On the Phenomenon of traditional Western (and not only) of Russophobia in an interview EADaily says a leading researcher at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies Oleg Nemensky.
Oleg, what Russophobia? What are the origins of this phenomenon?
Russophobia can be viewed in two ways. You can just as an expression of dislike for the Russian and Russia and proceeding from this fear. These negative feelings are natural for any kind of neighboring nations, or peoples, ever at war with each other. And you can look at it differently and see the whole ideology is very similar to anti-Semitism, only in relation to Russian. And then it is possible to explore more specifically how and when it is formed as a spread, which is shaped and what to do with us asks. Here studies of this phenomenon is just really miss - we, unfortunately, have only recently (the earliest - in 1990-e, but in fact even later) began to pay attention to it, and to the systematic study of the case has not yet reached. Around the study of anti-Semitism - a science and large political practice to counter this phenomenon, and to Russophobia as if no one cares.
I can tell you about some of my conclusions, which I have often described in their scientific articles on this subject. Firstly, Russophobia - this is the Western ideology. In other civilizations negative attitude towards Russia is a non-ideological character, or is the product of direct Western influence information. Secondly, in its main features, this ideology emerged in XVI-XVII centuries., But mostly it was during the Livonian War, when the Russian state for the first time faced with a whole coalition of Western powers. Third, the most important role in its creation played a country about which we have very few people think about it - it's Poland. Just Poles historically - the nearest and largest neighbor of ours from all the western culture of the peoples for many centuries, who led us numerous wars. Basic information about our country, which is located above the West, it was passed by the Poles - they are still considered the main experts on Russia. And they spread there his views on Russia and Russian, especially in the XIX and XX centuries, thanks to several large waves of Polish emigration - from the event partition of Poland, then the Napoleonic wars and two big Polish uprisings, then as a result of the First and Second World Wars and the formation of the NDP.
But I must say, all of these ideas fell on fertile ground. In a sense, we were doomed to western Russophobia simply an objective and historical reasons. All Western identity, as it has emerged in ancient Rome, was built on the opposition itself, "East", then known as the eastern part of the Empire, the Hellenistic world of the eastern Mediterranean. For us, the East - that's just Asia, that is predominantly Muslim, and even more the Oriental peoples. For the Romans the East - is primarily Greece. In the Middle Ages, the alienation from the Greeks only increased due to divergence of the Eastern and Western Christianity. Byzantine Empire - The Eastern Roman Empire - was seen in a negative light. Well, we - accept Orthodoxy Russia - were part of the Greek world, and then his principal heirs. And the entire Western negativity against the Greeks, too, we have inherited. We were and we remain the most important "other" to Western culture, for which Western nations and recognize themselves as the West. And absolutely positive Western self-perception is completely upside down negative perceptions of Russia. For Muslims, all these negative characteristics (on the same principle of binary oppositions) are also used, but they faced West later when he was already a fundamentally different way in the face of the Greek world. I remember in the mid-90-x a French politician was asked whether there is a prospect for Russia to join the EU, to which he was surprised to answer like this: "If Russia will become a part of Europe, then what is Europe" This is a very accurate answer, well illustrates this identity that we have somehow misunderstood: the West (and Europe) because the West, which has a border with Russia.
And it manifested Russophobia in the same way, on the principle of binary oppositions: all that in Western cultures can be thought of as a good, kind, attached to Russia in its negativity. Russian are seen as people around the opposite, and therefore inherently bad and dangerous. Ultimately, it comes down to good and evil opposition. "Evil Empire" - a very precise definition of the Western perception of our country, the quintessence of Russophobia. We thought at the time that such an attitude is associated with communism, but, like, have understood that there is no communism here did not play a significant role. And thus it is necessary to understand that in any culture goodness it is approved in the active opposition to evil - and self-affirmation in the West as a carrier of good started going through the Russian opposition, or anything that is labeled as a Russian or related to the Russian influence. Thus, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe that joined the western structures or just aspiring to it, trying to prove their Europeanness through an especially active sham Russophobia. The US, as the leader of the Western world, responsible for a common identity, and strives to be a leader in the hostility towards us. It is normal for Western civilization, so it will always be.
If we talk about the image of Russia, which sets Russophobia - it is the opposite way around the world. First and foremost, it is the image of the country in which the rights of Tiran (ie, an absolute ruler who uses his power for evil), and its population is a slave masses of people that are most afraid of freedom and lusting because of their slavery and cruel ruler. Like this in the West described Ivana Groznogo during the Livonian War, and exactly as described Russia in any other era, and even to this day. Of course, such a society is very aggressive, because the evil on the evil and to be fighting with the good, can not stand it. And therefore such a country can not look calmly - we must prepare to defend against it and seek its destruction.
How justified Russophobia?
No matter how much. Western way of Russia in general has nothing to do with the real Russia and Russian, has no relation to the experience of the contacts or the study of our culture. This is a simple negative of Western self-perception. We can say that the West has its own Russia, our country did not even like. And the worst thing we can do for the West - is to show their vsamdelishnye person somehow forced to see the real Russia. It throws the whole identity of the system and makes Western man in a kind of dissident, who begins to destroy internal information space and to undermine the foundations of Western culture. Pawn preservation of Western societies - is allegedly demolished the Iron Curtain, it has a rigid enclosure of adequate information about Russia. They do not really afraid of our army, and that we will be able to convince someone that we are their countries do not really threaten. Planted in the western man thought of the East and West opposition turns easy conclusion: "If Russia is not aggressive, then it is we are aggressive" Such a person becomes a critic of the Western system, his mind as it goes out of control. This is very dangerous and protection from the real information about Russia - it is the task of self-preservation of the West. Russia in Western culture should be only imaginary.
Well here is an example, in our time the most urgent: why the West does not want to admit that our country has made the biggest contribution to the victory in World War II. We simply do not understand that to Western man found it, he should, so to speak, to break the brains, as this contradicts his entire worldview. Any war is seen as a battle between good and evil, the victory in the war - is, of course, the victory of good. this story for the people of the West looks like this: during World War II faced the good represented by the US and its Western allies, meeting in the history of Western identity, and evil in the face of Hitler's Germany. Yes, it is - the same part of the West, but who had gone the wrong way (and who is without sin?), With the fault of a particular evil genius (Hitler). This involved one more force - the USSR, that is the opposite West Russia. Clearly, it is - bad. the whole theory of "totalitarian regimes" was created, which explains that the Soviet Union and the Third Reich - about the same thing, only because Germany is bad by mistake, and Russia - by definition. The fact that this eternal evil in the face of the Soviet Union won the time-random evil, represented by Germany, no one denies. But whether it is a part of the victory of good over evil? No. You never know what spiders devour each other? Is it possible for this part of the USSR considered the victory of good? Of course not. How evil can do good? It is illogical, absurd. And, accordingly, the United States won, but not completely, not quite - one Evil Empire plunged, and the other could not, therefore, started against her Cold War. That Russia (USSR) is strongly embedded in the victory over Germany, for Western man does not make it a party of good, and therefore does not make it, and part of the victors. And no matter how much we tried to convince the Western "partners" in the fact that they recognize our decisive contribution to the victory over Nazism, they can not do it. Or why so-called Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact is seen as a criminal conspiracy, which initiated the war, and other similar agreements concluded with Germany, the West, are not considered? For the same reason that when good makes a concession to evil and goes to some agreement - this is a trick aimed at subsequent victory over this evil. And when the two evils agree with each other - it's a conspiracy against good, and it can not be seen in a number of other countries agreed. The same thing - on respect for our fallen heroes. For Western man seems strange idea to compare the heroism of their soldiers and the Soviet people who have seen a blind slave masses unquestioningly marching to the slaughter of a tyrant's will. Plus, being the bearers of ill will, they certainly made a lot of associated evil - and hence the search for a "million German women were raped" and so on. n There is no equality in the perception and in the relationship.
How to explain this "peculiarity" of Russia? Yes, of course, in the West sometimes wonder why Russia so that's around the opposite "civilized world." Then put forward the version of the historical plan is usually reduced to the fact that we have combined the heritage of Byzantium and the Horde. Also often, especially before the Second World War, put forward version of the race-genetic, in which everything was explained our special gryaznokroviem, we are heirs allegedly "Slavic-Finnish-Mongolian bastards", and therefore, as it were alien to the world of "normal" pure people. In our time, often combine these two explanations of the strategy - they say that our story itself was so terrible that spoiled our genetics. Speaking of spoiled genetics often heard from our home-grown liberal society. This is probably due to the fact that genetics - the only thing that its representatives can themselves be separated from the rest of the Russian, although it is also generally a very far-fetched.
In general, Russian Russophobia - she used to be even stronger than the western. This is understandable, because in Russia living in (or out-of-Russia) the person is a kind of a sore spot. But the meaning of it is from the west is no different. I think it came as a result of westernization of our elite. We have never been colonized people (on the contrary, were themselves the Empire), but on the cultural level, we tend to many of the things that makes the traditional problems of the cultural life of the former colonies. Since Peter's time, when it decided the formation of elite children through the trip to learn from the West (or through an invitation to the Western teachers themselves) appeared peculiar subculture of elite, largely alien to the local Russian media, and often consciously opposed to it. But the tradition of learning in the West is still alive. Together with Western culture is adopted and the Western view on Russia. Only added more painful reproach against his native country for what it is not the West that easily turns into angry accusations. And here it is difficult to get away from the logic: we are not the West, because we have people slave rulers of Tirana and so on. n And if the person still and finds some reason to not consider himself Russian, thus, as it were pulling away from all local, then this logic becomes the basis for the searing contempt and hatred. By the way, the oldest case of the use of the word "Russophobia" - in a letter to Fodora Tyutcheva to his daughter (1867 city), and there it was just a "Russophobia some Russian people."
And one more vivid example of our own Russophobia - it Ukrainians, which is essentially the same ideological Russophobia, but dressed in the form of local nationalism, and calculated on the historically and culturally Russian people. You are immersed in an atmosphere of Russophobia information and offer to renounce Russian-ness, but instead take the identity that unites you with the West and allows you to feel part of the side of good. But it is not free - you have to become the best fighter against evil (that is, with all Russian), you have to prove the case that you're not Russian. And we see what it leads Ukraine.
Should we fight with Russo-phobia?
Fight Russophobia, of course, you can and should be. And examples of this, we are in the practice of the struggle against anti-Semitism - also a native of western and in the recent past almost universally dominant ideology. Unless it is unlikely that we will be able to impose on the West the feeling of guilt that there is for the Jews, and indeed the anti-Jewish sentiment is not a necessary component of Western identity as anti-Russian. But still set up to combat anti-Semitism infrastructure of its study and combat is probably yet unattainable model for us. However, we can hardly be though a little successful in the confrontation of Russophobia in the West, if it thrives in our own house. On the other hand - there is always a danger that as soon as we begin to deal with the internal Russophobia, everything will be reduced to a ban on any criticism of the situation in the country, generally for any self-criticism that the more dangerous. Probably, it is better to invest in the beginning of her studies, in the production of its definitions and criteria counterargument system. I think we are still at the very beginning of work on this subject.