Saturday, November 26, 2022

Today's Russism Product of Vulgarity and Mediocrity of Soviet Mass Culture, Vitukhnovskaya Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 25 – “Without the concentrated vulgarity and mediocrity of Soviet mass culture,” Alina Vitukhnovskaya says, the degraded national consciousness known as “Russism” would never have arisen with its “conspiracy of the worst against the best,” a desire to “eliminate competitors,” and “a latent demand for repression.”

            All this has led to the provincialization of political life not only among the masses but among the elites, the Russian writer says, because “the whole society is degrading” not just any one part (

            In such a society, “people don’t really grow up on their own. They grow up only in public and therefore instead of a civil society, we see a crowd of frustrated children” who act out their violent impulses and invest in every new leader hopes for salvation, something that reduces their chances for ever reaching maturity.

            Instead, they are consumed with envy even while denying it and spend their time comparing themselves with others, invariably pleased at least superficially when they can be reassured that they are better off than others even though the only depths they see are “’spiritual’ and ‘mental’ rather than logical and rational.”

            This “sacralization without analysis,” Vitukhnovskaya says, only “aggravates the general Russian madness” and has ensured the recrudescence of Sovietism after the brief period of escape from it in the 1990s.

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