Whatever you say, America holds a special place in our minds. We Russians just do not know how to treat it with indifference. We admire America, even love it, then criticize and passionately hate. However, how could happen to most of the population formed a huge country fell under the magic of another state?
Remember that age-old story of our relationship started with friendship, as to the policy applicable is the word. In the years of the American revolution, Russia has supported the rebels colonists in the struggle with Britain. When the North fought the South, by the way, Russia is the only world power, supported the North and thereby contributed to the preservation of the Union of American States. But the Americans did not remain in debt. Experts from the United States played an important role in the construction of a railroad from St. Petersburg to Moscow, in the first lines of Telegraph and rearmament. And during the Crimean war, America was the only major power that supported Russia. Mark TWAIN in his welcome address to the Russian Emperor wrote these words: “America owes much to Russia, it is a debtor of Russia, in many respects, and especially for your continued friendship in the hour of her trials. With hope pray that this friendship continued into future times.”
Alas, God heard those prayers. The first friction between the two countries was caused by the increased persecution of the Jews in Russia. Then came the Bolshevik revolution, US involvement in foreign intervention and the prolonged refusal of the Americans to recognize the power of the Soviets. However, existed in Russia since the days of Pushkin romanticized image of America as a country where dreams come the greatest hope as the refuge of the persecuted and disadvantaged, have not disappeared. And besides, we have also lived the idea of America as a leader of technological progress, that diligently contributed to Soviet writers. Among them Mayakovsky and, of course, Ilf and Petrov.
In the first two decades of Soviet propaganda wasn’t kicking US. Then there’s a lot we bought them, up to whole plants, but us experts just hundreds helped build Soviet industry. In the war, and we do have allies.
But no sooner in the joy of victory, as the victors began to divide your main trophy — Europe. Very soon recent allies become enemies. And then, quickly gaining momentum, destroying the preconceived ideas, earned state propaganda. In fact, state propaganda has done violence to the mass consciousness. But consciousness itself, I must say, was surprisingly malleable. Barely 5-7 years after our common victory, as the Soviet people knew that their main enemy is the United States. About the same in those years known as the period of McCarthyism, lived and America. Both countries, each for their own reasons, very successfully created an image of the enemy.
Many of our people did not doubt the superiority of socialism over “the society of lucre” and “world’s policeman”. And only a treacherous Khrushchev’s slogan “catch up and overtake America” a little spoiled this whole picture. He suggests that America is still the leader in manufacturing, technology, and living standards. And this creates a feeling of inferiority in relation to the United States. But as you know, inferiority complex inevitably includes a protective, compensatory mechanisms. “But we do rockets…” was sung to the then popular song. And since all of our achievements throughout the Soviet years were compared with the American, United States, paradoxically, have become something of a standard, the standard by which we reconcile his position in this world.
Now and then, there was day and there was the newspaper, that there somehow was not mentioned by the United States. Inevitably this country has become an important part of our consciousness, taking up this absurdly large space.
What began with a positive image of America, which lived in Russia during the previous hundred years? Is it gone, erased from the memory? It turned out that no, not disappeared, but simply moved in consciousness to the background. But when circumstances permitted, whether “thaw” or “discharge” again broke in the first place. So in our mass consciousness co-existed two mutually exclusive relations to America.
Of course, there were many people who saw US only in black color. America they hate with conviction. At the other extreme, cursing Soviet propaganda, were those who idolized America, gave her all imaginable advantages. Was and third — probably most of them — who happily coexisted both of these feelings. But all of them had a huge curiosity, interest in this country, separated from us by the “iron curtain”.
When all the Soviet, we can say, suddenly collapsed, we at once, not switching speed, have collectively become America love. Her positive image, her subconscious mind came to the fore and firmly took its place there. In November 1991, these people have had 80% against 6% who continued hate America. Then it seemed that peace and friendship between us is done. But it didn’t. Gradually accumulated and resentment, and mutual disappointment. We resented the Americans because they did not consider it necessary to take into account our interests, we assign the role of Junior partner, don’t want to deal with us on equal terms. Americans are disappointed in Russia’s readiness to accept Euro-Atlantic values, ideas of democracy. When Russia overgrown Zhirkov oil revenues and loudly declared its geopolitical interests, which does not fit into the strategy of American global leadership, it became clear that our ways have parted.
Somewhere I read a funny thought, the image of the United States, which lives in the minds of the Russians, can only be studied Russian society itself, not the real America. I just marveled, with what pleasure some of us cut down from the pedestal of “great America,” the former idol, completing the decade of blind in her love. Denouncing the States, we are desperately trying to prove herself. That was our reaction to the national humiliation of the country’s collapse and the loss of superpower status.
In its relation to America, we rolled into “zero”: though postawski her enthusiasm, but still with a noticeable feeling of sympathy and indestructible interest in her. As much as 66 percent sympathetic! True, bad to the United States treated every fifth. But it turned out that this was only the beginning.
Over the next 15 years we are again brought his mind into a state of collective hatred, mobilized almost the entire country is again not love America. Rush, of course, fell on the Crimean Donetsk 2014, then our dislike has reached a record high of 74 per cent. Now the indignation has died down, America does not like only 50% of respondents.
Experts believe that the discrete-Americanism does not happen. Dislike of the United States was born in Russia not by itself, its main motor, determining the position of the Russian population towards the West, are the Kremlin, the government and media that they control. Especially interesting is the effect of television propaganda. Together with semantic and emotional message of the TV inspires the feeling that you feel alone, like you, a lot of what God really on your side.
We don’t like America and this is our answer to the total gap from the West. Others claim it’s all about envy, they say, we have envious people. Nothing of the sort. Our hatred and our pride is our serotonin, our psychological comfort. We need a “second reality”. Necessary in order to psychologically survive.
American Russophobia is a completely different character. Without going into too much history, I can only say that in the Gorbachev period and in the early 1990’s America experienced an explosion of friendliness and interest in Russia. Later vivid feelings gave way to everyday life relations, America a self-sufficient country and abroad are usually not interested in. Later, with the growth of dissatisfaction with Russia and Putin’s critics, strengthened the negative attitude toward us. And with the arrival of trump in the United States and is explosion of Russophobia. In light of trump’s accusations of colluding with the Kremlin to win the election and his secret dependence on Putin’s Russia has become something of a machine gun, from which the President’s opponents are trying to shoot him. The attitude to our country is defined in the logic: the more insidious Moscow, the worse the betrayal of the tramp. These representations of Russia as the source of world evil and deadly enemy of America, infinitely replicable media, 90% of which are in a state of war with trump today firmly entrenched in the minds of Americans.
Oh, the great power of propaganda!
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