Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Aug/12

21

Layers of difference

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In The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order Samuel P. Huntington placed Russia in the “Orthodox” civilization, as opposed to the “Western” class. Over 20 years since the collapse of the Communist bloc I think one must say that Huntington’s typology captured some essential aspect of reality. The Czech Republic has much reverted back to the small liberal democratic nation it was before World War II. In contrast, Russia’s philo-American 1990s under democratic neoliberalism was a transitory affair. Vladimir Putin’s Russia has shifted back toward a stereotypical authoritarianism.

And yet Andrew’s reference to Fremen’s act of sacrilege did make to realize that the Russians are different, but not that different. Imagine if you will that some women engaged in similar acts in India or the Islamic world. Obviously they would not dare unless they had a death wish. And that is a difference which unites Russia and the West: religious offense is not a matter of violent retribution. The women of the Pussy Riot collective were lucky that they did what they did in Russia, and not Iran. In a Muslim country they might have been torn limb from limb by enraged believers on the spot.

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2 comments

  • cynthia curran · August 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Yeah, this true, its good that they didn’t do it in an Islamic country since the Islamic countries believe in Shara Law while the Orthodox don’t anymore hold to the Justinian code which might have had the death penalty for such actions. Justinian punished people I believe that mocked the church in plays with the death penalty. On the other hand, Eastern Orthodox who in west complain about the religious right are OK with the religious right if its in Russia or Greece. Modern Eastern Orthodoxy is more ethnic Christianity since the last days of the Byzantine empire more of the people were either Greek or Armeian or a handful of ethnic groups contrast to the early empire and the Ottoman’s set up the millet system that reinforced this.

  • cynthia curran · August 23, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Another thing influencing the Church or Putin is there small communities of Orthodox in the west, a lot of Russian and Greek and other immigrants from 100 years ago that settled in USA and some in western Europe, while they also complain about the west they too are influenced by the west.

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