Geopolitical conquests will not save Russia’s national pride, Moscow scholars say


History, International, More

Article by: Paul A. Goble

Staunton, May 15 – The pride that people feel in their country consists of two elements: a cognitively processed one in which individuals assess the actual past and present achievements of their nation, thus grounded in reality, and a socially constructed normative one which is susceptible to indoctrination by governments and others to support their policies, according to two Moscow scholars.

The first, Margarita Fabrikant and Vladimir Magun of the Higher School of Economics say, tends to be stable over time while the latter fluctuates widely and can be maintained at a high level only by constant effort.

On the basis of a multi-national survey, they note that “Russia has a lower level of rational pride than one would expect from a country with a similar level of economic development,” a reflection they suggest of its “historical experience of competition with more developed countries.”

And as a result, “’special’ measures such as for example the activation of geopolitical agendas in order to strengthen the pride of the population in their country” are often used but may prove “counterproductive,” undermining the very possibility of the development of cognitively processed national pride.

Fabrikant and Magun present their finds in a report entitled “Grounded and Normative Dimensions of National Pride in Comparative Perspective,” a paper based on a survey carried out a decade ago of 45,993 people in 36 countries and regions, including 2383 from Russia, the largest national subsample.

The two scholars explain their methodology in the following way: “The survey participants estimated their overall level of national pride by responding to the direct one-item question and, separately, they estimated pride of each of ten specific achievements of their countries in various domains.

“Factor analysis of these ten items,” they say, “yielded two dimensions of domain-based national pride, one of them being the factor of general pride of various country achievements and the other reflects the inverse relations between the prides of elitist and mass achievements of the nation.

“Cognitively processed national pride measured by the domain-based estimates have been affected by objective country achievements and by the level of standards which the achievements are compared against. The normatively imposed national pride measured by direct one-item question has been influenced by the country level of religiosity that indicates the individual willingness to accept normative messages from the state uncritically.”

And they conclude, “rational national pride requires some objective grounds to believe in a nation’s perfection [while] normative national pride is not so strongly related to objective achievements and therefore can be more easily manipulated. The practical implication of this difference stems from the fact that in their search for objectively grounded national pride people would be eager to foster country achievements and their maintenance of normatively imposed pride requires in many cases just reliably protected wishful thinking.”

According to Fabrikant and Magun, “the more successful economically a country is, the greater degree is expressed among its population of rational pride; and as a rule, rational pride in such countries dominates” normatively imposed pride. With regard to the latter kind of pride, they note, the actual achievements of the country “do not play a similar role.”

The cognitive national pride of Russians is lower than one would expect, while “the level of normative national pride is higher,” and was so even before the massive propaganda effort of the last several years.  Such pride, they say, “correlates not only with religiosity but also with a low level of education.”

As a result, “normative pride to a great degree is subject to manipulation” given that people are prepared to “accept any positive information about the achievements of their country” as laid out by the authorities without reflecting upon what the real achievements and shortcomings of their country are.

In presenting this report now, Fabrikant offered some data about trends in Russian national pride more recently.  Russians remain proud of their history, sport, literature and art, she said, but now, they much more often cite such normative sources as pride in their country’s armed forces and its political influence in the world.

Edited by: Paula Chertok

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  1. Avatar Lev Havryliv says:

    When will the people of Russia examine the malady in their psyche which compels them towards autocracy and imperialism?

    1. Avatar puttypants says:

      100% agree? They never will unless the country experiences another huge war on their land. Most in Russia have not experienced war on their land so they tend to be very gallant about invading and expanding their territory.

    2. Avatar commieslayer says:

      Never. The idea that Russians could live without imperialism is simply naive, imperialism was the essence of Muscovy from its very beginnings in history. All the rest that Russia claims to be (and that includes even its name) is in fact stolen from Ukraine, Poland etc.

      There is no way but to break Russia up. That is in fact easier that it may seem, given the imperial and multi-national character of the Russian Federation, which continues to hold together merely because those who want to break free are too weak and hence too scared to attempt it. They need to be helped, in all ways possible — including with weapons.

      This could be the start of a sane Western policy toward Russia, together with fast economic and military fortification of Ukraine.

  2. Avatar Murf says:

    In other words they thrive on being oppressed.
    Sad really.

    1. Avatar Bu Buccaneer says:

      Not really. Rather they don’t mind being opressed by the state as long as they share opressing other countries, inflicting fear to later celebrate it as “respect towards Russia” and build national pride based on the described chain. Even more disgusting…

      1. Avatar Milton Devonair says:

        So what you are saying is more arms need to flow into more people around russia so more russians can be killed when they invade yet another country to rape, loot, kidnap, and murder.
        Sounds good to me.
        Unfortunately europe is stuck being europe, so they won’t help and the US is ran by a liberal/progressive (social democrat) that agrees with putin and a lot of europeans that the US is the problem in the world, so he’s not doing anything but trying to destroy the US…just like putin. They’re brothers….

        1. Avatar commieslayer says:

          Actually, weapons to Russia’s neighbors could be easily arranged.

          1. Avatar Milton Devonair says:

            It really could and better yet, it should. However europe is too busy cowering before all, so they won’t do it in hopes the evil will come for others and stop there.
            The US won’t do it because we’re ran by a liberal/progressive (social/democrat) that agrees with putin and other liberal/progressives that the US is the cause of all the bad in the world and, well, russia isn’t so bad, nor cuba as they have free healthcare and free housing for their captives.

            So nothing is being done. If I were running poland I’d figure out how to give the citizens a Second Amendment. The eu will have a cow over that and cry, but what good is the eu anyway? They’re as useless as the un.
            Then I’d train our citizens in anti-air/anti-armor weapony, guerilla warefare. Don’t see the russian apes going after an armed people. Those rapists go after smaller countries, unarmed countries.

            russia is a disease. russia is ebola. Just a matter of time before it invades another country in their next outbreak.

            BTW, their famed ak-47 is even a stolen item, just like everything those apes have:

          2. Avatar commieslayer says:

            When you say Europe you probably mean Germany and France, the perception is quite different in many other European countries, especially in Eastern Europe but also in the UK, Northern Europe etc. I wouldn’t call it cowering but betrayal (mostly for relatively minor economic interests), a game which many European countries have played repeatedly toward East Europeans during their history.

            In the US indeed a change of government is needed before sanity prevails (one can hold some hope for the next elections) and Germany and France would need to be seriously pressured by the US to stop playing the role of traitors to European and American interest, which is exactly what they have been doing in this crisis from the very beginning. We truly need a much harder line toward the Hitler of our days.

            I am aware of Russia’s inglorious history of intellectual theft (including use of what can only be described as slave scientists) from Germany and of their many thefts of technology from England, the US etc. No surprise that the Kalashnikov is also a cheap knock-off, like so much of their vaunted “creations”.

            Yes, they are a disease, including for their own people, and they have been so from the very beginning of their inglorious history.

            The Russian “Federation” is a multi-national empire of Asian Despotic type which ought to be dismembered as soon as practical. That is the only way to stop them. The problem is not recent, but goes back at least 500 years.

          3. Avatar Milton Devonair says:

            A lot of conservative americans refer to europe in two ways, “old europe” and “new europe”. Old europe is the england, france, italy, spain, that have sponged off the US and have no interest in anything but themselves and their social programs.

            “new europe” is the baltics, poland, ukraine, romania, maldova, bulgaria, etc. It’s basically eastern europe.
            What a lot of us are floored about is that the eastern europeans countries think like, well, europeans and restrict their people, try and control them like the western europeans, not let them have firearms, etc.

            I agree the only thing that will save russia is….russians. That will take a lot of chaos in their country, but that’s what it’s going to take–another revolution. That will only happen when enough russians have had enough and have hurt enough. I guess a great way for that to happen is to not let russians emigrate to other countries, kick them out and send them back to russia.

          4. Avatar commieslayer says:

            It’s true that there are two sides to Europe. My experience is that East Europeans are much saner than the Western kind, probably because their lives weren’t as cozy and pampered.

            Regarding Western Europe free-riding on US defense aid, that’s also very true. Maybe the US should simply
            stop feeding the parasites and concentrate instead on Eastern Europe, which would also help check-mate Russia. Not to mention that Western Europe doesn’t seem to be grateful for the all the help they got (first world war, second world war, the Marshall Plan, NATO, even the creation of the EU was initially supported by the US, including financially). At the end of all that, they merely learned that it’s “de bon-ton” to be anti -American, while relying on US citizens to die for Western-European interests.

          5. Avatar Milton Devonair says:

            Yup, on all counts. Excellent post. And the leftists control education and media in the US, so we have one running our country.
            Maybe all of this is needed so the US and europe can just get it over with and crash. Happens all the time with leftist policies–they eventually destroy, so conservatives come around and fix it, then once things are good again, the leftists take over again. Cyclic history.

            A large scale war would rid a lot of places of dead weight, zero out a lot of debt, and get rid of some problems…plus reduce population growth in the third world which is driving a lot of the problems in the world, even in the developed countries as they go there and scr*w everything up there.

          6. Avatar commieslayer says:

            Yes… I guess that every generation has to learn anew the basic lessons of life, that money doesn’t grow on trees and that it’s not a good idea to rob Peter to pay Paul. And that people who are rendered defenseless will end up being victimized, sooner or later.

      2. Avatar commieslayer says:

        They don’t want respect, they want to be feared. They are aware on some level that the world hates them.

        1. Avatar Bu Buccaneer says:

          For the very same reason anyone using the term ‘russian bear’ is 1) playing their game and 2) truly makes a fool of himself.

          1. Avatar commieslayer says:

            Very true. It just plays into the legend of their power. Which is just that, a legend. Their power mostly consists in being disgustingly, shamelessly savage and taking advantage of weaker neighbors. Strengthening their neighbors would be enough to put the lie of Russian power to rest.

          2. Avatar Bu Buccaneer says:

            And here you’ve just uncovered why Russia is taking any form of co-operation with its neighbors outright as ‘offensive, forcing Russia to take adequate actions in response’.

          3. Avatar commieslayer says:

            Yes, the virus of freedom may spread so the Russkies need to nip in it the bud. Which of course keeps backfiring, and we can make it backfire badly if we help those people defend themselves. Obama, you listenin’ ?

  3. Avatar John Shirley says:

    I have to be amused when I see the little”pinhead putin” holding a model of the Russian TU-160. Notice how familiar it looks, just like a US B-1.So if you have time, google just these 3 examples of how Russia seems to have to copy the US Aircraft in order to keep up with them in the field of aviation and space exploration. US B-1…first flight..1974—Russian TU-160…first flight…1881// US C141..first flight…1963—Russia IL-76..first flight..1971//US Space Shuttle..first launch..1981—Russian Space Shuttle…first launch…1988. Look very closely at just these 3 examples, and there are numerous more, the Russian planes are virtually identical to the US aircraft.Russia is as bad as the Chinese when it comes to copying others technology. No wonder they get along so well, they are cut from the same cloth

    1. Avatar Milton Devonair says:

      Excellent point. The apes of russia can only steal things as, well, they’re little more than apes. Look at their space shuttle. Their glorious AK was a design stolen from germany and took captured germans to teach them how to heat treat metal to make it work. Their WWII smg is a copy of the finnish one and those russian apes couldn’t even make a mag for it, so they used the finnish drums.

      russia is a parasitic, terminal disease upon mankind.

      1. Avatar John Shirley says:

        Amazing, didn’t know that about the AK 47, but not surprised.

        1. Avatar Milton Devonair says:

          “Hugo Schmeisser, technical director of the Haenel firm, and a primary
          designer for the MP44, along with thousands of other German Engineers
          and small arms designers, were forced to work at Factory #74 in Ishevsk,
          USSR. Mikhail Kalashnikov was a 27 year old former tank sergeant who
          was working at that same factory when he “invented” the AK-47. Although
          the official story is that although many of the most experienced
          firearms developers in the world were working in factory #74 from 1946
          until at least 1952, they had nothing to do with the many design
          innovations developed in that facility at that time.”

        2. Avatar Milton Devonair says:

          From his wiki page:
          “On 3 April 1945 American troops began to occupy the city of Suhl.
          Weapons manufacturing was completely prohibited during this time. Hugo
          Schmeisser and his brother Hans were interrogated for weeks by weapon
          expert teams of the American and British secret services. At the end of June 1945, American troops evacuated Suhl and all of Thuringia. One month later, the Red Army assumed control over the area, starting a civilian works project to manufacture weapons for the Soviet Union.
          By August 1945, the Red Army had created 50 StG44s from existing
          assembly parts, and had begun inspecting their design. 10,785 sheets of
          technical designs were confiscated by the Soviets as part of their
          research. In October 1945, Schmeisser was forced to work for the Red
          Army and instructed to continue development of new weapons including the

          russian apes