Irish Crimean: Is Russian Fatalism Behind Terrible Driving Practices?


August 18, 2017 – Fort Russ News – 

Op-ed by Padraig Joseph McGrath – “The Irish Crimean”

Fatalism is a virtue during a period of social crisis or a national emergency, but not otherwise. Russian fatalism helps to make Russians great survivors, but there’s still a pathological flip-side to Russian fatalism.

In most aspects of their everyday lives, most Russians are open, pragmatic and socially responsible. Generally, their social and intellectual virtues are quite refreshing. But there is one exception, in particular, which Russian society seems to have compartmentalized – it’s like a fetish which otherwise very socially responsible people participate in – almost everybody drives like an amphetamine-fuelled **cking retard.

Simferopol is only 450,000 people (20% Donbass refugees) – it’s not a big place at all. But there are so many car-accidents that it’s bizarre. Just going from A to B, 2 or 3 times a day through the city’s main streets, you’ll see 3 or 4 crashes. Not only that, but a lot of people frown once you wear your seat-belt.

You sit into the car, and strap the belt on automatically, just as a matter of habit. And then the driver will say “Oh there’s no need for that.” That happens quite regularly. People actually disapprove of the wearing of seat-belts.

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So when I sit into a taxi, and I strap the belt on, the driver often says “Oh no, there’s no need for that.” And then I laugh and I answer “I was raised Catholic – I don’t buy into that Pravoslavny Russian fatalism.”

I respect Orthodox Christianity – it has a lot going for it. But don’t try to sell me Russian fatalism – it’s nihilistic bollocks. Just another death-cult, equally as silly as all other death-cults, like motorcycle-racing or heroin-chic, or any other lifestyle-obsessed death-cult you might care to mention.

To be fair to the taxi-drivers, they appreciate it when I make this joke. Some lunatic overtakes us on a narrow street with a blind-spot, and he’s lane-switching all over the place.

So I say to the taxi-driver “Просто еще один ху*вый разп*здяй – да, патологичная флип-сторона русского стоицизма.”

(“Just another **cking sloppy bastard – yeah, the pathological flip-side of Russian stoicism….”).

To be fair to the taxi-drivers, they take that joke in good spirit.

Padraig McGrath was born in the Republic of Ireland in 1973. He has lived in Britain, Germany and the Czech Republic, and has published journalism and commentary on social and philosophical issues for a number of media for 15 years. He moved to Simferopol, Crimea in December 2013, 3 months before Crimea’s re-unification with Russia, and still lives there.

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