Google

ASEANAFFAIRS
Sign up | Log in

Wither Mother Russia?

The Russian people are particularly if not uniquely well-placed to appreciate linguistic ironies of America’s decline - from the socalled Czars who oversee special policy bureaus in Washington, to the neoconservative nickname for The New York Times, namely Pravda.The Russian people are also uniquely well-positioned to appreciate much deeper ironies, including the farrago of politically correct neo-Marxist myths that masquerade as unchallengeable dogmas in the contemporary American mindscape, accelerating its cultural collapse. Our Czars provide no immunization against Pravda’s untruths; and Hollywood, no counterpoint to comrade Michael Moore’s insipid agitprop.

‘So my philosophical prescription to the oligarchs of Russia is this: Utilize wealth to create opportunity, to grow your middle classes, to enhance your intelligentsia, and to cultivate the greatness of your people.This is surely in your private interest, in Russia’s national interest, and in the interests of the entire global village’ 
Lou Marinoff, Professor of Philosophy, The City College of New York, USA

I happen to possess a remedy, and would happily share it, by directing a documentary film for the entertainment and edification of the Russian people.The film is called American Gulag. It stands no greater chance of being produced in contemporary Hollywood than The First Circle stood to be produced by the KGB. Whenever I give my Russian or Eastern European friends a tour of the American Gulag, they immediately react with a mixture of horror and humor. For they recognize that totalitarianism is alive and well, thriving in the USA. Like a cultural retrovirus, it has (true to Gramsci) commandeered the mind-politic, and thence metastasized throughout the body-politic. Only the most hardened conservatives and stoic libertarians, along with fundamentalist Christians, are immune to it. Having become all but inoperable, the sublime ideologies of America’s radical Left provide sardonic entertainment.

My Russian roots reverberate with the conviction that Russians would appreciate this irony.We in the formerly-free West have for so many decades been entranced and enthralled, horrified yet deeply moved, by masterful literary and film portrayals of life in Russia, that never fail to evoke the poetry of the Russian soul. Russia has exported brilliant cultural artifacts, and has inspired insightful and impactful political art. Now the time has come to reverse this trade deficit, to expose and export American political horror to the audience best-qualified to appreciate it.

Announcing the next panels

How times have changed! I know quite a few Western intellectuals who have fled (or would like to escape) the American Gulag, seeking new-found freedom and opportunity in Eastern Europe and Asia. America kept the torch of liberty alight for much of the 20th century, and understandably pontificated its brand of morality in the process of ‘policing’ much of the world.These days, the ‘police force’ has been largely privatized (as it was in the Late Roman empire).Today, more than 78% of young American males of military age are chronically unfit for service, owing to a congeries of physical and psychological dysfunctions, all of them culturally-induced (did I mention Gramsci?). So who is currently teaching moral lessons to the world? Who else but Eastern Europeans and Asians: for example, Mikhail Gorbachev and Japanese Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda.Their dialogue, Moral Lessons of the Twentieth Century, not only brims with words worth heeding, but also shows where the moral compass is pointing in the 21st century: East, not West.

America’s development was historically predicated on oligarchs - colloquially known as ‘robber barons’ - who also understood the importance of political, economic and social stability to the longterm stewardship of wealth.Thus far-sighted American oligarchs took to heart the advice of Aristotle, who knew full-well in 325 BCE that the most stable and pleasant states to govern, and to inhabit, harbor a thriving middle class. So they funded education, established think-tanks, encouraged sciences and arts, and undertook philanthropy. Fast forward to the BRIC, and this is what we see: Middle classes burgeoning in China and India, and emerging to different rhythms in Brazil and Russia. Again, and by contrast, the American middle class is becoming an endangered species.

The promising potential of globalization, in terms of the transcendence of global economics over national politics - and the subsequent flow of capital and information, goods and services, across permeable national borders - cannot be attained if the middle classes are bled white by predatory capitalists operating in concert with corrupt governments. Systemic predation on the middle classes, and the resulting polarization of the populace, is nothing but a breeding-ground for suffering and agitation, instability and revolution.The French, the Russian, the Chinese, and the Cuban revolutions number among history’s cautionary tales of what can happen when economic polarization and political corruption reach dangerous extremes.

America’s emergent plutocracy is driving exactly the same phenomenon in the US, and Russian oligarchs would be wise to chart a different course.The long-suffering Russian people have endured Czars and Bolsheviks alike, have survived merciless invaders from without and ruthless purges from within. So my philosophical prescription to the oligarchs of Russia is this: Utilize wealth to create opportunity, to grow your middle classes, to enhance your intelligentsia, and to cultivate the greatness of your people.This is surely in your private interest, in Russia’s national interest, and in the interests of the entire global village.

Dmitry Bazhenov, General Director,
General DataComm, Russia
Frank Schauff, Chief Executive Officer,
Association of European Business, Russia
Christian Wiest, Executive Vice President,
Schneider Electric, France


<<  Previous        2 of 2 page

Back to Top

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

Our Products | Work with us | Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Shipping/Delivery Policy


Version 5.0


advertisement


Copyright © 2007-2011 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand
asean@aseanaffairs.com