Culture and the People

Culture and the People

Culture and the People

Culture and the People

Excerpt

Foreigners come from Europe to visit the Soviet Union. They spend two or three weeks among the Russians and then return home to recount what they have seen. They tell their story as though they were people with minds of such exceptional penetration that they require only twenty days or so to obtain a thorough understanding of the cultural progress that is taking place in a country with a population of a hundred and sixty million people, a country with whose past they are little acquainted and towards whose present they are emotionally inimical. As history has fostered in people the ability to do and perceive what is bad with greater zest and pleasure than what is good, it is only natural that our visitor friends should enjoy stressing the "mistakes" and "shortcomings" of the Soviet government, the "uncultured" state of the Russian people and their diabolical vices in general.

Another thing that influences judgments about Russia is a long-standing malady of Europeans, namely, the preposterously exaggerated and ludicrously inflated consciousness of their own superiority over the Russians. This malady is due to their profound ignorance of everything that concerns the Russian people. And, naturally, this remarkable capacity of the representatives of European culture to thoroughly misunderstand Russia in general, and modern Russia in particular, is enhanced by the fact that Messrs. Béraud, London and their ilk are obeying the will of those who send them, though I am prepared to . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.