The disqualification of the Russians

Image: Anton Kudryashov


Russophobia has become a necessity for the dying world order

Russophobia is a necessity for those who repel the advent of world order. Reflection on the intimate ties between war and religion helps to understand this phenomenon. Here, I return to ideas I wrote some time ago.

I begin by recalling Benedict Anderson's formulations on the religious foundation of the nation, the entity that justifies or promotes war between civilized people. The concern of nationalism with immortality is illustrated by Anderson with striking emblems of modern culture, the cenotaphs, tombs without mortal remains, but loaded with remittances to the distant past and eternity: “If nation-states are widely recognized as 'new' and 'historical', the nations to which they give political expression always appear as an expression of an immemorial past and, what is more important, move gradually and imperceptibly towards a limitless future.” (Imagined Communities: reflections on the origin and expansion of nationalism, Editions 70, p. 33).

The nation has an unmistakable sense of continuity and this is demonstrated by its connection with those in charge of supporting it by arms. Since the extermination of lives is an extremely serious act, the modern lends it the character of a sacred act.

"Primitive" men sing and dance invoking deities before using weapons. In mythology, gods and heroes reproduce the behavior of combatants. In different religions, the extermination of lives is presented as God's plan. The contemporary combatant, like his ancestor, dresses as a representative of the "good" in holy struggle against "evil". He takes an oath and reverently parades in front of the national flag like, in the Middle Ages, a crusader before the Christian symbol.

Contemporaneity does not outdated Voltaire: “the wonderful thing about this infernal enterprise (war) is that all the assassins' leaders have their flags blessed and solemnly invoke God before exterminating their neighbor”.

The modern disposition to see war as something exceptional or an aberration demands arbitrary cuts such as those established between the “religious”, the “political”, the “economic”, the “scientific”, the “diplomatic” and the “military”. .

Such distinctions, as well as the always frustrated disarmament agreements, the failed attempts to classify and regulate the behavior of men and women in life and death confrontations or even the chimerical neutralities in the conflicting relations between national States, camouflage the discomfort caused by the elimination of peers.

Jean Pierre Vernant, who studied war in ancient Greece, stresses that its occurrence represents normality in relations between city-states, not a separate domain, with specific institutions, specialized agents, ideology and values: “war is not submissive to the city, not at the service of politics; she is politics itself; it identifies itself with the city, as the warrior agent coincides with the citizen who equally regulates the common affairs of the group”.

The ancient's appeal to community defense is nourished by hatred of the other and the exaltation of self-worth. Plato said that the “taste for knowledge” characterized the Greeks and the “love of riches” was characteristic of inferior souls, such as the Phoenicians and Egyptians. Upholding Greek identity, he distinguished war from “civil discord”, the first being the struggle with the foreigner, and the second the confrontation between the Greeks themselves.

Aristotle follows in this direction, identifying peoples “who do not avoid massacres and are greedy for human flesh” as the Achaeans and the Heniocos. War would be fair when it came to vanquishing the mean and inferior; it would be unjust if it resulted in the enslavement of noble men. Military victory, before imposing superiority, requires superiority; strength, being a merit, confers rights.

St. Augustine draws on Aristotle to define the justice of the wars waged in the name of Christianity. The ecstasy of Bishop Raymond d'Agile describing the taking of Jerusalem by the Crusaders reveals how the Christian way of sanctifying the shedding of blood had no limits: “Admirable things are seen… In the streets and squares of the city, pieces of heads, of hands , feet. Men and knights march everywhere through corpses… In the Temple and in the Portico, one went on horseback with blood up to the bridle. Just and admirable the judgment of God who wanted this place to receive the blood of the blasphemers who had soiled it. Heavenly spectacles… In the Church and throughout the city, the people surrendered thanks to the Eternal”.

The combatant embodies sanctified hatred of the enemy and presents himself as a representative and symbol of the tribe, race, faith, state sovereignty, nation honor, social class, political belief, in short, the collective that intends to subdue another. collective.

Warriors, in any time and place, are led to cultivate the “beautiful death”: they love life, enjoy material facilities and social projection, but pursue glory, something beyond what earthly existence can offer.

War heroes, especially the dead, are revered in all societies. Where in the United States is there a place that demands more respect from visitors than the rock garden in Arlington? In the endless avenues of the cemetery, the guards and the souls of those killed in combat for world domination demand respect for national pride. In Paris, it is less embarrassing to clear your throat at Notre Dame than at the tomb of Napoleon, commander of countless butchery carried out in the name of civilization.

Saint Augustine, squirming before the teaching “thou shalt not kill”, uses the case of Samson, to conclude that man has the right to give himself up to death when he hears the breath of divinity. In medieval combats, those who did not tremble assured their own honor, possessions and command over their communities.

In Verdun, in Stalingrad, hundreds of thousands of men offered their blood in maneuvers of no return, defined the course of both world wars and won monuments as defenders of sacrosanct nations.

Warriors fascinate, galvanize crowds, and animate social processes. There are no societies without paradigmatic figures, without heroes who symbolize the behavior that the collective expects from each one.

Washington defends its wars in the terms of Aristotle and the doctors of the Church: victory, before imposing superiority, requires superiority; strength confers rights. To maintain hegemony, Westerners must believe in their own superiority. This requires the disqualification of the Russians. All expedients in this regard will be valid. Russophobia has become a necessity for the dying world order.

* Manuel Domingos Neto is a retired UFC/UFF professor, former president of the Brazilian Defense Studies Association (ABED) and former vice president of CNPq.


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