The Russian Humiliation

Please read Kamil Galeev. There’s no better-informed analyst on Russia at this point. Also, please remember that an analyst who isn’t a native speaker of the language is worthless. You have to be part of the cultural space to have any insight worth hearing.

Galeev makes a crucial point in the linked thread that everybody who is part of the cultural space knows and understands but that is practically unknown outside of it. Russians feel extremely humiliated by the fact that “stupid Americans” have a higher standard of living and are more important internationally in every way. Culturally, linguistically, politically, economically, militarily, you name it. They know they are superior but nothing in the surrounding reality reflects that superiority. This is the narcissistic injury I keep talking about. It always generates a lot of rage, both in our private lives and collectively.

Back in the early 1990s, one of the most popular stand-up comedians in Russia changed his whole comedy routine to talking exclusively about idiot Americans who were complete morons compared to Russians. There is no Russian-speaker who was alive then who hasn’t heard his comedy routines. And this is one thing in a million. There are books, movies, TV series, etc, all on this one endlessly fascinating subject. This sense of superiority is very seductive and at this point in time it’s deeply ingrained. I shared before how I bought into it, too, 20 years ago.

Have you ever been passed over at work or in dating life for people who were clearly less qualified / intelligent / good-looking, etc? How did that feel? Now imagine feeling like that on an existential level. Imagine always feeling like that. How long until the pain and the sense of injustice become unbearable? Maybe you personally have mechanisms that help you deal with it with peace and dignity. But many people don’t.

2 thoughts on “The Russian Humiliation

  1. I found Mr Galeev maybe a couple weeks before you referred his work and look forward to his insights as he can get to them.
    As to how people see themselves vs the world, American Gen-X (Left, Right, Middle – same public school product) is very disheartening to me.
    The more intelligent and successful they are, the more confident they are that
    1. the US has no interest or duty in European (West or East) affairs
    2. The US Gov’t is inept
    3. The Europeans (Eastern, Ukrainians, et al) are putty in the hands the current and former US State Department and CIA.
    4. There is no obligation on anyone’s part, least of all Ukrainians, to impede The Bear’s aspirations.
    These are the same folks that understand and recognize cognitive dissonance in people that disagree with their world and personal views.
    The only grace is that we are all aware we do not have a war-time gov’t and prez.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great diagnosis of the problem. Look at how riddled with contradictions this position is but people aren’t even noticing. The US government is inept yet all-powerful. It’s OK for Russia to react to a hypothetical threat of a NATO invasion by starting a war. It’s not OK for the NATO to react to Russia starting an actual war by expanding.

      There’s no logic, no reason, just pouting. But underneath it all is a deep dislike of the US which is always in the wrong, always needing to be condemned.


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