The smart and the hateful

Poignant observations and piercing thoughts often come from obnoxiously biased minds. Far too often for my liking. Prejudice is sometimes a stimulus to reasoning but often a curse to a cause. A knee-jerk racist shouldn’t argue against affirmative action, really.

Alas, some prominent Russian “liberals”–read pro-free-market, socially liberal folks–suffer from an allergy to things they perceive as too genuinely Russian. You’re tempted to conclude nothing would delight a committed Russian liberal more than a miraculous replacement of the native Russian populace with a genetically modified, perfectly-fit-for-capitalism-and-democracy-just-like-in-America species. Hence, reality never fails to disappoint them.

On the other side of the divide, a great deal of self-proclaimed Russian “patriots”–read blood-and-soil conspiracy theorists–add to their idiosyncrasies a numbing misunderstanding of Western societies and institutions. It’s a pain to read an orderly dissection of Russia’s real ills; to see it followed by a soppy-stern discussion of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy is agonizing. What a waste of talent.

Projecting this to the American pundit scene, Russian liberals look more and more like American neoconservatives–likewise babbling banalities but, unlike the National Reviewers, without a meaningful agenda. Russian conservatives would fit in somewhere well to the right of Pat Buchanan. Think Sam Francis or Peter Brimelow or even Jared T.

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