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Stoicism

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    Posted: 01 Aug 2020 at 07:48
Stoicism is ancient philosophy that started in the Hellenistic age, was also popular with the Romans as an ethical system, and was influential on early Christianity.  For this later ethical stoicism of the Roman Empire, it could brag that it fostered a kind of equality.  Epictetus, a slave, is one of the major later Stoics, as is Marcus Aurelius, a Roman Emperor.  The Stoics are named after the stoa, or 'porch' that they hung out in Athens.

The big thing for Stoicism is knowing what you have control over, and what you don't have control over.  What you don't have control over is the events that happen to you in life, what you do have control over is how you 'respond' (emotionally, intellectually) to those events.

In the Encheiridon (sp? "Handbook"), Epictetus (actually someone writing down his words), talks about sitting at a banquet, don't wish for dishes to get to you faster, and after you have taken something, don't regret that you didn't take more, but wait for it to get to you, when it gets to you, calmly take a portion, and let it go on.  If you do that you will be a fitting guest for the gods.

I would recommend Epictetus' Handbook to anyone interested in understanding Stoicism, it is about 20-25 pages.  Note, later Stoicism concentrates more on the ethical system, early Stoicism also got into logic and 'physics'.  Most writings of early Stoicism are fragmentary and technical.  Experts know a lot about early Stoic logic and physics, but it is not accessible like the ethical works of Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Seneca or Cicero(??).  Marcus Aurelius is not that accessible in a a different way (the Meditations or "to myself" is more like personal notes).  Epictetus is the place to start, or Seneca or maybe Cicero.

Solchenytzin (sp?) said that people in the Soviet gulags who fared the best had a stoic attitude, lower case s.  It is probably a pretty good attitude to have in our current time.


Edited by franciscosan - 01 Aug 2020 at 09:26
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Aug 2020 at 11:08
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Solchenytzin (sp?) said that people in the Soviet gulags who fared the best had a stoic attitude, lower case s.  It is probably a pretty good attitude to have in our current time.

What books by Solzhenitsyn have you read, if I may ask? Smile
I teach history to children and I am proud that they leave my classes permeated with sh*t and hatred to meet the real world..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Aug 2020 at 13:47
You, of course, can ask, the answer is none, although I have started his play "We Don't Make Mistakes."
I figure that that is a good (short) place to start, if you have a recommendation, I welcome it, the priority is on accessibility, not on importance _as much_. 

Two philosophy adjuncts were at a cocktail party, and one asked the other, "so, have you read the new book by so and so?"  The other adjunct said, "read it?  why I have not even lectured on it yet."

Jordan Peterson talks about Solzhenitsyn on various youtube clips, although I don't recall if the stoicism and Solzhenitsyn (eventually I will get the spelling engrained into my head) clip is one of his.
S-o-l-z-h-e-n-i-t-s-y-n.  Solzhenitsyn.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2020 at 05:54
We studied Matryona's Place at school, I also read on my own The First Circle and Cancer Ward. My parents even managed to find somewhere Orwell's 1984 and Animal farm for our home library.

Stoicism seems a bit of exaggeration to describe Solzhenitsyn's novels Smile There is very little to none philosophy in them. Just survival and taking notes of the harsh environment he'd been through.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2020 at 07:51
The comment I heard was more like a comment (of Solzhenitsyn) that people with a stoic attitude did relatively "well" in the gulag.  "stoic" with a lower case "S", not the system of Stoicism.  A person can be described as "stoic" without having any knowledge of the philosophical system of Stoicism.  But, in any case, the reference I heard was not saying that Solzhenitsyn elaborated on Stoicism in his books, or was even using characters to refer to Stoicism.  But, just the knowing what you are in control of, and what you are not, seems like a good way to approach messed up situations.  Now, understand that someone like G.K. Chesterton did not like the Stoicism of Marcus Aurelius, because for him (GK) Christianity is not about accepting messed up situations, but doing something about it.

The people who seemed to fare the worst were those who were "true believers" who fell afoul of someone and got sent to the gulags.  They couldn't believe they were there, and at the same time the party was always right, and therefore for some reason they (according to their twisted logic) must deserve to be there.  And then there were the criminals who were in charge, who were made in charge because they were deemed "victims" of society, and thus placed over the 'political' prisoners.

But, like the view that stoicism is the best attitude, I am sure that Solzhenitsyn never specifically said that the "true believers" (my term) adapted the worst to the situation.

If you like animation, I would suggest the (cell) animation version of Orwell's Animal Farm, I think it was done in the '50s.  I've never read 1984, but I have read his book about the Spanish Civil War, "Homage to Catalonia."  I think he fought for the anarchists there.  There is a live action movie of 1984, but I have never sat down to see it.  According to Jordan Peterson, Orwell noted that socialists criticized the rich, but were not that fond of the poor either (Wigham Pier??).  That is definitely true with this new monstrosity of Socialism, were minorities and supposed minorities are the new oppressed "class," even though they may be quite a deal richer than the poor.  Women are a 51% 'oppressed minority.' and they with Lesbian, gays, etc. are "oppressed" even though their income is substantially over the poverty line.  So, now you can be rich and oppressed, or poor and an oppressor.  As they say FUBAR and SNAFU, if you want to change it, maybe a Christian attitude is one that is best, but if you just want to live with (and get through it), maybe a Stoic one is warranted.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2020 at 09:18
I've lost touch with one of my used-to-be friends. We used to share the same desk at school 25-30 years ago. Now  he is a very well-educated guy with both a PhD and MBA. He is a genuine Christian believer and regular church-goer. He also is a big supporter of Vladimir Putin. Works for a large state-owned oil company. They like folks like him. They are loyal, predictable, marching in step with the drums, living inside the bubble imposed by the system, never daring to look outside the box and ask anything that will undermine their trust, licking the butts and looking down at anyone who doesn't fit their understanding of what it is to be successful. I just couldn't stand any longer his smuggish comments and his ignorant attitudes. He used to mock at my hobbies, Turkish language etc, my determination to work as self-employed despite downtime periods. We couldn't even discuss any historical topics related to Christianity because he would often become aggressive and accuse me of wrong views and interpretations (I am ignostic in my views, but do read a lot). I was pretty much fed up with  all this. However I do recall he once told me how he got kicked out from one of his jobs (for another state-run company) and nearly had a heart stroke because his favorite system turned a blind eye on him and let him down in his vicissitudes. Instead of growing professionally and pursuing some of his own interests he eventually turned to God Smile  What a crock of sh*t, pardon my French

Edited by Novosedoff - 02 Aug 2020 at 09:20
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2020 at 20:25
The idea that mostly all of life requires a non emotional response in the interest of maintaining sanity, 

stoics maintain a neutral and partially detached view. 
Thinking of a war photographer who sees horror through the lens but continues to document an apocalypse.


People often see parallels between ancient Stoic philosophy and the brand of existential philosophy described by the Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl in his bestselling self-help book Man’s Search for Meaning (1946). Frankl never mentions the Stoics, perhaps he’d never actually read them, although he arrives at some remarkably similar conclusions concerning human freedom in the face of adversity:
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. — Man’s Search for Meaning




Edited by Vanuatu - 02 Aug 2020 at 20:27
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2020 at 07:20
Novo, your friend sounds like an aspiring social climber.  Which would not match the Stoic idea of freedom.  For the Stoics, freedom is like being a dog tied to a cart, you have a choice to go willingly or get dragged along, but you don't have a choice about whether you are going to go.  To extend the metaphor the social climber wants to change carts (like changing lanes), wants to ride on the cart, etc.  Stoics believe in a determinism.  ataraxia or detachment, I believe is a Stoic ideal.  BTW the Stoics came from the Cynics ("the dogs") who came from some of Socrates students (not Plato).  Socrates was described as a dog that got mistaken for a wolf.

You have fair and foul weather religionists.  In the promotion of everything Russian, the Russian Orthodox Church gets a boost from Putin these days.  It is not all Christians however, for Protestant evangelicals are not welcome.  I imagine that the Russian Orthodox Church (in Russia) was artificially suppressed during the Soviet Regime.  Likewise I imagine that it is artificially inflated by all the kiss-ups under Putin.
To properly evaluate it, one would have to get through the bunk first.

30 years ago in college, I took an Old Testament from a visiting Jewish scholar.  I wanted to learn about the Bible, but I didn't want to feel like I was being preached to.  Later, I took his New Testament class, were he really was out of his element, but concentrated on what was there, rather than doctrine so much.  Did my term paper on Gnosticism.  My feeling is that the Bible is problematic, which means to me that instead of paving over the differences, one should recognize it as problematic, and thus problematize it.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2020 at 09:05
Francisco, 
I dont quite follow your analogy of a dog and a cart as well as their relation to stoicism Smile The reason I mentioned my friend from senior high school is because you wrote earlier
Quote  The people who seemed to fare the worst were those who were "true believers" 
- and I happen to agree with that. My Christian friend with his nearly "heart stroke" following the loss of his job is a good example of anti-stoic  social behavior. 

Now being 40+ I am certainly unlikely to change my personal views of Christianity and so I would rather be susceptible to something else, but their gibberish



Edited by Novosedoff - 03 Aug 2020 at 09:12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2020 at 10:16
Stoicism believes in a determinism, but has a view that they consider freedom.  You are not free from external compulsion, but you are free as far as the attitude you adopt to it.  You are like a dog, tied to a cart, you are not free to not go with the cart, however, you are free in your attitude you adopt towards the cart and where it goes (and where you go).  You (the dog) can willingly or unwillingly go with the cart.  You are not free to go against the deterministic world, however, you are free to go "with" the deterministic world.

I am just saying that I got my initial background in the Bible from a non-Christian.  One can value the Bible as a work of literature and history, without buying into Christianity.  Of course, how could you do that, I don't know.  Nor should there be any kind of priority for you to engage in that, "there are many paths up the mountain of Enlightenment.  (Buddhism).  or There is more than one way to skin a cat.
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing says there is the Christian religion and there is the religion of Christ.  "There was one true Christian and he died upon the cross." and then there are the pretenders.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2020 at 11:15
You somehow tend to overcomplicate things, Francisco Smile My personal anarchist philosophy would be to let the dog loose and to have the head of its stoic owner examined for cruelty 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2020 at 17:37
In the ancient world, a little cruelty is just part of the day's work.  I haven't studied Roman history that much, but to me, the philosopher Emperor Marcus Aurelius really screwed up by allowing Commodus to become the next Emperor.  It seems to me that Christianity is a religion of the underdog than grew up in response to the official and unofficial cruelty.  Crazy Christians just didn't seem to get it, they kept coming to feed themselves to the lions.
But if you wanted to live day by day, and not buck the system, Stoicism would be a good way to do it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2020 at 19:55
Originally posted by Novosedoff Novosedoff wrote:

We studied Matryona's Place at school, I also read on my own The First Circle and Cancer Ward. My parents even managed to find somewhere Orwell's 1984 and Animal farm for our home library.

Stoicism seems a bit of exaggeration to describe Solzhenitsyn's novels Smile There is very little to none philosophy in them. Just survival and taking notes of the harsh environment he'd been through.
What about the "The Gulag Archipelago" 
No I have not read it. On the great list. Jordan Petersen has YOUTUBES with some horrifying expositions of Solzhenitsyn's books.

When I finally do read it, there is an inescapable expectation that my 'angry-ness' and restless sleep will curse my lineage, I'll make my daughter sterile with my sadness.

That's a Portuguese folk belief.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2020 at 20:20
Originally posted by Novosedoff Novosedoff wrote:

You somehow tend to overcomplicate things, Francisco Smile My personal anarchist philosophy would be to let the dog loose and to have the head of its stoic owner examined for cruelty 
I have accused fransicosan of the same over-complication tendency, it's just he's bloody smart and knows the Greeks. 
Article explains context in the philosophy of dogs and wolves as examples of how nature has shaped the behavior of all creatures.
The dog will pull a cart or wander aimlessly but he is stoic and that is his virtue. 



" Of course, for the breed of philosophers who seek meaningful pathways through the territory of our most ancient and familiar textual homes, the eyes, ears, and even the sense of taste have long been faithful guides, while the nose has remained always ancillary.3 Perhaps it is a species problem, for as Aristotle notes in the De Anima with respect to smell, “we do not have precision in this power of perceiving, but are inferior to many animals.”4 And yet, the wolves, and their more domesticated descendants, the dogs, may be onto something.5"


"Despite its rather peculiar absence of any thematization of smell or smelling as a mode of perceiving, Plato’s Republic reeks of various animals, but the smell of wolves and dogs permeates the text with striking pungency. The scent-markings of the canines in the Republic leave a trail that might itself be used as a kind of cognitive map leading us to one of the central teachings of the text itself: that the philosophical life is situated precariously between the tyrannical tendencies of the wolf and the blind obedience of the well-trained dog."

 In Homer, Autolykos is said to have learned his skills of lying and thievery from Hermes, the trickster god, so well versed in using verbal equivocation to gain advantage. His name, Autolykos, the “lone wolf” or the “wolf itself,” like the name he gave Odysseus, is rife with significance. Homer tells us that Autolykos named Odysseus   after his own nature; since he himself was hated (ὀδυσσάμενος) by many men and women throughout the land, his grandson should have the name Odysseus.11 This hatred is one side of the rather equivocal attitude the Greek mythical tradition has toward the figure of the wolf. On the one hand, the wolf, as Richard Buxton suggests, “stands for one who by his behavior has set himself beyond humanity.”12
This dimension of the lupine character is what drives Polemarchus to recognize the limits of his own position. On the other hand, however, because of its cooperative nature, its social life together with others in a pack, and its practices of collaborative hunting and of the equitable sharing of quarry, the wolf also stood in the Greek mythological tradition as a symbol of community and even as an analogue for human social life.14 This strand of the tradition finds further expression in the treatment of domesticated dogs; and Socrates himself draws upon it during his discussion of the second wave in Republic 5 when he suggests that the guardians, men and women alike, should share all pursuits in common, “like dogs” (466d).

A Whiff of the Dog, the Savagery of the Wolf The first appearance of the dog in the Republic points in this direction. Its distinct scent marks the first appearance of aretē—excellence or virtue—in the dialogue, although the smell of horses is also in the air. Socrates first touches upon the question of excellence by appealing to the virtue of dogs (335b). At the end of his discussion with Polemarchus, having convinced him that “it is just to do good to a friend, if the friend is good, and harm to an enemy, if bad,” Socrates turns his attention to the impact unjust actions have on other living things. Here he solicits agreement from Polemarchus that when a horse is harmed, it is made worse, not better. Socrates then asks Polemarchus if harming a horse makes it worse “with respect to the virtue of dogs or to that of horses” (335b). In agreeing that what it means to be an excellent dog is different from what it means to be an excellent horse or human being, and that harming and doing good to each can ruin or cultivate the virtue of each, Polemarchus is led ultimately to the conclusion that “it is never just to harm anyone”

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2020 at 23:24
Originally posted by Vanuatu Vanuatu wrote:

Originally posted by Novosedoff Novosedoff wrote:

We studied Matryona's Place at school, I also read on my own The First Circle and Cancer Ward. My parents even managed to find somewhere Orwell's 1984 and Animal farm for our home library.

Stoicism seems a bit of exaggeration to describe Solzhenitsyn's novels Smile There is very little to none philosophy in them. Just survival and taking notes of the harsh environment he'd been through.
What about the "The Gulag Archipelago" 
No I have not read it. On the great list. Jordan Petersen has YOUTUBES with some horrifying expositions of Solzhenitsyn's books.


Yeah, that's the most famous one. We had it in our home library too, but it is a multi-volume and bigger than War and peace by Tolstoy, so I never dared to take it off the shelf and start reading Smile  Perhaps one day...

Frankly, although Solzhenitsyn and many other write well, these days I don't find fiction books particularly interesting (no matter what real facts they are based upon). I mean I used to like fiction books back at the time of school and read a lot, but it's been quite a while since that time. These days I mostly read non-fiction, historic, economic books and articles. Or something related to computers and technology. This is just to broaden my horizons and understanding of the outer world. The last fiction book I've read was La sombra del viento by Spanish author. 
I teach history to children and I am proud that they leave my classes permeated with sh*t and hatred to meet the real world..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2020 at 23:34
Originally posted by Vanuatu Vanuatu wrote:


"Despite its rather peculiar absence of any thematization of smell or smelling as a mode of perceiving, Plato’s Republic reeks of various animals, but the smell of wolves and dogs permeates the text with striking pungency. The scent-markings of the canines in the Republic leave a trail that might itself be used as a kind of cognitive map leading us to one of the central teachings of the text itself: that the philosophical life is situated precariously between the tyrannical tendencies of the wolf and the blind obedience of the well-trained dog."

 In Homer, Autolykos is said to have learned his skills of lying and thievery from Hermes, the trickster god, so well versed in using verbal equivocation to gain advantage. His name, Autolykos, the “lone wolf” or the “wolf itself,” like the name he gave Odysseus, is rife with significance. Homer tells us that Autolykos named Odysseus   after his own nature; since he himself was hated (ὀδυσσάμενος) by many men and women throughout the land, his grandson should have the name Odysseus.11 This hatred is one side of the rather equivocal attitude the Greek mythical tradition has toward the figure of the wolf. On the one hand, the wolf, as Richard Buxton suggests, “stands for one who by his behavior has set himself beyond humanity.”12
This dimension of the lupine character is what drives Polemarchus to recognize the limits of his own position. On the other hand, however, because of its cooperative nature, its social life together with others in a pack, and its practices of collaborative hunting and of the equitable sharing of quarry, the wolf also stood in the Greek mythological tradition as a symbol of community and even as an analogue for human social life.14 This strand of the tradition finds further expression in the treatment of domesticated dogs; and Socrates himself draws upon it during his discussion of the second wave in Republic 5 when he suggests that the guardians, men and women alike, should share all pursuits in common, “like dogs” (466d).

A Whiff of the Dog, the Savagery of the Wolf The first appearance of the dog in the Republic points in this direction. Its distinct scent marks the first appearance of aretē—excellence or virtue—in the dialogue, although the smell of horses is also in the air. Socrates first touches upon the question of excellence by appealing to the virtue of dogs (335b). At the end of his discussion with Polemarchus, having convinced him that “it is just to do good to a friend, if the friend is good, and harm to an enemy, if bad,” Socrates turns his attention to the impact unjust actions have on other living things. Here he solicits agreement from Polemarchus that when a horse is harmed, it is made worse, not better. Socrates then asks Polemarchus if harming a horse makes it worse “with respect to the virtue of dogs or to that of horses” (335b). In agreeing that what it means to be an excellent dog is different from what it means to be an excellent horse or human being, and that harming and doing good to each can ruin or cultivate the virtue of each, Polemarchus is led ultimately to the conclusion that “it is never just to harm anyone”


That sounds a lot like a excerpt from a book and reminds me of Franciscosan himself as well as of another character of a Russian forum who often inserts the whole multi-page encyclopedic quotes (I am still not even sure if he is a real person or an answer-back machine)   Smile


Edited by Novosedoff - 03 Aug 2020 at 23:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2020 at 02:27
GAH!Wink
I wasn't sure if you had a high enough clearance level to access the whole article!



Edited by Vanuatu - 04 Aug 2020 at 02:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2020 at 09:27
Originally posted by Vanuatu Vanuatu wrote:

GAH!Wink
I wasn't sure if you had a high enough clearance level to access the whole article!


The article is huge (your broad specter of professional interests, Vanuatu, keeps surprising me! Smile), but I've run over it and have a few comments to make. To start with, the picture is a bit doubtful. The crimson berets are worn by Spetznaz of Russian Ministry of Home Affairs, which includes para-military police mainly. Their troops are used for internal operations only and unlikely to have provided any advisors to the Arab countries. So the author of the article must have taken the first picture found on the Internet without really paying too much attention to what or whom it shows. 

Secondly, Russians are long known for savagery and rather barbaric ways of fighting. The below quote seems to describe Russians very minutely too:

Quote General Saad Al Shazly probably expressed this tension best when he wrote:

“The Russians have many qualities, but concern for human feeling is not among them. They are brusque, harsh, frequently arrogant and unwilling to believe anyone has anything to teach them.”

- all Arabic people are naturally gifted diplomats and pay a lot attention to such details of communication which Russians often disregard as unimportant, and this is something I have to admit I had to learn myself too. It has something to do with psychology and culture of communications. In English you use the word "amenity" to describe the behavior that is opposite to what some Russians may sometimes demonstrate Smile    

But as far as Russian military are concerned, the culture of brusqueness is in fact promulgated in their closed society. Just yesterday Russia celebrated the day of Airborne forces. This is when the whole Russian society is reminded of how wild the genuine Russians are supposed to be..




Edited by Novosedoff - 04 Aug 2020 at 09:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2020 at 09:41
Quote Korean soldiers were amongst the toughest in the world. I myself served with some in 1961-62 and saw firsthand the draconian punishment that the Korean command handed down towards recalcitrant troops. 



Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2020 at 10:46
Originally posted by Novosedoff Novosedoff wrote:

Originally posted by Vanuatu Vanuatu wrote:

GAH!Wink
I wasn't sure if you had a high enough clearance level to access the whole article!

John F Kennedy started Speacial Forces to Combat Black Ops by CIA. He was killed soon after.
From wiki- Russia has trained groups in Syria. Syria was on the list of countries in the middle east that GW Bush wanted to crush- 5 countries, 7 banks, in 7 years. Gen Wesley Clark;
 



 

Quote The article is huge (your broad specter of professional interests, Vanuatu, keeps surprising me! Smile), but I've run over it and have a few comments to make. To start with, the picture is a bit doubtful. The crimson berets are worn by Spetznaz of Russian Ministry of Home Affairs, which includes para-military police mainly. Their troops are used for internal operations only and unlikely to have provided any advisors to the Arab countries. So the author of the article must have taken the first picture found on the Internet without really paying too much attention to what or whom it shows.

The idea of having to pass a special exam that would entitle soldiers to wear the crimson beret originated with Sergei Lysyuk, a former commander of the elite Vityaz special forces unit of the MVD and a Hero of the Russian Federation. "It all started when I read the book “Alpha Team” by Miklós Szabó, a former U.S. special forces soldier," said Lysyuk. "There, the right to wear the green beret was earned by a grueling test, with blood and sweat. The book made a very strong impression on me and led me to think of establishing a test for my division, for the right to wear a crimson beret that was not simply a hat, but became a symbol of a highly qualified spetsnaz commando."

Quote Secondly, Russians are long known for savagery and rather barbaric ways of fighting. The below quote seems to describe Russians very minutely too:

General Saad Al Shazly probably expressed this tension best when he wrote:

“The Russians have many qualities, but concern for human feeling is not among them. They are brusque, harsh, frequently arrogant and unwilling to believe anyone has anything to teach them.”
So what does make you Russians sentimental? Singing! Right?Hug

Quote - all Arabic people are naturally gifted diplomats
hagglers! 

Quote and pay a lot attention to such details of communication which Russians often disregard as unimportant, and this is something I have to admit I had to learn myself too. It has something to do with psychology and culture of communications. In English you use the word "amenity" to describe the behavior that is opposite to what some Russians may sometimes demonstrate Smile 

We may have witnessed amenity from you, not sure   

[quote]But as far as Russian military are concerned, the culture of brusqueness is in fact promulgated in their closed society. Just yesterday Russia celebrated the day of Airborne forces. This is when the whole Russian society is reminded of how wild the genuine Russians are supposed to be..



The most intimidating chorus boys of all timeSmile


Edited by Vanuatu - 04 Aug 2020 at 10:50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2020 at 22:46
Originally posted by Vanuatu Vanuatu wrote:

The idea of having to pass a special exam that would entitle soldiers to wear the crimson beret originated with Sergei Lysyuk, a former commander of the elite Vityaz special forces unit of the MVD and a Hero of the Russian Federation. "It all started when I read the book “Alpha Team” by Miklós Szabó, a former U.S. special forces soldier," said Lysyuk. "There, the right to wear the green beret was earned by a grueling test, with blood and sweat. The book made a very strong impression on me and led me to think of establishing a test for my division, for the right to wear a crimson beret that was not simply a hat, but became a symbol of a highly qualified spetsnaz commando."

Ural cossacks also wear crimson stripes of the uniform (no high heels though LOL) which hardly makes them any more gruesome .... 

Originally posted by Vanuatu Vanuatu wrote:

Quote - all Arabic people are naturally gifted diplomats
hagglers! 


Well, did you read Edward Luttwak's "Coup d'État. A Practical Handbook"? It also blames Arab forces for incompetence and clan favoritism ..


 
But for me all those things are too complex to assess, my vision of the world is more like Homer Simpson's Smile

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2020 at 23:17
Originally posted by Novosedoff Novosedoff wrote:

Originally posted by Vanuatu Vanuatu wrote:

The idea of having to pass a special exam that would entitle soldiers to wear the crimson beret originated with Sergei Lysyuk, a former commander of the elite Vityaz special forces unit of the MVD and a Hero of the Russian Federation. "It all started when I read the book “Alpha Team” by Miklós Szabó, a former U.S. special forces soldier," said Lysyuk. "There, the right to wear the green beret was earned by a grueling test, with blood and sweat. The book made a very strong impression on me and led me to think of establishing a test for my division, for the right to wear a crimson beret that was not simply a hat, but became a symbol of a highly qualified spetsnaz commando."

Ural cossacks also wear crimson stripes of the uniform (no high heels though LOL) which hardly makes them any more gruesome .... 

Originally posted by Vanuatu Vanuatu wrote:

Quote - all Arabic people are naturally gifted diplomats
hagglers! 


Well, ALMOST distracts from the fact that commandos wore the wrong beret on picture day, too bad it wasn't full body shot would have loved to see the stilettos.

Quote Well, did you read Edward Luttwak's "Coup d'État. A Practical Handbook"? It also blames Arab forces for incompetence and clan favoritism ..
Of course I just finished! LOL
It had a Russian Collusion Hoaxy feel to it, entirely unreliable.
[quote]


 
But for me all those things are too complex to assess, my vision of the world is more like Homer Simpson's Smile

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2020 at 04:24
I've read Luttwak, Coup De Etat, many many years ago.  He is insightful.

I think V. misunderstood my dog example, the dog is not harnessed to the cart, the dog is tied to the cart which is harnessed to a donkey or an ox.  The dog goes where the cart goes, either willingly or unwillingly.  You may be able to untie the dog, but if things are determined, you probably cannot untie us.

From what I understand, non-coms make the difference in a professional army.  Modern armies rely on non-coms to translate orders into action.  Arab armies don't really have non-coms, just conscripts and the elite officers, as far as I understand.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2020 at 04:57
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I've read Luttwak, Coup De Etat, many many years ago.  He is insightful.


Luttwak has been a guest to MGIMO and  given a talk on strategy (Moscow State Institute of International Relations) Smile


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2020 at 17:46
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:


I think V. misunderstood my dog example, the dog is not harnessed to the cart, the dog is tied to the cart which is harnessed to a donkey or an ox.  

Too complicated
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 20:57
Originally posted by Vanuatu Vanuatu wrote:

GAH!Wink
I wasn't sure if you had a high enough clearance level to access the whole article!


Looks like I've been mistaken about the photo. Spetznaz of MVD did participate in operations in Syria
https://lenta.ru/news/2016/04/05/tumakov/

They have now joined the newly-formed National Guard Troops and dont take instructions from MVD any longer..

So it seems Vanuatu knows more than me about Syria and Russia Smile
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