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Russia Is Sick
National Review Online ^ | July 26. 2014 | George Weigel

Posted on 07/26/2014 2:36:21 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

Thirty-three years ago, on September 6, 1981, Father Józef Tischner preached one of the great sermons of the 20th century at a Mass opening the second day of the inaugural Solidarity Congress in Gdań​sk. Tischner, an old friend of John Paul II and the pope’s fellow philosopher, combined the rugged good humor and patriotism of a Polish highlander with a first-class intellect.

So he began his sermon with some essential truth-telling to the men and women about to deliberate the future of the Communist world’s first independent, self-governing trade union. Father Tischner didn’t tell the thousands assembled in Gdansk that they were heroes for having formed Solidarity, although he, and they, understood that they had already done something of historic importance. He told them they could indeed be men and women of destiny and national renewal, but only if they faced the hard truth about their lives — the truth of what Communism had done to their work, and to them:

Polish work is sick. That is the reason why we are here — because Polish work is sick. It is as great as the Vistula [River], but equally polluted. Today we ask, why is it sick? It is not easy to answer this question, but certain facts are obvious. Instead of enhancing reciprocity, instead of being a sphere for man, work in Poland became a sphere for disagreement, dispute, or even treason. The waters of the Vistula are dirty. The waters of the Vistula are even bloody. We are here to clean the waters of the Vistula. Let us work on work, so that work can again become a sphere for agreement, accord, and peace.

(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: communism; fatherjzeftischner; popejohnpaul; russia

1 posted on 07/26/2014 2:36:22 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Denazification was regarded as essential to German rehabilitation after the collapse of the Hitler regime; no such attempt to reckon with the Communist past has taken place in Russia, in part because the West, playing the good sport after 1991, did not help facilitate it. (emphasis supplied)

My theory about the absence of pressure from the West to "decommunize" the former Soviet Union goes beyond taking into account the fact that we were by no means in a position to occupy the countries and they were still possessed of nuclear weapons. Accordingly, the leverage which existed over the former Soviet Union at the time was far more limited than that which was a available to an occupying force in Germany.

Nevertheless, my theory says that there was a consensus in the West that the underlying moral philosophy of belligerent Germany, fascism, was a pernicious doctrine which led to the war and any hope to enjoy future free of German wars was futile unless that doctrine was extirpated from the hearts and minds of German people. History shows that we were wonderfully successful in this undertaking.

But with respect to Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union, there was no such consensus in the West that Marxism was such a pernicious philosophy. Certainly, most people agreed that Stalinism was a murderous, paranoid example of tyranny but many on the left in the West believed that the problem was not socialism but that the wrong socialist, Stalin, was in charge. The wrong socialist seemed always to be in charge from Lenin up to Gorbachev but there was no consensus that the idea of statism, of socialism, of Marxism should be extirpated from the consciousness of the Russian people. At most, and we conservatives were certainly to be counted in this group, simply assumed the rational people would draw rational conclusions from history and conclude that communism did not and could not work.

That reluctance follows ineluctably from the predilection of Western leftists to explore their Marxist utopias. They could blame Joseph Stalin but they could not blame Karl Marx. I don't think that attitude had much to with, "playing the good sport…"


2 posted on 07/26/2014 3:19:01 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Russia has been sick for a long time.
They were almost dead.
Then came ZERO.
He pumped new life into them.
3 posted on 07/26/2014 3:45:54 AM PDT by DeaconRed (Everything Is Broken- - - - RL Burnside.)
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To: DeaconRed

Have you ever been to Russia?

In, say, the past 20 years?


4 posted on 07/26/2014 3:57:14 AM PDT by Regulator
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Russia is sick? We have gone from a reasonably free Republic to a police state in one lifetime, but Russia is the sick one?
5 posted on 07/26/2014 4:02:11 AM PDT by nomad
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To: nomad

> Russia is sick? We have gone from a reasonably free
> Republic to a police state in one lifetime, but Russia is
> the sick one?

I’ve been to Russia four times.

In some ways, the people there are freer than we are. Unlike the US, homos are forbidden from recruiting in their schools. They only recognize two genders in their official documentation. Surnames, and even past-tense verb conjugations, have masculine and feminine case.

Now it’s true that Putin has dusted one or two of his opponents in the press. How is that any different than the US? Breitbart? And the other US journalist researching 0bama that was killed in a high speed “car crash” uncharacteristic of him? What about the many Arkancides?

At least the Russian borders are secure, and Islamic terrorists are actively hunted down and killed. And, unlike the U.S, their leaders are patriots.


6 posted on 07/26/2014 4:10:23 AM PDT by Westbrook (Children do not divide your love, they multiply it.)
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To: nomad

My first thought also. The author is calling the kettle black while he himself (and we) is stewing in the pot.

Reflecting on the path of “Change” of the USSR to what its remnants are today and comparing that to what this country has become, particularly since the “Change” Obama has wrought, just leads me to conclude that ‘America’ has no room to talk.


7 posted on 07/26/2014 4:17:02 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: Westbrook
My point is this is nothing more than misdirection, “sleight of hand”, all intended to keep attention off the real tyranny going on. And the useful idiots are lapping it up.

Cue the, "If you like ROOSKIES, leave.", crowd.

8 posted on 07/26/2014 4:23:53 AM PDT by nomad
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Russia Is Sick

Says the pot to the kettle...


9 posted on 07/26/2014 4:24:52 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: nomad

Shiny objects fascinate us!


10 posted on 07/26/2014 4:26:05 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Gaffer

That “change” began before OBozo and his assclown circus.


11 posted on 07/26/2014 4:26:15 AM PDT by nomad
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To: Regulator

The real problem is Stalinism. Concentration of power is the inevitable result of technology without the mitigating power of Torah. Orthodox Eastern Christianity, which feeds on the stream of Torah, could have brought meaning to the overthrow of the Tzar. The question is what is going on in the mind of Putin. Stalin would never have put Bibles in the public schools. The historical Russian/Christian idea saw a great Redemptive purpose and mission for Russia to fulfill. Putin could adapt the sentiment of the US Declaration, and relax the hands of the State from around the neck of Mother Russia. Apparently this is not the case. He is acting as a ruthless opportunist as he sees the impotent West gnashing its teeth over a bunch of Stone Age Camel Jockies. The post-modern jackass in the White House is so smart that he is utterly without conviction, other than his passionate belief that you can’t be sure of anything. No wonder he looks like a feckless wag! He is.


12 posted on 07/26/2014 4:26:53 AM PDT by Torahman (Remember the Maccabees!)
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To: Regulator

The real problem is Stalinism. Concentration of power is the inevitable result of technology without the mitigating power of Torah. Orthodox Eastern Christianity, which feeds on the stream of Torah, could have brought meaning to the overthrow of the Tzar. The question is what is going on in the mind of Putin. Stalin would never have put Bibles in the public schools. The historical Russian/Christian idea saw a great Redemptive purpose and mission for Russia to fulfill. Putin could adapt the sentiment of the US Declaration, and relax the hands of the State from around the neck of Mother Russia. Apparently this is not the case. He is acting as a ruthless opportunist as he sees the impotent West gnashing its teeth over a bunch of Stone Age Camel Jockies. The post-modern jackass in the White House is so smart that he is utterly without conviction, other than his passionate belief that you can’t be sure of anything. No wonder he looks like a feckless wag! He is.


13 posted on 07/26/2014 4:28:46 AM PDT by Torahman (Remember the Maccabees!)
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To: nomad

I didn’t attribute it to a particular time because there have been periods interspersed with others where things changed less drastically than other periods (RRs 8 years for example). But you are right - it goes back to the Kennedy reign IMO, even before that in some aspects.

There have always been liberal periods and dole outs of entitlements. But it really did not change drastically until LBJs Great Society binge.

Regardless, the final change is here with these next two awful years.


14 posted on 07/26/2014 4:33:40 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: nathanbedford

I agree with your assessment. I remember seeing socalled documentaries on tv that showed the Soviets as 10 feet tall and nuke proof, we were always living under the threat of nuclear war and always it was shown that there was some doubt we could survive. It kept the taxes rolling in and made us always look over our shoulders.

The Soviets folded with some pressure from us but mostly because their own people finally realized that they were not meant to live under that type of government, no people could. It didn’t help when their sons were sent home in boxes from their version of Vietnam.

It always struck me as strange that we claimed to have no inkling that the Soviet empire was about to fall. It just seemed to happen catching our very expensive intelligence agencies totally flat footed.

As you said, many in this country have never given up on this childish dream, concluding that with the right thugs in charge it would work just as planned. I have concluded that it did work just as planned, the gangsters on top and everyone else subject to their whims, the same old ideals are being put in place here, course Americans always do things better so I am sure we will soon be totally under the thumb of those who know better than us how to live our lives.

We know no history and are about to repeat the same silly mistakes that all these other countries made, course we have the right thugs in charge and it will surely work here, Americans can fix anything, we are exceptional.

I have come to the conclusion, after many years of watching and trying to figure out why people do what they do, that except for a small percentage of people, we are just plain damned stupid.


15 posted on 07/26/2014 4:36:17 AM PDT by Foundahardheadedwoman (God don't have a statute of limitations)
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To: Gaffer

‘I didn’t attribute it to a particular time because there have been periods interspersed with others where things changed less drastically than other periods (RRs 8 years for example). But you are right - it goes back to the Kennedy reign IMO, even before that in some aspects.’

IMHO you might want to look back a little earlier in time to Wilson and FDR. They sowed the wind that Obama is now turning into a whirlwind, soon to be reaped.


16 posted on 07/26/2014 4:44:55 AM PDT by Foundahardheadedwoman (God don't have a statute of limitations)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

great column


17 posted on 07/26/2014 4:45:22 AM PDT by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Gaffer

It started with the Fedral Reserve Act, 1913. I predict it ends with the petrodollar, near future.


18 posted on 07/26/2014 4:52:42 AM PDT by nomad
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To: nathanbedford

Well, I agree with the de-Nazi plan. It probably helped repair their political system initially, but for Russia, Communism was something the Powers that be in Moscow used as a template to sell communism throughout the world. The people it seems, could care less. They just wanted to eat.

Now you have a Authoritarian government, much like Mussolini or Hitler regimes, yet it appreciates it’s communist past but treats it as a relic of the past and has liberalized that aspect.

But the people don’t seems to care one way or the other. To them, nothing much has changed, and they still hold the dream of a return to the good ole days, yet they were starving in those days.

The real problem in Russia is not Communism. It’s a populace with no direction, no concept of self or individualism so it goes along to get along.

It is a similar issue in China, generations after the revolution.

Now you see why Obama is so intent on destroying these aspects of American society.

Only in this way can a Authoritarian Marxist government, no different then the Mussolini or Russian Communist government or the current Chinese Communist or Venezualan, or Argentine government can wrest control away from the people and place it in the hands on one man/woman or committee.

So I view it as not a problem of Communism or any of the isms. It’s a problem with the people. And you can’t just make that go away with a De-Nazi, de-communist or de- anything.

It’s a very long process, and we are in a period of reversal of the process in the US because the people have forgotten their heritage and roots.

This is also why they are salting the country with outsiders from.......guess what....Authoritarian governments.

Makes it easy to marginalize the hangers on to the old ways.


19 posted on 07/26/2014 5:00:12 AM PDT by Cold Heat (Have you reached your breaking point yet? If not now....then when?)
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To: Cold Heat

~The real problem in Russia is not Communism. It’s a populace with no direction, no concept of self or individualism so it goes along to get along.~

I think you are exactly right.


20 posted on 07/26/2014 5:10:15 AM PDT by wetphoenix
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To: Westbrook
In some ways, the people there are freer than we are.

If I understand correctly, that is your conclusion or assertion.

Unlike the US, homos are forbidden from recruiting in their schools. They only recognize two genders in their official documentation. Surnames, and even past-tense verb conjugations, have masculine and feminine case.

And if I understand correctly, those are your premises or proofs (you cite one instance of State intervention in public schooling and then go on to note the role of gender in the Russian language).

Well, I won't address your argument concerning public schooling.

But you know that the Russian language actually recognizes THREE genders, don't you? And that these three genders are evinced in the flexion of adjectives, pronouns, etc.?

In any event, I'd hardly call the Russians "freer" based on the pecularities of their language.

Regards,

21 posted on 07/26/2014 5:34:27 AM PDT by alexander_busek (Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.)
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To: alexander_busek

Yes, of course. the Russians also have a neuter, like English and German.

I’m just saying that gender recognition is an intrinsic property of their culture.

Russians are freer in the sense that, despite the plethora of regulations, they are seldom observed or enforced.

In the States we have at least as many regulations, perhaps more, and they are enforced, for the most part, unless you are politically connected.

There is a refreshing laissez-faire attitude prevailing in the lower levels of bureaucracy. The employees of the bureaucracy have a maxim that says, “They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work.” I’m okay with that. The less the bureaucracy does, the better.


22 posted on 07/26/2014 6:06:16 AM PDT by Westbrook (Children do not divide your love, they multiply it.)
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To: Westbrook

Does your vision of patriotism really include those who, like Putin, have raped their country to the tune of 50-75 billion dollars in personal wealth?

Weird.


23 posted on 07/26/2014 6:47:59 AM PDT by dmz
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Weigel is shameless. He needs to shut up for a while.


24 posted on 07/26/2014 6:48:38 AM PDT by Romulus
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To: dmz
include those who, like Putin, have raped their country to the tune of 50-75 billion dollars in personal wealth?

Unlike Hillary, Moochelle, the Kenyan dog-eater and their ilk.

25 posted on 07/26/2014 6:50:29 AM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate "Republicans Freed the Slaves" Month.)
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To: Westbrook

You say gender when you mean sex, and case when you mean gender.

Why are people so afraid of using “sex” as a biological category?


26 posted on 07/26/2014 6:52:15 AM PDT by Romulus
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To: Romulus
You say gender when you mean sex, and case when you mean gender. Why are people so afraid of using “sex” as a biological category?

I think he was right (talking about documents)

Words have gender, people have sex. Case refers to capital or "small" letters.

27 posted on 07/26/2014 6:56:13 AM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate "Republicans Freed the Slaves" Month.)
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To: ROCKLOBSTER; dmz

Compared to Barack Obama et al, Putin is a piker.

The theft made by the criminal enterprise that is the Democrat Party is measured in the trillions, not mere billions.


28 posted on 07/26/2014 6:56:23 AM PDT by bert ((K.E.; N.P.; GOPc.;+12 ..... Obama is public enemy #1)
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To: dmz

I wonder how much Joe Biden’s son will make from his Ukrainian Natural Gas Company job.


29 posted on 07/26/2014 7:05:07 AM PDT by McGruff (We can't even secure our border never mind Ukraine's.)
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To: ROCKLOBSTER

We do not know if documents in Russia have been corrupted to the same extent as here, where they serve the demented gender ideology. My guess is that they ask the respondent to indicate his sex, not his gender.

Case is also a grammatical term applied to nouns, indicating subject, object, possessive, and so on.


30 posted on 07/26/2014 7:05:51 AM PDT by Romulus
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To: Romulus

German has three genders, as does English.

Masculine, feminine, neuter (His, her’s, its)


31 posted on 07/26/2014 7:10:38 AM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate "Republicans Freed the Slaves" Month.)
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To: dmz

> Does your vision of patriotism really include those who,
> like Putin, have raped their country to the tune of 50-75
> billion dollars in personal wealth?

At least the Russian rapist will defend his country.

The American rapists would just as soon let it burn.

And I am not afraid of using the word sex.
Have you stopped beating your spouse?


32 posted on 07/26/2014 7:22:24 AM PDT by Westbrook (Children do not divide your love, they multiply it.)
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To: Westbrook; bert; ROCKLOBSTER; McGruff

Nicely done. Each of you has deftly (not) skirted the issue of what Putin really is by turning the question around and making it about Obama.

Is there some reason you choose to avoid addressing the Putin issue directly?


33 posted on 07/26/2014 9:39:44 AM PDT by dmz
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To: dmz
Is there some reason you choose to avoid addressing the Putin issue directly?

Sure, I'll bite.

If we had a real president...Putin would be a footnote.

34 posted on 07/26/2014 10:06:41 AM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate "Republicans Freed the Slaves" Month.)
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To: dmz

What Putin issue?


35 posted on 07/26/2014 12:29:25 PM PDT by bert ((K.E.; N.P.; GOPc.;+12 ..... Obama is public enemy #1)
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To: Cold Heat

At least Germany had Western-based traditions to fall back on once the Nazis went on the ash heap of history. Russia does not have that luxury.

Peter the Great, tried, but even he couldn’t overcome the resistance to Westernization.


36 posted on 07/26/2014 12:32:39 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

I don’t know gator...Their people have changed a bit, but they are still eager to go back to the old ways before trying something new. As long as they a good ration of vodka, everything is great.

Got drunk with a group of Russian sailors from a Freighter about 12 years back...Very disturbing...but I held my own.


37 posted on 07/26/2014 1:06:09 PM PDT by Cold Heat (Have you reached your breaking point yet? If not now....then when?)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Europe....according to the Russians.


38 posted on 07/26/2014 1:10:58 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dmz

> Is there some reason you choose to avoid addressing the
> Putin issue directly?

No reason at all. I didn’t see a need. But since you asked, Putin is a snake. He is a thief and a murderer. He is a liar and an adulterer. He is KGB. There is no such thing as ex-KGB.

But at the very least, he would NEVER permit in Russia the wholesale moral depravity and decay happening here, nor an invasion on ANY of his nation’s borders.

After the massacre at the school in Beslan, Putin promised on television, swearing by the Throne of God, that he would hunt down and kill every last person involved in the plot.

In the ensuing months, he did just that, all the way to Chechen President Shamil Besayev, whom they blew up in his hotel room. I read stories of “interviews” they conducted with suspected terrorists. The papers had no qualms about reporting that the suspect died during interrogation. And the Russian authorities had no problem doing it.

At least Putin has what it takes to DEFEND his country, however bloody and treacherous he has to be to do it.

Our president is either totally incompetent and an idiot, or he is purposely destroying our country on a massive scale never even imagined.

It’s as if we are being occupied by a hostile power.


39 posted on 07/26/2014 4:39:12 PM PDT by Westbrook (Children do not divide your love, they multiply it.)
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To: Westbrook

Yeah...

the Prince and power of the air....


40 posted on 07/26/2014 6:35:05 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Read Alexander Dugan. He wrote the text book for the Russian General staff on foreign policy.


41 posted on 07/27/2014 9:31:57 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: dmz

um, maybe his vision saw this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfRtbIQ1kTw


42 posted on 07/27/2014 9:34:50 AM PDT by dforest
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