17 Answers

  1. If you turn to the Russian classics, you can easily find the answer to this question. Take Dostoevsky, for example. Russian people in tsarist times were divided into two castes: rich and poor. The rich, often non-religious, read a lot, were enlightened, and their children studied abroad. The poor – most often serfs-are religious, uneducated. But everyone suffers: the rich from idleness begin to ask questions about the universe and the way of Russia, the poor simply because religion teaches you to be a “slave”: be patient and humble yourself, happiness will be somewhere in Heaven, and live here and the more tears you shed, the better (“The Brothers Karamazov”).�

    The Russian man believed that through tears and mental anguish, he would purify himself, he deliberately belittled himself. We see the sufferers in Ostrovsky, Griboyedov and other classics. But Russian classical literature is so beautiful that it showed life without embellishment, without dusting reality with imaginary sentimental romance.�

    Has anything changed over the centuries? Tsarist power was replaced by the Bolsheviks, religion was destroyed, but servility remained. It is ineradicable. It's probably easier that way, because by nature a Russian person is lazy. This is Oblomov, who lies and dreams of a better life, but in order to get this better life, you need to get up and start acting. It's much easier to accept, to convince yourself that everything is fine as it is.

    When I read Dostoevsky, I was acutely aware of the “masochism” of the main characters. But how are we better? We work jobs we hate, live with people we don't like, and do things we don't want to do. But we continue to persistently persuade ourselves that this is the way it should be, that's how everyone lives. It all starts small. The autocratic boss turns into a government that does not think about its own people. But in fact, it's the same thing. All are silent and humble. Probably, separate Heavens are prepared for the Russians. We masterfully learned humility.

  2. Anna Borisovna has already answered the question. Indeed, freedom is an opportunity to decide everything for yourself. As a result, the problems that are the result of your personal choice, no one is obliged to solve for you. No job or money? Your problem: you should have done better at school, entered a good university, been purposeful, brave, etc. Alcoholic? Your problem, no one forced you to drink. And so on. Therefore, in order not to be responsible for their own lives, people shift this responsibility to the authorities. Let them decide everything for us, and we will do what we are told. We give up our freedom because we are afraid to take responsibility for our lives, because we are afraid that we will not succeed and there will be no one to blame for this. Let the state respond. That's the logic.

  3. Many people have already unsubscribed about Russia (and not only about it), if you are generally interested in the (not)conscious desire of one person to submit to another, more powerful one, then I advise you to read the monographFromm's “Escape from Freedom”, although it is already relatively” old”, but, in my opinion, much of what was written is still relevant today.

  4. The need for a strong hand arises only when a girl is absent for a long time, I say this from experience, this is also the rest of the origins of Russian masochism, we will find a girl, so to speak, in the sense of why we are and masochism will disappear by itself. The West, for example, found: delicious food, sweet sleep, peaceful death, we are not satisfied, so we will dig.

    I didn't notice any particular thirst for self – destruction, but rather an acute lack of it-life as such is valued, and not a decent life. Which, however, is not surprising given the repressions of the last century, which were committed by both their own and others.

  5. The problem is the lack of initiative and irresponsibility of the majority of people now living in Russia. They need a strong and confident protagonist to ride behind the cart and hit with a whip when necessary, and maybe when not necessary(for prevention). This consists, as Nikolai said, in a long enslavement and collective farms-the principle: I will hide my hut. But it should be understood that order is not where there is strict control and fear of wrongdoing(because of the consequences), but where the norms are observed by themselves(that is, understanding their positive consequences).

  6. What are the reasons for Russian masochism and the thirst for self-destruction, the need for a strong hand?

    I think that all root causes should always be looked for in some kind of “spiritual genome” , so to speak, in religious paradigms – they are the roots from which everything conscious, subconscious and unconscious grows. Since Russia was distinguished by its version of Christianity( the Byzantine version), and there is a lot of this good-starting from the deification of power, ending with God suffered and told us to bear your cross with submission, where the cross depicted not the real cross of the Lord, but the false burden of all sorts of chimeras. So I see it. Here, I found confirmation of many of my thoughts in Konchalovsky, where he talks about the destinies of peoples, their connection with their culture and worldviews, religious paradigms.


  7. I am not sure that the Russian people can be accused of masochism. I also disagree with the fact that the Russian person has a thirst for self-destruction. It is not inherent in anyone. There are such historical properties, since a significant part of the Russian people never had property, most of the people were in slavery in one way or another. Serfdom existed for centuries, and under Soviet rule there was a second edition of serfdom in the form of collective farms. The absence of property meant that there was never any respect for property, and in this sense destruction was never considered a great sin. No property has ever been considered one's own, and it is not a sin to destroy someone else's. But the Russian man cannot be blamed for self-destruction. These are emotions that have nothing to do with reality. People have always wanted to be alive, healthy and prosperous.

    As for the desire for a strong hand, the reason for this is, first of all, the lack of democratic traditions, the tsarist sentiments that have completely prevailed in our society for hundreds of years, when order is associated with the central government, when there is no respect for institutions, because they have never really known institutions that work properly, or little when they knew that by historical standards-never. Therefore, order is associated precisely with the first person and, above all, with the firmness of the first person. With a harshness that is forgiven for cruelty. An equal sign is placed between rigidity (cruelty) and order. From this and commitment to a strong hand. But if you want, you can also call it masochism, although this is not entirely true.

  8. If we talk about our time, Many people still remember the war and post-war times, the collapse of the USSR and the Yeltsin years, so they think that “Now is nothing”

    Probably, at all times, “there was something to compare”

    It's like the national Stockholm syndrome.�

    1. People think that if they live by the rules, the “invader” will not harm them. That they are supposedly under a kind of”protection of a strong leader”. In fact, no, because the monarch acts primarily in his own interests. And a corrupt system will remove every objectionable person, whether “right” or “left”

    2. They try to justify the actions of the authorities: “Well, they are also people”; ” But the Crimea is ours!”; “And earlier it was even worse”, ” Well, there is no money in the country, we have sanctions, They do what they can!”

    3. They believe that attempts to “free themselves” will only bring them troubles: “Do you want to organize a Maidan?”, “Putin is the only one who can rule the country, if he leaves, there will be a war!”

    I hope to live until the time when this system will become obsolete.

  9. TL; DR Masochism and self-destruction:�

    1) give the illusion of control, if real control is impossible;**2) satisfy the instinctive tendency to strive for the familiar/familiar and reject/fear the unfamiliar/new.



    “The thirst for self-destruction is not inherent in anyone…”

    “The Russian person cannot be blamed for self-destruction.�These are emotions that have nothing to do with reality. People have always wanted to be alive, healthy and prosperous.”

    Unfortunately, it is inherent.
    To whom exactly-next.

    The fact is that even the most, at first glance, irrational and delusional behavior, if you look at it, has quite logical reasons.

    First, self-destructive behavior is caused by the fact that a person who is in an oppressed/humiliated position wants to gain at least some illusion of control over their life.

    Due to the inability to radically change the reality, a person subconsciously suggests to himself that everything that was imposed on him and from which he suffers, in fact, is what he wants.

    It is pleasant for a person to wish for prosperity if and only if he can achieve it. If prosperity is impossible (for example, due to serfdom or a totalitarian Soviet state with executions or forced psychiatry for dissent), then this desire becomes painful.

    If such a masochist (read: to tell a pro-Putin conservative authoritarian traditionalist statistician that there is something better, he will fiercely defend Putin's Russia, hysterically declaring that “you just hate everything Russian” and branding all the achievements of liberal countries with propaganda cliches like “decaying America” or “spiritless West”.
    Otherwise, he will have to admit the real state of affairs.

    Only when a person understands that he can improve his life will he never descend to masochism and self-destruction.

    , masochistic self-sabotage due to the fact that the human brain is evolutionarily programmed to seek things familiar (and safe that you have not killed) and purposefully to repel and prevent all unknown (on some instinctual level, all unknown, is directly linked to the risk of death, even if the reason is clearly understands that it will definitely improve the situation).

    That's all the reasons for this phenomenon.

    And now – resources for those who are interested in the topic of self-sabotage/self-destruction/masochism:

    1) ChannelThe School of Life (founded by philosopher Alain de Botton) addresses this issue in short, but extremely succinct and informative videos:





    2) Erich Fromm-Escape from Freedom: link, page on GoodReads;


    4) Ран Rancourt-Laferriere D. The Slave Soul of Russia: Problems of Moral Masochism and the Cult of Suffering: a page on GoodReads;

    5) Justin Musk's answer on Quora;

    6) Articles from the Marie Forleo blog: 1;�2;�3�;�4.

    Thus, all the elements of the epistemic mosaic that gave rise to this answer are listed.

  10. The theory that the main sign and symbol of “Russianness” is moral masochism is developed by the American literary critic Daniel Rancour-Laferriere. He also called his book on this topic “The Slave Soul of Russia. Moral masochism and the cult of suffering. “

    Following Dostoevsky, Rancour-Laferriere considers the key to the Russian character to be the original masochistic cult of suffering, whose manifestations are equally Orthodox asceticism,” fanatical “sects, and the idea of humility and submission to fate characteristic of popular culture, and the constant” samoyed ” Russian intellectuals. The popularity of the image of Ivanushka the fool is evidence that fools in Russia are valued more than smart ones. The cult of holy fools says the same thing. The Russian bath, although it looks cheerful, is also a manifestation of masochism, even if not quite moral – what other people enjoy the unbearable heat and the fact that you are whipped with birch branches? Tight swaddling of babies and corporal punishment are nothing more than a way of transmitting rigid discipline. The principle of collectivism also follows from masochism, the main thing is that no one stands out.

    The gender aspect of masochism is the femininity of the Russian character, well captured by Berdyaev's formula “forever slave = forever woman”. It is not for nothing that Russia is often portrayed as a gentle woman, both lovingly and pejoratively. The” normality ” of sexual violence for a Russian person is confirmed by the semantics of the words “fuck” and “fuck”, which suggest situations in which a woman is sexually passive. Russian women themselves often saw beating as proof of love.

  11. There is no masochism or self-destruction. And there is no need for a strong hand either. There are a number of beliefs based on life experience, culture, and prejudice that, from other points of view, may seem like a need for a strong hand, masochism, and other excessively irrational things. (No, I'm not saying these beliefs are rational. A person is generally irrational, and his beliefs are always a mixture of rational and irrational). So, these are the beliefs:
    1. The vast majority of people strive to exist primarily at the expense of others, and if it were not for the threat of punishment from the police or otherworldly forces, they would immediately rush left and right to rob, kill and rape, and only thanks to the police and priests, they do not do this, but only steal.
    2. Absolutely everyone is guided by the fact that if there is an opportunity to steal, it is necessary to steal, and immediately begin to protect what is stolen from others who want to steal it from you.
    3. Joint ownership is not possible in principle.
    4. Self-organization is impossible.�
    5. No one, except complete idiots, is capable of voluntary gratuitous activities for the benefit of others.

    It is quite obvious that there are quite definite political conclusions to be drawn from these views:�
    1. Without a strong hand, society cannot exist.
    2. Whatever scoundrels the people in power may be, any oppositionist is either the same scoundrel or an idiot, and an idiot is much more dangerous than a scoundrel.

    As you can see, in general, this is the standard set of views of a normal European conservative.

  12. Most likely, the tendency to masochism comes from ethnically embedded sadism. Read Afanasyev's original folk tales. Almost all end tragically for the “bad” character. At the same time , the end is not just tragic – it is a kind of sadistic death , even if it is rich, lazy, etc., but still in this ethnic group there is an inexorable desire to kill, to take away what supposedly should belong to a “good” character by right. This originates in the very cruel pagan rites of sacrifice, and often human ones at that. If you cannot become a victim yourself, then sacrifice your neighbor. An example is funeral rites, when “brides” were slaughtered for the afterlife of the deceased. At the same time , it has been said from generation to generation that this is an honorable fate. Little has changed with Christianity. Gradually, the victims disappeared, and the martyrs appeared. Again, the psychilogy is the same, you can not achieve the “holy life” yourself – torment your neighbor, or as modern Orthodox jokers say more simply . If you can't put up with yourself, then put up with the other person. In the Russian unbridled soul lies and always lurked an incredible power of destruction, because they believed in the sacredness of death. The Japanese also believe in it, but the Japanese have to. In a country where a larger number of people were initially killed by the natural elements , life is really very valuable. This can be attributed to almost all small-numbered nationalities or nationalities that have passed the genocide. And the Russians don't feel that their nation is on the verge of extinction. We are like the Chinese – there are a lot of us, so it's not a pity. This is a pathological lack of self-preservation immunity and causes no desire to love yourself.

  13. I am a Russian, I am not a masochist, there is no need for self-destruction. I have the same people around me. Question from the category ” what is the reason that Jews are cunning and greedy?” The answer to this question does not exist, just as the author of the question will not answer: how long ago did he stop drinking in the morning?

    And if you show more deeply the stupidity of the question, then it is necessary to recall the slogans of the revolutions in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century. All of them demanded freedom, but not the camps. The most brutal terror, first of all against the Russian people (and Lenin was an ardent Russophobe, as, for example, can be seen here: diletant. media). You can check by name yourself who was at the origins of the Soviet government, who was at the origins of the Red Terror, you can remember who was at the origins of the Red Army and who was the most brutal in its ranks. One can recall numerous uprisings and isolated demonstrations against totalitarian power. We can recall numerous testimonies about the hopes of front-line soldiers and peasants in Russia about the dissolution of collective farms. You can think of dissidents and their sympathizers, thanks to whom no one supported the Soviet government in the late 80s and early 90s. You can recall the mass protests against the election results in the 2010s. ALL THESE PEOPLE DEMANDED FREEDOM. And they continue to strive for it.

    In general, how long has the author stopped drinking in the morning?

  14. I don't think this is exactly a “need”. Rather, a habitual inclination. Historically, there has never been a liberal, non-slave-owning democracy in Russia(the Novgorod Republic can hardly be similar to modern Western democracies), and even in the 90s, most issues were resolved by “force” – and what you don't know is difficult to consciously want. It's hard to want mangosteen when you don't know what it is.
    The Chinese also do not have democracy and have never had it, and they also think that a “strong hand” is a good thing and the only natural state of affairs.

    But there are curious Russians who are interested in trying out a well-made democracy and seeing how it would transform Russia. In their case, it is difficult to talk about the usual need,but you can talk about interest, about the demand for democracy.

    We can try to reformulate the question as follows: why do the majority of Russians (including non – Russians – for example,Chechens) not rate democracy?

    The answer is that historically existing social forms-the Orthodox monarchy and the Bolshevik dictatorship of the working class-have created an influential cultural background around them. Pushkin is a monarchist, an anti-democrat(at least a mature Pushkin).�
    All Soviet books-bring up on the ideals of �.again, socialist and anti-democratic. Orthodoxy and Islam are also undemocratic, authoritarian, and carry in themselves an “army”, directive-order discipline, and not a culture of” agreements”,” mutual benefits “and”compromises”(“Democracy is in hell, and there is a Kingdom in Heaven”).

    It may also be a matter of maximalism – there is no confidence in the future, and therefore it is not typical for a Russian to move towards the goal in gradual steps – ” it's either all or nothing, and go to the ass who does not agree.” Moderation, harmony, harmony, delicacy, thrift and accuracy are the virtues of the French, British, Germans, Swedes, Finns, but not Russians(and not Ukrainians, by the way). Molchalin is a negative literary character. In Russia, moderation is mistaken for indifference and sycophancy-although the true sycophants here are just “Khlestakov” and shout very loudly about how many scoundrels are”silent” around. We are deceived by our own literature:)

    It's also about nihilism. Ethical,legal, and normative nihilism-this phenomenon was not invented by modern cynics, it is still the 19th century, it is Trotsky and Bazarov. Where did Russian nihilism come from and why did it flourish in Russia, but not too much in the democratic West(balanced by pragmatism, utilitarianism-well, who will strive for insignificance and self-destruction for their own sake? The British “nihilist” will deny moral norms,but at least save money. The French Libertine nihilist Satanist will deny the norms – but for the sake of enjoying his sadism and power. The Swedish nihilist will deny the norms – but “so that everything is calm and no one touches him.” A Russian does not need money, power, vulgar pleasure or peace-just to give a shit on the head of another Russian in order to assert his own power, autocracy) – a separate issue.

    We all grow up on this and assimilate this particular system as a proper and necessary one. Even Russian democrats ultimately love authoritarian methods of teaching and managing, unwittingly reproducing the social attitudes that were laid down in childhood, which are much stronger than political ones.

    It's hard to jump right in and master something institutionally that has never happened before.

    Most likely, there are other reasons, more complex plan, related to the organization of space. The power vertical in Russia is always consolidated more strongly than the horizontal forces “diverging” in different directions. A cohesive “horizontal of equals” did not exist even in Soviet times, with the cult of friendship and the cult of comrade – the cultural norm in Russia is suspicion, wariness, readiness to deceive, betray, change your place of residence(“Do not swear off the bag and prison”) and violence from another Russian.

    One of the most democratic institutions – the “Direct Line” from Presidents-still demonstrates the “presumption of guilt” inherent in the system – you ask for this and that, and are you not deceiving, by the way? Such an attitude implies that a person needs to look for ways to realize their loyalty in some other way, puts the person in the field of “the need to prove that you are not a camel”.

    This creates a sense of helplessness and ,at the same time, paradoxically, “impunity”for each individual. “But who needs me”, “I still have no influence on anything” – and therefore “I can do everything in private, because I can not be a threat to the order, which does not depend on me – the punishment is accidental as well as the reward.”�

    For European democracies, such “arbitrariness” is impossible – a person follows his own attitudes and is forced to do so by the environment, receiving feedback from the environment.�

    In turn,this is due to the spatial organization and nature of information exchange: there is no feedback from our environment, the main news is taken abroad, we are not used to reputational assessment of people and therefore, due to lack of information, we cannot evaluate.what to expect from another Russian.

    But this is a question from the series ” why can't a smoker quit smoking?” The answer will be in the same vein: “the less you smoke , the less” the habit is fixed.

    This also applies to the habit of undemocratic behavior.�

    There is,however, an opposite, more pessimistic view of things – it is set out by Galkovsky in The Infinite Impasse.

    “He saw the terrible hole into which his Russia was falling, and he could and knew how to shout about it. He was also very persuasive. But he couldn't prove it. But his opponents did not need predictions and divination, but “scientific forecasts”. Rozanov wrote in October 1914:

    “We have been given unprecedented beauty

    And wealth unheard of.

    This is Russia.

    But the stupid kids squandered it all.

    These are the Russians.”

    Why was it squandered? Where? When? Give us your figures and calculations. The well-known left-liberal publicist Ivanov-Razumnik then wrote::

    “Be that as it may, one thing is certain: the Russian intelligentsia can look to its future with faith, drawing strength and confidence from its glorious past … her past is amazing, her future unimaginable.”

    A certain number of years passed and Razumnik was choking on blood in the Chekist basement (all his teeth were knocked out during the interrogation). Razumnik's other works have never been published in Russia. It turned out that “this is not what our people need, because our people do not need it.”

    “And only the Slavophiles were right.

    One Skating rink.

    One is Konstantin Leontiev.”

    (From Rozanov's letter to Gollerbach on August 26, 1918.)”

  15. I believe that when you describe “Russian masochism” in Russia as something negative, you are relying on the ideas of liberal democracy: the electoral system of power, the division of power into three branches, the rule of law (the constitution), the inviolability of human rights and freedoms, and so on.�

    But you do not take into account the role of culture in the construction and functioning of the state, and that any culture, traditions and other national values were formed as a result of a long historical journey, under the influence of various factors. So, liberal democracy is a “European Idea” built on “European values” that are part of the”European Culture”. The formation of these ideas in Europe is not an accident, but a logical consequence of their long, unique historical path.

    There is a very pernicious misconception born out of the popularization and dissemination of a liberal system of values during the Cold War. It was believed that democracy, freedom and other liberal values are world values that are 'natural' for any person, regardless of culture.�

    But in fact, the ideas of Western democracy, in the form in which it was promoted during the Cold War, have taken root in an absolute minority of states. Because it is not enough to have a constitution, elections, a parliament, and a formal division of power – the fundamental attributes of a liberal democracy. A constitutional (liberal) system is based on laws and regulations; if people don't want to play by the rules and don't follow the laws, then the system can't function.And people don't want to play by the rules, because they are used to playing other games, by other rules. In Russia, there has never been any other system of governance other than leadership. There is no request for “European values”in Russia. In Russia, in fact, there has never been a change of power. Where does something that never existed come from in Russia?

  16. The causes of masochism as a mental disorder are approximately the following(there are many of them,I will give the main ones): experiences in early childhood, a strong moral sense of their low value. �

    Answering your question, we can answer about the same thing. Since childhood, the average resident of the Russian Federation is constantly in a state of anxiety. In kindergarten, the teacher punishes him, in school the teacher drills him,in high school the dean scares him with expulsion, at work the boss, choking in power, threatens to dismiss him. Because of these same experiences, a feeling of low self-worth and a recognition of our helplessness develops, which later we all get used to and begin to live with it. This will not be eradicated until people begin to love and feel sorry for themselves and stop treating themselves with condescension. Having cultivated moral and strong-willed qualities in yourself, you will be very surprised when you start to notice changes!

  17. Unwillingness to take responsibility for yourself. Such a nationwide infantilism. A strong hand will decide when to shit, what to breathe and what to eat, like a strict mom and dad. To some extent, religious dogmas create the same illusion of a caring father, who himself told you how to live and you just need to follow his instructions. Therefore, our people either fall into religion or at the feet of a strong leader. So far.

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