President Putin, American Exceptionalism And Russian Exceptionalism

Recently Russia’s President Putin wrote an article in the NY Times concerning the crisis in Syria and warned us of the danger of believing in “American exceptionalism”. I have discussed the Syrian crisis in a prior post and so I will not deal with that here. So let’s focus on the belief of being “exceptional”.

Every citizen of every nation believes their country is exceptional or they would attempt to move. Sure it is a little naive but what the heck! We all do it. What I will be showing in this post is that Russians also believe in their own version of “exceptionalism” and I am not faulting them. It is just part of being patriotic.

It is the “degree” of this belief in being exceptional that is the issue. When it goes to far it becomes racist.

I found President Putin’s article interesting in that he mentions “God”. Wow this from a former Soviet KGB officer.

I decided to do some research and found that modern post Soviet Russia also believes in their own “exceptionalism”. (See below)

I have no problem with that. As I stated all nations believe they are exceptional when talking between their own citizens.  I just wish to point out that Russians also have a belief in “Russian exceptionalism“.


Evidence Of The Belief In “Russian Exceptionalism”

I decided to listen to the new post Soviet Russian National Anthem. The anthem is very beautiful and stirring. The very first line is “Russia – our sacred homeland“! Please note I have no problem with this. My whole point is that Russians are just like us! They really love their country. Their new national anthem uses the same music as the prior “Soviet Anthem” but with new lyrics that stress both the old ideals and the new. Below is a rendition of it. Watch the lyrics in the top left corner. The background iconography illustrates the theme of pride in the past while moving on to the new.

I am NOT finding fault with their beautiful national anthem even though it contains a belief in “Russian exceptionalism”. I am just asking President Putin to not be to critical of the belief in American exceptionalism.

I wish my readers to consider below the second stanza of the Russian Republic’s national anthem taken from Wikipedia especially the text I highlighted.

From the southern seas to the polar lands
Spread are our forests and fields.
You are unique in the world, one of a kind –
This native land protected by God!

Wow. Take note of two concepts here!

  1. Russian exceptionalism and
  2. Divine protection!

President Putin you should not be to harsh on American exceptionism. But then again we seem to believe we are the world’s policeman!

Below  is another rendition of the Russian National Anthem performed at what appears to be a youth music festival  in Moscow.

The older opening singer is absolutely fantastic. When I viewed it I was touched by the honest patriotism at a public event. Note their usage of digital cameras. It could have been at an American rock concert. I am not offended by their belief in “exceptionalism” so I ask President Putin to not be offended by our’s. 


Enhanced by Zemanta