Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Russian Idea

Marko Mihkelson has an interesting post (in Estonian) about the current rebirth of imperial ideology in Russia. In the context of the Russian invasion of Georgia Mihkelson mentions the "Eurasianist" ideologues of the "Russian Idea" who are now coming into their own - with official encouragement - in their native land, and quotes one fairly chilling example of such writing and thinking, which is widespread now among "intellectuals" in Russia:

"It is clear that we need the kind of idea for which one will not be sorry to give one's life. And the building of civil society, of the rule of law, of a prosperous society we find uninteresting. Indeed, we would rather squander everything and end our lives with suicide, than scrupulously count the credit and the debit, invest, corporatize, organize on cooperative lines, and so on. We find that tedious. We would rather try to absorb the enormous spaces of Siberia and the Far East, so that the islands of the Pacific Ocean become indigenously ours, we will fight for centuries with Europe for the Baltic States, and with Turkey for the Dardanelles - that is our way."

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