El Moscow Times es un periódico progre, sionista, proselitista, hipócrita, antirruso, políticamente correcto hasta la náusea y enormemente peligroso, porque su sesgo no se nota demasiado a primera vista y porque es la fuente de información principal, por no decir única:
a) de la práctica totalidad del cuerpo diplomático destinado en Moscú;
b) de los guiris que pululan por aquí (que ahora son menos, con la crisis, pero son);
c) y de infinidad de gente que vive en el extranjero, les interesa Rusia, pero no llegan a leer en ruso, y se empapan de lo que cuenta ese panfleto.
Y, en particular, el cuerpo diplomático de los países que tiran a negligentes yo diría que se nutre directamente de traducciones a su idioma natal de lo que cuenta el Timos, digo, el Times, con lo cual las informaciones que llegan a demasiados gobiernos extranjeros es precisamente ésa.
Normalmente, el panfleto está bien informado, lo que aprovechan sus redactores para escoger las informaciones que publican y las que ocultan en función de sus intereses. Pero, a veces, un columnista suyo se pasa una semanita en Barcelona y se dice "¡Hombre! Ahora que he estado una semanita en Barcelona, ya puedo escribir sobre España." Y, con la inmensa cultura hispánica adquirida en esa semana, aumentada con haber visto "Vicky Cristina Barcelona", con un paseo por las Ramblas y con enterarse de que hay una letra que se llama eñe y que no existe en inglés, se planta frente al ordenador y escribe un texto como el que reproduzco abajo y que no voy a comentar hoy, porque ya me he faltado bastante. Mañana más.
Russia Needs Its Own Juan Carlos
20 July 2009
By Alexei Bayer
It is hard to spend a few days in Spain without noting many similarities with Russia. Located at the opposite ends of Europe, both countries were unified early in the modern era in a struggle against a Muslim invader. Both ruled over other European lands and were feared and despised by their weaker neighbors. Both were given to messianic ideologies, as there are parallels between the fanatical Catholicism of post-Reformation Spain and Russian communism. Defensive and intolerant of other creeds, they relentlessly hunted heretics and suppressed dissent. Stalin’s secret police certainly learned a trick or two from the Spanish Inquisition. The two countries found themselves in a very similar situation at the end of the 19th century. Although overshadowed and snubbed as Europe’s laggards, they were catching up fast, not only in terms of economic progress and industrialization but also in the arts. They had an enlightened, civic-minded and thoroughly modern bourgeoisie. The artistic efflorescence in Barcelona bears an uncanny resemblance to Russia’s Silver Age.
The similarity runs deeper, as the modernist veneer was applied in both countries to what was essentially feudal society. Divisions appeared, culminating in bloody civil strife. The end in both cases was similar: the suppression of bourgeois modernity, even though in Russia it was the left that won and in Spain the right—despite Soviet support for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. In the end, even deeper fault lines were created, surviving into the final quarter of the 20th century.
Today, the regimes emerging from the two civil wars no longer exist in either country, and Spain has made the transition to a democratic society. It has, above all, King Juan Carlos to thank for this; he turned out to be a wise and decent man. But the real hero here was Spanish dictator Francisco Franco who, for all his faults, understood that a constitutional monarch, a national symbol standing above the political fray and representing all Spaniards, was best suited to bring about reconciliation. The Bourbon restoration meant that no politician could aspire to inherit Franco’s role. It also represented historical continuity, going back to the 1931 abdication of King Alfonso XIII and bridging a painful period in Spanish history. It created an independent source of authority that could arbitrate among conflicting economic, political and separatist forces.
This is exactly what the Russian political system lacks. It still has not found true legitimacy, which makes every new ruler attack his predecessor in order to assert his claim to power. The Soviet era remains a highly controversial subject. Its wounds and rifts have been papered over by mass-media legends, but they have not been healed. Power in Russia is unipolar, meaning that every new leader attempts to step into Josef Stalin’s shoes, becoming either comical or frightening, or both — just as Franco feared could happen in Spain.
Ironically, one of the greatest victims of Russia’s political system is Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. He clearly wants to leave politics and enjoy the wealth he has apparently amassed. However, if he gives up power, his hand-picked successor, President Dmitry Medvedev, will either be eaten alive by Byzantine intriguers in the Kremlin or, if he succeeds in building his own power base, he may turn on Putin — just as Putin attacked the era of his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin.
Unfortunately, post-Communist Russia has never considered emulating Spain’s example and bringing back a constitutional monarch. It would not have been a magic solution for Russia’s various problems, but it could have provided a foundation to build a healthier society.
Alexei Bayer, a native Muscovite, is a New York-based economist.
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