The extended French week continues for its 6th day at Idle Words:
One of the main reasons Russia became a European power, instead of one of those humorless religious countries where all the men have beards, is because Catherine the Great developed a huge smoking crush on the Enlightenment philosophers in France. And so in this part of French Week, we celebrate Russia's massive contribution to European culture, courtesy of our cheese-eating friends.
I didn't think that France had been so influential in exporting socialism in Russia as it has for the habit of removing royal families out of their thrones (if not removing royal parts from their bodies). But contrary to some popular belief -- I specifically remember American titles labeling France as a communist country and the stock markets going down when François Mitterrand was elected President on May 10, 1981 -- Russia was not equally successful in exporting communism to France.
Let's dream about the future. All the countries forming the Russian Federation have cultural bounds that predates the 1917 revolution and, despite recent history glitches, these bounds will be instrumental in fostering their future growth. The next step being them and Europe comprehend the benefits of strengthening our mutual relationship. Europe has a tremendous potential in growing way outside its geographical limits (once it gets rid of some Christian-centric mono-cultural mental locks, it may discover new bounds in north Africa) and it has consistently and peacefully done so for decades. I doubt I will be alive to see it develop as far as I imagine it can go already, but that is a workable model.