AUTHOR’S NOTE: The following is strictly satire of others and does not reflect my beliefs in any way. If this reminds the reader of any particular individual I assure you it is largely due to the fact that nearly all these jackasses sound virtually identical.
Hello there! I’m your run of the mill dissident from America, here to lecture you Russians on what you should do to be a successful country. Specifically, you need a national ideology, and who better to teach you about your national ideology than myself, someone obsessed with your country? Of course I didn’t dream up this ideology myself. See, ever since I came to Russia and learned that Russians aren’t as obsessed about their own country as I think they should be, I have managed to surround myself with only those Russians who appreciate my service as a mouthpiece for their ideas. As a foreigner, you can rest assured that I have totally surveyed the full spectrum of Russian politics and decided that these particular ideas are right for you. How fortunate you are to have me.
First off, Russia needs to reject everything Western. Well, everything except me of course. I’m perceptive enough to understand that I can’t risk telling you to give up your iPhones, Playstations, Xboxes, foreign made PCs, import cars, and foreign fashions, but deep down I kind of wish you would because I would much rather see a Russia that better conforms to my romantic, patronizing idea of your country. I have serious problems dealing with the pace of modern society and global capitalism, but I’m too ignorant and lazy to actually study and understand these phenomena. Therefore just like an arrogant Westerner who goes to India to have a spiritual experience, I secretly wish you would stick to your old traditions and not advance into the 21st century.
The best way for your country to treat my identity crisis is to conform to some kind of contrived, arbitrarily designed national ideology dreamed up by those intellectuals whom I designate. I left America because I felt alienated by pluralistic society and I don’t want you to fuck things up for me by having controversy, debates, different viewpoints, and interests in other countries which are of no concern to me.
Let me just come right out and say it. Even though I swear up and down that I have purged myself of Western arrogance, you are my noble savages. I want to assimilate into your culture while still remaining just aloof enough so as not to have to face the consequences of my words, and naturally I’ll be keeping my American passport! I want to be Russian, but only if I can live in Moscow with a salary several times that of the ordinary Russian worker. Now that we have got all the preliminaries out of the way, let me proceed to lecture you on your national ideology, which you should certainly adopt.
1. The ideology should reject anything Western. Well anything but the fun stuff. Also me; you have to accept me even though I’m not Russian and barely Slavic (if at all). I’m still not decided on potatoes yet. They are from the Americas and the most popular strains originate in the United States. On the other hand, I haven’t yet worked up the gall to demand that Russians give up potatoes. Give me another year of hanging out with my small coterie of Russian fascists and I’ll give you an answer later.
2. The ideology should not be exported. Never mind the fact that I’m rooting for Russia to “win” in a global economy, or the fact that I clearly take inspiration from fascists who have preached about creating a new Russian Empire which stretches to the Atlantic. Clearly the most positive thing would be for Russia to create a contrived, Russians-only (and me too, of course) ideology and then force that on other ethnic groups and countries. I get upset when America exports its culture and uses military or economic pressure to bully or even overthrow governments which don’t cater to its interests, but I’m totally cool with Russia doing the same, or even worse. Why? Because I like Russia, of course! Anyway, the Russian ideology has precedents which clearly didn’t work out well, perhaps the best example being the Qing dynasty in China. Luckily I’m too politically, economically, and historically illiterate to know any of these historical cases and therefore there is nothing to prevent me from recommending a reactionary, fascist ideology which has only lead to disaster everywhere it’s been tried!
3. Russians need strict rules and someone to tell them how to behave; it’s just your nature. Yeah I know it sounds like old Western imperialist arrogance, but it’s really not, because I say it’s not. I love Russia, I really do. But when I say that I don’t mean I love the actual people in Russia, but rather the fantasy of Russia that exists only in my minds and the minds of the narrow groups of Russians I associate with (others I write off as Western-corrupted liberal self-haters). So you need some people such as me to lay down strict codes of behavior for you to follow. I totally can’t see the irony in the fact that I support this while simultaneously claiming that Russia is freer than the West. Freedom is the problem, because many Russians don’t behave the way I think they should, nor do they take as strong of an interest in Russia as I do. I’m allowed to be a black sheep in my country, but you are not allowed to do the same in yours.
4. The ideology must be totally neurotic and focus on petty aspects of life rather than systemic problems or injustices. That’s the beauty of ideology- if someone tells you what to believe you can obey and just pretend those bad things don’t exist. Neither I, nor my Russian fascist buddies have any real analysis or solutions to Russia’s problems other than to demand that people conform to our cooked-up ideology so that we can feel special. Or in other words, we need to spend a lot of time thinking about and agonizing over homosexuality and masculinity.
5. Although I hate American exceptionalism and those who tried to ram it down my throat in my native country, I think it would be great if a new elite in Russia did exactly that to you people. Did I mention I love Russia? If it sounds like I see you as a herd of stupid cattle, you’re merely being shocked and confused by the fire hose stream of Russia love I’m dousing you with.
6. I’m not really religious myself, but you should be. One reason is that religion and national identity were closely linked in Eastern Europe, though my actual knowledge of history is quite pathetic for someone so obsessed with Russia. Religion is also useful because it is the antithesis of critical thinking, a skill which leads to nothing but problems. Ideology solves those sticky problems.
I realize that some Russian readers may be too stupid to understand why they should adopt a national ideology without question under pain of being excluded from their national community, but please try to keep up. I’m only doing this because I love Russia. I love it so much that I purposely downplay, ignore, or even flat out deny serious ongoing social and economic problems which severely impact the lives of millions of Russian citizens, thus helping to suppress discussion about them so that there is no hope of solving them. I’m very sorry but I’m rooting for my team, and my fascist friends taught me that admitting anything wrong with your country, even for the sake of suffering people, is treason. Of course it’s perfectly fine for me to criticize my native country, the United States. It may sound a bit hypocritical, but don’t be fooled, I don’t really care about poor people in the US either. I’m just using them as a prop to score points with my new masters.
So remember to be good Russians and do what I and the various obscure Russian intellectuals I admire say, otherwise you’re a self-hating liberal wannabe Westerner. I decide what Russian is, not you. You’re too stupid to think for yourselves, much less go out into the world and see how other countries work, taking those things which could be beneficial to your own nation. Trust me, I REALLY love Russia!