November 2nd, 2019

(no subject)

A Russian member of the audience at an event by Douglas Murray and Lionel Shriver makes the following remark (at about 1h 29min):

I grew up in a country very different to Britain, namely Russia. And I can tell you, from my personal experience, that this problem, the very notion of identity politics, is not present in other societies; it's simply non-existent. So other countries, other societies, focus on scientific research, defense, undermining Western societies; while we here in Britain keep wasting time, taking this a bit further than we should; we keep creating more divisions, we keep limiting our own freedoms; and you argue that only some horrible awful things can stop this.

I think this is very ignorant of the way ideas spread. The US and the EU are the trendsetters here; the media (including social) are amplifying and disseminating their messages, and whichever other societies are receptive to the Western ideas (and the Russian is) will inevitably absorb this kind of politics as well. Russia, being rather provincial, may seem spared at the moment, but the liberal westernized part of its society are of course assimilating the new Western culture, and the effects of this assimilation will only become more and more pronounced with time.

(no subject)

I haven’t previously heard or read anything by Vladimir Bukovsky; and now that he’s gone, and that I learned that he spent much of his life in Britain, I got curious and searched Youtube for any recordings of him.

This one, of his speech at Oslo in 2009, is interesting in two respects: linguistic and political. From the linguistic standpoint, is interesting how his phonetical basis remained Russian, and how, despite his British residence, he is influenced by American pronunciation (he consistently pronounces communist or communism with more of an /ʌ/ than an /o/, and there was some other word with this sound as well). From the political standpoint, he talks of the European Union as a distant copy of the Soviet Union, which, coming from a dissident, is one hell of a characterization. I can vividly imagine this voice on the leave side of the Brexit debate, alongside Nigel Farage:

Just as we speak, a new version of a Soviet Union is forced on a sullen (?) majority of European nations — the European Union. Admittedly, it’s a very pale copy, very mild copy of former Soviet Union, and yet the copy nonetheless. We (are?) already told that there will be a Europe elite, a Europol, some kind of a version of KGB in European Union, which would be policing us on thirty-two counts of crimes, two of which are particularly interesting, because they don't exist as a crime in a penal code of any nation. That's crime of racism and crime of xenophobia. And they already explained that those of us who object to the immigration policies of European Union are going to be charged with the crime of racism, and those of us who object to European Union are going to be charged with the crime of xenophobia. Well, it always paid (?) to know the article under which you are going to serve in jail. Just as we speak, under the pressure of Brussels, the European nations are hastily introducing the new law on hate speech, somewhat Orwellian [I] think (?), which, as Orwell once predicted, would make some animals more equal than others. Under this law, which is direct infringement on our freedom of speech, only specific hate are going to be punished, and those of us who hate what is prescribed, are safe. (starting at about 7:30)