The atlas of our world, which opens up my Britannica, has 156 pages. Today it is estimated that the global population is 7 billion.
Physiologically speaking, the brain of a normal adult who had a secondary school education is very much like the brain of another such adult anywhere in the world.
So why is it that Britain used to be so different from Russia? In Russia, in the middle of the 19th century, to say that serfdom was not good before the tsar abolished it in 1861 was as criminal as to say in the middle of the 20th century, before Stalin died in 1953, that Stalin was not the greatest genius mankind had ever produced.
There is an obvious explanation: Britain’s freedom of speech. Hence the possibility to think and say what others think and say.
Let me say that I am not a historian of the Universe going back millennia ago. I grew up in Stalin’s Russia and tried to understand the contemporary world.
Of course, apart from the English-speaking countries, there are countries valuable for their cerebral achievements. Take France, for example, with its achievements in painting, or Italy with its sculpture, or Germany (before Hitler) with its music.
Russia? Well, in the first third of the 20th century, Russia had possibly created poetry second to none, but a very limited number of non-Russians know enough Russian to appreciate it.
Yes, the world is full of miracles produced in the last few centuries by human brains and by human hands obedient to these brains.
Religions? Yes, a religion may exist to deepen and widen brains. But, alas, often “our religion” is perceived as a wall to separate “our,” “great,” “immortal” beliefs from what is “religiously” perceived as something contemptible.
As a child, I spoke only Russian. German was taught at secondary school. But I studied English on my own so fanatically that native English speakers took me for an Englishman.
Yet we decided to go to America rather than to England. In our three-storied villa not far from Moscow, we entertained a guest named Daniel Rose, a New York developer who built, among many others, a 22-storied apartment building in Riverdale, N.Y. He was evidently moved and impressed that we chose to go to America not for its wealth, but for its freedom. He secured for us an apartment that his company owned at that time.
But the problem for us was still there: how to get out of Russia and into America.
In 1970, a Soviet miracle, or madness, occurred: Several hundred Russians, including our family, were allowed to emigrate, and there we were in New York, in an apartment Daniel Rose secured for us and in which we still live now, about 40 years later.
I have been writing weekly columns. What about?
My leitmotiv has been freedom.
At the time when once omniscient newspapers have been losing their readership and flat-out fold and die out, it is almost impossible to start a new paper or a magazine. Against this background, the appearance of a new publication that can survive a couple of decades is actually a miracle.
I have in mind two remarkable publications that are going strong; they are prosperous, with ever increasing readership, and have become the leading sources of information, intellectual life, finances, politics, medical information, etc.
One of them also concentrates on reporting global events, providing objective political analysis of what happens in the world. Both publications draw on new talents and leading authorities in their respective fields. I am talking here about Newsmax (as well as www.newsmax.com) and World Tribune (as well as www.worldtribune.com). Their readership and popularity are constantly growing, and so is their influence on American life and politics.
Let us now tackle the atlas from the other mental pole.
Outside Europe, there was Italy, with its classical opera, sculpture, and paintings; Russia, with its literature; “Oh, France, the dream country in the world!” as the Russians would say; and then, of course, Germany, which created the best classical music and the most profound philosophy before falling into Nazism.
But for a piece of land which was China, known for its unique porcelain, the outside world had no interest. And why was that? Was that because there was no outside world known to a China slave, as there was no Chinese world known to a European?
The social system in China is slavery, and its old slavery did not become any better with the tyranny of Mao, who can well be compared to Stalin.
Lev Navrozov can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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