What keeps Putin awake at night?

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Re: What keeps Putin awake at night?

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:33 pm

I've always wondered -- how can a people with such a great culture, art, literature, and accomplishments in the sciences and athletics allow themselves to be subjugated by a despot?
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Re: What keeps Putin awake at night?

Post by Idéfix on Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:50 pm

Russian society and politics have been dominated by dictators for several hundred years now, at least since Peter the Great. The greatest Russian literature deals with the two codependent evils that hobbled their society: feudalism and religion, that conspired to enslave the population as serfs. When the Soviets killed off the Romanovs, they aggressively went after the Orthodox Church but they happily coopted the dictatorial tendencies of the tsarist state.
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Re: What keeps Putin awake at night?

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:54 pm

Idéfix wrote:Russian society and politics have been dominated by dictators for several hundred years now, at least since Peter the Great. The greatest Russian literature deals with the two codependent evils that hobbled their society: feudalism and religion, that conspired to enslave the population as serfs. When the Soviets killed off the Romanovs, they aggressively went after the Orthodox Church but they happily coopted the dictatorial tendencies of the tsarist state.

But don't you think it's odd that a people with such great intellect that has produced amazing works of art, literature, music, and sciences (we all grew up on Piskunov, Irodov and those of us who have stayed in science know the great Physics series by Landau and Lifshitz), and athletics, allow themselves to be enslaved in this manner through generations? I can't think of another parallel except maybe the Chinese. But I think the Russian achievements are so much greater.
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Re: What keeps Putin awake at night?

Post by Idéfix on Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:57 pm

Yes, I definitely find it odd. I don't know why Russian society likes its dictators so much. I love their literature and music, and their achievements in science and technology are amazing for a society that was as relatively poor overall as it was when they made them.

Back before the October Revolution, there were classical liberals and social liberals who tried to lead modern Russia. But the Bolsheviks executed or exiled all of them. Even in 19th century Russian fiction, you don't see as much classical liberalism as you see revolutionary radicalism and staunch conservatism fighting it out. I don't know why that is; my speculation is that the strong hold that the church has on Russian society made it so. In Western Europe the Reformation had an impact even in Catholic countries like France, but the church was probably as dominant in 19th century Russia as it was in 15th century France.
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