How very true! How could truth be a THING? Let it be acknowledged that truth is utterly and forever beyond the grasp of human thought or intuition; we are creatures of the sphere of infinite mythic relativity, or simply, history. For us, truth is a word which features as either a philosophical abstraction in academic discussion or as a relative term as when ‘the truth’ about something is sought, which comes into play when there is suspicion of lying or deception. The ‘Russian strategy’ therefore is not limited to that country; it is no more than a worldwide cynicism arising from the primal need of an identity to survive and prosper, to add to its prestige and territory when and wherever the opportunity arises. The difference with Russians is that their primal urge still comes with the strategic use of lies coupled with a degree of crude violence that always surprises their more civilised neighbours to the west. The ruler of Russia encourages the people to crank up a high intensity of nationalistic paranoia and under this influence—and probably that of vodka too—anything the people or their masters hear or see that they don’t like they are to denounce as ‘lies.’ Everyone lies and everyone is potentially to blame. Lying has been called a way of life in Russia and one can suppose that Russians would never claim they usually tell the truth (except perhaps when they are busy accusing others of lying, of course) but that they try not to lie, because that wouldn’t somehow be quite right—unless it was necessary, in which case a lie and perhaps adequate accompanying violence might well be essential for the purposes of territorial and egoic integrity. All just following nature’s way, basically, but with an extra twist here and there peculiar to these coldly passionate people of the north east. It's something of a pity that Russians can't simply relax and be normal Europeans, but their history has a will of its own which so far it seems they cannot defy.
But what is this piece about Russia doing in a blog about overpopulation? It's here because there is a generalised worry about which nation will initiate the next big cull of people and Russia is putting itself forward as a major contender. It prefers to be on the lookout for weak points abroad, rather than improving the standard of living for its people and developing a little culture at home. The ruler is a small man, but having come up from nothing, is dangerously vainglorious.
*Peter Pomerantsev - Russian film maker.
In this particular context, the article by Boris Schumatsky on lying as a way of life in Russia is a 'must read.'
Also of interest, Marilyn Murray's article in The Moscow Times 'Why Lying Has Become a National Pastime' | Opinion | The Moscow Times