There are no breaking news at the moment

Articles by: Mary Metzger

Sheer Hypocrisy:  How America and Americans Interfered in the Election of Boris Yeltsin: a tale told in five parts. Pt. 1 – The Economists

Sheer Hypocrisy:  How America and Americans Interfered in the Election of Boris Yeltsin: a tale told in five parts. Pt. 1 – The Economists

There is a great wailing arising and much wringing of hands going on in the United States over the assertion that Russia interfered inour last electionto ensure that Donald Trump and not Hilary Clinton was elected president.  This is sheer hypocrisy.  The fact of the matter is that American presidents, universities, economic and political advisers, government institutions and banks worked[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  False News About Russia: A Longstanding Tradition

An American Babushka in Moscow:  False News About Russia: A Longstanding Tradition

When I first came to Russia, the key political event of the moment was the “war” over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two independent provinces in Georgia.  The response of the American media to the situation was, quite unsurprisingly, to accuse Russia of instigating the “war” by invading Georgia.  The people of Russia were furious over what was a blatant lie,[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Front Page of the Star Ledger

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Front Page of the Star Ledger

Although I usually spend at least an hour every day reading the news, it has been years since I have held a newspaper in my hands.  But my son-in-law Emile, and his father, my friend Henry LaFargue, like to sit and “read the newspapers.”   They are stacked up on the kitchen table:  The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
An American Babushka in Moscow: Babette as Sisyphus

An American Babushka in Moscow: Babette as Sisyphus

I come awake to the rattle snake sound of the cicadas, nuanced, orchestrated, ebbing and flowing on the air; the buzz of lawnmowers, the swish of tires puckering up from the tarmac.The dog barking in the yard completes the suburban symphony that plays daily in the well to do communities of Northern New Jersey. I have been here two weeks,[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow: Home Sweet Soviet Home

An American Babushka in Moscow: Home Sweet Soviet Home

It is not the case that we can live long in places without them becoming part of us and we becoming part of them. I am not here talking about countries or cities, but the quarters in which we live and to which we return daily to satisfy our most basic needs. Our spaces shape our thoughts and feelings, and[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
An American Babushka in Moscow:  On Contradiction-the Dialectic of Putin and Trump

An American Babushka in Moscow:  On Contradiction-the Dialectic of Putin and Trump

After Helsinki, where Putin and Trump exposed their personal relationship to the world, in a perfect exemplification of the dialectic, Trump returned to feel the wrath of his people, and Putin to feel the pride of his.   Yet the dialectic is no simple polarity, no either or.  Alongside the rage that spewed forth from so many (see below), the voices[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow: You Can’t go Home Again

An American Babushka in Moscow: You Can’t go Home Again

It should come as no surprise to me, but it does, that after decades of studying the thinking of the ancient Greeks, I have begun to think like them. In saying this I am not merely speaking of their philosophy but also in reference to their religious beliefs, which, no less than their philosophy, set great insights about Being before[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
An American Babushka in Moscow: A Flicker of Fear

An American Babushka in Moscow: A Flicker of Fear

A flicker of fear passes through me this morning when I read the lead article in The Moscow Times titled “Foreigners in Russia are Panicking Over New Migration Rules”(https://themoscowtimes.com/news/foreigners-in-russia-are-panicking-over-new-migration-rules-62130). Panic indeed. It has never been easy or cheap to stay in Russia legally. To begin with, one must apply for, but not necessarily obtain, a visa. One can be denied[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
An American Babushka in Moscow:  Why Are You Here?

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Why Are You Here?

Sooner or later- sooner if they are rude and later if they are polite enough to wait until we have developed a relationship that would allow them to ask a personal question, Russians  will inevitably ask  “Why are you here?”  Some in a tone of suspicion or contempt,  will ask me as if they were throwing down a gauntlet  The[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
An Immigrant’s Tale: The blood of the Tatars

An Immigrant’s Tale: The blood of the Tatars

They are the sources of the paced slivers of sound played across seasons, sounds I awaken to, sounds that inform my days, Their sounds, although varying in tone and intensity, are always paced, steady, sure. This summer morning it is the soft swish of small tree branches, cut and tied to a wooden pole. There has been a storm in[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
The crowd in Metro Moscow

An American Babushka in Moscow: An immigrant’s tale

If James Joyce’s The Dubliners are stories about people who cannot escape their unhappiness, and Katherine Anne Porter’s Ship of Fools is about those who believe that they will find happiness when they arrive at their destinations, this story is about immigrants to Russia who once believed that when they arrived here they would find love, money or adventure. Instead,[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Elimination of Labor and the State in the 22nd Century

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Elimination of Labor and the State in the 22nd Century

An article by Neil Irwin in the New York Times posted on June 12, 2018, carries the provocative title: “If the Robots Come for Our Jobs, What Should the Government Do? This question proceeds from two primary assumptions which should not be accepted at face value.  The first is that the “Robots” will come for our jobs, which is to[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  I Don’t Give A Rat’s Ass

An American Babushka in Moscow:  I Don’t Give A Rat’s Ass

You know things are bad when you confront the blurry image of Robert De Niro on the front page of Revolution Newspaper, that proud electronic banner of the Revolutionary Communist Party, U.S.A.  It gets worse when you read the accompanying blurb – “Robert De Niro came on stage at the Tonys on Sunday night and said: “I’m going to say[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
An American Babushka in Moscow:  On the Boundless Pride of Skilled Labor and once again, on Anthony Bourdain, Chef

An American Babushka in Moscow:  On the Boundless Pride of Skilled Labor and once again, on Anthony Bourdain, Chef

Without my glasses the trees outside the window are misconceived mosaics.  No young breezes have come to play among them, nor has the west wind come to make them dance.  It is only the residual droplets of water that create motion and a semblance of sound.  The birds are quiet.  It is a distinctly cold morning in Moscow.   It is[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Further notes on killing ourselves – In Memory of Anthony Bourdain

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Further notes on killing ourselves – In Memory of Anthony Bourdain

Yesterday I wrote about the fact that the suicide rate in America had gone up twenty five percent over the course of the last sixteen years, and then drew out some capitalist social relations which could explain this drastic increase.  First and foremost is the psychopathology of capitalism itself which tells people they are independent individuals and as such, must[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  You don’t have to kill us, we will do it ourselves

An American Babushka in Moscow:  You don’t have to kill us, we will do it ourselves

Those who cherish justice throw their bodies against the armies of injustice.  Those who love freedom die fighting for it.  Those who hate oppression are willing to rise up against it.  Those whose lives have some higher meaning beyond their own person, love life in a way that only poets can express.  Even those of us who fight for bread,[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Singularity and Social Space

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Singularity and Social Space

Like Oedipus I was never able to escape my fate.  In principle, if not in actuality, I was orphaned before I was born: a father dead from the war, a mother lost to desire and chance.  My grandmother came to save me when I was less than two weeks old.  The first thing she did the morning after she returned[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  On falling in love with Moscow and its pastrami

An American Babushka in Moscow:  On falling in love with Moscow and its pastrami

I am from New York City, and what that means is that I know a good pastrami sandwich when I see, or more properly, taste one.  For those of you who do not know what pastrami is, let me give you a quick course in Jewish cuisine.According to David Sax, author of “Save the Deli,” pastrami is not actually a[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Tai Chi Babushki: How I was taught I wasn’t a Communist

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Tai Chi Babushki: How I was taught I wasn’t a Communist

It is late spring in Moscow, and the day is exquisite.  I sit on my balcony and drink my coffee and watch  a mischievous breeze run through the trees.  It brushes against them, makes them bob and sway like off balance dancers.    When it scuttles away, the branches slide back into the sun, hold still, and the space we share[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Superstition and Slaughter: the Wars of the Lords of Opium

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Superstition and Slaughter: the Wars of the Lords of Opium

There is something in the white trunked birches of Russia that dumbs my mind and irritates my flesh.  Every May, their leaves, still small and weak from just being born into the world, provoke me to exhaustion and the coughing and sneezing begins.  This 11th spring of my Moscow years, is the worst, and the congestion becomes a bronchitis which[Read More…]

The Psychopathology of Capitalism- Chapter 2, Part 2

The Psychopathology of Capitalism- Chapter 2, Part 2

While the specifics of human character structure vary across time and from place to place, there are certain human characteristics which seem to arise out of primordial human needs and/or instincts.  One of these characteristics is our propensity to conceive and tell stories.  By stories I make no distinction between folk tales, legends, myths or religious fantasies.   From my perspective,[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
A Miracle in the State of Pennsylvania

A Miracle in the State of Pennsylvania

An American Babushka in Moscow:  A Miracle in the State of Pennsylvania, U.S.A. – four socialists backed by the Democratic Socialists of America win primary seats. I am exhilarated today, not because it is a beautiful day in Moscow, nor because of anything Putin has done, but because of what has happened in the State of Pennsylvania.  Not one, not[Read More…]

The Psychopathology of Capitalism – Chapter 2, Pt. 1

The Psychopathology of Capitalism – Chapter 2, Pt. 1

As we have seen, theideontologicaldelusion of exclusionary oneness that forms the ideological superstructure of capitalist social relations forcedearly liberal democratic theorists to create an imaginaryindependent and antisocial individual who initially exists in a state of nature.   This individual only goes against his essential antisocial nature and enters into society out of rational self -interest embodied in the fear of death.[Read More…]

The Psychopathology of Capitalism

The Psychopathology of Capitalism

Chapter 1.  Part 2 The psychopathology of capitalism is, as I have proposed above, rooted in the delusion that there exists anabstract, exclusionary “one” or “I”.   This delusion negates the existence of an “inclusionary One” or a larger temporal/spatial natural and social whole of which the “individual” is but a particular moment and manifestation.  That is to say, it is[Read More…]

Countercurrency as Insurgency:  Reflections on the old and new face of the “internet” in light of Gale and Null.

Countercurrency as Insurgency:  Reflections on the old and new face of the “internet” in light of Gale and Null.

There is news, there is old news, and there is history.  Gale and Null’s article is old news on the verge of becoming history.  Moreover, it is full of unsubstantiated grandiose pronouncements and distortions of all kinds.  To begin with the title itself is deceptive.  Is Wikipedia a new venue in and through which Communists are identified and persecuted?? Are[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow: May Day in the Former Soviet Union

An American Babushka in Moscow: May Day in the Former Soviet Union

When I first came to Russia I was thrilled by any artifact of the Soviet Union, by every Red Star I saw atop a building, by every hammer and sickle bas relief.  The statues of Marx across from the Bolshoi, of Engles standing tall in the small park across from Kropotkinskaya Metro sent shivers up my spine.  But I will[Read More…]

Blockchain Technology: From the Chaos of Capitalism a New(Revolutionary) World Order Emerges

Blockchain Technology: From the Chaos of Capitalism a New(Revolutionary) World Order Emerges

While there are many approaches to it, there is only one truth: that the world is One and thus that all is internally related.  The genius of Einstein is that he expressed and established this as the physical truth of the universe by negating Newton’s profound misconception of the world as separate and isolated units coexisting in an ether which[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
Photo by akk_rus

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The five people you will meet when you first get to Moscow

Back in the day, ten years ago when I first set foot in Moscow, when the Moscow Metro was the home of the Minotaur from which I felt myself lucky to escape each day; when the Russian language was tumultuous; when I could not ask for what I wanted and needed, when the sophisticated splendor of the city sent me[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
The Psychopathology of Capitalism – Chapter 1.  Part 2

The Psychopathology of Capitalism – Chapter 1.  Part 2

Chapter 1.  Part 2 The psychopathology of capitalism is, as I have proposed above, rooted in the delusion that there exists anabstract, exclusionary “one” or “I”.   This delusion negates the existence of an “inclusionary One” or a larger temporal/spatial natural and social whole of which the “individual” is but a particular moment and manifestation.  That is to say, it is[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Putin’s Greatest Battle Is Against The “Gods of Technology” Themselves

Putin’s Greatest Battle Is Against The “Gods of Technology” Themselves

I don’t know how or why I ever got an invitation to come and teach in Moscow.  I was hesitant to come: after all I was teaching at two small colleges near my home, I had a large family who lived close to me, and a lot of friends.  I was comfortable right where I was.  But as one of[Read More…]

The Psychopathology of Capitalism: Chapter 1 – part 1

The Psychopathology of Capitalism: Chapter 1 – part 1

The psychopathology of capitalism arises from the delusionthat there exists an exclusionary “one” rather than an inclusionary One.  This delusion is both a product of the historical development of capitalism and, as contemporary physics shows us, the natural result of the internal relationship between the structure of reality and ourselves as observers of that reality.  Yet, even though it is[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Brave Hearts of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Edward Snowden

An American Babushka in Moscow:  The Brave Hearts of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Edward Snowden

Perhaps the first signs of his bravery were the fights he fought against bigger, tougher boys in the courtyard of the St. Petersburg building where he grew up.  He fought not only for himself, but also to protect other boys; one could say that even back then, he fought for justice.  Then there was the incident at Dresden when an[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Reflections on the logic of the permanent war economy

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Reflections on the logic of the permanent war economy

Monogamy and growing old produce the same results.  Sleeping with the same person over and over again takes the razor sharp blade of passion and dulls it flat.  So too, living in the world, truly living in it and not just in one small cell of it, reduces the sharp peaks of our emotions, rounds them out into dull stones[Read More…]

If Asifa Were The First, The Last or The Only One I Could Weep

If Asifa Were The First, The Last or The Only One I Could Weep

If Asifa were the first, the last or the only girl child to be tortured, raped, murdered, discarded like garbage, perhaps the callous that has formed around my life would not exist, and I could weep.  But she is not, and I do not want to weep but to make revolution against the patriarchy. If Asifa were the first, the[Read More…]

Homeless

Homeless

Into the night he releases his wordless poem, rhythmic and perfectly metered; then pauses to consider it before a new trope of sound rises with the steam from his mouth.   This cold winter, this Moscow night, loneliness, or some ancient ache for belonging is our common inspiration. But I am the lesser poet, in need of words to beg[Read More…]

Photo by hepingting

The Dialectic of Autism

The term dialectic as it is used here is a way of looking at the world that corresponds to the actual structure of the world itself without regard to whether that word is holographic or material.  Put in more philosophical terms, it is an epistemological assumption about the ontological structure of being.  Hegel will write a book about it called[Read More…]

The Great Skripal Poison Mystery: What Jane Marpel Said

The Great Skripal Poison Mystery: What Jane Marpel Said

The West points its finger at Russia, Russia points its finger at the West.  As for us, we do not really know who did it or why.  We know nothing beyond what we are told, and we can be sure that the details are being kept hidden from us.  So, faced with the mystery of who poisoned the Skripals and[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  An enigmatic sky and the stillness and silence of Moscow

An American Babushka in Moscow:  An enigmatic sky and the stillness and silence of Moscow

Of course, one never knows the degree to which what one sees is distorted by “subjectivness”; the extent to which one projects oneself upon the screen of existence.  But it does seem to me that Moscow, from Tverskaya Boulevard to the streets of KitayGorod, to the familiar paths of Perovo Park,  a great stillness has descended upon the people.  A[Read More…]

Disembodiment As Alienation

Disembodiment As Alienation

Alienation as Disembodiment: considerations on Edward Curtin’s Disembodied Americans and the Crucifixion of the World.  I am not writing to criticize Curtin’s piece because to my mind there is nothing to criticize; it is a well written, interesting and insightful piece.  I am only writing to address his primary question which, as I see it, is why are so many[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Russia: The Putin Youth

An American Babushka in Russia: The Putin Youth

  I find two things that catch my eye this morning.  One is an article in the Moscow Times, a liberal English language newspaper written for Moscow expats, the other, a website sent to me by my friend, Alexey Vasilyev.  They are of interest to me because they deal with what might be called the “Putin Generation” – those young[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  On Toilet Paper And  Ketchup

An American Babushka in Moscow:  On Toilet Paper And  Ketchup

Life in Russia, for the average person, is lived “close to the bone.”  Closer and closer to the bone as the economy suffers under the relentless attacks of the capitalist world.  Well, there is no profundity in that statement I think to myself.  On the one hand, what is true of Russia is true of the whole world,  The vast[Read More…]

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Sun, Warmth and American Football in Perovski Park

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Sun, Warmth and American Football in Perovski Park

Three things have occurred simultaneously to bring joy to the hearts of the Babushki of Perovo on this Sunday morning:  the sun is shining brilliantly, the fierce cold of the past months has subsided, and the paths are clean enough to walk.  We emerge from our apartments to walk and sit in the sun in Perovski Park. My bones and[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
An American Babushka in Moscow:  Putin, Hemingway and Paranoia as True Perception

An American Babushka in Moscow:  Putin, Hemingway and Paranoia as True Perception

Frontline has done a series on Vladimir Putin, called The Putin Files. They are available on Youtube and are well worth the watch. In them, a variety of “experts on Putin”, ranging from people who worked with him in Russia, such asGlebPavlovsky (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp84TerPgyI&t=4487s) who helped him with the PR for his first campaign for president, through John Bannon, former head[Read More…]

Vladimir Putin, The Man And The Leader

Vladimir Putin, The Man And The Leader

Heraclitus, the brilliant Presocratic philosopher, is remembered for having said “You cannot step into the same river twice,” to which one of his contemporaries responded, “you cannot even step into the same river once.”  The doctrine of change or “flux”is, in the mind of Heraclitus, logically tied to two other important concepts.  The first of these is the concept of[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
The Pigeons of Zhulebino

The Pigeons of Zhulebino

Those first days in Moscow,
they were the enemy:
their gray down gathering in corners
like the frail remains of long dead cicadas.
their dropping scarring the glass,
melding with black soot.

by Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
An American Babushka in Moscow: It Is All About The Elections Now

An American Babushka in Moscow: It Is All About The Elections Now

It is all about the Russian election now: the world press, the Russian press is filled with articles about the upcoming elections.  Of course, the position of the West, which views Putin as Public Enemy #1, focuses on the fact that except for a brief hiatus when his friend Medvedev served as Prime Minister, Putin has led Russia since 2000. [Read More…]

An American Babuska In Moscow:  Remembering The Red Star,  Health Care In The Former Soviet Union

An American Babuska In Moscow:  Remembering The Red Star,  Health Care In The Former Soviet Union

In his Lectures on the History of Philosophy, in his Phenomenology of Spirit, Hegel drove home the point that one thing does not replace another, just like that, plain and simple.  Rather, that which has been is carried forward, moved from one level to another in an ongoing evolutionary process.  So it is with the Soviet Union; it is not[Read More…]

Dacha Gardens

An American Babuska In Moscow:  Reflections On The Myth of the Failure of the Soviet Union, and On Happiness, Housing and Stability  

  I read with some interest a piece on CNN today https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/14/europe/russia-us-election-compare-intl/index.html, which compared the “happiness” of people living in Russia and America in regards to factors such as wages, housing, the status of women, etc.  While I would like to address all the factors, I cannot do so without writing a small book.  However, I would like to address[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy