with a crafty peasant mentality, ready to cheat the Master given any opportunity. It is not even the principle “Enslave us but feed us", described by Dostoyevsky; it's actually worse: “Enslave us and everybody around us, and we are ready to starve for this achievement!”

That being said, the Russians are able to express discontent with Authority, but only in a slavish manner: cursing the Master under their breath; setting him on fire while drunk; and so forth, but never lifting a finger to really improve their life. The Ruler can be the worst tyrant - and this is often the case in Russia - but is it the Ruler who prevents you from repairing your broken fence or paving the mud-filled pothole in front of your doorstep?! And should some benighted soul actual fix the fence that has lain in disrepair for all those years, the new lumber would be immediately stolen by a neighbor. And the neighbor would steal it not in order to repair his own fence, but just for the sake of stealing; most likely the lumber would end up decaying in a backyard. And, if he couldn't steal the lumber, he would destroy it out of spite: Look at them! Who do they think they are to put on airs! You're too good to be dirty like the rest of us?

Who else, on the entire planet, has such a craving to destroy, abuse, and vandalize - splashing vicious obscene graffiti on everything that is clean and beautiful? That craving flourishes not just in remote alcohol-soaked towns and villages, but also on the Russian Internet, among so-called "intellectuals", who spend hours and hours trolling for one purpose only - to cause mischief, Seeking to provoke online feuds and conflicts in blogs and forums, spreading deceit, etc.

I hear the spiteful voices of would-be critics: "Oh yes, you say it's the Russian people who are always guilty. The liberals - so smart, so educated in the ways of the West - are cursed to live among that inert and slavish population." The real irony is that the critics who are striving to be ironic are ignorant of their own history. For centuries, Russian liberals placed their fondest hopes (as they continue to do to this day) on the Common People: Sure, the inchoate masses are drunkards and ignoramuses, but it's not their fault. It's the Authority that is keeping them in the dark and in misery. They've been brainwashed by propaganda from church pulpits and mass media. The People, in their souls, are pure and kind. They only have to be patiently educated, and then in a century, maybe only in 50 years, they'll attain enlightenment. Unfortunately, the basis for this trust has been completely unsubstantiated.

So it comes down to this: There are already enough of these sniveling liberals (laying down the same stale paradigm of useless self-sacrifice for the entire herd), carrying soap and a bucket of water to wash the black dog. But this dog will gobble you up without even choking, just as it swallowed all of your predecessors. And in the end, it still won't be white. Eight centuries of bloody depravity and baseness, eighteen failed attempts at modernization - these were not enough? Isn't it the time to finally acknowledge the obvious truth: this country and this people ARE HOPELESS.

Needless to say, I do not support the Authority by any means, nor do I relieve them of responsibility for their actions. Russian Ruling Power was always a crude and primitive power, but the Authority of today is the climax of inexcusable infamy. Compared to today's rulers, even the bureaucratic party hacks of the Brezhnev era appear to have had at least some conscience and sense of shame. However, the Ruling Power is only the apex of the iceberg, or if you prefer a snake-headed Hydra. Remove the tip and the ice underneath will float to the surface; behead the Hydra, and it will grow a new head - nastier than first.

The experience of the past might still not be enough evidence for some. “If 18 attempts (at modernization) was not enough to achieve the goal, maybe the 19th will be the charm. Cancel the dominance of Government-controlled TV, run honest elections, and...”

Sadly, this is an illusion. By now the diagnosis is final- the patient is terminal. The most recent attempt at modernization was different from all previous attempts: in the past, all such attempts made from ‘the top down', let alone riots among the lower class, never brought freedom to the people. They produced minor relaxations, but nothing changed fundamentally. However in the final decade of the Twentieth Century, there was genuine freedom - not much of anything else, but there was freedom. A free media was flourishing; there was the free right of assembly, an actual multi-party system and honest elections (honest, at least, in comparison to what we see today)! Practically everything that the Russian opposition dreams about today - had already been achieved. And what is more important, there was a broad flow of information even though some of it was still under the control of the KGB, Ministry of Defense, etc. Granted that the key figures behind the Communist dictatorship were not put on trial as were the Nazi perpetrators at Nurnberg (this was the major fault of the Yeltsin government, not the bribe-ridden privatization carried out by Yeltsin's right hand-man, - Chubais). However, there was a plethora of information available to the public about the crimes of the Communist regime which made it impossible for even a lazy citizen to be ignorant in this respect.

In addition, the fall of the Iron Curtain brought with it the possibility of unhindered travel abroad, the possibility of seeing the West with one's own eyes and gaining an independent perspective.

And now this people, having attained all of this, voluntarily flushed their freedom down Putin's toilet (remember Putin's infamous expression: “We'll kill all those terrorists while they are in the toilet room.”). The public gave the midgets in the Kremlin an inconceivable approval rating of 70% (and this rises higher with each imperial manifestation - especially appreciated by the public was the naked aggression against Georgia), readily voting for Putin's United Russia Party. (The vote count was undoubtedly falsified, but not by the order of magnitude of the end result).

The horrific consequences of the past should be, and are, still remembered by many. Nevertheless, Russians are overwhelmed with nostalgia; consider the word democrat a curse word; hate America, Europe, NATO, and all who make common cause with them (especially those who have managed to pull themselves out of the claws of the Russian "Big Brother" - namely, the former colonies of the Soviet Union). Stalin - the beast who exterminated more Russians than all of Russia's foreign enemies in its entire history put together - and who was also responsible for the nation's gigantic losses in the Second World War, was almost elected the Face of the Russia. Though, it should not look strange - like the Country, like the Face. ”Saint” Alexander Nevskiy, who actually edged out Stalin for the title, is also a well-deserved symbol: a bloody henchman for the Mongols who had a penchant for slicing off the ears of those of his fellow countrymen who dissented. In a recent poll carried out by Russian TV, Stalin was initially leading in the polls. Ultimately, possibly through manipulation of the vote count, Alexander Nevskiy pulled ahead.

Even now, during Putin dictatorship, the Authority's control over the hearts and minds of the population (if the word "mind" is here applicable) is far from complete. Not less than a third of Russians have access to the Internet. "The Great Chinese Firewall" blocking access to ‘undesirable' sites still remains for the Kremlin gang an unrealized dream. And how do they use this treasure? The political forums are filled with their fulminations against the West, Georgia, Ukraine, democrats and - of course - the Jews[3], and with weepy nostalgia for the glorious days of the Soviet Union and the golden era of Stalin. Western broadcasts are no longer jammed, but no one listens to them anymore because the broadcasters are affiliated with "Russia's eternal enemies". The rest of the world does not march in unison; only Russia, Venezuela and the Republic of Nauru[4] march in cadence. Russians can still travel abroad with no restrictions, but what does the average Russian do when out of the country (even if he's abroad for months or years)?

He watches Russian cable TV (specially ordered and paid for), lauds Putin, ignores alternative information, and refuses to examine and analyze government propaganda for its obvious contradictions and inadequacies.

The entire nation has lost the power of logical reasoning. Russians (meaning first and foremost ethnic Russian, not just Russian citizens) sincerely and bewilderingly believe in propositions that would seem to be mutually exclusive (and this is not an exaggeration - the author has actually met and conversed with people holding such beliefs):

Who doesn't think these people are utterly hopeless?! At the risk of being repetitive, the bulk of the population which call themselves Russian patriots sympathizes with the Soviet regime that caused more suffering to Russians than all their enemies combined during the entire course of history. At the same time, anti-communists are regarded as ‘Russia-haters', and this is no more possible to explain by mere ignorance. That's not just a diagnosis, but rather the postmortem conclusion. Like a poisonous serpent whose head has been severed, the body of this nation is still thrashing, presenting a danger to everybody around, but its brain is already dead.

We'll hear the objection: “Not everybody embodies this attitude. Even if Putin's popularity rating is indeed 70%, at least 30% are against him!"

Yes, reasonable and normal Russians do exist. But these do not constitute 30% or even 20% of the population. Because to not support the current Kremlin Rulers does not prove one is decent or sane. It's an indication, but in and of itself is insufficient evidence of sanity.

In the first place, the majority of the ‘non-supporters' of the Kremlin support nobody - not even themselves. Politics is too complicated for them; their interests do not extend beyond the next bottle of vodka. Secondly, even if we look at the ideological opposition - what is it comprised of?

For the most part, they are either pro-Soviet-Stalinist types or dull-witted supporters of the Empire and followers of the ultra-nationalist movement of the last tsar epoch, Black Hundred. With all their theoretical antagonism, these are flip sides of the same coin. For both of them, the highest value - completely senseless and unsupported by reasonable thinking - is the Empire (regardless of what it's called). They want a mammoth-size State (the larger the better) with a mammoth-size power used for nothing other than further increasing that size and power, for intimidating the rest of the world, as well as its own population.

The Empire does not exist to provide its people with food and freedom. Quite the contrary, this very desire is disdained and regarded as unspiritual and treacherous. The Individual is debased to being nothing more than a cog in the machine; the highest obligation, the most joyous act is self-sacrifice for that Imperial monster (whether called ‘collectivism', ‘communalism' or ‘conciliarism'). At the head of Empire is a sacred Leader with unlimited power of sanction over the population (let alone other countries) - all for the sake of "the greatness of the State”. As has already been stated, the crueler and more murderous is the Leader, the more he is respected.

The value of people in the Empire is so insignificant that even its notorious expansion is conceived of in terms of territory, rather than additional population. To destroy a million or more people in order to acquire or retain a piece of territory - be it even wild and barely suitable for life - is the proper act of a Leader. But if the Leader does the opposite - should he renounce territorial claims for the sake of peace and the preservation of people's lives, then he will immediately lose his stature and become a "traitor to the national interest". That's why both camps viscerally hate Gorbachev and, especially, Yeltsin. To them, Putin is definitely better, but still is insufficiently bloodthirsty, either not bold enough in restoring the Soviet Union or giving too much freedom to ethnic minorities.

In reality, both categories of “Empire-supporters” are so close that all their apparent differences become inconsequential. As a result, ‘Sovpats' (Soviet-patriots) fall into anti-Semitic rage (as they did during the Soviet era), and make a declaration of love for the Russian Orthodox Church (an astoundingly prostitutional organization: throughout its entire history, there were no tyrants and butchers, foreign or domestic - from Mongols to communists and Nazis - with whom the Russian Orthodox hierarchy would not cooperate). For their part, the ‘Natpats' (National-patriots) demonstrate identical passion for Stalin. The term "red-brown"[5] that appeared in the early 90's is as relevant, if not more so, today.

Some may object that other countries have their own nationalists and Empire-nostalgic citizens, but that's no reason to write them off. However, the situation is not identical. Firstly, there are many less such people in other countries (and they are usually much less radical); secondly and above all, those empires actually had some positive aspects. We can debate the benefits European colonizers brought to the underdeveloped nations - civilization or exploitation - but it's indisputable that the populations of the European power-states profited from their imperial status. Even the Third Reich, which brought so much suffering to so many nations, still produced many good things for the German people (until all economic and social achievements were erased by war).

But the Russian Empire - in both its Soviet and earlier monarchical incarnation - brought only misfortune upon the Russian people. The Russian Empire was always a senseless enterprise, whose eternal unprofitability over the entire span of history, was littered with the spent lives of Russians. Russia gave rise to the term “reverse Empire” - where the condition of the dominating Empire was worse than that of its colonies. Although the colonies also did not flourish. Few people know that even Chukchi (the obscure nation on the Asian side of the North Pacific, the Chukchi people being closely related to Eskimos), put up armed resistance against the Russian aggressors. To Western readers, this resistance seems natural. But for Russians, it is almost inconceivable that "dirty savages", the butt of numerous jokes (which characterize Chukchi as stupid and ignorant), refused to welcome their ‘generous Russian friends who saved them from cold and hunger', but had the temerity to actually resist!

The major misfortune is not that Russia was and is the ‘Evil Empire' throughout its entire history, but the fact that it is an empire of absolutely senseless, irrational evil. And this evil has reached such a scale that no rational goal could ever justify such enormous sacrifice. Again, this thesis is counter-intuitive - it's said that such 'kingdoms of darkness' exist only in fantasy novels, not in the real world. Unfortunately, it exists not only in fantasy! (While the craving for mysticism is often present in the most zealous apologists for the Russian Empire, such as Dugin, the Russian ideologist of expansionism and anti-Westernism). The same notorious passion for territorial expansion made sense for the Mongols; after all, they were wandering nomads in need of fresh pastures, but for a settled people like the Russians who do not suffer from a lack of farmland, it is sheer madness. Instead of settling and developing the "great and lavish" (as old chronicles say) territory of original Russia, domestic problems were left unresolved; every aspect of society was strained. Russia forced its way into other lands, paying for the seizure of often barren and uninhabitable territories in blood and misery. This is how a cancerous tumor grows - in a meaningless and suicidal way.

Russia - which "never attacked anyone” - expanded to a gigantic size almost exclusively by aggression, by annexing territories, including its "sister-states” Ukraine and Belarus. Long before the Soviet era, Russia practiced overt and ‘creeping‘ aggression to the point of engaging in actual genocide. Frequently, the retention of autonomous rights was promised in lieu of "voluntary joining"; all such promises went by the wayside, whether in one fell swoop or in stages.

It's amazing to consider how consistently throughout history Russia has been a paragon of coercion, tyranny, stagnation, and just plain evil. The kingdom of Moscow was suffocatingly gloomy, even by Medieval standards. The Russian Empire - as the "gendarme of Europe"[6] was a stronghold of feudalism and the slavery of serfdom. The bloody Soviet Moloch, relentlessly strove to dominate the world, its cancer metastasizing across the globe, infecting a billion population China that is still a threat to the rest of the planet. In its current malicious incarnation, Russia zealously supports any aberrant nation or organization - from North Korea and Venezuela to Hamas and Hezbollah; she launches murderous assaults and military aggression against all attempts at democratic innovation in the former Soviet republics.

We freely admit that other nations historically demonstrated failure of the human spirit: in Europe, the Inquisition, interminable religious wars, the terrors of Cromwell in England and Robespierre in France; the infamy of Slavery in America. Yet, somewhat balancing these odious events, there was the Renaissance, the birth of universities, and a vibrant intellectual life (even during the Inquisition).

Just compare the spirited discussions between the theologians and philosophers of Medieval Europe with the banal bickering in Russia between the arch-priest Avvakum and his opponents! The parliaments, free cities and republics, the Enlightenment ideals of human dignity and personal rights (that had to be respected even by Kings), and ultimately the formation of the basic principles and mechanisms of a free, democratic society that developed in Western Europe were completely absent in Russia.

What good has Russia contributed to the world? We are not speaking of individual Russian artists or scientists (many of whom came to a bad end in their homeland), but of Russia as a collective entity: as a state, a country, a society? She has always fought the forward march of history, resisting, always until the very last moment, every positive idea, trend, movement, and development. And when, after long delay, Russia was obliged to adopt some European innovations, she did it such a curtailed and crippled manner as to render these improvements virtually unrecognizable. Sufficient to recall the best-known Russian 'modernizer', the pathologically sadistic drunkard Tsar Peter I - Peter ‘the Great', God help us, who behaved like a war criminal even by the measures of that (not so humane) time. The charming legacy of this so-called ‘modern' Tsar included a scorched earth policy against his own people and the quaint practice of selling Christian captives (including civilians) into slavery to the Muslim East. The outward forms and tools adopted in Europe were used only to strengthen his tyrannous rule. As a later epigram said about Peter, “He just replaced our good old stick for whipping with the German rod." And though during the centuries, Russia borrowed parasitically from Western Europe: Italian architects built the Kremlin, the Orthodox cathedrals of the "Golden Ring", and European-modeled St. Petersburg; the Moscow tsars used European mercenaries (the "regiments of the foreign formation") to wage their wars. Despite all this, Russians consider it good form to despise Europe, arrogantly declaring: "What is good for the Russian is death for the German". Russia is often compared with Tolkien's Mordor on the internet, and indeed, only Mordor Orcs could come up with such declaration: "What's good for us is bad for others, and we're proud of it!"

Although Christopher Tolkien (the son and the editor of J.R.R. Tolkien- the author of the ‘ RING SAGA') denies any parallels with the real world, nevertheless the analogy of Russia with Mordor that often appeared in the oppositional Internet is startlingly apt: as captured elves were transformed by evil forces into orcs, so were the formerly proud and free people of pre-Mongol Russia, negatively affected by the Mongol invasion and 300-year occupation (together with home-grown collaborationist tyranny), forged into what ultimately became the dismal Russian state with a population of diluted blood and culture.

At the risk of being repetitive, I wish to emphasize: The Russian State has achieved only one unquestionable item of value, something that has been a challenge for philosophers and moralists for centuries. Russia has revealed to the world a simple and direct criterion for distinguishing Good and Evil, this being: if Russia sincerely approves and supports something (i.e., not just as a formality), it must by definition be Evil. Correspondingly, should Russia seriously oppose a person, a plan, a movement, it must positively be of the Good.

Let us again recall that there is no country with any form of free society that Russia would not regard as a potential (or even actual) enemy.

And there is not a single socially-outcast country, a single detestable dictatorship (including the Muslim rulers of Sudan who committed genocide and rigged the phony elections of their own dictators), which Russia has not befriended and to which it would not voluntarily offer protection. Exceptions to the latter category occur when Russia encounters a tyrant whose interests conflict with it. However, even in such cases - from Hitler to Lukashenko (the leader of Belarus) - conflicts were always preceded by obtrusive attempts at friendship and alliance. And, incidentally, this "friendship" often is damaging from the political, economic, and sometimes even military points. (Is it really more advantageous to befriend Iran than the United States? Does the presence of unpredictable lunatics with nuclear weapons near its borders benefit Russia?) Unfortunately, reasonable considerations are never determinative. The end result is to ally with Evil - to embrace tyranny and to oppose freedom.

And would that the word "Russia" meant just the ruling power! Unfortunately, this is not the case. The Russian people are actually one with their government. If, for example, the broad support of Milosevic could somehow be explained by ethnic-confessional motives ("Orthodox brothers - Serbians against Muslims" - although the Serbian Communist leaders were not known for their religious orthodoxy), then how can we explain the adulation for Saddam Hussein, who steadfastly opposed the Christian West, and the present affection for Ahmadinejad? There is only one possible explanation: a pathological attraction to tyranny and hatred of freedom. The passionate desire to defile America cannot be the only explanation, (though this desire in itself is a pathological one, especially in view of the fact that America has never harmed the Russian people, but rather helped them a great deal). The majority of Russians sympathized with the Iranian dictator even in his fight with the Iranian opposition.

But let us return to the minority - the contemporary Russian opposition. The individuals who declare their devotion to European values, to the ideals of human rights and freedom, to the supremacy of the individual over the state--they constitute the absolute minority within that opposition. Perhaps at least these people--the minority of the minority--are the hope of the country? Unfortunately, most of them are tainted by the same imperial infection; they are convinced that "the primary goal is to preserve the country", that disintegration of Russia is out of the question, that the Russian ruling power is something completely disparate from Russia itself.

In spite of formally proclaiming democratic principles, many of those people are just as avid as their ideological enemies in the totalitarian camps when it comes to dogmatism and intolerance.

Oh yes, one might say: "Stop whining about the negative; rather, try to improve things.” I, for one, have tried to do so, and I've tried it long enough. I attempted to introduce ideas that could unite reasonable persons from both the liberal and nationalist camps. I offered, if you will, an attractive version of the National Myth based on the positive elements that actually existed in the pre-Golden Horde past. I tried to argue that “Russia” and the “Russian People” are not synonymous, that Russia is a constraining machine for Russians, that an appropriately conducted disintegration of the Empire will only benefit the Russian people. Alas, real experience demonstrates that few are capable of comprehending these ideas. The majority of the people - even if they belong to the opposition to the ruling regime - reflexively reject these ideas without any analysis. They'll read an article, and then object using the very arguments presented and refuted in that article.

Some may say that my individual experience is not conclusive, that it's not possible to derive conclusions about an entire nation based on a selection of comments from the Internet. All right, then show me the person whose experience is indicative, someone who presented a constructive idea and captivated the majority of the nation. Who is the individual capable of bringing 50,000 citizens in a major metropolis to an oppositional street action (whether or not it is an "approved" gathering) without being either “red” or “brown”? And the early 1990s don't count because subsequent events showed that those crowds were less concerned with freedom and liberty than they were with sausages on their tables and finding a spiffy new Master. At the time, it seemed that Yeltsin would be that Master. Oh, those “Gaidars and Chubaises” (Yeltsin's subordinates) are responsible for the general disillusionment with democracy? So, why didn't the People elect worthier leaders since the political mechanism for this were in place? Because there were no worthy persons either to be chosen or to chose.

No, gentle reader, the last desperate hope was for a financial crisis - that people might understand that the validity of the Putin-Medvedev regime rises or falls on the price of oil, that people would understand through their stomach if not through their head. Unfortunately, this people is no longer capable even of that. With high oil prices, the well-being of Russians improved compared to the 1990s, and propaganda attributed this to the merit of the great Putin. People agreed to give up their freedom for ‘mess of pottage' (Genesis 25:29–34). So, grasping at straws, the final hope was that when this relative (very relative) "prosperity" evaporated at the first crisis, people would stop praising Putin and turn against his regime. But this was a delusion. Sure, we can joyfully count every hundred who came to a political meeting - where two-thirds would be leftists and the other third government collaborators. We can hope that those in a Kremlin would finally fight each other as spiders that placed in a jar and this will serve to knock off those corrupt politicians. We can continue fooling ourselves. Even if Medvedev hung Putin from a lamppost tomorrow and then shot himself, it would alter nothing. This Hydra grows a new head every time one is decapitated; its essence never changes.

Don't respond that the deficiencies of the nation can be converted into advantages by pointing to the examples of the "economic miracles" of other countries that also lacked - at least in the very beginning of their reforms - the European ideals of freedom and individual dignity. Not only did the Russians lose whatever European virtues they may have possessed, they also never acquired the Asian virtues of diligence and obedience to rules that were the basis for the South Korean and Singapore "miracles".

In spite of a history of collectivism, Russians do not possess a corporate spirit. Singapore imposes a $500 littering fine for a single casually discarded cigarette butt. Imagine if such a system were introduced in Russia- make a guess what would happen:

  1. Russian would cease littering;
  2. Russians would willingly pay the penalty and supplement the public budget; or
  3. Nothing would change, except that the police would receive more bribes?

Appealing to some type of national ideal is useless. Japanese may work harder in the name of a “Greater Japan". But the Russian? For a “Greater Russia" he may willingly smash somebody ‘s face, get drunk, and even possibly lay down his life. But still- he will not work. For the Russian, his colleagues are not "the united family where everybody works for the common prosperity" but the company where is possible to drink well and to discuss football or soap opera. Regarding actual work - this is for the boss, the boss who is always a bastard and the guy to whom it is no sin to deceive. But if somebody works harder than his fellows because he is ambitious and wants to attain better wages, that means he's a toady currying favor with the authorities, and he is alienated from his co-workers who find it necessary to pull him down... Likewise, is it essential to pull down the "insolent" nations who had the gall to detach themselves from the Russian authority. By trying to grow democracy and carry out successful market reforms, they are "sucking up to America". They want to live freely and richly?! Yes? Then we will kick their ass!

Long ago, Russia placed itself in the consistent position of an enemy of the civilized world, and it is high time to recognize the fact. Russian propaganda opines that "no one loves us" (the psychological term for this is “projection”). Consequently – and justifiably in its twisted mentality - Russia hates the entire free world. Its animus arises not from objective political or economic conflicts of interest – and this is something that pragmatic Western leaders cannot comprehend. To them, it would appear that honest discussion with Russia is possible, that differences can be resolved through negotiation and compromise.

No, gentlemen! All your attempts to fix relations with Russia are doomed to fail. More precisely, these are as quixotic as the attempts of Jews to disarm the prejudice of the anti-Semite or of the African-American to become pals with the local Klan (or, for that matter, of Whites to win the friendship of Black racists).

Russia's genuine fundamental hatred for the free civilized nations of the West precludes compromise. Any concessions Russia receives are perceived as the weakness of an enemy and constitute a bridgehead for subsequent offensive movement. This was most apparent and visibly manifested in the time of the Soviet Union. Fortunately, today, Russia is too weak to behave as belligerently as in the days of the Cold War; it doesn't initiate so much as support the bad deeds of desperado nations. However, once again, Russia increasingly and more regularly, insolently shows its teeth, testing the strength of the West. And, unfortunately, the West again fails the test: Russia got away with naked aggression against Georgia and the seizure of its territories. Russian occupation of the territory of Moldova does not seem to disturb anyone except the Moldovans themselves.

Well then, in light of what we state above, what are we to do? The we to whom I refer are those few Russians that are the rare exception to the general rule, not infected with the imperial disease, those who survived several centuries of negative selection, the supporters of the European values of freedom, reason, individualism. We need to cease to deceiving ourselves with unrealizable hopes; we need to finally recognize the reality: the Kremlin regime is not our only enemy.

Our enemy and the enemy of the entire free world, of Western civilization and all principles dear to us, is Russia. It's not the individual malicious dwarves on the throne, and not even the social and political structure. Russia – no matter what regime or ruler prevails at any given time – is evil. Evil in its essence, which all attempts to "fix", "improve", "free", "rescue" are senseless. Russia does not require rescue; rather, it is from Russia that the rest of the world should be rescued. Therefore, emigration is the only reasonable solution for such as us. Isn't it already enough to ruin our lives, becoming fertilizer for the Russian compost where, nevertheless, nothing grows but thistles?

Paradoxically, I sometimes see myself cited on the Internet as evidence against the above arguments. My scribbling are used to demonstrate that if in Russia there are such people as this chap Nesterenko, honest and talented, that means not all is hopeless... So here it is gentlemen: I am not in Russia anymore and I will not be there. I made my choice and I call on all honest and talented, and even simply responsible people, who still remain in Russia to Depart. Depart for yourself. If you have or plan to have children, then all the more are you obligated to leave; rescue them from this accursed country (especially males who from birth are destined for the role of cannon fodder; females, also, have nothing to look forward to in this rotten swamp). Should you fail in your duty, they will never forgive you knowing that you could have left and did not. And you will never will forgive yourselves looking, on as the dull Russian millstones grind their lives into dust after yours.

Emigration is not capitulation – not at all. You can choose to live a private life in the civilized world without being involved in politics. If you want, you can continue the fight (only not under the absurd slogan "To the plague: yes, to bacilli: no!", i.e., "To Russia: yes, to Putin: no!")

The field for this fight is virgin soil, especially taking into account the ignorance and short-sightedness of Western politicians cited above. In any event, every person who leaves impacts on the enemy by the very fact of his departure. The sooner the reasonable people exit Russia, the faster this Empire of Evil will disintegrate and finally disappear. The heap of talentless pilferers and crazed killers, at the top of the society, and the idiots who ruin themselves with drink at the bottom, cannot support its existence.

What - there is still sentimental protest? "Even so, nevertheless it is our native land!" Yes, yes, in every century they catch us in this trap. How many men threw their own lives away and ruined the lives of other? For example, the former White Guards who became the agents of the NKVD by swallowing this rusty hook: "But you are Russian patriots!" Enough! What is the Motherland? It is merely the territory in which we were unlucky enough to be born. Is someone born in a slave barracks obligated to love this barrack? To the contrary, the drive to destroy his prison should be even stronger and more substantiated than that of an outside observer familiar with the horrors of slavery only theoretically!

Russia is evil on a world scale, and evil must be destroyed. It therefore follows that everything directed against Russia is of the good.

In reality, this country had never been ours, just as this people is not really us. In reality, there are two Russian peoples and the antagonistic gap between them is no less vast than that between say, Jews and Arabs (also genetically related). The comparison is apt because the numerical disparity is proportionately the same.

The Russian language uses the word “Russkiy” to indicate someone who is Russian by birth, by nationality. The meaning of the word “Rossiyanin” is Russian by either citizenship or location of living, English translates both “Russkiy” and “Rossiyanin” as “Russian”, thereby losing an important distinction. From an historical point of view, Russians (Russkiy) are those who are the cultural heirs of European, pre-Mongol, pre-imperial Russia, while other Russians (Rossiyanin who might be called ‘Russian Federation citizens') are the people who are the subject of this article. Since true Russians constitute a mere few per cent of the population of Russia, and for centuries the others have been called ‘Russians' - to fight for the "brand" at this point is meaningless. Let them have the name, discredited by them as it is anyway.. This is the least that they took away from us.

But what about preserving Russian language and culture? This is eminently feasible. While in relative numbers, at best the percentage is, maybe, five per cent, in absolute numbers, we're speaking about several million people (more than ten million if we count the children). This is more than many peoples who occupy their own nation. Is it possible to preserve a culture in a diaspora? We have only to look at the example of the Jewish people and indeed they persisted as a distinct people under much more severe conditions. In the modern highly-connected world of the Internet, and with information technologies becoming increasingly more sophisticated, physical location has less and less influence in uniting culture. The same technologies, by the way, facilitate every aspect of emigree life, including the search for employment.

What about the home? Let's be honest – it's probably not an architectural marvel. Most likely, it is a standard panel box or a "hen house" on a small plot. This is a simple real estate transaction, in which it's possible to sell at a profit and convert into a decent dwelling in a decent country. Taking into account the inflated price of Russian real estate, it is possible that some will remain.

What about forsaking the natural beauty of Russia? There are too many beautiful and wondrous places in the world, and too many countries with more hospitable climates to pine for the sad land of Russia. Birches grow even in America.

And we are not speaking about entering Paradise, but about escaping from Hell - from a hell that in the foreseeable future will become increasingly gruesome. A country and people consistently allying itself with evil deserves to such a fate.

I do not yet know how it will work out for me. Will I get my asylee status in the US or have to move to another country? But of one thing I am certain - I will never go back to Russia. And I am at peace: Russia for me is not only our country (as I, being naïve, felt for a few months after the coup in August of 1991); it's not even this country. From now on and forever, Russia is for me that country.

My sincerest wish for you is the same.

November - December 2010, New York, United States of America

Novgorod prince Alexander Yaroslavich (1221-1263), in the 15th century named Nevskiy, is proclaimed a national hero by official Russian historiography and canonized as Saint by the Russian Orthodox Church for "saving Russia from the Western aggression". In actuality, his battles with Swedish and Livonian knights were quite minor and these localized feudal skirmishes was far less than the fairy tales of a major invasion. Some historians even doubt these battles occurred at all. Mstislav the Bold and Mstislav Romanovich the Old were routed by the Mongol invaders in 1223 at the Battle of the Kalka River, a defeat remembered to this day in Russia and Ukraine. Although this defeat left the Kievan principality at the mercy of invaders, the Mongol forces retreated and did not reappear for thirteen years, during which time the princes of Rus went on quarreling and fighting as before, until they were startled by a new and much more formidable invading force. This last category is a convenient catch-all for all objects of their anger and hatred, whether actually Jewish or not. For example, the famous publicist Novodvorskaya, descendent of an old Russian noble line, is attacked as Jewish. The only countries in the world which recognized "independent" Abkhazia and South Ossetia (Georgian provinces occupied by Russia). Russia bribed both countries with large "credits" to obtain their recognition. Anti-democratic alliance between Russian communists and Russian fascists, which exists since the last years of Perestroika This term became popular after Russia's active role in suppressing the European anti-feudal revolutions of 1848
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