In President Putin’s recent address that annexed four regions in the Ukraine to Russia, he raised much mirth because he referred to those responsible for the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines as “Anglos-Saxons”. The phrase was incongruent—and so people posted pictures, per above, that showed typical Anglo-Saxon war gear. So what lay behind Putin’s rhetoric?
In the first place, it should be noted that Iran and Russia—effectively allies, especially in the recent conflict over the Ukraine—both routinely attribute international shenanigans to malefic British influence. This seems somewhat quaint or antique and is related to the “Anglo-Saxon” comment. The Iranians have better reason to do so than Russia, for Britain did help America to overthrow Mossadegh in the 1950s—and yet that is very old news really. China could equally have “a grudge” against Britain for the Opium Wars, yet, though Chinese propaganda occasionally mentions the Opium Wars, the British are never a central theme for the Chinese.
The reason Iran and Russia have a “British obsession”—Russia, relatively, having little reason to do so since she has rarely fought with Britain in living memory—relates to their relative weakness. Russia and Iran are in conflict with the US, and they are considerably weaker than the US—both in financial and military terms. Hence it offers reassurance to refer to Britain as a major protagonist in the conflict. Britain stopped being a world power in the 1930s—definitely after 1945. It is not a British carrier strike group that will park itself off Iran’s coast to administer gunboat-style punishment on the Iranians for transgression against the “International Community”.
Hence, for Iran and Russia, to lay the blame on Britain—to pretend they are in a mortal struggle with Britain—is a way to whistle in the dark. Really, they know Britain is a minor power—if they were just in contention with Britain, they would be evenly matched. However, they are not—they are really in contention with the American hyperpower; and the hyperpower has better technology, a bigger military budget, and an awesome military capacity. Hence it reassures to pretend Britain is the main enemy.
China rarely, if ever, claims that she is in contention with Britain because she is more powerful than Iran and Russia; she is the world’s industrial base and also, frankly, she has so many people that they could all bunch into a giant ant ball and float across the Pacific (a few million would drown) and then colonise America, even if they had no advanced technology (and they do). So the Chinese feel no need to deploy a coping strategy—to pretend they are in conflict with Britain; being powerful, they can acknowledge their true antagonist.
However, this coping strategy is only tangentially related to Putin’s “Anglo-Saxon” comment. In one respect, Putin might have said “Anglo-Saxon” because the other rhetoric he deployed was much stronger than usual—hence he didn’t want to go too far, be more confrontational than usual in style. Let’s say, for example, I get involved in a dispute with a guy from Glasgow—I want to insult him but I’m in mixed company and I don’t want to alienate everyone else by making it look like I hate the Scots as Scots. The solution is to say “He’s such a Celt”—the Scots are Celts, just as the British and the Americans are Anglo-Saxons; except this is archaic, it is the tribal base for modern states that are multiracial and multi-confessional and operate on the legal fiction that we are individual citizens with rights under law administered by an impartial bureaucracy in “everyone’s interests”. Yet there is enough truth to the statement for people to understand, though it is less aggressive than to say “typical Scot”—it makes it a slightly soft blow.
Hence Putin made a grave allegation—sabotage of a pipeline—and yet he softened the accusatory language by saying “typical Anglo-Saxons”; nobody, aside from a few nutters and eccentrics, actually constructs their identity in modern Britain and America as “Anglo-Saxon” (although, early in the last century, this was the case—and perhaps Russians are also still slightly out of the loop, due to Soviet isolation, and think we still live in foggy Conan Doyle London where Kipling would write about “the Anglo-Saxon world”).
However, there is yet another subtext to what Putin’s speech said. You see, even taken as stands, “Anglo-Saxon” is not fully congruent with Britain and America—if it were, people would be much more offended. Yet people were bemused and instead said, “How peculiar—what an odd speech from Mr. Putin!”. This is not a typical reaction from people who have been ethnically or racially insulted—the Anglos. I sometimes see an American anti-British meme about the Redcoats and if it is a good one I feel my pride wounded and a flash of anger: “Fuck you, American.” Yet I felt no such reaction to Putin’s remarks, nor did anyone else react in this way—they just made jokes about Anglo-Saxon armour and said “What a crazy speech, Putin’s lost it”. So no “Anglo-Saxons” felt outrage at what was supposedly a provocative statement. This indicates an incongruity between the esoteric use of language, the actuality it points to, and its true target.
People react in this way when you reveal an unacceptable and forbidden truth. “He’s really weird”, “He said some peculiar things”—often, as I know from experience, they will literally pretend not to hear what you said or cut you dead (dead air). This is how people really deal with the unacceptable truth.
What was the unacceptable truth in Putin’s speech? As is evident from online radical right discourse, “Anglo” is a euphemism for “Jew”. You can say “the Anglos” rule the world, “the Anglos” have destroyed our culture, “the Anglos” poison everything and nobody will do anything—however, to say the same about the Jews would result in serious social, possibly legal, repercussions in most Western countries. The link also works because Nietzsche, a major influence on the radical right, abominated the British as unmusical and roped them together, “the nation of shopkeepers”, with the overly commercial Jews—so that for the radical right the Anglos and the Jews are interchangeable to an extent, both being seen, per Nietzsche, as commercial rather than cultural (specifically, musical).
Well, why would Putin use language in this way? Are you telling me Putin is a troll—does he have an anon account? Did he steal the 2016 election that way? And aren’t there Jews in Putin’s administration and aren’t Jews prominent in Russian life? Well, of course—my suggestion is not that Putin is a Hitlerite bent on extermination. The reality is more that during the chaos of the 1990s Russia was dominated by oligarchs—and many of those oligarchs were Jews, disproportionately many. Their influence, for the most part, was highly circumscribed by Putin’s rise to power; and many went into exile in the West, particularly in London (sometimes to end up hanged by their own belts in “suicides”)—and this explains Putin’s references to Britain (to the Jewish oligarchs in exile in Britain, really).
Hence Russia’s restoration under Putin—her recovery from anarchy—also coincided with a decrease in Jewish influence in Russia. Now, this is not to say that it was “all Jews” or “the Jews” were responsible for Russia’s woes—the Russians played quite a major role in their own woes—although doubtless many Russian nationalists would put it that way. Nor is it to say Jews have no life in Russia today or are oppressed—or that Putin wants to persecute them as such (actually he take steps to prevent such persecution). However, it still stands that the political quarrels in Russia in the 1990s involved a strong Jewish component—and this was subject to much demagoguery in Russia at the time.
On the other hand, America is home to about half the world’s Jewish community—and it is fair to say that they exercise considerable influence over America (Hollywood, academia, the financial services industry—the facts are a matter of record). Hitlerism makes this difficult to think about because people are geared to react in reference to his worldview—so that any mention in this regard is seen as exterminatory or an assertion that “they” run “everything”. It would be more accurate to say that the preponderant racial influence in America is Jewish (major institutions, notably the armed forces, are Gentile), whereas the preponderant racial influence in Russia is Russian.
This is not to say there are not Jews who serve Russia, or Gentiles in senior positions in America—these are the preponderant influences; it is not total and absolute. Additionally, many American Jews are descended from people who were subject to pogroms by the Russians and so have a culturally inherited hostility to Russia—and especially Putin’s Russia, since Putin has restored Christianity and the old Russian symbols, both associated with the Tsarist times, to a central role in Russia’s life.
Meanwhile, as Jewish influence has increased in America, in line with mass migration there in the late 19th century, Christianity’s importance has been demoted, European cultural norms disprivileged, and media hostility to “white supremacy” increased. Hence America, due to a general decline in religion and certain philo-semitic elements inherent in Anglo-Saxon Protestantism and Freemasonry, has become strongly influenced by Jewish culture; and it is this culture—progressive culture, instantiated in the LGBT rainbow flag—that America seeks to export around the globe and which Russia, in her revived Christian mode, wishes to exclude.
In general, the Jews tend to favour egalitarian political ideologies—socialism, liberalism, LGBTism—because they are more ethnocentric than Europeans and want to ensure that the “corporate whole” is equally protected. Europeans, meanwhile, prefer to organise in individualistic hierarchical quasi-military formations and so favour political beliefs more congruent with those ideas—further, both groups have differences in sexual mores, as instantiated in the split between Freud and Jung (basically, more sexually relaxed and more sexually restrained). The American “culture war” is really a conflict between Jewish and European culture in the United States and it started in the 1960s because at that point certain restrictions had been lifted on Jewish participation (e.g. admission to the elite universities) and, due to their high intelligence, Jews began to exert considerable influence on American life and to push forward Jewish culture and mores—and these conflicted “heartland America”, the much disdained “evangelicals”.
The “culture war” exists to a lesser extent in Europe, even in Britain with her substantial Jewish population, because there are fewer Jews in Europe and a residual aristocratic sensibility. America is essentially schizoid, in the ordinary language use of the word, because she has two conflictual worldviews within her. Ultimately, this will lead to civil war—not between Gentile and Jew but between people from various races and religions who are attracted to the ideological epiphenomena created by the two different racial outlooks (“progressive” and “traditional Christian” broadly). “A house divided cannot stand”.
The conflict in the Ukraine also has a geostrategic angle that is not directly connected to culture; however, war is primarily psychological and hence the war is justified in particular cultural terms and culture is central to it. When Putin says the war is “existential” for Russia he does not mean that the Ukraine or NATO will literally invade Russia, as those who mock him say (disingenuously). Rather, he means that if Russia is defeated or falls under NATO influence again she will return to the death spiral of the 1990s when she was dominated by gangsterism, alcoholism, and national death by despair.
By contrast, Putin offers a vision of a Russia headed in a Christian direction—a multiracial and multi-faith society, including Jews, yet under Russian predominance. This is perceived, from the American side, particularly the Jewish-American side, as anti-semitic persecution—a return of “pogrom mindset”; and this is tied up, as these things are in life, with the concrete material interests connected to the Jewish oligarchs from the 1990s as well—and the perceived influence and role, fairly or not, they were seen to play in Russia’s disorder in the 1990s.
The reason why I was not offended by Putin’s “Anglo-Saxon” comment was that it was not directed at the English or Anglo-Saxons—it was directed at the Jews. Yet, as with my Glaswegian example, it would be incendiary to say “the Jews” for several reasons. In the first place, global post-war morality is predicated on the fact that the worst thing you can be in the world is hostile towards the Jews (i.e. be like Hitler)—any criticism is interpreted as a move to Auschwitz. Putin himself, since he works with the post-Soviet legacy, legitimises his rule—still being “democratic” in the broad sense (i.e. not aristocratic, equalitarian)—with the legacy of the USSR’s victory over Hitlerism (put crudely: we, the Russians, with tens of millions of casualties, saved the Jews—not the West). Hence it would be contradictory, prompt cognitive dissonance in Russians, to blame the Jews for anything—nominally, Russians are in the Ukraine to fight “Nazis”.
Secondarily, it is not socially permissible—aside from Hitlerism, even when Wagner was writing—to even acknowledge, let alone criticise, Jewish influence on society. If Putin blamed the Jews, most people would say, “You wot? America is run by white people,” and they would be confused—the facts are known, subconsciously, but are so buried by taboo that people, even if they know really, would publicly not be able to understand Putin’s statement. They would just say, “Oh, he’s like Hitler like they always said on the news.” Basically, to say it would be considered incendiary, make him the Devil, and confuse his own people and everyone else—it would not advance his interests; and yet he needed, for basic psychological reasons, to acknowledge the real tension behind the war—lest he induce a different cognitive dissonance in his population. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
You can tell he really meant “the Jews” not “the Anglos” because he mentioned Dresden—to mention Dresden is to diminish the significance of the holocaust; it is a semiotic pop at the Jews. The holocaust plays a major role in the Western civic religion; to say it was not the most significant massacre of civilians in the 20th century—if not world history—constitutes an iconoclastic act by Putin (who presumably, as a Christian, thinks that the birth of Christ, not the holocaust, constitutes the world’s most important event). To use German civilian deaths—i.e. “Nazi” and “most evil people” deaths (they deserved it, per Western ideology)—to relativise the holocaust constitutes a double iconoclasm. If you mention Dresden, people will raise their eyebrows at you—everyone knows the metasemiotic encapsulated in that statement, since it suggests all sides in WWII deliberately killed and tortured civilians and, therefore, Hitlerism is not a unique evil and can be discussed as a valid political path. “Oh, you’re one of those, are you?”
Hence Putin’s Dresden comment was not directed at “Anglos”, even if RAF bombers carried out Dresden, it was directed at the holocaust as the most significant event in human history—as the American civic religion holds, and as far as its creation has been influenced by the Jews. It is to say: “A lot of people died in that war—Hiroshima, Dresden, Auschwitz—you’re not special because your civilians were targeted in that war.” And, of course, it is the American contention that those victims—more so than Dresden and Hiroshima—are more special; and if you are related to them, well, of course they are.
So we now have clarity as to what is at stake—especially as regards that Zelensky, the Ukraine’s president, is himself a Jew. It is not that every Russian, Jew, or Anglo thinks the same or is involved in a globe-spanning conspiracy: it is as with families, perhaps you do not agree with everything your brothers or cousins do—such as being oligarchs in chaotic post-Soviet Russia—and perhaps you have your own take on the world and your own friends; and yet if the family is threatened you tighten ranks with your family; and a return to Christianity and Russian identity threatens Jewish interests in Russia (raises pogrom memories), whereas the West’s predominant ideology is fully amenable to Jewishness—anti-anti-semitism being its central plank.
This is the dynamic that underpins, on the cultural level, the conflict in the Ukraine; as with families, it is not that these cultural-racial groups move as monoliths or all think the same—there are always black sheep in families, grey sheep even—yet the cultural-racial groups provide the basic context and the ultimate source for the ideas in play. Hence Putin, for complicated historical and psychological reasons, took a pop at Jewish influence in America with the euphemism “Anglos”; and everyone suspected—Russians especially knew, due to their cultural context—what he really meant (“What do you really mean by that, buddy?”) and so they reacted as people do when taboos are broached. They said, “That was an odd speech, wasn’t it? What a peculiar man Putin is. What is he on about with his ‘Anglo-Saxons’—I have no idea, do you?…”