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Paradox25's avatar

Why has Russia seemingly evolved in another direction from its European counterparts?

Asked by Paradox25 (9973 points ) 2 months ago

Why is Russia more conservative than both of its eastern and western European counterparts? Less than 20% of Russians support gay rights, and they seem backward on many other cultural issues as well.

It also seems to me like Russians have a knack to support authoritarian politics and politicians, especially when compared to the rest of Europe as well.

Why does it seem Russia is consistently at odds with the rest of Europe concerning democracy and progression? (Note: Russian and Ukrainian are a major part of my ethnicity)

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15 Answers

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Less than 20% of Russians support gay rights, and they seem backward on many other cultural issues as well.
The problem may not be with them, but everyone who is disappointed that Russia doesn’t behave as they want it. The path Russia takes is their path so it is fine for them because they chose it. I am sure you can ask many nations and there will be things of other nations they will see as backwards, but the nation doing them will think it is quite alright with them.

janbb's avatar

Russia had such a different historical path from other countries; I almost would hesitate to call it European. It has always looked both eastward and westward and been a largely, serf-driven agrarian society with a smattering of intelligentsia up until recently. It is not surprising at all that it has not succeeded as yet as a democracy.

Paradox25's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Oppressing others is not path that can be ‘right’ under any circumstances. Considering the fact that most Russians are alright with abortion rights, domestic violence and beating up gay men it makes me a little weary of them taking their religions seriously beyond being nothing more than cultural enforcers.

Paradox25's avatar

Arrrggg! all right.

Brian1946's avatar

According to my Firefox dictionary, alright is acceptable.

Paradox25's avatar

Not to mine! It was an old habit I was trying to break.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Paradox25 Considering the fact that most Russians are alright with abortion rights, domestic violence and beating up gay men it makes me a little weary of them taking their religions seriously beyond being nothing more than cultural enforcers.
And….as a nation I don’t think they are very keen on Jesus, but I can’t cram it down their throat because I want to see them come to the Light, they will do what is best for them as a whole and I can live with that, I certainly do not condone abortion, if that is them, they will have to contend with it in the future.

Paradox25's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central They’re what I term as ‘religious atheists’. They’re basically cultural warriors who like to use religion for convenience and political correctness. Hitler was a ‘Christian’ too, though most reasonable historians have concluded he was likely an atheist.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

The Russians are still deathly afraid of the KGB now the FSB and so they will evolve far more slowly than their freer counterparts in Europe.

Paradox25's avatar

@Dan_Lyons They don’t get my pity here. Russians had quite a few opportunities to allow democracy to flourish, but they openly supported authoritarian candidates. Even Putin acknowledged that this was the direction the Russian people wanted to go, and they made this very clear.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

@Paradox25 Unfortunately, just because the leadership of a country claims that the people openly supported authoritarian candidates does not make it so.
Since Putin acknowledges this was the direction the Russian people wanted to go, and they made this very clear; then it is quite obvious this is a lie and the Russian people had no choice in the matter.

cazzie's avatar

They have practiced a pretty successful form of isolationism. Of course their culture is going to seem different because they have not only, as formal policies, kept themselves to themselves, they have promoted propaganda to promote their own agenda, economically, culturally and politically. Japan did it, China did it…. of course their cultures are going to be different.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Putin is developing USSR 2.0.

DominicX's avatar

The way Russia is now is largely due to their communist past, I think. Their communist past is largely due to the fact that they were far behind the rest of Europe in economic development at around the turn of the century and that fact caused them to be drawn to communist causes.

As for why they were behind Europe economically, that’s a tough question that I don’t exactly have the answer to. I know that historically, the Slavs were often “behind” the rest of Europe—doesn’t change the fact that I’m proud of my 100% Slavic heritage.

Paradox25's avatar

@DominicX I’m mostly Slavic too, but I’m a bit shamed of my ancestors here. I have not found Slavs to be technically inferior when you consider they’ve sent men into space, developed nuclear weapons and have produced some of the greatest scientists and inventors, and maybe far more than in any other area of the world. It’s not like Slavs were some third-world rudimentary type of tribal people.

Their (Russians) thinking still seems backward and authoritarian when compared to their European counterparts, both Eastern and Western. My question concentrates on Russians, not Slavs in general. Many other Slavs wanted to break the authoritarian grip of the Russians. Russians seem to be different even from other Slavs throughout Eastern Europe.

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