EDITORIAL: Reading, Writing and Reckless Ruin in Russia

EDITORIAL

Reading, Writing and Reckless Ruin in Russia

From the very earliest days of this blog’s operation, we have been tirelessly documenting the horrific fraud that is the Russian so-called “education” system.  We thought we had seen it all.

But nothing prepared us for the column in last Thursday’s Moscow Times newspaper from high-ranking Kremlin educator Yevgeny Bazhanov, Vice Chancellor of the Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Academy.  We republish it in full in today’s issue, and we still cannot keep from quoting it at length here.

We confess that, Russia cynics though we may be, we were left slack-jawed by the horrifying revelations Professor Bazhanov offered about the so-called “best and brightest” in Russia’s top universities.  His plaintive cry “with these brains, how will Russia ever modernize?” left us feeling more hopeless than we ever have about Russia’s future.

As if that were not enough, we also carry in today’s issue a report from the Other Russia which documents a reporter having her children kidnapped by the state apparently in retaliation for critical reporting about the Kremlin-connected Avtovaz factory in her city.

No other description fits:  This is naked barbarism. It is a country totally disconnected from the basic standards of the civilized world, descending into the bleakest pits of animalistic frenzy, destroying itself utterly in the process.

Professor Bazhanov relates that most of his students at one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in Moscow believe that George Bush staged the attacks on the Twin Towers in order to have an excuse to invade Iraq.  He points out that this notion is utterly absurd, because he already had that excuse.  He had the claim that Iraq had dangerous weapons of mass destruction, and if he were a dishonest man all he had to do, even if Iraq didn’t really have them, was to invade and plant the weapons there.

That’s to say nothing, of course, about the President of the USA choosing to destroy the Twin Towers by using commercial jetliners. Professor Bazhanov is brutally blunt:

It doesn’t take much thinking to realize that my students’ theory is crazy. Bush would have had to get hundreds of senior military commanders and intelligence officials involved. They then would have had to select reliable pilots and secret agents to carry out the mission and make sure that none of these conspirators at any point in their lives spilled the beans or left compromising evidence to friends or relatives.

The simple fact is that these elite students at one of Russia’s best universities aren’t doing any thinking.  They are instead being brainwashed by their own government, which is desperate to distract their attention from the fact that it is the one bombing civilians, namely those in the apartment buildings in Moscow whose destruction was used as the basis for invading Chechnya.

Professor Bazhanov’s question is essential:  How can Russia survive this type of barbarism? And the answer is simple and clear:  It cannot.  Because this kind of “thinking” is characteristic only of Russia’s young people. Professor Bazhanov continues:

It is not only Russia’s students and future diplomats who believe in this nonsense. There are plenty of analysts in their 50s and 60s — many of whom are highly influential public figures — who also propagandize these conspiracy theories on television and in the print media. One seasoned military analyst even tried to convince me that the United States was behind the recent Moscow metro bombings. “Where is the proof?” I asked.

No nation can survive barbarism this widespread and extreme. No nation. Period.

Despite years of so-called economic progress under Vladimir Putin, nothing fundmental has changed for Russia’s teachers and students. Teachers are paid slave wages, so no talented people what that job.  Those who do it are corrupt, ignorant, and enslaved to the regime. They cannot teach their students critical thinking skills, cannot teach them to be creative, cannot teach them to be progressive or innovative, because they themselves lack these qualities.  Meanwhile, a government dominated by the secret police looms over them, crushing any vestigial hint of inspiration or energy, because the regime can see that sort of thing only as a threat to its existence.

Which, of course, it is. Well-paid, free-thinking teachers and students would create a powerful anti-Putin polity that would have no reason to support a government based on the secret police.  We have no doubt that Russia’s KGB government would much prefer a weak, ignorant land that is easy to control but economically backwards to a prosperous country that might unseat them at any moment.  Russia’s current leaders are, in other words, as Russia’s leaders always have been, willing to sacrifice the nation’s future for their own personal benefit.

As such, they are far more dangerous to Russia than any foreign enemy could ever dream of being.

11 responses to “EDITORIAL: Reading, Writing and Reckless Ruin in Russia

  1. Classic Potamkin example.

  2. Steamed McQueen

    Once again LR nails it. The average Russian is simply incapable of thinking for themselves.

    The years I spent trying to teach English in Russia were a perfect example. Students are little walking encyclopedias of names, places, dates and facts. But ask them to come up with an independent thought or opinion and the class goes silent.

    Russians are taught what to think, not how to think.

  3. I think that Bush was too stupid to make 9/11. The whole job was done by zionists. Dich Cheney was in charge. Bush just a marionete. Iraq was a huge problem for Israel and for Dollar. Usa is hijacked by the dumb bushes and smart zionists. I hope usa people will make revolution.

  4. BOGDAN OF EUNUCHALIA

    9/11 are you feeding yourself straight out of your own anus?

    • Voice of Reason

      Круговорот говна в природе?

      • voice of reason wrote;
        Круговорот говна в природе?

        comment
        eto anglijskiy site i nokto na etom ruskom sobachom yazykie ne govori – panyali vy ruskiy riaby???

        • aaa, usa wrote;

          eto anglijskiy site i nokto na etom ruskom sobachom yazykie ne govori – panyali vy ruskiy riaby???

          comment;

          A ne poshla by ty na HUJ, ryaba kosaja iz Chernozhopii. Ty esshe po anglijski to kak-sledujet vjakat’ ne nauchilas.

        • че ты там вякаешь, промандаблядевшая пиздопроёбина? Ебало закрой.

        • Voice of Reason

          aaa, usa,

          Извини, что я забыл, что любые упоминания о говне ты принимаешь близко к сердцу. Продолжай вертеться в природе. Мне не жалко. Можешь даже болтаться в прорубе: не утонешь.

  5. Kremlin distorts past to keep grip on power…….

    Vladimir Ryzhkov

    Vyacheslav Molotov signs the Nazi-Soviet Pact in 1939 while Jaochim von Ribbentrop (standing behind) and Soviet leader Josef Stalin watch.
    Kremlin distorts past to keep grip on powerVladimir RyzhkovVladimir Ryzhkov writes that Russian leaders want a submissive population so that the ruling elite can continue to pilfer the nation’s resources.

    On Sept. 1,2009 the whole world remembered how 70 years ago, Adolf Hitler — nine days after signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact with Josef Stalin — invaded Poland and started World War II. Seventeen days after Hitler invaded western Poland, the Red Army invaded eastern Poland.

    Sept. 1 is also the first day of classes in Russia. Hundreds of thousands of last-year high school students will be given a new textbook recently approved by the Education and Science Ministry that contains a highly distorted version of 20th-century history.

    On Friday, Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Naryshkin chaired the first session of the presidential commission “for counteracting attempts to falsify history to the detriment of Russia’s interests.” He made it clear that the commission’s first task would be to “correct textbooks.” The Education and Science Ministry started this process by approving “The History of Russia from 1945 to 2008 for 11th Graders” by Anatoly Danilov, Alexander Utkin and Alexander Filippov for use in high schools. (In the true Orwellian tradition, the publisher’s name is Prosveshcheniye, or Enlightenment.) The ministry approved about 50 different textbooks, but it is safe to assume that the Danilov book, with a circulation of 510,000 copies, will be read by the overwhelming majority of the country’s 11th graders.

    This textbook tries to justify Stalin’s crimes during World War II, including his signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Soviet Union’s invasion of Finland in November 1939 and its annexation of the Baltic states, eastern Poland and parts of Romania. It is clear that Russia has again placed imperial greatness as the most important value for the country, and it is ready to spend any amount of money and use any means to attain it. Just like during the Soviet period, repression, authoritarianism, militarism and the creation of spheres of influence and satellite states are justifiable prices to pay for building a great nation.

    After reading the forward to the textbook, you are left with the impression that Russia’s enemies are engaged in an “ideological war” against Russia by falsely labeling Russia a totalitarian country in an attempt to defame and delegitimize Russia’s great Soviet heritage. Moreover, by claiming that Hitler and Stalin adhered to different ideologies, they try to reject the notion that Stalinism and Nazism had the same criminal, totalitarian foundations. This allows the authors to “normalize” the Soviet regime and to claim, for example, that “the Soviet Union was not a democracy, but in terms of social policy and programs, it was the best model of a fair and just society for millions of people around the world.”

    The strong admiration for the Soviet regime is the golden thread running throughout the textbook and serves as the basis for all of the authors’ claims regarding the exaggerated and fabricated “achievements” of the Soviet Union and for their decision to gloss over the crimes and tragic mistakes committed by the Soviet state. For example, in the chapter on Leonid Brezhnev’s and Yury Andropov’s rule, no mention is made of the state’s repression of political dissidents, the practice of sending undesirables to psychiatric wards or to political camps. Not surprisingly, however, the authors write in detail about how the Soviet Union made “dramatic achievements in developing the country’s fuel and energy industries and mining the natural wealth of Siberia.”

    It is natural for the textbook’s authors to justify and glorify the Soviet regime because they define Russia’s main strategic goals as becoming a “great country” with a “strong government.” Achieving a high per capita income for its citizens by creating a large middle class, developing culture, science, technology and the arts or creating a civil society with basic checks and balances and human rights guarantees appear to be secondary. Here is one example from the textbook: “The Soviet Union could only achieve its role as an authoritative superpower in international politics with its own blood by relying on its ground forces, which became the most powerful in the world, and thanks to the presence of Soviet troops in countries that were freed after the war.” This argument is used to justify the Kremlin’s installation of pro-Soviet puppet regimes in Eastern European countries after World War II. What’s more, the authors claim that these
    regimes had the overall support of the people.

    The authors’ delight over the partitioning of the world during the Cold War is so great that they couldn’t restrain themselves: “Stalin’s Empire and the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence encompassed a territory greater than all past European and Asian powers, even surpassing the empire of Genghis Khan.” In addition, it comes as no surprise that blame for unleashing the Cold War is placed squarely and exclusively on the United States.

    The textbook ends with a 40-page chapter — one-ninth of the book — titled “Russia’s New Course” that covers Vladimir Putin’s rule. It includes section headings such as “President V.V. Putin’s Course for Consolidating Society,” “The Renewal of the State” and “Restoring Russia’s Foreign Policy Strength.” Putin is described as achieving spectacular successes in overcoming corruption, prosecuting criminal oligarchs, resolving the country’s demographic problem, building affordable housing and reforming the economy. It is important to note that the chapter on Putin is authored by Pavel Danilin, a presidium member of Young Guard, the pro-Kremlin youth movement. But Danilin failed to mention anything about the shrinking population, the sharp rise in corruption, the increased monopolization and ineffectiveness of the Russian economy, the growing technology gap with other countries and the rise in alcoholism. Yet Danilin did describe
    at length the eight components of Putin’s “sovereign democracy.”

    The new history textbook is intended to ideologically prepare an entire generation of young people to loyally and complaisantly serve the Russian ruling class. The problem is that Putin’s state capitalism model is fundamentally incompatible with democracy and an open society. Even the smallest amount of transparency and accountability threatens to undermine Putin’s hold on power. That is why Russia’s autocracy is in dire need of an ideological foundation so that the people submissively accept curtailed freedoms to help the leaders build a “great nation.”

    And these young students who will be givenDanilov’s history textbook on Tuesday will be taught not to pose unnecessary, uncomfortable questions to their leaders. Let the wise politicians and bureaucrats continue to rule the country and pilfer the oil and gas wealth. This is precisely how they will build a strong and wealthy Russia — at least for themselves and their families.

    Vladimir Ryzhkov, a State Duma deputy from 1993 to 2007, hosts a political talk show on Ekho Moskvy radio. This column was originally published in the Moscow Times (www.moscowtimes.ru) and is reprinted with the author’s permission. Ryzhkov’s website is http://www.ryzkov.ru.

  6. The textbook authors are wrong and everybody knows it. Modern communications are much too pervasive. They dream of bringing back the old USSR forgetting that the USSR fell apart of it’s own dead weight.

    All in all, considering history, it is better that Russia continue it’s decline.

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