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Russia -- An Appreciation

By       Message Ernest Partridge     Permalink
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In a recent appearance on Bill Maher's "Real Time," professional smart-ass P. J. O'Rourke had this to say about Russia.

Let me explain Russia... You have this country where you have western civilization and then this other country over here, sort of on the edge of western civilization.

They never had the Reformation. They never had the Renaissance. They never had the industrial revolution. They never had anything except this stinky commie revolution. And so they kind of missed out on everything...

Besides being out in the sticks culturally, it is literally out in the sticks. What you have in Russia is basically the Middle Ages.

Yeah, Right!

After all, what has Russia contributed to world civilization and culture?

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In literature? Nothing! Except Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, etc.

In music? Nothing! Except Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky, Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, etc.

In Ballet? Nothing! Except Nijinsky, Diaghilev, Pavlova, Nureyev, Ulanova, Balanchine, etc.

In Painting? Nothing! Except Repin, Roerich, Chagall, Kandinsky, etc.

In Science? Nothing! Except Lomonosov, Pavlov, Vernadsky, Mendeleev, and a roster of Nobel Laureates second only to the United States.

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In Technology? Nothing! Except Sputnik, Soyuz, and the T-34 -- the best battle tank of World War II.

And what did Russia sacrifice to the struggle against of Naziism? Merely the lives of twenty-five million Soviet citizens.

Mr. O'Rourke: It's past time for you to go back to school.

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Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. Partridge has taught philosophy at the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin. He publishes the website, "The (more...)

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