The “historic traditions” theory has been disproved time and again over many decades – even Vladimir here wrote much about it in his 1989 book USSR: From Utopia to Disaster. And yet, alas, it does not die – because it is convenient to everyone. With this theory, the intellectuals don’t have to recognize the KGB and Gulag as legitimate children of their utopia. Moscow’s sympathizers invoke it in mitigation, like a provincial lawyer who invokes the hard childhood of his client in mitigation of his crimes. Putin and company simply love it, because it gives them historic legitimacy where they have none. Those nations who were lucky enough to survive the 20th century without being taken over by communists are flattered by the implied superiority of their civilization. Those who were taken over by communists can forget the inconvenient fact that, Moscow’s influence notwithstanding, most communist crimes in, say, Romania, were committed by Romanians and not Russians. In brief, all of us are relieved of our responsibility, since all responsibility is now laid on one man: Ivan the Terrible. And he no longer cares. Nor can we put him on trial. It makes much more sense to blame Adam and Eve, who started all this mess by eating the apple.
12 February 2011
Simpozijum o Rusiji
Na Frontpage magazinu. Učestvuju, između ostalih, Jon Mihai Pacela, Pavel Stroilov i Vladimir Bukovski. Evo po mom sudu najboljeg pasusa, u kome Stroylov i Bukovski komentarišu Pacepinu tezu da je komunizam posledica tradicionalnog ruskog samodržavlja i autoritarizma: