Monday, December 2, 2013

Eso’s Chronicles 244/ 30
Addendum 5—Ecce Russia  IV?
© Eso A.B.

Though at this time Russia appears to have chosen the capitalist road to recovery and President Putin appears to be opposing the U.S. and NATO incursions into the territories of Russia’s former Empire as a reactionary and face-saving measure, perhaps for that very reason it carries little weight with anyone who looks at the future of capitalism with a critical and skeptical eye.

Likewise, the current demonstrations in Kiev, Ukraine , in opposition to Ukraine President Yanukovich’s decision not to integrate into the EU economy fails to carry conviction for an outside observer opposed to globalization. There are several reasons for skepticism:

1)    on a superficial level centralization seems to have its advantages in the sense of being able to impose its authority over a wide area and, therefore, has wider support at least among the elite groups who share benefits with the center. However, its authority is weak, and appears to be choking on a fish bone stuck in its throat, because all the economic measures governments appear to be able to take involve diminishing returns for the public at large;

2)    while the EU and the West as a whole appear to be putting their bets on a future that continues to reflect an urbanized ‘Pop’ culture, there are good reasons to believe that this era of our ‘future’ has spent itself and is about ready to drop dead;

3)    from the geopolitical point of view, it is hard to deny that it appears that the West is expending an enormous amount of its resources in an attempt to surround Russia and China with military bases, and that it behooves the self-interest Russia and China to push back, even if at the expense of the nations along their borders, which, for reasons of their own, may prefer to be in the Western camp.

It is for reasons like the above why this writer, whose family roots are deeply set and identified with the spiritual, cultural, and economic recovery of one of these ‘border’ countries –Latvia—looks with expectant eyes more to the East than the West. At the same time, I see the call of some Ukranians for a “Revolution” as nihilism of the nondeveloped (Paul Virillio’s term; see previous blog) readily subcumbing to capitalisms advertisement for itself as a result of overexposure to an urban lifestyle.

The fact that the city has replaced the nation (see blog 243) has set the stage for a Civil War, except that the war cannot be waged in terms of defense (because that war has already been lost), but must be waged to win. To win this civil war means for one of the sides to wait for the circumstances when the present victor falls to his knees through a lucky stroke delivered by an existential circumstance that is fortuitous for the health of our planet and decisively persuasive of the failure of liberal capitalism as an incontrovertible economic necessity. Of course, if one is able to analyze the existential weakness of the opponent with sufficient perspicacity  for it to be persuasive, then the stroke against the back of the opponents’ knees may be delivered before the ‘act of God’ happens.

My readers know that for a long time now I have put the city and the wood at opposite poles. This is because I perceive the wood as a cross of animal and human characteristics, while I see the city as an artifice, where the latter is escaped (to some degree) only by the ruling elites, because these can indulge their animal instincts, whereas the majority of the city’s inhabitants are either slaves-castrates, soldiers, priests-astrologers, or concubines. It is in the artifice of the latter elite that politics has its beginnings as a dream-remembrance of life in the wood. Unfortunately, in the city the dream of democracy, unlike democracy in the wood, must always remain an ideal and beyond anyone’s ability to actually achieve.

Interestingly, life in the city imposes itself and imitates reality so persuasively that—even if the individual has spent his-her early years in the wood or the countryside—the community presumes its self-absorbtion to be natural and to always have been so. It is for this reason why the difference between life in the wood and the city does not become immediately apparent to those who live in one or the other sphere exclusively.

The above was dramatically illustrated by the Bolsheviks vs the peasants in the Russian Revolution, and is ever so briefly mentioned in the movie “Stalin” (57-1:2.30), starring Robert Duvall. We note that as far as Stalin is concerned, it is the city people who have the priority over the people of the countryside and the wood. Though one can argue, with justification, that the reason the city had priority was because it was in the city that the factories were located and factory workers lived, and these had priority, because unless the Soviet Union industrialized quickly the West would soon take the opportunity to destroy it, yet an opposite perception was never advertised or allowed to surface either in the Soviet Union or in the West. The only ‘revolutionary’ deed enforced by the Bolshevik Party is that it never permitted consumerism (a capitalist priority) to ever take hold in the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, the prioritization of the city over the countryside and the wood became so ingrained in the Soviet mentality that as soon as the Soviet Union fell in 1991, the consumer mentality of its city people by way of Khrushchev seized the day, and party apparatchiks became the billionaires of ‘renewed’ Russia.

Even today, the Russian Times (RT), an internet news service, assumes that post-Soviet Russia is essentially in the capitalist camp, re: “…both Russia and China understand(ood) that as an economic, political and social program, Western Marxist ideology does not work, and both did well to rid themselves of it, even if in different ways.

Which raises the question: Is an economy distinguished by whether it is East, West, North, or South, or whether it is between those who live in the wood or the city?

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