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Old June 26th, 2015, 03:42 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by michael mills View Post
The historical irony in the settlement of large numbers of Russians (and Belorussians and Ukrainians) in the Baltic States is that one of the propaganda themes of the myth of the "Great Fatherland War" is that the Soviet victory saved the Estonian and Latvian peoples from being colonised by Germans, whereas the reality is that they have been colonised by Russians and Ukrainians.
To this days Russians look at this like Estonians should be grateful to them for liberation from Germans, ignoring the fact that for Estonian people this was not liberation at all, but merely a swap of one occupational power for another. German WW2 occupation of Estonia lasted hardly 4 years, Russian occupation lasted 50 years.

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Would the Estonians and Latvians have been better off if they had been colonised by Germans rather than Slavs? It is impossible to say.
I have lived in Russia and in the Western Europe, and currently live in Estiona, so I believe I'm qualified to offer my theory on this.

First of all, Germanic countries have always been much more developed economically and socially than Slavic countries. Russia has always been rich with natural resources, which enabled it to turn into big power, but it was always less developed and less advanced socially than Europe.

Now, let's compare society-wise German vs Soviet occupation of Estonia. Occupation and subsequent colonization by the Soviet union meant that Estonians had to share their country and live side by side with people of another culture. Estonian mentality is more akin to Western mentality than to Eastern, which Russia represents. Let's look at some of the "German virtues" that may give us an idea about German mentality:
  • Austerity or Thrift (German: Sparsamkeit)
  • Determination (German: Zielstrebigkeit)
  • Discipline (German: Disziplin)
  • Frankness or Probity (German: Redlichkeit)
  • Humility or Modesty (German: Bescheidenheit)
  • Incorruptibility (German: Unbestechlichkeit)
  • Industriousness or Diligence (German: Fleiß)
  • Punctuality (German: Pünktlichkeit)
  • Reliability (German: Zuverlässigkeit)
  • Sense of order (German: Ordnungssinn)
    .......

Here's what Russian sociologists write about Russian mentality:
  • Collective. No concept of privacy.
  • Between reason and emotion, Russians choose emotion.
  • Despise of discipline and orderliness.
  • Irresponsible.
  • Tolerance and habit of lying and hypocrisy due to the belief that you can not do otherwise .
  • The habit of stealing, bribery and deceit. Belief that everybody steals everywhere. Famous Russian saying "Ne naebyosh, ne prozivesh" can be interpreted as "If you don't cheat, you don't eat".
  • Love for freeloading and mooching.

Quote:
They had had the experience of being ruled by ethnic Germans and they did not like it. But equally they do not like the large Slavic presence in their homelands either.
At the end of the day no nation wants to be ruled by anybody, regardless of the mentality of a ruler. Any nation wants to have a country of its own and, at least, internal independence. Estonia has been ruled by Denmark, Sweden, Germany and later by Russian Empire for hundreds of years, but has never been colonized. In 1920 when Estonia became independent ethnic Estonians made up 90% of the population. After just 50 years of Soviet rule, their ethnic population was diluted down to 62%.

Last edited by dmit; June 26th, 2015 at 03:50 PM.
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Old June 26th, 2015, 06:37 PM   #32

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That is the major source of problems in Estonia. Majority of Russians in Estonia refuse to assimilate and integrate, even refuse to speak Estonian with local Estonians. They hate Estonian and always verbally trash it, but refuse to leave even though there are really no big obstacles to that, apart from initial discomfort of moving to another place. Russia has an extensive relocation program that provides ethnic Russians who expressed a desire to relocate to their homeland with jobs, accommodation, and full social package such as medical care, pension if you are a retiree, it also pays for all your expenses associate with relocation from Estonia to Russia. Also, some financial aid is offered by Estonian government to Russians wanting to relocate to Russia. But to no avail. Russians whine that they are oppressed and discriminated against in Estonia, but none want to move. This poses a big thread for Estonia, because Russians of Estonia resist any integration and are waiting for Russia to come and save them, so they'd not be pressured to learn the State language, that is why Estonian association with NATO provides some peace of mind for Estonian people from possible Russian aggression toward Estonia under pretext of protecting ethnic Russians. Here's a good article on this topic: The Russians of Estonia: Twenty Years After | World Affairs Journal
Thank you for your answer. I had a certain feeling that was the state of affairs in Estonia at the time being, but given that it is a contentious issue I wanted to confirm said situation so to speak with someone who has actually lived the reality. I find it quite interesting because this situation gets absolutely no press here in latin america where many still have at least a moderately good view of russia or of the soviet union, if it was another nation in the same situation as russia (say britain or france, or united states, many here in latin america would criticize them to no end over the issue).
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Old June 26th, 2015, 09:13 PM   #33
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In contrast, would a victorious Germany in either World War I or World War II have ever allowed the Baltic states to secede and/or to leave Germany's orbit? Or would a victorious Germany in either World War I or World War II have (eventually) concluded that Germany should annex the Baltic states and make them an integral part of Germany?
The historical reality is that the Baltic States were annexed by the Soviet Union, which colonised them with Russian and Ukrainian settlers, until the native Estonians and Latvians almost became a minority in their own countries.

The only reason why the Baltic States are now independent is that the Soviet Union collapsed and was unable to prevent their secession.

If the Baltic States had come under German rather than Soviet rule, through a German victory in either the First World War of the Second, it is likely that they would have been colonised by German settlers, with the native people reduced to a near minority, just as they were in historical reality.

Whether under this hypothetical scenario the Baltic States would ever have become independent would depend on whether the German Empire collapsed in the same as the Soviet Union collapsed.

I think it unlikely that a hypothetical German rule over the Baltic States would have lasted indefinitely, since the demand for independence would eventually have become too strong. However, if the Baltic States had been under German rule for 50 years rather than Soviet Communist rule, it is likely that they would have become independent in much better economic shape than they did in historical reality, since they would have been linked to Western and Central Europe rather than to Communist Russia.
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Old June 27th, 2015, 01:21 AM   #34
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Dmit:

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Let's look at some of the "German virtues"
Rather Prussian (as your link says), and Protestant:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussian_virtues

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestant_work_ethic

But it is accurate to say that many other regions of Germany (Bavaria, western regions) also adopted these values.

Quote:
Here's what Russian sociologists write about Russian mentality
Rather Soviet / Communist mentality:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_Sovieticus

The long life of Homo sovieticus | The Economist

Quote:
Estonian mentality is more akin to Western mentality
Not according to this study:

http://web.stanford.edu/class/polisc...ne_estonia.pdf

Moreover, there is no such a thing as a unified Western mentality.

Payment morality index shows for example, that while in Germany 79% of people pay their bills on time, in Britain only 30% do, in France 32%, in Portugal (the Westernmost country in Europe, together with Ireland) only 17,5%, in Slovenia 40%, in Hungary 43,5%.

So in terms of payment morality - for instance - Slovenia and Hungary are closer to Germany than are Britain and France.

And both Britain and France are more "Western" than Germany (at least geographically). Of course I chose payment morality as just one example. There are tons of other sociological variables, but they as well show, that there is no any unified "Western" mentality.

================================

World map of the Big 5 Personality Traits also shows, that variance is not along some Western/Eastern divide:


Last edited by Viriathus; June 27th, 2015 at 01:54 AM.
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Old June 27th, 2015, 02:54 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Viriathus View Post
Rather Soviet mentality:
The mentality of Soviet Russians long predates the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was the result of Russian mentality. Russian mentality formed the Soviet Union and not vice versa. From ancient times, long before Russian Empire, Russians led their household by the Obshchina system (Russian: общи́на, literally: "commune") which was a peasant village with a communal land. This meant that the land did not belong to anyone individually and was not inherited by any family, but belonged to the entire village community. That's why COMMUNISM as political system became extremely popular in Russia and remains popular to this day. The crops from the communal fields were divided equally between all members of the community irrespective of how much effort you put in individually, you still get the same result as everybody else, the same basis was in Russian Communist Ideology: total equality or single class of people regardless whether you have more talent, ambition, and stronger work ethics, you still get the same as the next person (of course nature always takes its course, de facto there were covert classes). Basically, if you work harder on that communal field, you do not get any more in the end, instead your extra effort is equally divided up among other members of the community, so you always work for the community and not for yourself. This kills the work ethics and personal responsibility, in contrast, these qualities are formed when you have your own farm, profit from your own labor/land and responsible for your own household, which was the basis for formation of Western Mentality from ancient times (please read this answer).

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Moreover, there is no such a thing as a unified Western mentality.
When I talk about Western mentality, I mean Germanic countries of northern Europe, such as Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway, Denmark), England (Anglo-Saxons only, excluding Celtic nations), Germany, Netherlands. I do not take such countries as Italy, Spain, Hungary, Romania, Ireland, even France I'd not attribute to Western Mentality.

If you take those Western countries together, they will have more common traits than Slavic countries, while Slavic countries will have more common traits among themselves when compared to Germanic countries. Even Poland and Czech Republic, countries that had had long influence of Germany, have more similarities with Russian and Serbian mentality than with Germanic.
5 Differences between the Dutch and the Poles
Czech Republic: Second Most Negative Country, Prague - Czech Republic
Czech, British and American mentality
Politics, Economy, Society: Mentality

There's little information about Russian mentality in English, but a lot in Russian, so if you read Russian, I suggest you to read up on the topic. Here's some:
Sysoyev - Mentality Awareness - A Key to Personal Success in International Business Contacts (I-TESL-J)
https://answers.yahoo.com/question/i...0100225AAJzZlz ("Best Answer" by Russian guy demostrated Russian thinking pattern very accurately)

Quote:
Estonian mentality is more akin to Western mentality
Not according to this study: [...]
Estonia as well as Finland has been for 800 years under Western rulers (Denmark, Sweden, Germany). Even when Estonia was under Russian Empire for almost 200 years, Russia of that time was politically pro-western and was largely adopting western ways. If you travel across Estonia today, you will see that there are no villages or communal lands, the entire countryside consists of individual farmsteads located distantly from each other. It is very different from Russian landscapes and identical to German/Swedish landscapes. So having individual farmstead and inheritance right is the basis for formation of western mentality. To this day, after 50 years of Soviet Rule, when you deal with Estonians you right away notice a big difference in their mentality from Russians and it is more Western thinking patterns, even from older generation who was born and raised during Soviet era. So from this evidences we can draw a conclusion that Estonian mentality is more akin to Germanic rather than Slavic.

If you look at Estonian landscape today, the one that predates Soviet Union, such as cities/towns (architecture) and country (farms), it is identical to those of Western Europe and looks nothing like eastern and south Slavic.

------------------------------

I'd like to comment on the research that you linked:
http://web.stanford.edu/class/polisc...ne_estonia.pdf

Sometimes it is frustrating to see how researchers or politicians make misleading statements/researches that are completely different from reality. I do not know where they draw their conclusions from.

The research is kind of puts blame on Estonia for unjust treatment of ethnic Russians and completely disregards Estonian view on the situation. I will give the reality and you will see if the treatment is unjust.

First of all, it is important to point out that today's Estonia does not consider itself a successor of Soviet Estonia, but it is a continuation of independent Estonian Republic before 1940. Estonia recognizes its annexation to USSR as illegal and to be merely a result of geopolitical designs of two powers of that time, Nazi Germany and Soviet Union. That is why all demographic changes that were implemented by the Soviet Union on the territory of Estonia are considered illegal and thus all mass Soviet Industrial workers that were sent by USSR to settle and work in Estonia are considered immigrants.

I was born in Estonia, my grandparents came from Russia to Estonia during Soviet times. I started school already in independent Estonia.

Quote:
Citizenship was granted automatically only to those who had ancestors with Estonian citizenship prior to the Soviet occupation in 1940. This prevented the vast majority of Russians in Estonia, approximately one-third of the residents of Estonia at the time, from being able to gain Estonian citizenship.
No monogenous country on Earth like Estonia used to be prior to 1940 would voluntarily dilute its nation by 30% with foreigners from another country. This was the result of Soviet colonization policies and not Estonia's fault. After regaining its Independence Estonia did not deport anybody, but granted citizenship to all ethnic Russians whose acestors lived in Estonia before 1940 and legal permanent residency to all, who came during Soviet era. In my view it was absolutely humane and just decision. So now Estonia has 25% of its population, who largely do not speak Estonian and are not interested in Estonian life at all, but live with their heads and hearts turned toward their homeland - Russia.

Quote:
For those without Estonian ancestors, the Estonian Law on Citizenship requires passing an Estonian language examination. Estonian is considered to be a difficult language to learn, and it is in a different language family than Russian.
Yes, but the same goes for Estonians trying to learn Russian. Nevertheless, all Estonians who lived in Soviet Union spoke perfect Russian. It is worth mentioning that the level of knowledge of Estonian language, in order to receive Citizenship, is so low and primitive that you need to study it for 1-2 months to pass the exams (I passed mine in 2005). It is lower than in any other country on Earth. So if Russians are so lazy that they do not want to put in even a slightest effort to learn the language and pass exam, then they do not deserve the Estonian citizenship. But the blame again falls on Estonia, Russians again go blameless.

Quote:
The language programs designed to prepare individuals to take the language examination were drastically under-funded through the 1990s
That is completely false statement. I started school in 1990 and finished in 2001, I went through all those programs and I can say that they were absolutely adequate.

Quote:
Without citizenship, Russian-Estonians are excluded from civil service and other jobs within Estonia, and they are unable to vote in national elections.
Yes, just like in any other other country in Europe, including Russia itself, if you are not a citizen and do not speak the language, you do not vote or take up any official job. None-citizen Russians are all permanent residents and they are allowed to have any job in the country except for, of course, official position, just like in any other country on Earth. Would I be able to hold an official position in Sweden if I'm not EU citizen and do not speak Swedish? Of course not. The same goes for Russia, if you do not speak Russian and are not Russian citizen, you will not get far. So I do not understand how this becomes Estonia's fault if this is the normal practice used in all countries on Earth?

Quote:
the terms by which Estonians and Russian-Estonians will come together as one society, as well as the meaning of integration itself, is unclear
Russians refuse to integrate. I have not met a Russian here who would want to learn or speak Estonian and I have met plenty of Russians who speak Estonian well enough but refuse to do it when they communicate with Estonians. When government is trying to intensify integration, like converting high schools to Estonian language, Russians complain that they are being oppressed.

So here's how Russians of Estonia think (in general):
  • We are the "supra nation", so we are not going to integrate in any smaller nation;
  • Estonians should speak to us in Russian and we do not have to speak Estonian, because there are 277 millions of Russian-speakers and roughly 1 million of Estonian-speakers in the world. So our language takes precedence over Estonian.
  • We have a right to live here, just because we are here, regardless of the circumstances of us coming here and at the same time we do not have to speak any other language than our own. Any attempt by Estonian government to impose Estonian language on us is considered oppression and Russia should step up and protect us from the oppression and the need to learn this "small" language.

So how with this attitude of Russians to Estonia and Estonian culture, government is expected to conduct successful integration?

Last edited by dmit; June 27th, 2015 at 04:46 AM.
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Old June 27th, 2015, 03:10 AM   #36
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So you are confusing "Western" with "Northern", apparently...

Anyway - England and Sweden do not have the same mentality as Germany, which my data posted before also shows.

England has 84% of the population of the UK, so any data for the UK can be extrapolated into England.

Quote:
The Soviet Union was the result of Russian mentality.
This would be like saying that North Korea is the result of Korean (or North-East Asian in general) mentality.

Quote:
Russians led their household by the Obshchina system (Russian: общи́на, literally: "commune") which was a peasant village with a communal land. This meant that the land did not belong to anyone individually and was not inherited by any family, but belonged to the entire village community. That's why COMMUNISM as political system became extremely popular in Russia and remains popular to this day. The crops from the communal fields were divided equally between all members of the community irrespective of how much effort you put in individually, you still get the same result as everybody else, the same basis was in Russian Communist Ideology: total equality or single class of people regardless whether you have more talent, ambition, and stronger work ethics, you still get the same as the next person (of course nature always takes its course, de facto there were covert classes). Basically, if you work harder on that communal field, you do not get any more in the end, instead your extra effort is equally divided up among other members of the community, so you always work for the community and not for yourself. This kills the work ethics and personal responsibility, in contrast, these qualities are formed when you have your own farm, profit from your own labor/land and responsible for your own household, which was the basis for formation of Western Mentality from ancient times
Traditional family systems of Europe 1500-1900 (Estonia had community families, just like Russia, and unlike some Slavic countries):

Click the image to open in full size.

England had a different family type than Germany, but Czech lands had the same family type as most of Germany:

Click the image to open in full size.

Traditional family systems of Britain before 1500 (compare with the legend posted above for characteristics of each family type):

Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by Viriathus; June 27th, 2015 at 03:43 AM.
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Old June 27th, 2015, 04:40 AM   #37

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Originally Posted by dmit View Post
Russia has always been rich with natural resources, which enabled it to turn into big power, but it was always less developed and less advanced socially than Europe.

Here's what Russian sociologists write about Russian mentality:
Well, don't forget about Orthodox Christianity impact on Russian mentality. For example, no one will deny that Calvinism had a powerful impact on Netherlands. Orthodox Christianity with its mysticism was quite different from Lutheranism or Calvinism. It was not about comfortable life etc. Orthodox Christianity was more concerned with the 'spiritual things' and promoted such virtues as patience, humility. Like the Orthodox Christians were more concerned about the afterlife ( similar to the ancient Egyptians ) Good example of the Orthodox mentality Chaplain's Corner + Wisdom, Age and Belief in God | Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese
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Old June 27th, 2015, 04:54 AM   #38
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Viriathus

Ok, then according to you there are no difference between Wetsern and Eastern mentality. So Germans, England, Russia, Arabs and Afrikaans are essentially the same. I do not know, with numbers and good rhetoric you can prove anything. But to put all politics and data aside, then why when I lived in the US, and in Russia and in Estonia, I notice differences in their mentality, if they are all the same? Why when I read sociologist on the mentality of Western nations and eastern nations their conclusions are different? Then why if it all the same and household system were all the same, then when I travel across Russia and Estonia I see total different setups of this households?
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Old June 27th, 2015, 05:03 AM   #39
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I wrote that there are no such things as "Western" and "Eastern" mentalities.

Not that there are no differences between mentalities of various nations or other groups.

Quote:
So Germans, England, Russia, Arabs and Afrikaans are essentially the same.
And Arabs according to you count as "Western" or as "Eastern" mentality? They are neither.

Moreover there are differences between various Arabs, for example Mauretanians and Lebanese.

Quote:
When I talk about Western mentality, I mean (...) Sweden
Modern Sweden is characterized by similar type of mentality, as the Soviet Union used to have.

Last edited by Viriathus; June 27th, 2015 at 05:15 AM.
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Old June 27th, 2015, 05:14 AM   #40
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holoow:

The only difference in our approach is that you think that religion shapes people, but I think that people shape religion.

To paraphrase Max Weber: "Northern nations have less talent for religion". The same Catholicism was imposed on today's Protestant nations, but their minds could not reconcile with the servile nature of the religion, that is why they introduced Lutheran reforms that provided more independence and self-reliance. Do you think if Islam or Orthodox Christianity were imposed on Scandinavia would their minds reconcile with it? I don't think so. While nations of servile nature feel well under servile doctrines.

Even before Christianity and Islam, Aristotle in 4th century BC wrote that people of northern Europe are full of free spirit and hardworking and thus can never be enslaved, while people of the east and Asia have servile nature and thus are naturally slaves and that is why they need a master to rule them.

That is where form of government called Oriental Despotism comes from, where people are not considered free citizens but slaves of the ruling elite, the same goes for Russia. So Slavs are of servile nature as well, although to a lesser extend than people from middle east. The word Slave comes from the word Slav. So I agree with Aristotle that dictators are created by the people. That is why we see again Czar in Russia who controls everything in that country again, just like it has always been Russia and people support and love him unconditional and will go for any sacrifices for him. The same way middle eastern people behave.

How to explain North Korea and South Korea since it is the same people, I don't know, my theory is that North Korean communist regime was imposed by Russia and South Korean by the US. So with such strong imposition people had little influence on their course.

It may be a coincidence, but most developed countries in he world with higher living standards are Protestant countries, then go Catholic, then Orthodox.
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