Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Americanization of Russian Language and Culture Threatens National Security, Moscow Military Writer Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 27 – For more than 150 years, the Anglo-Saxon world has been the main competitor and threat to the Russian way of life, and today, the United States is carrying out ‘a ‘quiet’ and bloodless’ war against Russia by promoting the Americanization of its language and culture, according to a Moscow military writer.

            In an article featured on Topwar.ru, Aleksey Dyomin defines “Americanization” as “the process of the gradual change of social relations and culture toward the norms of models used in the US” and thus toward what people there call “’the American way of life’” (topwar.ru/67421-modnye-uvlecheniya-kak-ugroza-nacionalnoy-bezopasnosti.html).

            What is taken from the US “is integrated into the existing system and changes the values, traditions, behavioral and legal norms and institutions of particular societies,” he continues, sometimes “on the initiative” of those absorbing it but often unilaterally and supported by the US as such.

            “Since the moment of the disintegration of the USSR,” not only Russia but “many of the countries of the former socialist bloc have been subjected to Americanization,” Dyomin says, noting that there are many manifestations of this process.

            In economics, he argues, Americanization involves the taking over of American rules and management styles in major companies, the privatization of public institutions, and insisting on profit as the measure of success for what had been non-commercial entities. In technology, it includes the use of the Internet and mobile telephones.

            In the cultural and media spheres, Dyomin says, Americanization is manifested in the adoption of American forms of musical culture like hip hop, the domination of Hollywood films and television programs, and “the development of unproductive forms of entrepreneurial activity which are parasites on popular culture” such a copyright law and the like.

            In these spheres, it also involved “the creation of an enormous number of social organizations, the celebration of American holidays like Halloween, the introduction of American types of sport, the spread of American fast food, and the wearing of clothes that do not fit Russian conditions. All this, Dyomin says, is leading to “a decline in public morality.”

            And in the social sphere, he continues, Americanization has led to a contraction of welfare and social supports, “an equalization of all social groups in terms of their rights,” a sharp increase in the cost of education and medical services, and the adoption of the American system of education with all the disruption that has caused.

            But both the most obvious and the most insidious – because often unrecognized – form of Americanization involves the adoption of English words and expressions, the use of which disposes people to think and then act along the lines of those who came up with them, Dyomin argues.

            He suggests that there are eight kinds of such borrowing going on: direct in which an English word is simply transliterated into English, like money or weekend; hybrids in which an English work is given a Russia suffix like “askat’” for “ask;” trace words which correspond phonetically like virus and menu; semi-trace words like “drive;” exoticisms where there is no possible Russian equivalent like chezburger or khot-dog; slang like OK or second hand;” composites in which two foreign words become one Russian one like videosalon; and jargonisms in which the word borrowed is reshaped in Russian like “krezanutiy” or “crazy.”

The Americanization of Russia has proceeded so far that it is a cause for alarm because it is being carried out by “our ‘friends’ from beyond the ocean with one single goal – the destruction of Russia as a state from within by a means which is absolutely unnoticed and even for some acceptable.”

But history suggests there is nonetheless reason for hope. “In 1812, all the ruling stratum (the nobility) was under the total influence of French culture. Nevertheless, Napoleon’s army was destroyed. I hope,” Dyomin says in conclusion, “that in today’s undeclared war the outcome will be the same -- that the enemy will be defeated and that victory will be ours!”




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