Every now and then it is worth trying to “think Differently”.
Particularly if you have been inculcated/indoctrinated/raised in the Western Main Stream Narrative.
… [follow the link to read the whole thing]
western sanctions against Russia, and, most recently, the attack on the ruble, have caused a certain phase transition to occur within Russian society, which, I believe, is very poorly, if at all, understood in the west… Since this subject is of overwhelming complexity, I will focus on just four factors, which I find essential for understanding the transformation we are currently witnessing.
1.) To a westerner, an insult can be resolved by saying something like “I am sorry!” To a Russian that’s pretty much just noise, especially if it is being emitted by somebody who has already been told to go to hell. A verbal apology that is not backed up by something tangible is … to the Russians … something of a luxury… purely verbal apologies are worthless, restitution is not… because beyond a certain point words can only make the situation worse, taking it from the “Go to hell” stage to the even less copacetic “Let me show you the way” stage.
2.) Because the Russians fight for the concept of Russia rather than for any given chunk of Russian territory, they are always rather willing to retreat—at first. Russian adaptation for dealing with invaders is to rely on the Russian climate to do the job. A standard way of ridding a Russian village house of vermin is simply to not heat it; a few days at 40 below or better and the cockroaches, bedbugs, lice, nits, weevils, mice, rats are all dead. It works with invaders too. The Russian winter is simply not survivable without cooperation from the locals, and so all they have to do to wipe out an invader is withhold cooperation. And if you think that an invader can secure cooperation by shooting a few locals to scare the rest, see above under “Taking offense.”
3.) The Russians are not exactly known for refusing to sell their natural resources—even to their potential enemies. No, what Russia’s enemies wanted was to be able to tap into Russia’s resources free of charge(*). To them, Russia’s existence was an inconvenience, which they attempted to eliminate through violence. The calculus is simple: the foreigners want Russia’s resources; to defend them, Russia needs a strong, centralized state with a big, powerful military; ergo, the foreigners should be made to pay, to support Russia’s state and military. Consequently, most of the Russian state’s financial needs are addressed through export tariffs, on oil and natural gas especially, rather than by taxing the Russian population… Thus, the Russian state is a customs state: it uses customs duties and tariffs to extract funds from the enemies who would destroy it…
Note that this policy is directed at foreign powers, not at foreign-born people. Over the centuries, Russia has absorbed numerous immigrants: from Germany during the 30 years’ war; from France after the French revolution. More recent… from Vietnam, Korea, China and Central Asia. Last year Russia absorbed more immigrants than any other country except for the United States… Russia is a nation of immigrants to a greater extent than most others, and is more of a melting pot than the United States.
4.) One more interesting Russian cultural trait is that Russians have always felt compelled to excel in all categories, from ballet and figure-skating to hockey and football to space flight and microchip manufacturing… for just about every thing you can imagine there is a Russian version of it, which the Russians often feel is better… That was the pattern during the Soviet times, and it appears to be coming back to some extent now… After the Soviet collapse Russians became eager for western imports, and this was quite normal considering that Russia wasn’t producing much of anything at the time. Then, during the 1990s, there came the era of western compradors, who dumped imported products on Russia with the long-term goal of completely wiping out domestic industry and making Russia into a pure raw materials supplier, at which point it would be defenseless against an embargo and easily forced to surrender its sovereignty. This would be an invasion by non-military means, against which Russia would find itself defenseless.
Some people have been drawing comparisons between the period we are in now and the last time oil prices dropped—all the way to $10/barrel—in some measure precipitating the Soviet collapse. But this analogy is false… now Russia is resurgent, is one of the world’s largest grain exporters, and is being led by the defiant and implacable President Putin who enjoys an approval rating of over 80%. In comparing pre-collapse USSR to Russia today, commentators and analysts showcase their ignorance.
There is much more in the full article – recommended.
(*) Ain’t that the ‘truth/always the way’, with Robber Barons.