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Analyze This (Country)

Another apocalyptic take on modern Russia from Paul Goble’s Window on Eurasia blog, quoting an article from Grani.ru.  I don’t think psychoanalysis should be applied to nations, and that Father Yakov Krotov’s arguments reek of the stale civilization-vs.-barbarism approach that we know from past experience doesn’t advance the discussion on Russia, rather it only succeeds in diminishing accountability.  That said, I think that the commentary about Russian foreign policy decisions usually being made with a disproportionate focus on the short term is rather convincing.

The Russia that developed after 1917 is defined by the medical description of sociopathy, the Orthodox priest continues. “‘About their own failings, sociopaths never regret and are not inclined to learn from.'” Instead, they blame others or put our superficially attractive explanations, “‘which leads to conflict with society.'”

When a country becomes sociopathetic, he says, it “accuses the countries around it and enters into conflict with the international community,” seeking only a short-term gain and ignoring the way in which its actions will undermine the possibility for cooperation and development of ties.

But there are other aspects of the sociopathetic personality which become especially dangerous when they are raised to the level of an entire country: Typically, Krotov continues, again citing the psychological text, sociopaths “act impulsively and are not inclined to planning. They are not afraid of threats and future punishments and dangers.'”